DIY Special | Little heart-shaped Planters

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Well, it’s about time we had a DIY on here! Things have been pretty busy this summer with my day job as a freelance graphic designer so DIYs and fun blog stuff have sadly taken a back seat. But hey, I’m back….and this tutorial posts is actually a special one!

I was approached by the charity organisation Little Hearts Matter back in June about doing a collaborative tutorial for a fundraiser project they’re running this October called ‘HANDMADE HEARTS‘ to help raise money for the charity. If you aren’t aware of the organisation, their core focus – in a nutshell – is offering valuable support and information to families whose children are affected with the single ventricle condition…also known as ‘half a working heart’. From initial diagnosis to treatment to facing real life challenges, Little Hearts Matter are there to help these children and young adults face their difficulties every step of the way!

I was more than honoured to be asked let alone get involved, so to help out, I’ve created this super simple, hassle-free DIY tutorial if you fancy making little heart-shaped planters for miniature succulents and cacti for a good cause! I mean, who doesn’t like a bit of cacti love, right? Especially when they’re sooooo teeny and cute :) Anyway, all the information on signing up to this fundraiser can be found here. So have fun with these and I hope it helps raise some money!

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WHAT YOU NEED:

  1. Plaster of Paris 
  2. plastic cup or jug to mix your ingredients in
  3. tea light candles
  4. measuring utensil
  5. plastic utensil to stir
  6. deep heart-shaped silicon moulds (you can get either this 6-pack one or a large tray)
  7. array of miniature cacti + succulent plants (I bought mine from the Conservatory Archives in London)

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[STEP 01] In a mixing jug, pour out one cup of water and then add two cups of plaster into it (always adding the plaster to the water). Mix them both up until you have a somewhat not-too-runny smooth consistency, like a pancake mixture! If it’s too runny and a little bit more plaster and mix well. You want to make sure there aren’t any lumpy bits in there!

[STEP 02] As soon as the mixture is done, pour it gently into each of the 6 heart-shaped moulds so it’s roughly 5mm from the top. (you don’t want it right to the edge otherwise when you place the tea lights into it, the mixture will overflow!) Take your tea lights and place them into each mould – make sure they are in the centre and not touching the edges i.e. have some of the plaster of paris mixture surrounding it. Press the tea lights down gently so that submerses enough that the top edge is somewhat flush to the top of the mixture. This mould is deep enough allow room for the tea lights without it affecting the shape. If it tries to pop up then place a pound coin or a pebble to weigh it down while it dries. Leave it somewhere safe to dry for an hour.

Now, should you wish to opt for a large heart-shaped silicon pan as oppose to the 6-tray one, what you can do is either dot a few tea lights about or place a plastic cup or the bottom end of a plastic bottle into the mixture. Again, push it down so it’s 2/3rds in and use weights to hold the plastic cup/bottle base down while it dries.

[STEP 03] After one hour, take your moulds and gently pop out your heart-shaped cast out, which should be pretty simple with the help of silicon moulds! Slowly loosen the tea lights (or cup/bottle bases if you’re doing a bigger planter) until it gives and comes out. If the metal bit of the tea lights come out with the candle, try to pop that back into the cast. The reason for this is it protects your planter form any moisture from the soil or from when you water your cacti doesn’t affect the cast. For your bigger heart-shaped planters, if you’re using plastic cups or bottle bases you can either keep them in there and just trip down any protruding bits or take it out and place plastic plant pots in there…depending on the size, of course.

Now, leave these to completely dry for another 4-6hours. This is particularly recommended if you plan on painting it.

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[STEP 04] Now take your miniature cacti and succulent plants and repot them into your freshly made heart-shaped planters. For your larger planters, you either use larger succulents or have an array of various ones like you would do in a terrarium.

And there you have it! Little heart-shaped planters (pretty apt, right!) for your mini cacti! I reckon they have so much appeal you could easily sell them for a fiver or more!  And the larger ones for at least £10-12. mbm_diy-tutorial_heart-planters-10mbm_diy-tutorial_heart-planters-13

Well, I do hope that was all very straightforward to follow. Any questions, just leave a comment below and i’ll get back to you.

If you’re planning to take part in the fundraiser next month please remember to sign up here to get your free fundraiser pack with all the deets. There will be more heart-themed tutorials and recipes shared on all the Little Hearts Matter social media platforms so keep your eyes peeled for those this month so you can get your make, bake and sew on!! This is a great cause so please can I ask you to spread the word around at work, school and home….wherever you are! Oh and if you do make any of these please share your photos of them using the hashtag #handmadehearts so we can all follow and see what you’re up to!

