DIY Gifts

A Mini Picnic Basket – Wicker Upcycle!

Good day to you!

I’m here to share a summery project – a bright yellow mini picnic basket. Perfect for kids to use, or just to pack a small afternoon tea in…

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Isn’t it cute? Plus the photoshoot meant an excuse for cake. Win-win!

I made this project as an entry into the Hillarys Craft Competition which you can see the details of HERE. There were four new fabrics from their blind and curtains collections to choose from, and Hillarys would send out a meter square of the one I liked so I could make it into something fun.

I chose the Daisy Pistachio fabric as I loved the bold pattern, and the shimmery grey background:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I went and bought a wicker basket from Hobbycraft. Of course you could upcycle an older basket, but I wanted to use one you could go and buy (if you are UK based) in case this project inspires you! This one cost £10 (HERE) but they did a couple of other sizes too:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I took the front buckles off as they came off easily, and I covered the hinges at the back with masking tape:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Next I spray painted the basket with Plastikote Gloss Multi-Surface ‘New Yellow’ paint. I did this on an old sheet, spread out in my garden – make sure you are in a well ventilated space if you do this. First I sprayed the inside of the basket and lid, plus most of the sides, then flipped it over and sprayed underneath the basket, and any of the sides which I hadn’t been able to reach before. It took 2 coats to get it looking a nice, bold yellow:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Here’s how it looked once dry:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Next it was time to make the liner for the basket. I don’t sew a whole lot so I went searching for inspiration online and came across THIS TUTORIAL at Home Life, and I based my liner on that. First I measured my basket and drew myself a little plan of what pieces I needed to cut, allowing for 2.5cm seams :

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I cut them all out using pinking scissors:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Stitched the sides of the bag together first:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Made a rolled hem at the top of the bag:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Then added the base of the bag. It was a little tricky going around the corners, but I got there in the end! I also just added ribbons as the ties on the corners, as this material is on the thicker side, and my basket doesn’t have big gaps, so I figured ribbon would slide through the holes easier. It was easy to tie in, and I love that I’ll be able to take it out and wash it:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I cut a bunch of flowers out from the material:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

And used my finger to rub some Mod Podge around the edges of the flowers to stop them fraying:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I used more Mod Podge to glue these around the top and sides of my basket to make it extra pretty:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Finally I wanted to make some place mats. I was running out of time so I just stitched two quick ones for now. My rectangles of material were cut at 37 x 24 cm, and I just folded & pressed over about 1 cm, stitching the two shorter edges down first, and then the two longer edges. They are going to fray too much for long term use so I will definitely be making some more when I have a bit more time:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Of course I needed to take some photos so that was the perfect excuse to fill the basket with some cake (passionfruit and coconut cake from Co-Op) and some milk:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

And we headed to the play park for our pudding after dinner on a gorgeously warm evening:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

It made two little people very happy:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Thank you so much Hillarys for the fabric and the excuse to go and eat cake at the play park, it was awesome!

Do you like to go on summer picnics? We often go to the beach with them, but then there’s the problem of sandy sandwiches!

Have a great weekend,

Jennifer x

Disclosure: This post is an entry into the Hillarys Craft Competition 2015. Hillarys supplied a meter square of material, and the competition has a prize of £1000 for one entrant. All the photos and opinions in this post are my own.

Mini Books

A Concentrated Space – The Pocketbook Scrapbook

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

Another way to focus your crafting is by combining two crafts on one project! I’ve stitched on paper plenty of times, but for this project I wanted to combine sewing on fabric with my usual paper crafting, for a unique pocketbook scrapbook:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

It also helps to have a concentrated space to work on – you can only fit a few pages into this book and barely any embellishment or it gets to bulky. So you have to choose your photos and decorations very carefully!

Here’s how to make your own pocketbook scrapbook:

Step 1: Cut a piece of greyboard (the cardboard that comes at the back of a paper pad) to measure 9 x 27 cm. Draw vertical lines at 9cm and 18cm and score along them, so your greyboard has three sections:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Cut two pieces of craft felt to 11 x 29 cm – I used blue for the outside of the book and white for the inside. Also cut a length of ribbon to 45cm long:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Pin the two sheets of felt together and sew a border around the two long edges and one short edge:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Slide in the greyboard:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Pin the ribbon so approx 2cm of it is in between the felt at the unstitched edge:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Sew the edge closed, and seal the edge of the exposed end of the ribbon with PVA glue so it won’t fray:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Cut three pieces of patterned paper to 8 x 16cm and score the center so they fold as square pages:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Use a sharp tool like a paper piercer to make three holes down the centre of the pages and through the felt & greyboard cover:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Hand-stitch the pages onto the covers using strong thread:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Print some small photos – I used the Picframe App on my iPhone to put two square photos onto a 3:2 ratio photo, and printed them at 4×6″ on my Canon Selphy:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 11: Decorate your pages with the photos (I cut mine down to 7cm square), plus some stickers and journaling:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 12: If you want you can sew a couple of buttons onto the cover for decoration too:

