Category: Making

Nappy Cake Tutorial

I have been looking for a nice gift for my new niece or nephew for a while now and have seen adverts for nappy cakes at work so I decided to have a little look at what they are and attempt to make my own. They seem to range in price depending on what you get with them but the cheapest that I have seen was £20 for a one tier with just nappies on their own and up to £50+ for three tier ones with extras like toiletries, babygro’s etc.

I thought that it would be a project that I could take on and I am pleased that I did, this is my first attempt and I am very impressed with the finished article.

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I looked online for tutorials and came up with quite a few, there are a few different ways that you can make them dependent on whether you want to fold the nappies or roll them, rolling requires lots of elastic bands so don’t forget them if you are wanting to make one yourself.

I started with a 13′ cake base board, superglue and a partially used kitchen roll and of course nappies, I went for size 2 and bought two packs with 60 in each when they were on offer and used 95 making three tiers, which I think is a lot but I wanted to fill up the full base of the cake and there was no point leaving loads over as I am sure they will all be used.
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I secured the kitchen roll with a band and then glued the it into the middle of the cake board. I had seen one or two made this way and it seemed the easiest way to help build the cake.
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Then let the rolling commence! I wasn’t sure when I first started which method I was going to use and the rolling does take a little time, but the nappies I used had a pattern on them so to make the cake look nice I decided the rolling method would be best.

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You then build the nappy up in layers, securing the tiers with larger elastic bands is the easiest way to keep them together and get the shape right.

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On my second tier I had decided to add the extra items I had bought. I had picked up some Mum & Me toiletries for baby, 2 babygro’s, 5 vests, and 5 muslin cloths so I filled the cake out with these. I had been collecting the items when things were on half price which worked out really well.

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I wasn’t happy though once I had added the extra bits and pieces I felt that the cake had lost it’s shape and on looking at it, it was because the second tier was now the same size as the first tier so I decided I needed an extra row of nappies and took the whole cake apart again to do it! It was worth it though as I think the finished product looks so much better now.

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To hide the elastic bands I placed ribbon round each tier and seeing as we don’t know the sex of the baby, I went with Yellow. I am going to wrap in cellophane gift wrap and tie with curling ribbon, my plan is also to make an ingredients tag to add to the outside.

All in, it only cost me £28, I would never have been able to get one the same size for that price if I had of bought it and I also get the pleasure of knowing that I made it with love. I can’t wait to see the reaction of the parents!

C xx

Personalised hanger

Today I thought I would show my personalised wedding dress hanger, my dress still hangs on this 18 months later (thankfully we have good wardrobe space and I have been able to hang it up there) I first posted this on the blog I had for the wedding – From Scotland to Spain

I first saw these on Etsy but thought they were very expensive so I set about trying to figure out how to make my own.
I found a tutorial here on weddingbee which was really easy to follow. I did find it hard to find wooden hangers without a trouser hanger but did eventually find some on eBay.

For the wire I used this although it may be easier to use slightly thicker wire possibly 16 or 14 gauge. The important thing to know when choosing your wire is that the lower the gauge number the thicker the wire will be.

This is how my trial run ended up, I needed to drill some holes into it and place the wire into that rather than just tie it around the hanger and I also needed to twist the wire to make it straighter (this is easier said than done!) but overall I was really happy with it.

First attempt

I followed the instructions above and downloaded the font Riddle’ here The first letter is size 225 and the others are 110.

The template and hanger.

It took me about 1 hour to twist the letters round and I found taping them to the template the easiest way to keep the flow of the wire going.

I didn’t get great photos of it on the wedding day, this is the only one that you can really make it out in, but I did love seeing my dress hanging up waiting on me to put it on that morning and I loved seeing my married name displayed.

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I think this would be great to make for kids hangers too, using the same tutorial and principles you could make them up in kids first names. I am sure that would put a smile on any face.

Claire xx

Nutella Cookies

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I decided that I wanted to do some baking but didn’t want to make anything to complicated so after a little while spent on Pinterest I decided on cookies and came across these Nutella ones, now I love Nutella and love cookies so win win for me!

The original recipe can be found here at the Tasty Kitchen  they are made with only 4 ingredients and ready in under 30 minutes, now that is what you call quick.

Ingredients:

  • 235g of Nutella
  • 1 Egg
  • 120g plain flour + two extra tablespoons
  • Sea Salt

The original recipe states it makes 6, however I got 12 out of this and feel that they are all of a good size and consistency.
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Heat the oven to 180 c (350 f, gas mark 4) and line a baking tray with baking paper

With an electric mixer, mix the Nutella, egg and flour together until it makes a dough

Place the bowl of dough into the freezer for 10 mins

Once the dough is chilled, scoop out 1 inch size balls and place on your baking tray around 1 inch apart

Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt

Place the unbaked cookies back in the freezer for 2 minutes

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I flattened mine down slightly using a fork as I had seen that in other recipes and I was worried that they would be too thick but they do flatten out quite a bit when they are cooking so it’s probably not necessary.

