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Tag Archives: handmade
  • Posted on October 10, 2017

    5 Reclaimed Wood Projects for a DIY Home

    Using reclaimed wood in your DIY projects is a great way to add character to your home and keep the cost down. We've picked some of our favourite projects from Hester Van Overbeek's newest book, Made with Salvaged Wood, to give you some DIY upcycling inspiration.

     

    1. DISPLAY - Plants stands

    Made with Salvaged Wood

    Every house needs indoor plants—not only are they good for the air quality, but they also add a welcoming touch to your living room. These two plant stands are great for grouping plants together. You could fill your stands with pots of pussy willow, aloe vera, succulents, and sansevieria, but you can fill the stands with flower vases or magazines as well. Made from a wooden box and a broom handle, this is such a simple project and very quick to complete.

     

    2. STORAGE - Mug Storage

    Made with Salvaged Wood

    This mug storage used to be an old cupboard door, but by giving it some picture hangers and hammering in some large nails, it is transformed into very handy kitchen storage. It’s the ideal place to hang your mugs, spoons, and pans, and super easy to make. You can also make one for your craft room or workshop and hang your paintbrushes or tools from the nails.

     

    3. FURNITURE - Slab Coffee Table

    Made with Salvaged Wood

    This side table is so easy to make and will introduce some rustic charm to your living space. All you need is a thick tree slice and four legs. The hairpin legs used here are 8 inches (20cm) high—the perfect height next to a comfy chair. These legs are an untreated metal, but you can buy these legs spray painted in a range of colors if you prefer a bright color pop. The tree slice that makes the top of the table needs to be dried correctly and treated against bugs. You can buy these slabs from a garden center or farm store.

     

    4. DECORATION - Decorative Houses

    Made with Salvaged Wood

    Sometimes you have scrap pieces of wood that are too small to reuse in other projects, but also too big to throw away. Why not turn them into these decorative houses? Painted in a range of toning colors, they will look great on your windowsill, mantelpiece, or bookshelf. Keep making these houses with leftovers from other building jobs and you can create a whole city! Make the houses even more versatile and turn them into candlesticks by adding a small piece of copper pipe to the roof.

     

    5. OUTDOORS - Outdoor Bookcase

    Made with Salvaged Wood

    This bookcase is super easy to build from a few old floorboards. If you have a patio garden, it’s nice to introduce a few pieces of furniture to turn your space into an outdoor room. This bookcase will not only hold pots of herbs but also drinks and snacks for your barbecue parties.

     

    For the full projects and more inspiration check out Made with Salvaged Wood by Hester Van Overbeek.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with homemade, interiors, handmade, DIY, reclaimed wood

  • Posted on April 12, 2017

    Planted Enamel Ladles

    With the sun shining and the Easter bank holiday coming up, we thought it was time to get our fingers green! This lovely little display uses simple enamel ladles planted with pretty succulents to create a really charming result and is a perfect project no matter how big or small your garden is! Choose ladles with a large cup so that the roots of the plants will have enough room to grow and spread. Break off pieces from the larger succulents—these are generally quite tough plants and can take a bit of rough handling—and firm them into the potting mix well so they can take root and thrive.

    Planted ladles with succulents and moss

    Planted Enamel Ladles

    YOU WILL NEED

    Enamel ladles

    Potting mix

    Handful of gravel

    PLANTS

    Left ladle: Moss (available from garden centers and florists)

    Middle ladle: Echeveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg,’ Sedum album (white stonecrop), S. burrito (burro’s tail), S. ✕ rubrotinctum (banana cactus), and Sempervivum ‘Ohio Burgundy’ (houseleek)

    Right ladle: Anacampseros telephiastrum, Crassula ovate (friendship tree), and Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’ (stonecrop)

    Planted ladles, what you need

    STEPS

    1. Soak the rootballs of the plants for 10 minutes or so until the potting mix is wet. Put a handful of potting mix in the bottom of the ladle and add a little gravel to improve drainage.

    2. Carefully take one of the larger succulents from its pot and remove some of the excess potting mix to reduce the size of the rootball. Plant it on one side of the ladle.

    3. Take another of the larger succulents from its pot and again remove some of the potting mix. Plant at the back of the ladle, firming it in place.

    4. Add the smaller succulents to the ladle, breaking smaller bits off the larger plants if necessary, and plant them around the larger ones. Press down the potting mix.

    5. Fill in any holes with more potting mix and firm it in place so that the plants will not move.

    6. Add a sprinkling of gravel to the surface of the potting mix, pushing it around the plants with your fingers. This will help keep moisture in and looks nice, too. Plant up the other ladles and then water carefully, allowing excess water to drain off.

    Planting succulents in enamel ladles

    AFTERCARE

    Succulents can withstand dry conditions, but remember to check the potting mix regularly and water the ladles when they are very dry.

