Nursery Makeover: From unloved junk room to baby ready!

Light-and-bright-nursery---Beak-Up-Crafts

Our smallest bedroom has undergone a total transformation in the last few months. We started it before we found out I was pregnant and it was going to be my craft room, but that all changed the day we saw two lines on a pregnancy test.

The room itself was totally unloved. It was the last room in the house to be redecorated and we kind of hadn’t bothered as instead it became an easy dumping ground for all sorts of things we didn’t want to get rid of but didn’t know where else to put.

The Big Facelift

After a severe spell of decluttering (not just in that room but in our whole house) we emptied it out and were ready to get going.

Years upon years of paint and wallpaper made the room a nightmare to get ready. We stripped so much but were halted by lining paper that had been painted bright blue (which was one old sticky mess when we tried to take it down).

In the end we decided to do the best we could and then get the room replastered and reboarded in a couple of areas. We also took up the manky carpet and ordered a new one.

Let there be White

As the room was so small (and with a craft room in mind at this point), to maximise the light we painted it brilliant white, with white skirting boards. Immediately the whole thing looked a lot more spacious than it ever did, although being rammed full of old furniture probably didn’t help!

We were going to save a bit and paint the floorboards but in the end we decided that a carpet would be cosier, and now it’s going to be our nursery I’m glad we made that decision.

Decking out the Nursery

Nursery-shelf---nesting-animals---Beak-Up-Crafts

With the room done we just had to buy the furniture and bits we needed for the nursery. Or the fun bit!

I think the thing I love the most about our nursery is that it’s simple and will grow with our baby as he gets older.

Here’s a few photos and if you’re wondering where we got anything from, then there’s a list of links below.

Clair-de-Lune-mobile---Beak-Up-Crafts Mr-Bump-shelf---Nursery---Beak-Up-Crafts Friends-in-the-Leaves-Bear---Beak-Up-Crafts You-are-so-Loved---Nursery---Beak-Up-Crafts

A few more details and handmade touches:

Little-Star-Pennant-hung-on-door---Beak-Up-Crafts Bears-in-the-cot---Beak-Up-Crafts Colourful-changing-mat---Beak-Up-Crafts IKEA-drawers-and-changing-mat---Beak-Up-CraftsRob-Ryan-mini-print---nursery-shelf---Beak-Up-CraftsOur changing station is just outside of the nursery and filled with everything needed for a quick change in easy to access baskets. I also love the porcelain dog night light on top which is going to be great for night time changes. We’ve called him Norman and he’s already a firm favourite!

Changing-station-and-dog-nightlight---Beak-Up-Crafts Norman-the-dog-nightlight---Beak-Up-Crafts Changing-station---Beak-Up-Crafts Dog-nightlight---Beak-Up-Crafts

The hospital bags are already packed too – one for me and one for baby. It’s getting so close now!

Bags-ready-to-go-to-the-hospital---Beak-Up-Crafts

Quick links:

I hope you enjoyed this room makeover. Have you ever given a room a big facelift? If so which bits did you like the least and love the most about the process?

Lots of nursery love,

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{DIY} Little Star Pennant

Rainbow-Little-Star-Pennant-DIY---Beak-Up-Crafts

I can’t quite believe that the third trimester of my pregnancy has caught up with me. I guess it means that pretty soon things are going to GET REAL (but I’m not thinking about the painful bit yet!).

Instead, I’m back with a pretty quick and easy DIY to make this Little Star pennant which I think would make a cute addition to a nursery or child’s bedroom.

Little-Star-felt-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts

What You Need:

Little-Star-Pennant-DIY---What-You-Need

  • Twine or string
  • Felt (a big piece for the main background colour and different colour for the letters)
  • Embroidery thread (in colours to match your felt or contrasting colours if you’re feeling jazzy) and needle
  • Glue
  • A short piece of wooden dowling
  • This downloadable template for your text
  • A small bit of fibrefill stuffing

How to Make it:

