Guest Post: DIY Nautical Macramé Buoys

Today’s post welcomes Olivia who writes for collaborative craft blog DIY Mother. Olivia reached out to me as a fairly new blogger and had some awesome DIY ideas to share!

I’ll hand over right now so Olivia can share her how to for these DIY Nautical Macramé Buoys.


A few months ago, I taught myself the art of macramé because I wanted to make a plant hanger. For hours, I tried to teach myself how to make elaborate decorative knots and I failed miserably each time. I came out of the project knowing how to make 2 decorative knots, and not wanting to do it ever again.

Then I saw these nautical buoys at Pottery Barn. And, of course, the annoying DIY voice inside my head told me I could turn it into another DIY macramé project. Plus, it didn’t require any fancy knots, just basic ones.

My version of the globes didn’t turn out exactly like the originals, but I’m happy with it. I didn’t want to spend 10 dollars on the popular looking glass spray paint. Rather, I wanted something that I could use again.

So let’s get started with this simple, cheap, and easy tutorial.

Glass globe vases (or decorative globes)
Sisal rope (a woven type of rope)
Candles (optional)
Rocks (optional)

1. The closest thing I could find to nautical style rope is called sisal rope. It was flexible to work with, but rugged enough to hold its shape. Cut 4 strands of your rope in 2-ft long segments. You’ll need the extra for bulky knots.

2. Hold all 4 segments together and fold them in half, so that you have 8 strands hanging. Then, tie a large knot at the top to secure the pieces.


3. Turn your vase upside down and place the knot on top of the base. Spread out your pieces of rope evenly, making sure that none are overlapping.


4. Pull two of the ropes together and tie a knot toward the top of the vase. Do this all the way around the vase, using pieces that are close together. You’ll have 4 knots around the vase.


5. Start another row on knots about 3 inches down from the first row. Pull 1 piece from one knot, and 1 piece from the knot next to it, and tie those together in a knot. This starts to create the “web” that the vase will be in. Do that all the way around again and repeat the process one more row down.


6. Take the remaining rope you have and tie all of it into another bulky knot. Tuck it into the opening of the vase and you’re done!




Such a cool DIY, thanks for sharing Olivia! I think these would be great for a bathroom shelf with tea light candles.

Please give Olivia a follow over at the DIY Mother blog – their motto is “Not Afraid To Use Power Tools In A Dress” ha! 

You can also find DIY Mother on Twitter.



TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Craft, Handmade | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bicycle Prints by Ste Illustrates

Social Media is a wonderful thing. I am a little addicted to Twitter and Instagram, but it means I often discover super talented folk like Ste Johnson.

Ste is a Liverpool based illustrator who came to my attention when a friend recommended his work to me. Of course being a bicycle geek, she knew I would love his latest print.

Bicycles Are A Girl’s Best Friend is Ste’s first ever commercially developed print, available right here.

I love his friendly illustration style. Most of his work begins as a pencil drawing and is then turned into a digital piece of art. I’m definitely saving up for a commission.

My HORRIBLE postman clearly doesn’t understand how to deliver mail and proceeded to jam the print through my letter box when it was clearly too big (A3) *Sad Face*. I hope once I’ve framed it, it should straighten out.

It really is a fabulous print with rich colours and fantastic paper/card quality.


Please check out Ste’s work on his website and follow him on Twitter. He is a super friendly chap and has just taken the plunge to go freelance full-time. I’m all for supporting UK artists and hope you all will too!

Plus his print release couldn’t be more timely with the Tour de France happening soon. I’m too excited for stage 3 in Cambridge on 7 July!


TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Bicycles, Handmade | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Day Out to Backstitch Fabric Shop

On Saturday I visited Burwash Manor, specifically to go to Backstitch fabric shop and have lunch with friends.

Obviously we made friends with the alpaca on the neighbouring farm. Oh hai!!












Afterwards, we stopped for a ploughman’s lunch at the famous Orchard Tea Garden.

Keep an eye out for a DIY with my fabric haul soon!



TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Cambridge, Craft | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Rhubarb and Ginger Muffins


IT’S FRIDAY! And that means cake day right? If you fancy doing a little bit of baking this weekend, why not try this recipe for some yummy Rhubarb and Ginger muffins?

