Shabby Christmas denim heart tutorial

I’m taking part in the second Bugs and Fishes Crafty Tutorial Link-up! I took part last year, making a little embroidered felt stocking. This year, I decided on sewing again, but this time using the sewing machine. shabby denim christmas heartI chose to use some denim, as I had leftover scraps from some old jeans, and it looks nice and rustic. I was lucky enough to be sent some lovely Christmas ribbons to sample by Fantastic Ribbons, as I am one of their blogging team. The ribbons are lovely twill-style, rustic ribbons which work great with the denim. I have grand Christmas present wrapping plans for the ribbon I have left!


  • denim scraps
  • Twill-style Christmas ribbon (mine is from the great selection at Fantastic Ribbons)
  • stuffing
  • sewing machine


  1. Draw or print out a heart template, and cut out two denim heart.two denim hearts
  2. Have a play with your sewing machine settings to find a couple of decorative stitches.stitch test
  3. Pin two strips of ribbon across one of your hearts. Using the decorative stitches you chose, stitch decorative rows parallel to the ribbon.
  4. heart with ribbon and stitches Fill in the gaps between the ribbon with different types of stitches.shabby stitched heart
  5. Sew along the top and bottom edge of each strip of ribbon. ribbon stitched into place
  6. Pin the two hearts wrong sides together, and sandwich in a loop of ribbon at the top. Sew around, fairly close to the edge. Leave the triangle at the bottom open.denim heart stitched with gap to stuff
  7. Stuff your stuffing into the heart, and pin closed. Sew the bottom triangle closed. Trim the edges if needed. finished denim heart

You can find all of the tutorials here at bugs and fishes. There is some lovely, inspiring stuff!


Mince pie recipe

This is my mums famous mince pie pastry recipe, and it turns out it was originally my nannie’s.  Apparently when my mum was small, my nannie used to go to a sewing group and one Christmas someone brought some mince pies, and everyone wanted the recipe.  The lady was a bit reluctant but then gave it to them in the end.  Her son was a chef at the Dorchester Hotel in London, and this was their mince pie pastry recipe.  It is a very short pastry, but you can roll it out and play with it as much as you want to without it getting spoilt.  It is also pretty much fool-proof!finished mince pies


Makes around 30 mince pies

  • 4 oz margarine
  • 4 oz trex (vegetable fat)
  • 6 oz self raising flour
  • 6 oz plain flour
  • 1 oz sugar
  • pinch of baking powder
  • mincemeat (we made ours a bit more luxurious by adding a slug of amaretto)
  • have some cold water handy, just in case
  • You will also need some small cake cases and bun tins


  1. Preheat oven to 200-220 deg c and put the cake cases in the tins ready.
  2. Cream the margarine, trex and sugar together in a big bowl.
  3. Measure out and then sieve the flours into the creamed mix.
  4. Bring together the mix, kneading it gently.  If needed, add a drop of cold water but our mix was fine without.  My mum says she very rarely adds the water. rolling pastry
  5. Roll out the mix on a lightly floured board, and cut out 68 mm rounds for the bottoms and 58 mm for the tops.
  6. Put the pastry bottoms in the cases, add a teaspoon of mincemeat and put the smaller pastry round on top. filling mince pies
  7. Bake for 10 minutes and then check to see how the are getting on.  They should be cooked after 15 minutes and be ever so slightly golden.

The crafty Christmas link-up continued

Here are even more lovely Christmas crafts, with thanks to Bugs and Fishes, who organised the whole thing. The Crafty Christmas Link-Up B

Let it Snow Embroidery Pattern – A Little Happy Place

Festive Wanderers Embroidery Pattern – Unexpected Kitty

Festive Felt and Fabric Coasters – Betz White

Holiday Ribbon Pillow – Mrs. Saint Nick

Felt Gingerbread Man Gift Tag – Grace’s Favours

Crochet Christmas Star Jar Covers – Dinki Dots

Edible Christmas Ornaments – Hydrangea Girl

Cross Stitch Christmas Trees – Made by Mrs M

Secret Love Letter Christmas Gift Tag – Crafts of Texture

Applique Love Christmas Card – Halcyon Threads

Christmas Mini Mitts – The Crimson Rabbit

Felt Reindeer Ornament – Pickle-Lily

Christmas Carousel – Aura Verde Crafts

Embroidered Christmas Stocking Ornament – this one is mine 🙂

Stencilled Christmas Embroidery Hoop – Angharad

The crafty Christmas link-up

As promised, here are the links to the other Christmas crafty projects.  There are some lovely ideas to try out.  I will post the other tutorials tomorrow otherwise it is going to be a very looooog list!

