The other day, I was just about to leave the front door to head for work when my phone buzzed because I received an email. That email was the sort of email that puts a smile on your face, a spring in your step and a swing to your ponytail. The delightful Claire asked me to guest post on her blog! Of course, the answer was yes please with several cherries on top. I’m such a big fan of Claire’s blog and her shop!
Being the crafty Miss that I am, I knew right away I wanted to do a DIY post. But isn’t it just typical that when you know you want to write a DIY that you can’t think of anything? So, I took a break, went for a walk and stumbled upon arty little café for a cup of herbal tea. Inspiration struck me right then and there as the teapot hit the table. So I rushed home to grab my needle and thread, only after I’d downed my tea, of course.
Today, I’m going to show you how to make your very own paper doily wall art. Featuring a custard cream. The most iconic of the iconic English biscuits. Am I right? Hopefully, Claire approves of this DIY as it encompasses traditional WI awesomeness, doilies, biscuits and sewing. Although, I am sure any WI member would blush at the very idea that they ‘bought’ biscuits and didn’t slave over the oven to make their own. Let’s face it, we’ve all had that Calendar Girls moment when we bought a cake from M & S and didn’t tell anyone. Whether we submitted it for a village fair baking competition is a different matter. Sometimes, a soggy bottom is inevitable. Embrace the soggy bottom, ladies (and gentleman, sorry). Learn from it. And buy a Victoria sponge from the supermarket. I won’t tell if you won’t tell.
Firstly, you will need to find a paper doily. You can get these from most supermarkets and craft shops. Paperchase even do some pretty floral ones, which might work quite nicely. I went for a plain one which I may or may not have taken home with me in a handbag after going out for afternoon tea, a habit which I am not proud of. You should have seen me the first time I went to Betty’s. I took home the paper napkins, coasters and doilies that were embossed with the logo. I then proceeded to cover and decorate my bedroom walls with them. That’s the kind of girl I am.
For a moment there, I felt like I was in a self-help group.
Afternoon tea takers anonymous. (Sshh I’m a member too! Laduree coasters?! – Claire)
Then, using a pencil, lightly draw the outline of a custard cream onto your doily. You might want to Google Image search ‘custard cream’ for reference. Or buy a packet to draw directly from life. My art teachers always used to tell me that’s how you draw best. That’s why artists go to life drawing classes. It’s got to be the same for biscuits. You may want to eat a few of them to fuel your crafting. Pop the kettle on while you’re at it. I’m parched.
If you aren’t confident in your drawing abilities (which you should be because I saw you play Pictionary at Christmas and you destroyed the other team) you can print off a picture and trace the outlines. Or take a rubbing from a real biscuit with a wax crayon and so greaseproof paper. Re-live Primary School.
Next, you will need to poke holes using a needle along all of the lines you have drawn so you can sew the image. Find a slightly cushioned surface like a chair cover or a ball of blu-tac to soften the impact on your doily so it won’t rip. That felt like an extremely odd sentence to write especially if you are reading this out of context.
Carefully, rub out the pencil lines.
Now, you can start to stitch using the holes as a guide. As the doily is made out of paper, you will have to be very gentle otherwise it will tear. You could use a plain fabric doily to avoid this if you wanted. If it does tear, don’t get too upset. Mine ripped and you can’t really tell. I think that’s part of the final piece’s charm. It isn’t perfect but it’s cute. That’s what really matters.
When you’re done, you might want to sellotape all the loose ends up. Then, you can stick it on your bedroom wall, frame it and hang it up or use it as a real life doily to catch your real life custard cream crumbs if that sort of biscuit inception is what floats your boats.
There’s a little insight into my bedroom wall. Full of my favourite things, custard adverts, old family photos and Prince Harry.
Much love, Claire’s readers. It’s been charming. I hope you’re having a lovely holiday, Claire!
Thanks so much for this quintessentially British DIY Jojo!! I adore paper embroidery and Custard Cream Biscuits, so will get chomping my way through a pack very soon as per your instruction! 😉