Archive for the ‘homemade’ Category

christmas with liberty – make a stocking

November 29, 2013  in homemade, interior styling

Christmas stockings by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

A few weeks ago I was asked by Liberty to make a Liberty Christmas stocking for Sew Liberty and their blog. I came up with and made a few different designs and worked with interiors and still life photographer Joanna Henderson on the photos. We had a fun few hours shooting them up in my loft studio.

These festive stockings are easy to make and add a little Liberty style to Christmas. Mix and match different patterns, buttons, trims and motifs to add visual interest. The memories associated with these hand-made pieces, will be treasured for years to come, they could easily become family heirlooms passed down to future generations of children to hang on Christmas Eve.

Materials and equipment:
Fabric that won’t fray when cut – such as suiting wool, felt, finely woven linen.
A mix of Liberty print fabric in different scales and patterns
Pencil and paper to draw a larger template
Sewing machine
Fabric scissors
Bondaweb/Heat bond
Ribbons and trimmings
Needle and thread
Buttons for covering, lace flowers and beads (optional)
Wool and cardboard to make pompoms

Homemade Christmas stockings by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

Homemade Christmas stockings by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

Homemade Christmas stockings by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

To make a stocking:

Step 1: Measure your base fabric to make your stocking, either with one piece folded in half or two pieces pinned together. The stockings are 60cm long by 25cm wide from heel to toe with a top opening of 17cm diameter. You can adjust the sizing to suit the size of your fabric or make the stocking wider to accommodate larger gifts.

Step 2: Print out my template for reference and draw out a template on paper to the appropriate size. If you do not feel confident drawing then a photocopy shop can scale it up for you. Then pin the paper shape to your base fabric and cut out, so when you cut you end up with two pieces of stocking shaped fabric.

Step 3: Iron bondaweb onto the reverse of your chosen Liberty print fabrics.

Step 4: Cut out a toe, heal, top band and stars or flower shapes to the appropriate sizes and pin them in place, bondaweb side down.

Step 5: Iron them in place on a medium heat. You only need to do one side of the stocking if being hung, but you could do both sides of the stocking if you prefer.

Step 6: Add Liberty print covered buttons, vintage lace flowers, beading and vintage buttons to add interest.

Step 7: Pin the two sides together and stitch with a small border of 0.5cm using the sewing machine.

Step 8: Stitch a 15-20cm length of ribbon in a loop on to the top band to hang the stocking and embellish with extra trims.

Step 9: Sew on optional pompoms and tags to make the stockings more personal.

To make the pompoms:
Cut out two circles of card 8cm in diameter with a 3cm hole in the middle. Wind the wool round and round until the hole in the middle becomes small. Cut through the center of the two pieces of card and tie a piece of wool securely around the two and pull. Trim the length of the wool down until a thick pompom is achieved, stitch onto the stocking.

To make the tags:
Cut out a rectangle of fabric, snip off the corners and make a hole for the ribbon. Cut out letters or shapes such as birds from the fabric and iron into place with bondaweb.

Homemade Christmas stockings by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

Liberty print Christmas decoration by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

As the fabric I was using had a little bird motif within its design, I cut out the bird shape and used it as a decoration amongst some rosehips.

Homemade Christmas by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

I first met photographer Jo Henderson on a shoot a long time ago when we were still both assisting and we worked on some test shoots together to start our portfolios. We recently worked together styling and photographing a book for my publisher Cico Books. It was lovely to see Jo again and we have continued to work together on some other projects.

See Jo’s work on her website here.

Homemade Christmas stocking by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

Homemade Christmas stocking by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

It makes things a little more interesting if all the designs are slightly varied. I made fabric covered buttons for the pink stocking above creating little spots of pattern dotted down its length. You can see the original post over on the Liberty blog.

Liberty print fabrics used:
Joyce A Tana Lawn, Capel F Tana Lawn, Wiltshire S Tana Lawn, Mitsi Valeria C Tana Lawn, Mitsi D Tana Lawn, Marco A Tana Lawn, Glenjade in red Tana Lawn.

Left over strips of fabric can also be used as ribbon to wrap around gifts and make them look extra special like in the image below.

