DIY Clay Christmas Ornaments


Make your own personalised Christmas ornaments


I had so much fun making my previous DIY using air dry clay that I decided to use it again and make some Christmas ornaments. These are really easy to make and you can have fun putting your own stamp on these. I also used a stamping kit to personalise mine too. I put together a DIY video sharing how I made these but I will also include the steps below. 

Share:

DIY Christmas wreath using fresh flowers and foliage


DIY Christmas Wreath


If like me you have an artificial Christmas tree but you want to have that lovely fresh scent of Christmas then why not make your very own real wreath. I got a DIY wreath making kit from boutiqueblooms.ie and I had a try at making my very own wreath. This was also my very first time to make one. I have made faux ones in the past but you can't beat the smell of a real one in the house. These will last all over the Christmas season and you can remove the foliage and pop it into the compost once it has dried out. You can catch the video below and see how I got on with making my very own wreath. 


Share:

Gifts for the girls, guys and little ones with Marks and Spencer | AD


Gift ideas for everyone in your life this Christmas 

                                                                                                                                        
Christmas shopping can be fun but it can also be quite hard to know what to buy people. Today I have a post featuring some goodies from Marks and Spencer that I hope will give you some inspiration. Whether it is your bestie, your boyfriend or your even the little ones in your life then I have some gifts that I think you will like. I also tried to keep these budget-friendly too and each of these items come in under €50. I also have some budget-friendly stocking filers at the end of the post and I even have something for the crafty people in your life. 


Share:

DIY sequin Christmas stockings


How to make your own Christmas stocking


This year I changed up my Christmas decor as I wanted to use more blush and rose gold tones. So, I decided to update my Christmas stockings and I handmade my very own. These were really easy to make. Don't worry if you do not have a sewing machine as you can hand sew these stockings. I have a Youtube video below and you can have a look and see how I made my stockings. I also have more images of them in their new home down below to share with you.



Share:

DIY Christmas tree advent calendar from palette wood


Use up old palette wood and make a Christmas tree


This year I wanted to make my own advent calendar. I had seen lots of wooden trees on Pinterest and Youtube and I decided to make one for myself. I had an old palette in my garden and I decided to use the wood from that for this project. This tree cost me very little to make and it only took an afternoon to complete. I used some power tools for this project but you can use a hand saw and wood glue if you don't have a drill or jigsaw. You can also check out this DIY on my Youtube channel too


Share:

5 ways you can earn extra cash for Christmas


Beat the debt this Christmas and earn some extra income 


Each year I see so many people getting caught up in the spending buzz of Christmas. I work in retail so I see it first hand. People traipsing around with shopping bags, endless queues and people buying things just for the sake of it. There can be social pressure to buy lots of gifts and spend loads over Christmas and the endless ads in the media don't help either. Don't get me wrong, I do love to treat my friends and family but I don't want to be knee deep in debt come January. So, I have put together 5 things you can do from now until Christmas to bring in some extra cash. 

Share:

Versatile Autumn style with Marks & Spencer |AD


Versatile workwear and day off style

*This is a sponsored collaboration with Marks & Spencer and shopping links

Today I have two outfits to share with you from Marks and Spencer.  I have two unique looks, one of the outfits I picked is more casual and perfect for your day off. A perfect bottomless brunch outfit! and my second look is a perfect sophisticated workwear look that teams heavier Autumn fabrics that will keep you warm coming into Winter. These outfits are so versatile and can be dressed up and dressed down to suit your style. I also have some accessories to style these up too, so, if you are a bag lady then I have two bags that might make you swoon. I have been working with Marks & Spencer the past few months and I have to say that the quality is really good and I have been wearing the outfits from my previous posts regularly and they have washed well and still look as good as when I first got them. I will make sure to link to the items below. These items will fit in as well with the other pieces I have in my wardrobe for Winter.


Share:

Living room update | AD


My new DFS sofas arrived


It feels like Christmas has come early! I am writing this blog post from my new sofas which arrived this week. You might remember a few weeks ago I chatted about all things sofas with DFS. You can catch the post here. I had been wanting to upgrade my old second-hand sofas for ages, they were oversized for my living room and the time had come to change them. I put together a Youtube video showing the new sofas in my living room and I am thrilled with them. I now have so much more space and my new sofas fit in perfectly with my decor. If you are thinking of upgrading your new sofas and don't know where to start then check out my video I made with Lisa from DFS where we went into detail and shared some tips for picking the perfect sofa. 


