subscription box

Craft Box Club – Beeswax Wraps

I have signed up to another subscription box! This is a monthly one called the Craft Box Club (https://craftboxclub.co.uk/). They deliver a quick and easy craft each month to encourage people to take some time out of their busy lives and have a bit of creative me time. The main ethos behind their brand is to be plastic free, so all of their packaging has been designed with this in mind and their makes too.

I started with the March 2020 box which contained all the equipment to make beeswax wraps. Included in the box was:

  • 3 pieces of fabric
  • 3 blocks of beeswax
  • Brush
  • Wooden pegs
  • Wooden buttons
  • Needle
  • Embroidery thread
  • String

Also included is the link to a video showing you how to complete the project. At first I wasn’t sure about not having written instructions and only following a video, but once I watched the video I realised that the steps are really simple and easy to remember, so you don’t need to keep referring back to the video as you create. I really liked how the videos were laid out as well. They were shot from above which I felt gave a nice clear view of each step and there were several stills showing important things such as the contents of the box and how to sew on your buttons. There was also no talking, only captions to label things or tell you what to do. I much preferred this to having someone talk through the instructions as I find this can be distracting and sometimes unclear. The only thing I would have liked to change is that some of the shots were a bit far away and a close up of the step would have been better. The project was split into two videos: applying the wax to the fabric and sewing on the buttons.

For some reason I had images in my head of melting down the wax in a saucepan and dipping the fabric into it, but it’s actually way easier than that! All you had to do was grate the beeswax and spread it thinly over the fabric on a baking tray, put it in a low oven for five minutes and then use the brush to spread it out. Then just hang it up until it’s cooled completely and there you have your beeswax wrap. I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to do! The only warning I would give is to use a grater and a baking tray that aren’t your best ones because the wax is difficult to wash off!

The second step was adding buttons so that you could turn one (or two) of your wraps into a parcel. You had to fold the fabric up as you would if you were wrapping something like a sandwich and mark on where the buttons needed to go. Once the buttons were sewn on you could then use the string to fasten them. 

Craft Box Club have several different subscription options including a three month or six month subscription with the choice to pay monthly or a larger one off payment, which obviously include a discount, or a flexible membership where you pay as you go and can cancel any time. I chose the flexible membership which is £22 a month including delivery, but all of them work out to roughly around the £20 mark. I would definitely recommend this box to anyone who was new to crafting and wanted to dip their toe into the creative pool. I had an email to say that my April box is already on the way so I’m looking forward to getting started on the next project.

subscription box

Spring Craftpod 2020

When I started my blog almost a year ago one of the first subscription boxes I signed up to was Craftpod (https://www.craftpod.co.uk/). As a quarterly subscription it is themed around the seasons, usually including an embroidery project and another project, sometimes embroidery based, sometimes not! It also always comes with a flavoured teabag and usually a few other treats too including notebooks, postcards and pins. The subscription only lasts for four boxes, so as soon as I realised I wouldn’t automatically be renewed I got straight on the website and signed myself back up for another year! 

The theme of the Spring 2020 box was ‘Serene Spring’, offering a little bit of calm crafting in this crazy world we are living in right now. Included in the box was:

  • Embroidery thread
  • Peach linen
  • Iron-on interfacing
  • Water soluble interfacing
  • Felt
  • Fleece
  • Velvet ribbon
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Washi tape
  • Needle
  • Keyring
  • Notebook and card featuring Harriet Lee Merrion’s illustration
  • Green teabag

As usual there were two projects included in the box both inspired by Harriet Lee Merrion’s illustration. The first project was an embroidery featuring elements from the picture arranged on a shelf. For this I used both interfacings. The iron-on one was cut down to size and ironed on to the back of the peach linen. I then used the washi tape to secure the water soluble interfacing over the template provided and traced it on to the fabric side. Once this was done I then peeled off the paper side to stick it to my fabric. This is my second time using water soluble interfacing and I actually really like it. It’s great for transferring detailed designs. I then had to stitch over the design, but just the outlines, no details. Once that was done I then had to soak off the interfacing to leave the design stitched to my fabric and when it was all gone I ironed it to get out any creases.

After fitting my stitched fabric into the embroidery hoop I could then go about adding all the details. This project was so good for using a range of stitches and I even learnt a couple of new ones, which was great! There were the usual stitches which I am familiar with such as split stitch, back stitch and french knots…and the dreaded long and short stitch, which I really don’t like doing but looks good when it’s done so I shouldn’t complain too much! 

