Ryland Peters And Small publishing company logo


Sign up to receive exciting news about our food and drink, craft, interiors, kids' and gift books


First name

or dismiss
Tag Archives: tutorial
  • Posted on February 12, 2015

    Sew Scentilicious!

    Here at RPS and CICO Books, there are two television programmes (well, there are probably a few more!) that we can’t help but get super excited about… As you know, GBBO is one of those programmes and the other is the absolutely brilliant Great British Sewing Bee! With an office full of craft lovers, the wonderful fabric and stitching challenges are right up our street, and last week’s introductory episode got us all in the sewing mood! So, in preparation for tonight’s episode, we’ve picked out a small and simple sewing pattern to make while we’re watching the contestants; stylish lavender bags from the new book by Kate Haxell, Sew-licious Little Things. Why not give this simple Scentilicious project a go tonight!


    Lavender bags smell delicious, but often look embarrassingly twee. Why? I’ve no idea; there’s no need for it. Make your own from scraps of your favorite fabrics, and give them little loops so you can put them on clothes hangers and make your whole closet scentilicious. The buttons help to make the lavender bag pleasingly firm, but you don’t have to add them. 


    Two scraps of fabric, each the size you want the lavender bag to be; mine was about 4 x 3 1/4in (10 x 8cm)

    Piece of ribbon or tape about 4in (10cm) long

    Dried lavender

    Decorative button and plain button

    Fabric scissors

    Iron and ironing board


    Sewing threads to match fabrics

    Sewing machine

    Hand-sewing needle

    1. Place the fabrics right sides together and cut out the shape you want your bag to be, remembering to cut it about 3/8in (1cm) larger all around to allow for seam allowances. If you prefer, you can make a paper template and draw around that.

    2. Fold the tape in half, overlapping the ends so that the right side of one end lies on top of the wrong side of the other end. Pin the folded tape to the right side of the front of the bag, matching the raw ends to the top edge.

    3. Lay the other piece of fabric right side down on top of the first piece, with the tape in between. Taking a 3/8in (1-cm) seam allowance, sew around the edges, leaving a small gap in one side. Cut notches in the seam allowances around any curves.

    4. Turn the bag right side out through gap and press it flat. Fill the bag dried lavender, then ladder stitch the gap closed.

    5. Thread the hand-sewing needle with a long length of thread, double it, and knot the ends. From the back, take the needle right through the bag, then thread on the decorative button. Go back down through the other hole in the button and right through to the back of the bag, then thread on the plain button. Pull the thread tight. Go back and forth through both buttons a few times, then secure the thread by looping and knotting it under the button on the back.

    Sew-licious Little Things by Kate Haxell is available here.

    Full of lovely small and practical projects for the home and accessories for you to wear, this book is perfect if you're after a quick sewing pattern or want to make the most of the little things in life. For more on craft project ideas, click here.

    Hope you enjoy the Sewing Bee and have a lovely evening!

    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with handmade, fabric, quick, sewing, tutorial, 2015, patterns

  • Posted on January 19, 2015

    Cosy, Warm and Woolly!

    Cold isn’t it! It certainly got a little nippier over the weekend, and suddenly that snow we were promised during last week’s balmier weather doesn’t seem so far-fetched! Pairing this with a broken heater in the offices and we’re considering hibernation for the rest of the winter. Before we take such drastic steps, we thought perhaps our books might have some cosy inspiration! Beanies and Bobble Hats by Fiona Goble is just the thing we need during this cold snap, so we thought we’d share this classic bobble hat pattern with you – this quick knit will warm you right up! Now…is it Spring yet?


    Sometimes, only something classically simple will fit the bill. So here is a traditional bobble hat that you can customize to your own style. Knit it in two colors and add a bobble in another color—just like I have. Knit it totally plain. Or knit it in stripes. I’ve chosen a lovely cotton-rich yarn for this hat, so you can keep it to hand to ward off any cool spring breezes. And it’s chunky, so it will knit up in just an evening or two.


    Rowan All Seasons Chunky (60% cotton, 40% acrylic) chunky yarn

    1 x 3½ oz (100g) ball (93yd/85m) in shade 609 Jetsam (A)

    1 x 3½ oz (100g) ball (93yd/85m) in shade 603 Drift (B)

    1 x 3½ oz (100g) ball (93yd/85m) in shade 611 Samphire (C)

    Needles and equipment

    US 10½ (6.5mm) knitting needles

    Yarn sewing needle

    A pompom maker to make 2¾ in (7cm) pompoms, or two cardboard circles each measuring 2¾ in (7cm) in diameter with a 1¼ in (3cm) diameter hole in the center.

    Gauge (tension)

    14 sts and 16 rows in stockinette (stocking) stitch to a 4-in (10-cm) square on US 10½ (6.5mm) needles.


    The finished hat measures approx. 10½ in (50cm) circumference and 8¼ in (21cm) high excluding the pompom.

    For the hat

    Cast on 60 sts in A.

    Row 1: [K2, p2] to end.

    Rep row 1, 5 times more.

    Break A and join in B.

