Felt enamel pin pennant + pin update!

You might be aware that I collect enamel pins, and last year I made some fabric bunting to display my pins. Well, since then, my collection has grown to the point where I was running out of room on my bunting. Thankfully, I remembered this lovely project by Essie Ruth, one of my favourite Australian makers, and set about making a felt enamel pin pennant of my own!

all the little happy things - felt enamel pin pennant

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4 DIY cushions and a faux fur blanket

A couple of months ago, I decided I wanted to refresh our living room a bit by changing up our throw cushions and adding in a faux fur blanket. I spent ages in stores and online trying to find pieces that were the right size/colour/texture/pattern/price… but to no avail. It was really hard to find anything that I loved, and then the things that I did love were too expensive. Then one evening, I suddenly realised – I could just make the things that I wanted, and that way I could make sure I got exactly what I wanted, for a reasonable price! It was such an obvious and simple solution, I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long!

all the little happy things - 4 DIY cushions and a faux fur blanket

I ended up making 4 different cushions using various methods, and a lovely soft faux fur blanket. All of these projects ended up being pretty inexpensive, and only took me about a weekend to complete! Keep reading for more information about how I made them, and how much it all cost!

all the little happy things - 4 DIY cushions and a faux fur blanket

all the little happy things - 4 DIY cushions and a faux fur blanket

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Miniature Christmas scene in a lantern!

Our Christmas decor this year has been a couple of years in the making, and I’m so excited that I finally pulled it off! I had this idea two years ago, and spent the intervening time slowly gathering all the bits and pieces I needed to make this sweet little miniature Christmas scene in a lantern!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The porcelain houses were on sale from Kikki.K a couple of years ago, and the alphabet lights were from Typo… but obviously the main centrepiece is the lantern!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

I originally wanted to have a bigger living room set-up, with a Christmas tree, but given the limited space inside the lantern, I ended up going with a little sitting-room-inspired layout, complete with a miniature tabletop Christmas tree and a couple of festive garlands! Most things are 1:12 scale (the Christmas card garland being the notable exception, but I wanted the designs to be more visible!). The lantern itself is from IKEA; the gold tinsel around the outside is from Miniature Co, and the 5m copper wire lights were from Typo. The bauble decoration on the front of the lantern was something I had in my gift wrapping box – I attached it to the top of the lantern using twist ties.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

This little lantern is a mix of purchased miniatures and pieces I made myself. It took me a long, long time to collect all the things I wanted for this scene, and I’m glad I was patient and waited to get the perfect pieces!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The mid-century-inspired chair was from M for Miniatures, and was one of the first things I bought! I made the little Christmas cushion by hand-sewing some wide tartan ribbon and stuffing it with tiny scraps of cotton batting left over from a quilting project.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The end table and cup and saucer were from Miniature Co – it’s technically a cup of coffee, but I prefer to think of it as a cup of hot chocolate or a tea latte! The tabletop Christmas tree from Dinky World was the most expensive miniature I purchased, but I really love the way it completes the scene. I made the little candle by sandwiching a frayed piece of gold thread between two pieces of white foam, which I cut from some white foam alphabet stickers. Then I glued it all down onto a wooden star that came in a past Studio Calico kit.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The Christmas card garland was made by downloading some free Christmas card designs, printing them in miniature, and attaching them to gold thread. The gold garland is just some sequin trim I had leftover from a past project. The curtains were a bit of a labour of love, though – I used some scrap silk that I had from cutting the sleeves off an old silk shirt, then sewed a hem at the bottom and a channel for the curtain rod at the top. Similar to what Mandi Johnson did for her dollhouse living room curtains, I then laid out the curtain panels on some cardboard, gathered the panels using pins to secure, and since I didn’t have any spray starch, I just sprayed the gathered panels with strong hold hairspray and let them dry. You can still see some of the pin pricks because I didn’t use silk pins, but I’m not really bothered by it. The curtain rod is just a skewer that I measured and cut to size.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The rug is from Green Gypsies, and I love the pattern and colours on it! I made the wooden floorboards myself out of coffee stirrer sticks. First I carefully cut the stirrer sticks to size using scissors – I tried using an exacto knife, but found that scissors were much easier! To get the colour I wanted, I painted the cut sticks with a bit of black coffee to get them damp and a bit darker, then pressed the tops and the edges into a Versafine ‘vintage sepia’ ink pad. Once they were all dry, I glued them down onto a piece of cardboard cut to size, painted on a layer of ModPodge to seal everything and give it a bit of shine, then popped the flooring into the lantern. I’m so proud of how the floor turned out, even if you can only see a little bit of it around the edges of the rug!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

