Friday, September 30, 2011

Christmas Handmade

Christmas! Hard to believe it's almost that time of year again. The kids have been talking about it for weeks, discussing this year's visit to Father Christmas, and pouring over toy catalogues and making their wish lists. I'm a bit over all of the commercialism that goes along with Christmas though. I think when you have young children it's easy to get caught up in all of the toy purchasing, cheap throw-away gift wrap and the focus on receiving. 

Hand crafting your own Christmas gift tags and wrapping paper doesn't have to be difficult. You can still achieve big impact with quick and easy techniques.

For easy gift tags, purchase pre-cut blank tags from any craft or stationery supply store. Or cut your own simple shapes from blank card.  A rectangle with a hole punched in the top will work just fine! For an eco approach, start saving empty cereal boxes, and other packaging, and cut tag shapes from these. A bit of colour and pattern on the reverse from the packaging will give them a unique recycled look.

There are numerous techniques for decorating and embellishing gift tags, cards and wrapping paper, but for ease and style you can't go past a simple clear stamp and an ink pad.  There are loads of clear stamp designs available, to suit everyone's style. And the best ink for these stamps, which was recommended to me by a very good crafty friend, is StazOn. I tried other types of ink and couldn't get any of them to produce a solid image, but StazOn works a treat! And the StazOn Cleaner is awesome for cleaning stamps after you have finished.

For gift wrap, you can use exactly the same technique. Decorate a large sheet of paper with simple images, or try what I have done here and simply decorate a strip of  kraft paper to wrap around a plainly wrapped gift, or a white gift box.

To finish off, wrap Baker's twine around your Christmas gift a few times, and add a quirky Baker's twine pom pom!

Gift tags featured here are available from my shop

Happy (Christmas) crafting!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gift tags with heart

I have been cutting out lots of cute hearts using a set of Sizzix Sizzlits dies and my Cuttlebug. The hearts will become the embellishments on some gift tags I am making.

Initially I was going to do some Christmas gift tags, but of course I got sidetracked...

by the hearts...

and one very cute little owl! Who could possibly resist him?

A range of gift tags will listed be in my shop over the next few days...with Christmas gift tags to follow soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I have always loved making things, but in the past I haven't always allowed myself to spend as much time doing craft as I would have liked. There were always other seemingly more important things to do like work, study, cook or clean. I would tell myself that when these jobs were done there would be time to make something, but of course these jobs are never really 'done' are they?

Becoming a mum several years ago gave me more time at home, but of course I was busier than ever and still had no spare time for craft...and if there was time, I was far too tired!

But as my kids have grown, their love of craft and making has grown too, and I have found that craft has effortlessly become a part of our every day lives. 

And for me, starting my Etsy shop has taken this one step further by giving me the excuse I needed to finally put my craft ahead of all of those other jobs! I have more drive and motivation and a real purpose for my making, and I am happy!


All of the above photos are of a birthday card and gift I made a couple of days ago for my son's friend, who has just turned six.

I used a technique called tea bag folding to make the medallion on the card. The pink flower is made from felt, with a little pink bead stitched into its centre, and attached to a hair elastic.

It is always nice to see the things we make loved and enjoyed by others. I hope you have time to make something for someone...or something for yourself  :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Father's Day

The best gifts are often the handmade kind...

A gorgeous hand painted coffee mug...

A couple of portraits of Dad (isn't he handsome?)...

And nothing like a bit of Christmas sticky tape!