    Work 20 rows in st st beg with a k row.

    Row 27: K4, [k2tog, k8] 5 times, k2tog, k4. (54 sts)

    Row 28: Purl.

    Row 29: K3, [sl2, k1, p2sso, k6] 5 times, sl2, k1, p2sso, k3.

    Row 30: Purl.

    Row 31: K2, [sl2, k1, p2sso, k4] 5 times, sl2, k1, p2sso, k2.

    Row 32: Purl.

    Row 33: K1, [sl2, k1, p2sso, k2] 5 times, sl2, k1, p2sso, k1.

    Row 34: Purl.

    Row 35: [Sl2, k1, p2sso] 6 times.

    Break yarn, thread it through rem sts, and pull up securely.

    To make up

    Sew the back seam using mattress stitch.

    Using the pompom maker or cardboard circles, make a pompom using C. Trim the pompom and use the tails of yarn to sew it to the top of the hat.

    Weave in all loose ends.

    Beanies and Bobble Hats by Fiona Goble is available here. Other current craft books by us are here.

    Happy knitting and stay cosy!


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with january, handmade, knitting, Fiona Goble, tutorial, 2015, patterns

  • Posted on January 15, 2015

    So you think you're a skateboarder?

    Today we have some skateboard-style entertainment for you, in case you’re twiddling your thumbs at work or just love to skate! We start at the miniature end of the skating spectrum with a project from Build your own Fingerboard Skatepark. All you’ll need is a box, a pair of scissors and some tape, and you can be a tiny Tony Hawks or Nyjah Hustons, soaring through your own diminutive dreams in no time!

    We then have a hilarious characterisation of that mythical guy from the skatepark… You know, the one that everyone talks about because he does the most insane tricks, but hasn’t actually been seen for months… Head down towards the bottom of the blog post to have a read!


    How to build a very simple quarter pipe using just a box, scissors & tape

    This lesson is the simplest in the book, but in many ways it is also the coolest, because you can have a ton of fun with this little ramp, and anyone can make it in minutes. Once you have the basic idea down you’ll see that there are a lot of potential variations on this ramp, and using this system you can set up a sweet little bunch of chained ramps very quickly.

    You will need:

    Cereal box


    Tape (packing tape or duct tape is best, scotch tape could work)

    Extra stuff that helps:

    Maybe a pen or marker

    Maybe a ruler if you want to be fancy

    1. Find a big empty cereal box and remove all of its contents, either by eating or simply by putting the cereal somewhere else. The bigger the box, the bigger the ramp. With the box open, remove the extra flaps (the stuff that is used to open and close the box) on the open side only. While not completely necessary, I prefer the ramp not to have this extra stuff. Make sure you keep the pre-sealed “bottom” sealed.

    2. Lay the box down flat. It doesn’t matter whether the front or back is showing, but if you like the idea of a big cereal logo on your ramp, use the front. We’ll call whichever one you’ve chosen the ramp face. Measure 13/4in. (4.5cm) down from the closed end of the box at the fold and mark it (see diagram). Repeat this step on the other side. You can experiment with this measurement, but you’ll see after you’ve made one that this measurement affects the size of the flat and how sloped the ramp is. Take your scissors and cut down each side up to the mark.

    3. Now push the loose ramp face in, forming a curve. Put a strip of tape along the bottom, and a strip along either side. You can shape the flat more if you want to, adding a harder fold there for little slides and plants, or you can keep the curve to have a more fluid slope to ride. It’s all up to you, ramp-builder!

    4. Now you should have a cool little ramp! In addition to taping the ramp face in place, I usually tape the whole ramp down to a stable surface, too, so that it doesn’t move around and so that transitions are smooth. You could also push it against a wall to give yourself a little vert wall to play off.

    Build your own Fingerboard Skatepark by Marty Allen is available here.


    The Myth

    Sasquatch, leprechauns, unicorns, the Loch Ness Monster, a world free from kids on scooters... all these things share one glaringly obvious trait: they don’t exist. The Myth is a bit more of a gray area. He is definitely a real person, because your friend’s friend once met him and that friend knows this one thing the Myth did must be true because his friend said so. Make sense? Good.

    Every town and every city has one local skateboarder who has achieved mythical status through his skateboarding.

    “I heard he did this insane trick at the spot.”

    “No way man, I heard he did it switch.”

    “I heard he did it after being hit by a car.”

    “I heard he did it naked!”

    Mixing the Chinese-whisper effect that younger skateboarders create during their junk-food fueled conversations with the murky, beer-fueled memories of the reminiscing older generation easily can create a make-believe memory of a skateboarder, one that can be at least 50 percent fiction. The person may have existed, but exactly what he did or didn’t do may have been somewhat altered.

    Usually this mythical beast will have dropped off the scene due to some career-shortening, never-heard-of-before injury, or he simply disappeared into the ether after allegedly doing some mind-bending super stunt. This kind of exit from the skateboard game means this ethereal creature’s spirit is destined to live on in infamy. The drab reality is that this apparition, this distant memory probably just got older and had to join the rat-race and accept the responsibilities of real life. He probably had a kid, got a 9-5, and just ended up skating less.

