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!

Bank holiday treat!

I’m really looking forward to the long-awaited Bank Holiday weekend.  We have no plans, so will be staying in Brighton where hopefully the weather will cheer up a bit…  No doubt I’ll squeeze in an ice cream from my favourite Boho Gelato, and I REALLY need to get cracking on a couple of sewing projects with looming deadlines.

A while back now, I mentioned that I am part of the Fantastic Ribbons review team (you can see my first project here).  To celebrate their 15th Birthday, Fantastic Ribbons are giving an extra 15% off everything – including multi buys already in place.  There is also free post and packing on orders over £20.  They have some lovely stuff, including some great bundle offers.  The over is only valid until Midnight on Monday – so get choosing your goodies!


Papier mache bird tutorial

Following my post last week about working with Fantastic Ribbons, I’ve finally completed my papier mache bird. It is on the top shelf of our handmade alcove unit, and looks quite sweet. The method which I came up with to make my bird could easily be used to make any different papier mache shape, including letters. If you get around to trying it out, I would love to see how you get on.papier mache bird

How to make a papier mache bird

Cut out two bird templates from some thin cardboard (a cereal box works well) and cut thin strips (approximately 1.5cm wide) out from the card. These will make the sides of your bird and also the blocks to keep the shape.

bird templateUsing the strips of card, make three circles, and strategically tape them into place on your bird template (as shown below). This will keep the shape of your bird as you start building it.

bird with box to keep the shape

Balance the two templates on top of each other, using the circles to maintain the shape. Tape the thin cardboard strips around the edge using masking tape, and use more tape to secure the whole shape together. Keep taping until it is fairly sturdy. taped bird

Make sure your bird can stand up on its own. If not, tape a small flat piece of card on the bottom to make a stand (you can just see this in the picture above).

Messy bit (which I forgot to photograph)! – stick strips of white paper onto the shape using PVA glue.  Leave to dry completely. Do a second layer on top, made from kitchen roll.

How you decorate is up to you. Paint or decoupage would work lovely. I am lazy, so I edged mine with my washi tape from Fantastic Ribbons, and used an old book of flowers to decorate the sides. The little wing is made from an old map, and a button.

completed bird

Washi tape

I am very happy to be working with Fantastic Ribbons, a great mail order company, specialising in ribbons, washi tape and BUTTONS! fantastic ribbons logoMy first project, which involves these lovely washi tapes, is still in progress. I am making a papier mache bird, and it is taking multiple layers of paper, and therefore a long time to dry. However, I am ever hopeful that it will be completed next week, with a nice tutorial as well.

spotty snd stripy washi tape

In the mean time, I have also been decorating all of my IKEA glass candles with washi tape stripes, to make them look a bit more exciting! washi tape candle