The new stitches were what really made me excited! The first was daisy chain, which I do already know how to do but haven’t used in a really long time. It’s so effective for the leaves of the plant. The second was a weave for the plant pots. I made some long stitches up and down the outline of the pot and then used my needle to weave in and out of them to create this woven basket look. I started with the larger one and it went quite well at first but unfortunately I must have pulled a bit tight near the top as it went a bit wonky. The smaller pot went much better. Lastly was the ribbed spider web to create the fan, which was created by wrapping the thread around each of the spokes in turn. This was my favourite stitch and I’ll definitely be looking for opportunities to use it in future work.

The second project was a felt keyring. Also taking inspiration from the illustration it is a cute little cherry blossom. There was a paper template included to cut out two flowers in the peach felt and a circle for the centre in a darker pink. I started by attaching the circle to one of the flowers by stitching the stamens going out from the centre to each petal using back stitch finished with a french knot. The two sides were attached together using blanket stitch (another lesser used stitch for me!), leaving a 2cm gap to stuff it with the fleece. I looped the velvet ribbon around the keyring and inserted it into the gap before sewing it shut so that it was securely held in place. This little project only took me about an hour and it’s useful as well as pretty!

I’m already looking forward to my Summer Craftpod, even though it’s months away. I always find the projects a bit different, really achievable even if you are a bit short on time, and I always learn a new technique.

Event

Alt Summit 2020

What a week it’s been! The Alt Summit conference is over and I’m finally back in England. I feel like I’ve had a great adventure, but also like I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of learning, crafting and networking!

One of the best things about Alt has been meeting so many amazing people. I feel like I have made so many great connections. Everybody I spoke to was welcoming and willing to share their experiences and ideas. The networking highlight for me was the craft bloggers meet up. They had an opportunity for attendees to organise meet ups with people who are in to the same things as them. Although I had already met some brilliant people it was so great to have the chance to chat with other creatives who are just as passionate as me about crafting. We talked about lots of different aspects of crafting and blogging and exchanged contact details. That group of women were so genuine and supportive. I know I will definitely be getting in touch with a few of them to tap their knowledge.

My other favourite part of the conference was the opportunity to try out so many different crafts. ‘The Commune’ at the Ace hotel hosted an array of makers running different crafting sessions throughout each day. To be honest I could have just stayed there the whole time, but I thought it was important to do some learning on the business side of the conference too! I tried my hand at a macrame rainbow keychain, sign stencilling, painting a leather business card holder, meditation with macrame, abstract watercolour painting, biscuit decorating and embroidery. It was so fun to have a go at all of them in such a calm environment, looking out on to the sunny pool with a nice breeze blowing through. In fact, it was during the crafting sessions that I met the most people and had the best conversations because everyone was so relaxed.

The other sessions were a bit of a mixed bag. I found some of them really insightful and I was taking notes like crazy because there was so much to learn from the speakers. However, other sessions felt a bit flat or I felt like I already knew a lot of what they were talking about. It’s hard to organise such a large conference with enough content for everyone because everyone is at such different points in their journey. There was plenty of options to choose from, but because the conference took place over three venues sometimes it was hard to get between the hotels in order to reach the sessions you wanted to attend. Having said that, the shuttle bus service between the hotels was fantastic. It was running constantly during conference hours and I never had to wait more than two minutes for one to show up.

There was some great evening entertainment too. In addition to the craft bloggers meet up there was also a 90s themed party which was so nostalgic, and a brilliant improv show on the last night.

Lastly, I’m glad my new friend Ros and I found time for some sightseeing. We took the aerial tramway up to the top of Mount San Jacinto, where there was spectacular views and even snow! Although I had an amazing time at the conference I think it was also important to take that time out to be a tourist. 

If you are a creative entrepreneur I would highly recommend a trip to Alt Summit. It is amazing for personal development and you will come away feeling so enthused and motivated to build your business, not to mention supported by a host of fabulous women.

subscription box

In Bloom MakeBox

So, I’ve had this MakeBox hanging around for a while. I think it was the second ever box that they released and I started subscribing to MakeBox with the third box (Painted Ladies), because I only started this blog in May and I was searching for lots of crafty things to do. Me being me decided that I needed to have all the boxes so I back ordered this In Bloom box and the Bee Kind box. I finished the Bee Kind box last year, but haven’t got around to doing this box until now!

I have actually been wanting to do it for ages and it’s been sat on my dining room table looking at me! I discovered at Christmas, whilst I was completing the craftvent calendar from The Make Arcade (https://www.themakearcade.co.uk/), that I actually really like working with felt. It’s such a versatile and forgiving material and I was really keen to use it again in another project.