Share:

DIY Pastel painted pumpkins


Pimp your pumpkins to match your decor


I love decorating the house for Halloween. I am not a fan of the scary decor so I prefer to style my pumpkins to be more Autumnal and match my existing decor. You can get really creative and paint some pumpkins that match your style. I picked up some craft polystyrene pumpkins for today's DIY. I love to make some Autumnal displays in the home and I generally leave them on display until the end of November before decorating the home for Christmas. The great thing about the faux pumpkins is you can store them and reuse them next year. I don't like the thoughts of painting the real ones and they end up rotting after a few weeks. Il pop some links below for you to get some polystyrene pumpkins. I have also got a Youtube video for this DIY which I will like here and I will leave the video at the end of this post. 


Share:

DIY cleaning products and my cleaning routine


Make your own environmentally friendly cleaning products


I am loving the cleaning buzz that is going on at the moment. Nothing beats a good scrub and having your house in order. However, I am not loving all of the chemical products that we have gotten into the habit of using. The cleaning aisle used to be my fave place in the supermarket and I couldn't resist a new cleaning product. Lately, I have become more conscious of the number of chemicals I am using, it can't be healthy breathing in these harsh chemicals and I also have to think of my pets too. I have decided to ditch the cleaning aisle in favour of making my own products. They are cheaper, better for your health and kinder to the environment. Instead of having a cupboard full of cleaning products I now only have a small caddy full. I think if we all made some small changes it would make a massive impact on the environment and our health. 


Share:

DIY leaf bowl, Autumn craft idea


DIY leaf trinket dish 


I took some inspiration from nature and decided to use the falling leaves in my garden for a DIY project. Using some air drying clay, I made my very own leaf trinket dishes. I got my inspiration from a trinket dish I got in Heatons last year. I loved it but I couldn't find anymore in the shop so I decided to make my own leaf trinket dish instead. This is a really fun Autumn afternoon DIY. The only time-consuming part of this DIY is allowing time for the clay to dry. You can get really creative and use different size leaves and different coloured paints to make a trinket dish to suit your own personal style. I also have a Youtube video showing you how I made these and I will link it here for you to enjoy.


Share:

My tips for buying the perfect sofa with DFS |AD


How to buy a sofa

*This is a sponsored collaboration with DFS

Buying a sofa is one of the biggest purchases you will make for your home. It is also one of the more expensive pieces of furniture you will buy. It can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to choosing the perfect sofa to fit your space and lifestyle. I have teamed up with DFS for today's post as I am upgrading my old second-hand sofas and getting some new sofas that will better suit my living room space. As I have never purchased a sofa before I didn't know where to start. I also didn't want to make an expensive mistake as I know some people can get the measurements wrong. As you guys know I am a huge fan of upcycling furniture for my home. I have a set of second-hand couches in my living room for the past five years. I want to upgrade them as they are too large for my living room. I want to get new sofas that will better fit my space. So, the lovely Lisa, a sofa expert in the DFS store in Blanchardstown kindly let me pick her brains and answered all my sofa buying questions. Below I have some tips for picking the perfect sofa, so whether you are a sofa buying newbie or you want to upgrade then I hope you will find these tips useful.


Share:

Solo travelling in Lisbon


Where I stayed and where I explored 


I  got home in the early hours of yesterday morning and I wanted to share with you solo travel experience of the charming city of Lisbon. In this post, I am going to share all of the pretty places that I explored. If you are a fellow solo travelling female and looking for a fun city to explore than I recommend this city. I thankfully had no issues and I found the local people really friendly and polite. I found the public transport easy to navigate around and I found some amazing places to explore. I also have put together a Vlog if you want to check it out and you can see the beautiful city of Lisbon for yourself. 

Share:

DIY wrap dress, Simplicity 8608 |AD

                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                    *This is a sponsored collaboration with Hickeys Homefocus

Diy wrap dress with Hickey's fabrics | *Ad


I have achieved my goal to make my very own dress unsupervised and I am buzzing. You might remember last year when I made a dress with Angeline Murphy. I wanted to tackle making a dress by myself and see if I could follow a pattern myself. I teamed up with the guys ay Hickeys for today's post and I used the simplicity 8608 patterns for this project. I love working with the team in Hickeys as I am learning new skills with each project. I learned a lot with this dress pattern, I inserted my first dart, added flounces, inserted pockets and I stitched a lot of narrow hems. You can catch my Youtube video here and see in more detail how I made my dress. 


