• Beautiful new craft book

    by  • 09/02/2012 • Country craft • 2 Comments

    Have you seen the new craft book All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens (£14.99, Cico Books)? Textile artist Chloe has a passion for vintage style and her book includes 35 creative projects using appliqué and embroidery.

    I love the Scandinavian-inspired place mats in vibrant colours (below), or try your hand at making a country-style table runner to brighten up your home for spring.

    As well as home accessories, there are great ideas for handmade gifts too – how about a pretty tote bag or laptop case?

    Easy-to-follow instructions guide you through the makes, plus there’s templates for each project. The book is beautifully illustrated, so it’s a pleasure to browse through the designs.

    Chloe’s love of colour and pattern is inspiring as she cheerfully suggests that you get ‘creative with colour and doodle with your sewing machine.’ Now where’s my needles and thread…

    All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens (£14.99 hardback, Cico Books). Photograph courtesy of Cico Books

    All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens (£14.99 hardback, Cico Books). Photograph courtesy of Cico Books

    Sew a beautiful place mat. Photograph courtesy of Cico Books

    Sew a beautiful place mat. Photograph courtesy of Cico Books

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    Decorate with stencils

    by  • 11/01/2012 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    If you’re looking for creative ways to decorate this year, take a look at this new book, Stencil It by Helen Morris (£20, Jacqui Small).

    Stencils can be used to give a room a fresh update and decorative design without wallpaper and it’s a chance to get creative with templates and paint. Try adding pattern to a wall beside a bed, or brighten up an area next to a desk or bookcase.

    The book includes advice on techniques and beautiful photographs show how to use stencils to create different styles – be inspired by elegant flowers, butterflies and classic architectural designs.

    My favourites include pretty seeds painted as though drifting across a wall, numerals for a retro look in the study, and the Russian dolls would look sweet in a vintage-style kitchen.

    The book has 15 stencils included at the back, so it’s easy to get started, just visit The Stencil Library to order paint and brushes.

    Stencil It is available online now from Amazon.

    Feeling inspired to try a new craft? I’d love to hear about your New Year craft projects…

    Stencil It by Helen Morris (£20, Jacqui Small). Photograph Michael Chippendale

    Stencil It by Helen Morris (£20, Jacqui Small). Photograph Michael Chippendale

    For more ideas, visit the new Country Homes & Interiors website.

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    Creative gift wrapping ideas

    by  • 15/12/2011 • Country craft • 2 Comments

    Wrapping presents ready to put under the tree is one of my favourite Christmas preparations, so I’ve been looking for some lovely ideas as inspiration for this year’s gifts.

    I love these creative ways to personalise presents and tips on how to get organised with a gift-wrapping station for rolls of wrapping paper, tissue, scissors, tape, ribbons and bows.

    There’s a gorgeous selection of paper and trimmings at Notonthehighstreet.com, including handmade snowflake design paper, personalised gift tags and country-style striped ribbons…

    How are you getting creative for Christmas this year?

    Giftwrap from Notonthehighstreet.com

    Giftwrap, tags and ribbons, from a selection at Notonthehighstreet.com

    For more gift wrapping ideas, see the Papers & Trims feature in the January issue of Country Homes & Interiors.

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    Make a Christmas Advent calendar

    by  • 16/11/2011 • Country craft • 1 Comment

    I love these Christmas craft ideas from Cox & Cox. Its new Advent calendar is easy to make and the kit has everything you need, including colourful fabrics, embroidery thread, tape, needles, glue and instructions. The kit costs £17.50 and the finished calendar measures H80cm by W48cm.

    Also try the snowflake hole punch, £12, which can be used to add three-dimensional snowflakes to gift tags or wrapping paper – an easy way to get creative in the run up to Christmas!

    For more Christmas craft ideas, go to housetohome.co.uk/crafts.

    Christmas Advent calendar kit, £17.50, Cox & Cox.

    Christmas Advent calendar kit, £17.50, Cox & Cox.

    3D Snowflake punch, £12, Cox & Cox.

    3D Snowflake punch, £12, Cox & Cox.

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    Cath Kidston knitting kit

    by  • 02/11/2011 • Country craft • 2 Comments

    If you’ve been thinking about what to buy as Christmas gifts, The Knitting Book by Cath Kidston (£20, Quadrille Publishing), would be perfect for someone who would like to try their hand at knitting.

    The kit comes in a pretty floral book tin and includes instructions on how to make a simple striped scarf, colourful yarn, knitting needles, plus How to Knit, a guide to basic knitting techniques.

    The set would make a lovely Christmas present and it’s available to buy online from Cath Kidston.

    For more easy craft ideas, go to housetohome.co.uk/crafts.

    The Knitting Book by Cath Kidston (£20, Quadrille Publishing).

    The Knitting Book by Cath Kidston (£20, Quadrille Publishing).

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    The Liberty Book of Home Sewing

    by  • 13/10/2011 • Country craft • 3 Comments

    Liberty is one of London’s most beautiful shops and I love its timeless fabrics, so when I heard about The Liberty Book of Home Sewing by Lucinda Ganderton (£20, Quadrille Publishing), I couldn’t wait to see it.

    The book has 25 designs including pretty book covers, a smart bag, plus elegant cushions and quilts – all made in gorgeous Liberty Art fabrics with step-by-step instructions. There’s also a guide to sewing techniques, haberdashery and details of all the fabrics.