    This project is from Tiny Tabletop Gardens by Emma Hardy, available here.

    Tiny Tabletop Gardens by Emma Hardy

    Photography by Debbie Patterson © CICO Books

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with handmade, easter, bank holiday, project, nature, gardening

  • Posted on December 13, 2016

    5 Homemade Gifts To Make This Christmas

    Next up in our Christmas round-ups, we’re thinking about homemade gifts.  As we mentioned in this post, we’re doing a Homemade Secret Santa this year, but whether you’re after a little stocking filler, or something personal for a friend or loved one, we’ve got you covered.

    Grocery shopping will no longer be a chore, thanks to this gorgeous tote bag from our new book Hygge Knits (this book is published in January, but you can preorder it here). Find the pattern for the bag over on MAKEetc here.

    These home-infused oils make a lovely stocking-filler for your favourite foodie. Click here for the recipes.

    If you know someone celebrating their first Christmas this year, Laura Strutt’s Bunting Baby Blanket would make a lovely gift. Find the knitting pattern here.

    Make these notebooks to kickstart a year of writing for any budding author. You can find a printable PDF project here.

    These lavender bags make sweet little stocking fillers. The project is available here.

    And as a bonus, homemade cards and gift tags can add a personal twist to any gift. We’ve got a video tutorial for these stocking cards here, and the instructions for homemade gift tags on the blog here.

    We hope you’re feeling inspired, but don’t forget to check out our Top 10 Gifts for Crafters blog post on MAKEetc here.

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    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, homemade, handmade, gift, photos, 2016

  • Posted on December 6, 2016

    5 Projects You Need To Make This Christmas!

    Taking a cursory glance at social media over the weekend, it seemed as if all of our friends simultaneously put up Christmas trees and started decorating their houses. Well, yipeee! We are fully embracing the holiday spirit here at RPS and CICO Books towers, and if there’s one thing we like even more than Christmas decorations, it’s handmade Christmas decorations. Here’s 5 of our favourite projects that will ensure you have a lovely, unique home this year!

    Decorate your tree with Elspeth Jackson’s rag rug Christmas baubles. These are so cute, we’re considering keeping them up all year round…we won’t tell if you don’t! There's a video tutorial here.

    We shared this cute reindeer decoration to make with the kids last week over on instagram stories, and you all loved it so we popped the instructions up on our MAKEetc. blog. Check them out here.

    A garland of these silver stars would look lovely slung across a mantelpiece, or you could hang single stars in your tree to just catch the light like Juliet’s done here. Find the project here.

    This Succulent Wreath looks super effective, and you’ll stand out on a street of holly wreaths! Find the instructions here.

    Jazz up jam jars as tea-light holders with this project from Hester van Overbeek’s first book, Furniture Hacks. You could even use sparkly beads for an extra party feel!

    For more inspiration, check out our book Handmade Christmas and make sure you keep an eye on MAKEetc. for a free project or two over the next few weeks.

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    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, News, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with christmas, christmas decorations, christmas craft, handmade, paper crafts, activities for kids, winter living, winter, 2016

  • Posted on June 15, 2016

    Memory Jars for Fathers' Day

    Giving a homemade gift makes the experience extra special (not to mention a homemade card – try this one!) and with Fathers’ Day just around the corner, we’ve got a lovely project for children (of all ages!) to make for their dads. In Hester Van Overbeek’s latest book Crafting With Mason Jars she suggests this sweet way of displaying your favourite holiday snaps and memories, and we think it would be a lovely gift for Dad this weekend. Perhaps you have a little trinket that means something special to both of you? Or a memento of a trip you took together? Alternatively, find a lovely picture of you and your father, and fill the base of the jar with something that reminds you of him, such as the coffee beans Hester suggests. A super simple idea with endless possibilities!

    Memories In A Jar

    Instead of displaying your favorite snaps in photo frames, pop them in a jar! Did you go on a beach vacation? Take some sand, shells, or driftwood back home with you and place these in the bottom of the jar.

    Did you go on a city escape? Why not fill the base of the jar with coffee beans from your favorite espresso bar and pick up some small trinkets or save tickets to decorate the jar with.

    Crafting With Mason Jars by Hester van Overbeek is available here.

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    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with homemade, handmade, gift, kids, quick, 2016, mason jars

  • Posted on March 24, 2016

    Crafting With Mason Jars blog tour

    We’re sure we don’t need to tell you that we love a bit of upcycling here at CICO Books towers. Whether you’re the sort of person that looks at a wooden crate and thinks ‘Hmm, what can I turn this into’ or you prefer to work on a much smaller scale, we’ve got books with great ideas for you. Latest to add to your upcycling bookshelf is Crafting With Mason Jars by Hester Van Overbeek. This is Hester’s second book for us, after Furniture Hacks last year (you can read more about that book here) and it is absolutely packed with ideas for upcycling the humble glass jar.  We celebrated the launch with a lovely blog tour last week. Just look at all the blogs we had taking part.