Also, if you’re after more heart-themed DIY inspiration check out this necklace and personalised felt love hearts I did back a couple of years ago which I think would sell too.

Happy crafting folks!! xx
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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

**This post was in collaboration with  the Little Hearts Matter charity, however, all words and opinions are my own, dictated completely by my love for  DIY and styling. If you wish to share any images from this tutorial, please provide full credit to Made by Molu including complete links to this post.**

** GIVEAWAY ** ‘Let’s Instagram’ print

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Hey Hey Hey lovely people! It’s Friiiiiiiiiidaaaaaayyyyy (the 1st of July!!) and the weekend is literally around the corner for us here in the western hemisphere. I hope you all have something lovely planned!

So, some of you may already know this from my recent reveal on social media but one of my typographic prints I designed made it into this year’s Blogtacular goody bag, which naturally I was over the moon about! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to share that bit of info until after the event couple of weekends ago so you can only imagine what it was like for me to refrain from having to say ANYTHING for the last month or so!  :PMbM_GIVEAWAY_MOLUPRINTSHOP_05BAnd having seen the contents of this year’s good bags across social media, boy, was I glad (and chuffed!) to be selected along with so many fab indie designer-makers and brands! I just LOVE seeing the print being photographed and shared online – which is exactly what my print is about!! Doesn’t it totally sum us snap-happy, social media, instagramming fiends nicely? :)

So then, what’s the giveaway about? Well, I’m offering my readers the chance to win an A3 sized version of the ‘Lets Instagram‘ print PLUS 15% off your purchase in store! It will be one of 10 limited edition prints, each one signed and printed on 250gsm fine recycled paper stock, so enter now if you’re mad to get your hands on one! I will be listing the remaining copies up in my PrintShop so if for any reason you’re not so lucky, you still have a chance to get one!

MOLU_HOW TO ENTER
The giveaway is open to entrants around the world so to enter, please follow all THREE of the steps stated below:

  1. Write a comment below this post, telling me what it is you love about this print and why you’d like to win it. And/or if there’s any other print you like from the shop.
  2. If you already haven’t, Follow/Like MadebyMolu on Facebook 
  3. Share the giveaway on any social media platform using the ‘share buttons’ at the bottom of the post or by copying + pasting the weblink. Please remember to include the hashtag #MOLUPRINTSHOPGIVEAWAY, and state in the comments box too if you’ve done all of the above.  :)

Competition ends midnight (GMT) on the 15th of July and a random winner will be picked and announced on the following Monday so you have a good two weeks to enter!

Good luck folks!! x

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Gifts for Him with Uncommon Goods

Morning! I hope you’re all keeping well and that your week is going oh-so nicely for you. Mine on the other hand, is a tad bit haphazard, mostly playing catch up after being away for a lovely long weekend in the green isle. We were away for a family wedding and to celebrate my Father-in-Law’s 60th birthday, which was all very delightful – pretty chuffed at how much he enjoyed himself.

And speaking of Fathers….we have Father’s Day coming up this weekend! Have y’all thought of anything nice to do or get? Well,  inspired by the occasion, I’ve teamed up Uncommon Goods, to review and feature some of their products that cater to the fellas, especially as I know how hard it can be to buy for men, let alone fathers! Uncommon Goods are an online marketplace who have sourced and curated their collection of handmade, organic products from designers around the globe; be it emerging artists, artisans from low-income countries or the experienced designer-maker…to bring together a community of creatives for you to engage with, each with a story to tell. If you fancy reading up more about the company and their overall ethos, hop on over here.

As for the products – I’ve categorised some of my favourites under the different type of ‘Dads’ in the hope that it will be of some use to you if you’re struggling to find something unique for that special man/men in you life! (or if you just want to treat yourselves, fellas!). Just click on the links at the end of each category to take you to the details of each product. There’s plenty more online so do have a good nosey on there!!

