Christmas stocking DIY

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Hello! One week today until Christmas; are we all excited?! I’m back home from university and fully getting into the festive swing of things. Following a wonderful (but cold!) Friday night spent with Jason at the Manchester Christmas markets (featuring food, mulled wine, and more food), I’ve spent the weekend watching Christmas movies with the family.

I like to think that I am an incredibly organised person. I always have my coursework ready to hand in the day before it’s due, and I plan my meals for the week way in advance- but somehow this Christmas has completely sneaked up on me and I am feeling totally unprepared! I’ve still got a shed load of Christmas making and baking that I want to do- that was today’s job!- and I haven’t even finished my Christmas shopping yet! I still need to make some Christmas cards too. In short, I’m exhausted. But thoroughly enjoying myself.

Today I bring you one of the few Christmas projects that I made well in advance of December! I actually made this Christmas stocking back in September, before I’d even started my second year of uni! Now, one term in and one week away from the special day itself, I finally got around to getting it up on the blog for you all to see!

I love this stocking! It took very little time to make and I think it turned out looking great. It was a pretty easy sewing project, great for beginners as you get to practise two different types of machine stitching.

For this project you will need:

  • Approx 1/2m of fabric for the body of the stocking. (I decided to use a different fabric for the front and the back of my stocking because I couldn’t decide which I preferred- haha!).
  • A contrasting white fabric for the top of the stocking
  • A contrasting Christmas fabric for your initial
  • Matching thread
  • A small piece of ribbon
  • Fabric scissors
  • A sewing machine
  • Greaseproof paper or similar to create a template
  • Chalk
  • Pins

Instructions:

  1. Begin by drawing and cutting out your template. I drew my stocking shape by hand, but if you’re not too confident in your drawing ability you can find plenty of stocking templates and sewing patterns online! If you are drawing yours by hand like I did, remember to include enough fabric for a seam allowance (that is, the fabric that will be inside of the seam once you have sewn the front and back of your stocking together).P1230071
  2. Place your template on the right side of the fabric that you want the main body of your stocking to be made out of. Draw around it using some chalk, before carefully cutting the shape of the front of your stocking out using the fabric scissors. Flip your fabric over so that the right side is now facing away from you, and draw around it once more, before cutting it out to create the back of your stocking. You will now have the front and back of your stocking.
  3. Now create a template for your initial. Again, I drew my M freehand, but you can find plenty of lettering that you can trace online. Place this template on top of the right side of your chosen fabric (that is, with the patterned side of your fabric facing towards you), and draw around it using your chalk before cutting it out.P1230074
  4. Place your initial on the front of your stocking. Once you are happy with the placing, pin it into place. Nows the fun part! Set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch. You want the zigzag stitch that sews the ‘tightest’ zigzags, so its basically sewing tiny horizontal lines back and forth. This will create the thick, coloured line of thread that you see around my M. Now, carefully begin to sew around your initial using the zigzag stitch. This was actually easier than I had thought it would be, and I didn’t have any issues with the fabric bunching up. Ensure your tension is right, take your time and use lots of pins!P1230078
  5. Once you have sewn all around your initial, you can sew the front and back of your stocking together! Place the front and back together with the right sides of the fabric facing each other (so the two sides of the fabric that you wish to show when the stocking is complete should be facing each other; your initial will be on one of these). Pin around the edge and use a straight machine stitch now to sew all around the edge of your stocking, leaving the top open- you need somewhere for Santa to leave your presents! Once you have done so, trim a couple of small triangles along the seam where the stocking curves (for example, on the toe and heel). These little triangles will prevent the fabric from gathering at the seam when the stocking is turned the right way out.P1230080
  6. Turn your stocking the right way out. Now all that’s left to do is add the cuff! Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of the top of your stocking. Your cuff will have to be the same size as this opening. Add 1″ to whatever the circumference of the stocking measured (this will be for your seam allowance), and now cut a rectangle from your white fabric that is approximately this long and 10″ wide.
  7. Fold the rectangle of fabric in half lengthways (with right sides of fabric facing outwards) to produce a rectangle that is half as wide. Press with an iron to create a nice, sharp fold. Now fold the rectangle in half widthways. Pin along this open end, 1/2″ away from the raw edge. Sew along this line.
  8. Place the cuff inside the top of your stocking, so the raw edge of the cuff is along the raw edge of the stocking (ensure the seam of the cuff is visible at this stage). Create a small loop of ribbon and place it with loop pointing downwards, in between the layer of the stocking and the cuff. Pin around the top of the stocking, pinning the stocking to the cuff and the ribbon into place. If you are unsure around the placing of everything at this stage, try turning your cuff out so that it is on the outside of your stocking. You should have a nice clean seam on the top of your stocking where it meets the cuff, and the seam of your cuff should now be inside.P1230087
  9. Once you are sure you have pinned everything correctly, machine stitch along the top of your stocking where you have pinned. You can now turn the cuff out, so that it is on the outside of your stocking and all your rough edges are hidden inside!
  10. Ta da. A stocking so good, Santa would be proud.