Included in the box was:

  • A range of coloured felts
  • Glue gun
  • Spare glue sticks
  • Paper templates
  • Wire
  • Velvet ribbon
  • Copper metal hoop
  • Embroidery thread
  • Postcard to embroider
  • Needle
  • Brooch back

The first project was a flower wreath. I started off by cutting out all the paper templates and then all the felt pieces. The instructions said to cut out the pieces as you went along but I found that I worked better with them all pre-cut. 

Each of the flowers had a slightly different process, but were mostly quite similar. My favourites were the peonies. The stamens were really fun to make with a strip of felt glued in half, and then snipped down the folded side before rolling it up. I thought it was a great effect for the centre of a flower and once the petals were added it was quite an impressive piece. It was quite a therapeutic process and I really enjoyed playing with the glue gun all day! The only trouble was that I didn’t have enough glue to complete the wreath, let alone the second project. Luckily, being a crafty person, I had some spare glue sticks hanging around down the shed!

The finished wreath looks great, although in hindsight I would have spaced my flowers out a little more as they look a bit bunched together. I just need to find somewhere good to hang it now…

The second project was a brooch. Having already made the wreath this project was so quick and easy to finish. It consisted of a peony, a daisy and some of the eucalyptus leaves. The wires were twisted together at the back to create a cute little bunch and finished off with the brooch back.

I’m really glad I’ve finally done this box. It totally lived up to my expectations and I definitely want to make some more felt flowers now!

You can see all the back boxes from MakeBox + Co on their website: https://www.makebox.co/

Event

Happy Galentine’s Day!

I celebrated Galentine’s Day last week with my bestie Madeleine at the Galentine’s party hosted by Tea and Crafting (https://www.teaandcrafting.co.uk/). It took place in their Covent Garden Studio which was suitably decorated with plenty of hearts. There were sixteen attendees all there to celebrate their best girls.

We did two activities over the course of the evening; soap making and biscuit decorating. It was quite a lot to get through in only a couple of hours but everyone chipped in with the tidying up between each activity and we managed to get both done! We started off with the soap making. We used a ‘melt and pour’ soap base which we melted using either a microwave or in a water bath. Jane (the owner of T&C and the tutor for the evening) had a table top hob set up with two pans of water for us to use. The microwave was a lot quicker at melting it but that meant there was a long queue for it all the time, so I mainly used the water bath, which took longer but probably only as long as waiting in the queue!

Once the soap was melted we then added colours and essentials oils and poured it into the moulds. I made a rectangular one, a heart and three honeycomb ones. My favourite colour is orange so that was the main colour I used along with the orange essential oil which smelled so amazing I just wanted to eat it! I did make a pink one with small hearts in though as we were there to spread the love!

We then set the moulds aside to set before taking them home. After clearing up we then moved on to decorating biscuits. We used digestives, but this would be a great technique to use on homemade biscuits too. The technique we learnt was marbling. Using two different coloured fondant icings we rolled them together to create a marbled effect. Once we were happy with the level of marbling we then rolled the icing flat and used cutters to cut out circles of the correct size and stuck them onto the biscuits using a little water. When marbling it’s important not to take it too far otherwise the colours just end up merging together. The best effects comes from using white and another colour. I went with black and white and Madeleine went for pink and white.

Jane also had some letter stamps so we could stamp a little message into the icing and some edible gold paint to give the biscuits that special little touch. When we were finished they looked good enough to eat!

The last thing we did was remove the soaps from their moulds. It was so fun seeing everyone’s designs and the awesome effects they had achieved mixing colours together and layering them up. Mine were quite plain compared to some of the others, but I was really happy with them because they smell so good!

Madeleine and I had such a great time spending the evening crafting together. And the best bit of all was the glass of Prosecco! So all that’s left to say is Happy Galentine’s to all you amazing women out there!

subscription box

Love Paper MakeBox

The craft for the February MakeBox is paper cutting and the theme is love (well, it is nearly Valentine’s Day!). The lady who creates the boxes each month is Hannah Read-Baldrey and paper-cutting is her signature craft. She has four books illustrated in this style and was originally inspired by the artists Rob Ryan and Helen Musselwhite. You can really tell that she poured a lot of love, passion and enthusiasm into this box.