Share:

Craft night, DIY teacup candles


Teacup candle DIY


Hands up who loves a good craft evening. My work buddies and I were chatting about a craft evening for Autumn as the dark nights can be so long. We had a shot at making some teacup candles as this has been on my to-do list for ages. These were actually easier than I expected and I am quite impressed with our first attempt at them. I have put together a Vlog which you can catch here and follow us along and see how we made them. I will also pop in some details and pictures of how we made them below. This is a great DIY for reusing old china as once the candles burn through you can remove any wax and make them again. 

Share:

Cosy Autumn Lookbook


*This is a sponsored collaboration with Marks & Spencer and shopping links

Sweater season with Marks and Spencer


I am finally getting that Autumn feeling, I am seeing the leaves falling and the nights are drawing in. I have noticed that the mornings and evenings are getting cooler and I even had the heating back on! So, I thought I would share some pieces that will keep you cosy but cute for the rest of the Autumn season. I picked up pieces that are hero pieces for your wardrobe and these will last all season long, I teamed some knitwear pieces with skirts that are in nice pastel and berry shades. I do love Autumn but I like to add some lighter shades to my wardrobe for the season.  I love the quality of the Marks and Spencer clothing so I invest in pieces that I can get a lot of wear out of.  I have been wearing the pieces from my last few posts featuring marks and Spencer and I can vouch for the quality and they are wearing well. 

Share:

How to make a memory cushion, easy sew no zips


Sentimental sewing 


In this post, I am showing you how to turn an old shirt into a memory cushion. I used to make these for people a few years ago but I am no longer able to make these so I decided to share a video and show you how you can make your own. These make amazing presents for people and I used to love seeing peoples reaction when they would get a memory cushion that I had made. You can use clothing from loved ones that have passed or simply recycle old clothes to make a cushion. You might remember my previous easy cushion making blog post, you can catch it here. I am following the same steps and this will be an easy sew with no zips. You can also check out my video here to get a better idea at how I made the cushion. 



What you will need 


If you are a beginner then I recommend starting with cotton/poly shirts. These have less stretch and are easier to start with. If you want to use a knit or stretch fabric then you can iron on some interfacing to stop it from stretching. 

- Fabric scissors
- Pins
- Thread in a matching colour to your fabric
- Paper to make a template/pattern
- Cushion pad in the size you want to make
- A good iron




Make a template 


I find it easier to make myself a template. In today's post, I made a 16x16 inch cushion. If you make yourself a template then you can easily take it out whenever you want to make some cushions. It also makes it easier when you are making a few cushions at one time. Depending on the amount of fabric that you have you can adjust your pattern to make it smaller or larger. You will have a front and a back template for this project. For the front of the cushion, you will need to to make a 16x16 inch template. However, you need to allow for a 1inch seam allowance so you will need to measure out 17x17 inches on your paper. For the back template, you will need to measure out 17 x14 inches. You can adjust the measurements accordingly. 



Cutting your fabric 


Cutting your fabric is just as important as sewing your fabric so please take your time. With old clothing, I cut along the seams and I separate the front panels from the back panels. Iron your fabric before cutting it, having crease free fabric will make it easier to cut out your template. Pin your template to your fabric. You will cut one piece for your front and then two pieces for the back. Your back has two pieces as they overlap giving the envelope shape to your cushion. You want to cut the fabric as straight as you can to make it easier for when you are sewing. 



Sew a hem onto your two back panels and add a stitch to front


You are now going to sew a 1-inch hem onto your two back pieces. These two pieces need a hem so the fabric won't fray on you. Using your iron, fold over half an inch and press. You can use your measuring tape as a guide. Once you have ironed your half an inch you are then going to fold it over again and press. Depending on the fabric you may need to secure it with some pins. Using your sewing machine you will then sew a straight stitch down the hem of your fabric. Start with a reverse stitch to secure your stitch and stop it coming loose. I have put together a Youtube video which I will link below if you want to have a look at how I did this. 

I added a stitch down the front of the shirt panel to stop it from gapping. If you skip this step your shirt cushion will pull open when you insert your cushion pad. Sewing a stitch down the existing hem will make sure your cushion holds its shape. 




Put your cushion together


You are now going to sew all three of your pieces together and form your cushion. The most important thing here is to make sure you face the right sides of your fabric face together. I place my front piece down on the patterned side of the fabric facing me. I then lay a back piece of fabric to the front making sure the two patterned sides are facing each other. I then add the third piece and I pin the fabric together. I use a lot of pins to make sure the fabric stays in place when I am sewing. Place your pins facing outwards as this means you can sew over them. Allow for a 1-inch seam allowance and sew all around your cushion on your machine and use a reverse stitch to keep your stitches in place. Once your cushion is sewn together you can clip the corners and turn it right side out. You can give it a final iron and insert a cushion pad. Your cushion is now ready to give as a present or to keep for yourself and style in your home. 