 

FOR THE HIPSTER DAD
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Beard Pack // Reclaimed Whiskey Barrel Bow Tie // Coffee Press

 

FOR THE URBAN JUNGLE DAD
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Fire Escape Shelf // Boxcar Planter Set

 

FOR THE CHILD-AT-HEART DAD
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Personalized Mixtape Doormat  // Baseball Game // Beeropoly Wood

 

FOR THE MINIMAL-DESIGN OBSESSED DAD
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Minimalist Teak Wall Shelf // Bedside Essentials Pocket // Wood and Ceramic Tumblers – Set of 2

 

FOR THE ART-LOVING DAD
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City Prints // Evolution of Bicycles Pop Chart // Hemingway Literary Poster // “Hi” Five Print 

 

FOR THE DIY DAD

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Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit Square // Home Microbrewing Kit with Rye IPA Recipe Pack

 

So there you have it; ‘Gifts for Him‘ curated by moi that would be perfect for the fellas whatever the occasion. You can check out the full Father’s Day gifts range here, along with other featured collections for groomsmen and baby showers here and here.

Happy Browsing folks! I’ll be back with more this week! xx

**This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods, however all words and opinions are my own, dictated completely by my love for all things handmade**

May Day DIY | Hand-painted Alphabet plaques

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Happy bank holiday Monday to all my UK folks! I hope you’re having a great one whatever you have planned. I really wish 3-day weekends were standard as it never feels long enough to catch up on anything, be it chores or rest! Anyway, I’m savouring it all while it lasts. Isn’t it nuts that we’re in MAY already.?!?!

Anyhoo, after running my first typographic painting workshop a couple of weeks ago for the Fit Brides event, I thought it only seemed fair to share it on here as a DIY tutorial especially if you are big into typography and bold graphics but not quite sure where to start. So here’s how you can create your very own little alphabet plaques….if you fancy doing some art therapy today.MbM_DIY ALPHABETS_01

What you will need:

  1. acrylic paints (or oil if you’re good with it. Just avoid using any thinners or white spirit to avoid any bleeding)
  2. wood off-cuts, preferably MDF or Plywood which you can get from any DIY store
  3. sandpaper
  4. paintbrushes
  5. alphabet stencils (use these templates I’ve created here or go through your font library to see what you can use)
  6. pencils

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[STEP 01] First up, sand down the edges of your wooden off cuts. If you have cut down plywood as I have, then you’ll definitely need to sand down the splintered edges. Cover your work surface and even the floors before you do this to avoid dust getting everywhere. Clean up the dust before you move onto the next stage. When picking out your wooden off-cuts, go for MDF or plywood with smooth grains if possible as it will avoid any bleeding when painted on. If you end up getting pieces of wood with deep/raw grains, try to sand it down and then apply either a coat of wood varnish (or PVA glue!) to seal all the cracks.
MbM_DIY ALPHABETS_04bMbM_DIY ALPHABETS_06[STEP 02] Print or draw out the alphabet template of choice and use the old school ‘transfer’ technique by tracing over the reverse side of the paper with graphite pencil. Then place the correct side up, over the piece of wood and trace over the letter, press hard as you trace so that you’re making sure the graphite transfers onto the wood. If you remember, I’ve used this on earlier tutorials here and here. If you’re selecting your own typeface styles for your letters, try to find ones that are big and bold. You can then add the 45 degree drop shadows and inlines as you please. Most font libraries on your computers have a wide choice of styles…… alternatively, go old school and look for inspiration in magazines or just print stuff online that you can use that to trace around.  
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[STEP 03] Once your letters have been drawn out, pick your paints and carefully fill in all the areas of your letters. The trick is to keep the brush strokes to a minimal in order to give you that smooth, perfected look. I’m aware this may require some bit of patience and a steady hand but don’t get too frustrated if it doesn’t go all too perfectly – just enjoy the process of painting it all in. If you’re unsure what colours to pick for your letters especially if they involve drop shadows, outlines and inlines do a bit of research on Pinterest or Google images for some typographic inspiration. The idea of drop shadows are so that your letters pop and look more 3D so if you use a bright light colour for the main outline, go for something dark for the shadow. Or vice versa. Experiment and have fun!

MbM_DIY ALPHABETS_08MbM_DIY ALPHABETS_09So, there you have it folks! I do hope you enjoy this one – not only is it a fun bit of art therapy but it actually makes for excellent gifts and keepsakes! Let me know how you get on if you give it a go…..and if you decide to share it on any social media platform, please do include the hashtag #craftwithMolu so I can easily find them and have a good nosey at your fab creations! :)

Enjoy! xxMbM_DIY ALPHABETS_10

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

**The small print** Please note that these free printables are to be used for personal use or for classroom projects. They cannot be altered, edited, or changed in any way nor sold or reproduced on any commercial level. All these designs are by me and I would therefore, be grateful if these T&C’s are complied to. If you’d like to share this blog post, by all means do so but kindly provide full credit link to Made by Molu. Thank you so much! :) 

FREE VALENTINE’S DAY PRINTABLES

MbM_VDAY FREEBIE_MOCKUP_MAINHello lovelies!

