DIY ‘Grape Soda’ Pin Badge from Disney’s UP!

With just a week to go until Valentine’s day, I wanted to share this very cute DIY, inspired by the Disney Pixar movie, UP! Have you seen it? For those of who who haven’t, you must.

DIY Grape Soda Pin Badge from UP (12)

At the start of the film we meet Ellie and Carl, two young explorers, who become best friends over their shared love for adventure. In a short sequence, we see them grow up, fall in love, and grow old, experiencing a range of highs and lows by each other’s sides. Even as they reach old age (and illness), they still dream of one day reaching their dream destination together – Paradise Falls.

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“So where does Grape Soda come into this?”, I hear you ask. At the start of the film, Ellie gives Carl a grape soda pin badge when they become explorer buddies. As she hands over the badge, Ellie says, “You and me, we’re in a club now” – a sign of the friendship they’ll have for years to come.

To make this DIY, you will need:

  • A bottlecap – either upcycle a used cap (you can spray paint them), or buy a new pack
  • Set of 1 inch epoxy stickers (I bought these from Beadaholique on Amazon), or Modge podge
  • Printer and plain paper (to print out your grape soda badge design)
  • Large safety pin
  • A small nail and hammer

DIY Grape Soda Pin Badge from UP (1)

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DIY Origami Heart Pancake Topper

In January I got a bit ahead of myself and posted some paper craft inspiration for Valentine’s day. A couple of weeks on, and I’ve finally got round to making a DIY myself, and it involves pancakes!

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All you need for this simple heart is a square of origami paper, a wooden skewer, and preferably a stack of pancakes, or a cupcake. My paper is from Tiger, but you can cut a square from any paper.

This DIY is really easy – you only need a minute to make each heart, if that, so you can make the hearts before you’ve even finished making your pancakes! I don’t know about you, but I love pancakes…

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As well as sticking these on skewers or lollipop sticks to use as cake or pancake toppers, you can also turn them into a cute hanging garland with some string, or stick them to the front of cards.

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#CraftBlogClub: DIY Cupcake Pin-Cushion Ring

In my last blog post I told you about the felt cupcake needlebook that I made for ZoFlo as part of the #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa. This post looks at the accompanying DIY cupcake pin-cushion ring!

DIY cupcake pin cushion ring | Shelley Makes

This ring DIY is an amalgamation of two tutorials I spied on Pinterest – the main one is by Obsessively Stitching, whose excellent tutorial told me how to make a basic cupcake pin-cushion ring.

Cupcake felt needle book | Shelley Makes

Against Obsessively Stitching‘s advice, I made my pin cushion using felt, rather than fleece, as it had to match Zoe’s needle-book (soz), but I must admit I was still happy with the end result.

DIY cupcake pin cushion ring | Shelley Makes

To make a cupcake pin cushion ring, you will need:

  • A4 sheet of felt (in two colours – 1 for base; 1 for frosting)
  • A bottle cap (such as Cherry Coke or 7UP)
  • Sewing thread (mine is Hobbycrafts Value Crafts range)
  • Stuffing (e.g. soft toy filling – hi-loft polyester)
  • Sharp scissors
  • An elastic hair-band (You can get these from Boots, Tescos…)
  • Red button (optional – for cherry)
  • Dress pins

Instructions:

For the cupcake ‘frosting’, I cut around a tea-light candle jar about 3.5 inches in diameter (a bit bigger than Obsessively Stitching‘s recommendation). Next, I threaded around the edge of the circle, before tugging the ends to make it gather – it looks like a baby jelly fish until stuffed!

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#CraftBlogClub: DIY Cupcake Felt Needlebook

Back in November I told you about the #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa, where a group of crafty bloggers make and swap homemade presents with fellow festive craft-bods in time for Christmas.

Cupcake felt needle book | Shelley Makes

I absolutely loved the idea, and signed up straight away. I can now reveal that I was paired with the amazing Zoe from ZoFlo. I spent an age researching Zoe’s blog and social channels for clues about her hobbies, likes and dislikes (read: stalking!), to help me pick a theme for her present.

Felt cupcake needle book | Shelley Makes

I learnt that she is a fan of The Great British Bake Off, the John Lewis Christmas ad, country bike rides, and The Great British Sewing Bee. After umm’ing and err’ing, I decided to combine two of her favourite things, by making a cupcake-themed needlebook and pin cushion ring (cakes and sewing, huzzah!).

Whilst scouring Pinterest for inspiration, I came across this fantastic tutorial from Sew4Home which really fired my imagination. Whilst Alicia’s tutorial featured a lovely cat on the cover, I realised I could adapt this for my cupcake theme, and the instructions were really clear and easy to follow.

Cupcake felt needle book | Shelley Makes

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Silhouette Cut-Out Snowflake Cards

In the words of Adele, ‘Hello!’ – I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! I am finally home after doing the family rounds, and thinking about all of the heartfelt ‘Thanks’ that I need to send.