The Pocket Book Scrapbook - Stitched Mini Book at Jennifer Grace Creates

Stick it in your pocket or handbag, to show it off when someone asks what scrapbooking is!

Be Inspired:

Combine two crafts in one project, like a mini book with a fabric cover

Wrap a stripey ribbon around your next project

Use some square photos in a frame, on a layout, or something else

What photos would you fill your pocketbook scrapbook with?

I’ll see you again at 6pm!

Jennifer x

Cardmaking

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card (Including Process Photos)

Today I’m sharing a baby-girl card which I’m entering into the Runway Inspired Challenge #79 (open until Friday 13th March). I’ve a few process photos too show you too!

Here’s the card I finished with…

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

If you’ve not heard of it before, the Runway Inspired Challenge Blog is about finding inspiration for crafty projects by looking at the fashion world – using designer dresses from the runway / catwalk to kick off ideas. I think you can enter any crafty project but it’s usually just cards in the inspiration and entries.

Their current challenge is a little different to normal – usually there’s just one dress for inspiration but this time it was based on the Oscars and there was a few different dresses to choose from. I ended up using this photo of Keira Knightley to gather my supplies and ideas:

Keira Knightley at the Oscars
Photo Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Though originally I did print out a few of the photos, and gathered a couple of papers for each of them:Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

After choosing a couple of papers for each (I made myself stick to 2 pieces of 6×6 paper per photo so I didn’t have too much to overwhelm me), then I pulled out a few embellishments for each. I wasn’t restricting myself to only using these, but they were a starting off point so I could imagine the style and colours of the card:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

It was at this point that I realised the items I’d found for the Keira Knightley dress could make a great baby-girl card, quite fitting seeing as Keira is pregnant in the photo! So I decided to concentrate on that pile of items, though I have put the others into cello bags as card-kits for next time I need a quick idea.

I started with a square kraft card blank, and tried out my papers and embellies, I knew I wanted to layer up some trims to represent the floaty layers on Keira’s dress, so I placed these across the card and tried out the chevron paper at the bottom of the card:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

And at the top:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

I decided it was more interesting at the top of the card, and it meant you could see the netting material better against the more solid paper at the bottom.

I cut a piece of the netting so it was twice the width of the card, and 2″ deep:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

And then stitched a running-stitch across the top. I had to tie the knot at the end of the netting so that it was tied onto the net itself, because any other kind of knot would slip through those holes:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

When I reached the end of the net I gathered it up, so the net was now the same width of the card (though it will want to curl like below), and tied off the end of the thread:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

I sewed a layer of scalloped muslin (a bit like the scallops on Keira’s dress), and a layer of border-lace, on top of the netting. I inked the edges of my paper with a gold ink pad and stuck the fabric layers on top using foam tape:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

Next I tried out the embellies again, including a wood-veneer silhouette of a girl:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

And while I thought the wood-veneer was cool, it wasn’t right for this card because she’s a little-girl, not a baby. So I rummaged through my stash until I found a baby on an old cut-apart card from Crate Paper:

Runway Inspired Baby-Girl Card

Then all I had to do was add a few stickers and gems to finish it off:

20121211_175626 (2).jpgblog

P.S. How perfect is that pink flower (behind the ‘blessed’ flair)? I was so excited when I found it because it has script words across it like Keira’s dress!

This is the first time I’ve entered at the Runway Inspired Challenge Blog and I really enjoyed using this as a way to kick off my crafting. Have you tried getting inspiration from a dress before? What would Keira Knightley’s dress inspire you to create?

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Cardmaking, Scrapbook Layouts

*gentle romance projects

I have one more of my kits to show you some example projects for.
This is the Gentle Romance Kit:

Lots of soft, pretty colours, so of course I had to make something for my little girl using this kit! She was a bit jealous of my altered vest top, so I altered a white one for her:

I used two 7″ strips of the pink lace trim to stitch onto the shoulders:

And then pinched a bit of the bottom of the vest top and stitched it to hold it up – I could then sew a 7″ strip of the floral fabric behind it, so it peeps through. And I added the cream crochet flower, a fabric covered button, and the fimo heart button:

My little girl especially likes the heart, she keeps looking down at it!

