6 DIY Crafts To Make this Winter

calligraphy swirls

When I need a break from knitting, I like to dabble into a different technique to update my home decor, make a gift or simply to prove to myself that I can do it (forever competitive).  And the colder months are a perfect excuse to stay home and get creative.

If like me, you love making stuff, here are 6 of my favourite DIYs to try this winter, including a couple of yarn-related projects by yours truly. Time to get crafty!

Macramé Plant Hanger

by Julie & The Knits

Lost count of how many house plants you own?  Then this project is for you. Not only macramé is the solution when you’re running out of floor space to display your lovely greenery, it’s also an easy craft to get into. All you need to make a plant hanger is a bit of yarn and about 15 minutes.

I originally created this DIY for Mollie Makes and I’ve made it over and over again since. And if neon pink is not your thing, so why not go for a wintery colour instead?

Crochet Candy Ornaments

Twinkie Chan

How adorable are these? Twinkie Chan is the queen of kawaii and, if I’d picked crochet as a new hobby instead of knitting a few years back, this is the kind of stuff I would want to make.

Twinkie Chan describes this project as ‘the easiest pattern ever’ so if you’re a total beginner, this is the perfect project to try, you just can’t go wrong!

Calligraphy Embellishments

The Postman’s Knock

Calligraphy Swirls Tutorials (Part I) | The Postman's Knock

I think calligraphy is one of the most beautiful art forms out there. It looks so delicate and effortless that I recently decided to give it a try. Well let me tell you: it isn’t easy! However these beautiful designs by Lindsey from the Postman’s Knock just make me want to keep trying.

Calligraphy is a skill that comes in so handy if you’re a DIY lover like me – imagine making your own cards, invites or even blog headers. Endless possibilities!

Natural Room Freshener

A Beautiful Mess

DIY Room Freshener

You gotta love good room spray. And the good news is they’re so easy to make – long live essential oils.

If you feel unsure about picking your own scent combos, don’t worry, this tutorial includes some pretty good suggestions like ‘campfire vibes’ – ideal for Christmas!

Note to self: must make pillow mist.

Fake Fur Collar

Tilly and the buttons

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I’m a total beginner when it comes to sewing – my biggest achievement is a piped cushion – but I dream of being able to make every single design by Tilly (yes, Tilly from the Great British Sewing Bee!). Her patterns are so wonderfully retro.

This fur collar is a perfect accessory for this winter and if you’re wanting to get into sewing, I feel like this is a good little project to add to your to do lit.

Cosy Latch Hook Rug

Design Sponge

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This one has been on my list for months! Hook rug making is a slow but satisfying craft and a great way to create a statement piece for your very own home.

I can just picture myself making mine while snuggled up on your sofa and binging on Netflix shows aka my life when it gets cold.

Knitted Heart coasters

Julie & The Knits

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Last but not least, a bit of knitting of course! This knitted heart might be the first pattern I ever published, it is still one of my most popular makes. Probably because it can serve so many purposes – use it as a coaster, embellish a garment, cushion or personalise a gift.

I have made so many of these I have lost count a long time ago!

I hope you enjoy giving these projects a try this winter and if you do, I’d love to see your pictures! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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Highlights: The Handmade Christmas Fair

Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Christmas Fair 2015

As promised, here is a post about my time at The Handmade Christmas Fair which took place in Manchester on 20-22 November. When I received an email from the organisers inviting me to the event, I did not hesitate for one second and accepted. Living in Newcastle, I always feel pretty jealous about all the amazing events in London throughout the year so finding out that the fair was in Manchester this time was a very pleasant surprise, and on Sunday morning me and my bf hit the road south.

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http://www.thehandmadechristmasfair.com

Our Full Experience tickets gave us the chance to attend one session in the Super Theatre, one Skills Workshop as well as one Grand Make session. There was A LOT to choose from and, because we were quite short for time (and because I wanted to have enough time to check out the Shopping Village), we decided to head to the Super Theatre first for a christmas pudding cookery lesson hosted by Kirstie Allsopp herself and Lisa Bennison from the award-winning Bettys Cookery School. Being French, Christmas pudding has always been super weird to me – I mean, where is the crème pâtissière – but the demonstration was very interesting and Kirstie & Lisa shared lots of insider secrets (one was that spices don’t last so you should share them with friends!).

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We then joined one of the Skill Workshops, where you get to learn a technique and take your finished product home. Luckily, the last workshop of the day was upholstery, something we’ve both wanted to try for ages! The chair pad workshop was led by the guys from Ministry of Upholstery, the UK’s leading modern upholstery school.

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Did I enjoy it? I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for an upholstery course here in Newcastle the following week!

Finally it was time to check out the Shopping Village yay! To be honest, there weren’t as many exhibitors as I’d expected, but there was a great variety of crafts and I did manage to spend quite a bit of money :) Here are a few pics from some of my favourite stalls as well as my purchases… cannot wait to make my own candles!