The weekend is practically here…WOO. And I haven’t forgotten my little Valentine’s Day special for all you lovebirds out there, still on the hunt for last-minute gifts.

So I’ve put together THREE simple but funny/satirical typographic prints (including an anti-Valentine’s Day one) that you can easily print off, frame and gift your significant other…especially if they’re big into their prints. They are all set to A4 size which should make things easier for you guys if you have a printer at home or in your studio, and you can of course resize them and print them smaller. Perhaps as a series of framed prints? Anyhoo, I’ve provided both monochrome and colour version of the three prints so don’t fret if you haven’t got a colour printer!

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Right then, for the prints, just click on the links below. For best results, print them onto good quality paper or some nice gesso paperstock if you have a fancy printer that takes varying paper weights.

My Hump Print   MONOCHROME   |   PINK

Men & Dogs Print   MONOCHROME   |   GREEN

Who’s Wears The Trousers Print   MONOCHROME   |   GREY

Oh and do check out my Print Shop for more of my Typographic Prints….a bit late to order for Valentine’s day, mind you, but you can definitely browse and buy for other forthcoming occasions….or if you just fancy splurging for yourself ;)

Well then, have a wonderful weekend folks whatever you have planned and I do hope your other halves love their prints!! x

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

**The small print** Please note that these free printables are to be used for personal use or for classroom projects. They cannot be altered, edited, or changed in any way nor sold or reproduced on any commercial level. All these designs are by me and I would therefore, be grateful if these T&C’s are complied to. If you’d like to share this blog post, by all means do so but kindly provide full credit link to Made by Molu. Thank you so much! :) 

 

**NOW OPEN** Molu TypeShop

MBM_SHOP LAUNCH_MAINSo it’s here…..the shop doors are finally open so do feel free to hop on over and have a browse through….and of course, share the love if you know anyone else you may think would love some typographic prints for their home, workplace or even as a gift. There’s only 10 prints currently available for each design as I trial things out. You can click here or on the ‘SHOP’ tab on the right-hand-side of the website which will lead you directly to my Etsy shop!

I really hope you guys like it! And of course, if there’s any questions at all or even feedback you may have for me that may be useful, please do let me know – I’m all ears!!

Have a wonderful Monday and happy browsing/shopping! ;) xxMBM_SHOP LAUNCH 01

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

New Year DIY | Typographic paintbrush holder hack

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Hello Hello!

How’s the last week of January going? I’ve been trying to get my tax returns all done and dusted amidst all the madness that’s work and life – which I had hoped to have done over the christmas holidays but alas, I wasn’t as organised as hoped. Nearly there though!

Anyway, I’ve been making some changes with the blog content just so I’m able to juggle that more efficiently around my current demanding and somewhat haphazard nature of my workload. I realised it got left on the back burner the latter half of last year so one of the big changes is setting realistic goals for scheduled posts like my DIYs. I’ve decided that I’d stick to monthly posts as opposed to the very optimistic weekly one that I thought was a great idea back in 2013! So on that note, here’s my first DIY for the new year! :)

Like the decorative plate DIY I did last year, this one combines my love for typography and homeware to customise a ceramic vase I picked up from a Tiger store. I’ve had the vase for quite sometime with the hope that I’d do something with it but never got round it until i realised I needed a replacement container for my brushes in the studio.
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What you’ll need:

  • Plain ceramic vase (mug or plate)
  • Sharpies or permanent markers
  • Printouts of your chosen text (or trace it out)
  • washi tape & pencil (not pictured above)

[STEP 01] Once you’ve set your text to the right size to fit the vase (mug or plate), print it out or trace over it onto either plain or tracing paper. Then, on the reverse side of the paper, trace over your text (again) with graphite pencil – you’ dont have to be too neat with this but as long as it covers the text. If you’re unable to see the text then, place the sheet on a light box or against a window.