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I’ve always done ‘Thank You’ cards for as long as I can remember, and where possible, I prefer to make them by hand. I actually started these cards last year, but finished them off this year.

Last Christmas my lovely other half got me a Silhouette Portrait machine – a bit like a Cricut – that cuts out shapes or letters to your design. As this was my first foray into using the cutter, I kept it simple, opting to use the free snowflake template that came with the Silhouette library, like so.

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I added lines around it so that the cutter would make three cards per sheet of A4, and experimented with using a dashed cut for the fold. As it’s Christmas, I tried cutting on two different card stocks – a shiny silver metallic card, and also thick white card, like a proper snowflake!

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Once the machine has finished cutting the pattern, you have to carefully peel the card off of the sticky mat, and pick out the diamonds using your nails or a sharp implement. If you don’t have a cutter, you can also create this card using a sharp scalpel – it might take a little longer, but it’s do-able!

To make the pattern stand out I stuck a blue coloured square to the inside of the silver cards. On the white cards, I stuck coloured card on both sides, and added a white wool bow in the middle.

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The best thing about these festive cards is that in daylight (or even lamp-light) they cast really nice shadows and reflections in the room, like sun-catchers, so they really catch your eye!

Are you making ‘Thank You’ cards this year? Thanks also to you guys for following the blog this year – I hope you have a very Happy New Year and 2016! I’m off to party prep for NYE now…!

New Year’s Resolutions: House Goals

We’ve now lived in our house for over a year (we moved in a week before Christmas last year – mayhem!). After starting renovation work boldly, progress has definitely slowed, however, with the new year approaching, I wanted to reflect on the progress that has been made so far!

Lounge:

Work in the lounge included knocking through the boarded up fireplace (aka ‘the bumblebee tomb’), removing the dado rail (I don’t know why, I just didn’t like it), stripping the textured wallpaper, and then living with it like that for the rest of the year… Maybe 2016 will be kinder to the lounge!

On the plus side, I did buy three tester paint pots, and given that they all look pretty much the same colour, I think we can confirm that we’ve found next year’s colour scheme….

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Landing and Stairs:

Our house was built in the 1930’s so it has some great features (some good’uns, and some not so good’uns). When we first looked around the house we felt that the landing and stairs could be improved by taking down the solid plaster half wall, and putting in wooden bannisters instead.

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Contributing to the We Make Collective!

If you haven’t yet heard of it, the We Make Collective is founded by the incredibly talented Fran from Fall for DIY. After hearing far too many people ‘poo-poo’ their own creativity (my words, Fran’s ethos), Fran decided to create a monthly craft kit for subscribers, with a fantastic twist.

We Make Collective

Rather than sending out materials and instructions to help you make the same thing as everyone else, the Collective give you the tools, know-how and inspiration to exercise your own creativity, and make something unique to you – so you’re free to make whatever you want!

We Make Collective calligraphy kit

If you become a subscriber, each month you’ll receive a special box full of supplies which will give you everything you need to learn a new craft, and create any number of finished pieces. Each kit focusses on a different skill – November’s was weaving, and December’s was brush lettering & calligraphy.

As well as receiving the physical materials, you’ll be granted access to a private member’s area on the website where you can read expert tutorials, and learn all the skills you need to get started.

When I first heard about these kits, I thought they were such a great idea, and the finished DIYs from the inaugural weaving kit looked fantastic (check out #wemakecollective on Instagram). As a result, I was thrilled when Fran invited me to contribute a brush lettering tutorial for the December kit.

Joy orange gift pouch

I decided to make a trio of quick and easy brush-lettered gift-wrap ideas, suitable for beginners. You can read the full tutorial here with all my hints and tips, but I wanted to share a sneak-peak with you.

Brush lettering is really therapeutic once you get the hang of it, and the end result looked a million times better than my normal hand-writing. Result! Have you tried it before?

My biggest hint if you’re a brush-letter ‘newb’ is to write on tags or stickers in the beginning while you master the skill, as then, if you make a mistake, you can simply replace the tag – easy!

The other secret is simply to practice – practice, practice, practice, and enjoy =)

“For your Mistle-toes” Christmas gifts

Last Christmas I came across this great DIY gift – a pedicure kit with a seasonal play on words – ‘For your mistle toes!’ I thought it would be great to give to friends, so I set about designing my own.

DIY Mistle-toe gifts | Shelley Makes

You will need:

  • Pedicure kit e.g. nail varnish / mini foot cream / nail file
  • Small cellophane bags
  • Gold or silver metallic card
  • Printer
  • Rota-trim or scissors
  • Stapler

Instructions: 

I designed my labels in InkScape, using free fonts from DaFont.com, and ended up with two different designs. On one side it read ‘For your mistle toes’, and on the other ‘To Natalia’, or whoever.

