Santa’s Secret Key

When we moved house last year, my children made a very good point that the new house doesn’t have a fireplace so how in the world would santa get in to deliver the presents?! Thinking on my feet I said he has a special key – remembering seeing santa key’s in shops over the years. This year I thought i would do some extras to sell at my Christmas fayre’s. The keys where purchased in a pack from a craft store but you could use any old unused keys lying around in your kitchen drawer. I then stamped out a tag and attached some red ribbon to hang it from the tree or like us, we just hang from a nail in the wall by the door.

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Melted Snowman in a Jar

I bloody love Christmas. Anything I can add to my decorations each year that it is interesting and unusual I’ll be all over it

Check out this melted snowman in a jar which can be bought out year after year and will always be a talking point.

My jar is from Ikea and is filled with general household salt for the melted snow, felt  or card carrot nose and currants for the snowman’s eye’s and buttons. If you have a small jar you can use black peppercorns which are great as the don’t sink in the salt. If you do use currants, take them out before storing your snowman for the summer and replace them when you bring him out each holiday season to prevent them going a tad mouldy. Add a ribbon bow to your jar, striped ribbon would be great and double as the snowman’s scarf.

I made some bauble versions of these too for a Christmas fayre recently. The same principle but just fill clear glass baubles with salt and add the peppercorns and felt nose. Festive ribbon is great for hanging them from your tree.

#holidays are coming……..holidays are coming……

Rainbow Felt Fairy Light Oranaments

Just like fashion, Christmas decorations come in and out of vogue too. Colour schemes are always a major theme whether it’s nordic red and white, traditional red and green, new brights or metallics. I tend to favour anything that makes me feel nostalgic and christmas lights really tell a story of the trends we have all followed over the last few decades.

I love the classic coloured fairy lights as the remind me of my Christmas tree growing up at home. Then came white lights, 3D rope light outdoor sculptures and anyone remember the blue fairy light trend?? Houses competing with each other and the UFOesque blue glow in living rooms across the country.

Inspired by those coloured fairy lights of my childhood I decided to recreate them in, yes you guessed it – felt! Great for the tree or to hang on some twine at the fireplace like a garland.

Super Quick Christmas Tree Angels

These pretty little tree angels are amazingly quick to make.  They are easily something a child could do if you want to give them a Christmas craft do get their teeth into while you crack on with other jobs or just sit with a Caramel Macchiato and catch up with ER re-runs. Or maybe that’s just me!

Minimal supplies needed:

1 pack of white fimo air

brown garden twine or string

an angel cookie cutter

Some baking parchment

Rolling pin

Roll out the fimo to about 3mm thick. Cut out the angels and place them onto the parchment. Before allowing them to dry, poke a small hole in the head of each one. I used a metal skewer for this. Dry overnight then thread with the garden twine. Done!

Of course you could do this with any cookie cutter you like. Snowmen or stars would be great.

 

 

Big Little Felt Universe by Jeanette Lim – Book Review

The book shelf in my lounge is currently buckling under the weight of my growing collection of craft and cookery books. It drives my husband round the bend. My solution would be to have a nice ‘craft’ room of my own that I could hibernate in, surrounding myself with fabric and wall to wall books for every type of craft. A girl can dream.

In the mean time, I can just about squeeze a couple more in and ‘Big Little Felt Universe’ by Jeanette Lim is my new muse. I have recently been looking for some felt food patterns online when I stumbled upon Jeanette’s etsy shop which is packed with fabulous looking patterns for all sorts of felt food and toys. Struggling to decide which one to buy, imagine my excitement when I realised she had also published this book with Lark Crafts.

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And what a craft book it is. There is not one pattern in the collection that I do not want to make. Each project is beautifully photographed with clear instructions, although some projects are trickier than others so maybe not all will be suitable for beginners. Most of the patterns are full size and even the few that aren’t can be enlarged or even measured out yourself as all the measurements are given.

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I started with the felt veg and the results are really pleasing. The patterns are sized really well and everything fits together perfectly. This really is a fun and exciting book of the felt food projects that you will really want – fruit, veg, cakes, tools, burgers and hotdogs and loads more. Great to start off in the wonderful world of felt food and then progress into Jeanette’s other etsy patterns. All will produce amazing toys that children will adore compared with the sad mass produced plastic offerings of most stores.

A must buy for any lover of felt.

Next project for me is this super cute gingerbread house for the holiday season!

