Look what I made! It’s a Hobbiton miniature garden – complete with Hobbits! I made this project for my brand new gig as editor over on Crafttuts+. Please come over and say hello if you love making stuff – I’ve pulled together an awesome team of contributors including Kitiya Palaskas, Lisa Tilse from The Red Thread and Cinti from My Poppet. They’re making some really cool stuff and the tutorials are high quality with lots of beautiful photography. And we’ve got some gorgeous Christmas tutorials lined up for the festive season.
We’ve been running a series of geek-themed craft at Crafttuts+, so I thought I’d get my get my Tolkien geek on to celebrate the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington yesterday. I love miniature gardens and terrariums and I’ve always wanted to make a themed one, so this felt like the perfect opportunity.
In the tutorial, I take you through in step-by-step detail how to make each element for your Hobbiton miniature garden, including the teeny-tiny toadstools (hint: red nail varnish gives the most brilliant shine!). I will also show you how to plan and landscape your garden, and what plants are most suitable for your micro cosmos. Click here for my Crafttuts+ tutorial.
What do you think? Are you a Lord of the Rings fan? Do you like miniature gardens? Tell me in the comments below.
Photography by Lucas Boyd.
How amazing does this giant confetti wall look? It’s just one of the superb DIY projects you’ll find in Beci Orpin‘s fabulous new book, Find & Keep. Published by the super-cool Hardie Grant peeps (also publishers of Meet Me at Mike’s books), this book is definitely a find – and a keeper. Check out the incredibly vibrant cover!
Just in time for Christmas, it’s the perfect present for anyone who’s a wee bit crafty, a wee bit colourful, and a wee bit cool. I’ll be having a chat with Melbourne-based Beci very soon, but in the meantime, here’s how to make a giant confetti wall, Beci-Orpin-stylee. Over to you, Beci!
“Confetti has become a bit of a rarity these days. The proper old-school tissue paper kind, anyway. Whenever I find a newsagent that carries it, I buy up big, and subsequently have a small cupboard full of confetti boxes. My son Ari discovered these boxes one day and had a fantastic time spreading confetti all over my studio, until I discovered him and broke up the party (and it did look like a party – a really big one at that!). In the following weeks, while I continued to find confetti in every nook and cranny of my studio, I came up with this idea. Here’s how you can make your room look like a party – a much cleaner version than Ari’s, but just as much fun.
You will need:
- lots of different coloured paper and card (scraps will do fine)
- traced or photocopied circle template (click here for the template)
- a wall!
Let’s get started.
1. Gather your paper together. Scraps of paper of different colours and textures will work very well.
2. Using the template as a guide, cut out as many circles as possible from your coloured card.
3. Once you have cut out all the circles, arrange them roughly by colour. This will help you get organised and it looks nice, too.
4. Using Blu-Tack on the back of the circles, start sticking them onto the wall. Start with one circle and try to make the other circles look like they are floating away from that point in different directions.
5. Continue until all your circles are on the wall. On corners or where the wall meets the floor, use halfcircles with the flat edge flush against the straight line. These details create an overall better effect for your confetti wall.”
This project is re-published with the kind permission of Beci Orpin and Hardie Grant. Find & Keep is AU$39.95 and can be found in all nice shops and book stores now. You can also buy it online from Booktopia and Amazon. You can find Beci Orpin online right here.
To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next weekend, I’ve designed some special Wee Birdy cupcake toppers and cake banners! They’re free to download and print and super-easy to assemble.
Jubilee cupcake toppers
All you need is a colour printer, some cardboard (a cereal box will do or some red or blue cardboard would look great), some scissors or pinking shears, glue and toothpicks.
Print out the free downloadable PDF here* and glue the back of the sheet of cupcake toppers to an A4 piece of cardboard, then cut around each circle. I used pinking shears for a cute finish. Stick a toothpick to the back of each cupcake topper with sticky tape. If you want it to look super-slick, print out another sheet of toppers and glue another topper on the back, covering up the toothpick. Ta-da! How good do they look?
Jubilee cake banner
All you need is a colour printer, some scissors, glue, cardboard and wooden skewers.
Print out the free downloadable PDF here* and glue the back of the banner/s to some cardboard. Cut around the border, making sure you don’t cut over the coloured edge. Stick two skewers on a slight angle to each end of the banner with sticky tape. You’re done – now just pop it in the Victorian Sponge and it’s ready for your Jubilee street party. If you’re having a table of cakes, pop a different design in each cake. They’ll look spectacular. Enjoy!
