Homemade Bunting DIY- renter friendly decor!

Handmade bunting makes a really unique and beautiful addition to any home. Great for renters, this bunting can be stuck up with blu tac!

Hi guys! Today’s post is my DIY bunting. I LOVE bunting. Seriously, love the stuff. I’ve got it in my bedroom, the kitchen, the garden, on the wall, in the window… you get the idea.

I think bunting is a great, cheap way of adding character to any space. I love the vintage look and feel of bunting, and it’s ability to transform a room. For me, it creates a festive and homely atmosphere- plus its renter friendly! I use blu tac when I’m at uni to stick bunting up on my walls to help make my room feel like home.

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Working in a fabric shop, I often get asked for suggestions on easy sewing projects for beginners, and I always respond with bunting. It’s a really simple but rewarding DIY, perfect for people who are just getting to grips with a sewing machine.

If you fancy giving it a go yourself, find my step by step instructions below!

You will need (for a 2m length of bunting) : 

  • Assorted fabric. The bunting featured in this post was made using five different fabrics; use what you have in or purchase quarter of a metre lengths of each. This will give you more than enough fabric to produce two metres of bunting. 
  • 2.5m of Bias Binding or ribbon.
  • A sewing machine.
  • Matching thread.
  • Fabric Scissors.
  • Greaseproof paper, card or similar to cut a template out of.P1230233

I purchase all of my fabric from The Buttonhole, my place of work. They offer a great selection and also international delivery on all of their fabrics. All fabric featured in this post and my other DIYs is sourced from The Buttonhole.

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What to do:

  1. Cut out a template for your bunting. An equilateral triangle of approximately 6″ by 10″ will do the job, or scale to your own requirements depending on what you want your final bunting to look like. P1230286.jpg
  2. Pin your template to each of your fabrics in turn and cut around. To make a 2m stretch of bunting you will require around ten flags, this means you will need to cut twenty triangles. Note: Two triangles makes ONE bunting flag. You will see why in the next step.
  3. Place two matching triangles right sides together, that is, with the correct sides of the fabric facing each other. Pin down the two long edges of the triangle before machine stitching down these edges, leaving the top open. Tip: By pinning perpendicular to the edge of the fabric as shown below, you can sew over you pins with your machine without breaking the needle.P1230297.jpg
  4. Turn your flag the correct way around and press with an iron. Repeat this method until you have created all your flags.
  5. Fold the two raw edges at the top of you flag inside the flag to create a neat edge, press and machine stitch into place.
  6. You are now ready to attach your ribbon or bias binding. If you wish to use bias binding and would like to know how to do this, please refer to this blog post where I explain in detail how to attach bias binding to your projects. If using ribbon, place the top of your flag just behind the ribbon and machine stitch into place.
  7. Repeat this, spacing out your flags evenly along the length of your bunting until all have been sewed on!P1230300

That’s it! Congratulations on your new bunting! I hope you guys enjoyed this post and maybe it inspired you to get crafty! Have you got any renter friendly DIY decor ideas? Let me know! It’s always great to discover new ways of decorating my student halls.

Best wishes to you all!

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.

 

Homemade strawberry and blackberry jam

Homemade jam!

Hi guys! So, on Monday I had the day off and decided to go blackberry picking. I live just next to some woods so there’s always LOADS of blackberries growing nearby at this time of year, but until Monday I hadn’t actually been blackberry picking in years. I used to go all the time with my gran when I was younger, but since I’ve been a teenager I don’t think I’ve been. And my teenage years are over next month, so we’re talking quite a while.

But anyway, for some unknown reason on Monday I had the desire to go pick some blackberries. I did manage to get my hands on quite a few, until I had the misfortune of seeing a spider; this resulted in me jumping about two feet in the air and dropping half of my pickings. But still, I came home with ample blackberries for making some strawberry and blackberry jam, which is what I’ll be sharing with you today! 🙂

I’d never made jam before, but I actually found that it was a much easier process than I had been expecting (yay!). This recipe produces a soft jam with lots of juicy bits- and it tastes divine! Super sweet and summery, perfect for this time of year.  Fancy making your own? Find my recipe below:

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Ingredients (makes two small jars of jam): 

  • A 700g mix of strawberries and blackberries. I used 600g of strawberries and 100g of blackberries.
  • 700g granulated sugar
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • A knob of butter (optional)

It doesn’t matter what mix of strawberries and blackberries you use, as long as the combined weight is the same as the weight of the sugar.

Method:

  1. Sterilise your jam jars. Place your jars in the sink and pour boiling water inside them. Let them sit for a few minutes before rinsing and leaving to dry. When dry, pop them in a warm oven.
  2. Wash your berries. Remove the stalks from your strawberries by cutting a small cone shape in the top, and cut them in half (you can cut your strawberries into smaller pieces for a finer jam, but I liked the chunkier consistency). Note: If you are using blackberries from the wild like I did, first soak them in a bowl of salted water for a couple of hours. This will cause any small bugs or worms that may be in your blackberries to float to the top, where you can them scoop them out with a spoon. Rinse well with clean water following soaking them.
  3. Place your berries and sugar in a large saucepan. Mash your fruit with a potato masher to form a sort of pulp, and fold in your sugar. Add the juice of half a lemon if you wish.
  4. Bring your fruit and sugar to the boil on a low heat. This is very important, you want a gentle boil that isn’t rushed. When the fruit starts to bubble, you will see a froth form on the top.
  5. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let the mixture bubble for about ten minutes. Add your knob of butter if using and let it sit on top of the mixture. It will help get rid of some of the froth. If not all of the froth goes, scoop it out with a spoon. Take the jam off the heat.
  6. To see if your jam is cooked enough, place a small spoonful on a plate and pop this is the fridge for a couple of minutes. If the jam is not runny when you remove the plate, your jam does not need further cooking. If your jam runs when you tilt the plate, bring it to the boil again and simmer for a further two minutes.
  7. Your jam is now ready to be poured into your jars. Spoon your jam into your prepared jam jars, which should be nice and warm following being in the oven. Pop the lids on and leave to cool, before placing in the fridge.

Ta da! It’s that easy. I will definitely be making jam again and trying out some new flavours, I really was impressed by the ease of the process and the tastiness of the result!

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Have you tried making jam before? Did you process differ from mine? Please let me know! I’d love to know what recipes other people use.

That’s all from me today, I hope you’re all having wonderful Wednesdays!

Best wishes,

Maddie.