  1. Download the template and cut out the letters.
    Little-Star-template-letters---Beak-Up-Crafts
  2. Trace around these on the back of your felt and cut them out. I chose to use different colours of felt for the letters but you can go for all of the same or match them to your colour scheme if you wish.
    Felt-little-star-letters---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Cut out the pennant shape. I made a template by folding a piece of paper as shown below.
    Felt-little-star-letters---Beak-Up-Crafts
  4. Lay your letters onto the pennant and glue into place. Don’t forget to leave a big enough gap at the top to allow folding of the top of the pennant over the wooden dowel.
    Place-the-letters-on-the-pennant-and-glue-in-place---Beak-Up-Crafts
  5. Let the glue dry then blanket stitch around the edge of your pennant.
    Blanket-stitch-around-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts
  6. Put some glue along your wooden dowel and fold the pennant over the top. Stick it down and allow to dry.
    Glue-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts Glue-to-back-of-the-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts
  7. While this is drying you can make the little plushie stars to hang on each end. For each star, cut out two pieces of felt using the star template. Blanket stitch these together then stuff firmly with fibrefill stuffing.
    Blanket-stitch-felt-stars---Beak-Up-Crafts
  8. Measure the twine by placing it over the pennant and adding a couple of inches on each end (for wrapping around the dowel).
    Measure-twine-for-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts
  9. Cut a length of twine and tie a knot in one end. Attach one stars by threading through the twine using a darning needle.
    Attach-the-felt-stars-to-the-twine---Beak-Up-CraftsAt the other end tie a knot to keep he next star in place and thread it through. Slide the final star onto the twine and tie a knot in the end of the twine.
    Felt-stars-on-twine---Beak-Up-Crafts
  10. Add a bit of glue to the back of the wooden dowel. Wrap the twine around so the felt stars hang on either side and there is room for hanging.
    Back of pennant - Beak Up Crafts

That’s it, you’re done! Now hang and display your new pennant with pride!

Little-Star-nursery-pennant---Beak-Up-Crafts Felt-star-detail---Beak-Up-Crafts Little-Star-Pennant-hung-on-door---Beak-Up-Crafts

If you fancy something a bit different you can always cut out and stitch different words to your pennant, or even personalise it with your baby or child’s name. I hope you like it and I would love to hear what you think of this DIY!

Lots of starry love,

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{Giveaway} JewelleryMaker Gemstone Bracelet Kit

Jewellery-maker---Beak-Up-Crafts

Jewellery making is never something I’ve ever really tried, save for the odd necklace here and there.

Therefore when I was asked if I would like to test drive and review one of Jewellery Maker‘s bracelet kits I said yes, plus I managed to snag an extra one to giveaway to one lucky reader too!

More on the giveaway soon, but first to my review and guide to making your own bracelet.

Gemstone-bracelet-kit---Beak-Up-Crafts

How Easy is it to Make?

Pretty Easy

  • I chose the Silver Plated Mixed Gemstone Bracelet Kit and my first impression was that the box was small but it was packed full of pieces!
  • You do need a pair of round nose pliers though to make this bracelet, which are not included.
  • All of the gemstones already have wire threaded through them which I thought was good, as I bet that’s a fiddly task.

Kit-contents---Beak-Up-Crafts

How to Make it

  • Instructions are included but they really are simple.
  • Basically, you open a jump ring with your pliers, slide on a gemstone, attach the jump ring to the bracelet then close the jump ring.
    Gemstone-on-a-jump-ring---Beak-Up-Crafts
  • Repeat for as many gemstones as you want.
    Gemtones-in-my-hand---Beak-Up-Crafts JewelleryMaker-gemstones---Beak-Up-Crafts

So what did I think?

I think this kit is great if you’re a beginner (but don’t forget to buy pliers if you’re giving it as a gift to someone). If you’re more advanced or have done jewellery making before I would say it’s probably a bit basic. Once you’ve added a couple of gemstones there’s nothing else to know, although make sure you close your jump rings tightly as any slight gap will see the gemstone fall off as the wire holding them is so fine.

Wearing-the-bracelet---Beak-Up-Crafts

My only quibble would be that the bracelet/bangle itself is a slightly unusual design. I would have preferred a single bracelet with a fastening, but that’s just my personal style.

All in all I enjoyed making my gemstone bracelet that I might save a couple of the gemstones and make a matching necklace!


Giveaway

Jewellery-findings---Beak-Up-Crafts

If you would like to win your own Silver Plated Mixed Gemstone Bracelet Kit then just fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway closes on July 23 at midnight and I will use Rafflecopter to pick an entry at random. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you tried making jewellery from a kit before or is it something you would like to have a go at? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Lots of gemstone love,

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Disclaimer: I was gifted the jewellery kits for the purposes of this post, but all opinions are my own. Giveaway only open to UK entrants.

