DIY Felted Mushrooms

  • 2 min read

Anna-Simmonds-Felted Mushrooms-14

I love how felted fungi look. Mushrooms are a wonderful, whimsical piece of décor that can look as cultured or as fantastical as you like. Whether gourmet chantarelles or little Smurf houses, mushrooms look lovely all year round. All they need is a bit of styling for a seasonal look. (Although a certain Italian plumber definitely thinks mushrooms are in fashion ALL year.)

For a whimsical, earthy, and delicious fungi-friendly look I used needle felt to make this DIY mushroom display. I’ve shared the full tutorial over on Minerva Crafts:

Read the full DIY Felted Mushrooms tutorial on Minerva Crafts >

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To make your own mushroom display you’ll need:

  • Natural wool roving in grey, brown, white, and other suitable woodland shades (the Assorted Browns felt pack is perfect)
  • Felting needle(s)
  • Felting mat
  • Scissors
  • Optional: stiff floral wire & wire cutters

Why I Love Sewing

  • 4 min read

Anna-Simmonds-Love-Sewing-5

Back in 2012 – the year The Hobbit was finally in theatres, and everyone joked that the world would end – I realised I hadn’t made anything for over a year. That’s how this blog started.

Like an echo, 2015 ended a lot like 2012 did for me. It hadn’t been a yearlong break from making, but at this point even a two month break feels like an eternity. Two months of daily progress on something adds up – and you never get that time back. After weeks of intense making all summer and autumn long, my DIY flame burned out. Kaput.

Confession? When I haven’t been in bed at 8PM, I’ve been a film junkie instead. All those years of turning my nose up at unproductive sofa potatoes has come back to haunt me! And yet, the cliche of the brain working when you’re not actively being creative is true. After a winter funk, I’m bursting with ideas.

Modern Shelf Makeover with Rust-Oleum

  • 5 min read

Rust Oleum Furniture Paint shelf makeover

In collaboration with Rust-Oleum

Our front room has had a rethink. I’d call it a makeover, but mostly it’s just been a lot of rearranging furniture.

I did need a new shelf. So when I was offered the chance to try some new shades of Rust-Oleum’s chalky finish Furniture Paint I just had to take up the offer. A bit of interior DIY was just what the room needed!

Here’s how I used Rust-Oleum Furniture Paint to make a scratched old shelf look modern again.

Rust Oleum Furniture Paint shelf makeover

The Handmade Fair has gone festive – and I have a ticket offer for you

  • 2 min read

The Handmade Christmas Fair

It’s the craftiest time of year again.

The Christmas lights have been switched on in our city centre. Dark evenings now have a distinctly festive touch. For once in my life I’m ahead in Christmas shopping. (That is, I haven’t left it until the last possible minute.)

And the cherry on the cake—The Handmade Christmas Fair is just days away.

If you’re a fellow fan of Kirstie Allsopp, you might know of The Handmade Fair. For the second time this year, the Fair is throwing a craft bash with Kirstie Allsopp herself attending. And it gets better.

I have an exclusive ticket offer just for my readers. Here’s a code you can use to get £5 off your ticket.

Get a Full Experience ticket for £20 instead of £25
Code: CF20

T&Cs: Booking and transaction fees apply. Offer applies to Full Experience tickets purchased in advance only and offer ends 21st November.

DIY Woodland Notepad Cover

  • 6 min read

DIY felt notepad cover | sewing, needle felting

In collaboration with Fiskars

Organising stationery is a guilty pleasure of mine.

I use a lot of A6 notepads and notebooks. It’s the perfect size for a day’s to-do list or a project sketch. I even like lugging one around in my handbag, which isn’t very notepad friendly. A DIY cover was overdue. This felt sleeve was my solution to bring stationery on the go.

And, to be honest, it just looks nice on my desk too! This tutorial can be used to make a felt sleeve of any size. If you’re not as obsessed with notebooks as I am you can make a gadget cover.

Third Time’s the Charm

  • 4 min read

Behind the scenes - designing needle felt reindeer

Creative projects have a mind of their own.

Designing can be like trying to walk north without a compass or sunlight to guide you.

As a crafter, there’s nothing more satisfying to me than when a design starts turning out right. There’s magic in the process. An idea goes from a theoretical, intangible thought into something physical and real. And, if all goes well, it’ll be pretty and practical to boot.

Design is a messy process. Yes, experienced designers have a better idea of what materials to use and how different techniques will turn out. It’s still just an educated guess. And if you’re a bit crazy overambitious like I am, you might even decide to learn new techniques while designing. All at the same time. Cue tears.

Behind the scenes - designing needle felt reindeer

My latest design challenge was to make nine reindeer. I needed something smallish, characterful, and easy to repeat for all nine of them.

In all my uneducated enthusiasm I was quick to wrap up nine bodies from wool yarn. Wham, bam, done. I knew from previous needle felting adventures that a yarn base was a cheaper filler than roving wool. Then, after sleeping on it, I realised I had no easy way to add sturdy legs. Or a neck. Bummer.

I might as well have worn a big paper bag saying “YOU SUCK AT MAKING” over my head, because that’s what it felt like. It took a lot of Oreos and coffee to get over myself and get on with it.