making | baking | creating

DIY Halloween | Glitter Skull Candle Holders

It's been quite a while since glitter has made an appearance on the blog - what better DIY to change that with than these sparkly glitter skull candle holders?

| WHAT YOU NEED |

Skulls | Silver Glitter | Mod Podge | Glue Brush | Battery Tealights | Craft Knife

| HOW YOU MAKE THEM |

Luckily, if you feel Halloween is racing towards you and you're running out of time, these home decor additions don't take an more than 30 minutes to make.
Start by trimming the hanging loop from the top and using one of the tealights to mark the skull and act as a guide:
Begin removing sections of the polystyrene with the craft knife, using the tealight to continue marking as each section is removed:
As the skull sits at an angle, but the tealight wants to sit flat, keep using it to check the depth required at the front and back of the skull to ensure it can sit neatly and securely:
Once you are happy with the holder created, you can move swiftly on to the best part - glitter!
Cover the top of the skull in mod podge and then sprinkle the glitter generously over the top, leave to settle and set for a few minutes, before shaking off the excess, gathering up the glitter and repeating the process to cover the bottom:
Once covered and completely dry, you can protect your skulls with hairspray, spray glue, or more mod podge [but be aware that in some cases, this can dull the glitter]:
Add your tealights and it really is as simple and quick as that:
Display as part of your usual decor:


...or as an addition to any other halloween-themed decorations:
As always - safety first! Never use a real candle in or near these polystyrene holders. Seriously [and even more seriously if you used the hairspray as a glitter setting option]

DIY Home Decor | Autumn Pumpkin Garland

A bit of a bridge before the house decorations kick-off - bringing a bit of the Autumn in with a 'much easier to recreate than you may think' garland DIY.

| WHAT YOU NEED |

Floristry Foam | Gypsophila x4 | Hydrangeas x4 | Eucalyptus x4 | Pumpkins x8 | Paints | Skewers | 

| HOW YOU MAKE IT |

Start by creating your base with the floristry foam.  I opted for a two-tier height, higher in the centre and created this by cutting my foam lengthways in half, than one in half again.  To protect the foam and stop it from creating a huge mess, cover with foil and set in place.  You can secure the sides to the centre with skewer sticks or some glue: 
To start creating your garland, take one bunch of the gypsophila [I picked mine up from poundland] and cut the stems to smaller sections.  These can then be used to help guide and create the length of the garland - it will primarily be filler and a colour to break up the main element of the garland:
Now use the rest of the gypsophila to create the outline shape of the garland, as this will help guide the placement of the eucalyptus and feature decorations:
To add some colour [I mean, as much colour as you're getting from me], I coated some foam pumpkins [faces not on the showing side!] in a neutral palette of pastel yellow, blue, grey and green, with a little gold added to the stalks for interest:
Once dry, and mainly because I couldn't stop with the stalks, I used a very, very dry brush to add a little more gold to the pumpkins:
Finally, add skewers to the base of the pumpkins so that they can be added to the garland [half a skewer to each pumpkin should work perfectly]:
Space your pumpkins across the foam and vary the heights to create a little movement in the garland -  but they wont be fixed in place just yet - instead, remove the pumpkins for now and the holes made in the foam will come in very handy when they are added back later:
Instead, the main element of the garland can now be added - the eucalyptus.   I used three stems to create the height and depth of the garland, leaving one behinds for filler later on.  Cut off any extra stems that can add length or height and use the wire to create movement and fullness:
Once you are happy with the overall shape, add the hydrangeas to break up the colour and add texture and interest:
Now, the pumpkins can be re-placed - make sure you move the eucalyptus leaves around to keep everything secure, the fullness of the garland and shape:
Finally, the bunch left aside can be cut in to smaller sections and used to fill any open spaces and to make the garland a little less structured and full:
I have to be honest, I've been back and moved a few leaves here and there since taking these photos - take your time with it and it all can be re-arranged to suit your space and design.  I also threaded a pack of small pompom together and added for a little more decoration - but I've decided to keep this for the Winter version, which can be created with a few replacements, but with the main structure remaining:

A simple decoration made for the mantle that consists of four main elements, that can be altered to suit your space, design and taste: filler, garland, colour and decoration.  This structure can also be used to create table runners, centrepieces and more - trying to stop myself from adding these to very surface now.....
If you've ever wanted a garland and haven't quite found one that suits you - give this a go with the elements of your choice [and don't forget to show me if you do]!
See you next Sunday for some Halloween decor that sparkles [as now does my carpet].

