Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Pumpkin Carving // A Night of Hope

I never usually carve a pumpkin for Halloween, but this year I really wanted to do one (big kid)! I saw that World Vision were raising money & awareness by carving something a little different in their pumpkins this year. I thought this was a great idea & immediately wanted to get involved in such a great cause. 

World Vision is the largest international children's charity & this year they are asking everyone to carve a heart in their Pumpkin for "A Night of Hope" - raising money for the child refugees in Syria. I thought this was a great idea, as typically Halloween is a night for the children. For them to have fun, enjoying the normalities of life. My carving tools of choice were a knife, a tablespoon and a teaspoon - be super careful using the knife! I got Nick to cut off the top for me and then I hollowed out the pumpkin and drew my design on the front before cutting it out. At first I was a little dissappointed, but it looks so much better when the candles are inside! I am actually really pleased with the way it turned out.

So if you want to do something a little different this year, carve a heart in your pumpkin & text Heart8 to 70060 to donate £5 to World Vision. I am sure you're wondering how your donation will benefit the children of Syria..? Well the money you donate will go towards schools and educational equipment, to help give the children hope for the future - hense being "A Night of Hope". 

What do you think of my heart design pumpkin? (Nicks is the "scary face" pumpkin - obviously)!  Don't forget to upload your photos to Twitter using the hashtag #ANightOfHope or on Facebook for everyone to see your design too! 


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Christmas Stocking // Fantastic Ribbons*

 I have recently been sent some lovely festive Ribbon from Fantastic Ribbons and as I am feeling (prematurely) Christmassy, I thought I would have a play and see what I could create using it. I was sent two different types, one which said "Do Not Open until 25th December" and the other said "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - Super Cute!

 After much contemplating, I decided it would be a great addition to a Christmas Stocking - something I have never made before! I had some red fabric lying around and to make it look that little bit more festive, I used some material that I got free from Sew! I thought the ribbon would look great to separate the two different fabrics.

You can't see in the above photo, but I used the "Santa Claus" Ribbon to make a small loop so the stocking can be hung up on a bed post / by the fire on Christmas Eve, ready for Santa to fill it with goodies!! Fantastic Ribbons have such a great range of Christmas Ribbon - head on over to their website and take a look before it's too late!

What do you think of my Christmas Stocking? What will you be creating with your Christmas Ribbon?


I was sent:

Sunday, 19 October 2014

How To Make // Christmas Bunting

I am sure half of you are thinking "it's too soon" whilst the other half are thinking "it's never too soon"! I'm afraid I am with the latter as I am so excited for Christmas this year! So you can imagine my delight when the October issue of Sew arrived through the post filled with Christmas themed ideas and free Christmas fabric! There was a selection of 4 projects & I was immediately drawn to the Christmas "Mitten" Bunting as I thought it was so cute and unusual. It was really simple to make and such a fantastic idea that I had to share it with you all...

To make the Christmas Bunting you will need:

2 contrasting (Christmas appropriate) fabrics
6 Buttons
Red & White Twine
White Thread
Sewing Machine (although you could hand sew if you prefer)

  1. I began by tracing the mitten template in the Sew Magazine (October Issues), but if you don't have this, then I am sure you could find one online or make your own. I then cut out 12 mittens shapes, which will eventually make 6 mittens (3 in each fabric).Be sure to cut your fabric correctly if it is patterned, so the pattern is running in the correct direction.
  2. Pin the mittens together, right sides facing, and sew together, leaving the bottom (straight edge) unsewn. Turn them the right way out and iron to create your perfect mitten.
  3. I then cut out six 3.5cm x 11cm cuffs, 3 from one fabric & 3 from the other. Fold over 6mm at each short edge & iron to press in place. Do the same with the long edges.
  4. Fold the cuff in half and place over the top of the contrasting mitten. Make sure the fold is on the same side on each mitten (so mine is on the opposite side to the thumb).
  5. Sew on the buttons - again, making sure these are on the same side on each mitten.
  6. Hand stitch each mitten to the twine, keeping the spacing between each one the same.

What do you think? I thought they were super easy and so cute! I just can't wait until the festive season properly begins so I can put them up in the house! Check out the Sew website to see what other sewing projects they have. I'm sure (I hope) they will have plenty of Christmas ones soon!

If you have made these, or anything similar, please let me know in the comments box below.


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Upholstery // Part 1

Upholstery has always been something that interests me but I wouldn't have a clue where to begin and at the moment I just don't have the time (or spare pennies) to go on a course to learn. My Gran, however, has done a course and dabbles with the odd upholstery project, so I thought it would be rude to not get involved and offer a helping (or hindering) hand!

Unfortunately, I don't have a photograph of the chair before we started as I kind of just began by offering to help out and didn't think it could be a potential blog post. But we began by stripping the chair completely back to the frame (leaving the foam padding on there too). We had to remove the staples carefully though as we intended to use each piece of the old material to create a pattern for the new material. This was the most tiring part and after a while became a little tedious - it definitely helped having two people do this!

Next, I made alot of piping! My Gran wanted us to make it ourselves so it matched the chair perfectly. We followed some instructions we found on Make it & Love it (click here to read) using the same fabric we were using to cover the chair. Making piping is super easy - I will definitely be using this for future projects! Then came the difficult part. We unpicked the different sections of the old material to get the correct measurements for the new material. This took a little while and I double checked everything to be sure that we wouldn't get it wrong! So far we have completed the bottom section and one of the wings.

This is such a massive project and we are yet to find the time to finish it - turns out Grandparents have very busy lives too - but when we have completed some more I will be sure to update you all with post number two (and maybe even number three)!! Have you ever done any upholstery?


Saturday, 4 October 2014

UpCycling // Chest of Drawers

A little while ago I did a post about some bedside cabinets (click here to read it just incase you missed it). It was my first upcycling project and I absolutely loved it! So when Nick & I decided we needed to get some furniture for the spare bedroom, I was more than happy to take on another upcycling project. I went on our local buying/selling Facebook page to find out if any one was selling a chest of drawers. I managed to find one that was perfect and paid only £20 for it!

After lots of sanding and 2 days of painting, I have finally completed it and I am really pleased with how it has turned out. Originally I wanted to do it exactly the same as the bedside cabinets, but decided it would be good to give something else a go. I have also thought about getting some different handles although I like the natural wood against the paint (Farrow & Ball New White)  - what do you think?

  Everything I used for this project (Paint, Sandpaper, Paint Brushes etc) we already had - perks of having a builder boyfriend - so this only cost me £20. Upcycling old, unwanted furniture is so cheap and a great way to personalise your home, as well as getting exactly what you want! Have you done any upcycling recently?