If you are thinking ahead to a handmade Christmas? Miss Cinti from My Poppet (if you don't live in Melbourne you can check out her lovely blog for lots of crafting ideas) is running a series of 3 x 2hr classes at Little Sparrow in Melbourne on Thursday 10th, 17th & 24th of November. Click here to sign up.
If you are a fabric addict like us, Sew Mama Sew is going to be impossible to resist. Their collection of fabrics, especially their Japanese imports, is perfectly selected to inspire big ideas for future sewing projects. You can justify picking up all that new fabric by also collecting a few patterns by Oliver + S or the many others in their shop to make up some new outfits for yourself or your little ones.
As well as fabric, patterns, tutorials and gifts you can check out their blog for wonderful handmade gift ideas. Each year they do a round up on their blog of the best hand made ideas for the holidays. You can see last years collection here or keep checking in for new great ideas for this year including the hand made fabric wings we featured in our summer issue.
The talented illustrator and designer, Bess Harding from Beeb, is back with another fantastic craft project for you. This time she is going to show you how to make gorgeous girly hairslides.
Floral hair slides
You will need:
between 6-12 cm square (cotton is ideal)
A tiny bit of
What to do:
Cut your fabric
into a circle with an indent of around 1cm (see picture).
Then cut a spiral
into your circle so that you have a long 1cm wide twirl of fabric. Holding the
middle, twist the fabric around itself to create a sort of flower (it will
naturally want to do this), and when you get to the end, secure it with a dab
Let it dry thoroughly and that’s it! You could then decorate by gluing little buttons or sequins or beads or flowers into the middle, or you could dip the petal edges in glue and then glitter. The same process can be used to make flower badges, and if you want to give them as gifts you can present them on a piece of colored card (see pictures).
This week's giveaway is a beautiful, carefully handmade, one of a kind, 15" Waldorf style doll from Moonchild Studio. This particular doll (pictured on the left) was specially made for our readers at Smaller* and that's not all.... Berrie was kind enough to offer the readers a 20% discount on a Custom Order Doll for a January, February or March delivery. Just go to her Etsy site or blog and use SMALLMAG as the code when you order.A Moonchild doll is an all-natural doll that is made with natural fibers. This doll is made with European cotton interlock fabric that complies with Oeko-tex standard 100, wool stuffing, and mohair hair. Her clothes are hand made with European corduroy and knit fabrics and her hat and shoes are made with 100% wool felt. She comes with a care sheet and a re-blushing cloth. Waldorf style dolls typically have a neutral expression so the child can add the feelings that the doll is needing to fulfill. As a child holds and plays with a Moonchild doll, the wool stuffing holds the child's body heat. Besides being great for educational and creative play, these toys are safe for your child and good for the environment. This gorgeous doll will be a wonderful addition to your child's life that can be passed down through the generations.
One lucky reader will be picked at random and notified by email. (Please leave your email address when you post a comment!). The winner will also be posted in the blog the following Monday. Our winners from last week (picked by random.org) were comments no.1, 3, 5, 6, and 12- congratulations!! Please contact us with your email address.
Mathilde de Turkheim is a talented French designer living in Brooklyn. She offered to help us out on Small photo shoots and her lovely daughter has even modeled for Small. We met her because we saw her amazing handmade necklaces at Bubble a few years ago and fell in love with the imaginative shapes and decorative details.
She has recently expanded her range into headbands and brooches.
Lisa Murray has sent us a new craft project that we know you will love. You might remember her last craft project- a padded rug for the nursery. I saw this light box in her house and asked her to tell us how it was done. It requires some basic computer skills but once you have the photos you want to use you could probably find a friend in the know to do the layout for you.
How to make an ABC light box
You will need –
A digital camera
Indesign, Photoshop or Illustrator computer software or any other computer program that allows you to import multiple photos into an arrangement.
A baby or kid to appreciate the finished product!
Step 1:Take a trip to the city to photograph some typography.
Step 2: Create a grid within your computer program. After some playing around, I found 5squares across and 6 down to be the best layout as it keeps the letters in portrait format which means less cropping – much easier for an amateur such as myself!
Step 3: Play around – import letters you like into the squares to make up the alphabet. So many possibilities, it’s just a matter of choosing which letters you think look best next to one another.
Step 4: I put a black background behind my alphabet so any mistakes with alignment would be lost before printing. Save your file as a pdf & send it to the printers to have made into a transparency, or film to fit your light box.
