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Warming Your Welcome (with free printable)


When it comes to house-warming gifts I am often at a loss.  I am no cook and if it is not a first home most people have the things that they really need and distinct tastes that you have to try and guess at!

Then I stumbled across a wonderful pin that showed a simple (and usually very welcome) gift idea with an amusing twist.  My brain started twisting and turning and in no time I expanded the repertoire to four gift ideas in the same vein, each with their own (admittedly fairly cringe-worthy) pun.

The labels are spaced so that you can use an ordinary two hole punch to punch the holes in them (with a handy centre line to line the centre of the punch up with) and there is space to write on the back of them.

If you want to use the labels yourself for your own house-warming gifts please feel free to download them- Housewarming Labels from Il Magpie

To use the labels, simply print them and trim off the extra along each side of the label.

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Then fold the strip in half and glue together.

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Line each of the centre lines up with the hole punch centre line in turn and punch.

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Thread ribbon or cord through and tie!

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Happy house-warming!

Linking up this week to I Heart Naptime’s “Link Party Palooza”.

Now Crafter, sail thou forth, to craft and travel

Travel Crafting Header

(Firstly apologies to Walt Whitman but “Now Voyager” is one of my favourite films and in light of this famous photo of Bette Davis and her stand-in on set I thought it was appropriate!).


Photo Credit: (original photo credit unknown but happy to credit if anyone knows!)

Photo Credit: (original photo credit unknown but happy to credit if anyone knows!)

We are away this weekend visiting family in Suffolk.  I hate feeling that hours as a car passenger (or a passenger on any vehicle) are wasted but I suffer with travel sickness and so cannot read or look at a computer screen.

In this journey I have started using some leftover Sirdar “Baby Bamboo” yarn to make granny squares for a seat cover for the craft room chair.  I love the bright colours and it should be a cheerful addition.

I can crochet and knit in the car provided that it doesn’t require much pattern reading or keeping track of stitches.  I am very grateful for that as it means I can while away my time and still notice what is going on around me, but this journey set me thinking.  What other crafts might be travel compatible?

We have a much loved camper van (named “Basil”) so I hope to travel a lot and I have started a Pinterest board to pin any and all ideas I can find for things to do whilst I’m on the move.  I am happy to make this a group board so if you want to pin anything to it just get in touch!

I’ll leave you with a few images from our trip to Southwold today to stir the wanderlust in you…

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Linking up this week to “Handmade Monday” and the “Do Not Fear” Linky Party.


UFO Number 1 – Finished!


As any crafter knows UFO stands for “Un-Finished Object”.

Well, the stag’s head (which you may remember from this post) is no longer one of them.  It is finished and up!  It sits above the door frame at the end of our hall so that you see it when you walk in the front door.

I’m generally pleased but I think it needs a little something else…

I don’t want to draw in eyes because I think I will muck them up and I don’t know it needs eyes?

Maybe something bright hanging from the horns?  Maybe a moustache? A hat?

Time to put my thinking cap on but I’m out of inspiration just at the moment!

Finished Decoupage Stag's Head

Typographic Kitchen Wall Art

We are gradually trying to smarten our kitchen up a bit.  We inherited all the decor from the previous owners and we always thought we would completely re-do it.  However circumstances changed (not least of which was me giving up teaching) and we have never managed to get the money together.  Now I am finding ways to spruce it up without major investment.

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We had a set of three IKEA pictures that used to hang in our sitting room before we re-decorated.  Since then they have been relegated to the upstairs sitting room.  Neither or us were that enamoured of the sand dune scenes and they no longer seemed to fit anywhere (and yes, we still haven’t decided what colour to paint the walls!).

I love typography and I have long wanted to put some kind of outsize sign in the kitchen but not quite found the one that was “right”. So I made my own!

  • Kitchen Foil (I used the extra wide stuff you usually use for the Christmas Turkey).
  • Cardboard Boxes
  • “Mod Podge” or PVA Glue
  • Pritt Stick
  • Double sided tape
  • Mount board in the colour of your choice.
  • Sellotape
Equipment Needed:
  • Computer and Printer
  • Scalpel
  • Cutting Mat (or smooth surface that you don’t mind getting ruined)
  • Steel rule (for cutting with)
  • Paintbrush or glue spreader
  • Tape Measure
  • Blu Tack
Step One:

Decide on the word that you want to feature (mine was partially dictated by the fact I had three frames to use!) and find a font on your computer that you like.

I used “Maxxi Serif” which I found and downloaded from “”.  If you haven’t discovered this website it is an amazing resource for what is fashionable in type right now and most of the downloads are free for personal use.

If you have Microsoft Publisher it will allow you to have sheet sizes that are larger than A4.  I don’t so I have a programme called Serif Draw Plus.  This is graphic design software and I have the free starter edition.