Ingredients (makes 12):

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 60ml Sunflower Oil
  • 120ml Skimmed Milk
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 medium Rhubarb stalks

1) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 fan assisted).

2) Cut the rhubarb stalks into small pieces and place in a saucepan over a medium heat with 1 tbsp water and a tsp of the sugar. Stir occasionally until rhubarb has softened. Remove from heat.

3) Place all the remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix well until combined. I used a hand mixer.

4) Add the stewed rhubarb and mix well. Using the hand mixer will break the rhubarb pieces up so use a wooden spoon if you prefer chunky pieces.

5) Divide the mixture into 12 muffin cases, sprinkle with light brown sugar and bake for 12-15 minutes.

6) Make a cup of tea and SCOFF!



You can find all my other recipes here. Let me know if you try any of them!



TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Baking | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Claireabellemakes at the Shelford Fair



Hey guys! Just popping in to let you know I’m going to be at the first ever Shelford Fair this weekend.

It takes place on Sunday 13 April from 10am-3.30pm at the Memorial Hall in Great Shelford. It’s right near the train station, so very easy to get to.

I’d love to see some local faces, so do come along and say hello if you can. There will be food stalls (Steak and Honour, yes please!) and plenty of handmade goodies.

Visit the Shelford Fair website to be in with a chance of winning £10 to spend at the fair! 

You can also find the fair on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.



TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Handmade | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Scrabble Word Art Commission

This week I’ve been working on a super lovely commission for a wedding, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Kate (who runs Daphne Rosa) wanted a special gift for her friends wedding. The groom actually proposed on a Scrabble board! So, I worked with Kate on some ideas and this is the final gift!

The Scrabble word art spells out three locations that matter to the happy couple; where they had their first date, where they were engaged and where they are to be married. The background of the frame is love heart fabric.



Super pleased with how it turned out. What do you think? I wonder if I should start doing small frames for the Etsy store? It was a lot of fun working with so many Scrabble tiles and deciding on a layout.

If you are interested in a custom order, please contact me via social media or email using the buttons at the top of my sidebar. I love a good challenge!

Be sure to check out Kate’s gorgeous work too, especially if you are planning a wedding or Spring/Summer party!



TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Handmade | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Instalife March 2014

Time for another Instagram round up! Here’s what I got up to in March.

I generally felt quite well apart from sleep deprivation through stopping my migraine meds! I am one of these people who cries when they are tired and gets hangry when they need food. All is well now and I am grateful for another fun packed month.


Swooning over my Kikki.k Haul / Taking part in a mail swap

Making a card out of old stamps / Bicycle notecards from my penpal in Canada


Adding new product shots to my bestsellers / Releasing the Penny Farthing collection

Working on fair stock / Ordering yellow cord for Tour De France Bicycle Bracelets


Getting out on my bike in Cambridge / Spring has arrived along The Backs

Stopping at the flower stall on the market / Soaking up the tourist atmosphere


A weekend mini break with family – played golf / Lunch at Byron Burgers with my Dad

A crafternoon for Mother’s Day / My nephew in his craft creation


 DIY Door Knob Necklace Display / DIY Fabric Magnetic Noticeboard

Sharing my fave Stationery stores on Etsy / A Vivid Please Giveaway


Fat Free Brownies for the #TryTotal challenge / Taking a tea break in the studio

New coaster from The Bellwether / Cake with G after the Country Living Fair

How was your March? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget you can follow me on Instagram here. I just passed 1000 followers. WOWZERS!

Oh wait! I nearly forgot a Tammy photo! Here is a fab xmas time picture I found the other day. The new grumpy cat eh?!




TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Cambridge, Craft | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

National Stationery Week 2014 Round Up

I hope you’ve all enjoyed National Stationery Week 2014 as much as I have! I found SO many amazing blogs, shops and paper enthusiasts and feel grateful I’m not the only stationery geek out there.

After having a big rant to a friend that I’d seen so many people mis-spelling stationery (STATIONARY?!!!) we joked that the week would take on a whole new meaning with people standing completely still for a week. Anyway….

Here’s a round up of my favourite finds this week, enjoy!



Stationary (haha) giveaways by Oh Squirrel, Vivid Please and Claireabellemakes! You can enter until 14 April and also find the DIY for the bicycle notebook.


