Posted on November 6, 2015

Ikea Duktig Upgrade Inspiration for a First Birthday Girl

Inspiration/ Toys/ Worth the Effort
Ikea Duktig Makeover

As you may have seen in my post last week about planning for Clara’s pink and gold birthday party, our little girl is turning one. It’s wonderful how she is so inquisitive in her playing. All she wants to do, all the time, is explore objects, open drawers, climb up chairs, and generally check out what us adults are doing.

So for a first birthday present for her, I have decided to buy her the Ikea Duktig play kitchen.

Ikea Duktig kitchen

Now she obviously won’t be pretending to cook us meals at the age of 12 months. However, she will LOVE LOVE LOVE opening the doors, turning the knobs, pulling the (non-breakable) plates and cups out and banging the pots and pans together.

Read more..

Posted on November 2, 2015

Autumn Burlap Wreath Half Metre Sewing Project with Habdash Box

For Mummy/ Half Metre Sewing Projects/ Quick and Easy
Autumn_Burlap_Wreath_Half_Metre_Sewing_Project_ - 1

Did you see last week’s Hello Owl! Half Metre Sewing Project? I made this with Pocket & Pin’s awesome Habdash Box.

Well this week I have another brilliant half metre project with September’s #Habdash box. For this project I used the embellishments from the Habdash Box alongside some burlap and organza I had on hand. I still have the half metre of lovely autumnal fabric left to make another project with!

As you can see, the #Habdash box come brilliantly packaged in a little white box tied with baker’s twine (save this as it is brilliant to use in projects like this Mug Cosy I made with last month’s box!)

Autumn_Burlap_Wreath_Half_Metre_Sewing_Project_ - 1

I’ve been wanting to make an Autumn wreath to hang in our hallway for a while. I had bought a large piece of burlap (very inexpensive, and I have tons left for more autumn/winter projects!) a while ago, and when I came across this tutorial for making a burlap wreath it looked like the perfect thing to make.

How to make a burlap wreath

(image credit Crafts by Amanda)

I especially love that it doesn’t require a wreath frame but instead uses a wire hanger (which we have in abundance).

As I was using a large piece of burlap fabric rather than a roll, I had to cut my own strips, about 2 inches long. I decided to layer the burlap with strips of pale green organza in the same width. You could also definitely use the autumn fabric form the #Habdash box for this.

Autumn_Burlap_Wreath_Half_Metre_Sewing_Project_ - 1

I used almost all of the embellishments from the #Habdash box for this – I love the pom pom trim, and I just tied the little jingle bells onto frayed strands from the burlap (I really liked the look of the frayed burlap so only tidied it up a tiny little bit).

Autumn_Burlap_Wreath_Half_Metre_Sewing_Project_ - 1

The felt flower is made from the #Habdash box felts, with the little wooden heart centre. You can see my tutorial for making felt flowers in this post here. I also added some felt leaves in various colours – the flower and leaves are hot-glued onto the wreath.

Autumn_Burlap_Wreath_Half_Metre_Sewing_Project_ - 1

For the final finishing touch, I added a vintage gold brooch and hand wired vintage pearl flower, both of which are also hot-glued to the wreath.

Autumn_Burlap_Wreath_Half_Metre_Sewing_Project_ - 1
Autumn_Burlap_Wreath_Half_Metre_Sewing_Project_ - 1

Tie the braided trim to the coat hanger wreath from about 3 inches apart and hang!

Autumn_Burlap_Wreath_Half_Metre_Sewing_Project_ - 1

Doesn’t it look lovely and autumnal?

Posted on October 30, 2015

A Pink and Gold Glittery First Birthday Party

First Birthday Pink and Gold Confetti Cake

So my little girl is turning one in 2 weeks’ time. I can’t quite believe it. What an incredible year this has been – watching a tiny little human being grow and develop and start to engage with the world around her is just amazing.