Homemade Christmas gift wrapping by Sania Pell ©2013 Photo by Jo Henderson

I made stockings for my own children when they were babies and they still get so excited as they hang them up, imagining what Santa will fill them with while they sleep. I hope they’ll keep the stockings and use them for their own children one day.

Happy making x

This design and project is for non-commercial, personal use only. Design © 2013 Sania Pell.


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experiments with ombré

August 1, 2013  in homemade

Indigo ombré dyed linen by Sania Pell

A few weeks ago, with a spare sunny weekend at home, I had fun dip-dying fabric to create an ombré throw. It had been on my to-do list for a while and I had some plain white linen ready, a sachet of hand wash Dylon dye and a packet of salt to fix it. I used Black to give a deeper intensity of colour and in the fade has a blueish tint to it. To begin I hand washed the fabric. Then I mixed the dye as per the instructions on the packet and dipped about half the fabric into the bucket of diluted dye, swishing it around carefully, so it did not splash the white linen above.

Indigo ombré dyed linen by Sania Pell

After about half an hour I rinsed the dyed section. There were a few splatters on the white section of the fabric, so straight after hanging the fabric onto the washing line outside, I used a wide paint brush to paint more dye on gradually and this gave the gradient, ombré effect I wanted. After a while I rinsed the fabric again and left it to dry naturally. The shadows from the foliage in the garden added a fleeting pattern whilst the fabric was drying.

Ombré dyed linen by Sania Pell

I also painted stripes directly onto other pieces of fabric for an alternative look. Wet the fabric first and the dye spreads when you paint it on and repeat several times to get a more intense colour.

Indigo ombré dyed linen by Sania Pell

Indigo ombré dyed linen by Sania Pell

To make the most of the mixed dye, afterwards I dyed a pair of my favourite black jeans that had faded over time from washing and are now refreshed! You can see the colours available on the Dylon website.

Indigo ombré dyed linen by Sania Pell

My finished length of ombré fabric is now folded over an arm of the sofa, giving the corner of the living room another visual layer and a reminder of an afternoon creating in the sun.


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the colour of food: homemade fabric dyes

July 29, 2013  in food, homemade

Sania Pell Homemade Natural Dyes

The photos of vegetables in Singapore in my last post reminded me of these photos that I took last year and have been meaning to post. It must be my printed textile background coming back to me, because one day I had the urge to experiment with natural colour and play with food and fabric. I popped to the supermarket and worked on the theory that if it stains clothes (mine occasionally but mainly my children’s!) then it may have a longer-lasting dye quality. So I bought beetroot, red onions, blackberries, red cabbage and pomegranate and I had lots of other possibilities in the cupboards at home to test out too.

Homemade natural fruit dye by Sania Pell

Homemade natural Beetroot dye by Sania Pell

Homemade natural Beetroot dye by Sania Pell

I did some research and found it wasn’t really as simple or as easy as I had hoped to fix the natural colours permanently, chemical dyes are much easier for this, but I continued anyway. My method was to boil water, add the foodstuff, mix it around to colour the water in a concentrated enough way, sieve it and then add swatches of plain white linen to my homemade ‘dye’. I wet the fabric in clean water before adding the swatch to the dye and left them in soak for varying lengths of time until I liked the colour or it seemed to no longer be darkening. To fix them I added a mixture, in an experimental sense, of vinegar for vegetables and/or salt for berries. I then washed them in cold water first and then hot. The results are below:

Homemade natural fabric dyes by Sania Pell

1- Blackberry, 2- Blackberry and red onion peel, 3- Blackberry and red cabbage, 4- Blackberry and red cabbage, 5- Beetroot (pickled), 6- Beetroot and tea, 7- Spinach, 8- Red onion peel, 9- Pomegranate, 10- Red cabbage, 11- Red cabbage and a pinch of turmeric, 12- Red cabbage and turmeric, 13- Red cabbage, turmeric and vinegar, 14- Red cabbage, tiny amount of turmeric and vinegar, 15- Red cabbage with vinegar, 16- Tea, 17- Coffee, 18- Paprika, 19- Red wine, 20- Red wine and tea, 21- Turmeric, 22- Turmeric with wine, 23- Turmeric with wine and tea, 24- Turmeric small amount

Homemade natural fabric dyes by Sania Pell

Homemade tumeric fabric dye by Sania Pell

Homemade natural dyes by Sania Pell

Homemade natural colour dyes by Sania Pell

I don’t think there would be much possibility in colouring large enough quantities of fabric in a colourfast way to make cushions or throws, but I love the colours I made with this experiment and mixed a few together to give new combinations.

