Temporary tattoos are back and they are ridiculously easy to make

A few days ago I was admiring some of Tattly‘s new tattoos. And then, randomly, I thought – wouldn’t it be so cool if I could just make my own temporary tattoo. So I did.

DIY temporary tattoo arm - Irene loves craftsI proceeded to design this cute crafty tattoo. You can download Home is where the craftstation is and make your own at home! Temporary tattoos are super easy to make. All you need is a design or drawing that you like and some temporary tattoo paper (for either inkjet or laser printers, they’re different!). If you do a quick search online you’ll be able find a provider in your country.

DIY temporary tattoo chest - Irene loves crafts

This is how you make it:

  • Choose your design and flip it sideways so once it’s transferred is readable and the right way round – if you download my tattoo you’ll see I’ve already done that for you
  • Print it on the temporary tattoo paper following the brand’s instructions
  • Cut out the tattoo as close to the design as possible. This will stop areas of skin where there’s no design appearing shiny
  • Apply as per instructions and show off!

Mexican inspired cardigan chain

Well hello there trendy world of cardigan chains. I have recently discovered this wonderful accessory, probably brought back to the public eye by actress Jayma Mays playing guidance counselor Emma in the TV series Glee, and I gotta say it is so old school that it’s totally back in fashion. I haven’t really seen them in stores but, the good news is that they are incredibly easy to make.

Cardigan chain detail - Irene loves crafts

So I thought – this is really ace but hey, in all honesty, I am probably not going to wear this. So I made a really cool one anyway as I know a few friends that would love one. It’s seems like a much bigger project that it actually is but, if you have some basic crafting supplies, you won’t need a lot more.


I made a Mexican inspired cardigan chain. Used some Sculpey to make two skulls and I decorated them Mexican styley with colouring pens. You could also use some pretty vintage clip on earrings and you could save yourself a whole lot of trouble. To make this cardigan chain you will need:

  • Chain
  • Two sculpey skulls
  • Two clips – I used blank clip-on earrings
  • Two metallic loops that mach the chain
  • Scissors, pliers and tweezers
  • Colouring pens
  • Glue gun or superglue

Cardigan-chain---sculpey-skulls Cardigan-chain---mexican-skullMake a couple of skulls – or your desired shape – out of Sculpey following package instructions. Decorate with colouring pens in awesome Mexican style.


Use some scissors to cut the chain to the length you like and attach to the clips with a metallic loop. Some plier action will ease things up.


I opted for the double chain look. With the chains and clips set up and my skulls decorated I am ready to go.

Cardigan chain - glue gun

Carefully glue the skulls to the clip. Keep in mind the clip has to open and close easily so make sure not to glue the clasp.

Cardigan chain - skull detail Cardigan chain - Irene loves crafts

You are now ready to rock that awesome chain or to give it away as a great homemade present!

Snow card – posting a white Christmas

Christmas times are superbusy times. So much that, believe it or not, I haven’t come round to making any Christmas cards yet. So now I need something cute, fast and easy so I can get those Christmas Greetings out the door pronto.

Snow card - A white Christmas - Irene loves crafts

The best thing is that you can make this card with materials you most probably already own. This is what you’ll need:

  • White paper
  • Hole puncher
  • Blue colored cardboard or a blank blue card
  • Double sided and normal tape
  • White thread
  • Sticker paper (optional but recommended – otherwise you might need glue)
  • Pretty pens to draw your cloud with

Snow card - materials Snow card - making snowflakes

Punch some holes on your white sticker paper. If you don’t have any, normal paper will do. Gather all the small white dots aka snowflakes.

Snow card - snowflakes

Cut some bits of white thread and stick them on the sticky side of the snowflakes and cover with another snowflake. A bit like a snowflake – thread – snowflake sandwich. If you are using normal paper then you can use some double sided tape to stick together the thread and the snowflakes.

