DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

DIY Decorated Gift Box

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2015 Blog Event – see a list of all the posts HERE)

Hello! Today I’m back with some more pretty packaging – this DIY Decorated Gift Box:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m a TRUE crafter. Do you know how I know? Because I collect everything and anything that looks like it might be good for a craft one day. Spot a button on the path? Pick it up and add it to my button stash. Cutting the annoying shoulder ribbons out of clothes? Keep them to use on a card one day. And today’s useful bit of collecting – pretty leaves, fake berries, and ribbons adorning your Christmas crackers? Don’t you dare throw them away! I think my family all decided I was mad when I collected all these bits off some Christmas crackers. Except my Mum, she gets it. In fact she’s probably the one who taught me to do it!

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

Along with my collection of cracker adornments, I gathered up a box to decorate, plus some useful tools including a hot glue gun and some embossing powder. I did end up using some other bits too, which you’ll see as we go along!

The first job was to paint the kraft box with white satin craft paint. It only took one coat for my box, but it will depend on the darkness of your box and the quality of your paint:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

Next (once the paint was dry) I used some Versa Mark ink to stamp teeny snowflakes around the bottom of the box and covered them with gold embossing powder. I stamped 2 at a time, tipped powder on, then moved onto the next 2, so the ink didn’t dry before tipping the powder on:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

After heat embossing the snowflakes I filled in the pattern with some stars using the same technique:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

To prepare the items for the lid I cut a couple of wires shorter with some wire cutters, and folded them back on themselves, so the cut end of the wire would be hidden under the leaves. Then I tied one of the ribbons in a pretty bow around one of the loops of wire. The bells were tied together with a bit of twine:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I tied the twine to another loop of wire on some fake berries, leaving a bit of twine between the wire and the bells so they could still shake and jingle:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I used hot glue to adhere everything to the lid. A bit of hot glue was showing more than I wanted it to, so I used some Mod Podge to blob on top of it:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then sprinkled on a bit of glitter to make it sparkly:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

It’s the perfect way to package up a small pressie like jewellery to make it extra special:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I might put some of my Snowman Earrings or a Snow Scene In A Bottle Necklace in it for a gift!

Be Inspired:

Recycle something pretty like a button, ribbon, or Christmas decorations to add to a project

Use holly and berries on a layout, card, etc

Create some gold snowflakes for a bit of shine

Do you collect odds and ends in case they are useful for crafting one day?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll be back tomorrow morning (8am GMT) with the next Frosty Festivities 2015 post!

I hope you have a great day,

Jennifer x

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.

About Me

Wandwomen, Rag Rugs And Junk Creations…

I spent today in Dorchester at Dorset Women’s Day, an event organised by Wandwomen (Wand = Women’s Action Network Dorset; http://www.wandwomen.org.uk/). It was a day of free workshops, goodie bags, interesting stalls and yummy food, I had a fabulous time!

It was discovered by my friend Rosie, who picked up a leaflet about it a couple of days ago, and we were so intrigued by all the things you could do that we had to go check it out! There was even a free creche so I could take my little girl and have her looked after for the bits she couldn’t join me for. We took part in Street Dancing, a Self Esteem Workshop and two craft activities. The first of these was junk sculpture, building beautiful things out of rubbish, driftwood and odds ‘n’ ends! I asked my daughter what she wanted to make and she asked for an elephant so here he is:

 

She kept trying use the ‘trunk’ as a telephone until it was all glued together! I really like him, though I think his trunk needs some colour. It made me really want a glue gun so I can make some more funky stuff like this!

The other craft activity was rag-rug weaving on a peg loom. I let my daughter choose what materials I should start with – she picked a strip of pink bubble packaging!

 Dorset Women's Day 2010

 

So the rug evolved as a pink / white / blue fairy rug!

 

Here’s Rosie with her purply green creation (I was a bit jealous of her colour choice!)

 Dorset Women's Day 2010

 

I would love to do it again one day, and make a bigger rug without any bubble packaging in it!

I will definitely be looking out for Dorset Women’s Day next year. Perhaps I’ll help out this time? But then I wouldn’t be able to attend everything too!

See you soon, Jennifer x