Homemade natural dyes by Sania Pell

Homemade red onion dye by Sania Pell

Homemade pomegranate dye by Sania Pell

Homemade pomegranate dye by Sania Pell

Homemade fruit and vegetable fabric dyes by Sania Pell

It was fun experimenting with food and fabric, especially knowing that it was all completely natural, and I was pleased with the gentle colour results I achieved.

And luckily I didn’t get any on my clothes! :)


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homemade gift – liberty print candle

March 6, 2013  in diy craft projects, homemade

Homemade Liberty print candle by Sania Pell

A few weeks ago I was asked by the lovely team at Liberty to come up with an easy-to-make Mother’s day gift for the Liberty blog, so I adapted a project and wrapped glass candles with a selection of Liberty print fabrics. Although Mother’s Day in the UK is only a few days away, you still have time to make this as it is quick to do.

This is a really simple idea to turn a plain candle into something unique and special. One of these patterned treats, wrapped in tissue in a beautifully decorated box, makes the perfect mother’s day gift. Choose your mother’s favourite colours and a beautiful Liberty print to make a gift she will love and display with pride.

You will need:

Glass candle, Liberty Print fabric and ribbon

Double-sided tape, fabric scissors, a pencil and ruler

For the gift box:

Plain cardboard box with lid, swing tag, Liberty print fabric and ribbon

Emulsion paint and small flat brush about 3cms wide

Scissors, needle and thread, bondaweb and an iron

Homemade Liberty print wrapped candles by Sania Pell

To make the candle

Measure the height of the candle and cut your fabric at least 3cm shorter than this height to give at least a 1.5cm gap at the top of the glass and the bottom. To measure the circumference, wind some thread around the candle adding a 1cm overlap for the cross-over at the back, then stretch it out and use it as your guide for your length. Draw this long rectangle lightly, but visible in pencil onto the reverse of the fabric and cut out carefully.

Stick double-sided tape along both short edges on the wrong fabric side. Stick the first side straight to the glass, then wrap the fabric around the glass and stick the other side down with an overlap of fabric, ensuring your fabric is straight and taut and that there is at least a 1.5 cms gap at the top. Snip any stray threads off.

Cut a ribbon to the correct length and wrap it around the middle, tying with a bow, or wrap a strip around the bottom of the candle using double-sided tape at both ends of the ribbon to fix.

Homemade Liberty print gift box and tags by Sania Pell

To make the packaging:

Paint the box with emulsion paint in one of your mother’s favourite colours, outside and inside until covered. This could take two coats.

Add some detail to a tag using a piece of Liberty wrapping paper fixed to the bottom with double-sided tape and write or stamp on your mother’s name or initials.

To make the fabric leaves, iron bondaweb onto the reverse of some Liberty fabric then iron a plain fabric to the other side. Cut out a leaf shape either by hand or by pinning a real leaf onto the fabric and cutting around it using it as a template. Stitch these fabric leaves to either end of the ribbon you will tie around the box.

Wrap your candle in complementary coloured tissue paper and place inside the box. Tie with ribbon and add your swing tag.

Happy Mother's Day - Sania Pell

You can read my post on the fab Liberty blog here and peruse the range of Liberty print fabrics.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day and I hope your mums like their gifts.

If you like this project then and there are more of my diy craft projects here. Each of my books also contains 50 craft projects.


*Please remember never to leave a burning candle unattended.


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my pop baubles in grazia magazine

December 14, 2012  in diy craft projects, homemade, news

Disco pop baubles by Sania Pell in Grazia magazine

I had the pleasure of being asked by Grazia magazine’s Rachel Loos to be part of their Christmas special, in a feature on their favourite bloggers’ crafty Christmas ideas. I was asked if I could come up with and create a bauble idea and, as is my way, I created lots of variations of the same idea for the photo shoot and thought I would share them with you. I worked with photographer Chris Tubbs on the shoot for the magazine but I also I took a few snaps at home that you can see below, they are so easy to make why not give them a go yourself?

