The ‘Back to School’ Edit

As summer draws to a close and school’s back in session we thought we’d do a round-up of some sparkly new stationery supplies we’ve been coveting (because adults need new stuff too!). Don’t say we didn’t warn you…!!

Ohh Deer Papergang

For those who need a regular stationery hit – look no further than Ohh Deer’s perfectly crafted Papergang box.

Most recently Papergang teamed up with Gemma Correll for the September 2017 box complete with stickers, pens, a card, to do list and sticky notes.

Sign up here

papergang box

Papergang monthly subscription box £10.95 + shipping

kikki.K

We are ever so slightly obsessed with kikki.K’s new ‘Sweet’ Collection of pug and cat themed goodies. Including organisers, notecards, pens and page markers – we just want it all!

kikki.k card box set

kikki.K Card Box Set: Sweet £18 and Everyday Gel Pen Pug: Sweet £2.50

Sainsbury’s 

Add some flair to your documents with some rose gold paperclips and binder clips. Makes adulting slightly less painful…

rose gold paperclips and binderclips

Sainsbury’s Ethereal Rose Gold Paperclips and Binder Clips £2 each

Frixion

These are hands down THE BEST pens for organisers and calendars as they come in a range of colours and are erasable! So you can colour code and change up your plans to your hearts content. (Available in felt tip and ball point versions). Keep them tidy in this adorable pug pen pot.

frixion pens

Frixion Erasable Felt Tips £10.52 and Pug Pen Pot £14.95

Ohh Deer

And finally keep track of all your errands with this sweet pug list pad by Gemma Correll for Ohh Deer!

pug to do notepad

Pug To Do Notepad £5.95

Luxurious Pet Pillow

I was having a clear out the other day and I found a couple of lumpy pillows destined for the bin….or so I thought! My pug Percy took an instant like to them, curling himself on top of them and making himself quite comfy! That gave me the idea to make a covers so I could dot them around the house like big floor cushions.

Step 1: You will need:

  • a pillow or large cushion
  • a fleece blanket or throw (you can pick one up from Primark for around £4 – one blanket covered 2 standard size cushions)
  • needle and thread

Step 2: measure your blanket around the cushion

Step 3: cut to size

Step 4: With the wrong side facing you, fold up from the bottom

Step 5: You can use your cushion for measurement and fold the top down overlapping the bottom (you will be turning it inside out so it will become a flap folded down. This blanket was a good length but if you had to cut some fabric off the top / bottom don’t forget to hem it!)

Step 6: stitch all the fabric together leaving about a half inch seam allowance

Step 7: stitch the other side (I had Percy the helper for this!)

Step 8: Turn right side out and put your pillow in for you pet to enjoy – here is Percy relaxing on his!!

Reversible Placemats

I wanted to make something to brighten up the dull days we get at this time of year – so what better nod to summer than neon pink flamingos?! I made these placemats reversible so I can mix and match the table setting – some matching napkins would work well too! I used a pom pom to hold my cutlery together or some pretty ribbon or lace would also look cute tied round in a bow.

You will need:

  • 2 types of fabric (I made 4 placemats)
  • Sewing machine / neede & thread

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Step 1 and 2: Cut out 4 pieces of each fabric measuring 12 inch x 9 inch (feel free to play around with the measurements – I simply used some I had as a guide for the size that looked right on my table). Remember you will lose about 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Step 3: Pin fabric right sides together.

Step 4: Stitch around the placemat leaving a couple of inches as a gap.img_3948

Step 5: Leave a couple of inches as a gap as you will use this to turn the placemat right side out.

Step 6: Cut the corners.

Step 7: Turn right side out.

Step 8: Press and then use a ladder stitch to sew up the gap.

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DIY Advent Calendar

Only having a chocolate advent calendar is a thing of the past now with the amazing array of beauty, candle and even gin advent calendars available!

But for a lovely idea why not make your own and fill the envelopes with things to do throughout December.

I had a mixture of little bags, envelopes and then also made my own envelopes (I simply used existing envelopes in different sizes to trace round and glue back together) – Mollie Makes has different designs of paper in every issue so I used these to make mine.

Then simply pop the idea on a nice bit of paper and peg to the sequin trim. I cut the trim into 4 lengths to make the rows and then stuck it to the wall with gold polka dot washi tape at either end – Happy Christmas!!

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Ideas of things to do:

  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Watch a Christmas film in bed
  • Have a Starbucks red cup
  • Have an indoor festive picnic
  • Make Christmas cocktails
  • Scrabble night
  • Ice skating
  • Decorate the tree

Confetti Baubles

Here’s a fun idea to jazz up your Christmas tree this year! You can find these fillable baubles in craft shops like Hobbycraft or online and then get creative.

We like how this sparkly confetti looks – or you could fill with little sweets, or even make a mini snow globe.

Happy crafting!

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Easy Patchwork Quilt

As the colder nights draw in and it gets dark earlier, what could be better than making a cosy patchwork quilt to snuggle up in?!

This simple pattern is based on squares so it’s easy to adjust the size – this one in particular was for a friend’s newborn so is perfect for a child or as a lap quilt.

It’s also a great way to use up odds and ends from your fabric stash – either keep it simple with colours and patterns or go crazy and make each square a different pattern!

