Sister Style- Spring edition!

 

 

When I came to the decision to restyle my blog a couple of weeks ago, I really wanted to start incorporating more fashion posts. I wouldn’t say that I’m a fashionable person, but I’m still a sucker for all those beautifully styled Instagram photos of super trendy women in gorgeous clothing. I just said ‘trendy’, I’m so lame.

I’d actually love to have one of those super fashionable Instagrams, as I bloody love clothes; the issue is I hate being in front of the camera, which makes shooting photos to accompany fashion and beauty related posts pretty difficult. As you will be able to tell from most of these photos, I’m a pretty awkward poser. Body confidence isn’t something I possess in abundance.

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But those of you who have been following my blog for a while now will know that my sister, Hannah, loves being in front of the camera. Hannah loves all things fashion and has a pretty hefty clothing collection. Hence when I do decide to do a fashion post, Hannah is my go to.

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Today’s sister style had kind of a sports-luxe vibe- well, at least that’s what I thought, like I say, I ain’t no fashion guru. The weather has finally started to warm up (well, it’s not snowing anymore) here in Lancashire, so we decided to forgo coats and really embrace the ‘Spring’ weather.

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We had great fun shooting for this blog post, as much as I hate having my picture taken, it’s always a nice way to spend an afternoon with my sister.

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I decided to wear this Topshop bodycon dress that I bought a few weeks back. Since the weather’s been so bad up here recently, this was really the first time I’ve had chance to wear it. I paired it with a white t-shirt underneath for a bit of extra warmth and then an Asos denim jacket (courtesy of Hannah!). I love the colours of this dress, I think it has a real 70s vibe that I am totally digging.

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Those of you who saw my last sister style post will know that I am mad about these leather boots. My parents bought me them from Dune for my 20th birthday back in September and I’ve hardly stopped wearing them since! I usually wear these with knee socks when the weather starts to warm up a bit, I have a love of knee socks and mini skirts.

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Resident model Hannah opted for a loose jumper from Stradivarius, paired with some back cropped trousers from Pretty Little Thing. Hannah is lucky enough to have tiny feet, so her shoes are actually kid’s Reebok Classics! I’m so jealous of her shoe size -_- (Plus she has the best selection of shoes and I can’t steal any of them).

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There you have it guys, I hope you enjoyed this lil’ sister style post! I always have so much fun doing these posts for you, let me know if you like seeing them!

Hope y’all had great Easter weekends,

Maddie.

 

My makeup collection- Eye shadow palettes!

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So those of you who follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, what you doin’? Let’s just take a minute to stop reading and go sort that out right now: @alittlemadsmith) will know that I recently did a little poll to see who would be interested in seeing my makeup collection- and I was pretty overwhelmed with all of the responses!

I’m a bit of a makeup collector. You could say that it is the one addiction that I have, as well as cheese of course. I’ve never really been bothered by handbags or shoes, but makeup is just that one thing that I am obsessed with. I guess it’s kind of stemmed from my love of art. I didn’t actually wear any makeup until I was almost fifteen; to be honest I found the whole thing pretty daunting at first. I remember feeling incredibly embarrassed whilst buying my first mascara from a box of sale items in Boots when I was fourteen Oh, how things change.

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Jump forward six years and I am now somewhat of a makeup junkie, though limited from becoming full on makeup junkie due to the restrains of living on a student budget. Most of the makeup in my collection is from the odd splurge after saving for several months, or presents from birthdays and Christmases.

Instead of writing an absolutely MASSIVE blog post where I talk about every single product I own, I thought I’d break this down into a mini series, so that I can give you all a bit more detail on each product.

Up today is my eyeshadow palette collection! Eyeshadow palettes are my main addiction; if you let me choose between buying a new foundation or a new eyeshadow palette, the palette would win every time. The artist in me loves colour, and I’m drawn to anything that shimmers. Of course, I have a lot of palettes with neutral colour schemes in my collection, but I still get very excited when I see a bright and colourful new release. I’ve had my eye on the Juvia’s Place Zulu eyeshadow palette for months now, still saving those pennies. 

Disclaimer- I have no clue why almost all of these are from Urban Decay!! I’ve actually been dying to get my hands on some of the Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes (that Soft Glam tho), some more Morphe ones, Juvia’s Place and Colourpop (but that international shipping cost *cries*). Unfortunately since my interest in makeup has really peaked, my income has really dropped. The last two years at uni haven’t left me with much spare change, so most of these palettes are from back in the day when I thought Urban Decay was the only brand in the history of ever.