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I hope you enjoyed this sewing project today guys, its been a while since I did a sewing DIY on the blog. Would you be interested in seeing some more? Let me know!

That’s all from me today, I hope you’re all having a wonderful day/evening, wherever you may be in the world!

Best wishes,

Maddie x

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Super Easy Christmas Craft Ideas

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Hey guys! It’s official, I’m in full on Christmas mode. Following a weekend of tree decorating, Christmas films and winter crafts, it’s safe to say I’m feeling incredibly festive. It’s less than two weeks now until I come home for Christmas and I cannot wait!

As some of you many know, I travelled home from university this weekend to spend it with my family and Jason. I always have the BEST time at home, so I’m always a little sad when I return to my student halls on the Sunday night. But I have to say, with all the Christmas cheer, crafting and baking that’s saturating my Instagram feed, I’m finding it hard to stay sad for long. My social media at this time of year is absolutely bursting with festive DIYs, gift ideas, bakes and makeup looks. I should probably be fed up of it by now, but instead I’m just becoming more and more inspired to share my own Christmas themed blog posts with you all!

So I do apologise if you’re totally over all the Christmas fever already. I will try and get some travel posts up over the next few weeks to keep you guys entertained too!Β 

As luck would have it, this weekend my sister, Hannah, was tasked with making some Christmas items that could be sold at her place of work, with the proceeds going towards charity. She wanted to make something easy and quick, but something that would still get people into the festive spirit and help raise money for a good cause. And y’all know that I LOVE a quick and easy craft idea. And since becoming a student, ‘frugal’ has become my middle name. So what great timing that I would be home and able to help with the process!

Super cute Christmas tree decoration idea! Really cheap and really easy, perfect for the kids to help with.

Between Hannah, my mum and I, we managed to create plenty of Christmas makes that were sure to earn some money at work! First up are these super cute Christmas tree decorations! How lovely are these? I think these would certainly make an adorable addition to anyone’s christmas tree. And even better, they were ridiculously easy to make, meaning Hannah could whip up a good few to sell.

To make these, you will need:

  • Sticks/ twigs
  • Scraps of ribbon
  • String
  • Pompoms
  • Glue

To make these, Hannah began by gathering some sticks from outside before double knotting different lengths of ribbon around the stick to create a ‘branch’ effect. To make a small Christmas tree decoration like we did, you want your stick to be about 5″ long, and your first piece of ribbon for the top branch to measure around 4″, with each piece of ribbon below that getting gradually longer. Once you have tied all your ribbons on, you can use scissors to trim the edges to create a neater, triangular tree shape as shown here. Once you have attached all your ‘branches’, tie a loop of string to the top of your tree, so you can hang it as a decoration! Add a pompom on top if desired, or maybe a little star!

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I absolutely loved how these turned out. I think it’s especially great that you can choose your ribbon to go with whatever colour scheme or vibe you want for your Christmas decorations. Hannah chose a bright and colourful colour scheme for her ribbon, as we like our Christmas decor to be full of colour in our household!

Hot chocolate reindeer bags for Christmas! A

Next up, my mum and I also made these adorable hot chocolate reindeer bags! My mum came up with the idea for these and I love how they turned out! My mum is really great at coming up with creative ideas, she’s inspired many of my craft projects over the years, and these were no exception. Again, these were super easy to make and it took no time at all to create ten of them for selling.

To make these, you will need:

  • Clear, disposable piping bags.
  • Red pompoms
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Pipe cleaners

We began by gluing a set of googly eyes and a pompom on each of the piping bags, before letting the glue dry completely. Once it had done so, all we needed to do was fill each of the piping bags with instant hot chocolate mix (we used approximately enough for one mug) and top off with some mini marshmallows. After we had filled our bags, we twirled some pipe cleaners around to fasten them and give the effect of antlers! Told you it was easy!

I think that these hot chocolate bags were a great idea, and would make a great gift for kid’s friends at school. You could also fill them with oats and glitter instead of hot chocolate mix, and gift them as bags of reindeer food!

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We made some other bits of bobs for selling too, but I don’t want this post to be too long. And besides, I’m sure you’re just itching to try out these cute new craft ideas, am I right? πŸ˜‰ So I’m leaving it here for today, do let me know in the comments if you would like to see what else we made though! I would be happy to share it with you in a future post!

Very best wishes to you all for the month of December, I’ll be back next week with another Christmas themed post for you all!