Coming into this world a little thing at 6 pounds 11 ounces, she is now the very definition of a thriving, bouncing baby girl. She has learned how to wave, clap, reach for the sky and blow kisses (which makes our hearts melt). She loves playing and shrieks with delight when she sees our poor kitty.

So it is only fitting we throw this vibrant little girl a very very sparkly birthday party.

I’ve settled on a bright pink and glittery gold theme, and am loving some of these ideas:

(image credit belleNwhistle on Etsy)

(image credit Better Homes and Gardens)

(image credit Catch My Party)

(image credit Mon Cheri Bridals)

(image credit Pop Sugar)

I’m also going to tackle making her birthday cake (I figure it’s a skill worth learning as there will be many many birthday cakes to come!). I’ve settled on a two tier madeira cake (6 inches and 8 inches) covered in a white buttercream frosting and decorated with pink and gold fondant confetti and a fondant elephant with bunting on the top, inspired by these images:

(image credit girl. Inspired)

(image credit Blog Mega Silvita)

(image credit Kara’s Party Ideas)

I will update in a few weeks’ time to let you know how the cake came out and how Clara enjoyed her party!

Do you have first birthday party plans?

Posted on October 26, 2015

Hello Wise Owl! Half Metre Sewing Projects with Habdash Box

Animals/ Half Metre Sewing Projects/ Quick and Easy
Half Meter Sewing Projects

Remember my cheerful summer Habdash post? Well if you missed it, Habdash boxes are these fabulous little boxes of haberdashery fun from Pocket & Pin, which bring you everything you need to make lots of little half metre sewing projects with a different theme every month.

Half Metre Sewing Project Habdash Box

When I saw this month’s theme, inspired by the half metre of fabric chosen as the focus, I was very excited indeed. I mean, how amazing is this Hello Bear fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics? I just love it. Read more..

Posted on September 3, 2015

How to Make a Quiet Book Part 5: Binding a Quiet Book Cover

Quiet Book/ Toys
How to Sew a Quiet Book Cover

Well, after 4 weeks we have finally come to the end of our Quiet Book Tutorial series. If you’ve missed the other posts in the series, you can find them on the Quiet Book section of my blog here.

In this post, I’ll be showing you how to put all your pages together and bind them into your finished quiet book.

But first, we have a video of the whole quiet book put together! Hope you enjoy :) (warning…there is a soundtrack but it’s fun!). Read more..

Posted on September 1, 2015

115 Days Until Christmas: Five Christmas Craft Projects to Get You Through the Rain

Homemade Christmas Craft Ideas

So, for a bank holiday weekend, I think we can all agree that was a complete washout. I mean, seriously. There may have been a few nice hours on Saturday, but that was about all.

However, I took advantage of a few free (nap time) hours on a chilly, rainy Bank Holiday Monday and started getting into a little bit of a Christmas mood. I know, most of you are probably thinking WHAAAAT?? ARE YOU CRAZY LADY?! Summer’s not even over!!

But I really, seriously love Christmas, and this totally cheered me up. So here are some of the cheery, warm-hearted Christmas projects I’ve been pinning.

(Click on each image to be taken to the source)

1. Quilted/Sewn Christmas Advent Calendars

As this is our first Christmas where Clara will be even vaguely aware of anything going on around her (last year she was just 5 weeks old and I was still hobbling between sofa and bed!) I love the idea of starting some family Christmas traditions. A homemade advent calendar that you can fill with little treats or treasures would be beautiful and much more meaningful than a shop-bought one. There are also some great ideas for a Christmas tree advent calendar where each day has a little ornament to hang onto the quilted tree. I can’t really decide between the two, so think I’m going to do both :)

Christmas Sewn Advent Calendar


Sewn Advent Calendar

Sewn Advent Calendar

2. Christmas Bunting

I love a bit of bunting. Not like village fete bunting overkill, but a little bit in scandi fabrics with some natural linen for christmas would be fab. And I think the idea of turning the bunting into an advent calendar, like in this first image, is genius (and solves my problem of wanting to do both the present and ornament advent calendar idea!).

