IKEA Moppe advent calendar

This year Christmas is looking a little different to us a family. With the cafe launch in January we are not able to visit any of our family (Joni parents are in Devon and mine are in Lithuania). This means for the first time it is only going to be just four of us at the Christmas dinner (five if you include the cat). I am feeling hopeful as I heard lots of good stuff about celebrating Christmas without big family involved therefore I am planning to make the best out of it! 

Christmas preparation is looking also very different this year. Although we don’t always have Christmas tree in, I tend to finish decorating before December. Obviously this is not the case this year! Which is why I decided to make the advent calendar part of our Christmas prep.

Besides that, our advent calendar have to be less wasteful. Last year when I did my origami advent calendar, we had a good chunk of paper wasted . So you can imagine that going with the advent calendar design that can be reused again and again was a big reason why I chose Ikea Moppe solution. After doing some research on different examples I decided to go with something very simple as this can be updated every year. In worst case scenario this can be repainted and used as a craft supply storage!

What took most of my time in preparation was not an actual making of the advent calendar but filling the drawers.

To glue 4 Moppe drawers together all I used PVA and clamps.

I used black marker and white chalk marker to draw windows and doors to imitate a building.

To imitate the roof I decided to go with the cardboard. Making out of wood would have taken me much longer! I lined it with polyester filling which essentially looks like artificial snow.

To attach the roof was a little tricky. I tried duck tape as well as hot glue gun. None of that worked. Eventually I resorted to staple gun (it works every time). Although I expect it made some damage, I think it will be easy to fix with some fillers and sanding. I will definitely try making roof out of wood next year!!

At the end of the day, I am happy with the result! It took me to make in about an hour while filling draws with activities took me more like 3h (oops).

Happy Christmas waiting!

Rasa xx

A year to find my style again: Renewed clothes

Just because I have not been blogging much about this 2019 goal, that does not mean I have not made progress. Truth to be told I have not been blogging much in general this year, but I detoxed my wardrobe quite a few times in preparation to finding my style and I am very close to completing my goal. I did not have much time to make any clothes however as planned, but I will get into that once our cafe project is under control.

Today I am going to share what I do with clothes that I love, but which either don’t look right or they look too boring. If it is only small fix I don’t rush to throw it away.

By quick fix, I mean like shortening the length or inserting extra pockets for practicality. I will however show you how I do shorten my clothes. I had quite a few tops and dresses that were too long for my liking.

I simply used iron-on adhesive tape to do the hems. Was super quick! However I must warn you! The hems done this way are slightly heavier and not good with clothes that are constantly getting washed. I mean everything needs to be washed sometimes. But I think this method of hemming suits best something like formalwear (where you don’t want to see stitched hem) or coats (that does not get washed that often).

If you still want to try using iron-on adhesive tape then please be aware that I used HeatnBond one. I cut each garment to the length I wanted (plus 3cm extra for the hem folding). Then I simply folded hem once, iron press, folded second time, inserted the tape, and final iron press.

If you are more interested in doing hems the traditional way. By all means, Google it! There are lots of tutorials out there.

Now a little bit about what I do with clothes that need a bit of spicing up ;-). I often use either some sort of embellishment or embroidery. In the past I blogged about how I inserted lace into a neckline and recently I did embroidery on this t-shirt that had a pocket.

To do this embroidery I positioned the pocket in the embroidery hook and then sketched a design on it using pencil. You can use any sort of pencil, but don’t use anything inky or a biro as you may not be able to wash it out. To get you started on embroidery here are a few of my favourite stitches styles I learned over the years.

Hope you found this inspiring!

Rasa xoxo

It's not too late to knit a hat!

kids bear hat knitting instructionsFirst of all, Happy New Year everyone!
Secondary, just because it’s winter, that does not mean it’s over very soon. I hope I am not sounding too negative for some (I know some of you are really looking forward to Summer already), but we only had one winter month and there are two left to go. My point is that we should enjoy this weather and make the most of it!
I personally love love January (I learned to love every season), because it’s time for refocusing, spring cleaning (would like to call it winter cleaning but it sounds weird), detoxing (If you are into it) and knitting of course. I love January because it is a beginning of the year and the plans are not strictly set therefore it is often not a busy month.kids bear hat knitting instructionsOver holidays I have started knitting because we have gone away and I was free from doing all the house tasks. I find knitting (or any other crafting) is something I can do while chatting or watching a movie. I find it very relaxing! I knitted this hat for my nephew that Tomas is modelling here, hence blurry pics because he can’t stay still. If you fancy knitting this hat then you can access the project here!kids bear hat knitting instructionsHave an enjoyable January!
Rasa xoxo

Origami advent calendar

Origami advent calendar DIYSo here it is, our advent calendar for this year :). Very very simple to make and I have already received many compliments from friends! I simply used some pattern designs that I created for watercolour challenge few months ago and it brighten up our living room already. Yey!
Each package contain origami idea which is great for me (I love learning something new!) and great with involving kids. I am planning to either teach Lukas how to make stuff by folding paper (for easy ones) or let him decorate completed origami item. I am also considering not to be stuck with using only paper. The possibilities are endless, regular blanket could turn into star for all you know. For those who are following me on social media be prepared for daily dosage of origami!Origami advent calendar DIY You ready to make your own origami advent for this year? Then let’s crack on!
You will need:

  • A4 or square size patterned paper, either printouts or shop bought gift wrapping paper
  • number tags
  • origami idea “ribbons”
  • scissors
  • treats to add into the packages (optional and we decided to go without this year)
  • a hanger
  • string or slim ribbon

First, cut out all the tags and origami idea “ribbons”.Origami advent calendar DIYMake all the packages for every 24 days. Begin with folding in corners (1.), then fold in the sides and insert all the contents (2.). Finally fold in the pointy corners once again on both sides (3) and secure it using double sided tape. Use a string or a ribbon to wrap the package like a gift (4.). Don’t forget to insert the tag before tying the knot.How to fold an envelope from A4 Once all the packages are complete, then all you need to do is tie them on the hanger and hang it on the wall.Origami advent calendar DIY Origami advent calendar DIYHappy Christmas waiting!
Rasa xoxo

Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall art

Do you remember when I made watercolour and embroidery wall art? I did say I was not 100% sure if it went with our bedroom interior and I think I was right (although there is no right and wrong when it comes to deco they say). This artwork never grew on me and it was time to replace it to something else completely different.
Now I am currently loving macrame craft although I am clueless how it’s done. When you are too busy with other projects I think sometimes its best to use the skills you already have. In my case this means crochet. Don’t you think crochet looks visually similar to macrame? I think when it is done the right way it can look pretty close!
Few months ago I made the climbing plant trellis inspired by macrame. I loved the outcome (and some yarn left) so I decided to repeat the technique somewhere else (although it happened to be in the same room). What do you think?Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall art If you are loving this as much as I do then you can access the project here.Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall artThanks for letting me share my macrame love 😉
Rasa xoxo

How to make reusable food wraps (to replace cling film)

Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)The thing is that I always dreamed of living sustainably, even before it be became popular. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes business just took over my life and I had to cut some corners. The bottom line is I passionately hate waste and I feel like my heart bleeds when I see stuff wasted when it could have had another life (hope I don’t sound like a hoarder, because I am definitely not!!).
When it comes to sustainable living I believe it comes to choosing the products that should also benefit us directly (not only the earth). You see I dislike wasting money too (or even seeing somebody else wasting theirs). Which is why I always look out for things I could make myself and save money that way. For instance, last week I made some reusable food cloths, because I thought it would be lovely not to use as much cling film. I know, I know, this is not our biggest household waste (nappies and baby wipes are), but you’ve got to begin somewhere! I researched quite a few recipes and methods, so trust me you are getting the best here! Although after making some wraps I had a few other ideas how to make it even easier and cheaper.
To make these reusable food wraps you will need:

  • 130g wax (I used some wax thats been given to me by my mother in law who keeps the bees)
  • 26g pine rosin (or any other tree resin)
  • 4tsp jojoba oil
  • about 5-7 squares of light, woven cotton
  • pinking shears
  • old pot
  • old paint brush (optional, you will only be using it just for this)
  • baking paper
  • iron with the ironing board

Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)First cut your fabric to size. I used pinking shears as this really helps to stop fabric from fraying
Put the wax, rosin, and oil into the pot and while stirring heat all the ingredients till melted. I think because I used not well filtered wax it had few black bits in it. It did not cause too many problems in the end result but it did leave a few black speckles on the cloth.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)As you brush the wax mixture onto the fabric it hardens very very quickly. I think I was too generous with it (so be stingy). The excess wax created lots and lots of mess later. I felt like a brush is not necessary here as the wax hardened after few strokes. I think I will try just dipping the fabric straight into hot wax next time. I imagine that should give good coverage without the wax hardening onto the surface. But of course I could be wrong!Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)So here comes the mess I was talking about. In order to impregnate the fabric with the wax mixture completely, the fabric needs to be reheated. When I researched how to make reusable food wraps it seemed that one of the most popular methods to reheat the wax in the fabric is to stick it into the oven. That seemed a bit limited by oven size and I imagined it would be messy (plus the oven tray to clean up). I guess I failed to avoid the later! I used baking paper to sandwich the waxed cloth and heated the wax and the fabric once again by ironing it. In my case the excess wax spilled everywhere: the floor, another layer of baking sheets (I wasted whole roll!!), and the ironing board (thankfully not the iron itself). This wax mixture was very sticky to clean because of the resin (special ingredient to make the cloths clingy). Definitely NOT applying that much wax liquid on the fabric next time!!!Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin) The cloth cools almost immediately and can be used a few minutes after making it.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin) As I mentioned before the resin mixed in with the wax makes the wrap slightly sticky against itself which is why you can use this exactly as you would use cling film.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)Hope you found this very useful and you can learn from my mistakes.
Rasa 😉