Included in the box was:

  • Cutting mat
  • Scalpel handle and blades
  • Selection of card
  • Two blank notecards
  • Two envelopes
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Sticky foam pads
  • Box frame
  • Practice sheet
  • Paper templates

I started off by reading through the instruction book cover to cover. I haven’t done any intricate paper cutting with a scalpel before, only large basic shapes, so I wanted to make sure I was doing it correctly. The nice thing about this box is that there’s not really a set project. Hannah encourages you to just get stuck in using the templates provided and there are plenty of suggestions for arranging your cut outs, but you by no means have to stick to what is pictured and there are some handy tips for sketching your own designs.

I didn’t do all of the designs, although there was enough card included, mainly because my finger and thumb started to hurt! I might do some more though if I need a card for someone or want to create a nice handmade gift. I would be up for trying out my own designs too.

Once I had read all the tips I began by completing the practice sheet. It was good to get a feel for how the scalpel cut and especially practicing curves. Hannah suggested breaking them down to a section at a time, which definitely gets a much cleaner result than trying to do the whole curve in one motion.

I decided to use the pencil rub method to transfer the designs on to my card. I used the pencil to draw around the template and then placed this face side down on my card. I then drew around the design again on the back to transfer the pencil marks onto the card, finally filling in any gaps directly on the card once I had removed the paper template. Once the design is cutout the reverse side of the card which does not have the pencil marks on becomes the front. It’s important to ensure that your design is the correct way round when using this method. It slightly backfired on me when I was cutting out the final and most intricate design. I used the pencil rub method as I had done with the rest of my cuts without realising that the template provided was already in reverse which meant that when I transferred it onto the card it became the right way round, meaning the side I was cutting from was the front. This meant that my final piece ended up looking a little messier than I’d have liked and I had to go over it really carefully with an eraser to get rid of the pencil marks! I didn’t realise this until I was halfway through cutting it out though so I just decided to stick with it, rather than start again.

The first design I did was the love birds in blue, which I layered over a pink heart. I used the glue to stick the heart and one of the birds to the notecard and then I used some of the sticky foam pads for the other bird to create a 3D effect.

I’m a bit of a sucker for the sticky foam pads and making things 3D! I always used to love it when they came out for crafts at school or youth club (what a geek!), so I decided to make all of my pieces 3D! The second design I did was two roses, one in red and the other in pink. I stuck the pink rose down to the notecard and then made the red rose 3D over the top.

Lastly I did the love heart hands (which was the design that ended up being the wrong way round). I cut out a piece of card to fit inside the box frame and attached the cut out to it with the sticky foam pads before mounting it in the frame. I have to say it does look pretty good! 

This was a really relaxed box and you could tell that Hannah is passionate about this craft. The instruction book was so detailed and it was obvious that a lot of love had gone in to this kit. It is a nice, peaceful craft to do whilst listening to some music or your favourite podcast. 

workshop

Mindful Embroidery with Sew Yeah Social Club

Last Thursday I had such a relaxing evening! I went to the Love Crafts headquarters (https://www.lovecrafts.com/en-gb/) to attend a workshop run by Christine Leech from the Sew Yeah Social Club (https://sewyeah.co.uk/). Christine has an extensive background in the craft world with job titles ranging from author to illustrator, maker to stylist. She’s a bit of a craft guru!

Anyway, I went along to the office in Holborn to take part in a Mindful Embroidery workshop. As we walked in the table looked so colourful. It was laid out with plenty of embroidery thread, piles of vinyl, different types of fabric and lots of example of what we would be making. The idea was to use the iron-on vinyl to create an abstract pattern which we could then embroider over the top of. Christine talked through some of her examples and showed us how some of them had stayed quite random but others had developed into a design where her eye had caught different shapes amongst the randomness.

I made one that was random, although the pieces I chose were in complementary colours, but my other piece was a bit more literal. I couldn’t help myself! My mind just likes to create order even when I’m telling it to be chaotic! I found a piece of vinyl that looked like the top of an umbrella to me so I gave it a handle and created a little rainy scene, cutting clouds out of some glittery blue vinyl and adding some raindrops. Once we had decided on our patterns Christine showed us how to use the iron to attach the vinyl on to our chosen fabric. 

Once we had done that it was time for some embroidery. There were some pre-printed hoops with various stitches on for beginners or just for practice and a handy how-to guide. I’m pretty confident with my embroidery so I didn’t use mine, but I thought it was a great tool for beginners. One of the best things about the workshop was that there was no pressure to do a certain thing or to keep up with the rest of the group. You could just work at your own pace, having fun creating something pretty, and Christine was on hand to help when you needed her.