    And if you want to brush up on your crafts skills, try one of the Liberty sewing classes this autumn – at the masterclass on 10th November you’ll meet the author Lucinda Ganderton and learn how to make two projects from the book.

    These beautiful photographs from the book are so inspiring… which is your favourite?

    The Liberty Book of Home Sewing by Lucinda Ganderton. Photographs Kristin Perers (£20, Quadrille Publishing). - add this to your Christmas wish list..!

    The Liberty Book of Home Sewing by Lucinda Ganderton. Photographs Kristin Perers (£20, Quadrille Publishing). Add this to your Christmas wish list..!

    Pretty Liberty print book covers. Photograph Kristin Perers.

    Pretty Liberty print book covers. Photograph Kristin Perers.

    Smart shopping bag. Photograph Kristin Perers.

    Smart red shopping bag. Photograph Kristin Perers.

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    Modern country craft ideas

    by  • 07/09/2011 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Are you looking for craft inspiration? You’ll find plenty of modern country ideas from the Country Homes & Interiors team on the new Housetohome crafts page.

    There’s simple sewing projects that are perfect for autumn including how to make curtains, or sew an easy blind.

    I love the decorative ideas on how to paint furniture such as adding pattern to a country-style chest of drawers, or get creative with our guide to making a pretty decoupage box.

    Enjoy browsing!

    Housetohome.co.uk/crafts

    Find creative craft ideas and projects at Housetohome.co.uk/crafts

    How to make a reversible curtain

    Sew a beautiful reversible curtain

    Add pattern to a chest of drawers

    Decorate a painted chest of drawers

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    Everything Alice book

    by  • 06/07/2011 • Country craft, Country style • 1 Comment

    I’ve just received a copy of this beautiful new craft book, Everything Alice, which comes out this week – it’s full of delightful things to make and do all based on the classic Alice in Wonderland tale.

    There are 50 craft ideas for you to create your own wonderland – bake gorgeous cupcakes, sew Cheshire cat cushions, cover furniture in colourful fabrics or create an enchanting shadow puppet theatre in the garden.

    Everything Alice – The Wonderland Book of Makes by Hannah Read-Baldrey and Christine Leech (£14.99, Quadrille Publishing) is available now online from Quadrille and Amazon.

    If you can’t wait for your copy to arrive, you can find out more on Hannah and Christine’s website and follow them on Twitter.

    For more craft ideas, go to housetohome.co.uk/crafts.

    Everything Alice – The Wonderland Book of Makes by Hannah Read-Baldrey and Christine Leech (£14.99, Quadrille Publishing). Illustration by Hannah Read-Baldrey.

    Everything Alice – The Wonderland Book of Makes by Hannah Read-Baldrey and Christine Leech (£14.99, Quadrille Publishing). Illustration by Hannah Read-Baldrey.

    Red velvet cupcakes. Photograph by Tiffany Mumford

    Red velvet cupcakes. Photograph by Tiffany Mumford

    Fabric-covered furniture. Photograph by Tiffany Mumford

    Fabric-covered furniture. Photograph by Tiffany Mumford

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    Garden party craft ideas

    by  • 11/05/2011 • Country craft, Country style • 1 Comment

    If you’re planning a garden party for the next Bank Holiday, I’ve found just the thing to create a pretty country look outside.

    These elegant paper pompoms are easy to make from tissue paper and you can buy similar fans from Dotcomgiftshop. You might also like to add a little colour with paper butterfly glass decorations.

    For a daytime gathering add fresh flowers to the table and twinkling lights as dusk falls.

    If you like this idea, look out for our papercraft feature in the July issue of Country Homes, out in early June. For more craft ideas, visit housetohome.co.uk/crafts.

    I’d love to hear about your craft projects – tell us what you’ve been up to on Facebook.

    Paper fan decorations look pretty above a country garden table.

    Paper fan decorations look pretty above a country garden table. Photograph: Lizzie Orme/Country Homes & Interiors/IPC+ Syndication

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    Stitch & Craft Show

    by  • 09/03/2011 • Country craft, Country moment • 0 Comments

    If the promise of spring has inspired you to start a new craft project, you’ll find plenty of ideas at the Stitch & Craft Show at Olympia, London next week from 17th to 20th March.

    The show has 150 exhibitors across three areas – knitting, stitching and papercrafts – plus demonstrations and workshops where you can learn to crochet, make cards or knit a flower corsage. It’s a great place to shop, try something new and meet other crafters.

    Tickets cost £10 (or £8 in advance); to book call 01394 288521 or order online at twistedthread.com. To find out more, go to stitchandcraft.co.uk.

    I’d love to hear about your local craft fairs and events – where are you going this spring?

    Jan Constantine cushions on display at the Stitch & Craft Show, Olympia. Photograph: Rob Kennard

    Jan Constantine cushions on display at the Stitch & Craft Show, Olympia. Photograph: Rob Kennard

    Stitch & Craft Show, Olympia. Photograph: Rob Kennard

    Stitch & Craft Show, Olympia. Photograph: Rob Kennard

    Stitch & Craft Show, Olympia. Photograph: Rob Kennard

    Stitch & Craft Show, Olympia. Photograph: Rob Kennard

    For more spring craft ideas, go to housetohome.co.uk/crafts.

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