Easy Peasy DIY Bunting

First of all, I’d like to congratulate Lauren and Matt on getting hitched – Yay! And secondly, I want to show off the super cute bunting I made for their wedding.

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It was a good ol’ fashioned country wedding, so I went all out ‘barn dance’ with my fabric choices.

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This bunting really is easy peasy to make! Not a lot is needed just some good-sized scraps of material, twine, a ruler, card, and scissors or, if you’re looking for precision, rotary cutters. To assemble I used a sewing machine, but you could probably use a glue gun if you don’t sew.

My first job was to decide which size bunting I wanted, I then made a flag template using a cereal box and used it to cut out all my fabric flags.

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Once everything was cut out, I started sewing the flags on to lengths of twine using a zig zag stitch. To do this I placed each flag right side down on the machine, laid the twine over the top edge of the fabric, folded the top edge over and stitched. Simples, right?

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Till next time x

Roll Up Chalk Mat (A Toddler Essential)

Planes, trains, restaurants…and toddlers! That’s the stuff nightmares are made of. Or at least it was until I made this simple little roll up chalk mat! It’s a chalk board on one side, ideal for drawing and scribbling, and a place mat on the other. Perfect for a busy toddler on the go. And the best part is that you don’t need to be a sewing genius to make it.

Chalk Roll DIY

You will need:

  • Chalk board fabric
  • Backing fabric (I used a wipe clean fabric)
  • Bias binding tape
  • Ribbon
  • Adhesive glue spray (I used a carpet/vinyl spray adhesive from my local carpet retailer)
  • Usual sewing supplies (thread, sewing machine, etc.)

Chalk Roll DIY

How to do it:

  1. Cut out the chalkboard fabric to the desired size and use this as a template for the backing fabric
  2. Glue the wrong sides of chalk board fabric and backing fabric together
  3. Pin bias tape around all edges. Tuck under ends to conceal the raw edges and stitch through all thicknesses

    Here’s a tip: Test your stitches on scraps of fabric before you begin, adjust the thread tension if necessary until the stitches play nicely.  This is a lesson I learnt the hard way.

  4. Sew a ribbon on the edge of the place mat
  5. Prime the chalk board fabric by rubbing chalk all over the surface and then erasing it

Give it to your toddler, and enjoy some peace and quiet, yay!

Red Dwarf

Oh dear. This didn’t turn out quite as well as I hoped… it looks like some kind of sci-fi civilian getup, doesn’t it? Carmen doesn’t seem too pleased with it either. What was I thinking? I’m such a smeghead, the fabric is waaay too heavy for the pattern.

Handmade Baby Clothes

The pattern is from my Making Baby Clothes book. This is my second attempt, the first is here. You’ll see that the first was much less structured and dramatic, so we can safely put this sci-fi escapade down to fabric choice.

Red Dwarf handmade baby top

I made it using leftover non-flowy fabric from my delphine skirt. Big mistake. Alas, it hasn’t been a total waste of time as I added some piping to this version…. uh-huh, that’s a new technique my friends…. and now to pipe everything!

A Trio of Handmade Peg Bags (Clothespin Bags)

Yes my friends, I’ve made some more peg bags! What can I say? I just love, love, love giving these away as gifts! They are super duper easy to make and look so lovely. If you would like to make one/some, here are the instructions. Okay, let’s take a look at the trio…

Bright red with white polka dots made for Marieclare:

Handmade Peg Bag

Dogs with green and white polka dots made for my lovely step mum, Ellen:

Handmade Peg Bag

Baking with green and white stripes made for Jayne:

Handmade Peg Bag

What was that you said? Not quite enough peg bags for you? Well, you can feast your eyes on a ‘cats and spots’ version here and an ‘elephant’ version here.

Alright, I’ll give the peg bags a rest for now or at least until after Christmas anyway!

5 Ways to Make a Drawstring Bag (And Why Your Toes Will Thank You)

There are three levels of pain:
Pain, excruciating pain, and stepping on a Lego.
Huffpost Parents

Truer words were never spoken. Or written. Yesterday I was swamped in the clutter of having two small children. Today I have lots of drawstring bags to put it all in. If you’re constantly stepping around (or on) Lego and other small plastic toys, then this list of how-tos has been put together with you (and your toes) in mind. And for those of you that are not especially handy with a sewing machine, I’ve even included a no-sew drawstring bag you can make.