 

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Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes, take them out earlier if you like a sticky cookie.  Take out, let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and enjoy.

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They are scrummy and so quick and easy to make!

Claire xx

Large crochet granny square baby blanket

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Today I am featuring another Pin It Do It challenge and linking up with the lovely Bex and Roz over at Olivedragonfly

Olive Dragonfly Pin It Do It

My lovely Sister In law is pregnant with her second (due in August) and I can’t wait. I adore her daughter but as we weren’t living in the same country as them when she was little I didn’t really have any of the baby time so I am really looking forward to being around more to see this little one grow up.

I really wanted to make something special for the new baby and decided to crochet a blanket, I started trawling the internet to find one that wouldn’t be too hard to make as this was my first ‘big’ project and came across this one via the Lionbrand website. You do need to register on this site to view their patterns but it is free and you will find loads of free patterns on there so I feel it is worthwhile. Their patterns are written in US terms so bear that in mind if you decide to use one of them.

Source: lionbrand.com via Claire on Pinterest

 

We don’t know the sex of the baby yet with my sister staying on team yellow so I decided to stick with colours that I felt would work for either sex. After some help from my twitter friends and the lovely Laura over at LifeLoveLaura I decided on the following colours.

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White, Lemon , Lavender, Aspen

As I am new to crochet the Lionbrand pattern was great to get the colour changes right. For my blanket I used the colours above from the Stylecraft double knitting range of wool.

My blanket is 32 rounds, measuring 26″ x 26″ square and 38″ Diameter, you can make this as big or small as you want depending on where you think they would use it most.

This is how mine ended up and I love it!

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I think it is the perfect size and perfect colours for either sex of baby. It is lovely and toasty too but not too heavy so I am hoping she will get a lot of use out of it.

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I decided that I would like mine to have a nice edging to finish it off so back I went to trawl the internet to see if I could find one that again wasn’t too difficult. I came across this one from Attic24‘s blog and adapted it slightly for my blanket.

Instead of doing two rounds of the five chain loops I just did one then added the shell stitches, mainly because I wasn’t sure if I would have enough wool and I didn’t really want to have to go and buy another just to finish it off – turns out I had loads left! Though I think that the finish has turned out just as nice and I am very happy with the edging.

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I think that it finishes it off just nicely and gives it that more professional look, I think finishing off in the purple sets it off great.

I can’t wait to give it to my Sister in law when the little one makes their appearance, I really hope that she likes it!

Claire xx

Pin-it-do-it Challenge

Inspired by Bex over on Olivedragonfly I decided to take part in a pin it do it challenge on Saturday whilst the hubby was at the football.

Olive Dragonfly Pin It Do It

Our niece will be making her First Holy Communion in May and I really wanted to get her a personalised card. I had seen these ones and had pinned them a while ago, I was just going to buy one but then I thought I really should just crack open my hundreds of craft things and make one myself. I loved making cards a few years ago but recently haven’t really been making any.

Source: r.ebay.com via Claire on Pinterest

Source: r.ebay.com via Claire on Pinterest

I then came up with my own card using ideas from both of the ones that I had pinned. It was really quite simple, I just needed some sparkly card, paper, corner cutter and stick on jewels.

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I designed the wording just using Microsoft word and some fonts that I had downloaded from Dafont, the font I used was called Sweetness, once I had decided on the front I also thought it would be really nice to make an insert to make the card look at little more professional. I downloaded a picture of a cross from Microsoft Clipart and found a verse online which I used on the insert.

 

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To also give a good finish I like to round the corners of the card, it is really easy to do with a corner cutter and I feel it just helps that little bit sometimes to make the card well finished.

 

On the front I decided to go plain, I struggled to find any pictures that I could download for free so I just went with the option of making a cross out of the jewels, my niece loves sparkly things so she will love them!

 

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All in all it took about 45 mins to make in total so a very quick thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.

I can’t wait to give it to her on her special day.

 

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Claire xx

How to make a Crochet Heart Bookmark – Mother’s day

Bookmark

 

I had seen a tutorial for making small hearts here Hearts and had tried a few at home to see how they turned out. It was a really easy pattern to follow so I decided to try my hand at making a heart bookmark.

I had seen a smilar idea in a crochet magazine but to be honest I couldn’t really understand the pattern ( I am still struggling with crochet patterns) so I thought I would adapt these ones and try and make my own bookmark for my mum for Mother’s Day.

I find it helps when trying to understand a crochet pattern that it is easier for me to write in down on a piece of paper in long hand rather than the short hand that patterns come in as it then becomes easier for me to understand.

