Crafting – at long last!

Happy Easter! How are you doing? I thought I’d do a bit of a different post today. I’ve mentioned crafting in the past and how much I love it, but it is rare I get a chance to do it (my previously mentioned crochet blanket is still no further on!). At the moment, as a full-time mum who is also working, I feel the need to use every little bit of spare time I get wisely – ie. use it for work or housework. Therefore, as much as I love the idea of crafting, it’s always at the very bottom of the list of things to do, usually buried under a mountain of washing and a pile of proofreading and writing! 

However, this Easter weekend, it’s been the birthday of a very special person in my life – my mum. Her second away from our family in the UK, so myself and my brothers decided to make it as special as we could – albeit, for them, remotely. I absolutely love birthdays, I still get very excited (maybe a little too excited) about my own, and I love celebrating other people’s birthdays too. So with all our plans made – cake, a Zoom family party, gifts, balloons, a takeaway dinner ordered, I decided that I’d also throw in a bit of crafting and make some birthday bunting. As this was for someone else, it was like I suddenly felt I could allow myself to use my free time for crafting – and how I enjoyed it!

I was so pleased with the result that I wanted to share it on here and I decided to show the steps I used to make it, like I’ve seen on so many crafting blogs (I love a good crafting blog – especially Attic 24!).

So here we go!

What you need:

Bunting flags (mine were pre-bought plain ones from a craft shop, but you could make your own)

Different patterned papers

Old cardboard

Glue stick

Scissors

To begin, I needed to make templates of all the letters in “Happy Birthday”, fortunately there are a few repeated letters, so that’s nine letter templates in total. I decided to stick to all uppercase letters for ease. Using old cardboard packaging from recent book post, I drew and then cut out the letters. I started with the H, held it up against a bunting flag to check for size and then used that H as a rough guide for the height and width of the rest of the letters – no ruler needed! 

I like drawing the letters free hand as I think it adds to a more personal style, but others might prefer to use a ruler to help.

Then, I had to choose the papers. I have a craft box with lots of different patterned papers, so I had a good bit of choice. I went with a spring theme and chose three flower-paterned colour papers – pink, green and yellow. I then used the templates and drew the letters out onto the back of the papers, so that no pencil lines would show up on the bunting. Tip: don’t forget to place the templates onto the paper back-to-front so that they come out the correct way around on the front of the paper.

Cut the letters out. 

I then decided to back them with different papers, but using the same colour scheme. I chose different patterned papers from the same pack and used a contrasting colour to back each letter – all the pink letters were backed with yellow, the green with pink, and the yellow with green.

You don’t need to do it, I just think it looks more finished. It was a tip I picked up from Mum when she was a teacher and used to create these amazing wall displays. She would always back everything and it always looked so much better. 

Once the letters are backed, then it’s the easy bit (unless you had to make the bunting flags), stick them onto the flags. Just make sure that they are in roughly the same place on each flag. 

Then thread the string through each flag and voilà! Birthday bunting! 

I’m delighted with the result. It didn’t take too long (it was much quicker than the crochet bunting I thought about making initially!) and I really enjoyed making it. Plus my mum loved it!

Taking the time out to make something made me realise that crafting shouldn’t be at the bottom of my to-do list. I’m not great at relaxing, but crafting is always something that takes me out of real life for a while, calms my whirring brain and allows me to enjoy making something with my own hands. 

Something that I definitely need to do more often.

Colette x

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