Step 5: Open your light box and position artwork, close light box and your done. Put it up in your child’s room and find yourself getting excited over your ABC’s all over again!
Public School – Public School is a creative collective of 3 photographers, 4 designers and 1 illustrator based in Austin. Their booth was filled with fantastic posters, one reading: “Tie your shoes, pack a good lunch and remember we are all in this together” and a photo booth where they were taking “class portraits”. Would love these guys to do a shoot or illustrated story for Small!
Brooke & Adelyn – Organic children’s clothing hand stamped with ladybugs, twigs, flowers and butterflies on rompers, jumpers and dresses in soft pastel colors.
Leah Duncan – I was immediately drawn into Leah’s booth by the color palette of her illustrations and her textiles. Pillows, tea towels and fabric adorned with geometric patterns and florals in soft grays, yellows, greens, and oranges. Beautiful!
Clay Wood & Cotton – A brick and mortar shop in Beacon, NY filled with small designers like, Kate Durkin (pillows left) ceramics illustrated with birds by Take Me Homeware and handmade plush monsters by Karen’s Monsters.
Tinted Mint – Tape in tons of colors and patterns made of Japanese rice paper. I bought a few rolls for the kiddos (what kid doesn’t love tape?) and they had a blast taping shapes on paper and painting and drawing around it.
Lisa Chow – Beautiful illustrations of buildings suspended from stars and balloons on prints, cards and teas sets.
Miss Natalie –Looks like every creative thought Miss Natalie has ever had was executed perfectly and displayed beautifully in her booth. Standouts: Natalie’s Don’t Forget Me Lunch Bags, Heirloom Growth Charts and Mail-A-Mask Postcards.
Mogo - Kimonos and tees in simple but original graphics and wooden pencil boxes and rings boxes adorned with bears and colorful cars, shapes and landscapes.
Brooklyn Design Market is going on this weekend at St Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water Street in Dumbo. We went last year and it was a lot of fun and very inspirational. This year there will be a plenty of live music and a kids lounge featuring fun, functional, and fabulous childrens’ furniture by BKLYN DESIGNers. There will be crafts and free 100% biodegradable balloons for the kids. Some of the designers included are Colleen and Eric, Argington, Casakids (there is an interview with Roberto Gil in the last issue of Small) all pictured above. Pictured below is a sample of the funky and very bright wall paper from Flavor Paper, amazing furniture from Hugh Hayden and Katie Vitale and narrative wall paper from Grow House Grow.
We have always loved the work of Nicole Licht of Astulabee. Her work is always enchanting and we have just learned she is going to teach some of her skills in a five day workshop coming up in New York. Contemporary Soft Sculpture is a hands-on studio workshop exploring materials and techniques for creating 3-dimensional soft sculptural forms, functional and non-functional alike. There is a discount if you register before the end of April.
If you don't have the time for the long workshop she is also conducting a 2 hour workshop on May 8
1-3 pm, leading participants in making embroidery and fabric collages
with a 'Lost at Sea' theme. There are limited spaces so email info@galleryhanahou to reserve your spot (cost
45$). The group exhibition of the same name is on at Gallery Hanahou at 611 Broadway Suite 730 NYC. Opening reception Thursday May 6 from 7-9.
Our guest post today is from Jacinda and Jaime, the talented duo over at Prudent Baby. Their site is chock full of craft projects for babies and kids, the nursery, moms (Hot Mess Mommy-love that!) and cooking recipes. Today they show us how to make Crinkly Robots. Take it away ladies…
Crinkly RobotWe came up with these little crinkly robots especially for Smaller. And we are kinda geeking over it because we are huge fans of Small and everything else these gals touch. But back to the 'bots… here's how to make your own little crinkly robot with loads of ribbon-tag goodness.
Collect your supplies. You will need:
- Print-out of Robot template Click here
- A crinkly piece of plastic. Travel wipe bags work well.
- 2 - 5x7" pieces of wool felt (this is a good time to use the nice stuff that you've been hoarding.) They can be the same or complimentary colors.
- Scraps of felt
- Needle and thread (sewing or embroidery will work)
- Head Pins
- Sewing Machine (optional)
2. Lay down the 2 pieces of felt with the plastic bag sandwiched in between.
3. Lay the robot template on top (pin, if you like) and cut through all layers. (You may cut your plastic separately to save your scissor blades but the felt should be cut together.
