DIY Painted Wood Grain Tablecloth

  • 7 min read

A couple years ago I was challenged to style a dining table for Christmas. (It still feels crazy to say “as seen on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Christmas”.) Of all the things I made for my festive table, this tablecloth has been my favourite every season since.

And it’s definitely not just during Christmas.

This painted wood grain tablecloth was designed to enjoy throughout the seasons. When I put together my table setting for the Handmade Christmas programme, I wanted every minute of DIY time to work as hard as possible. This tablecloth took me (in all honesty) about six hours to make from sewing to painting to ironing. It’s a good weekend project to spread over a couple afternoons. To get ready for the show, I rushed around making it all in one day. (Not recommended. Do try to enjoy the process itself.)

BUT, panic DIY aside, this tablecloth suits any season depending on how it’s styled. Multi-purpose for the win!

Wood grain and other nature-inspired designs are perfect for beginners. Uneven brush strokes and wobbly lines just add to the organic feel. If you want to practise, use these same techniques on scrap fabric or some napkins before you make your tablecloth.

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 >

Anna-Simmonds-Felted Mushrooms-2

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

Beginner-Friendly Tote Bag Tutorial (and 3 ways to pretty it up!)

  • 5 min read

Beginner friendly lined tote bag tutorial (sewing)

I’m pretty sure someone is playing a huge practical joke on me.

I mean, it can’t surely be a week into August already, can it? Where in the world did July go??

July’s craft of the month was sewing. My first project was a lined tote bag, and I thought I’d share a sweet and simple tutorial to get you making your own little totes!

Already know how to sew a lined tote? Skip to the end for some ways to pretty your bags up — and August’s craft announcement.

Macramé Camera Strap

  • 4 min read

Macrame camera strap


Macramé is such a fun craft to play around with, and today I’m sharing a macramé project that’s sure to be a bit different from the 70’s plant hangers we’re all used to.

In this project, macrame is used to cover up a camera strap and give it a funky (and more comfortable) makeover. Who said cord was the only material for macramé?

This technique can be used to cover all sorts of objects, so take a look at the tutorial and try it out. You don’t need to stick to camera straps.

Basic embroidery stitches

  • 5 min read

Basic embroidery stitches: running stitch, blanket stitch, lazy daisy stitch, and chain stitch

It’s time to celebrate! Every month in 2013 I’m learning a new craft, and now I’m halfway through.

When I learned embroidery in February I got close to giving up. The fine embroidery threads I had bought didn’t appreciate my fumbling. I got sore fingers and tangled threads for my trouble.

Then I tried embroidering with yarn. I loved it! If you’re nervous to tackle embroidery, try yarn. It exaggerates the stitches, so it’s perfect for learning how they work. It helps that it builds up quick and looks good, too!

You need:

  • DK or thinner yarn
  • Needle with large enough eyelet for yarn
    (Yarn needles might not be sharp enough)
  • Fabric of choice (I’m using denim)
  • Embroidery hoop

The stitches you’ll learn:

  • Running stitch
  • Blanket stitch
  • Lazy daisy stitch
  • Chain stitch

Let’s get started!

Two-Tone Crochet Flower

  • 6 min read

Two-tone crochet flower from yarn scraps (photo tutorial) craftingfingers.co.uk

It’s time to celebrate! Every month in 2013 I’m learning a new craft, and now I’m halfway through.

In January, Crafting Fingers went live. After celebrating midnight on New Year’s I rushed home and published the first post on Crafting Fingers. How far this blog has come!

That month, I learned crochet. It was the first step on an amazing adventure so far, and I can’t wait to see where the next six months will take me.

This two-tone crochet flower is a quick project to crochet. Enjoy!

You need:

The stitches used:

  • Magic circle
  • Double crochet (dc) American single crochet
  • Slip stitch

And that’s it! Grab your hook and your yarn and let’s get started! If you need help, take a look at the photos after the pattern.