You will need:

  • Squares of fabric
  • Large piece of fabric for batting
  • Batting
  • Fabric for binding (or you can buy bias tape and use as binding)
    • To make your binding you’ll need strips of fabric 4 inches wide – if you haven’t got a piece long enough simply add pieces together by placing right sides together, sewing a diagonal to join and then pressing
  • Sewing machine / needle & thread
  • Pins

Step 1:

Start by cutting out your fabric squares – I did mine 8 x 8 inches (including a half inch seam allowance) and made it 6 squares long by 5 wide (so 30 squares in total!)

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Lay out all your squares until you’re happy with how it all looks. I usually take a photo of the pieces laid out and also put masking tape with the row number on the first square in each row.

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Step 3:

Start sewing the squares together in a row and repeat for each row.

Once you’ve sewn all the squares together you can now start sewing each row together.

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Step 4:

Cut a piece of backing fabric out slightly bigger than your sewn together squares. Place the backing fabric right side down, followed by a piece of batting the same size and then place the sewn squares on top (right side up).

Place a pin through the 3 layers on each square. It’s really easy to bunch up the backing fabric so do make sure that hasn’t happened before you start sewing the layers together!!

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Step 5:

On your sewing machine (or you can do this buy hand if you wish) sew through all the layers along the seams to quilt the pieces together.

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Step 8:

Once you’ve sewn your quilt together trim the batting and fabric edges so they are all even. Place your binding so that right sides face each other and start sewing it on with your machine.

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Step 9:

When you get to a corner fold the strip back over itself away from the quilt then back again (this creates a nice neat corner).

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Step 10:

Once you have sewn the binding all onto the front of the quilt fold it onto the back and then hand stitch it down.

Time to snuggle under your new quilt and get cosy!

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Pretty Pencil Case

It’s back to school time which we think of as a good excuse to make pretty stationery supplies! This pencil case uses the same method as our Quick Zipper Pouch – it’s just a bit thinner so it’s easy to chuck into your schoolbag.

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You will need:

  • 4 pieces of fabric measured 12 inches by 4 inches (you can use all the same as we did or do a contrasting lining)
  • 11 inch zipper (we wanted to contrast the colours so used a pretty lilac one)

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Step 1: Place the zipper at the top of the lining piece (right side up). Place the outer piece on top of the lining and zipper with the right side facing the zipper.

Step 2: You should have the 2 pieces of fabric aligned so that the right sides face the zipper (I’ve pulled a bit of the fabric back in this picture so you can see how the fabric lines up).

Step 3: Pin the fabric together and sew along the top of the zipper as close as you can to the zip part. When you get near the end try and nudge the zip open a bit as it can be bulky to sew past the zipper fastener.

Step 4: You can see the pouch beginning to take shape. Line up the outer piece of fabric on the other side of the zip – again with the right side facing into the zip. Pin the other piece to the zip and outer piece of fabric – with its right side facing the zipper.

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Step 5: Lay the pouch out and open the zipper halfway. Fold the fabric back so the outer pieces are on top of each other (right sides facing) and the liner pieces are on top of each other (right sides facing).

Step 6: Stitch along the edges leaving a small gap on one side. I started at the zipper so I could make sure I was sewing at the edge of the zipper (usually there is a metal bit near the end so you can sew up to that to keep it neat).

Step 7: Turn the pouch the right way out.

Step 8: Trim the edges and cut the corners into diagonals. This will make the pouch lay neat and flat. Then stitch the small gap closed.

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Felt Octopus

We love felt for its versatility and because you can create unique little creatures from it! For this kawaii-inspired octopus we sketched it out and made a template on tracing paper. You could make up anything – how about a seahorse or a collection of little starfish.

Our latest nautical themed box contains orange felt and stuffing for you to make your own with!

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You will need:

  • orange felt
  • toy stuffing
  • black beads for eyes
  • orange embroidery thread (we use 2 strands at a time)
  • pink embroidery thread (for the mouth)
  • black thread (to sew the beads on)
  • needle
  • scissors
  • tracing paper
  • felt octopus template

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Step 1: cut out your felt octopus template and pin to the felt

Step 2: cut your first shape our of the felt. Pin the cut out piece onto the rest of the felt and cut around it so you now have 2 identical pieces.

Step 3: sew the black beads onto one of the pieces of felt.

Step 4: using the pink embroidery thread back stitch a little mouth onto your octopus.

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Step 5: sew the 2 pieces of felt together leaving a small 1.5cm gap open as this is where you will stuff it from.

Step 6: stuff your octopus using a pencil or crochet hook to push the stuffing into the legs.

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Nautical Candle Holder

Summer is here!! With the current heatwave taking over England we’re inspired to create pretty things for the garden. This tealight holder is so simple and can be created using things you may already have in your home. You could also add other things to it such as shells or even a few succulents.

You will need:

  • glue gun
  • 2m twine
  • sand
  • glass jar (we used an empty white company candle jar)
  • tealight
  • starfish

Step 1: Start by adding the hot glue to the glass. Then take the end of the twine and start placing it down onto the sticky glass (the glue will cool fairly quickly so wait until it’s gone to that tacky stage and then you can press it down without burning your fingers!). If I had any gaps I just kept gluing and wrapping the twine until the base was covered (about 1 inch high).

Step 2: Once the glue has dried and your twine is all stuck down fill your holder about 2 inches deep with sand. Then place your tealights and any other decorations into the holder.

This is so simple but really effective. These would also look beautiful as table centerpieces for a nautical themed wedding!

Happy crafting 🙂