4. Cut out the decorative elements from the scrap felt and arrange on your robot.
5. Stitch any layered pieces including the zig-zag on the chest, and the eyes on their background.
6. Stitch all of the decorative elements onto the front layer of your robot. Make sure the stitches are very secure.
7. Trim your plastic so that it is not showing around the edge of the felt.
8. Assemble the robot with the plastic sandwiched between the two pieces of felt and pin your ribbon tags into the seam. Each piece of ribbon is folded in half.
9. If you are using a sewing machine, zig-zag stitch around the entire outside edge of the felt so that one stitch falls off the edge of the felt, simulating an overlock stitch. Stitch the ribbon tags into the robot as you go.
If you are hand-stitching, use a whip-stitch or blanket stitch to secure edge and attach ribbon tags all the way around.
10. And that's it!
The wonderfully talented Bess Harding of Beeb Design has sent us another super cool craft you can do with your kids. Bess lives in London and is an
illustrator/designer/maker. If you would like to have her work in your own home, her etsy shop stocks her delightful characters and dolls as well as prints and illustrations.
With spring in the air and Easter around the corner, here’s a very quick and easy way of making chick and bunny egg cosies - with two options depending on how handy you (or the kids) are with knitting needles.
You will need:
Old woolen jumpers or tops, ideally grey/cream/yellow/orange (washed)
OR wool and knitting needles
Felt - ideally orange/yellow, grey and pink
Glue (PVA or similar)
Thread (any color)
White paper or card
1. Take the arm of your washed jumper and cut the bottom of the sleeve off, around 10cm above the cuff.
Knit a rectangle in whatever stitch you like, making it roughly 20cm x 10cm. Then fold over and sew the two short edges together (using the same wool) to make a tube.
2. Cut out the felt headgear - so two grey ears and a
little pink nose for a bunny, and an orange triangle beak and orange/yellow
comb for a chick (not anatomically correct but it looks good!).
3. Turn your tube inside out and insert the felt ears/comb so that they’re upside down and lined up with the top edge of the tube. You can put a dab of glue on the ends of the ears/comb if you like, then scrunch up the surrounding fabric (the most important thing is to get a firm grip on the ears/comb) and tightly wind and tie a length of thread around it all, about 1cm down from the top. If you’ve knitted your own you can use the extra length of wool to tie this off.
4. Now turn it back the right way and you should have a sort of hat shape with either ears or comb sticking out of the top.
5. Now time to give them faces, so pick the best looking side and glue on the felt beak/nose you cut out earlier, somewhere in the middle, then cut out little circles of white paper/card for the eyes, draw on a black dot in the middle of each one and glue in place.
6. Optional extras at this stage include felt wings for the chick and a cotton wool tail for the bunny (see pictures). Also, although grey and yellow are more authentic, you could have a spotty chick or a stripy bunny, depending on what old sweaters or wool you have to hand.
These might not last forever, but they’re fun and satisfying to make, and will look good keeping eggs warm on your Easter breakfast table!
Please send along any photos of your finished crafts to firstname.lastname@example.org- we would love to see your designs too!
We have a new Craft editor here
at Small. Lisa Murray is one of the craftiest people I have ever met and
we are so excited to have her on board.
Ever since we first became friends when my sister was sharing a house with her in the late 90's I have admired her clean yet hand made aesthetic. Her house on stilts overlooking the river is full of her amazing projects. Now she has her own adorable little one she is turning her hand to kids crafts. This rug was the perfect mat when little Griffin was learning to sit. Easy to clean and super padded for any tumbles. I think this would be perfect of any room and could be made with any sturdy fabric, canvas or even an old quilt that you have on hand.
How to make a felt rug …
You will need –
One piece of fairly thick felt (1cm thick)
One blanket, or covering
One chalk pencil
* Felt can be purchased from Australian Felt specialists or just do a search for a supplier in your town.
* Army blankets can be purchased inexpensively from Army disposal stores. Or, failing
that ask a yoga studio or moving company or just look around a thrift store or even your grandmothers cupboard.
Decide how big you want your rug and cut a length of ribbon to roughly fit from the center to the outside edge
Pin one end of the ribbon to the center of the felt and attach the chalk pencil to the other
Use this to draw the circle onto your piece of felt & cut it out
Using your felt circle as a pattern piece, lay it on your blanket and cut out another circle 10, or 15cm bigger than the last. This overlap will be used to wrap around the edge of your felt circle
Folding the edges round as you go sew the blanket to the felt circle by hand.
If I had my time on this project again I’d sew elastic round the edges of my blanket so it sat like a fitted sheet to my felt, this way it could be interchangeable and washable – very tricky!