    We started the week with Apartment Apothecary who shared some of her favourite projects from the book, including this lovely oil lamp.

    Day two saw us pay a visit to Clare Nicolson’s blog, Full Time Fiesta where she’d had a go at making the Wall-Mounted Vase. How lovely do the flowers look against her block colour backdrop?

    Photograph by Clare Nicolson

    A Playful Day reviewed the book on Day 3 of the blog tour summing up: For me, this is the joy of Hester's book: a project for everyone’ and celebrating with a blood orange cocktail – a delightfully seasonal take on one of Hester’s picnic ideas. So lovely!

    We followed this with a look at Tinkered Treasures favourite projects from the book, including the totally instagrammable picnic in a jar. We know we’ll be doing a lot of this over the summer!

    Last but by no means least, we finished up a beautiful blog tour with a post at Claireabellemakes, who followed Hester’s instructions for making your own mason jar candle. How gorgeous does Crafting With Mason Jars look when it’s lit by candlelight?

    Photograph by Claireabellemakes

    We’ve had a lovely week celebrating a beautiful and innovative book and are looking forward to seeing some more makes from this book! Just to tickle your creative tastebuds, our most recent #MakeOnMonday was Hester’s tutorial for the Coffee Cup Jar – perfect for summer camping trips! Find the project over on our MAKE YouTube Channel.

    Crafting With Mason Jars by Hester van Overbeek is available here. Unless stated otherwise, all photographs are by James Gardiner.


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with handmade, upcycling, video, photos, blog tour, 2016

  • Posted on March 22, 2016

    Crochet Easter Egg Cosies

    With Easter and the bank holiday weekend on the horizon, we’ve got the cutest craft idea to share with you today. Perfect for keeping boiled eggs toasty whilst you’re hunting Easter Eggs (obviously a priority), these little bunny egg cosies are taken from Nicki Trench’s Cute and Easy Crocheted Cosies. So grab your crochet hooks and brighten your breakfast table, next weekend and beyond! Plus, if you like these cuties, there’s plenty more Easter crafting to be had straight into your inbox with our latest MAKE newsletter. Join here to receive it now!

    Bunny Egg Cosies

    These cute little egg cosies have bunny ears and are made using standard double crochet to fit an average-sized egg. They are made in a spiral so it’s useful to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning and end of each round.

    materials

    Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, 100% merino wool DK weight yarn

    1 x 50g (1.oz) ball – approx. 105m (115yd) – each of:

    A: 58 Grass (green)

    B: 44 Aqua (blue)

    C: 64 Mauve (pink)

    D: 69 Citrus (yellow)

    3.5mm (US size E/4) crochet hook

    Stitch marker

    6 small pink beaded fabric bows

    tension

    17 sts x 19 rows over a 10cm (4in) square, working double crochet using 3.5mm (US size E/4) hook.

    finished measurement

    Approx. 4cm (1½in) diameter

    abbreviations

    approx. approximate(ly)

    ch chain

    cont continu(e)(ing)

    dc double crochet

    dc2tog double crochet 2 stitches together

    rep repeat

    RS right side

    st(s) stitch(es)

    ss slip stitch

    WS wrong side

    Cosy

    (make 1 each in A, B, C, and D)

    Make 2ch, 6dc into second ch from hook.

    Round 1 (RS): 2dc in each dc to end. (12 dc)

    Cont in rounds with RS always facing.

    Round 2: Rep Round 1. (24 dc)

    Rounds 3–7: 1dc in each dc to end.

    Round 8: *1dc in next dc, dc2tog over next 2 dc; rep from * to end. (16 dc)

    Round 9: 1dc in each dc, join with a ss in first dc of round.

    Fasten off.

    Ears

    (make 2 per Cosy)

    Row 1: Using A, B, C, or D, make 5ch, 1dc in second ch from hook, 1dc in each ch to end. (4 sts)

    Rows 2–5: 1ch, 1dc in each st to end. (4 sts)

    Row 6: 1ch, [dc2tog] twice. (2 sts)

    Row 7: 1ch, 1dc in each st.

    Row 8: 1ch, dc2tog.

    Fasten off.

    Finishing

    Sew in ends on WS and turn Cosy RS out.

    Pin and block Ears.

    Position and pin Ears onto top of RS of Cosy and sew in place.

    Sew one bow onto the left-hand Ear.

    Cute and Easy Crochted Cosies by Nicki Trench is available here. Don’t forget to subscribe to MAKE now to receive this and lots more Easter craft ideas straight into your inbox. Join here today!