Naked 2- Urban Decay

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This was the first eyeshadow palette that I ever purchased. I had just turned 18 and decided that I wanted to try out some more high end makeup; there was A LOT of hype surrounding the Naked series at the time. My friend Gabby had actually recently done my makeup for a party (it was that time in our lives when everyone we knew was turning 18), and she used this palette on my eyes. I was well and truly convinced that this palette was the best thing ever, and immediately went out and purchased one for myself.  This was actually my second ever high end purchase, after the Naked foundation. As you can tell, I wasn’t very adventurous and bought everything from the same makeup counter.

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This palette is great quality, but it isn’t something I reach for regularly when doing my makeup. It actually has more of a cool toned colour scheme, and I’ve since come to realise that I much prefer warm tones. I do still use the gold shade (Half baked) from time to time though and apply it onto my lid with my finger, its a really pretty shadow.

The Electric Palette- Urban Decay

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I went crazy for this palette. Like I said, I love colour, and boy did this palette have colour. I remember at the time I bought this palette I had just started working Saturday nights at a pub as a barmaid; once a week before work I would spend an hour creating some crazy ass eye look that the locals would always comment on. I owe most of my makeup skills to this palette really, it really taught me how to master the art of blending.

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I still adore the pigmentation in this palette, I was swatching it before writing this and OH MA GAWD I’d forgotten how good the shadows were! It isn’t the most wearable palette in the world, but I love it. Plus you can use the dark pink shade (Jilted) and the silver shade (Revolt) alongside other shadows to create more wearable looks, something that I do quite often.

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Naked Smoky- Urban Decay (See a theme here?) 

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For some reason I have always had an obsession with ‘smoky eyes’. Even before I bought my first eyeshadow, I would paint paintings with said ‘smoky eyes’. Something about it just seemed so mysterious and sexy to me. Hence when I saw that Urban Decay had a smoky palette I went bananas for it. I was a very happy girl that year for Christmas when my nan and granddad bought me this bad boy.

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I’m sad to say, like the Naked 2 palette, this isn’t one that I reach for much anymore. The brown tones are just a little too cool for when I want to do a bronze smoky eye, and I never really use grey shadow anymore. Though I can’t lie, once again the feel and blend of these shadows is great.

The Jaclyn Hill Palette- Morphe

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The most recent addition to my palette collection! For those who don’t know, Jaclyn Hill is a beauty youtuber who created this palette in collaboration with Morphe. This is my favourite palette hands down. It’s got cool tones, warm tones, transition shades, highlight shades, neutrals, pops of colour, shimmers, mattes- EVERYTHING you could want from a palette. And the blend on these shadows is unreal, especially for the price. Not a lot of fall out but highly pigmented colours, I can’t tell you enough how much I love this palette.

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Naked Ultimatte Basics- Urban Decay

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Another Naked palette- I know! Younger Maddie was scared of trying new things, ok? I actually love the warmed toned deep orange shade (Extra Bitter) in this palette, for me it makes the whole thing worth it. It was the first shadow I had in this sort of colour and I loved it, I started doing dark smokey eye looks with this in the crease for a really warm transition and I loved the way it turned out. I also love the deep mauve colour (Lethal); I did a few cut creases with this in the crease and gold on the lid which looked really pretty.

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If you like matte shadows and creating neutral looks, this palette would definitely be one to invest in. The shades have a good level of pigmentation, but it’s not so much that it would be daunting for a beginner. Plus theres a really good matte black in here, which everyone needs.

Full Spectrum Palette- Urban Decay

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Biggest waste of money EVER! These shades are so ridiculously not pigmented, and pretty dusty and dry. Even when I tried applying them with my finger, the colour pay off was just not what you’d expect from a palette in this price range. I was so disappointed by this as I had been looking forward to purchasing it for a while and was so excited by the colour scheme!

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I’m not sure if maybe I just bought a dud or if they were all that bad. Either way, this was not what I was expecting from the same brand who brought us the highly pigmented electric palette. I hardly ever use it.

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Naked Heat- Urban Decay

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Let’s leave this eyeshadow palette collection on a good note! My sister bought me the Naked Heat palette for my 20th birthday- she’s the best. Being the lover of all things warm toned that I am, this palette was a sure win for me. I love it, it’s the one of my Naked palettes that I reach for the most. I love creating really blown out dark smokey eyes with this palette.

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There you have it guys! Did you enjoy this little run through of my eye shadow palette collection? What part of my makeup collection would you like to see next? Be sure to let me know in the comments! 