    Regardless of the actual truth behind the stories, the enhancing of the Myth’s abilities, and truth-bending surrounding his stunt work, this guy is probably the most important person to figure in the formation of a young skater’s life. The mysteries and fables only serve to make a kid aspirational about what is possible on a skateboard. Without these fantastical stories, kids might think some things are just not humanly possible, and one of the most amazing things about skateboarding is how it continues to progress beyond what seemed possible in the years preceding it. Without knowing it, the Myth is the person we learn from, the one who teaches us lessons, inspires us, and makes us believe the impossible is possible. The Myth might not know it, but he is.

    Next time someone tells you a tale about the time the local legend did such and such, don’t question it and wonder about the validity of the statement; embellish it and relay it to someone else. It’s the only way to ensure things move forward. And it’s fun to mess with people’s heads, too.

    So you think you're a skateboarder? by Alex Irvine is available here. More craft related books also on offer here.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Craft Projects, Featured, Featured, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with Marty Allen, skateboarding, 2014, humour, tutorial

  • Posted on January 7, 2015

    Get organised for a year in crafts!

    One thing that we look forward to at the start of each new year in the RPS and CICO office, is getting started on a whole load of exciting new crafts! If you follow us on Instagram then you can check out our office crafternoons and lovely lunchtime makes – it’s so hard to resist when we’re surrounded by so many super craft books! And one book that we reckon will keep popping up throughout 2015 is A Year in Crafts by Clare Youngs. Full of seasonal projects and multi-media makes, there’s something in this book for every month and occasion!

    So, to kick start the new year, we’ve picked a project from the January collection. These printed clipboards are simple to make and the perfect craft to get you organised!

    printed clipboards

    It’s a new year, a fresh start, and time to make those resolutions. I usually make one that involves being more organized. I tend to work on small scraps of paper that pile up or get pushed into the back of a sketchbook. Last year I made clipboards and hung them in a row above my desk and it works! I can now have a board for each project and keep my desk free of loose paper, with more room for making.

    Hand-printing is a lovely way to personalize your makes. Once you have cut your printing stamps you can use them on all sorts of projects, from gift wrap, greetings cards, and gift tags to fabric. 

    You will need

    Selection of erasers

    Soft pencil

    Craft knife

    Cutting mat

    Lino-cutting tool

    Sheets of letter-size (A4) white paper

    Ink-stamping pads

    Sheets of letter-size (A4) heavyweight gray board

    Craft glue

    Large binder clips

    1. To make an oval-shaped pattern, use a rectangular eraser. Draw a leaf shape along the whole length of the eraser using a soft pencil. Using a craft knife, and working on a cutting mat, cut out the leaf shape.

    2. With the lino-cutting tool, score lines across the width of the oval shape. Draw some pencil lines to help place the grooves or cut freehand. Make the lines different thicknesses by applying more or less pressure as you cut. Score a few lines that cross over each other to give you a more textured surface.

    3. Use the oval stamp to print a repeat pattern on a sheet of white paper. You can achieve lovely effects by overprinting with a second color. I have printed rows of blue ovals and then used the same stamp to overprint slightly to one side using silver.

    4. Use a square eraser to make another stamp in the same way, and print a second sheet of white paper with a different pattern. I have rotated my stamp for alternate rows and have overprinted with a simple circle cut from a square eraser.

    5. To make a clipboard, stick a sheet of printed paper to the gray board using craft glue.

    6. Cut a strip of patterned paper to the same width as a binder clip. Fold the paper around the clip and trim the edges for a neater fit. Stick the paper onto the clip using craft glue.


    When it comes to printing, it is a good idea to experiment with different shapes and combinations of colors before committing to a final design. You can keep your experiments as references for future craft projects.


    A Year in Crafts by Clare Youngs is available here. Visit our craft section for other exciting craft projects and ideas as well!

    Have a lovely evening all and here's to a great year of crafting!


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Craft Projects, Featured, Featured, UK, US and was tagged with january, Clare Youngs, 2014, quick, tutorial, A Year in Crafts, printing

  • Posted on June 3, 2014

    Embrace Nature: House Gardening Tutorial 2

    Now that we’ve arrived in June, it is Officially Summer, and therefore the season of garden parties, weddings and general outdoor frivolity. Unfortunately the weather seems to have other ideas – lashing rain giving way to blazing sunshine in a matter of moments today – but fear not! Isabelle Palmer’s latest book, The House Gardener, is perfect for the typical British Summer as it is full of loads of beautiful ways to bring the outdoors in!

    Reminiscent of a lovely French meadow, this project would make an ideal centre piece at a wedding or garden party, but would also brighten up any room on even the gloomiest of days!

    We hope you enjoy this project come rain or shine, and look forward to sharing some more lovely ideas soon!

    The House Gardener by Isabelle Palmer is available here.

    These books may also be of interest to you :-






    This post was posted in News, News, UK, US, Videos, Videos, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, handmade, plants, flowers, 2014, the house gardener, nature, Isabelle Palmer, tutorial

5 Item(s)