How To Make A Burlap Wreath

burlap wreathI always make a wreath for our door at Christmas, and after Christmas, once all the decorations have come down, my naked front door bothers me almost as much as the space left by the Christmas tree.

So last year I decided to adopt the American custom of always hanging a wreath on my door!

I could have just whipped out the spring wreath I made last year, but it is definitely not spring yet and I wanted to have a go at making a burlap wreath (I’ve seen lots of gorgeous ones on Pinterest!).

Here is my burlap wreath tutorial! It is very easy to make. It doesn’t require a special wreath form or a hot glue gun, just a wire coat hanger, some burlap ribbon, some other ribbon to make a bow and some wire. You could use florists’ wire. I used a couple of paper clips! The finished wreath measures about 23 cm across.

How to Make a Burlap Wreath

You will need: a wire coat hanger (or some thick, plastic coated wire), 6 m burlap ribbon, 3 m of ribbon ( I used about 1.5 m of green chevron ribbon and about 1 m of the grey), florists’ wire or 2 paper clips, a needle and thread.burlap wreath

1. Bend the coat hanger into a circle. burlap wreathUntwist the ends and remove the hook. You can either use wire cutters or just bend it back and forth until it snaps.

2. If your burlap ribbon has raw edges, you might want to finish them using an overlocking stitch on the sewing machine. This step is optional though! I have no problem with frayed edges usually, I just didn’t want bits coming off which result in having to sweep the path or hoover the kitchen again!burlap wreath

3. To attach the burlap to the coat hanger, I basically used the coat hanger like a giant needle and threaded it through the burlap as though I was doing a giant running stitch.

The stitches need to be about 10 cm long. To make this easier, I marked off 10 cm from the end of the hanger using a Sharpie.burlap wreath

The only thing that makes it not quite like running stitch is that I twisted the burlap before threading the wire through.

So: thread about 10 cm of burlap onto the hanger,burlap wreath

twist the burlap,burlap wreath

thread the wire through.burlap wreath

Push it down and round to the left side, then repeat until all the ribbon is on the coat hanger.burlap wreathburlap wreathIMG_2492

Twisting it gives it a more interesting look than just threading it straight on and pushing it round to the side means that your twists all go in the same direction.

4. Once the ribbon is all on the wire, you will need to join the ends of the coat hanger back together. I tried twisting the ends together but it was too hard. So instead I made 2 loops and linked them together. Don’t worry about this looking messy, you’ll be making a pretty bow to cover it up!burlap wreath

5. To make the bow, you will need to make 5 loops, 3 longer ones and 2 smaller. I cut 3 21 cm pieces of green chevron ribbon and 2 17 cm pieces of grey chevron ribbon.burlap wreath

6. Fold in half to find the middle. Overlap the ends so that they are in the middle. Using a needle and thread, sew a few stitches through the middle to hold it all in place. IMG_2503Repeat for all your bits of ribbon.burlap wreath

7. Arrange your loops so that the smaller ones are at the front and they are all spread out. Sew a few stitches through the middle to hold them.burlap wreath

8. Cut another piece of ribbon 9 cm long. Wrap this around your loops to hide the stitches and to make it look like a bow!burlap wreath

Sew the ends together at the back.burlap wreath

9. For the tails, I cut 2 pieces of green chevron ribbon 25 cm long and 2 of the grey 24 cm long. Sew them to the back of the bow. Cut the ends diagonally to prevent fraying.burlap wreath

10. Thread wire through the back of the bow and attach it to the wreath to hide the wire loops.burlap wreathburlap wreath

Hang it on your door and wait for people to admire it!burlap wreathYou can read about the other wreaths I have made here:

A Spring Rag Wreathspring rag wreath

A Summer Wreath using a willow wreath form and silk flowerssummer door wreath

An Autumn Wreathautumn wreath

A Christmas Wreath using natural to make a christmas wreath


A Patchwork Cushion Pattern And Tutorial

In my previous post, I described the colour scheme I was planning to use for a winter themed project.

This was photo I used to come up with the colour scheme…crafty ways to beat post christmas blues…and these are the fabrics I chose based on the some of the colours in the picture.winter colour palette

You can read the whole post here: A Winter Colour Palette.

The project I had planned was a cushion. In order to use different colours and fabrics, a patchwork cushion seemed like the best thing to do.

I wanted to keep it simple (I have a habit of not finishing things if they are too complicated!) so I came up with a design that uses horizontal lines, which also reflects the flat fenland countryside that inspired the cushion in the first place.

Here are the instructions in case you want to make one yourself!

If you don’t like red and grey, I have other winter themes colour scheme ideas here!

If you would like to download the pattern as a pdf, you can do so here: winter patchwork cushion pattern.

