Foot stool storage

In order to make room for the baby, we have had to do quite a lot of rearranging of the house. This meant that some wooden crates I had bought a few years ago that we’d been using as bookshelves had to be replaced by a larger and more permanent bookcase built by my dad. I really didn’t want to get rid of the crates and managed to use 2 on the landing to stores some of our books. The last one was relegated to the lounge and was deemed to be used as storage, most probably for the baby’s toys! 

Chatting to my husband one night I said it’d be nice to have a footstool as it 

would make the cosy nights on the sofa with the baby a little more comfortable. I later found inspiration on Pinterest with lots of ideas on how to add a padded top to the crate that could still be used as storage but double up as a stool. 

I chatted to my dad who said making a wooden top would be easy. I bought some fabric and some high density foam and using a staple gun attached the fabric to the wooden top. Dad put on some wooden locator bars to stop the top from sliding around.

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The fabric was extremely cheap (£6.80 for a metre) and that shows in the quality. We also realised that the map is actually in German! However it would be easy enough to recover at a later date.

In total, if you include the price of the crate, it probably cost around £35 for materials etc, they sell for upwards of £100 on Etsy! Trouble is that we both want to use it now so I can see I’ll be making another one fairly soon!!

Sarah x

Handmade Christmas: part 2

The second part of my Christmas makes had to wait till after Christmas as I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for the recipients. The first gift was for my husband, who has asked several times if I could crochet him a hat, but I’d never found the right pattern. By chance I came across a company called My Boshi who sell a range of yarn plus lots of different crochet patterns for beanie style hats. I chose the colours based on what he wanted, I really would never have put the combination of colours together, but I was surprised with how good it turned out! 

I added on the Pom Pom as I knew he’d prefer it with one and I think it finishes it off nicely! 

My second make was for my friend. I always like giving handmade gifts at Christmas as it’s something a bit more special. I chose a pattern by Little Doolaly, who did the pattern for the hello deer baby blanket I made. It was the  mossy scarf pattern that I used but I chose a different coloured yarn that I thought was a bit brighter.

I’m pleased I managed to still make some Christmas gifts, even with the baby arriving! Now to find the time to make some things for myself!

Sarah x

Baby makes: part 7

I’ve finally completed the list of things I wanted to make before the baby arrives. I’ve already started a list of the things I want to make once we know if it’s a boy or a girl! With the imminent arrival (my due date was a few days ago) it was touch and go as to whether I’d finish this project. I was determined it wouldn’t be a WIP never to see the light of day!

As a child I had a cardboard hungry caterpillar book. Mum tells the story that I loved the book so much that I ate it..I’m not sure if I ate all of it but quite a lot of it was very chewn! Recently the hungry caterpillar has made a comeback and there are all sorts of things you can buy (most of which I now have!) and I saw a quilt kit that I knew I had to make. At this point I had forgotten I’d only ever made one small quilt before, the pattern looked fairly straightforward and used a big panel which made the design quite eye catching but still easy to make

I have to say the instructions were pretty basic and relied a lot on people having prior knowledge of quilting. I think with the pressure of completing it I certainly rushed some bits and it isn’t quite as perfect as I hoped.

However I’m really pleased I finished it. It’s much bigger than I thought it would be, but it’ll be perfect as a tummy time blanket. It might just be hard to spot the baby when it’s dressed in its hungry caterpillar outfit, playing with its hungry caterpillar toys 😏

Sarah x

Handmade Christmas: part 1 

I mentioned in an earlier post that I went camping with the WI at the end of September. There were lots of different workshops to sign up for and one in particular caught my eye – decoupage. I’ve always wanted to give it a go but have been put off not knowing what glue, varnish etc to use. The workshop was a perfect introduction and I decorated a little elephant which I wanted to give to my mum for Christmas.

Since the workshop I bought a few other things to decorate and give as Christmas presents to different people

The tin at the back was one that I had from making some marmalade (pre prepared oranges in a tin from Lakeland) and it seemed ideal to attack with decoupage papers! I think I’ll use it as a plant pot in the kitchen.

I love how easy it is to decorate things, plus you can stick the papers on more or less anything! I used Modge Podge which also has a varnish on it, therefore a lot less effort!

I thought I’d also share with you the marmelade I made. I bought the tin as a trial to see how effective it would be. The oranges are all prepared, so all you have to do is add the sugar. It was suprisingly easy to do and makes six big jars. I decided to wrap up some of them to give as gifts as 3 is more than enough to keep us going for a while!

They also do a lemon marmalade and strawberry conserve which I’m tempted to try.