Maddie x

DIY Love Heart Conker (Chestnut) Wreath!

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Hello you lovely people! Lil’ disclaimer- I got a tad carried away with the intro to this post. So if you would like to forgo my waffling and skip to the good stuff, you just scroll on down! πŸ™‚

I don’t know about you guys, but I am just not feeling quite as festive as I’d like to be at this time of year. There’s something about being at university that really zaps the fun out of the Christmas season, or any season for that matter. All I want to be doing is shopping for Christmas decorations with my family, enjoying mulled wine at the Manchester Christmas markets with Jason, and making a start on my Christmas projects; but instead I’m overwhelmed with deadlines, coursework and the responsibilities of being a fully functioning adult living on my own.

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It’s not just a lack of free time that’s the issue though, when you live away from home it kind of feels like you’re missing out on…well, life. At least for me. Not having my car up here with me makes it difficult to get out and about, and I really miss the mundane things like Sunday afternoon trips to a garden centre with my parents.

But, with all that said and done, I am really trying to get in the Christmas spirit! I mean, really trying. My flatmates have been subjected to me blasting Christmas songs from my room, and I’m trying my damn well hardest to start a few Christmas craft projects!

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Which brings us to today’s post: my DIY conker wreath! Despite it being nearly December, this wreath would’ve been a super cute edition to your decor throughout the Autumn season (and it would’ve been, if I’d got my act together and made it sooner!). But this wreath is also a perfect way of adding some Christmas cheer to your home, which is EXACTLY what I am in need of right now! Plus, this was super cheap to make! I actually had all of the stuff in for this already, so it was actually free for me! And even if you don’t have some scrap fabric lying around, you would have more than enough if you purchased a quarter of a metre! πŸ™‚

I collected most of the conkers for this wreath back when Jason and I were holidaying in France, in late September. I have always had magpie-like tendencies when it comes to things like conkers and acorns; I remember rummaging around for them back when I was a kid- I was a pretty weird kid. Collecting conkers is something I will always associate with my childhood and Autumn, but even though I am now twenty, I still enjoy filling my pockets with shiny brown chestnuts! Skip forward a week of conker collecting in France, and I had about thirty of the beauties, and no idea of how to use them.

Enter my DIY conker wreath:

You will need:

  • Conkers
  • Strong cardboard. I used the cardboard from a shoe box.
  • Hessian/ Burlap.
  • Assorted fabric scraps
  • Ribbon
  • A glue gun
  • Scissors/ Craft knife

P1240112.JPGMethod:

  1. Draw out a heart shape on your cardboard to whatever size you want your wreath to be. Mine was about 10″ high and 10″ wide at its widest point, but this is totally up to you. Take into consideration how much fabric you have to hand and how many conkers. You could also print off a template for this if you’re not too confident in your drawing ability! πŸ™‚
  2. Draw a smaller heart shape inside your heart so that you have your desired wreath shape. Cut around your wreath using scissors or a craft knife. Cut out the centre of your wreath.
  3. Place a blob of glue at the top of your wreath, on the front and back of the cardboard, and attach a loop of ribbon here so that you can hang your wreath.
  4. Now that you have your desired wreath shape, begin to cut out strips of hessian/burlap. You will be wrapping these strips around your wreath, so ensure that they are at least twice as wide as the wreath itself (enough to go over the front and the back of the cardboard).
  5. Using your glue gun, glue a strip to your wreath by folding it in half and placing the fold on the inner edge of your wreath, so that one half of the strip is glued to top of the cardboard and the other half is glued to the back. You want it so the ends of the strip are on the outer edge of your wreath.
  6. Repeat this with as many strips as necessary, until all of the cardboard is covered. You should have some nice texture around the outer edge of your wreath thanks to the raw edges of the hessian.
  7. Now you can start to glue gun your conkers onto the wreath! This does require quite a lot of glue, but I love the finished effect. I must say though, this isn’t a foolproof method. Some of the conkers can become a bit loose when the glue dries. I’d recommend ensuring that they are securely stuck down with lots of glue, and of course being careful with your wreath when dry.
  8. Now that you have added your conkers, cut out some strips of assorted fabric. You want these strips to be about 3″ long.
  9. With one strip, twist it in the centre so that you have a little bow shape. Pop a blob of hot glue in the centre, and press it onto you wreath (use a pen or similar to press the fabric down, you don’t want to burn yourself!). This is how I added the texture to my wreath, as twisting the fabric strips and attaching them in this way gives a charming 3D effect.
  10. Repeat this with as many fabric strips as you like, until you are satisfied with the overall appearance of your wreath.

Ta da! Easy as that.

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There you have it guys! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post! What’ve you been making in anticipation for Christmas? Let me know in the comments!

Best wishes to you all, filled with lots of festive cheer!