I just had such a great evening being creative and chatting with other crafty people. It was nice to relax and create something with no pressure on it having to be perfect. I’m looking forward to seeing what Christine’s next workshop will be because I will definitely be signing up!

craft kit · subscription box

Boho Macrame MakeBox

This month’s MakeBox was the Boho Macrame Box in collaboration with Isabella Strambio, who specialises in macrame and natural dyeing (https://www.twome.co.uk/). I was quite excited about this box as I’ve been meaning to try macrame for ages and I’m pleased to say that it did live up to my expectations!

Included in the box was:

  • 100 metres of cotton string
  • 2 wooden rings
  • 8 wooden beads
  • Rose gold keyring
  • ‘S’ hook
  • Tape measure
  • Dried hibiscus flowers
  • Postcard to embroider
  • Green embroidery thread
  • Pack of pins and a needle

You also needed a few of your own tools such as sharp scissors, a comb and some equipment for dyeing (more on that later).

At the start of the instruction book there was a library of knots with step by step instructions and pictures for each type of knot that we were going to use including; lark’s head knot, gathering knot, square knot, and half square knot. The instruction book was laid out in a really logical way with instructions for the smallest and easiest project first (feather keyring), moving through the single plant holder, double plant holder and finally dyeing instructions.

I made the feather keyring and the single plant holder. I think I would have enough string left to make the double too, however I am a known plant killer and also have nowhere tall enough to hang it! I have bought a plant for my single holder so I’ll see how I get on with it and maybe make another one at a later date. Alternatively, I might look up some other macrame projects and give them a go because this really was a relaxing and therapeutic craft.

I started with the feather key ring. I’ve seen a lot of these on Instagram, and I think they look really effective. Just like the knot library, the instructions were clear and there were numbered pictures on the next page to refer to. It was a really simple process knotting the string on to a central string attached to the keyring. My favourite bit was unravelling it and combing it out, it was weirdly satisfying! After that all that was left to do was trim it into a feather shape.

I thought that the plant holder was going to be really complicated as it was made up of so many strings. I was worried that I was going to get all confused, but I was fine! I hung the ‘S’ hook on a door handle and put one of the wooden hoops on it. I put the eight lengths of string I had cut through the hoop so they were doubled over, giving me sixteen strings to work with. On this project I used a gathering knot at the top and bottom, half square knots at the top and square knots nearer the bottom. I also added the wooden beads. 

There is also the option to do some natural dyeing using the dried hibiscus flowers. I haven’t done this on either of my projects yet because I was ill (again! Honestly, I’m hardly ever ill but I swear I haven’t been properly well since November. I can’t wait for spring when all these colds stop going round!). Anyway, once I was feeling better I checked the instructions and realised that I didn’t have all the equipment I needed because I didn’t want to use a saucepan that we use for food. It is also quite a long process, so once I have got all my equipment together I will definitely be setting aside some time to give the dyeing a go, although I do actually quite like the natural look. I will make sure I update you when I’ve given it a try!

Lastly, as always in the MakeBox, there was a postcard to embroider with a picture of three plant holders and the phrase ‘Knot you again!’ across the bottom. I embroidered the leaves with the green thread as suggested in the instruction book.

workshop

Make Your Own Leather Trainers

Yesterday I went to Tea and Crafting (https://www.teaandcrafting.co.uk/) for a very exciting workshop! I put the vouchers I received for Christmas towards a ‘Make your own leather trainers’ workshop. Prior to attending I received an email from the lovely Maddie who works at Tea and Crafting asking for our shoe size and colour preference so that they could have the kits ready for us on the day. It took me ages to decide what colour to go for. I didn’t want to go for white as I already have white trainers but I wanted to pick a colour that I thought I would wear and would go with my wardrobe. In the end I chose a mauve colour as I thought it would be neutral enough to go with most things but still a bit fun.

When we arrived our kits were waiting for us. They included:

  • Coloured leather
  • Rubber soles
  • Insoles
  • Wax thread
  • Needle
  • Paper template

Plus each of our stations had the equipment we would need such as scissors, hole punch pliers and a pen to draw on the leather.

We started off by cutting out the paper templates. There was only one template, which you had to flip over to create the other shoe, so we had to be careful to note which side was which. There were three options to choose from; a low trainer, a normal trainer or a high top. I decided to go with the normal trainer, but some of my classmates made the high top and I have to admit I was a bit jealous as they looked so good! Once the paper template was cut out we positioned it on the leather and drew round it, then flipped it over and drew around it again to create the reverse pattern for the other shoe.