I used most of the rest of the kit on this layout:

Background Paper = WRMK ‘Girls Night Out – Vavoom’, Kraft Paper = Paperchase,
Photo Mat Paper = Papermania ‘Exquisite’ 6×6,
Alphas = Crate Paper ‘Crate Avenue’, Doodlebug Design ‘Just Plain Simple’, Papermania ‘Curly Pink’,
Thickers ‘Gift Box’, Foam Letters Unknown, Exclamation mark – Thickers ‘Roller Rink’,
Journal Spot and cut out sheep = Papermania ‘Honey & Hugs’, Stamp = Studio G,
Fake Stitching = Sakura Pen-Touch White Opaque Medium,
Everything Else from Gentle Romance Handmade Embellishment Kit.

I love this photo of my daughter from a farm visit, she wasn’t convinced it was a good idea when she was told she could stroke the lambs!

I machine stitched the fabric on, just adding the pleats as I went, and adding the crochet flower near the woolly sheep:

I used up some more of the kit on this birthday card:

Card Blank = Papermania A6 Kraft Cards, Stamp = Whisper’s Words,
Paper Scrap Unknown, Fake Stitching done with  Uniball Signo White Gel Pen.

 
I like the layout of the elements on the card, it makes me think of a layered cake. I’ve turned it into a quick card sketch for you if you’d like to try it out:

Let me know if you give this sketch a go!

I used the last two bits from the kit – the flat felt flowers, to make this brooch:

With a little embroidery and a few beads added. Here’s my lovely daughter modelling it on her hat:

The Gentle Romance Kit is available in my Etsy shop. Please take a look!

Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday, x

Scrapbook Layouts

Summer Brights Projects

It feels appropriate that I’m posting my projects made with the Summer Brights kit today, as it’s been boiling hot here, with glorious sunshine in a vibrant blue sky all day. Very nice I’m sure, but at 8 months pregnant it’s a bit too sweltering for me!

Here’s the kit I’ve used:

And I utilised it on a layout, a cuff bracelet, and on altering a top.

Here’s the layout, a nice colourful one to match the kit:

Cardstock = Papermania, Alphas = Thickers ‘Sprinkles’ and ‘Rootbeer Float’, Also used a cocktail stick
and home-made acrylic mist, Everything Else from Summer Brights Handmade Embellishment Kit. 

I wanted to mist the yellow cardstock, but leave a rectangle in the middle free for the photo, embellies, and title to stand out. So I simply cut a rectangle of paper and stuck it onto the cardstock with low-tack masking tape while I sprayed the mist:
And then once it was dry I just had to write the journaling and stick everything down! I used strong glue dots to adhere the summer brights embellishments to the page. The fabric along the bottom is about 10.5″ long, so there was some left for my cuff bracelet! 
I made an extra embellishment for the page by glueing (I used Copydex) a tiny scrap of the vintage fabric onto white cardstock, cutting it into a triangle, then piercing a cocktail stick through it, so it looked like a little flag. It helps balance out the layout – otherwise the right hand side was heavier because of the journaling:
I took what was left of the vintage fabric, and used it as the main inspiration for this cuff bracelet:

As the fabric was just under 8″ long I cut a 8¼” x 1¾” piece of denim from some old jeans to back the fabric with and give it strength. I didn’t hem the edges as I wanted them to fray:

Then I just sewed the fabric button and blue crochet flower onto the vintage fabric, machine stitched the vintage fabric onto the denim, and then made a button hole. It was the first time I’ve ever made an automatic button hole using my machine, and it took me quite a few goes on spare fabric to get it right! My button was just under an inch across.

I quite like the pretty / rough contrast of the finished cuff:

Finally I used up the bits from the kit by altering a cheap vest top. I had to buy one as I was fed up of my warm-weather tops not quite covering my bump! But it was a bit boring until I added some lace trim and flowers:

Now I feel summery, though still too hot! I definitely think I’ll be altering more tops like this though, as it was so easy to stitch the lace trim around the neckline and then sew on the flowers. And it makes my top one of a kind – I like to be different! Have you altered any clothes to make them less high-street?