Snow card -back of the cloud2 Snow card -back of the cloud

Draw (or download and print) a cute cloud and cut it. I decorated it with some golden colored pen. Take the normal tape and stick the bits of thread on the back of the cloud. I quite like it when the snowflakes fall with different lengths.

Snow card - back DIY snow card - a white Christmas

I made use of my S200 printing kit and stamped the back of the card. If you don’t have a stamp that’s ok, write or draw a small cheeky surprise! The card is now ready to be written on and posted, someone will get their own white Christmas through the post! Merry Christmas everyone!

Food makeover: Glam up that cake for any occasion

I like making the everyday a bit special. Sometimes that means having a cheeky bit of cake and, whether you bake it or buy it, it’s nice to glam it up anyway doesn’t matter the occasion.

Is it a rainy Sunday afternoon and you’ve decided to bake a delicious cake? Are you catching up with your girls having afternoon tea at home? Are you making or taking a cake to the birthday party of one of the young members of the family? This quick cake makeover is going to bring huge amounts of cuteness and glam to your day and you can do it with loads of materials you already have.

Make different size flags and add them to your cake using skewers and toothpicks as flag poles. For the actual flag, you can use different color cardboard, washi tape, pretty cloth if you have some, ribbons or twine. It’s best if you combine a few materials and/or colors. Plain shape flags (triangular or rectangular) look really cute but you can also look online for banner drawings, mimic the shape by drawing them on your cardboard and cutting them up.

If you have any nice stamps you can use those as well. The one I used is part of the set of stamps I posted a few weeks back. If you don’t have any stamps, you can print it out Delicious onto colored paper and use it. If you have a bit more time on your hands you can also make tiny bunting to glam up that cake.

Quick and cute surprise advent calendar

Even though every year gorgeous advent calendars are some of the stars of the Christmas season I’ve never really bought or made one. That changed this year.

As it turns out, George is away in Scotland for work and I am leaving for Riga today so we are going to miss each other out and only meet for a quick lunch. I like leaving little things for him when I’m not home so, with that in mind, I decided to make my own quick version of this really sleek and minimal advent calendar from Klotzaufklotz for George to discover when he got back.

Made with some of the left over oven baked clay and painted the sides with red acrylic for a Christmasy look, I then printed a red Christmas pattern onto an A4 sheet and wrote all sorts of nice messages on the blank side for him to open everyday. I rolled them up and inserted them into the little holes. You don’t have to go for the minimal look, go all out and make a Christmas tree shaped one – if you have a big cookie cutter it will work a treat!

An extra special mini Christmas wreath card

This year I wanted to make a small amount of truly gorgeous handmade cards. I had this idea of a DIY mini wreath card and, originally, I was only going to make 5 or so and give them to a few special people.

After experiencing how much work it’s involved in this, it would probably take quite a long time to achieve that number (ooops!) so I reckon that unless you are prepared to see this project through a few hours, it would be best if you approach it as an extra special Christmas card for that extra special someone.

This is what you’ll need, as you’ll see there’s a few things missing from the picture, ooops!

  • A blank card
  • Some thin twigs from outside
  • A scalpel and scissors
  • Fishing line or very thin metal wire – I thought the metal wire worked really well
  • A jar lid or something to cut out a circle with
  • Black and gold pens
  • A stamp or picture – something personal

First things first, soak the twigs in warm water for about 10 minutes or so, this will make them more flexible. Carefully wrap the first twig around a glass that has the width you are looking for. Secure it with wire and leave it so more twigs can be added to that same wire. Start adding more twigs, in total you should have 3 or 4 wires securing them in different places of the wreath. Once you have made the shape with 3 twigs or so you can fatten it up with some more without the glass.

Find a jar lid or something to cut out with a circle on your card. It has to be slightly bigger than the mini wreath. Carefully cut out a circle on only one side of the card.

Cute some small holes or triangles at top and bottom and either side of the cut out circle. Tie up the wreath to the card with some thin ribbon. I quite liked it how it looked with the knots showing at the front but if you don’t like it just move them to the back once you’ve tied it.