Maddie.

Meet the girls- my painting collection

Helloooo lovely reader: So, I got a bit carried away (again) with the intro for this post, so if you just wanna skip to the pretty pictures, you just scroll on down my friend, I won’t judge. Well, much 😉

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‘Carnival Queen’ (WIP- left) and ‘Nebula’ (right). My two acrylic on canvas works.

Hello guys!

So I know it’s been a while since I last posted something on here- I’m sorry! Things got a lil’ hectic with me moving back up to university in mid January, and I actually managed to leave my camera at home- shock horror! So as a result I was left unable to take any photos to go with my blog, and let’s be honest, it ain’t really a great blog if there’s no pretty photos for you all to look at!

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No name. Self portrait, acrylic on paper.

Aside from the accidental leaving the camera at home fiasco, it has also been an incredibly busy few weeks for me in terms of academic workload. I. Am. Exhausted. Second year Theoretical Physics with Maths is NOT a walk in the park, and the lecturers are clearly sadistic and really enjoying watching us struggle as we try to learn all the new content that’s being thrown at us… at least that’s how I see it.

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Carnival Queen- Work in progress

But I have to say, it feels darn good to be back!

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‘Cuentos de Hadas’ feat. Zoe.

I am so excited about the content that I’m going to be posting on my blog during 2018; I can’t wait to finally find time to do some more DIYs and yummy recipes for you all. I also want to start adding a few more ‘lifestyle’ posts, seeing as that is what I originally started A Little Mad Smith for.

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No name- a quick self portrait.

So that brings us to today’s post. Reunited with my camera, today I’m bringing you a happy mixture of my usual craft style post with just a hint more ‘lifestyle’ thrown in for good measure; today we get to have a little look at my paintings!

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‘Nebula’ feat. Olivia

Meet the girls- a collection of my favourite paintings that have made their way onto my walls at university. I adore painting female portraits, and I’ve steadily accumulated a little collection over the past two or so years as I’ve honed my technique and discovered my style.

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‘Night Dreaming’ feat. Fairlight

I LOVE painting. I love art. I studied two art subjects at GCSE level when I was in high school, before going on to study an A level in Fine Art at college. My interest for portrait painting was really sparked when I was 16, and I discovered the work of three artists in particular: Charmaine Olivia, Paula Bonet and Agnes Cecile. These women paint the most beautiful portraits I have ever seen, and all three have such unique styles! I immediately fell in love with Charmaine Olivia’s wonderful use of colour in her oil work, Agnes Cecile’s dramatic watercolour technique and Paula Bonet’s unique mix of pencil and water colour.

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‘Festival Queen’ feat. Chloe

These three women have been a huge inspiration to me, and have massively influenced my own artwork over the years. I don’t have time to paint as much anymore, due to my intensive degree subject, but whenever I get the chance I always enjoy picking up a paintbrush and seeing where it takes me.

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‘Night Dreaming’ feat. Firelight

For those who were wondering (if any), yes, I am super sad and name my paintings. Not all of them, but sometimes some of them just look like an Olivia or a Zoe and I name them that. Almost all of these are drawn originally using a photo of my face as a starting point, but they hardly ever turn out looking like me. I like to give each one it’s own personality and style.

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No name. Self portrait, acrylic on paper.

This painting here was one of the first I tried in acrylic. I was super happy with how it turned out, I really like the contrast of the blue with the orange. This is one of the only few that actually kept a bit of a resemblance to me in it, at least I think so. I especially love that she’s holding a pencil.

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The festival queen pictured below is called Chloe. One of the funnest parts of doing this one was adding all the feathers to her hair (above); it turns out they’re actually really easy to paint! Chloe actually turned two last week, I painted her back when I was 18 just after Christmas with a new set of paints that I’d gotten from my parents. She’s one of my favourites.

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‘Festival Queen’ feat. Chloe

So that’s all from me today guys, I hope you enjoyed this little look at some of my artwork! I really do miss having the time to spend on painting that I used to, but that’s why I love having this blog as a creative outlet for me!

I’m hoping that I can find more time for my art throughout 2018; I’m also actually hoping to start a bullet journal which I intend to document on here!

Do you enjoy painting or drawing? Or is your creative outlet something different? Let me know in the comments! 

Thanks to you all for reading, and best wishes to each and every one of you. It is a genuine pleasure to be able to interact with you all as I do and I am incredibly thankful for it. 

Until next time,

Maddie x

 

 

Sister Style- Autumn!

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Hey guys!

