A slightly belated Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fabulous festive season. Craft Fantastic HQ is all go for 2017, with new products and new fairs. Here are just a few things in store for this year:
This weekend, The Craft Fantastic will be among a huge array of stalls at the autumn wedding show in Milton Keynes, ready to help make your wedding dreams a reality. Come along to Middleton Hall in The Centre MK and see what’s on offer!
I’ll be taking orders for handmade origami wedding flowers as well as having a range of extras available, such as hand-bound guestbooks, origami garlands, and bridesmaid gifts.
The show opens Friday 14th at 9:30, and closes at 17:00 Sunday 16th. Full details can be found on the event organisers site here, or The Centre MK site here.
There’s a different theme for every anniversary. I just Googled it to see. It’s CONFUSING. Who’d have thought? There seems to be UK/USA/traditional/modern…
Now, I’ve been married 5 years, and I’ve tried to get something appropriate for each year; and to be honest, I pick and mix from all the lists I’ve found. However it does seem that out of the various suggestions, paper is generally the winner for the first wedding anniversary.
It’s an easy one to do yourself. A couple of the easiest ideas would be:
Make a card! Handmade is lovely to receive, and if you’re ever going to do it, this is the occasion for it.
Write a letter! Everyone loves post, and a letter to your other half celebrating a year of marriage would make an amazing gift.
…and if you’re not up for that, then of course the lovely crafters of the world have got your back.
I put together this treasury on Etsy to give you same idea of what’s out there:
If you don’t already know, paper is my main medium! And, as it happens, I’ve just launched a range of handmade first anniversary gifts over in my Etsy store. I’ve made origami coasters/vase mats, miniature hardback books with coloured pages and some paper bead necklaces. I’ll be adding to my collection over the next week or so – look out for more paper bead jewellery, origami flower keepsakes and more!
I love a handmade wedding, I really do – and I know I’m not alone! So many people are now realising that they can contribute to their own weddings to make them unique and personal. The great thing is you can do as much or as little as you can; it’s still just as satisfying.
I’ve created a Pinterest board (how I wish it was around when I was planning my wedding!) full of wedding inspiration, ideas, tutorials, and, let’s be honest, stuff I just love the look of. I’ve also included some of my wedding items which you can find in my Etsy store, along with other great handmade items you can buy.
Here are a few of my faves from the board so far:
Wildflower confetti – make cones out of a sheet of paper and fill with pretty petals.
Looking for musical inspiration? This book contains some great song suggestions, plus a few hints and tips on the big day. Includes a foreword from Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride’s very own Kat!
Try your hand at making these gorgeous wedding favour lollies – get the tutorial here.
If you’re looking for something simple to make with inexpensive materials, I’ve got a tutorial here for you – origami heart cards. They’re very quick to fold once you get the hang of them, and can be used in various way. Hover over the pics in the gallery below for step-by-step instructions:
These would make nice simple (and cheap to post!) save the date memos:
You could use these to decorate the tops of your favour boxes (simply glue together if you don’t want to use as a card):
Or, use them for a place setting – or a place setting/box topper combined. You could even write a personal message on the inside:
The nice thing about these is you don’t need to get special origami paper – you can even cut down bog standard printer paper into squares. This is great for getting the exact size you want – just experiment!
I’ve been busy making Coptic-bound notebooks lately – and they’re all up for sale in my Etsy store. All hand stitched, I’ve done an A6 one and a couple of A5 books; use them for what you will – notebooks, sketchbooks, guestbooks, journals – they’re all very versatile! Here’s a peek at the newbies:
As well as stock, I’ve been playing with my new origami paper – making these gorgeous gingham elephants!
I’m thinking they’ll make lovely greetings cards – what do you reckon? What other things do you think I could use them for?
Last but not least – I’ve booked a summer fete for later in the year. It’s a local affair for a good cause; my stall fee went straight to the hosts Just Giving page for SWAN – syndromes without a name, supporting undiagnosed children. It’s on July 24th at The Elgar Centre in Northampton, more details on their Facebook page.
Over the Festive season, tucked in between Christmas and New Year, I ran my very first workshop. It was just a small group at a friend’s house and I knew everyone there, so I figured it would be a good way to test things out. Check out my team of paper folders 🙂 :
The main project I wanted to try out was the origami kusudama flower: a modular item made up of five petal units. These are the same flowers I used to make the wedding flowers I did recently. The folds are fairly straightforward, but not so simple that there’s no challenge, and the end result is very satisfying!
Step 1: I made sure I brought along everything we’d need. This is one step I got right first time – squares of practice paper, squares of pretty paper, glue, glue pot and enough sticks/brushes for everyone, paperclips, sparkly beads on wire, pearls, sticky gems… ok so I forgot a table cloth and had to borrow an old sheet, but I still think I did a pretty good job.
It being my first time, I had trouble trying to gauge who needed help, who wanted help, and who wanted to be left alone to figure it out for themselves. Everyone is different and works differently but we all got there in the end- apart from my husband, who gave up after one petal, but I’m ignoring that.
Overall the workshop took about an hour, which I think is a good amount of time. We were all there for the evening though, so carried on and did some teeny cranes and butterflies!
The experience was really good fun and I would love to do some proper workshops in the future. There are definitely things to improve on though, and I’ve come up with some useful hints and tips for anyone thinking of running their own workshop:
Make sure you have EVERYTHING with you. I know you say you think you have. But maybe just double check?
Have an example of whatever you’re making to show people – on a large scale if possible.
Explain the fundamentals of the craft you’re about to demonstrate; the basic techniques, maybe a bit of history, uses in today’s society.
Write out step-by-step instructions FOR YOURSELF. Really, do it. I’ve made well over 500 flower petals but when it came to showing other people, I had a block on the basic steps. I just couldn’t think if I was doing it right. So write yourself a how to!
Before doing the workshop, talk through the steps you’ll be showing to someone you know well. Someone who will butt in and tell you if what you’re saying doesn’t make sense. Somethings are easy to do but not explain. “Just fold this bit here… no this bit… yeah… fold it to that other bit over there…”
Talk clearly, explain fully, demonstrate as neatly as possible and keep looking round at everyone to make sure they’re all up to speed. As I mentioned before, it is hard to gauge how much help people want and need, but I think this will come with time.
Time your workshop!
I think that just about covers everything 🙂 Till next time x
It’s been a while since I’ve updated my progress on the handmade goodies I’ve been working on for my friend’s wedding. I’ve lost count of the number of kusudama flowers I’ve made, but it’s well over 100! Things are nearly finished, though; buttonholes are all done and delivered, bouquets so very near. At the weekend I fully completed one of the bridesmaid bouquets – what do you think?