Christmas Bunting


Christmas Bunting

Christmas Bunting


3. Sewn Christmas Tree Decorations

Handmade Christmas Tree Decorations

Handmade Christmas Tree Decorations

(this little robin is from the same seller as the Christmas Advent Bunting above! Check out her fab Etsy shop here)

Handmade Christmas Tree Bunting

4. Christmas Door Wreaths

Christmas Door Wreaths

Christmas Door Wreaths

5. And Just For Fun Christmas Crafts

(how adorable are these by the way?!)

Christmas Crafts

Christmas Quilted Table Runner



I absolutely adore these little owls… especially the one that looks just a little bit cross :)

Christmas Owls


Now I don’t actually intend on making this, as knitting just isn’t my thing….

Homemade Christmas Crafts

Now these, I think I might actually make. SO cute and also edible. What’s not to like?!

Mini Gingerbread Houses


So…. have I inspired you to start thinking about Christmas craft projects? Even just a little bit? Or do you still hate me for just mentioning the C word?



Posted on August 21, 2015

Habdash Box Colourful Summer Envelope Cushion Tutorial

Girls Decor/ Half Metre Sewing Projects/ Nursery Decor/ Quick and Easy
Felt Flower Envelope Cushion Tutorial

I came across Pocket and Pin on Twitter when they were doing a clear out of some old stock and selling some gorgeous Tilda fabrics (my absolute favourite…Clara’s nursery is filled with them) at 50% off.

I then discovered that Pocket and Pin have a really fun monthly subscription where you can subscribe to receive a monthly box of all sorts of fun: fabrics, ribbons, buttons etc. The Habdash Box is basically a carefully curated selection from the haberdashery. And at £15 a month it’s really good value as you get loads of gorgeous stuff in the box – enough to make at least 2-3 projects. This month’s box included some fab Art Gallery fabric – they have some of the most unique and gorgeous prints around. Read more..

Posted on August 13, 2015

How to Sew a Baby Quiet Book Tutorial – Part 3

Quiet Book/ Uncategorized
Quiet Book Page Idea

Hello! Hope you’re having a lovely week and enjoying the warm weather that keeps surprising me. Clara has just started enjoying the swings in the park, so that’s what kept us busy this morning. It’s lovely watching her start to get real enjoyment out of activities like that – although her favourite thing to do at the moment is feed other people. She thinks it’s hilarious (she’s developing a sense of humour!).

If you’ve been following my series of posts on making your own baby quiet book (you can see part 1 here and part 2 here), you know this week we are going to start looking at making the individual activity pages. These will be split into two posts, one this week and one next, and then the final part to the Make Your Own Quiet Book Tutorial series will be how to nicely bind and finish your quiet book.

So this week, we’re making the quiet book cover page and the photo pages (which are all pretty much the same).

The Quiet Book Cover Page

The Quiet Book Cover Page is a lovely collage of different activities, including:

1. A flap to lift, revealing a mirror. This is a play on the photo pages, as when she turns the flap it says “Me” inside, with the mirror showing her reflection instead of a photo like the other pages.Quiet Book Page Idea

Quiet Book Page Idea

2. Buttons spelling her name (you can see these in the photo above), to help with spelling later and for sensory fun now while she’s little.

3. More sensory fun with a strip of fluffy faux fur in hot pink (I have to keep this page hidden from my cat…….)

Quiet Book Page Idea

4. A bird that is popped onto the house on the page with a snap, attached to a ribbon that pulls through two eyelets with a button securing it on the other side. The bird is also made for sensory fun, with ribbon wings and a surprise squeak inside (stolen from another toy). Pulling the bird and the button back and forth is one of Clara’s favourite activities at the moment.

Quiet Book Page Idea

Quiet Book Page Idea

Most of the elements on this page are simply sewn on, whether by hand (for the buttons – make sure these are very firmly sewn on!) or by machine.

Here I will show you how to cut the felt letters for the title of your quiet book. It’s pretty easy once you know how – I spent ages looking for felt letters to buy, but then just had a go cutting them and they came out quite nicely (I think!).