My sweet little miniature scene has pride of place in the centre of our huge shelving unit in our lounge room, and I love how it looks all lit up in the evenings! I spent a couple of hours painstakingly winding the copper wire lights in and out of the gaps in the top of the lantern, and I’m glad I took the time to do that – the lights look so good, as if the lantern is lit from inside as well as outside!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

This is my favourite project of 2018 – it’s so gratifying when you can finally complete something you’ve been planning and imagining for years! I’m looking forward to making this little lantern an official part of our annual Christmas decorating – and the best part is that I can always change up the furniture and accessories to keep it fresh.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday! Merry Christmas!

Enamel pin fabric bunting display

Do you collect enamel pins? I started my collection a year or two ago, and until recently had them all pinned to a tote bag. I started getting worried about scratching up my pins when using the bag, which I carry with me every day, so I started to brainstorm other ways to store and display my pin collection.

I saw this beautiful pin pennant project idea on the Frankie blog, and then had a brainwave – why not display my pins on fabric bunting?!

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

To make sure the bunting was sturdy enough for my pins, I opted to quilt each individual flag. This was a great way to use up some of the scraps of fabric and batting from my past quilt projects!

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

These are the steps I followed to make my bunting:

  1. I first drew and cut out a paper template for my flags, then cut my fabric and batting – one piece of batting and two pieces of fabric for each flag.
  2. For each flag, I places the fabric pieces right sides together with the batting on top, then sewed around the sides, leaving the top edge unstitched.
  3. I then flipped each flag inside out so the batting was sandwiched between the fabric, pushing out the corners with the end of a chopstick.
  4. I pressed each flag flat, then quilted around all of the edges, about 1cm in from the edge.
  5. I cut out a long length of gold ready-made bias binding, then enclosed the top of each flag with the binding.
  6. The last step was to fold and sew down the rest of the bias binding to enclose the raw edges, and then my bunting was ready to hang!

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

The picture ledge in our lounge room was the perfect place to hang the bunting, and I had a lot of fun arranging my little pin collection on the flags! And when I want to wear one or two of my pins, it’s super easy to remove the pin I want from the display.

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

I’ve listed out each of my pins below, in case you’re interested in any specific ones!

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

  • Charlie Brown and Snoopy pins purchased from Snoopy Town in Kiddy Land, Harajuku
  • Toy Story alien pins purchased at Tokyo DisneySea
  • Mini Genie pin purchased at the Disney Store in Japan

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

  • Cactus pin came free with a purchase from the old A Beautiful Mess shop
  • Bob’s Burgers Louise Belcher and Erotic Friend Fiction pins from Newbury Comics
  • All My Friends Are Dead pin from Newbury Comics

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

all the little happy things - enamel pin fabric bunting display

I’m so happy to have a proper home for my little pin collection, and I love that this project is both functional and beautiful!

Snow White Disneybound – yellow Clemence skirt and apple bow headband

This September, Dannii and I are heading off on holiday to Japan, and towards the end of the trip we’re spending a couple of days at Tokyo DisneySea! I discovered that we’ll be there for the Halloween special event – and this year, guests are allowed to wear Disney costumes every day of the Halloween season!

Rather than try to run around DisneySea in my full Jasmine costume and very heavy wig, I’ve decided to try Disneybounding, i.e. putting together a Disney character-inspired outfit from my normal clothes. Naturally, being me, I ended up making a couple of pieces instead of just working within my existing wardrobe… but hey, now I’ve got a sweet yellow skirt (my favourite colour!), a cute headband, and a Snow White-inspired outfit!

Snow White Disneybound

To me, Snow White’s outfit has three main elements – a blue top, a yellow skirt, and a red bow headband. I already have a navy blue t-shirt that I love, so I just needed to make the yellow skirt and red bow headband. I decided to add a little apple motif to the headband as well, as an extra nod to Snow White’s story.