So, I thought I’d do something a little bit different for today’s post. I’ve got some great crafts and recipes lined up for you over the coming weeks as we head into December, but today I’m bringing you my first ever fashion post….If you can call it that. It’s more of just a lot of photos.

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I’m not very much into fashion in a blogging sense. I love clothes, and I love the process of designing and making clothes, but I’m not much into the whole shopping thing. I don’t keep up with trends, I’d much rather base my clothes on what I like, regardless of what’s in fashion. I have a love for vintage style, good quality fabric, knee socks, bright colours and mini skirts.

Now let me introduce you to my sister, Hannah. Hannah is the complete opposite of me when it comes to clothes. Hannah likes every style, every trend and every single clothing item you could imagine. She also likes to shop, A LOT. Keeping up with trends is her jam, and her wardrobe is the evidence of it.

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Seeing as we have such different attitudes towards clothing, I thought it’d be really interesting to do a ‘sister style’ blog post showcasing what we like to wear in Autumn! The idea for this post is of course inspired by the Sister Style series on A Beautiful Mess, an amazing blog that I’m sure you’ve already heard of!

We decided to head down to Williamson Park in Lancaster to take these photos. I’ve been studying and living in Lancaster for over a year now, but I’d actually not visited this park until two weeks ago! It’s a beautiful park, and the chocolate fudge cake served in the cafe definitely makes it worth a visit.

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I’m wearing a woollen skirt that I got a few years ago from Topshop. The roll neck top is also from Topshop; I love wearing the colour mustard during Autumn, I think it makes my outfit so seasonal! This top is one of my staples at this time of year. My boots are absolutely ‘ride or die’. I LOVE these boots. My parents bought them for my birthday in September, and I haven’t stopped wearing them since. They’re leather and such good quality!

Hannah’s also wearing a Topshop dress (I swear this post isn’t sponsored by Topshop, haha!). And her boots are from Tesco, from a few years back.

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It was super fun taking all these photos! We had such a great day 🙂

That’s all from me today guys, would you like to see more of these types of posts? Let me know! It’d be great fun to make Sister Style into a recurring feature here on the blog!

Best wishes to you all!

Maddie x

 

 

Fanciful Frocks and French Fountains

Hi guys! So a good few weeks ago I posted that I purchased a dress pattern and some wonderfully fanciful butterfly fabric from work (check out that post here!). I’d purchased the dress pattern (Newlook 6508) with the intention of getting it sewn in time for my trip to Carcassonne with Jason; after a bit of a last minute sewing frenzy the few days before our flight, I can proudly say that I did indeed achieve my goal!

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Here I am trying to look like I am not the most awkward poser ever in front of the fountain in Carcassonne town square. I love the fabric that I made this dress from. It’s a beautiful heavy cotton that sewed like a dream. I had no trouble with it stretching or pulling while I sewed it, and although it was a bit more expensive than I would usually buy, at around £12 per metre, I do feel it was worth it for the overall finish of the dress. I think the skirt falls beautifully. And besides, I only needed two metres.

The bodice is completely lined in a navy polycotton that I purchased for £3.75 per metre. This was great as it meant the dress was thick enough for me to go braless without feeling self-conscious.

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The pattern is actually a two piece, where the bodice and skirt are two separate garments that you attach to each other using the six buttons on the waistband. There are also four buttons that go down the back of the bodice. I adore the back detail on this dress, it’s one of the reasons I decided to purchase the pattern. I’m also a sucker for wooden buttons, so I just had to use these little 1/2″ beauties!

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In short, I’m really rather pleased with how this dress turned out. It was my first time inserting an invisible zip- which was a nightmare without an actual invisible zipper foot!– but I actually don’t think the finished garment looked too messy!

I will definitely be using this patten again to make a few more dresses in different fabrics, and I’m especially excited now that I know the skirt isn’t attached to the top! I look forward to making some more skirts too as I adore the pleats.

Have you sewn anything recently? Have you had a go at sewing your own clothes? Let me know how it went!

Best wishes,

Maddie x

 

One month of blogging!

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Wow, that went fast! A Little Mad Smith is one month old today (can we get a hip hip hooray?) and I just wanted to share a little post to say thank you so much to all my lovely followers and readers of this blog. Your support over this past month has meant the world to me- I am over the moon to see that my blog has been received with so much love all over the world! I never would’ve thought that people in hometown would have been at all interested in my craft projects and recipes, let alone people on the other side of the globe! So thank you to all who have shared, liked and commented on my posts, and thank you, yes you, for taking the time to read this.