Cutting the Felt Letters

1. Cut a long rectangle of felt, long enough to cut all our letters from. This will ensure that your letters all have the same height.

Quiet Book Page Idea

2. Now start cutting your letters, using a small pair of sharp scissors. You can cut blocks for each letter first and then trim it down to the shape of the letter if you find it easier.


Quiet Book Page Idea


3. And here are all your felt letters! I use Anita’s Tacky Glue to then glue these letters onto the page (if you want to sew them on, I would still recommend tacking them down with some glue first).

Quiet Book Page Idea

Making Flaps for the Photo Pages

Making the flap (for both the photo pages and the front cover) is also quiet easy:

1. Cut a rectangle of your chosen fabric twice the width of the flap you want (so you can fold it in half to sew to the final size). Iron on fusible interfacing to stiffen the rectangle (see this post for how to use iron-on fusible interfacing). Sew along three sides as shown below, leaving a 2/2.5 inch gap to turn it right side out.

Quiet Book Page Idea

3. Turn the flap right side out and top stitch where you left the gap. To add some sensory fun, you can add a piece from a clean crisp packet, just a little smaller than your rectangle, after turning it right side out but before sewing up the hole.

Quiet Book Page Idea

Adding the Bird on a Popper to Your Quiet Book Cover

Quiet Book Page Idea

I made the bird by just sketching out the outline, cutting two pieces from a piece of fabric and sewing them together right sides together (leaving a gap to turn), then stuffing with some wadding from an ikea cushion and hand sewing the gap shut. The shape could be anything – a simple circle would be easy and just as nice! Or you don’t have to make your own at all – you could use a small finger puppet or small toy – so long as you can hand sew the ribbon onto it.

Follow the instructions on your Prym’s Eyelets package for adding the eyelets, then just thread the ribbon through and hand sew (very firmly!) the button onto the other end. You could also use stretchy elastic here which would also be fun (and would probably slide through the eyelets better than my ribbon does).

Add any other detail you’d like onto your cover page – remember, the more layers and different things to touch and explore, the more successful your quiet book will be (and the quieter your baby will be :)

Pre-cut felt shapes from eBay are great to add visual interest and sensory fun for baby.

Making the Quiet Book Photo Pages

The Quiet Book Photo Pages are all pretty similar, primarily composed of three elements:

1. Hand cut felt letters showing who the photo is of

2. A PVC pocket to insert the photo into

3. A fabric flap to lift up to reveal the photo.

We have covered the felt letters and the fabric flap, so I will just show how to sew the PVC pocket. It is pretty straightforward as far as instructions go (pin and sew!), however PVC is tricky to work with – it cuts very easily, and obviously does not need hemming. However it is also very difficult to sew on straight!

So the trick is to pin very careful (making sure both the fabric and the PVC are nice and flat) and sew slowly, checking the alignment frequently. I had to redo quite a few of these, so expect this!

On the photo pages it’s also fun to add felt shapes and other sensory activities like buttons, ribbons etc. Use your imagination and have fun!

Posted on August 6, 2015

How to Sew a Baby Quiet Book Tutorial – Part 2

Quiet Book/ Toys/ Worth the Effort
How to Sew a Baby Quiet Book Tutorial

Last week I gave you a little sneak preview of the Photo Album Baby Quiet Book I have been making. Hopefully that post filled you with inspiration and you’re now ready to start making your own! They’re lots of fun to make – each quiet book page is like a little mini artwork.

Like most things in life (decorating a room, dressing yourself), designing a good quiet book page is all about layers and details. Each page becomes more interesting the more elements there are to it – if there is a flap, can you put something interesting behind it so baby is rewarded when she lifts it up? And how about adding some crinkle to the flap for added sensory fun? Perhaps some buttons sewn on (of course make sure these are sewn down very firmly and don’t leave baby alone with the book) will be fun for her to poke and will add further visual interest.

Read more..

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