How to make a baby mobile

Jumping bunny baby mobile diy No no, I am not expecting again! This baby mobile I made last week is for my new nephew Alexi. Although I do think this is a perfect project when you expecting… hmm. Think of all that time you have when the baby is not out yet (only kidding there is always another one near by to pester you about his needs lol).
Anyhow if you would like to make a baby mobile then you will need something to hang on it. I prefer soft mini animals or shapes and this time I chose these crochet jumping bunnies (because that was the theme), but you can hang on it anything else suitable such as this knitted bird or this felt bird.Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Jumping bunny baby mobile diy To make the baby mobile you will need a hoop (around 12 inches), some thread (strong enough to handle hanging weight), some mini jingle bells (or beads) and 5 jumping bunnies (or any other mini stuffed animal or shapes).Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Attach five threads to the hoop together with the jingle bells.Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Join all five threads leaving lots of space on top for hanging (you might want to hang it onto the ceiling).Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Hang the mobile and carefully attach all the bunnies onto each thread at the bottom while trying to keep it all level (its very challenging I know!).Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Ta-da!!Jumping bunny baby mobile diy Jumping bunny baby mobile diyHope your baby likes this mobile although I believe it is more for mummy to enjoy 😉
Rasa xoxo

Make your own triangle garlands

Triangle garland DIYAs a follow up from a previous post here is what we had as a decoration for Tomas’s birthday last month. These triangle garlands fitted really well with our “cheerful, exciting and bold” theme. If you would like to make these for your next party (does not have to be kids party at all) then you are in luck, I am sharing how I made mine (along with the struggles I had too). Triangle garland DIY So first I cut some card/paper into triangles. I used the same technique to cut it as I used to make confetti just on a bigger scale of course! I was not bothered about being precise, the important thing is to be fast as there are quite a lot of them to cut in order to make an impact. Having done this myself however I do not recommend choosing different thickness paper/card (will tell you why later). Triangle garland DIY Next up is stitching all the triangles together and this is where I struggled the most. You see the different thickness paper/card can really confuse the sewing machine (unless my machine is not very good… hmm). It stitched either tight or loose or was cutting the thread in the middle of the job, it was really really frustrating for me. So if you can avoid it, please do! I think this project could be relatively quick otherwise.Triangle garland DIY Triangle garland DIY And there we are, its done! I hung mine from the light fitting in the centre to different corners of the room. I am sure you can hang from corner to corner too!Triangle garland DIYHope I inspired you xx
Rasa

How to make mini triangle confetti

Handmade confettiConfetti was not the love at the first sight but something that I fell in love with over time. Now when I see some confetti sprinkled anywhere I get really really excited! It makes everything so much more joyful and thats what you need when the new year is approaching. And it can be used in soooo many ways! It can be sprinkled on the dining table, party floor, letters, present wrapping and anywhere you need some happiness sprinkles. Of course not everyone likes confetti (very sad, I know!!), but for those who do, here is how I make mini triangle confetti. Trust me, it is very simple to make and you don’t need any special punch for it.mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)First I cut the cardboard into strips. I use the ruler and the scalpel knife to make really straight strips.
mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)Then I cut / and then \ to get the triangle shapes.mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)Did I forget to mention that confetti is brilliant in making fab photography effects and backgrounds. Try it for your next photoshoot ;-).mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)Happy celebrating!!!!

Rasa xoxo

 

Christmas wreath chandelier

Christmas wreath chandelier DIY I don’t know how 2017 Christmas came round so quickly, but our house is still not there yet with all the DIY’s. Although I am glad with current progress on our new kitchen that might be functional this year (yey!), when it comes to Christmas decoration I realised we are still not ready for an actual Christmas tree. For starters, children would rip it apart in few seconds. So not worth the stress…
Unless I can hang it? And this is how Christmas chandelier idea came around :-).Make your own Christmas wreath chandelier To begin with I made the wreath. For this you will need some sort of hoop. I ripped our old lamp shade apart to get the hoop that turned out to be a bit rusted (never mind), but maybe you can use embroidery hoop instead (the inner part)?? Anyways, this is why I categorised this project as upcycled ;-).Make your own Christmas wreath chandelier Because I ripped our old lampshade I also got an attachment to connect the hoop to the lamp. I covered both (the attachment and the hoop) with some greenery (mostly parts of the tree in my friends garden). Make your own Christmas wreath chandelierI used three treads to connect the attachment with the hoop. Hope it’s visible in the picture bellow.Make your own Christmas wreath chandelier As for Christmas “tree” deco I chose baubles that I decided to customise myself. I thought to paint with the acrylic that I already have… very risky I know! But I have to be frugal sometimes. Turned out to be ok actually, not sure how long it would last. The black acrylic pain was a bit watery and run in places a bit, but created a nice sort of vintage look. Make your own Christmas wreath chandelierAfter hanging all there baubles on the wreath, there were few leftover. I mounted them above our mantelpiece so everything looks Christmas ready. If only we stayed at home for all the celebrations.Make your own Christmas wreath chandelierHope you feel inspired and ready ahead with Christmas decorating.
Rasa xoxo