Christmas Inspiration | A little round up of festive DIYs

MOLU_CHRISTMAS-DIY-ROUND-UP 01Sadly, this year has left me with hardly any time for DIYs for Christmas so I thought I’d round-up some of my old time favourites from last year if you’re on the look for some festive creative antics or even inspiration this weekend.

MOLU_CHRISTMAS-DIY-ROUND-UP[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

So, clockwise from the top:

  1. Chocolate Spoons that make perfect little gifts or favours
  2. Scandi-Inspired cork placemats for your table
  3. super simple Paper decorations for the Christmas tree
  4. Hand-printed Christmas Stocking perfect for your home this yule time
  5. Liberty Tana Lawn fabric Wreath to add a bit of jazz to your door
  6. Free printable Christmas tags if you still have gift wrapping to do!

Happy Weekend! xx

 

 

[Styling the Seasons] December

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-00eeeeeek DECEMBER is finally here!!!! It’s taken me a while to get my head around the fact that we’re now officially in the last month of 2014….how did that happen? It’s exciting though – with Christmas drawing near, there’s plenty to be done and checked off the list but we can definitely dust off our festive glad rags, sing a long to Christmas songs and carols, adorn our homes with sparkly decorations, bake to our hearts content (or try to!) and just get creative in every department possible……and for me, of course, tuck into spiced mulled wine and minced pies!! :) Oh yea….’tis the season indeed!!

Well, on that note, I’m really excited about this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons‘ post because I finally get to share with you the wreath I made back in November at Liberty’s for Katy and Charlotte‘s ‘Crafting the Season’ event (you’ll find all the behind-the-scenes antics in this post and a glimpse of me making the wreath). I picked out this sumptuous paisley-pattered Tana Lawn fabric that afternoon, not knowing what I wanted to make with it until I spotted the styrofoam wreath courtesy of The Homemakery. I’ve been wanting to make one for a while so that’s exactly what I did! :) The fabric was cut into strips, which FYI was quite the task at first, because I’m normally so precious over any Liberty fabric but eventually it got less painful! ;) It did take most of that afternoon to cover the entire wreath with my strips of fabric (mind you, there was a lot of nattering too!) so I decided I’d add the finishing touches back home.

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I was lucky to have found some red burlap ribbon and fake, albeit tasteful, red berry stems from Wilkos (for a pound each!) which tied in perfectly with the reds in the liberty fabric. I wanted to initially bring some gold and sparkle to the wreath but kept it super simple so that it would’t take away all the focus from the lush paisley patterns. What do you think?

It took me a while to decide on a prominent place to hang it – stewing from the typical place that would be the front door (obviously the internal side as I wasn’t going to risk having it exposed to the outside world! hah!) to the wall spaces in the hallway and lounge. Well, in the end, the dull winter light dictated its location and I hung it in the by our dining area to take these photos but I have since this post, moved it to the front door in our hallway.

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-04I cannot tell you how much I LOVE mulled wine – if I could have it my way, I’d happily have anytime throughout the year but reserving it for this time of the year does make it all the more worthwhile and special. The first time I was introduced to mulled wine was at the German markets in Edinburgh yeeaaaars ago (or Glühwein as they call it) and I have ever since been hooked – not in an alcoholic kind of way (!!) but because the spiced scent and warmth of the drink always brings back memories of all the happy moments and gatherings I’ve had over the years with friends and family over this heart-warming drink. For me, it’s like officially ringing in Christmas season so it was a no-brainer to include it in here! Minced pies are another guilty pleasure of mine along with the Christmas pudding (the latter I forgot to get) so this was my excuse to…well tuck into my favourite things, with an even better excuse! :)