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Magazine Christmas Tree

Can’t believe I’m starting my Christmas crafts already, I must be mad. Discovered these fab magazine Christmas Tree decorations on the Martha Stewart website today and had a spare hour or two. The instant results appealed to me too. I’m all about fast craft.

This christmas craft is crazy easy and a bit like making paper aeroplanes. Try handbag sized magazines too for a mini tree. They look super cool naked or fancy up your tree with some spray glitter or paint.

Felt Hanging Bird Hanging Decorations

Yep the felt came out again the other day for some cute little hanging bird decorations. These work especially hard as they can multi task as Christmas decorations for your tree, add a touch of dried lavender and hang on your clothes hangers for a fresh wardrobe or even use for a baby’s mobile.

You will need:

1 sheet of beige felt

scraps of material

scraps of ribbon

buttons

embroidery thread

Soft toy filler

Draw your bird shape on a piece of paper and cut out for your template. You will be able to get 3 birds out of a standard 9″ x 12′  sheet of felt if you size it well.  Draw round you template 3 times then flip the paper over and draw round another 3 times.  This will give you a front and back piece for each of the 3 birds and enable you to hide any pencil or pen marks inside. Cut out your birds. Now cut three chest peices out of your material scraps.  I used this red floral print to give a christmassy robin feel but you can use whatever materials you have to hand. Pin the chest onto the front bird piece and stitch it on just around the top edge as pictured below. Sew on a cute button for his eye. Now take a 20 cm piece of ribbon, fold it over and tuck it between the front and back bird pieces. Pin together. Blanket stitch round the bird in a contrasting colour, leaving a 4cm gap to fill him.  Add some stuffing and carry on the the blanket stitch until he if fully sealed. To finish off take your needle back into the bird and out again at the back of the body. Pull tight then snip the thread and your end will disappear inside your bird so you have no visible knots.

Repeat until you have made up all three and hang with pride! If you like these – also check my felt Christmas Robins which are made from all felt and have cute little wings.

Lavender Bag Stacks – Crafty stocking filler

Need some crafty stocking fillers ideas? Everyone love lavender bags. You can knock a few sets of these up in an evening with very little skill and make a gorgeous stocking filler when tied up in threes with some lovely ribbon.

You will need:

Selection of fabrics (min of 30cm x 15 cm for each bag)

sewing machine

thread

ribbon

soft toy filling

dried lavender

Cut two 12cm x 12cm squares for each lavender bag you want to make. Pin the two together, right sides facing. On the sewing machine, sew round 3 sides using a straight stitch leaving a 1cm seam allowance. On the 4th side, sew half way across.  This will leave you an opening so you can fill your bag. Turn right side out and fill with a spoon full of dried lavender and some soft toy filling. Over stitch the opening. Repeat until you have three then tie up your favourite ribbon.  They look nice when made in contrasting fabrics.  I have a small Cath Kidston obsession so these are made with Provence Rose fabrics.  Or try a Christmas colour combination? Happy stitching.

Christmas Craft for Kids – Felt Pencil Toppers

My Children break up on 16th December for the Christmas break (doesn’t that get earlier every year????) so I have a whole week to fill with Christmas related cheap fun activities or things to keep them out of trouble. We will be making these as gifts for their friends and stocking fillers for other kids in the family.

These are so simple even my 6 year old boy can do them.

You will need:

Scraps of felt

buttons

embroidery thread

pencils

cut out a 2 x triangles of felt for the christmas tree or 2 x felt hearts for the heart topper. Stitch a button onto one of pieces. Pin the front and back together and using embroidery thread running stitch round the edge approx 3mm from the edge and leaving a gap at the bottom just big enough for the pencil to fit snuggly inside.

 

Felt Christmas Decorations – Gingerbread Man, Robin, Christmas Pudding

More felt Christmas fun! I needed something to refresh my Christmas decorations this year but had no budget to buy any. Out comes the felt again! I got so addicted to making these I did a loads to put on my Christmas Fayre stalls.

I don’t have an patterns I’m afraid as I used a cookie cutter for the gingerbread man, draw round a mug for the christmas pudding and used the bird pattern from my Cath Kidston Sew! Book. Hope they inspire you to give them a go yourself though – It’s a great way to experiment with new stitches. Try incorporating blanket stitch, running stitch, french knots, cross stitch and get out your bag of material scraps & buttons to add interest like the gingerbread man’s bow tie and the button for the robins eye.