DIY Home Decor | Quote Mirror Art

Roald Dahl. He spoke the truth.

| WHAT YOU NEED |

Mirror | Stickers

| HOW YOU MAKE IT |
I started by removing the hanging as I'm more of a picture/frame/mirror leaner [and have the broken glass to prove it] but other than making sure your mirror is clean and free of dust/marks - the prep work for this DIY is minimal:
To create my quote, I needed two packs of letter stickers. I went for Thickers Imprint as they are nice and thick and have a black background with contrasting thin gold lettering. But the beauty of this DIY is that you can create any effect you want - large or small, any colour, any thickness and any font.
I used the pack to help me space out my quote in to 6 lines and continued to use this as my guide as I started each line, making sure it matched the spacing of the sticker pack:
 ...and you're off.  Create each word, with even spacing between each letter and then even spacing between each word:
If anything goes wrong, or doesn't look quite right, you can easily change it before the sticker becomes too adhered to the mirror.  But be fairly quick - the stickers are almost impossible for me to remove now (just as a test) and I even checked how easy the mirror would now be to clean and I could pretty much wipe over the top of the stickers without worrying too much.

Finally, display your new, stylish mirror:
see you next time x

Jewellery Maker | Wire Word Kit

Today, I'm bringing you the results of my try of the Jewellery Maker new kits.  I've worked with Jewellery Maker before, and tried out their Gemstone Bracelet kit, which I really enjoyed.  From their new range of kits, which include Stamping and Seed Beading, I've tested the Wire Writing Kit.  Ive seen various wire writing hangers, jewellery and accessories and was keen to give the technique a go myself - what better way than with a kit.

The kit provides you with materials to create two 'love' necklaces - but that's just the findings and fastenings.  You receive 10m of wire - plenty for more than just the two 'love' words and depending on the length of chain and whether you opt for a necklace or bracelet [like me], there's room for a few more.  So no worries if you make a mistake and feel you want to start again, have a practice run or even experiment with longer words - there are plenty of supplies provided.
You also have the added support of the Jewellery Maker YouTube channel.  An instruction booklet is also provided, but this gives guidance in a way words and photos just can't replicate - how to achieve the required bends, changes in direction and how to work with the wire - so this was a really useful resource to have to watch before attempting myself and whilst I was making.
With nothing more than the wire and two pliers, you can begin to work the wire and create a word that comes to life right before you.  The added demonstration and explanation really helped and I could stop and start the video [the demo is quite fast] as I went along:
Like with most new crafts, the key is to be patient and take your time as you follow along - I was really surprised at the ease with which the wire works and learned a lot about how the tools should be used - something I can apply to lots of future DIYs!
In total, the DIY took me 30 minutes [with plenty of stop/starting the video as I went along] which was a huge surprise and I am convinced this is down to the YouTube tutorial, so highly recommend checking the videos out if you try any of the kits.
I gained confidence as the word came to life, so I'm looking forward to trying out some other DIYs to put this new-found confidence to the test.

Adding the findings and chain, I turned my word in to a bracelet that I am pretty proud of - I'm not a million miles off the original?!
I was convinced my word would have kinks, sharp bends and uneven heights and sizes of letters.  The kit suggests that it is for makers of intermediate level - but I'd encourage you to give it a go whatever level you may class yourself [or not] in - it might just be your thing and I don't think you'll know until you try!  If you have any questions about the kit that I haven't answered here, please do ask.

It's a weirdly therapeutic craft and not stressful in any way - like I expected.  I even used some extra wire to get my Carrie Bradshaw on....
...need to work on the length required estimations - but I'll be back with some more DIYs of what this has inspired!

Overall - I loved the 30 minutes I was completely absorbed in creating my bracelet.  The YouTube tutorial completely brings everything to life and I feel completely inspired to make more and experiment with a few other ideas I hope I can share when they come to life.

| TREAT YOURSELF! |
If you fancy having a go yourself, or giving one of the other kits a try, get FREE P&P and a FREE TOOLKIT with the code 'ThingsSheJM' and treat yourself.

I'd love to know what you think and if you do pick up one of the kits for yourself - show me the results!

*Jewellery Maker kindly gifted me the kit and tool kit to try and review - but all opinions are my own.
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