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[STEP 02] Now give the surface of your vase a quick wipe and lay your text the right side up (i.e. the pencilled part face down) and position it so you have it centred. You can cut around the text to get rid of any excess paper if it helps you see the positioning of the text. Then tack the paper down using washi tape.

[STEP 03] Trace over the text again with the pencil but this time, what you’re doing is transferring the graphite from the reverse side directly onto the ceramic surface – an old school technique to place your guidelines for when you free-hand over it. If you make a mistake, you can always easily wipe it off and start again.

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[STEP 04] Now for the fun part….you will need a steady hand for this! If you’re not super confident with fine lines then opt for fonts that you can trace and fill in as a solid text. That way there’s less chances of mistakes. Take your permanent marker pens and over the graphite lines, et voila! I did mine in two colours just to give it a two-tonal effect.

[STEP 05] You don’t have to do this unless perhaps you’re decorating a mug or plate wish you’re likely to use a bit more after it’s decorated but to let the ink ‘set’ place the vase in a non-preheated over for 30 mins at 175 degrees (350 degrees in fahrenheit / gas mark 4)

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It’s as simple as that folks! Your very own customised brush/pencil/pen holder which can work both free-standing or mounted on the wall. You can obviously choose to place flowers in it and hang it up in the house, seeing as it was a vase in the first place! Whatever way you decided to decorate it, I hope you see how simple, easy and fun this DIY, and how quickly you can transform any homeware you have kicking about at home with a quick DIY hack. It doesn’t have to be complicated at all nor do you have to wait for all the right materials or tools! Just look around and see what you have.

Hope this get’s your creative juices going….and i’ll be back with next month’s DIY!

Enjoy xxx
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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

D.I.Y. Feature | Laura Ashley Kitchen Makeover

MbM-Kitchen-Makeover_After 07Hello! Hope you’re first day back at work is going well or somewhat bearable!

Well, with this month being all about resolutions and makeovers, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share with you the kitchen makeover I had done last autumn, courtesy of Laura Ashley who were incredibly generous to sponsor me for on this project.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked about me wanting a better and brighter kitchen on here but its something I’ve been longing for, for quite some time now. While I’m super grateful for the larger-than-your-average-London kitchen, I was never a fan of the dated fittings which made the entire space look dull and dreary, particularly with just the one window we had in the one end of the room (as you’ll see from the images below). Of course, refitting and revamping the entire thing was completely out of the question for us, as a project like that would cost round about 5k or more (depending on the specs you go for) so it got me toying with the idea of a DIY alternative as a solution. We did actually paint the walls when we moved in; from a horrendous blue (what were they thinking!!) to a bright white just to help brighten up the space but even then it seemed rather lacklustre. It was clear that we just needed to do something about the horribly fitted 70-esque veneer kitchen cabinets that were sucking every ounce of day light we got!

So as you can imagine, I jumped at the chance when Laura Ashley offered to send their new range of ‘no-hassle’ furniture paint to trial it out on veneer cabinets. Funnily enough, painting the cabinets had crossed my mind briefly so the timing could not have been any more perfect!MbM-Kitchen-Makeover_BEFOREMbM-Kitchen-Makeover_WIP-strip

The entire process, while simple enough, was relatively lengthy, simply for the fact that the work had to be spread over two weeks, painting them in the evenings and on weekends. The job couldn’t be done at home because it would have disrupted our daily use of the kitchen and of course we didn’t have the space to accommodate all the doors that were dismantled so I had them brought to the studio. I could have easily tackled the entire job on my own, but I decided to rope my husband into just to help speed things up – the more hands, the better I say…much to his disappointment! ;) Anyway, the time we put into this paid off nicely and I’m delighted we have now have white cabinets that significantly help reflect more light into the space creating a much cheerful space to work in.  MbM-Kitchen-Makeover_WIP-01

If you’d like to read up more about the painting process and about the paint in itself, then you can find all the details including a load more images over on the Laura Ashley Blog. I can also tell you that after 3-4 months, we haven’t had any issues with the paint (i.e. peeling, staining or general wear n tearing) which is both brilliant and relieving! :) So yea, I hope you enjoyed this and I’ve got you thinking about their beautiful paint range. I can’t tell you how lush it is applying it on so much so I’m on the look out for more projects with the leftover paint! ;)

Happy Monday folks and hope you’re week is a good one! xx

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

**This post was sponsored by Laura Ashley, however all words and opinions are my own, influenced completely by my love for interiors, DIY and styling**