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Manchester Craft Mafia
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Goodnight Boutique, the best looking stall!
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Great British Sewing Bee 2015 Winner, Matt Chapple & his SIGNED SEW-A-SAURUS sewing kit
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Wirework by Lucy Elizabeth
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Ben Rothery (we bought the Moby Dick illustration which is right behind him)
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Kirstie’s candle making kit is now mine!
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Rory Mullen’s portraits for a pound…
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…we had to do it <3

The Handmade Christmas Fair is not just a fair. As they describe it themselves on their website, it ‘puts buying, learning and making at the heart of your day’. I loved discovering (and trying!) new crafts and meeting so many talented designers, as well as the queen of handmade herself, Kirstie, who was so engaged and passionate. I’d definitely love to attend the Handmade Fair next year and recommend you check it out too!

The Handmade Christmas Fair + Mollie Makes Christmas Special

Kirstie Allsopp

This Christmas is about to become very exciting for handmade lovers. The fabulous Kirstie Allsopp, who launched the very successful Handmade Fair last year, is back with her team of designers and artisans to get Britain crafting at The Handmade Christmas Fair! The event will take place at Manchester Central from 20th to 22nd November in association with my favourite craft magazine, Mollie Makes (of course!). You guessed it, this one is about celebrating all things festive! Here are a few pics from the past fairs – a crafter’s dream, don’t you think?

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Kirstie, along with her expert makers, will be hosting a series of tutorials, workshops and Q&As, so make sure you check the full line up on their website. I cannot wait to head there on Sunday and see what it’s all about – I’m hoping to do lots of xmas shopping at the wonderful Shopping Village – I will be reporting on the blog when I’m back :)

If you haven’t got a ticket yet, here’s a little treat for you! You can get a Full Experience ticket for £20* (instead of £25) by entering the code JTK20 when you order your ticket here.

Speaking of Christmas, Mollie Makes have launched a special issue to celebrate that time of year when so many of us enjoy getting crafty. Mollie Makes Christmas 2, out now, is packed with 105 exciting ideas & DIY projects to fill your home and gift your loved ones with beautiful, creative makes. Sewing, crochet, papercrafts, upcycling… there’s plenty to keep you busy until Santa gets here. This issue is also extra special to me as it features my xmas baubles knitting pattern which first appeared in Mollie Makes last year and, I’ve got to say, it’s my most popular project to date. So make sure you get yourself a copy of this very special Christmas special (you can buy it here) and share your crafts online using #molliemakers!

Xmas baubles*T&Cs: Booking and transaction fees apply. Offer applies to Full Experience tickets purchased in advance only and offer ends 21st November. For more information, visit http://www.thehandmadechristmasfair.com/.

How To Knit by Mollie Makes + Giveaway!

How to Knit By Mollie Makes

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The world of knitting can be a little overwhelming if you’re looking to take it up as a hobby. Choosing from a huge amount of patterns, figuring out the weird abbreviations, shopping for the right supplies… where do you start???

Well, if you love cute, quirky and modern knits (if you read this blog, chances are you do), Mollie Makes’ new craft book, How To Knit, is just what you need – read on to find out how you can get your hands on a free copy! The team from Mollie Makes magazine have brought together their favourite knit designers to share their tips, stories and projects – and I feel very privileged to be one of them! All the projects are brand new, including my Christmas tree decorations – you will find instructions to knit all 6 of them.

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Mollie Makes: How To Knit also features projects by some of my favourite knitters out there such as Sincerely Louise ( I mean, a burger cat!), Katty Huertas and more!

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You got it. Bright colours, cute stuff and animals. Plus all you need to know, from learning the best way to hold your needles to making your first fair isle project! You can find more details about the book here.

WANT TO WIN A FREE COPY? Leave a comment on this post by 31st October and Mollie Makes: How to Knit could be yours soon! The winner will be picked at random early November.

*This giveaway is now closed. The winner of Mollie Makes: How to Knit, picked at random using the good old method, is @Nicola, congrats!*

  

My Knitted Bauble Cosies are the cover stars of Mollie Makes 46!

Well, it’s been really REALLY hard to keep this to myself. Back in August, the lovely Mollie Makes team asked me to create a tutorial for one of their Christmas issues. The brief: 4 gem-themed bauble cosies knitted using a variety of simple techniques and some sparkle! I have to say this was one of the most original and fun projects I have worked on. Now it also instantly became my favourite creation when I saw the cover of Mollie Makes a few days ago!!!!

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It’s time for you to give your plain baubles a glitzy Christmas makeover! Forget about double pointed needles, all you need to knit these cosies is a pair of straight needles, colourful yarn and a few sequins. I never used sequins before but they are so easy and fun to work with! Whether you’re a beginner or advanced knitter, enjoy good old Fair Isle or prefer intarsia, I hope you enjoy these patterns.

Finished Project 3

Mollie Makes issue 46 is out today (20th October) – it’s packed with amazing DIY projects as well as freebies (stickers yay!). I’d love to know which cosy is your favourite!