DIY Gold Polka Dot Envelope Liner /Camera Tape Dispenser /DIY Pocket Book


DIY Simple Paper Banners / DIY Washi Tape Gift Tags / Speech Bubble Sticky Notes

You can also follow my Papercraft and Stationery board on Pinterest for DIYS and tons more inspiration!

Follow Claireabellemakes’s board Papercraft & stationery love on Pinterest.

All my previous stationery themed posts can be read here!



TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Stationery | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

DIY & Giveaway – Hand Stitched Bicycle Notebook


Today’s post is a little DIY and giveaway to continue my National Stationery Week celebrations! Ever wanted to know how to make your own notebooks or journals?

I’ve teamed up with some of my favourite designer-makers (HarrietStacie and Rachel) to share some notebook DIYs and you will be able to win the notebooks we make by entering the giveaway below! If you don’t win, you can make your own using the tutorials. Be sure to share them if you do!

To make my hand stitched bicycle notebook, you will need:

  • A4 Kraft Card Stock
  • A4 White Paper
  • Needle and Thread
  • Bone Folder
  • Bulldog Clips
  • Washi Tape or Stamps to decorate
  • Craft Knife or Scissors

Step 1

Take 1 sheet of kraft card stock and fold in half using your bone folder to score the centre. If you don’t have a bone folder, you can use a letter opener to press along the fold.

Repeat with 8 x sheets of A4 white paper. These will be your notebook pages.


Step 2

Place your folded paper inside the kraft card stock, which will be your notebook cover. Secure in place will bulldog clips, so the paper doesn’t move.


Step 3

Make holes with your needle along the centre fold of the white pages, all the way through to the card cover. This can be a little tough, so you could also use an awl to start the holes off. It also helps to have a cutting mat underneath.


Step 4

Using 3 strands of embroidery thread, stitch through your pre-made holes using a back stitch. Be sure to go through your cover card as well as all the pages. Knot each end of the thread to secure the stitching.


Step 5

Collate supplies to decorate the notebook! I used a bicycle stamp and some spotted washi tape after being inspired by the fab Oh Squirrel stationery.



Step 6

Once you have finished decorating your cover, you may wish to trim the pages to ensure they are in line with the cover.


And there you have your finished handmade notebook and you’ve picked up some simple book binding skills!


Fancy winning the bicycle notebook or one from these amazing makers? Just fill out the widget below (or on any of the other blogs) to be in with a chance! There will be 4 winners, each winning one of the handmade notebooks.


And please check out the fab DIYs by Harriet, Stacie and Rachel!

Hello Harriet / Stacie Swift / OH NO Rachio

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a super weekend everyone and don’t forget to enter my other stationery giveaways here and here.



TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+ Best-UK-Art-And-Craft-Bloggers


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Craft, Handmade, Stationery | Tagged , , , , , | 25 Comments

Oh Squirrel Stationery Giveaway

I’m totally spoiling you with giveaways this week and today is no exception!

National Stationery Week (UK) is a great excuse for me to share my favourite handmade businesses with you and today it is all about Oh Squirrel.

I discovered Oh Squirrel at Renegade (best craft fair ever) when their quirky gift tags and cheeky stationery caught my eye.



The stationery ranges are all handmade and offer fun cards and notebooks, right through to wedding stationery and hen party sashes and pin badges. AND they have just launched a super spangly new website showing their jolly stationery designs so do check it out here!


I’m a big fan of the polka dots, stripes and fabric touches on the cards and notebooks.


Oh Squirrel have kindly agreed to share some goodies with you in a giveaway, to celebrate National Stationery Week!

You can be in with a chance of winning a pack of handmade stationery at a value of over £25 featuring items similar to these!


If you fancy doing a bit of shopping before the giveaway winner is drawn, you can get 15% off orders over £5 for the whole of April in the Oh Squirrel Etsy store. Just add the coupon code HELLOAPRIL at the checkout.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am also running another giveaway with Vivid Please which you can enter here until 14 April. Treats galore!



TwitterPinterestFacebookBlogLovinInstagram Google+  Best-UK-Art-And-Craft-Bloggers


*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.
Posted in Stationery | Tagged , , , | 52 Comments