This allowed me to set up a page size the size of my frame and add type to it.  I then played around with the size until I was happy.  When it came to printing the programme splits the digital “page” evenly amongst certain number of A4 sheets.

Printing the Templates

Step Two:

Print the letters out and glue the sheets together.  The printer gives a 5mm overlap to each one and I made it easier to glue them together by drawing a line at the 5mm point to align the edge of the page with more easily.

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I used Pritt Stick to glue the sheets together but then sellotaped over the top of each join to help it hold together as I wanted to move on quite quickly.

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Step Three:

I cut the letters out and used Blu-tack to put them cut outs onto the frames so that I could check the size and proportions of the letters.

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 Step Four:

I stuck the paper cut outs FACE DOWN onto some card board boxes using Mod Podge spread out with an old children’s paint brush (in my experience brushes do not survive glue!)

I stuck them face down because I wanted the templates to be on the back of the final piece and the smoother surface on the front.

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 Step Five:

Whilst waiting for the templates to dry I used the one of the pictures from the frames to mark out the size on the back of the mount board.  Because of the size of the frames I had to use three pieces of mount board (a bit expensive at around £2.50 a sheet, but the only thing I bought for this project).

Because of the price of the board I drew my cutting lines in with pencil completely rather than cutting with my ruler lined up to marks!

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I continued until I had my three pieces of backing board ready to go.

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Step Six:

Using a craft knife I cut out the letters attached to the cardboard.  Once I thought they were cut out completely I would flip the cardboard over and check the back (it is a good way to spot bits you have not cut all the way through on and catch them before they tear and spoil the finish)

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Step Seven:

I spread the roll of kitchen foil out along the table carefully so as not to crease it.  I wanted a more industrial steel finish on my final piece so I placed it shiny side up.  Again I used Mod Podge to stick the shapes to the foil and weighted them down with books to dry (around two hours).

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 Step Eight:

Using a scalpel or craft knife cut the shapes from the foil leaving a border around each one.  Score into internal corners at 45 degrees and cut across external ones at the same angle (see the picture if that doesn’t make sense, I wasn’t sure how to  describe it!)

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I then put double sided tape around the edges and folded the edges tight around the cardboard.

Step Nine:

I used masking tape to mark onto my backing boards where I needed to line the letters up with to get them in the right position and used double sided tape to secure the letters to the back boards.

I put the boards into the frames (which I had painted white with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and waxed) and secured.

Step Ten:

Hang your pictures.  This was actually quite tricky as they had to be level and it took me quite a long time to tweak the hanging cords to the right level!

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I’m pretty pleased with result. They remind me of a slightly retro marquee sign and with three letters I have limited the amount of chaos Boffin and Best Boy can cause by re-arranging them!

This week I am linking to In a bid to get some more opinions this week I am linking to; Handmade Monday and Enjoying the Little Things.

The Anti-Tutorial – Washi Tape Storage

Firstly thanks to everyone who voted for the colour of my candle sconces.  The result is (drum roll optional!)…Silver Grey to match the galvanised sign and baskets.

Now I just have to find the right paint for the job (as if I need an excuse to spend hours staring at paint charts, be honest you don’t either!).

Secondly, be warned, this is the antithesis of a tutorial.  Seriously this one nearly killed me! Such a simple idea but sooo much hassle.  Of course it didn’t help that I have been fighting a really bad spate of migraines for the last week and a half but even so you’d think I might get a break?


So this is the opposite of a tutorial, it is an anti-tutorial.  As in “don’t go near this project if you value your sanity!”

It all started innocently when I saw this fabulous idea on Pinterest for storing Washi tape in a simple yet (I think) still stylish way, courtesy of “Silly Old Suitcase”.

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We are in the throes of trying to make our shared office/craft room a workable space (as anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram will know it’s quite a task!) and I thought that having my Washi tape and rolls of ribbon on display might be quite a cheerful thing to lift the space (which I intend to eventually paint white).  But what to hang it from?

When we made the Up-cycled door trellis I was left with the old wooden door knobs, what do you know funky hangers for my hangers!

I tried to use the same technique that I used (successfully) for my “French-Style Door Finger Plates” (Spraying a base colour, using stickers to mask an area and then spraying a top coat).

It was a series of disasters that saw me:

  • Sanding back the paint three times.
  • Having to spray paint in a dark garage because the weather closed in suddenly.
  • The stickers inexplicably peeling the paint off (same brand, same details).
  • When I put the rawl plugs in to hang the “hooks” they wouldn’t go in despite the drill being the correct depth.
  • Desperately trying to get photos before daylight faded.
  • And finally whilst putting up the hangers one of them slipped out of my hands, bounced across the room and buried itself somewhere and could I find it? No I could not, it was really cute too, with yellow writing that said “Washi”.

So basically you have one hot, bothered and very hacked off Magpie!

I still like the idea and I think it could work but am I glutton for punishment enough to go back to it? Time with tell 😉

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