I hope I can continue to produce content that you find interesting, entertaining and inspiring. I already have a thousand crafty ideas and tasty recipes that I am dying to get stuck into and share with you all in the near future, so I do hope you stick around!

As a little celebration of our one month birthday, I’ve put together some of my favourite posts from over the past four weeks. I hope you can find something that inspires you to get crafty and try something new!

Fabric Flowers DIY– This is one of my favourite mini sewing projects of all time. I love the vintage look of these and they’re a great method of using up excess fabric. I also think that they make a beautiful addition to any handbag.

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DIY Photo Holders- This DIY was a super simple project that produced great results! And all you need is a pebble, some paint and a bit of wire. What could be better?

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Peanut butter and Chocolate Cupcakes- I cannot describe to you how good these tasted, but believe me when I say, they were goooood. Like, seriously, you need to try these.

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DIY Patchwork cushion cover– This beautiful DIY is a great project for those wanting to try out patch working, and its a great way of using up scraps of fabric. I love how this turned out.

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Domino’s style cookiesThe inspiration behind this bake was my favourite fast food cookies. Served warm, these soft squishy cookies are truly divine. Why not give them a try?

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DIY painted glass lanterns– This DIY is a great project for the kids to get involved with. A great way of using up excess jars, my DIY glass lanterns are the perfect addition to any evening garden party.

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Drawstring bag DIY– Drawstring bags are so useful and so versatile! My drawstring bag DIY gives a simples method for making your own drawstring bag that can easily be adapted into a child’s PE kit bag ready for back to school.

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Well there you have it guys, just a selection of some of my favourite blog posts from over this past month. I hope you enjoy them if you didn’t see them first time round, and please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see up on the blog over this next month! In the meantime, remember that there’s plenty of other projects to keep you busy in the craft and food sections of my blog- why not have a look?

I’m always looking for new ideas and crafty inspiration.

Hugs and best wishes to you all,

Maddie x

 

DIY tassels

 

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Happy Friday! How are we all today? Looking forward to the weekend I expect. If you’re looking for some crafty inspiration for over your days off, look no further than my DIY tassels! I got this idea from a recent post over on KelleysDIY, where Linda had put together a post all about craft ideas for teens. If you haven’t visited her blog before, I strongly recommend that you go and check it out! There’s some fantastic craft ideas that are sure to inspire and entertain people of all ages.

But anyway, in the post there were a good few ideas involving tassels. And that got me thinking about making my own. I’ve never made tassels but I thought- how hard can it be? Well, the answer to that would be not very hard at all. It’s actually pretty easy in fact. I will say however that my first attempt at my tassel was not exactly the prettiest tassel in all the world, but I soon got into the swing after that.

It turns out that tassel-making is oddly addictive; it required quite a lot of self discipline to stop myself from churning out tassels all afternoon. But aren’t they just so damn cute?! I only had a small selection of yarn to hand, but I think these would’ve worked great with embroidery thread for a finer, more delicate tassel. They’d also look great with some beads added on, or maybe a contrasting colour yarn to make the head.

Interested in making your own? Find my step by step instructions below!

You will need:

  • Yarn, thread, string or similar
  • Scissors
  • A piece of cardboard or similar (this is to wrap your tassel around)

So what do you do?

  1. Your cardboard should be double the length you wish your finished tassel to be. Wrap your yarn tightly around the cardboard as shown. The thickness of this will be half the thickness of your finished tassel. I wrapped mine until it was about three quarters of an inch wide.
  2. Slide your yarn off the cardboard so you have a loop. Place about a 5″ piece of yarn around the centre of this loop and tie it in a knot.  1.-2.png
  3. Bring the two loose ends of the centre yarn up and the two ends of the loop down. Now you need to make a head for your tassel. Using an approximately 10″ piece of yarn, create a loop in one end. Place the loop on the tassel and hold in place with your thumb.
  4. Wrap the end of the yarn without the loop around the top of the tassel tightly. This will create the head that you can see on my tassels. When you are happy that this has been wrapped around enough, thread the loose end of the yarn through the loop and pull to secure.3.-2.png
  5. Cut through the loops at the bottom of the tassel to create the skirt. You can now tie your tassel to your creations using the two loose threads at the top!

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There you have it! From experience, it might seem a little bit tricky on your first attempt, but once your get into the swing of it it’s really easy! I feel I’m going to be churning out a lot more tassels in the near future.

Have you got anything crafty planned for the weekend? Let me know!

Best wishes to you all,

Maddie.