How to Make a Patchwork Cushionpatchwork cushion

You will need: 1 fq each of 5 different fabrics, either the downloaded pattern or newspaper/ greaseproof paper, pencil and ruler, pins, sewing machine or needle and thread, digital camera (optional).winter patchwork cushion

Making the Pattern

You could download the pattern I used here. It will fit a cushion pad measuring 41 cm x 41 cm. The seam allowances are not included.

Or you could make your own. Here is how!

1. To make the pattern, firstly draw a sketch of how you want it to look.patchwork cushion

2. Then measure the cushion pad and cut a square of greaseproof paper or newspaper the same size.patchwork cushion

3. Depending on how particular you are, you could either just draw it onto the square or use maths to scale it up. My sketch was roughly a 6th of the size of the cushion pad, so I multiplied the dimensions of the sketch by 6.patchwork cushion

4. Number the sections. patchwork cushionThis is very important! When you have numbered them, take a photo and also number the corresponding sections on your sketch.patchwork cushion

Making the Cushion

1. Cut out the pieces for the front of the cushion. Add 1 cm all the way around each piece for the seam allowance.patchwork cushion

2. Arrange the pieces and take a photo!patchwork cushion

3. Begin to sew the pieces together. Start by joining the rows that have 2 pieces so that all your rows are complete. Remember that pieces cut on a diagonal will need to be joined at an angle! Trim the seams and press them flat.patchwork cushion

patchwork cushion4. Join the rows together, trimming and pressing seams open as you go.patchwork cushionpatchwork cushion

Now the front section is completed!

5. Cut 2 pieces of fabric the same width as your now completed front piece and about 2/3 of the height.patchwork cushion

6. Hem each piece along one of the wider edges.patchwork cushion

7. It’s time to sew all the pieces together! Layer them up as follows:

Front piece right side uppatchwork cushion

Top back piece wrong side up (so right sides are together) with the top level with the top of the front piece.patchwork cushion

Bottom back piece wrong side up with the bottom level with the bottom of the front piece.patchwork cushion

Pin together and sew all the way round.patchwork cushion

8. Trim seams and cut the points off the corners. Turn out and stuff a cushion pad inside.patchwork cushion

patchwork cushionpatchwork cushionTips

Trim and press seams open as you go.

when joining pieces diagonally, place them right sides together at right angles to each other. The edges need to be together where the seam starts and finishes. If you line the pieces up at the corners they will look like this and you will be reaching for the unpicker just as I was! patchwork cushionThey need to look like this.patchwork cushion

When joining the horizontal pieces, line up the diagonal joins first before pinning together. Remember to line them up where you will be sewing the seam!patchwork cushion

Taking pictures with a digital camera will help you to remember which bits go where. You might think you will remember, perhaps you will, but I also thought this when I attempted to make a car seat cover, a project that went horribly wrong! You can read about that here!

If your cover turns out to be too large for the pad, just sew round the outside of it again slightly further in.

If the cover is too small, try the pad anyway. If it’s just a little bit too small it will just make the cushion look nice and plump. :)patchwork cushion

A Winter Colour Palette

collage winter colour palette

I know this probably makes me a little bit crazy, but I like winter. Ok so it’s cold, but that’s what warm coats and boots are for! There are few things as beautiful as a cold winter’s day, but I even like the grey days.

What isn’t so great about winter is the weeks after Christmas when it it can be difficult not to feel fed up. So to fend off the post Christmas blues I have planned to make some new cushions.

For the cushions I wanted to use a winter colour palette. I have been taking my camera with me while I have been out and about and I am going to use these as a starting point.

Here they are!

In this one I like how the dark grey and brown contrast with the pale blue of the sky.winter colour palette

In this one I like the fiery yellow and orange against the blue sky.winter colour paletteThis one is my favourite. I love the red hues in the hedgerows combined with the blue of the sky and the grey of the road.

crafty ways to beat post christmas bluesBased on this photo, the colour palette I have chosen for my cushions are shades of grey, pale blue and deep red.

Here is the fabric I will be using.winter colour palette


Obviously the colours are not an exact match! The plain blue fabric is greyer than I was expecting, but it’s still a pretty colour and the sky in winter is that shade sometimes, even if it was not on the day that I took the photo.

Other  is also a lot of green in the picture, which I have chosen to ignore! I’ve just picked the colours from the photo that I like that I think work well together.

Here are some other  possible colour combinations.winter colour palette OxfordBlue, Brown, orange and yellow are the main colours in this photo.

Or about for a more traditionally wintery feel…winter colour palette

Of white, grey, brown and blue?


How To Crochet A Mug Cosy

Collage crocheted mug cosy

Collage crocheted mug cosyAnother week, another mug cosy!

This time it’s a crocheted mug cosy, featuring a basket weave pattern.quilted mug cosy It’s made by starting of with a circle of chains, but switches to rows to accommodate the handle of the mug.crocheted mug cosy

Please be aware that I have used British crocheting terms!

I used DK yarn and a 4 mm hook. The cosy fits a standard sized mug.