 DIY Drawstring Bag

  1. Make a no-sew drawstring bag – no sewing, no excuses.
  2. Make a quick unlined drawstring bag – an easy sewing project for beginners.
  3. Make a lined drawstring bag – this is what I made as they are a studier.
  4. Make a patchwork drawstring bag – a great scrap buster project.
  5. Make a drawstring bag with waterproof lining – ideal for storing paints and brushes.

It feels wonderful to be winning the battle against kid clutter (yeah right! Who am I kidding?). Henry is also quite delighted by his special little bags. He loves taking all of his knick-knacks out, putting them all back, taking them all out… over and over again. Whoever said variety was the spice of life obviously hadn’t spent much time with a two year old.

So, do you need one of these little clutter busters in your house? Which how-to are you planning to use? Let me know in the comments below.

Homemade Kid’s Apron

I made an apron as a birthday present for my nephew, Alfie. Not only will it make baking even more fun for him, but it’ll also protect his clothes from cruddy food stains. Happy nephew and happy parents = double brownie points for Auntie Kellita! And it was so easy and quick to make that I made one for Henry too. Aww, matching cousin aprons everybody. Throw in some baking supplies and this really is the perfect present for any budding toddler chef, so with Christmas just around the corner –  yep, the C-bomb already – I thought I’d show you how to make one too.

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Henry modelling his apron.

To make the apron you will need:

  • Cotton fabric 40cm wide x 42cm long
  • A metre and a half of 30mm twill tape
  • The usual sewing paraphernalia

Step 1:  Fold the fabric in half lengthways and cut a small curve across the corner, from approx. 10cm in from the top open side to approx. 23cm down.

Step 2: Fold over 1cm hem twice all the way around, press and secure with pins.

Step 3: Cut the twill tape into three lengths of 50cm.

Step 4: Tuck a strap into the hem on either side of the waist (at the bottom of the curve) and secure with a pin.

Step 5: Tuck the end of the neck strap into the hem on either side of the top of the apron and secure with a pin.

Step 6: Top stitch all the way around the apron, close to the edge, stitching through all thickness as you reach each strap. Repeat further in, so you have two rows of top stitching, and press.

Step 7: Hem the ends of the ties to stop them from fraying.

Tadah! Done!

Alfie's apron.

Alfie’s apron.

Here’s another great idea for a present and, if you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you.

Just Call Me Picasso: DIY Wall Art In Less Than 20 Minutes!

Since Henry graduated to his big boy bed, I’ve been hankering to get him some more grown up wall art for his bedroom. This presented me with a bit of an issue as I’m not allowed to spend any more money. None, whatsoever, Jon said so. And I also have no paint skills. None, whatsoever, Mr Pledge said so. But, after watching one too many 60 Minute Makeovers (I’m on maternity leave, remember), I decided to unleash my inner artist and try my hand at a masking tape art project. This was such an easy and cheap way to update the room of my ever-changing toddler that I thought I’d share it with you.

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All you need is a canvas, some masking tape and paint in your choice of colours. I used three Dulux Feature Wall tester pots from Homebase, which were on offer.

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Use the tape to create a pattern, I taped on stripes but you could easily create chevrons or something more abstract.

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Paint in your choice of colours and peel off the tape carefully. Et voila, art!! Henry squealed he was so happy, then he asked for matching underpants, whatever next.

Elephant Peg Bag

I hate housework. Especially washing. So if, like me, washing clothes tops your list of most hated household chores, you desperately need a pretty peg bag in your life.

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I made mine by loosely following Debbie Shore’s Half Yard Heaven ‘how to’. I did a few things differently though to make it a bit more special. For example, I used a lining in a contrasting fabric and french seams for neatness. This was a really quick and easy sewing project, ideal for a speedy gift, so I’m very pleased that I’ve added it to my repertoire. A pretty peg bag has the power to make hanging the washing bearable and can, just about, release the inner domestic goddess in anyone. Ask Louise, I made this one for her as a housewarming gift. All she needs now is a washing line…!

Want a pretty peg bag? Here’s how to make it yourself.