Hope you’ve found some inspiration from these projects. The Summer Brights Kit is available in my Etsy shop, along with some kits in different colours.

Bye for now, x

Home Decor Craft Projects

Country Vintage Projects

I took one Country Vintage Kit:

And used the embellishments on a cushion, a layout, and a brooch.
The cushion is a warm-looking stuffed cushion to sit on my blue sofa and make people feel at home:
I made it using two pieces of fabric approx 9″ square, the front piece is hessian/linen type fabric, the back piece is grey felt:

I embroidered the word ‘home’ using backstitch and cream wool:

And once I’d sewn the rest of the embellishments I wanted onto the front, I sewed the cushion right-sides together, leaving a 3.5″ gap to pull it right-side out, and to push the stuffing in:

The 7″ fabric strip was ironed on with bondaweb and then machine zig-zag stitched over, everything else is sewn on by hand:
Here’s my layout, about visiting Gold Hill in Shaftesbury (the location of this hovis advert if you’re interested!):
Background Paper = Basic Grey ‘Phoebe’, Photo Mat Paper =  DCWV ‘Once Upon a Time’,
Gold Outline Stickers = Anita’s, Pink Alphas = Papermania,
Journaling Spot = We R Memory Keepers ‘Tiffany’s’, Kraft Flower with button = homemade,
Everything Else from Country Vintage Embellishment Kit
My daughter just had to go down the hill and back up again, so of course me and her grampa had to as well!
I cut five 2″ pieces from the vintage fabric strip in the kit, sewed them to the centre of the flower
at the same time as the button, and then glued the fabric pieces to the layout using Copydex.
.
Finally I used the bits left in the kit to make this brooch, adding a quirky button I bought in a haberdashers:
The brooch was made by taking a strip of the white lace trip (approx 11″ long), and stitching a loose running stitch along one edge:
Then pulling it all together until it formed a flower shape. Once it was the right shape I sewed the two ends of the lace together to hold it in place:
Then I just had to sew the lace, crochet flower, and button onto a brooch back:
And attach it to my handbag!:
What do you think of the Country Vintage Kit? What would you make with it? This, and some other style kits, are now available in my Etsy Shop! 
Check back tomorrow for a blog hop:
I’m very excited about it! xxx
Cardmaking, Scrapbook Layouts

Dreamy Evening Projects

Hello all,

When I announced my Etsy shop I also said that I’d show you a few things I’ve been making with the kits. So today here are the projects I’ve made with one Dreamy Evening Kit like this one:

A layout:

Papers = DCWV ‘Taj Mahal’ & ‘Old World’, Journaling spot = My Little Shoebox ‘Robots Uncut’,
Cute Word Bead = Magnetic Poetry, Proud Alphas = Thickers ‘Roller Rink’, Daddy Alphas = Papermania,
Everything Else from Dreamy Evening Kit.
If you’re wondering why the ‘u’ is a strange size,
it’s because I had to cut down a ‘q’, I had no ‘u’s left!

I love the photo of hubby holding our newborn daughter, and am glad to have finally scrapped it. I also have a photo of me holding her the same day, but I look like such a mess that I never want to use it on a layout. I don’t know whether to go ahead and scrapbook it even though I hate the picture, or just do a non-photo page about my first memories of her and just keep the photo in the family album!

I used some more of the kit for an elastic Alice Band:

I cut the vintage fabric strip down to 14″, and backed it with some lilac felt to strengthen it – my felt wasn’t quite long enough so I used two strips, just making sure the join would be hidden behind the felt flowers.

I attached two strips of elastic because my elastic was quite thin and I didn’t want it to twist too much. If you’re clever you can sew the elastic between the vintage fabric and the felt – I didn’t think of it until afterwards so the back of my alice band is a bit ugly where I attached the elastic!

It only took a few hand stitches to attach the felt flowers for a cute finish. I’m going to have to make one of these to fit my daughter too!

I used up almost all the rest of the kit on a birthday card:

Card Blank = Papermania, Outline Stickers = Anita’s, Happy Birthday Stamp = Whispers Words,
Flower Stamp = Anita’s, Fimo button, crochet heart, and fabric from Dreamy Evening Kit

I think I’ll keep this card for my Mother-In-Law’s birthday, she loves these colours.

So there we go, three projects from one kit! I even had a little bit of the white lace trim left to use on something else. If you’d like to buy a Dreamy Evening Kit then head over to my Etsy Shop!

I hope you’re all having a relaxing Sunday, xxx