Now, I have mentioned before I am a HUGE fan of stamps. If you and your other half don’t have a stamp, that’s cool (it is an awesome thing to have though), you can use a picture of you both or just make a cute drawing of whatever you want, and put it in the inside of the card so you can see it through the wreath.

Last but not least, decorate the front of your card with a nice hand drawn Merry Christmas. I added some golden dots around the wreath on the inside of the card. The look great from outside and once you open it they make the inside quite special as well. Hope that extra special someone enjoys it!

Edible gifts to put in a homemade hamper

Even though I am an easy person when it comes to receiving gifts, I believe that homemade edible gifts is something pretty much everyone welcomes warmly into their arms, homes and belly. That’s why an all homemade hamper is easily the ultimate gift. On the other hand, separately make great edible gifts for all occasions: stocking fillers, welcome to the neighbourhood gifts, party favours and thousand and one other purposes.

Here is my list of ace edible gifts, find some easy peasy recipes through the links!

  1. Pickled cucumbers. If you don’t like cucumbers you’ll find that you can pickle quite a lot of good foods with this recipe.
  2. Good for you granola. The absolute best way to start the day.
  3. Flavoured salts. For the salt snob and the regular dude. Several flavours and equally delicious to both palates!
  4. Bourbon, peach and thyme jam. Perfect for those cosy winter afternoons.
  5. Sinful double chocolate chip and pecan cookies. Very addictive. If you are gifting them, also bake a batch for yourself.
  6. Chicken liver pate with sage, apple and thyme. Spread on warm toast is best. The heat of the bread will melt the fat in it and develop the flavour further. Yum!
  7. Hot chocolate. In a jar. Massive win.

If you are still unsure what to give for Christmas to one of your parents (parents have it all, don’t they?!), to your hard-to-buy-for other half, or the work colleague you got given for secret santa, then pick one of these or pick them all. Either way you might just have that present sorted.

All images through links above. Credits to:

1. Fried Chillies, 2. Good Food, 3.Jose Picayo, 4. Pastry Affair, 5. Small Kitchen Chronicles, 6. Anjali Prasertong, 7. Hey Gorgeous

Meet Mr Nutcracker – a downloadable paper DIY


The holiday season is fast approaching and, as every year, the spotlight is on snowmen, Santa Claus and reindeers. But what about the other dudes? The three kings, the drummer boy, the nutcracker? I personally think the nutcracker is pretty ace, so on that note I decided to create a DIY nutcracker paper doll.

Well, hello there. Meet Mr. Nutcracker, he is a DIY paper doll and he loves hanging out outdoors or, alternatively, indoors, on Christmas trees  ideally, next to miniature candy canes. He is also pretty relaxed about just chilling anywhere around the house during other times of the year.

Yesterday, we spent the morning outside taking advantage of the sunny weather. This is Mr. Nutcracker’s sunny winter photoshoot.

You can have a Mr. Nutcracker of your own. You can download his lovely body parts here. I recommend printing them in the thickest paper you can, I drew mine in sketch paper which proved to be too flimsy and was quite hard to get Mr N to stand up straight. For his joints I used mini brads, which if you are in the UK they are quite hard to find. I finally found them in Hobbycraft, otherwise you can find them online.

If you print him about half its size and manage to cut them out and put them together you could have pretty much the coolest Christmas tree decoration in the making, ever. Happy crafting!

Permanent marker fun times

I have to confess I am a bit obsessed with crockery or, in fact, with all things and gadgets belonging to a kitchen. So even though I live in the tiniest flat, it always seems a good idea to add to my collection. That why I was all in when I discovered what crafty peeps out there where doing with permanent pens and every day items.

This is a super fun project to do. You could invite a few girlfriends round for a tea, cake and crafts afternoon, make these and everyone would go home happy. Also, they are great as party favours adding a personal message for that extra touch, or you can make his and hers mugs for you and your other half. They are a nice thing to receive, I have one myself!

