• Posts Tagged ‘Creative ideas’

    How to sew a Roman blind

    by  • 25/07/2012 • Crafting • 4 Comments

    We’ve made lots of Roman blinds at Country Homes and Interiors over the years, but this one, which appears in our September issue, is our favourite so far.

    It’s made in a wonderfully striking fabric called Up the Garden Path by Vanessa Arbuthnott that will turn any window into a focal point. You need all the usual bits and pieces to make it, plastic rings, eyelets etc, but it really is easy to do – just take a look at our step-by-step instructions.

    Choose an oversized pattern in a natural shade for impact.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try.

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    Flowers for Mother’s Day

    by  • 14/03/2012 • Gardening • 1 Comment

    Whisper it, but spring has finally sprung… yes, really. Isn’t it great to see country banks and hedgerows bursting into life all around us?

    My garden’s waking up, too, and already there’s enough in bloom to make some pretty posies to bring indoors. Perfect timing for a Mother’s Day celebration this Sunday. Luckily, I’ve found plenty of inspiration for homegrown arrangements in florist Paula Pryke’s gorgeous new book Flowers Every Day (£25, Jacqui Small).

    Paula has designed beautiful displays for each season using flowers and foliage from her own garden and gives tips on how to grow them. There are also handy seasonal selections of blooms that are good to buy in – brilliant if your own borders are looking less than lovely.

    So for Mother’s Day, why not try this natural napkin ring? Paula’s combined heavenly blue muscari with miniature Narcissus ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’ and a lime green double hellebore. The posy is tied with a stem of willow.

    The message of this book is ‘Keep it seasonal, fresh, scented and simple’. Stick to that when creating your spring arrangements and you can’t go wrong – Mum will love them!

    Flowers Every Day by Paula Pryke with photography by Rachel Whiting (£25, Jacqui Small)

    Flowers Every Day by Paula Pryke with photography by Rachel Whiting (£25, Jacqui Small)

    Paula Pryke's Mother's Day place setting

    Paula Pryke’s Mother’s Day place setting

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    Beautiful new craft book

    by  • 09/02/2012 • Crafting • 2 Comments

    Have you seen the new craft book All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens (£14.99, Cico Books)? Textile artist Chloe has a passion for vintage style and her book includes 35 creative projects using appliqué and embroidery.

    I love the Scandinavian-inspired place mats in vibrant colours (below), or try your hand at making a country-style table runner to brighten up your home for spring.

    As well as home accessories, there are great ideas for handmade gifts too – how about a pretty tote bag or laptop case?

    Easy-to-follow instructions guide you through the makes, plus there’s templates for each project. The book is beautifully illustrated, so it’s a pleasure to browse through the designs.

    Chloe’s love of colour and pattern is inspiring as she cheerfully suggests that you get ‘creative with colour and doodle with your sewing machine.’ Now where’s my needles and thread…

    All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens (£14.99 hardback, Cico Books). Photograph courtesy of Cico Books

    All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens (£14.99 hardback, Cico Books). Photograph courtesy of Cico Books

    Sew a beautiful place mat. Photograph courtesy of Cico Books

    Sew a beautiful place mat. Photograph courtesy of Cico Books

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    Decorate with stencils

    by  • 11/01/2012 • Crafting • 0 Comments

    If you’re looking for creative ways to decorate this year, take a look at this new book, Stencil It by Helen Morris (£20, Jacqui Small).

    Stencils can be used to give a room a fresh update and decorative design without wallpaper and it’s a chance to get creative with templates and paint. Try adding pattern to a wall beside a bed, or brighten up an area next to a desk or bookcase.

    The book includes advice on techniques and beautiful photographs show how to use stencils to create different styles – be inspired by elegant flowers, butterflies and classic architectural designs.

    My favourites include pretty seeds painted as though drifting across a wall, numerals for a retro look in the study, and the Russian dolls would look sweet in a vintage-style kitchen.

    The book has 15 stencils included at the back, so it’s easy to get started, just visit The Stencil Library to order paint and brushes.

    Stencil It is available online now from Amazon.

    Feeling inspired to try a new craft? I’d love to hear about your New Year craft projects…

    Stencil It by Helen Morris (£20, Jacqui Small). Photograph Michael Chippendale

    Stencil It by Helen Morris (£20, Jacqui Small). Photograph Michael Chippendale

    For more ideas, visit the new Country Homes & Interiors website.

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    Cath Kidston knitting kit

    by  • 02/11/2011 • Crafting • 2 Comments

    If you’ve been thinking about what to buy as Christmas gifts, The Knitting Book by Cath Kidston (£20, Quadrille Publishing), would be perfect for someone who would like to try their hand at knitting.

    The kit comes in a pretty floral book tin and includes instructions on how to make a simple striped scarf, colourful yarn, knitting needles, plus How to Knit, a guide to basic knitting techniques.

    The set would make a lovely Christmas present and it’s available to buy online from Cath Kidston.

    For more easy craft ideas, go to housetohome.co.uk/crafts.

    The Knitting Book by Cath Kidston (£20, Quadrille Publishing).

    The Knitting Book by Cath Kidston (£20, Quadrille Publishing).

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    Make your own vegetable dyes

    by  • 06/11/2009 • Crafting • 1 Comment

    You may remember the vegetable dyed napkins featured in the Be inspired by… Modern Rustic shoot/October issue. It’s a very simple thing to do, so I thought I’d share it with you…

    To begin, choose fabric to make your napkins or simply use napkins that need a new lease of life! Boil up some water, then add your desired vegetable for colour, we used the skin of 2 onions for 2 napkins & 1 chopped whole beetroot for 2 napkins. Add a heaped tablespoon of salt to deepen the natural color and help the material absorb the dye properly. Reduce the water to simmering & immerse the napkins in the water dye, and gently stir round with a spoon. Leave for roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the fabric in warm and then cool water until water runs clear.  Leave to dry.

    Result… rustic, natural napkins!

    Vegetable dyed napkins

    You'll get lovely natural colours from making your own vegetable dyes

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