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with handmade, easter, school holidays, Nicki Trench, quick, crochet, 2016

  • Posted on March 1, 2016

    Flowers that last forever

    We’re all about the homemade gift here at CICO Books Towers, and with Mothers’ Day just around the corner (for those of you in the UK at least), we thought it was time we shared some ideas. These lovely tissue paper flowers are taken from our new book Let’s Get Crafty with Paper & Glue which is part of a new series aimed at introducing even the littlest children to crafty fun! With just some lovely brightly coloured tissue paper, and pipe cleaners, you can make a bunch of flowers for Mum that will last forever!

    Tissue-paper flowers

    Delicate and pretty, these delightful tissue-paper blooms make lovely gifts when bunched up into a colorful bouquet. Look out for multicolored packs of tissue paper in art stores, or collect leftover pieces from presents and packaging to have on hand when you need to say it with flowers.

    What you will need

    Sheets of tissue paper in different colors

    Scissors

    Ruler

    Pipe cleaners

    Twigs

    1. Layer tissue paper: measure and cut 10 pieces of different colored tissue paper, 9½ x 12in (24 x 30cm). Lay them on top of each other.

    2. First crease: fold all the layers of paper over together by about 1.in (3cm) and make a crease.

    3. Make a concertina: continue to fold the tissue paper until the whole thing resembles a concertina.

    4. Shape the strip: cut both ends of the strip into either a curved petal shape or snip it into thin strips using scissors.

    5. Wrap the layers: take a long pipe cleaner, fold it in half, and twist it around the middle of the paper strips.

    6. Make petals: carefully pull each layer of paper out to form the petals.

    7. Attach to twig: twist the pipe cleaner onto the end of a twig. Add a leaf shape if you like.

    Let’s Get Crafty with Paper & Glue is available here. We have also published Let’s Get Crafty with Fabric & Felt, available here.

       

    For more Mothers’ Day gift inspiration, check out our Spring Flower Pot, Felt Tulips and Origami gift box video tutorials.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with handmade, Mother's Day, Book Launch, crafts for kids, kids, paper crafts, activities for kids, 2016

  • Posted on December 5, 2015

    Christmas Stocking Cards

    The festive spirit has well and truly kicked in at RPS and CICO Book Towers and we’ve got a new Jen and Polly MAKE… video tutorial to prove it! This weekend is the perfect time to start making cards with the kids and we just love this one! Click the image to take you to the video, and the instructions are below. Happy making!

    Christmas Stocking Cards

    Give a Christmas stocking with a difference. These cards will add festive cheer to any mantelpiece. Using a traditional Christmas color scheme of red and white, they make the perfect card for a child but will be equally loved by adults, too. Use store-bought giftwrap papers or decorate plain red and white card with adhesive stickers. The addition of ribbon and braid finishes the cards off beautifully.

    Materials

    Stocking template (download here)

    Pencil

    Scissors

    Thin red and white card

    Red and white circular stickers

    Red and white patterned giftwrap

    Glue stick

    Red crepe paper

    Sewing needle and red thread

    Fast-drying, high-tack craft glue

    Selection of buttons, braids and ribbons

    Rotary hole punch

    Print the stocking template (download here). Using the template, draw and cut out stocking shapes from the white and red card.

    For the spotted stockings, stick circular stickers randomly all over one side of the card stocking. Alternatively, draw around the template onto patterned paper and cut out. Glue this onto a plain card stocking with glue stick.

    Decorate the tops of the stockings with lengths of ribbon and braid, adding a ribbon bow or buttons if desired.

    Using the hole punch, make a hole in the top corner of the stocking. Cut a 6-in. (15-cm) length of thin red ribbon and thread it through the hole. Tie a neat knot in the ribbon and trim the ends to even them.

    Give the card to your friend!

    Alternatively, for the ruffle stockings, cut a 12 x 1-in. (30.5 x 2.5-cm) strip of crepe paper. Stitch along one long edge, securing the thread with a knot at the start. Pleat the paper as you go by gathering it until it measures 4⅜ in. (11 cm). Finish with a few stitches or a knot.

    Cut out a cuff from either red or white card (the opposite color to the main stocking). Apply craft glue along the bottom of the cuff and glue the crepe paper ruffle along this, if using.

    Glue the cuff onto the stocking.

    This project is adapted from Hand-Crafted Cards which is available here. For more festive inspiration, check out our new Christmas Pinterest board!


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK and was tagged with christmas, homemade, handmade, school holidays, kids, video, 2015

  • Posted on December 2, 2015

    A Festive Wordless Wednesday

    Selina Lake Winter Living

    For more festive inspiration, why not visit our Christmas Board on Pinterest? Happy December!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, homemade, drinks, handmade, event, Selina Lake, Hannah Miles, photos, quick, 2015, Scandinavian

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