{Make it Quick} Crochet Stitch Marker

DIY-button-crochet-stitch-marker---Beak-Up-CraftsA couple of weeks ago, Wayne and I found out that we are expecting a baby boy. This now means (among a lot of other things!) that I can now get my crochet hook out in earnest to make a baby blanket. I’ve already picked out the pattern – this beautiful Fantasy Blanket which you can download a free pattern on Ravelry – and I’ve also picked out my wool for this project. Nothing too pastel blue but not too girlie either!

Wool-for-the-baby-blanket---Beak-Up-Crafts

fantasy blanket

Fantasy Blanket picture source, copyright Anna Contreras

One thing I’m really looking forward to is tackling the different stitches and patterns in this blanket and I think changing things up every few rows will really stop me from getting bored and not finishing it. I’ve got to admit, I’m so over my massive ripple blanket which is still a work in progress. Doing the same stitch repeat over and over again gets a bit dull, at least for me! Still, I’m determined to finish that too as it’s going to be a play blanket for baby.

I’ve planned out the colour order and even thought ahead and made a colour chart, as I know that once I’ve taken the labels off the wool I won’t know which is which. I’m a bit stupid like that.

wool-chart-and-order---Beak-Up-Crafts

But before I start the Fantasy Blanket I wanted to make myself a crochet stitch marker, as in all my time of crocheting I’ve never had one (instead just using a contrasting bit of wool). I want to get this blanket right, though, so while I might not *need* a stitch marker, I wanted to have one handy just in case. So I decided to make one!

button-stitch-marker-close-up---Beak-Up-Crafts

It’s really easy to do and here’s a step-by-step guide.

What You Need:

  • A lobster claw
  • A bead or button
  • A jump ring
  • An eye pin
  • Two pairs of pliers
  • A wire cutter (although you could use scissors if you’re careful!)

How to Make it:

  1. Thread your eye pin through your bead or button. If you’re using a button, twist it to create a loop then close/fasten at the top of one end.
    Eye-pin-through-the-button---Beak-Up-Crafts Thread-the-button---Beak-Up-Crafts
  2. Trim the end off then squeeze together with the pliers to make a solid loop.
    Make-the-loop---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Open a jump ring and thread it through the loop on your button and the lobster claw.
    Jump-rings-on-stitch-marker---Beak-Up-Crafts
  4. Close the jump ring.

That’s it, you’re done!

Button-crochet-stitch-marker---Beak-Up-Crafts-

All you’ve got to do now is clip your new stitch marker to your project and crochet the day away without worrying about counting.

Have you got any crochet projects on the go at the moment? I’d love to hear about them.

Lots of hooky love,

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{DIY} Dip-Dyed Faux Denim Tote Bag

Handmade-faded-denim-tote-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts

I’ve recently started doing ante-natal yoga as I’m possible the least flexible person in the world and anything that can make my body a bit more prepared for giving birth to a small human in a few months’ time is A-OK by me.

Before getting pregnant I wasn’t really one for going to the gym, which means I’ve not got a nice bag to carry my clothes/water/bits and pieces to and from class.

With spring well and truly here and summer around the corner I thought it would be a nice idea to try and jazz up a simple cotton tote bag to use when I go to get all stretchy. I like how this turned out and looks like faded denim, which I think works really well with the copper lettering.

Faded-denim-tote-bag-with-copper-writing---Beak-Up-Crafts

This DIY can be a bit messy so it’s best not to wear your best clothes but dyeing things really can be fun (as I found out!) and once you start you might start searching for other things to transform.

What You Need:

what-you-need-tote-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts

  • A white/natural cotton tote bag
  • DYLON Fabric hand dye in the colour/colours of your choice. I used this one in China Blue.
  • Table salt
  • A bucket
  • A glass jug
  • A coathanger with grips (like you use for trousers/skirts)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Some metal utensils
  • DYLON Copper Fabric paint
  • Paintbrush

How to Make it:

  1. Put on your gloves, roll up your sleeves and mix the dye in the jug according to the instructions on the packet. Fill the sink with warm water and add the salt. Then add the dye to however much water is needed in your sink (only if stainless steel, if not I would use a bucket) as stated on the packet.
    Mix-the-dye-into-the-jug---Beak-Up-Crafts Pour-the-salt-into-the-sink---Beak-Up-Crafts Pour-the-dye-into-the-sink---Beak-Up-Crafts
  2. With the DYLON dyes you have to make whatever you’re colouring damp to start, so do that now.
    Make-the-tote-bag-damp---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Submerge the bag fully under the dye and use the metal utensils to weigh it down. I realised I had to do this as otherwise bits of the bag kept poking through the water, which was pretty annoying! Leave for 20 minutes.
    Weighing-down-the-tote---Beak-Up-Crafts
  4. Fasten the coathanger to the top of the bag and tie the tote’s handles around the hook so they don’t fall into the dye.
  5. Dip the bag into the sink/bucket so only the top third is out of the dye. Let it soak for about 20 more minutes.
    Dipping-the-tote-bag-in-the-sink--Beak-Up-Crafts
  6. Pull the bag out of the bucket so only the bottom third is still submerged by the dye. Let it soak for another 20-25 minutes for a slightly deeper colour.
    Dipping-the-tote-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts
  7. Still wearing your gloves, wring out the excess dye from your bag.
  8. Wash it in clean cold water, then warm water then hang it out to dry on the line.
  9. Once dry give it an iron on a low heat if needed then you’re ready to go!
  10. I decided to jazz up my bag further by painting on some words in a metallic copper fabric paint. I use wrote the words in black marker on a piece of paper and slipped it inside the bag so I could see it as a guide, then painted over the top.
    DYLON-fabric-paint---Beak-Up-Crafts Painted-tote---Stretch-it-out---Beak-Up-Crafts

You can even try mixing it up with different colours or illustrating your bag with a fabric marker/Sharpie for that extra bit of personalisation if you haven’t got any fabric paint.

I hope you like this DIY and if you give it a try I would love to see your pictures on Instagram or Twitter. I’m @beakupcrafts on both so please tag me in!

Faded-denim-yoga-bag---Beak-Up-Crafts

I’m off to go and think up some more ideas of things I can do with dye.

Lots of ombre love,

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Disclaimer: I was gifted the DYLON dye and fabric paint for this post.

{DIY} Bright and Colourful Coasters

Coasters-overhead-view

This is a really quick and easy DIY and perfect if you’re having a spring or summer gathering and want to freshen up your decor.

Bright-coasters-lined-up---Beak-Up-Crafts

These coasters will add a dash of colour to your event and won’t take you long to put together at all. So enough of the introductions, let’s get started!

What You Need:
What-you-need-Bright-Coasters---Beak-Up-Crafts

  • FIMO in a range of different colours
  • A straw
  • A jar/bowl/something circular to draw around
  • Greaseproof paper
  • A craft knife
  • A rolling pin

How to Make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 120 degrees C.
  2. For each coaster, choose the colour of clay you want to work with and start off by washing your hands. I find if I don’t do this in between changing colours there’s some colour transfer from my hands (and it can make your clay go a bit mucky looking!)
  3. Take your clay (you need about a quarter of a small block) and roll it between your hands to warm it up.
  4. Once it’s malleable, roll it onto the greaseproof paper. This will stop it sticking to your table/worktop. Try to roll out the coaster so it’s about 0.5cm thick.
  5. Place your bowl upside down on the top/put the clay on top of your circular object and cut around it using your craft knife.
    Trimming-the-coaster---Beak-Up-Crafts
  6. When you’ve got your coaster shape, use your straw to cut out small circles or your craft knife for other designs. You can design any pattern you want and either keep it the same for each coaster or mix it up!
    Create-designs-with-a-straw---Beak-Up-Crafts
  7. Once you’ve made all of your coasters, put them into the pre-heated over for 20 minutes.
  8. Let them cool and you’re ready to use them at your party.

Coasters-with-glasses---Beak-Up-Crafts Bright-coasters---Beak-Up-Crafts

I hope you enjoyed this DIY. I would love to hear what you think! Are you planning on any late spring/early summer gatherings and are going to have a go at making some decor? I would love to hear your ideas!

Lots of brightly-coloured coaster love,

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8 of the Best Easter Crochet Patterns

Eastercrochet collage

Easter is coming and chocolate eggs are making me fat. I thought it would be fun to pull together my favourite crochet patterns for Easter and share them here. And the eggs have zero calories too which is always a bonus.

Clockwise from left: Easter Egg Dude hats; Crochet Easter eggs; Easter birds; Easter egg basket; Stripey egg cosies; Chick in a rabbit costume; Easter rabbit baby hat and nappy cover; Pretty hanging egg decoration.

Are you doing any crafting for Easter? I would love to hear what you’re making.