A text only pdf version can be downloaded here: Crocheted Mug Cosy

How to Make A Crocheted Mug Cosy

1. 45 ch, join with ss.quilted mug cosy

2. 1 ch, dc into each stitch. Join with ss.quilted mug cosy

3. 1 ch, tr into each stitch. Join with ss.quilted mug cosy

4. 1 ch, 1 tr, *1 tr round front of stitch* twice.quilted mug cosy

*1 tr round back of each of next 3 stitches, 1 tr round front of each of next 3 stitches*. Repeat all the way round. Do not join!quilted mug cosy

quilted mug cosy5. 1 ch, 1 tr, *1 tr round front of stitch* twice.

*1 tr round back of each of next 3 stitches, 1 tr round back of each of next 3 stitches* to the end of the row.

quilted mug cosy6. 1 ch, 1 tr, *1 tr round back of stitch* twice.

*1 tr round front of each of next 3 stitches, 1 tr round back of each of next 3 stitches* to the end of the row.

quilted mug cosy7. 1 ch, 1 tr, *1 tr round back of stitch* twice.

*1 tr round front of each of next 3 stitches, 1 tr round back of each of next 3 stitches* to the end of the row.

8. 1 ch, 1 tr, *1 tr round front of stitch* twice.

*1 tr round back of each of next 3 stitches, 1 tr round back of each of next 3 stitches* to the end of the row.

9. Repeat steps 5 – 8 once. Join the last row with a ss.quilted mug cosy

quilted mug cosy10. 1 ch, then 1 dc into each stitch. Join with ss.quilted mug cosy

11. Go round again! 1 ch, then 1 dc into each stitch. Join with ss. Fasten off and weave in ends.quilted mug cosy

You can download a pdf version of this pattern here! Crocheted Mug Cosy

I am adding this post to the Tuesday Tutorials linky party on Crafts on Sea here!

I am also adding it to Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts here!


10 Crafty Ways To Beat Post Christmas Blues

post christmas blues

Everything feels so flat after Christmas. The tree leaves a big space in the front room and I miss the twinkly lights. It’s still cold and the days are still so short. Spring feels a long way off.

However there are lots of things we can do to make ourselves feel better! My favourite piece of advice is to buy daffodils every time you buy milk. For me that would mean lots of daffs every couple of days. We get through a lot of milk.

Here is a list of 10 crafty ways to beat the post Christmas blues.

10 Crafty Ways to Beat the Post Christmas christmas blues

1. Get outside. This would be my advice for the glums at any tcrafty ways to beat post christmas bluesime of year. Wrap up warm, wear decent shoes or, better still, boots, and get out there. Go for a walk. Look up. Breathe deeply. Take your camera because you never know when inspiration might strike!

I took this picture in December. It’s about 10 minutes walk from my house. I love this road so much i’ve actually planned a project using the colours in the photo. More about that another time!

This works even better if you can also take with you a small child in a pushchair or a dog.

2. Sort out your craft supplies. You kindle pillownever know what treasures you might find!

The fabric I used to make this kindle pillow was buried in my fabric pile and I’d forgotten all about it! You can read how to make this here.

3. Make something for charity. Dress a Girl Around the World is an organisation that kits out little girls in the developing world with dresses and boys with shorts. More details can be found here.

4. Dig out your unfinished projects and resolve to finish them. If you know you won’t, unpick them, unravel them, take them apart. Then add the bits to your craft supplies so that you can use them for something else.

5. Try a new craft. Learning to do IMG_0645something new is fun! Raid the library for craft books or Google. I can recommend felting if you haven’t tried it! You can read about a felted picture I made back in the autumn here.

6. Plan a big project. Planning projects can be almost as fun as making them! Perhaps amaternity dress quilt or a dress for a special occasion. This is an evening dress I made when I was pregnant with Boy 4. I spent ages planning how I was going to make it!

7. Make something for the house. It’s harder to miss the Christmas tree when you have some beautiful new cushions or a snuggly throw!

8. Make something for yourself.tardis bag 2 Last year I made my Tardis bag, so called because it seemed so much bigger on the inside! You can read about it here.

Or you could make something to wear. Choose gorgeous fabric  and make something over the top. Who cares if you only wear it for the school run?

9. Make some pretty storage for Christmas presents that don’t have homes yet. It can be hard finding room for stuff  sometimes. This is especially true if you have kids. Last year I made some drawstring bags and put some hooks up in the playroom. Almost instant tidiness!toy bags

10. Make a new wreath for the door. Hanging a wreath on your door is something here in the UK that we only tend to do at Christmas. But why not do what  our American friends do and have one up all year round?

You can read about the wreath I made last spring here.rag wreath

I also have instructions for other wreaths. They’re for the wrong seasons but they could be adapted for winter or spring. I’ve got plans to make a new one in a couple of weeks!

A Summer Door Wreathsummer door wreath

How to Make an Autumn Wreathautumn wreath

So don’t be glum, get crafting! And before we know it, spring will be here. :)

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