Snow White Disneybound

I made the skirt out of a self drafted pattern, following the directions for the Clemence skirt in Love at First Stitch. Since the shell fabric (cotton poplin) was a bit sheer, I opted to line the skirt with cotton lawn as well. It’s lovely, bright and lightweight, and I also added pockets for some extra practicality!

Snow White Disneybound

To make the headband, I measured out a length of red glitter fold-over elastic, and sewed the ends together (overlapping a little) with the zig-zag stitch on my machine. For the apple bow, I made a big bow out of scrap satin and grosgrain ribbons – I made a loop with the wide satin ribbon, pinched the centre of the loop and wrapped it with the skinnier grosgrain ribbon to make the bow shape, and then glued the ends of the grosgrain ribbon in place with regular craft glue. I drew an apple shape and cut it out of red glitter foam, then cut leaf shapes out of green felt and glued them in place. I glued the foam apple to the centre of my ribbon bow, then added a brooch back to the back of the bow so that I have the option of removing it from the headband in future. All in all, it was a pretty quick make – I think it took me about half an hour from start to finish.

Snow White Disneybound

Snow White Disneybound

I’m really pleased with how the skirt and headband turned out, and I can’t wait to wear this outfit at Tokyo DisneySea!

Snow White Disneybound

Handmade greeting cards

There are a lot of lovely greeting cards out there (one of my favourite brands is Able and Game!), but generally I prefer to make my own. I like the process and the ability to personalise the design of a card to the recipient! Here are a few cards that I’ve made recently.

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

This is a fairly simple birthday card that I made for a good friend. I used washi tape, coloured card, gold Thickers and a few bits of ephemera from the Maggie Holmes ‘Open Book’ collection.

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

This is an easy card I made to celebrate our friends getting engaged! I used a Project Life card from the Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic kit. The card originally said “You & Me”, but I covered the words up with a strip of textured paper, which I embellished with a wood veneer heart and some stamping. The gold spot border is made up of strips of washi tape.

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

This is the wedding card I made for the same couple! They had a rustic, colourful theme for their wedding, so I tried to match their wedding colours by making confetti out of washi tape. This was a pretty easy process – I just placed strips of washi tape on a small piece of baking paper, punched out the circles using a regular hole punch, and then removed the baking paper from each little circle so I could stick the circles to the card base.

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

This card was made by repurposing an old birthday card I received a few years ago. I cut out the front balloon motif and shaped the corners with a corner cropper. Then I just mounted it on red card, and added a few copper hexagon sequins from a past Studio Calico kit!

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

Lastly, here’s a card I made for an upcoming wedding. I played around with layering for this card. The blue layer is a nice textured card, which I embellished by making dots with a gold paint pen. The second layer is a bit of star-patterned vellum, right underneath the wood veneer heart. I coloured the wood veneer heart using a metallic bronze Sharpie – it has a nice coppery metallic finish, which was hard to capture in the photo. And the final layer is a few black Amy Tangerine Thickers, spelling out the initials of the couple. The whole card has a sort of constellation theme to it, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

That’s it for now, but I expect to add posts to this series every few months or so, as I make cards throughout the year. Do you prefer to buy or make your greeting cards? Let me know in the comments!

Fun with gold foil – lyric tote

After the success of my gold foil cushions, I decided to try another fabric project with Deco Foil – a tote bag featuring lyrics from my favourite Sia song!

all the little happy things - gold foil lyric tote

I used the same technique that I used for my cushions – trace the words onto fusible web, adhere to the tote, then iron down the foil. It was a little fiddly to cut the individual letters out of the fusible web, as the backing paper wanted to lift off the smaller shapes before it had been ironed onto the tote, but if you’re careful it’s all pretty manageable.

I ironed down the words one row at a time to make sure everything stayed in place – when you’re working with lots of small shapes, it’s definitely easier to do one small area at a time. Another tip is to make sure the fusible web has cooled completely before removing the backing paper, because if it’s still a little warm, the paper will lift off bits of the webbing, resulting in more ‘patchy’ foiling in certain places. You can see where this happened on the word “I’ve” on my tote.

all the little happy things - gold foil lyric tote

All in all this was a fairly easy project, and it took me about an hour and a half to complete from start to finish. I really like how the gold foil looks against the plain calico. I get ‘Elastic Heart’ stuck in my head whenever I look at this bag now, which is definitely not a bad thing!

all the little happy things - gold foil lyric tote