12 Styled Days of Christmas with West Elm

MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_MAINGosh, I’m soooooo excited about sharing this post with you guys as it’s been long-awaited!! I am totally honoured to have been invited to take part in this AMAZING blogger collaboration with West Elm and good friend, Teri of The Lovely Drawer where myself and eleven amazing bloggers were asked to style our dining tables in the spirit of Christmas. Each one of us will have our styled table tops featured on both West Elm’s blog Front + Main and The Lovely Drawer over the first 12 days of December so that you lovely readers get the chance to see how we all celebrate the festive season and of course, inject our distinctive styles to the table. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better way to kick-start the festivities! Well, we’re halfway through the 12 Styled Days of Christmas series and I’m up today for Day 7! :)
MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_02I wanted to create a table that reflected both my cultural influence and personal tastes that developed over the years; an east-meets-west inspired setting by combining Indian and Scandinavian elements that embodied a warm yet stripped-down simplicity and elegance. The handmade paper star lanterns, have for decades, been a tradition back in India that were hung out in the porch – like the Christmas tree here in the west, it represented Christmas and why I felt it was essential to incorporate into the overall styling as a reminiscent nod to my background.
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I kept the table relatively minimal and neutral, dressing it up with leftover paisley-patterned Liberty fabric and geometric-patterned napkins from H&M I had at home to fuse the two styles together even further. Subtle hints of gold are introduced through the organic dinnerware and cutlery to add a bit of understated glamour to the relaxed setting. We were so fortunate to be gifted with West Elm products of our choice and use into our styling challenge so I picked out their gold-rimmed organic shaped dinnerware, the gold cheese knives and pie serving set; all of which tied in perfectly to my fusion table setting I wanted to achieve (Aren’t they simply divine?!!)MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_06MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_03Growing up in the Middle East with most of our school holidays spent in India, our Christmases were somewhat different to what we’d have here in the UK. While Santa, turkey dinners, and gift-swapping traditions were more of the western influence, ours typically revolved around carol services at the church followed by family gatherings around the table for a relaxed meal at lunch (be it at home or eating out) that usually consisted of a medley of both east and western dishes.

I wanted the edible props in my styling to tie in with my east-meets-west theme too; fruits like figs and pomegranate I used to eat in abundance as a kid (a luxury here!) along with ‘western’ favourites I’ve grown to love like quiches and cheese boards, I thought fitted nicely to the overall look and feel of the table.
MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_07MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_08To this day, it’s the coming together of families around the table, sharing and celebrating in the spirit of Christmas that really sum up the festive season for me. With our families spread across even more continents, I guess it’s particularly important now more than ever! Getting together becomes a lot trickier, so any chance we get to gather around the table is something I cherish dearly and why laying the table out at Christmas plays a central part in all the festivities….even if it ends being me and hubby at the table! ;)MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_09

This Christmas, we’re heading to the Green Isle to spend it with my parents-in-laws and catch up with all the extended family over copious amount of food….and tea!! ;) I always find it so blissfully peaceful being out in the countryside and Christmas is just even more cosy especially when it snows (fingers crossed!). Just the thought of it is making me excited! And boy, with the crazy busy year we’ve had this year in London, I know for certain that the rural retreat will be just the thing we need!

I would of course, love it we could have both families get together around the table every Christmas like something out of a movie with everyone stretched across a loooooong big table, nattering and laughing to our hearts content. Some day I guess, so until then it’ll be a jet-setting affair to be with one or the other which isn’t all bad! We’re actually hoping to visit my family in India in the new year sometime, which would be amazing as it’s been over two years since we were over and I can’t tell you how much I look forward to spending time with my little grandmother and stuffing our faces with all her delicious home-cooked meals! *sigh*MbM_12-Styled-Days-of-Xmas_10

Well folks, that’s my festive east-meets-west table top styling! I do hope it’s inspired you to get creative and inject your own personal flair to your tables this Christmas. Remember that you can find a recap of all the styled tables here over these 12 days (as well as West Elm’s blog Front + Main) or just follow the hashtag #kindredspirits on Instgram, FB or Twitter if you fancy an up-to-date sneak peek of all the past and upcoming posts! :) There’s soooooo much festive inspiration to swoon over!