Sarah x

Baby makes: part 6

I’m sure many of you may be addicted to Pinterest as much as I am. I’ve found it really useful to look for particular patterns or ideas for my baby makes. When I was looking at things I needed for the baby, I was looking at getting a blanket that goes in the car seat, but encorporates the harness system so that the blanket stays in place, you can then wrap the blanket around the baby and it keeps it nice and cosy and doesn’t add any extra bulk. It also does a good job of protecting the fabric of the car seat! These blankets were around £30 and I really couldn’t justify spending the money as it was more of a luxury than a necessity. I then turned to Pinterest knowing that someone somewhere would have made one for themselves. As it turns out the pattern to make one is extremely straight forward! 

I bought some cuddle fleece from Abakhan for around £5 and cut it into a square then rounded off the corners. I also bought a specific blade for my rotary cutter which cleverly put holes into the fabric every couple of cms which then allows you to add a crochet edging to the fleece. This is where it went wrong, the holes turned into one big slit instead of seperate holes, and it just wasn’t feasible to use. The fleece itself wasn’t going to fray, but I wanted to have a bit more of a pretty edging to the blanket. I made 3 holes for the points of the harness and sewed around the holes to give it a bit of reinforcement.

I had imagined I’d make more than one of these, but I’m not quite sure if I’m happy with the overall finish. I’ll wait till the baby is here and see if it’s successful. I might be persuaded to buy one instead if it works out. However I know this one will still do the same job and I have saved £25 in the process!

Sarah x

Baby makes: part 5

At the end of September I went away with my WI group on a camping weekend. We were joined by lots of other WIs from around Greater Manchester and did lots of lovely crafty stuff (I learnt how to Decupage which may feature in a Christmas blog post!). On the Saturday we went to a local antiques shop and I fell in love with a rocking chair that I knew would be perfect for the nursery.

I was tempted to paint it, but decided to leave it as it is, but knew it needed some cushions to make it more comfy

I tried to avoid using a zip for the cover for the seat pad, but it had to be done. I was actually pretty impressed with my efforts, considering I was making it up as I went along!!

The chair is now much more comfy and completes the nursery as all the painting etc has been done!

I have a few more baby projects I’d like to complete but with only 2 weeks till my due date, I’m hoping I’ll get everything done!

Sarah x

Baby makes: part 4

This has to be the easiest but most effective thing I have made. With 4 weeks to go till the big day, I have started considering the things I may need after the baby is here and started googling cover ups for when I’m out and about and need to feed the baby. I found some really nice ones that seemed to be multi purpose, but for £30 – £50 I really couldn’t justify the cost. I did a quick search on Pinterest and found some tutorials and the simplest one seemed to be literally sewing the 2 ends together of some jersey. I found some jersey on ebay for £3.99 for a metre (including postage!), the quality is really good and its lovely and soft. Once it arrived it literally took a minute to whizz the 2 ends together

The result is a very effective cover up that can also be used as a scarf or cover for the pram/car seat etc, not bad for £4!!

Sarah x

A bit of news…

Needless to say we are both delighted and can’t wait to welcome our new addition into the world in December. Of course there will be lots of blog posts over the coming months as to what baby related crafty things I have been making! I have a very long list of quilts I want to make, blankets I want to crochet and things to make for the nursery, now just to find some time to make it all!

Sarah x

Baby makes: part 3

I have just reached 29 weeks, and although the arrival of the baby still seems very far away, I’m aware that there’s not much time to get the nursery finished. I looked for a long time for a lampshade for the room (I’ve never been happy with the one that is currently in there) but never really found one that I liked. Since I teach the how to make a lampshade workshop for the Make and Do Studio, it seemed silly not to make my own!

I spotted some fabric that I liked when I was teaching a workshop for Maeri, it was exactly what I had in mind and I’m pretty sure it will have come from one of her trips to America. I bought the bits for the kit and after it sitting in my pile of things to do, I finally got round to making it today

I also decided to put a transparent diffuser in the bottom of the shade, it gives a slightly softer light, plus you don’t have to look at the horrible bits of the inside of the shade!

I’m really pleased with how it has turned out and looks great in the newly painted nursery!

Sarah x

Baby makes: part 2

Ever since before I was pregnant I had looked at Little Doolallys baby blanket patterns but never had the need to make one. One of the first things I did when I found out we were expecting was to order the yarn for her fantastic Hello Deer baby blanket. It was going to be my holiday project, being a little smaller than previous blankets it was perfect for making in the heat of the south of France. The pattern was straight forward to follow, and after a little of a panic on how to create the deer and a few tweets to Amy aka little Doolally, I was sorted. I managed to complete the bulk of the blanket whilst we were on holiday, then with a few extra days in the sunshine once home, the edging was also complete.

Due to the way the deer is made, the back of the blanket has to be backed in fabric. I chose a flannel fabric with the guess how much I love you design on it.

It took me quite a while redoing a lot of the stitching when attaching it to the blanket, as I couldn’t quite get it right. It’s still not perfect but I am delighted with the finished design. It’s lovely and cosy and I can’t wait for baby Plant to arrive and try it!

Sarah x