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MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-13 [Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Well, I guess that’s the last Styling the Seasons post for the year! I’m already looking forward to plotting next year’s styled surfaces as it’s such a delightful way to get you to embrace each month – you’ve got to hand it to the girls for concocting such a fab idea! So, if you’d like to jump on the styling band wagon, I hope I’ve swayed you enough. All you have to do is style a surface area in your home or studio and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably even tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found. If for any reason you’re hesitant or doubting your skills….please don’t….I can assure you that even the most ‘skilled’ person has their fair share of creative blocks and obstacles! Plus, there’s some great tips from Charlotte here, which will help! Just remember that the whole point is to have fun and explore things you probably never had the chance to do so, not to compete or compare! ;)

So, happy styling folks and I hope you all have a fab week and weekend ahead! xxx

 

**Quick Update**

Okay, so I had to add a bow to the wreath as it was clearly missing something! I can safely say, after days of staring at it, that I’m definitely happier with this addition and now looks the part, right? Well, I’m happy! :) MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-new

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[D.I.Y. Christmas Inspiration] Red, Gold and all that festive jazz!

Okay, so after going through some recent photos, it seems like I’ve unintentionally started trending the ‘red and gold‘ theme this festive season with a large dollop of pretty sparkle too (if you’ve followed me on FB and IG you may have already noticed this). I hadn’t planned this to happen, in fact, I actually thought I’d end up going down the ‘black, white and gold’ route (stemmed from some recent occasion wear) but I guess the ‘red and gold’ is and will always be a timeless colour scheme so I shall continue to embrace it! :) Anyway, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into some of the creative antics I’ve been up to over the last few weeks in preparation for the Christmas festivities; from gift-wrapping to accessories to general decor…….all of them sporting some element of red, gold and sparkly detail.

So, let me know what you think or if there’s anything from the images below you particularly like and want to know more about. Either way, I hope it may be of some inspiration for you too! xx

[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

[D.I.Y. Christmas] Handmade felt napkin ring holders

In keeping with my last two blog posts, I have another little festive DIY craft project to share with you where I show you how to use a few basic materials to make some rather effective napkin ring holders in a short space of time. This idea came out of materials I had been using whilst working on Christmas gifts and decor in the last two weeks, so it pretty much demonstrates how to use up what you have kicking about in a very quick and cost-efficient way; if you’re time-conscious or the last-minute type then this will be perfect for you! You could even get the kids or the entire family involved too….it’s that simple! :)

MbM_FESTIVE-CRAFTING_napkin-rings_11. Baker’s Twine  |  2. Crafting Felt  |  3. Craft or Gift-wrapping paper  |  4.Ribbons  |  Fabric Glue

Cut the crafting felt sheets of your desired colour into strips; ideally around 5cm in width and 21cm in length. If, like me, you have some crafting felt that come as a4 sheets then just use the 21cm width of the sheet as your reference and divide it up into five even strips. Otherwise, work out what suits you with the amount of felt you have and how many napkin ring holders you’d like to make.

Once the required number of felt strips are cut out, it really is up to you how you decorate or embellish it. For the ones I made here, I played around with the glittery gold gift-wrapping paper, twine and some gold ribbon I had kicking about to come up with six different yet simple design combinations. There are of course plenty more variations one could come up with but in the one hour time frame I had, these the options I conjured up. So what do you think? Will you have a go yourself and let me know?

MbM_FESTIVE-CRAFTING_napkin-rings_4MbM_FESTIVE-CRAFTING_redGold_10  [Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

[D.I.Y. Christmas] wooden pegs: A quick and simple makeover

Here’s a super quick and easy way to jazz up your little wooden pegs. I pretty much did this during my lunchtime break which took me roughly 20-30 minutes. Not only does this save up on time but totally allows you to use up any scrap leftover pieces of craft paper or gift wrap you would probably end up chucking out. You may have seen others using Washi tape to decorate these pegs but seeing as the aren’t the cheapest of craft tapes out there, this is no doubt the most cost-efficient method and so very user-friendly!