Homemade Christmas baubles by Sania Pell

Homemade neon sparkle baubles by Sania Pell

Homemade sequin Christmas bauble by Sania Pell

As it was Grazia, I wanted to break away from the traditional Christmas colours and give my baubles a fashion edge as well as a seasonal feel. Using basic plain glass baubles as my starting point I combined disco sparkle in the form of glitter and sequins in silvers and greys, with Pop-inspired fluorescent neon paint and ribbon made from strips of some of my favourite fashion fabrics by Liberty. In others I tipped tiny beads topped by ribbon from VV Rouleaux and applied embossed black and white messages giving them a kind of disco/80s/punky feel.

Neon sequin and bead Christmas baubles by Sania Pell

Pink neon and glitter Christmas bauble by Sania Pell

Neon disco pop glitter baubles by Sania Pell

The Dymo message tape and labelmakers can be bought from places like WH Smiths and is a fun way of encorporating messages on all sorts of things like labels for jam jars of collected treasures or name tags on gifts.

Glitter and bead Christmas baubles by Sania Pell

Dymo message Christmas baubles by Sania Pell

Homemade Christmas baubles by Sania Pell

I was quoted in Grazia saying “I like taking something plain and giving it a twist” and that is really my approach to making and creating as well as for interiors and styling.

Homemade Happy Christmas baubles by Sania Pell

The great thing about making your own decorations is you can choose colour combinations that work with your Christmas theme and interior style, and change things around each year if you wish. With plain glass baubles you can use whatever beads, sequins and ribbons you have to create unique and personal decorations that will catch your guests’ eyes when they visit over the festive holidays.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone.

If you like this idea have a look at my bauble ideas from last Christmas and my sequin disco vase idea that I posted when I first started this blog.


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making time for christmas

December 5, 2012  in diy craft projects, homemade

Homemade lavender bags by Sania Pell

If you’ve followed my blog since the early days you may know I help each year with my children’s school Christmas fair since my son first started nursery, and this year was no exception. Being part of the school community is a wonderful thing. When the children were little and I stayed at home and looked after my baby daughter, helping at the school gave me a creative outlet and contributed to a community that helped all the school children. Now my children are both at school and I am working much more I have less time to help, but this year I still managed to make a few items for the fair in evenings and spare moments which we sold on the gifts stall at the fair last Saturday. I snapped a few photos in my kitchen of some of the things I had made and thought I would share them.

Homemade lavender bags by Sania Pell

Homemade lavender bags by Sania Pell

Lavender bags are always popular, you can’t help but smell them when you pick them up, and however many we make (and between us we made almost 100 this year), we sell every single one. We sold them as singles or double packs in linen and Liberty print fabric, with a ribbon tied around them. They’re simple to make even if you have basic sewing skills and there are how-to instructions in my first book if it feels daunting. I posted about lavender bags as a great mother’s day gift back in March (see post) but they are perfect Christmas gifts too.

Vintage playing card notebooks by Sania Pell

These little black notebooks were bought from my local Tiger store and I just added some vintage playing cards, bought from a car boot sale, to the front covers with double-sided tape. These are a simpler adaptation of the notebook project in my latest book (see my previous post). Great as a stocking filler with a little pack of coloured pencils.

Vintage playing card notebooks by Sania Pell

Vintage playing card notebooks by Sania Pell

The festive wreaths below are another popular item and look fab hanging from your front door or inside your home. This year I bought heart-shaped basic woven wreaths and decorated them with felt leaves that were cut out and stuck on. To do this pin a real leaf from a tree to your felt and cut around it as accurately as possible. I embellished with ribbons and covered buttons at the top of the wreath and added little birds from DZD. To see another variation of this project see my post with instructions from last year here.

Embellished christmas wreath by Sania Pell

Embellished christmas wreaths by Sania Pell

Embellished christmas wreath by Sania Pell

Lots of parents helped and we also made lots of other items like hair clips and bands, embellished cushions, decorations, jars of sweets and lots of gifts donated by local companies and parents. It was a successful day, we raised money for the school but most importantly it was a lot of fun for children, parents and teachers to all get together on the same day.

Now it’s time to get back to planning our own family Christmas!


