craft kit

Cosy Craft Club – Spring Craft Box

At the beginning of March Cosy Craft Club announced their Spring craft boxes filled with various kits from a range of exciting designer-makers. I saw it first on Instagram, but then signed up to the newsletter to make sure I was first in line for one of the boxes as they sell out quick! There were two choices; the large box containing six mini craft kits for £65, or the small box containing three mini craft kits for £35.

Each kit was designed by a different maker and there was a range of crafts included so you could try your hand a several different things. I got the large kit in order to try out as much as possible and below is a round up of each of the crafts.

From The Wood Cottage Crafts was a hanging heart kit. It contained all the materials you needed to make three stuffed fabric heart shapes which could them be attached to a strip of bias binding to create bunting or could be left separate as individual decorations to hang around the house or give as gifts. I hand stitched mine, but the heart shapes could easily have been machine stitched if that’s more your thing, and the whole project was really quick to complete. It took me less than two hours, but probably would have been quicker had I used the sewing machine. I really liked the addition of the cute little heart buttons to embellish the fabric hearts. The instructions were very simple and easy to follow.

The next kit was a felt bumblebee brooch from Hawthorn Handmade. This kit was a little more time consuming, but worth spending the time on as the result is a gorgeous embroidered felt brooch, which feels very Spring-like indeed! Although I did attach the brooch back in the end, as I was sewing I was tempted to leave it off as I thought it would make a great patch for a bag or denim jacket as well. There was a booklet included in the kit filled with handy tips and instructions for working with felt as well as great diagrams of all the stitches you would need. The instructions specific to this kit were well laid out with good diagrams for the placement of all the pieces and the thread colour you would need, along with a clear photograph of the finished product, which I always find helpful.

There was a paper forget-me-not flowers kit from Suzi McLaughlin. Sometimes I find paper craft a little fiddly, but the most difficult part of this kit was making the coils for the centre of the flowers. It was a great kit for a beginner to paper crafting with a single page of instruction that were mostly photos showing what to do, so not too intimidating! Each step was very simple, but the finished look was very effective.

The other paper craft kit included in the box was card making from Okey Dokey Design. I found this really fun. There were no instructions included and other than a postcard with a photo of some finished cards on there was nothing prescriptive about the kit at all, the only limit is your own creativity! At first this threw me off as I am so used to doing kits with very specific instructions, but there was something quite liberating and childlike just being given some materials and allowed to play with them as you wished. Included in the kit was five blank cards, various patterned papers, paper flower shapes, wooden flower shapes, the cutest little wooden bees, and some twine. I decided to make some Easter cards as it is the season and then some other more generic cards that could be used for other occasions like birthdays.

By far the hardest kit for me was the baby bunny felting from The Crafty Kit Company. If you have read my blog before you will know that felting is probably my least favourite craft! Although I’m not a huge fan I still gave it a go and thanks to the thorough instructions and great step-by-step photos I was actually pretty pleased with my end product. It doesn’t look too far off the photos and I’m sure with practice I could get it even better. There was loads of wool included in the kit so I probably could have made at least one more bunny, although there was only one set of eyes so there might have to have been some improvisation. The time for this kit was two hours, but it definitely took me longer than this, especially as I had to do some quite drastic reshaping about halfway through to stop it looking like a sheep!

Lastly there was a mosaic kit from Mosaics by Sadie. Included in this was the wooden bird shape, a range of mosaic pieces including some china and a pre-cut wing shape, glue, grout powder, a hook to attach to the back, and a cocktail stick to help move the pieces around, although I ended up using tweezers. There was a photo of a design included, but there were enough mosaic pieces included that you could play around with your own design. There weren’t any photographic instructions, but the written instructions were so detailed that pictures weren’t needed. Although the active making time on this kit wasn’t that long, there was a lot of drying time required so it was not a project you could complete in a day.

I really enjoyed this bumper crafting box with so many different crafts to try. You often get these kinds of collaborative kits around Christmas, but I always run out of time to complete them as it’s such a busy period, so it was nice to have something like this to complete at leisure. Although I’ve finished them all in time for Easter we still have plenty of spring left to enjoy these themed crafts.

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!