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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Crafternoon with Hillarys

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As many of you know, I live in the beautiful city of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK. Since my friend Shivani started blogging about local life over at Cloud In A Teacup and taking me to lots of lovely events, I’ve been on the hunt for crafts-related events – without much luck. Imagine my delight when, back in February, an email from blogger network Joe Blogs popped up in my inbox inviting me to a crafts workshop. Hallelujah!

I, along with about 30 North East bloggers, attended #HillarysCrafternoon last Saturday and it was absolutely brilliant. Using beautiful fabrics from Hillary’s new collection (set to launch this month) and with the help of Clare & Hannah from The Crafty Hen, we started by making a notebook cover. My eyes were set on a geometric pattern fabric from the minute I walked into the room, so I obviously picked it as well as a little bit of ribbon. It’s not a Julie notebook unless it has got a bow on it!

books

There was a cute selection of embellishments to pick from – everyone got very excited about using the glue gun, because GLUE GUNS ARE SO MUCH FUN! Look at all these pretty notebooks!

We were then asked to make a 3D bird using more pretty fabric, needle & thread and a little bit of stuffing. It was A LOT more challenging than the notebook cover, but very entertaining. Note to self: definitely need more practice with the running stitch.

bird

Hillarys Blinds have been running a series of workshops across the country as a way to promote their new range of fabrics – you can read more about their craft roadshow here. They put together a fantastic creative team to ensure that, regardless of your sewing skills, you get all the help you need and most importantly, have fun!

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table

group

Hillarys Crafternoons are a wonderful way of learning new skills and spending quality time with creative peeps and bloggers. Let’s hope they inspire other companies to come up with more creative blogger events – we want more!

Macramé plant hanger

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I’ve not only been having issues with WordPress but am also working on a top secret project which has been taking up a lot of my knitting time. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all about it soon!

Do you remember the macramé tutorial I did a while ago for Mollie Makes’ Ipad app Gathered (RIP)? Well I have great news! This tutorial is now available for free on molliemakes.com!

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My macramé plant hanger tutorial includes step-by-step images and is the perfect project to decorate your home this summer. Share your pics if you give it a try!

Click here for more patterns

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Die Young Stay Pretty

It’s about time I share with you my love for one of my favourite crafters in the world, Victoria from Die Young Stay Pretty. I’m not just saying that because she is one of my best friends, promise! She actually inspired me to start Julie and The Knits and create my Etsy shop.

Victoria lives in Paris and launched her brand Die Young, Stay Pretty a few years ago. She makes necklaces, earrings, brooches and more based on what she loves. As we have very similar taste, I tend to love every single piece she creates, so I have grown a nice personal collection of DYSP pretties over the years – see the pic at the end of this post! Time to find out more about this talented lady.

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Hi Victoria! Tell us more about Die Young Stay Pretty

Hello Julie! Die Young, Stay Pretty is a rock’n’kitsch jewelry brand I created in May 2009. At the time, I was unemployed and a bit depressed: I needed to do something to make me feel better, using my creativity. Since forever, I’ve been creating things from scratch, and I really love crafting and the DIY spirit. I naturally decided to create jewelry, the medium of choice for expressing myself: I could mix my love of kitschy and quirky with musical and cinematographic references.

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What inspires when you create new items?

Is it okay if I answer “everything”? ;-) I’m similar to a sponge as far as inspiration is concerned: I feed on everything I see. I collect thousands & thousands of pictures on my computer of things that inspire me: bands, fashion, tattoos, home decors, paintings, pop culture stuff, horror movies stills, guitars, food, travels…

You can follow my Pinterest if you wish: http://www.pinterest.com/dieyoungbaby/boards/

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What are your favourite DYSP creations?

Definitely, horror movies brooches!! Especially if worn with a granny cardigan. Also, I made a very ridiculous belt buckle for a friend featuring Annette and Monsieur Roger, 2 characters from a very cheesy & silly French TV show from the 90’s. I was so fond to work on such a piece!

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What piece of advice would you give to creative people who’d like to start selling their work?

This is going to sound a little bit cliché, but don’t give up and don’t be too hard on yourself. Crafting and DIY should be fun, not a constraint.

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Links to your website/shops

You can buy my jewels on Dawanda and Tictail:

And you can follow my Facebook page for news & information:

Hope you love Victoria’s jewelry as much as I do, make sure you check out her shops for more! And without further ado, here is my cherished DYSP collection! I wear my Moss necklace almost every day ♥♥♥

collection

Macramé Plant Hanger in Gathered for Mollie Makes

Another week, another tutorial! This time Gathered asked me not to knit but to “knot”. When the cover popped up in my Facebook feed this afternoon I was beyond excited that my macramé plant hanger made it to the cover!

This is a super retro project with a modern twist – neon pink yarn! Macramé is a method of tying knots to make decorative items like plant hangers, wall hangings, jewellery and more. The possibilities are endless.

Behind the scenes at Julie & The Knits HQ

Download issue 51 now on your Ipod or Ipad for only £1.49 or get 5 free issue when you subscribe for a month/year. Click here for more details.

As usual, if you try this tutorial make sure you send me a pic at julietheknits@gmail.com or tag me on Instagram or Facebook :)

Holiday + DIY Market in Paris!

Welcome to this new section of my blog called ‘The Knit Diaries’! As I work on various projects each week – special orders, tutorials, new collections – I thought it would be nice to update you more often rather than talk about each project separately and at a later date. I simply don’t have the patience!

On Dieppe beach with Mollie Makes

So here we go. The last couple of weeks have been mega busy. I went back home (Normandy, France) to visit my family & friends and had an amazing time. Holiday also means I got to do loads of knitting! I had planned on making a couple of studded beanie hats for the winter. However due to an unforeseen development I had to make a lot more than that!

Studded Beanies soon available in my Etsy Shop!

My bestie Victoria from Die Young Stay Pretty organises a very cool craft market in Paris called the DIY Market. Every 3 months or so, Victoria and fellow jewellery designer Katia from My Queendom For meet up with a fine selection of designers to sell their makes at the DIY Market. The style is mostly rock and kitsch and the location is pretty rock’n roll too as it’s none other than the UFO Bar (49 Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud 75011 Paris).

I have been following each event online very keenly as I love the style but never got to attend as I live in the North East of England. So when Victoria asked me to join the DIY Market while I was in Paris I was over the moon!

The day went super well. I met so many nice people who loved my knits! I could have done this for a week.

Lots of new knits!
Victoria & I <3
New postcards!

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to take many pictures as I was too busy chatting and running the tombola, but you can find more pics of the DIY Market & info about all the designers on the Facebook Page. Next time you visit Paris, make sure you check it out!

So what’s next? I’m currently working on new tutorials for the best craft magazine out there, Gathered by Mollie Makes – more details coming soon :)

Knitted Word in Gathered by Mollie Makes

I’m so happy to be part of yet another issue of Gathered by Mollie Makes. If you love DIY you have to download this Ipad App, it’s full of brilliant tutorials and crafty ideas. And I’m not just saying this because I’m in it!


In issue 30 you will find out how to make fruity mocktails, cross-stitched coasters AND knitted words. My tutorial shows you how to knit the word ‘craft’. Once you find out about this technique you’ll be able to knit any word you want. I bet you already have loads of ideas as you’re reading this!

 
I have made a couple of knitted names – they make the perfect gift and will look super cute in a baby’s bedroom (love that little pompom!).
 
 

You can also order your personalised word/name from my shop.

If you give this tutorial a try, feel free to send me a picture of the result :)