Then it was time to cut the shapes out. The leather was pretty tough to cut and it was important to be as precise as possible.

We then attached the templates back on to the leather pieces so that we could punch the holes. There were two sized holes to punch; the larger holes for the shoelaces and the smaller holes around the bottom to secure the uppers to the soles. Punching was probably the most difficult part of the process. You needed quite a bit of hand strength! The smaller holes weren’t too bad, although there was a lot of them, but the larger holes caused a bit of trouble in the class!

Once the holes had been punched in the leather it was then time to punch the holes in the soles. The holes were marked around the edge of the soles so it was just a case of going round with the smallest size on the pliers and punching through. The rubber was really easy to punch, but there were a lot of holes to match the uppers! When all the holes had been punched with the pliers we then went round with our needles poking out all the little pieces of rubber to make it easier when it came to actually sewing.

After lunch we moved on to construction. Our tutor Alex showed us how to line up the leather with the sole and how to sew it all together with the wax thread in the correct order. Starting along the inside edge we worked our way around to the nose, then down the other side, finishing with the heel, then sewing back around the other way to secure it all. Once the uppers were attached Alex showed us how to create a little stitch on either side to hold the tongue in place.

Lastly the insoles went in and the laces were threaded through! I couldn’t believe I’d made a pair of trainers! They just came together so quickly and with so few materials. I can’t wait to wear them! I think they’ll look good with some of my summer dresses, so roll on summer!

The workshop cost £150 and took place at their Covent Garden studio in London. Jane, the owner of Tea and Crafting, took part in the class along with Maddie and it was great to meet them in person. The tutor was Alex of Sewrendipity (https://sewrendipity.com/) a sustainable sewing blog. She was fantastic and really knowledgeable. I can’t recommend this class enough. It was a lovely day out and not only did I get to meet other creative people and spend the day crafting, I also created something that I’m actually going to use; my favourite kind of crafting!

craft kit

Mosaic Bee

This week I’ve been doing another craft kit that I picked up at the Handmade Festival. This time it’s mosaic. I’ve never had a go at mosaic with actual tiles before, and I’ve never had a go at grouting either so I was a little bit daunted by the prospect of that before I started!

I bought the kit from Rachel Shilston (https://www.rachelshilston.co.uk/) and it cost £25. It was one of the beginner kits, so I didn’t have to buy any extra tools like tile cutters. Any tiles that needed to be a shape other than square came pre-cut in the kit.

Included in the kit was:

  • MDF bee shape
  • Whole tiles on brown backing paper
  • Pre-cut tiles
  • Round tiles (for eyes)
  • PVA glue
  • Sponge
  • Grout powder
  • Glue spreader
  • Cocktail stick
  • Ribbon

The first thing to do was soak the tiles in warm water to release them from the brown paper and give them a dry with some kitchen towel. Once all the tiles were loose it was then time to start creating the mosaic by spreading glue on the MDF shape and placing the tiles in the correct pattern. The kit came with really detailed instructions on how to build the pattern and where to position each tile, along with a nice clear picture on the front of the box. When it was finished you had to leave the glue to dry overnight.

Once the glue was dry and all the tiles were fixed on it was time to grout! As I said, I haven’t done any grouting before, however I needn’t have worried. Again, the instructions were really clear, including descriptions of how the grout should be the consistency of buttercream icing and stressing the small amount of water required to do this. There was no way I could make a mistake with instructions like that! If you were still unsure Rachel also provides a how-to video on her YouTube channel. I didn’t actually check this out as I didn’t need to in the end, but I think that’s great support.

After I had mixed, applied and wiped off the excess grout I used the cocktail stick to clear the grout from the hole used for hanging the piece once it’s finished. I then left it to dry inside a plastic bag. This helps it to cure rather than dry out too fast and crack. Once it was dry after a few hours I gave it another wipe with a clean cloth and threaded the ribbon through, ready for hanging.

I really enjoyed this kit because it was something a bit different and it was learning skills I’ve never used before. I don’t know if mosaic is a hobby I would take up regularly, but if the mood does ever take me again I would definitely feel confident about doing it. As with most crafts it wasn’t quick because you had to allow for drying time, but each section of the process probably only took me an hour or less.

Rachel’s website is really nice and easy to navigate and I had a little explore on there and saw that she offers a monthly mosaic subscription box if you really get into it, and she does workshops. The only warning I would offer is that it is a messy craft so you really need an apron, gloves and a face mask and make sure you cover your work area in newspaper before you start!