What you’ll need:

  1. PVA/UHU Glue – anything
  2. Craft paper – a scrap bit of whatever paper you have kicking about is more than sufficient. I used this piece of left over gift wrap for 8 wooden pegs so you don’t need a lot.
  3. Mini wooden pegs – which you can get at any craft store or bought online.
  4. Twine – I used the ‘red and white’ baker’s twine for a more festive feel.
  5. Scalpel or Stanley Knife – or any craft knife to cut around the pegs

MbM_FESTIVE-CRAFTING_wooden-pegs-2MbM_FESTIVE-CRAFTING_wooden-pegs-1[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

Take a wooden peg and apply a thin layer of glue onto any ONE side of the peg (you can apply on both sides if both sides of the pegs are likely to be on view) and lay it face down onto the craft paper. Now, if like mine, your craft paper is patterned/textured on the one side then you want to place the gluey side of the peg onto the reverse, non-patterned/non-textured side of the craft paper. Leave it for 30-60secs (or until its dry enough to not move) before you carefully cut around the edges using a sharp Stanley knife or scalpel. Use a ruler for guidance should you need to. Then turn the peg around – et, voila! Just repeat the procedure with the rest of the wooden pegs…..and you have yourself some perfectly transformed wooden pegs to use for some festive decor. And by all means, go ahead and jazz them up further with buttons, beads, or other festive embellishments!

Some ideas on where and how to use your revamped wooden pegs:

  1. Photo Garland – use some twine (length to suit) to affix some lovely family photos onto it using your wooden pegs or even to hang up little gift parcels.
  2. Gift Tags – Write out the name of your recipient or a special message and fix it onto your present using the pegs (you can either peg it onto the ribbon that is already wrapped around your gift or glue it down directly onto the gift if ribbons aren’t used)
  3. Party favours and place settings – add a bit of sparkle or colour to turn those conventional favours or place settings into something more fun and exciting
  4. Fridge magnets – you can stick them onto magnets (easily available online) to make your fridge or white board a lot more festive!

……..let your creativity run with you! HAPPY FESTIVE CRAFTING!! xx

[D.I.Y. Christmas] Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…!

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A bit of left-over craft paper and confetti can go a long way! Here’s how I made some quick and easy Christmas cards just using these two simple materials that I found kicking about in my craft box. When I spotted this scrap of green cotton paper with funky pink polka dots I knew it would make perfect Christmas trees (the polka dots represent baubles perfectly!) so I sketched out a straightforward tree template which I then used to cut out several trees out – a little production line of tree-cutting! ;) Once cut, I then added the little gold star-shaped confetti to adorn the tops of the trees and then used a small piece of 2mm thick card to back the trees before sticking it down onto the white card stock. This was so that it sat slightly raised from the card for relief effect. And finally, to finish it all off….I wrote, in gold ink, ‘Merry Christmas’ just under the tree. So there you have it! Nice and easy, just using materials you have left-over from all your crafting. And you can cut out squares for ‘christmas presents’, circles for ‘christmas baubles’, candy canes, Santa hats…..whatever takes your fancy and just adorn it with something simple to give it that bit of festive oomph. Happy crafting folks!! xxx
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 [Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

 

[D.I.Y. Christmas] Quick, easy rubber-stamping craftiness!

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-mainSorry I’ve gone a bit MIA again but I can’t seem to shake off this ‘busy bee’ mode I’ve been in since the early autumn months but that being said, I have had more craftiness involved this time with the festive season in full swing…. just finding the time to blog about it all is the tricky bit! :P Anyway, I thought I’d start off with this quick and simple method of making your own rubber stamps for some Christmas crafting and decorating. Well you all know by now, how big a fan I am of this method so in this post, I’m going to show you how to create little christmas motifs – mini baubles in this case – to snazz up anything from gift tags to greeting cards to gift wrap. It really is the most simple thing; with the right tools and a BIG tablespoon of creativity (and a pinch of patience!) the choices you get out of it are endless. Obviously your designs can be a lot more intricate but if you’re short of time and still want something handmade and effective in the space of an hour……this is it! :)