* The Wee Birdy Jubilee Cupcake Picks and Cake Banners are free downloadable pdfs and are for personal use only. Please feel free to pin, blog or tweet about these free printables, but please link back to www.weebirdy.com and to this actual post’s URL. Please do not link directly to the downloadable file. Thank you.
Click here to download the FREE Diamond Jubilee Cake Banner.
Click here to download the FREE Diamond Jubilee Cupcake Toppers.
Are you having a Jubilee party next weekend? Tell me what you’re doing!
Have you started wrapping your presents yet? I’ve rounded up some of the best ideas from Pinterest. Funnily enough, my favourite parcels are all wrapped with brown kraft paper. And I love the idea of drawing pictures/patterns straight onto the wrap with a white or silver pen. So clever.
I’m still making pom-poms for my presents. I’ll try to pop a picture up some time this week of my progress.
With thanks and admiration to sources clockwise from top left: Hello Naomi; 100 Layer Cake; aprintadayarchives.blogspot.com; Creature Comforts; A Creative Mint; Paper Crave.
Have a look at my Parcel Goodness board on Pinterest for more genius wrapping ideas.
With thanks and admiration to sources from clockwise top left: Robbie and Erin; Art as life; Iffer’s Nest (possibly originally Decor 8 – anyone?); Hey Look; Mer Mag; Das Kaninchen’s Flickr; Petunia; The Purl Bee.
p.s. I’ve done my best to credit the makers/photographers, but one of the frustrating things about Pinterest is that it’s all too easy to lose the original source through repinning or lazy crediting. Gah! Let me know if you know the correct source!
How are you going with your wrapping? Inspired by anything you see here?
I've been desperate for a stretch of mantel to decorate at Christmas for a very long time, so there was no way the wee fireplace in our new flat was going to go unadorned this season. So, amidst a sea of unpacked boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper and stuff that has no home (we only moved in three weeks ago), I set about decorating our Christmas tree and fireplace.
I had my heart set on making a eucalyptus garland for the mantel, so I enlisted the help of my mum, along with Martha Stewart and some other online sources.
I wanted a modern Australian look, with different textures and hints of pink to complement our rather girlie candy-coloured white Christmas tree (poor husband), so I picked up a bunch of eucalyptus leaves from the florist, and mum brought a basket full of fresh rosemary and lavender foliage from her garden. The scent in the kitchen as we selected the choicest sprigs was heavenly!
If you want to make your own garland, you'll need:
- bunches of complementary foliage (we used eucalyptus leaves, fresh rosemary and lavendar foliage)
- flowers for colour (we used a pink flowering gum blossom)
- 1/2 inch sisal rope (we picked up a roll at Bunnings)
- fine floristry wire
- green floristry tape
- gardening pliers to cut foliage and wire
And follow these steps to make the garland:
- Cut rope to fit your mantel, leaving some room either side for it to hang down.
- Starting at the top of the rope, take a few sprigs of eucalyptus leaves (choose ones that drape nicely) and strip the leaves from the bottom of the stems.
- Holding stems against rope, tightly wrap wire around rope and stems several times.
- Next, moving slightly down the rope, do the same thing with rosemary, ensuring it overlaps the eucalyptus but doesn't cover it.
- Do the same with the lavendar, and continue down the rope, wrapping the sprigs in the same direction and alternating the foliage.
- When you get about half-way, you'll need to change direction of the sprigs, so that it drapes from the other side.
- We only covered one side of the rope, as my fireplace is small and we already had quite a thick garland going.
- When you're finished, secure to your mantel with temporary hooks, or just drape it across the top, leaving the sides to hang down.
- If you have some flowers (like our gum blossom), poke the sprigs into even intervals along the garland.
- Finish with a misting of water.
- Mist your garland at least once a day to keep it looking fresh (important during humid Australian summers).
So how did we do? Have you made a fresh garland or wreath for your house?
(My snow angel candle is from Caravan in London, and my kozyndan 'Bunny Blossom' print is from Outre Gallery in Sydney/Melbourne. The white Christmas tree was a vintage find on eBay. And I'm still waiting for our stockings to arrive from Toast in the UK!)
Thanks to mum for all the help!