The main thing to remember if you design your own is to flip the font on one half so it’s upside down. You also need to check that the printed result is the same width as your cellophane bag.

Once designed, I printed my bag toppers onto silver and gold metallic card (I had to feed this into my printer rather than leave it in the tray, as it’s quite a bit thicker than normal card stock).

Becky Mistle-toes | Shelley Makes

Once printed, I cut out each gift topper using a rota-trim, and then used the rota-trim again with a perforated blade to help me fold the tags in half, but you could just fold carefully as normal.

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Homemade Jam & Chipotle Jar Labels

Tis the season to start crafting! Are you making any homemade gifts this year? I’ve finally got round to posting about some DIY homemade jams and preserves that we made for family last year.

Homemade Jam | Shelley Makes

The other half took the lead on the jam-making, while I went to work on the labels. I have to say, the labels make such a difference, making this DIY look way more professional than it actually is!

Making jam (instructions courtesy of Jack):

To make the jam, use 50% fruit, 50% sugar, a splash of lemon juice (as the pectin in it helps the jam to set), and a small knob of butter. In terms of equipment, you will need:

Homemade Jam | Shelley Makes

  • Saucepan
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Set of glass preserve jars (my hexagonal jars are from Hobbycraft)
  • Reduced fruit (whatever you fancy / is on offer)

Stew the fruit in a saucepan before adding the sugar, and then slowly, using a thermometer, bring the temperature up to 80°C to a slow simmer, stirring continuously.

Homemade Jam | Shelley Makes

Once all the sugar has dissolved, slowly increase the temperature to 104°C (for approximately 5 minutes). Allow the jam to cool and then pour the liquid into sterilised jars.

After a couple of hours (or once cool) the jam will set, and is ready to enjoy! You can pick any fruit you like – we made raspberry, apricot, and plum jam, plus some homemade chipotle.

Homemade Jam | Shelley Makes

Making the labels:

I used InkScape to make the labels, and decided on a hexagonal design to match the shape of the jars. I used the font Revolution from DaFont.com, as it was the most legible despite the small size.

We also made Jelly Shack barcode labels (using a free font called bar code from DaFont.com) for the back of the jars as an alternative to a ‘Made by’ sticker (as our names are Shelley and Jack, Jelly Shack has become our co-brand – cheesy I know, but it was just a bit of fun!)

Homemade Chipotle | Shelley Makes

I arranged the labels on the sheet so that I could cut them out easily using a rota-trim, but for added ease, you could use a Silhouette machine (I didn’t get one until after Christmas – doh!)

Once cut out, it’s simply a case of sticking your labels in position, and voila! I wrapped each of the sets up in orange tissue and cellophane, with a festive illustration and name tag on the front.

Though inexpensive, these treats went down way better than any present I’ve ever bought!

DIY Halloween Tombstones

To mark our first Halloween in the new house we’re throwing a fancy-dress party! To decorate the house, my boyfriend had the genius idea to make DIY tombstones out of breeze blocks.

DIY Tombstones by Shelley Makes

I couldn’t believe how easy this was, and it’s also really cheap and quick too. All you need is a couple of breeze blocks (about £1.50 each), which you can buy from Wickes, as well as a few tools.

You will need:

  • Breeze blocks (aerated blocks) – 1 brick makes two tombstones
  • Saw, or jigsaw (optional)
  • Hammer (for distressing the edges)
  • Chisel or screwdriver (something with a sharp pointy edge)
  • Pencil (optional)

DIY Halloween Tombstone

How to make:

Start by sawing your breeze block in half (making two thin tombstones). Next, mark in pencil the shape you want to cut – you might want a rounded end, a rectangular end, or even a cross shape.

Depending on the shape, use a saw or jigsaw to remove the excess, and then use a hammer, saw or any other blunt instrument to chip away at the right-angle edges, leaving them looking ‘distressed’.

This will create a bit of dust, but it’s easy to sweep up at the end. Next, think about the message you want to inscribe on your tombstone. You can go with dates, messages, or even your guests’ names, to really freak them out.

We went with a simple ‘RIP’, and also an old year, ‘1806’ – no idea why, that one just came to mind. Using a chisel, or any sharp instrument you can get your hands on, scrape away the letters you want.

This is super easy, and you don’t have to be skilled or particularly accurate, as any mistakes you make only add to the ancient graveyard authenticity; the more rugged, the better.

Once done, you can place your tombstones in the garden to give trick-or-treat’ers a fright. To help them stand up (if your lawn isn’t flat), use a drill to partially insert a screw to act as a stand.

1806 Tombstone

These took about 10-15 minutes per tombstone, and you can personalise them how you wish. They cast great shadows on the lawn by day, but you could also light them up to cast eery shadows by night.

What are you up to this Halloween? Share your Makes below.