The Crafty Christmas Link-Up A

Felt House Gift Tag Holder – I ManuFatti

Christmas Trinket Hoop Mobile – Carina’s Craft Blog (I really love this one!)

Felt Polar Bear Ornament – La Creature and You

Christmas Hoop – Claire Payne

Embroidered Christmas Mug Rug – Button Button

Polymer Clay Star Ornaments – Saraccino

Knitted Christmas Stockings Garland – Knit Me a Cake

DIY Christmas Ribbon – Adventures & Tea Parties

Embroidered Mistletoe Ornament – Bugs and Fishes

Scented Salt Dough Ornaments – Retro Delicious

Crochet Christmas Tree Decorations – Homemade@MyPlace

Christmas Cross Stitch Raccoon Ornament – Hugs are Fun

Polymer Clay Christmas Tree – Little Creatures

Christmas Wish-List Felt Envelope – Jumbleberries

Felt Christmas Tree Toy – Pinwheels and Stories

I also did a tutorial for these button Christmas decorations last year if you’re after still more inspiration 🙂

Why not pop over to Bugs and Fishes too and see some of her lovely work, as well as our Christmasy contributions.

Embroidered Christmas stocking

Laura at Bugs and Fishes is organising a Christmas project link which I’m taking part in.  Today you’ll get my project, and I’ll post a link to everyone else’s projects as soon as possible – to keep you busy!  stocking

I decided to make a little embroidered stocking, using lazy daisy stitch to look a bit like snowflakes.


  • Felt
  • Stocking template
  • Embroidery floss in at least 3 colours
  • Small piece of ribbon to hang


  • Draw your stocking template on paper.  My stocking is around 11cm long and from heel to toe is it 8cm.
  • Use your template to draw 2 stockings onto the felt, and cut them out.
  • Randomly embroider 2 to 3 lazy daisy’s in each colour.  I love lazy daisy stitch as it is one of the first embroidery stitch I remember doing on a mini-sampler table cloth which I was dead proud of!  I have taken a picture of the instructions from my grans very old copy of “Weldons Encyclopedia of Needlework.”

lazy daisy stitch

  • I then filled in the gaps with smaller stitches, to do a bit of a seed stitch effect.

closeup embroidery

  • Finally, sew to two stockings together, and sew the ribbon into place at the top of the stocking.

Button Christmas Decorations

Last year, I found this brilliant idea to make button Christmas decorations online.  I love buttons, so it was a no-brainer to make these.  I can’t remember where I got the idea from, and have had a look again and it seems to have vanished – so sorry I can’t credit the original source.  I think I found it through the Bonkers about Buttons facebook page, which is where I find most button-related joy.

button on my Christmas tree


  • Sheet of craft felt in your chosen colours
  • Stuffing (only a tiny amount is required, so at a push you could use cotton wool)
  • Embroidery floss
  • Paper template (This is a circle 6cm across, with 4 small holes in the centre, like a button)
  • Small piece of thin ribbon
  • Pins

How to make the decorations

  1. Trace your button template onto the felt and cut out, and repeat so you have 2 buttons.  The central circles can be a bit fiddly.
  2. Pin in the centre, leaving the edges loose so you can insert a tiny amount of stuffing.  Once you have done this, pin all the way around.
  3. Insert your ribbon loop and pin in place.
  4. Using the embroidery floss and a simple running stitch, sew all the way around the edge, making sure the ribbon is secure, and sew around each of the 4 small circles in the middle.
  5. Put on tree, or another option could be to make a garland of lovely buttons.

felt buttons