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homemade gift ideas for children

December 3, 2012  in books, homemade

Homemade Christmas gift projects by Sania Pell

Time is ticking along and there are now three gift-making weeks until Christmas so it’s the perfect time to get creative. There is nothing quite like a homemade present, made and given with love. My latest book The Homemade Home for Children – 50 Thrifty and Chic Projects for Creative Parents was released earlier this year and it got me thinking as to which projects from it could be made as Christmas gifts. Here are a few of my favourite projects that would make great festive presents.

Bookcase dollhouse project from The Homemade Home for Children by Sania Pell

This bookcase dolls house is a favourite of my daughter and her friends when they come to play. It’s fairly simple to make but needs a bit of time and would make every little girl happy to receive it. There are full how-to diy instructions for all of these projects in the book.

Illustrated notebooks project from The Homemade Home for Children by Sania Pell

Theses notebooks are quick and easy to make and would make a great stocking filler that encourage drawing and writing.

Matchbox mice project from The Homemade Home for Children by Sania Pell

These little stitched mice are cute and the book shows how to make a matchbox mouse house to go with them too. My book includes a template to photocopy for the shape of the mouse and step-by-step instructions.

Twirling stick project from The Homemade Home for Children by Sania Pell

These twirling sticks are as much fun for boys as they are for girls (that’s my daughter in the photo) and they are super easy to make. The dolls below are a more special gift, something for a little girl to cherish and keep forever, passing on to her own children one day. I made several variations of doll in the book including a football version that is great for boys too (my son loves his!).

Vintage-style doll project from The Homemade Home for Children by Sania Pell

It was my children’s school Christmas fair this weekend and, as in previous years, I made lots of items to sell on the gift stall to help raise money for the school. Most of them are twists of projects from my books and I took some snaps before they were sold which I will share on the blog soon.

Buy The homemade home for children by Sania PellI hope these images inspire you to have a go making gifts for children, family and friends, or if you don’t have time to make, you could gift them a copy of one of my books so that they can make some of the ideas for themselves – there are 45 more projects like these in the book!

Happy making
Sania  x

The Homemade Home for Children is published by CICO Books and available now at Amazon UK and Amazon US.


Photographs by Emma Lee, courtesy and © of CICO Books.


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craft project : coat hanger heart

August 31, 2012  in diy craft projects, homemade

coat hanger heart by Sania Pell

coat hanger heart by Sania Pell

Homemade ornaments like this fabric-wrapped coat hanger heart are simple to make and add little touches of personality to a space. I made this whilst on holiday to hang from a nail on an otherwise plain wall in the children’s bedroom in our Croatian holiday home. This is a variation of the technique used in Goldfish Bowl Mobile project from my latest book The Homemade Home for Children and the fabric-wrapped coat hanger project from my first book The Homemade Home, both books have full instructions if you would like to try it at home.

To make: Firmly bend the wire of the coat hanger into a heart shape with your hands. Select thin strips of fabric or pieces of ribbon and secure one end with double-sided tape. Twist the ribbon around the wire, when you have run out start again with another piece using double-sided tape to secure again. Continue until the wire is completely covered.

coat hanger heart art by Sania Pell

I bought the straw hat in the photo from a market stall in the local village, I couldn’t resist changing the ribbon to a grey and white spotty one! The heart-shaped leaf was actually picked straight from a climbing vine growing up a tree by our terrace, such a perfect shape.

A simple, little decoration that helps bring personality and fun to my children’s bedroom.


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homemade mint lemonade

August 30, 2012  in food, homemade

mint lemonade by Sania Pell

mint lemonade by Sania Pell

This natural, fresh lemonade was the drink of our holiday in Croatia this summer and is easy to make. I made a bottle every morning with help from my children who loved squeezing lemons and measuring and mixing, and it was enjoyed by us all. Lemonade is an ever-popular summer drink but I give mine a little twist, the addition of fresh mint, which gives it an extra refreshing taste. I always keep interesting bottles and jars when we’re there, to use as storage jars or as vases, making little displays of fresh herbs and sprigs picked from our garden. This bottle is a well known shape in Croatia and contained Amarena cherry syrup from Maraska, a famous old drinks company from the city of Zadar opposite our island.

