Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Sewing Machine Softie

I love this cute idea of making a 3D sewing machine 'soft sculpture' - complete with brand name, dials and a work-in-progress!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Art of Book Folding

Amazing, amazing, amazing!
I've always wondered how to do this book folding technique, and this photo tutorial is so clear that I'm sure even I could follow it :) Really impressive home decor idea.

Camper Van Keyring

Please click here to find a fun tutorial on making cute keyrings (cupcakes, owls & cars) by stitching together felt and fabric pieces.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Wax Paper Lanterns

These beautiful and delicate lanterns are made by simply ironing flowers and foliage between wax paper panels. It looks so effective!
Go here for instructions.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Moon Phase Coasters

An easy & professional-looking coaster project which makes use of carpet tiles. I particularly like this idea because I've always liked the speckled underside of carpet tiles....what, is that just me?!
Click here for the DIY.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Concrete Towel Planter

Yup, this planter is made with concrete...and an old towel!
Some people come up with the cleverest things - check out the DIY here.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Abstract Picture Frames

I like the look of these re-assembled picture frames; they make me think of Willy Wonka for some reason!
Click here to see how they're made.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Wooden Garden Stakes

Spell out a message for your house guests and make them smile :)
Click here for details. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Handmade Seller Interview: Joël Penkman

Since I very much enjoy reading interviews with artists and craftspeople, I've decided that after a 4 year hiatus (where did that time go??), I'm going to start posting some Q & As with Etsy sellers again. If you'd like to see the previous interviews on this blog, please click here.


First up is Joël Penkman; a talented painter of a wide range of objects, but mainly food and nostalgic confectionery.
(I had to put her Blackpool rock painting at the top of the post since I live in the home of this famous sweet ...and well-known tooth breaker!)

I hope you enjoy the interview.


How did you get started in your handmade business?
I kind of stumbled into it; it was always something I wanted to do but didn't think was possible. I was working as a freelance designer and I painted a little in my spare time. It began when I entered one of my paintings into a local art competition. It was well received and from there a local gallery owner asked me if I'd like to have an exhibition in her gallery. I spent a few months off freelancing to get some paintings together.
Afterwards, I put the paintings online and sent them to the Design*Sponge blog. Thanks to the internet, people from all over the world could see my work and I began to get a lot of enquiries for giclee prints of the paintings. From there things have slowly built up. Now I no longer do any freelance design work; instead, I paint and sell originals, prints and take on a number of commercial commissions. I feel very, very lucky to be able to do this.


What first made you want to become an artist/craftsperson?
I've always been happiest when I was making something. I studied graphic design at the School of Fine Arts in Christchurch, New Zealand, because I enjoyed it and I thought I could make a living this way. In reality it wasn't always as rewarding as I'd hoped it would be, so I tried to find another way to use the skills I had.

Apart from crafts, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love baking, gardening, collecting and cooking hedgerow food, renovating old furniture, and hanging out with my best buddy (and husband) James.

How long have you been creating art/crafts and how long have you been selling online?
Since 2011, I began selling online in July that year.


How many different places do you sell from?
I like to deal with customers directly when I sell original paintings as they are a big investment for them. People can get in touch with me directly from my website joelpenkman.com
I sell giclée prints and small originals on Etsy.
There are also a few galleries in the UK that sell prints and occasionally originals.

In ten years, where would you like to be?
Probably doing what I'm doing now but much better. I'd like to be happy! I don't have a big plan as I think it's better to make the most of what life offers you. But a larger house would be good as my work is slowly taking over every room.

Do you have any pets?
A little tabby called Molly whom I love so much! She really only loves my husband James, but I keep trying.

What is your favourite part of your handmade business?
Not having to get up and travel to work each day and being my own boss. I love it so much.


If you had the opportunity to learn one more craft you don’t already do, what would it be?
I would learn to make ceramics / pottery.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Tricky. Maybe to not need sleep so I could have an extra 8 hours every day to do things.



Thanks for reading, and thanks to Joel Penkman for answering my questions.
Stay tuned for more interviews soon :)

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Cacti Galore!


I'm always on the hunt for cacti tutorials and 3 seem to have come along all at once...so they're all in this post!
First there is the cute cactus pom-pom here,


Then the faux stained-glass bottles here,


And finally some big cardboard cacti here...Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Denim Magazine Holder

I'm not sure I've ever seen a denim and copper combination before....but the weirdness really works!
Check out the DIY here.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Tentacle Neck Pillow

This is a fun idea to make a more interesting neck pillow!
Click here to find how you can make your own from snuggly fleece.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Decoupaged Geek Dishes

This how-to shows the making of a variety of TV/book/movie themed plates, although my favourite idea comes from the comments section which suggests using the Marauder's map from Harry Potter. That would be pretty awesome :)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Rectangular Duffle Bags

To find the pattern for these fabulous-looking duffle bags, please click here.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Hexagonal Mobiles

Click here for a simple tutorial on making these eye-catching mobiles; all you need to do is cut shapes out of cardboard, paint them, then hang them up. That's it!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

DIY Napkin Rings

This tutorial shows you how to add a gorgeous glaze to polymer clay to give it the appearance of fired ceramic.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Life's Work

For those with a passion for craft, these videos about craftspeople are just wonderful to watch. I really enjoyed them so thought I'd post them here to share :)

Friday, 5 June 2015

Colourful Leaning Mirror

A simple wooden base with painted stripes is enough to make a regular mirror 'pop!'
Check out the DIY here.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Leather Fringe Revamp

To see a fun tutorial showing you how to make some fashionable leather fringing for your Converses (or other shoes of course!), click here.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Neon Sign

Click here to learn how to make a funky neon sign quickly using EL wire!