If you are nervous about trying to make one of these cushions then check out Etsy, I found some sellers below that make these to order.


I hope you enjoyed today's post. If you are new to sewing and nervous about cutting items of clothing that are sentimental then practise on some scrap fabric and build up your confidence. These are such a great item to make. You can also catch my hanging heart tutorial and make some hearts from the scrap pieces of fabric. If you don't have enough fabric to make a sentimental cushion then why not make a hanging heart. Let me know if you have a go at making these and don't forget to check out my video

Thanks for reading, 
Chat Soon,
Catherine. 




Please pin the below image to your Pinterest boards




*Some of links in the blog post are reward style affiliate links. You will not pay any more for your purchase however, I will receive a small commission (€1-€5) if you decide to purchase. Affiliate links are a source of income that helps to keep my blog running. Thank you so much for your continued support.



Share:

DIY Bath Caddy


Make your own bathtub organiser 


You might have seen my recent budget bathroom makeover. Well, I was admiring peoples bathtub caddies and I wanted to make one for myself. I have some planks of wood in my garden from when I had my Velux installed earlier in the year. like a true crafter, I didn't want to throw the pieces of wood out in case I could use them in a project. I decided to use some of the wood in today's post to make my very own bath caddy. This was easier than expected and I also got to use my new drill! Which made me feel very empowered. 


Measure twice and cut once


The first thing I did was measure out how wide my bathtub was. I then marked the wood and used my saw to cut the wood to size. I also measured where I wanted the two smaller pieces of wood for the underneath. These underneath pieces of wood stop the caddy from slipping and sliding off your bathtub. I used a saw that I had in my shed to cut the wood. If you have an electric saw or jigsaw then this would be easier to use. As with all power tools, please be cautious and if you are not confident then ask someone to help you or get a pro to cut the wood for you. 


Once my wood was cut to size I used some Gorilla glue to glue the small pieces of wood to the underneath of the larger piece. I used glue because my wood was really thick and I didn't have a nail long enough to drill it together. You can use a drill if you have one.




My wood was really rough to touch, so, I used some coarse sandpaper to smooth the surface. I have a palm electric sander and I used it to smooth out the wood. I started with a coarse grit sandpaper and then finished it with a lighter grade sane paper to make it extra silky smooth. You can have a look at my Youtube video and watch how I sanded the piece. 


 Whitewashing my piece


I loved the character of the wood and I didn't want to hide it, so I decided to whitewash the piece with some watered down chalk paint.  I made a paint that was half water and half chalk paint. I then used a brush to apply it to my piece of wood. I let it sit for a few minutes and then using a dry rag I wiped the paint away and brought out the details of the wood.  It took me a few goes to get the effect I wanted but I am really pleased with how it turned out. As the wood gets really wet please allow extra drying time before sealing your project. If you don't allow your piece to fully dry it may develop some mould which you don't want. So leave it for a few hours to fully dry. 



I then used some Polyutherine spray sealer that I had in my kit to seal my piece. As this is going into the bathroom, you want to protect it from moisture. This sealer does have a strong smell so I recommend that you use it outside and allow it to fully dry. Once the piece is fully dry it will be wipeable and protected. 


Adding some details 


 I did go looking for some nice handles but I couldn't find any. When rummaging in TK Maxx I found these knobs. They came in a pack of 6 for only €9.99. I used my drill to add some holes to the corners of my caddy. I then added my fancy knobs to make my piece easy to carry and move when in the bathtub. You can also use some glue to apply your knobs, as my piece was heavy I decided to drill mine in. 






Once you are finished an happy with your piece you can then have fun and style it. I purposely didn't get a stand for my phone as for me, a bath is a phone free zone. I got a cute love heart wicker basket from The Range. I added some of my bath time faves to the basket so I could enjoy my soak. A cheeky glass of bubbles is optional for your bath time but its perfect for unwinding, I went for some tea instead and used one of my Royal Alberts to style the tray.







Please do check out my video on how I made my bath caddy and if you enjoyed it then please give it a thumbs up. If you want to see my budget bathroom makeover then check out the post here. Have a great week everyone! 



Thanks so much for reading,
Chat soon,
Catherine.


Please pin the below image to your Pinterest boards






Share:
© The dainty dress diaries | All rights reserved.
The Dainty Dress Diaries ©