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I chose the colours of wool then stitched them together from the back with spare lemon wool so that they were easier to attach to the ribbon.
The ribbon I used was just plain ribbon that I had in my craft box, I ironed it first to make sure it was flat then stitched it onto the back of the hearts using white thread, this was then virtually invisible.

It was a really simple project and my Mum loved it as part of her Mothers Day present with a new book.

Claire xx

Home made gift tags

Source: etsy.com via Claire on Pinterest

 

 

I really like the idea of adding handmade gift tags to my finished crochet projects (once they are actually finished that is!) but I couldn’t really find ones that were a reasonable price, the ones above I found via Etsy from America but they came in at around £11 + postage which I thought was a little step, so I decided to make my own.  I used to make cards all the time and made all the stationary for our wedding here so luckily I have a few craft items stored upstairs which meant I didn’t have to buy much to make these..

I found some letter clear stamps so thought that I could use those to stamp onto plain luggage tags myself to get the desired result.  I have various ink stamps too but I always end up using these ink pens anytime I want to use stamps, I feel they give a better finish as you colour onto the stamp directly so the finish is better. They are quite expensive to buy initially but I have had them for around 8 years and they are still brand new so they don’t dry out which some of my ink stamps have done.

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The only problem is that these letters are actually quite big, my initial plan was to make ‘Handmade with love’ but once I laid out the letters on the holder I realised that I wouldn’t have enough room for that.

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So I had to go with printing ‘hand’ first then putting ‘made’ underneath it.  I’m quite happy with the results though and all it actually cost me was £1.25 for the luggage tags from a local stationary shop.

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I can’t wait to finish some of my crochet projects and add these labels to them.

Claire xx

Homemade Body Scrub

Source: smartschoolhouse.com via Claire on Pinterest

 

 

I seen this on Pinterest when I was browsing or wasting many hours looking at pretty things!  I thought it looked really nice and it looked really easy to make as well so I decided to give it a go.

You can find the original post here

It is made up of the following:

Source: smartschoolhouse.com via Claire on Pinterest

Off I went in search of what I needed, I couldn’t find standard Baby wash, the only thing that seemed to be available was Baby soft wash.  I am not sure if it is the same thing but I thought I would buy it anyway and give it a try.

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I also decided that I wanted to make the scrub a mint green colour as I found some labels to go on top of the jar from here which were more of a green colour and I thought it would look good together.

The ingredients on the original post are 2.5 cups of sugar, 0.25 cup of baby oil, 0.25 cup of baby wash and 1/2 drop of colouring.  For anyone in the UK, this works out as:

550g Sugar

75mls Baby Oil

75mls Baby Wash

You then put it all in one big bowl and combine together until smooth. See I told you it was really easy!  Using the baby soft wash worked just as well for me so if you can’t find baby-wash like in the original post then this appears to work just as well.

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I then printed out the sugar scrub labels on photo paper, cut out and attached to the top of the jar and added ribbon to finish of.  I am really pleased with the end result, it smells lovely and left my hands really soft when I tried some of it. I would really recommend making some and for under £4 for a 380ml jar it is well worth the money.

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Claire xx

Crocheted Chunky Cowl

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My first project that I have been working on is a large granny square baby blanket for my new niece or nephew who will be born in August but I felt that I needed some smaller projects to work on that I can finish and get some sense of achievement from finishing.

On looking through the Internet I came across Stephanie’s site. She has some lovely things and this Chunky Cowl caught my attention. It looked an easy enough pattern to follow for a newbie like me so I thought I would try it.

 

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I used a 10mm hook which I picked up in Hobbycraft and Patons Big wool, I crocheted it up over the course of the day with lots of stops in between but it was very enjoyable.

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I am really pleased with it, it crocheted up really chunky and once you got used to using thicker wool and a big hook it was really easy.

 

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I have been wearing it loads since I made it and have had loads of compliments for it.  I am now planning on making one for my Mum for mothers day which I am sure she will love.

 

C xx

Learning to Crochet

Flores Multi color!!!

erika k via Compfight

I Decided last year that I would like to learn to crochet.  I am quite crafty and enjoy making things, in fact I DIY’d quite a lot of our wedding bits and pieces and really enjoyed it.  I had seen loads of girls on twitter starting to crochet and it looked really good so I decided to learn.

I only wish it was as easy as just deciding to learn!  Crochet techniques are quite hard to get your head around at the start and I swore so many times when trying to do my first set of chains.  I found looking at video techniques on the basics really helped me so I thought it might be good to share the videos that I found helpful with anyone who wants to learn.

Making a foundation Chain

UK Double Crochet

UK Treble Crochet

Crochet Circles

Crochet a Granny Square

There are so many modern things to crochet now, and I am looking forward to building up my skills and attempting to make some things for myself and as gifts for others.
C xx