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-materials             1.Paper/Cardstock  |  2.Tracing paper  |  3.Speedy-carve linoleum block  |  4.ordinary rubber  |                  5. Lino-cutters |  6.Pigment Ink pad  | 7.Scalpel/Stanley knife  |  8.pencil

  • First up – sketch out your designs onto some tracing or detail paper (baking paper or anything translucent that can take graphite is also good) or use it to trace over artwork you find inspirational (please don’t copy works of others though!) With the bauble motifs, you can free hand draw the circles or use a circular template of some sort – I used the nearest thing to me…….cellotape! :)
  • Once you’re happy with the design/s turn the tracing paper over so that your design is facing down and onto the lino rubber block. Position it accordingly and you’re ready to transfer your artwork onto the block. Now – these ‘speedy-carve’ lino blocks aren’t cheap so if you want a much cheaper alternative (or simply don’t have any kicking about) for small-scale craft projects, just use your ordinary rubber/eraser you get from your local stationery shop! I’ve shown you here how to get the same results using one from WH Smiths!
  • Next up, trace over your designs (on what is now the reverse side of the paper) making sure all the lines are covered thoroughly and you’ll find that they have transferred onto the block. If they come out faint, go over it again or fill it up using a fine-nibbed pen. A little note to keep in mind if you do more complex work: your artwork will be the ‘reversed’ image on the lino block, but will come out the ‘right way round’ when printed — this is definitely important to remember when working with lettering/type! But don’t worry….as its a mistake we all do and learn from! ;)
  • I cut these up into little square blocks to minimise on wastage when carving. And with your lino cutters, slowly carve away (at least a couple of millimetres, in layers) around your designs and the areas you don’t want to print (i.e the negative spaces) to create your final stamp/s! This is the fun and tricky bit so if this is your first time, do spend some time here and not rush through it. And please do try to keep your fingers out of the path of the blade!

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Once they’re all carved up and ready to be used, clear away your workspace of all the rubber shavings and mess before starting on the stamping process. For this stage, all you need are some pigment ink stamp pads and whatever material you want to stamp on; from paper, card stock, gift tags, t-shirts etc. I don’t really need to give you much instruction here…..only to enjoy yourself and let your creativity take control! Keeping your designs simple allows for versatility; whether its working with various colours or adding simple details to go that extra mile. I created little bows out of twine which I added onto the gift tags and on the card I drew in the bauble ‘strings’ with gold pen. As I said…the choices are endless! :)

MbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-2-WEBMbM_RubberStamps_Xmas-4-WEB [Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

What I’ve shown you in this post is the most SIMPLEST design and technique in hope that it encourages you to give this a try. It’s different from your luxury festive gift wrapping but what you’ve done is personalise it on a whole new level. And hey – if you want to jazz it up…you can! You can use metallic stamps, glitter, ribbons, ornaments…whatever takes your fancy. Just be confident and let your imagination carry you away!

Also, this is a great little crafting project to do with the kids (although, I’d recommend you do the carving part and leave the stamping to them!). And, if you don’t have time or money for rubber blocks….use potatoes for some good old-fashioned stamping fun! Check this awesome one by Martha Stewart which I think I’ll try myself in the new year! :)

So, have fun and until next time…..happy festive crafting!! xxx

[D.I.Y. Inspiration] Pretty cool Advent Calendar projects to try!

It’s that time of the year where everyone is starting to get into the spirit of Christmas; looking out for perfect gifts and trying out lots of festive craft projects. I’ve a few crafty ideas brewing myself which I do hope to post on the blog in the coming weeks. In the meantime, have a look at these rather unconventional but amazing, funky and ingenious d.i.y. advent calendars I stumbled upon on Pinterest, made by some very clever crafty clogs! (Now there’s a tongue-twister!) :D To check out their awesome tutorials, just click on the links below the images! :)

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 ONE  |  TWO  |  THREE  |  FOUR  |  FIVE  |  SIX  |  SEVEN  |  EIGHT

So, which one will you try making this weekend? Or have you any fabulous ideas of your own? Either way, happy crafting lovelies!!! xx