DIY Handmade Craft Projects

Guides to sewing, biscuit and cake decorating, dressmaking and home decor

Welcome to my blog, containing a selection of my past projects and current makes. All my work is for myself and family which I'm happy to share. I am a very keen amateur seamstress and love to make a range of handmade items for fun and decoration. Where possible I've given guides to how I made each project with the hope to inspire others to want to make unique handmade pieces for themselves.

Handmade Christmas Gifts: Lotion Bars

Thursday, 5 November 2015


This year I've decided to make some gifts for family with my daughter for that extra personal touch.

First off are handmade lotion bars, which to be fair I will be making without my daughter as it involves the use of the hob, hot water and very hot wax. My test run was hugely successful!

Ingredients for making 8 in my mini silicone jelly moulds (4cm diameter). I bought them all from ebay.

  1. 50g beeswax
  2. 50ml almond oil
  3. 50g coconut oil

I added a few drops of tea tree oil but it was not enough. Next time I will try about a tsp and use a different oil. Apparently lavender is good but I'm not so keen on the smell personally.

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax over a double boiler - see first image above. That is: a pan of simmering water with a bowl sitting in the pan. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water. This is how you temper chocolate.
  2. When melted, add the almond oil. When added this will solidify a bit, but it will melt. This is shown in the second image above.
  3. When almost melted, add the coconut oil and let that melt too. Shown in the first image below.
  4. When all melted transfer to a mould - mine is silicone which is great for popping the solidified bars out. I used a deep spoon, rather that pouring the mixture as I imagine I would otherwise pour most of it around the moulds.
  5. Let it set overnight. I put mine in the fridge.

I've just started using my first batch and its easy to apply. It melts nicely in the hands, I'm keeping them in the fridge to keep firm until I need to use them. Its too early to say whether they are good for my sensitive allergy prone skin. Next time I'll add some more essential oils to give them a better smell. The almond and coconut oil don't have a fragrance but the beeswax does and its not very nice. Its natural and not unpleasant, but the bars could do with a fragrance.

I think they're really pretty and will make a lovely gift in a clip top jar with a bit of ribbon and a tag.

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Hand Printed Tote Bag

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


As a unique gift for my mother I decided I wanted to make her a tote bag for her shopping. I'd made her one a few years back with a few fat quarters but this time round I wanted to make something more special. Inspired by this tutorial on craftbuds.com I decided to hand print a design on some natural cotton.

The thing that stood out for me with this tote bag tutorial is that it has four sides and many versions of totes I've seen have just a front and back sewn at the seams. A four-sided tote gives a lot more volume which is ideal as a shopper. I bought some natural cotton with a good weight so that the sides would be a little stiffer. Normal weight cotton is fine but the bag is a lot softer and collapsible. I cut out the main tote shape and set about using my various hand-made stamps and fabric paint to decorate.

I'd read that stamps can be carved from erasers / rubbers, so as they are readily available and cheap I bought a few of varying sizes. I sketched some flower shapes onto tracing paper and transferred them onto the eraser, then carved with a craft knife. I'd say that in hindsight that stamping with these erasers means your stamps have a very limited shelf life and if you have a design that you think you'll reuse often then investing in proper rubber stamping carving blocks would be a better option. I haven't done that but I'm sure to in the near future. Making your own rubber stamps is an addictive process.

I had some left over lino from some projects I'd done a few years back so made a larger flower using a sketch on the lino cut out with some lino cutting tools. I'm hopeless with flower names, but this one was copied from my sitting room wallpaper. I also opted to cut out a rough stencil shape in the shape of the flower as a colour fill which I was happy to be offset for a more hand-made result.


Cork is also a good medium for carving although its a bit tough to get started and gives a more rougher printed result. I bought some cork place mats and set about transferring a design and carving it out with a craft knife. Its best to carve at a 45 degree angle, which gives a cleaner line. With some practice you get a nice stamp and its quite durable too. I also stuck some wooden buttons from my crafting supplies to a few wine corks, which make great stamps. The stamps themselves are very pretty.


So armed with a variety of printing styles I set about applying fabric paint to each stamp and building up a pattern on my fabric. Pencils with little rubbers on the end are also good for creating dots, and they can also be carved, which is how I got the little starburst shapes. It was great fun and totally unique but its difficult to get carried away and keep on stamping!

Once the paint had dried and was set with an iron, I then sewed the tote bag. It had a cerise pink cotton lining and two sets of handles. Long pink handles for carrying over the shoulder and short black handles for holding by hand. The finished bag was lovely if I may say and it was very well received by my mother. Its functioning very well as a shopper I hear.

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Kid's Doctor Coat

Monday, 1 December 2014

I like to make my daughter a Christmas present so decided to encourage her inner medical professional by making her a Doctor Coat.

I had a Simplicity pattern for a man's Hawaiian shirt (5581) which also had a boy's version so used that to make the coat. I extended the length so it was more a coat length and added some lower pockets along with the pocket on the left breast. For a little feminine nod the buttons are pink and sparkly! I also made a name tag which I coloured with felt tip pens for a hand drawn quality.

I don't have any images of the project in progress but here's my little lady in the finished item.

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About Me

My name is Hayley Easton and I am a Front-End Web Developer. I've customised by Blogger site to showcase some of my craft projects. The site will change as I update the design and add extra features.

I hope you like my work, thanks for visiting.

Instagram Visit my Instagram page for snaps of my latest projects.

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