Lots of crochet love,

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{DIY} Handpainted Easter Egg Bags

Handpainted-colourful-Easter-egg-cosies-in-Egg-cups---Beak-Up-Crafts

Spring is my favourite time of year. All the bright colours, flowers and of course, Easter. I thought it would be fun to think up a bit of Easter decor that’s so simple you can make with your children and use to wrap either real or chocolate eggs.

These handpainted Easter egg bags are made using plain white cotton and DYLON Fabric paints. Tie a bit of twine around the top and you’re done!

Purple-and-yellow-handpainted-egg-cosy---Beak-Up-Crafts

What you need:
What-you-need-for-handpainted-Easter-egg-cosies---Beak-Up-Crafts

How to Make it:

  1. Cut your cotton into 15cm x 15cm squares for normal egg-sized eggs, or bigger for monster chocolate Easter eggs!
    Cut-out-the-white-squares-of-fabric---Beak-Up-Crafts
  2. Using the fabric paint (on a surface covered by newspaper) paint your design onto the fabric. I tried out three different types as I couldn’t decide on one.
    Pink-yellow-and-copper-fabric-paint---Beak-Up-Crafts Using-fabric-paint-to-design-Easter-egg-cosies---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Put aside to dry.
    Purple-and-yellow-stripes-pattern---Beak-Up-Crafts
  4. Once the paint has dried (this will take about 2-3 hours) take your egg and put it in the centre of your square. Gather up the sides and tie the twine on the top.
    Tie-the-twine-around-the-egg---Beak-Up-Crafts Arranging-the-eggs---Beak-Up-Crafts

And that’s it! I think this DIY would be cute for little bags of mini chocolate eggs to give out at Easter parties or just for a pretty bit of decor.

Painted-egg-cosies---Beak-Up-Crafts Colourful-easter-egg-cosies---Beak-Up-Crafts

Are you going to be celebrating Easter this year?

Lots of egg-cellent love,

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Disclosure : I was gifted the DYLON Fabric Paints for this post.

 

 

{Make it Quick} Copper Dash Cups

Copper Dash Cups - Beak Up Crafts

When it comes to decor at the moment I’m totally obsessed by white, soft greys and copper. If you head over to Pinterest I’ve got a whole board dedicated to just that. There’s something so calming about pale neutrals with a hint of metallic and I’ve got to say I can’t get enough.

However, I don’t think you need to spend a fortune to give your decor a makeover and this DIY to make copper dash cups is so quick it will take less than half an hour (plus drying time).

Copper Dash Cups - Beak Up Crafts

What You Need:

Copper dash cups - What you need - Beak Up Crafts

How to Make it:

  1. Clean and dry your cups thoroughly.
  2. Start dabbing the pattern onto your cup using the paint dabber. Make sure you use as little paint as possible as this creates a consistent finish.
    Copper-dash-cups---with-copper-paint---Beak-Up-Crafts Painting-the-copper-dash-cup---Beak-Up-Crafts
  3. Let the paint dry. This will take about an hour or so.
  4. To cure your cups and make the design last, put them into a cold oven then heat it to 175 degrees Celsius for half an hour. Then turn the oven off and leave the cups in there until they have cooled down (it’s best to do this overnight!)

And that’s it, you’re done!

Copper Dash Cups - Beak Up CraftsWARNING: Once you’ve done one, you might not be able to stop!

I couldn’t anyway, and made a second one for Wayne!

Are you a fan of copper decor? I would love to hear your ideas of how you can incorporate it into your home.

Lots of love hearts,

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{DIY} How to Make a Faux Taxidermy Crochet Fox Head

Crochet-Fox-head-rght-side-portrait---Beak-Up-Crafts

Waxworks, stuffed animals and taxidermy aren’t my bag at all. In fact I hate all that kind of thing as it properly freaks me out. Plus there are so many bad examples like these – the stuff of nightmares.

However, I love crochet, making toys and cute amigurumi and figured I could use this to put my spin on the whole taxidermy trend.

This is what I came up with, a smiling fox which I called Ruel (after former Norwich and Tottenham striker Ruel Fox).

Crochet-fox-head---front-view Crochet-fox-head-left-side---Beak-Up-Crafts

Anyway, Ruel is going to take pride of place in my new craft room and if you would like to make one of your own then head on over to the lovely Claireabellemakes blog as I’ve written up the pattern as a guest post.

If you’re new to crochet and would like to have a go at making Ruel the fox but don’t know one end of a pattern from the other, then head over to my new venture, as you can get a free Crochet for Beginners e-course to get you started!

Lots of foxy love,

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