Maddie x

Get festive with this DIY chestnut wreath! A great craft project for Autumn and through into winter. Bring some Christmas cheer into your home, or why not use it as a table centre piece for Thanksgiving!

Huge Hobbycraft Birthday Haul!

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Hi guys! As some of you may know, Friday was my 20th birthday. I had a wonderful day spent with some of my favourite people, and I am so grateful for all of your well wishes and kind words. I’m so thankful to say that I’ve got lots of exciting things going on in my life right now, and I cannot wait to share it all with you!

At the time this post will go up on the blog, I will have landed in Carcassonne, France, with Jason. I am beyond excited to explore this beautiful city and see what it has to offer over the next week- I’m sure I will have plenty to tell you about over the coming days.

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But now to what this post is all about- my Hobbycraft haul! On Monday I was incredibly spoilt by my grandparents and given free reign in Hobbycraft as a birthday treat. For those who don’t know, Hobbycraft is a huge craft store in England. It stocks everything from paints to papercraft to candle making to baking- basically everything a craft addict such as myself could want.

I bought LOADS of exciting goodies and I cannot wait to get busy making all sorts of creations! I’ve grouped this post into sections, for those of you who are just interested in one particular area of craft πŸ™‚

Baking stuff!

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First up, I bought some new baking goodies! I purchased the golden cake board with my birthday cake in mind, and the same goes for the sparklers. I love cake sparklers! They’re such a fun way of jazzing up your cakes for special occasions!

I also got two REALLY pigmented food colourings! These were pricey little guys, but you do get quite a lot in the pot, and I imagine the fact that they are so pigmented will mean that they’ll last a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing how well they colour cake mix and icing!

I’m a sucker for edible glitter, so when I saw it was on 3 for 2 I just HAD to purchase three new colours! I got a red, a gold and an orange, thinking that the red and gold would be perfect for Christmas (the orange was an impulse purchase). I also bought some gold edible stars too because who doesn’t need those in their life? πŸ˜‰

Continuing with the baking theme, I got some stainless steel piping tips! This is probably the thing that I am most excited about, because up until now I only had one icing tip! (Ever notice that all my bakes had the same style piping on? Lol!). I am dying to try these babies out! Naturally I purchased some disposable piping bags to go with my new nozzles.

I had also run out of cupcake cases thanks to this mad baking spree I’ve been on recently, so I got some jazzy multicoloured ones and a gold pack for Christmas. Incase you couldn’t tell, I’m just starting to get a teeny bit excited for Christmas. I also bought some little gingerbread men decorations. (But I am totally not overly excited…) πŸ™‚

Paper craft!

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Now onto my paper craft stuff (and mainly more Christmas themed stuff… I CAN’T HELP MYSELF).Β 

I love card marking. I’m nowhere near as good as some of the women I know- Jason’s nan and aunty produce some beautiful cards, as do some of the women I follow on here– but I really enjoy it nevertheless.

I got some beautiful stamps that I’m dying to use! I think the butterfly one is my favourite, but the other two are perfect for Christmas time (see a theme recurring here?).Β To go with the stamps, I bought three different coloured inks. I already own a lot of golden and bronze shades, so I thought it’d be nice to have some bright ones for a change! πŸ™‚

I also got some twine ( I love using this for my card making), some sparkly festive washi tape and some adorable little hessian stars. I couldn’t help but purchase some glittery Christmas tree stickers and wooden advent numbers to complete my Christmas themed buys!

Candle making!

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I first tried candle making a couple of years ago and loved it. It’s such a fun process; all the colours and scents will have you feeling like a mad professor! As I have already tried candle making before, I own a handful of plastic candle moulds, so I simply stocked up on paraffin wax, dyes, scented oils and wicks.

If you haven’t tried candle making before but fancy giving it a go, you can usually purchase a beginners kit for around a tenner! This will provide you with all you need to get started, and it really is great fun.

Craft kits!

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I also treated myself to two craft kits. I love craft kits, as I’m always passionate about trying out exciting and new crafts! I have tried soap making before, but never beeswax soap, so I am super excited to give this a go!

I have also made bath bombs before, but I am a sucker for anything rose scented. Plus it was a good few years ago when I made my first bath bombs, so I could do with a little refresher before I start making some more.

Well guys, that’s it from my haul! I am sooooo beyond grateful to my grandparents for treating me to all of this stuff, and it’s safe to say they will definitely be receiving plenty of baked goods and homemade crafts to say thank you!

I hope you all enjoyed seeing what I bought- would you be interested in hearing my thoughts on some of the products after I’ve had chance to use them? If there’s an item you’re interested in hearing about, please let me know!Β 

If you’re interested in buying any of the items featured in this post, check out the Hobbycraft website πŸ™‚