To make 1l: Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a glass, add 2 – 3 tablespoons of sugar, a sprig of fresh mint and a dash of cold water. Mx it together, mashing the mint slightly with a spoon to release the flavour. Add some more water and mix to dissolve the sugar. Pour into a 1 litre glass bottle and top up with cold water then place in the fridge to cool.

Serve over ice, straining the mint if necessary, and enjoy.


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experimenting with flowers (part two)

July 31, 2012  in flowers, homemade

sania pell experimenting with flowers

This is a continuation of my floral photographic sketches that I posted about recently. I had a fun couple of hours a few weeks ago playing with my camera and documenting ideas. Sometimes an idea comes along that leads to another and needs to be snapped quickly and captured before it is forgotten.

sania pell experimenting with flowers

When I designed textile patterns for a design studio we would always use reference books and quite often real flowers to draw from and use as inspiration, but these were quite often open to interpretation. A drawn flower would be given a different, more appealing leaf to the stem, or would be painted flat to the page with more flower heads than would occur in nature. Some of my drawn flowers would have leaves made from patterns or other textures and they would evolve and become unique, designed interpretations of flowers rather than true-to-life, accurate floral studies.

sania pell experimenting with flowers

Freehand, machine-stitching is a technique I used in textile design many years ago and still use regularly. With a little practice it you can get great results and if you want to have a go at home a couple of the projects in my first book The Homemade Home explain it with step-by-step instructions.

sania pell experimenting with flowers

In the case of this photo experiment with flora from my garden, I picked apart several flowers and placed different heads, stems and leaves together. I also added fabric and lace leaves and real elements to my machine-stitched stems, creating my own hybrids and fantasy flowers.

sania pell experimenting with flowers

sania pell experimenting with flowers

sania pell frankenstein flower

I like to contrast real with illustrated, man made with natural in combinations that really shouldn’t exist together. The speed of capturing an idea on camera at home means that later I will be able to develop this further into something more, but for now these ideas have been documented and are reminders to myself, my own visual notes and a little play with nature.


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homemade toys

May 25, 2012  in books, homemade

sania pell homemade toys

I snapped a few pictures of some wooden planes and boats that are sitting on shelves and chests of drawers in my son’s bedroom. They are little objects my father made about twenty years ago, simply put together from scraps of wood and old nails from his toolbox. I painted them in bright colours and personalised them with initials and words with meaning, like ‘Riba’ which means ‘Fish’ in Croatian and was the name of my grandfather’s little boat that we pootled along the coast in.

sania pell homemade wooden boat

I left one of the boats as it was to show the natural texture of the wood and the simplicity of how it was made. My father and son still make driftwood toys together every summer in Croatia, see a previous post here.

sania pell homemade wooden airplane

When my son was born we hunted out this little airplane and hung it in his bedroom, suspended by a splash of a neon ribbon. It was this plane that inspired the ‘Balsa Wood Planes’ project in my new book – The Homemade home for Children – which has full step-by-step instructions if you want to try making your own. The image below is by Emma Lee and is an out-take from the photo shoots for the book. It is my little boy as he is now, enjoying being part of the fun.

from the homemade home for children by Sania Pell

These homemade toys are so simple and cost nothing but a little time, and I treasure them because of that.

They are things that cannot be bought, but made – with love and family.


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silver lining

April 19, 2012  in diy craft projects, homemade

cloud brooch by sania pell

This is a favourite brooch of mine that I made and wore at the Decorate book launch last year in April. I was intending on wearing a high street brooch I had bought from Hoss (a favourite store of mine), but decided the day before the launch that I should wear one that I had made rather than bought. So I got busy and made this little felt cloud brooch. The silver scissors and heart key charms were lucky finds at Sunbury antiques fair in Kempton and are little surprises amongst the glistening silver beads of rain. The scissors open and shut and are really quite special.

cloud brooch by Sania Pell

There is an embroidered felt brooch project in my new book and the rain cloud motif also features in a project too. Both projects have full step-by-step instructions on how to make them if you want to try this at home. If you love jewellery you might also like this post.

cloud brooch by Sania Pell

Wearing a homemade brooch on your clothing is something that people always notice, and, as I wrote in my first book, there is nothing like the feeling you get when someone remarks how much they like something and you can reply “I made it”.


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