It’s virtually mess free and it doesn’t require and special tools – you’ll only need some plain mugs or teacups of your choice and a permanent marker. I have tried using a no-bake porcelain pen before but it wasn’t majorly successful. Remember to wipe the crockery beforehand so there is no dust or finger grease. Once you are done drawing or writing your message on it bake for 30mins at 175C (350F).

There are plenty of little cute projects you can use your maker pen on to decorate fairly plain everyday items. The now ever so trendy (but very hard to find in England) mason jars, are the perfect blank canvas. Aesthetic Outburst was lucky enough to find some plain ones and make this gorgeous hand-patterned ones.

One the other hand, if you enjoy drawing and are a bit of a guitar player, why not customise your guitar like this one by Patrick Fisher? Have a look at all his cool stuff in Flickr.

If you are looking for something a lot less complicated, maybe some crafts you can do with your kids, have  look at this cute glasses from Estéfi Machado instead.

Slightly moving away from the permanent marker area, check out this brilliant tutorial with chalkboard markers instead for some temporary polka dots tights from Say yes to Hoboken. Enjoy!

Polka dot tights photos by Kate Skogen of JetKat Photography.

Unfold a nautical birthday surprise

A few weeks back for my boyfriend’s birthday I decided to treat him to a day of seaside-fueled fun. I find that the problem with buying non-material things or experiences as presents is that it becomes really hard when it comes to the act of giving that present to someone. There is nothing to physically give so I feel the person that is receiving it is missing out on that special moment of getting a present. This is the solution that I came up with.

Since it was a day of seaside-fueled fun, I made this little sea themed token. What better way to give a message than “in a bottle”?

I have seen paper boats mainly used before as place names at weddings. Like this cutie from Love my dress, used as a wedding favor as well as place name, which was my inspiration for my tiny boat in a bottle.

The point of this little boat is that it’s made with the paper carrying the message you want to give, in my case I wanted to tell my other half he was gonna spend the best day ever by the sea, so he got to keep the boat and have his nautical birthday fun day – I call that a WIN-WIN! You will need a few pieces of color cardboard in different shades of blue, some plain white paper, blue colored pencils or pens, Decadry rub-on transfers for the letters, one toothpick, one spice jar (or any jar really but if it’s long and thin it works best), a hole punch and, if you want to wrap it up, string and tissue paper.

Cut the paper in order to write the message on the right size. I used a piece of paper of 4 by 3 inches, which makes a small boat but big enough to be able to be handled easily. Write your message on one side and draw a simple pattern on the other. If you decorate both sides the paper boat will always look colorful instead of having white patches like it would look if you left the back of the message blank.

Make your little boat. If you don’t know how to make one, you can find a tutorial for an origami boat and plenty of other shapes here.

Next, the flag. I thought that the message on the boat might go unnoticed so I decided to make a little flag with the simple instruction of “unfold me” plus it looks super cute. Use your Decadry transfer to create the message you would like on a piece of cardboard. Remember to keep it short as the boat and the flag must fit inside the jar when they are attached. Once you’ve got the message cut the cardboard in the shape of a flag but leave a space on the left hand side to insert the toothpick.

Insert the toothpick from the bottom of the boat carefully through the highest point. Make two horizontal cuts on the left hand side of the flag and insert the toothpick through.

Punch a bunch of holes on the blue colored cardboard and some white paper to create a private ocean for your boat – waves and foam included.

Add the sea of little cardboard circles to the jar and slide in your boat. I put some of the circles inside the boat as if it were water on board – and because it looks nice. Finally put the lid on and you now have a message in a bottle!

I decided to wrap it up to make it more exciting. Keeping it horizontally I wrapped white tissue paper around it, made a little birthday tag and tied it all up with some gorgeous butcher’s twine. I hope you find an excuse to make one too! It certainly did impress my other half! : )