Have a wonderful week ahead and good luck with all your festive plans……..Christmas is not that far away!! (eek!) x

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[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

Blog Hop | How to Print Fabric by Zeena Shah

How To Print Fabric | Zeena Shah

Hey folks! I know its been aaaaaaages since I did a DIY on here (that isn’t wedding related!). So, I’ve got a fun and super easy one today, if like me, you’re completely into printmaking/marking of any kind and at times, don’t have the right resources at hand! It’s also in celebration of Zeena Shah’s new book How to Print Fabric which I’m excited to share with you here through this blog hop series hosted by Stitch Craft Create.

If you’ve been an old follower of MbM, you’ll probably remember all my posts from back in 2013 on this remarkably talented lady, her beautiful hand-printed homeware products, and the couple of workshops I did with her at her East London studio. Some of you may have even seen her pretty face appear on Kirsty Allsopp’s Kirstie’s Vintage Home, 60 Minute Makeover and even The Apprentice! If you still don’t know much about her….seriously, you must check her out. I am admittedly a huge fan of her work and have had the great pleasure to get to know Zeena in the three years I’ve been here in London, so I’m delighted that her first book is finally hitting the shelves next month!

Well, this book is all about making printmaking accessible to everyone at home, which y’all know is exactly my ethos behind a lot of my DIYs on here. It can be frustrating when you suddenly get a creative impulse and realise you don’t have the space or right equipment to produce the ideas you have in your head! Zeena’s book inspires and encourages everyone to not let these hinder your creative flow, with her simple yet practical ‘kitchen-table techniques’ that explores 20 hand printed home accessories using everyday household things – from lint rollers to embroidery hoops! Inspired by the book, I thought I’d give it a try myself….and with time being a luxury these days for me, I felt this was even more apt to prove how simple and effective it can be…if you don’t overthink it all too much! ;) In this instance, I’m using one of my all-time favourite stencilling technique to decorate a plain, undecorated christmas stocking I had leftover from last year which was perfect as it skipped the need for any sewing! Time it took: 20-30 mins, start to finish.

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What you’ll need:

  1. Light to medium weight fabric (or opt for pre-sewn things like cushion covers, tea towels or tote bags)
  2. fabric ink pad or fabric paint (I happened to have both)
  3. scraps of card to under or between your fabric and your worktop
  4. scalpel blade or Stanley knife
  5. sponge dabbers/stipplers or even make-up sponge!
  6. cutting mat
  7. card to create your stencil

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If you’re confident (or more gung-ho in your approach), just free hand cut out the patterns you wish to print otherwise sketch it out first if you need a guide of sort. I’ve kept mine simple (inspired by Zeena’s Furoshiki wrapping cloth DIY) sticking to basic shapes of rectangles and trriangles.
MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-03MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-05Before printing, place some card or heavy weight paper between your fabric so to avoid the ink coming through on the reverse side (important if you’re printing on things like cushion covers) or underneath to protect your worktop. Then place your stencil over your fabric, and use your sponge dabber/stippler to gently dab your ink over it. These are great if you want more precision and control when covering smaller or detailed cut-outs. Also, if you use fabric paint, dab off any excess on some scrap card first before you apply it over your template as this will prevent a blotchy finish. The thinner, all even, application…the better the overall finish!

Repeat this process across your fabric until the entire piece is covered with your pattern. You can do it in sections like I did – either strategically or more haphazardly – whatever way you wish. Just don’t over think it! ;)MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-06MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-07

I added a subtle pop of colour using the red ink stamp pad. Had my cut-outs been larger, I could have used the stamp pad directly onto the stencil to dab the ink onto the fabric however, due to the smaller cut-outs I used a sponge stippler for more control and precision.

And that’s it! Drying time wasn’t that long because the patterns had smaller surface area which was great. I ran the iron over it at the end to fix the ink……and here’s my rather contemporary and somewhat Scandi-inspired stocking! :) Nice and simple!

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[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

There’s a heap load of DIY projects for you to try in Zeena’s book, each beautifully illustrated and photographed, with step-by-step tutorials and even templates for you to use! So, if I havent convinced you enough with this post then check out what fellow bloggers have had to say themselves about the book here. There’s also some ‘How To‘ video snippets from the book, on the Stitch Craft Create YouTube channel totally worth checking! And if you want to pre-order your copy of the book, just hop over to Amazon or pop over to Zeena’s website if you fancy a signed copy (with a special gift enclosed!)

A heartfelt congratulations to Zeena for this major and truly deserved accomplishment. I look forward to celebrating the big book launch next week!

Have a good one folks and go get your craft on! :) xx