Sunday, 30 September 2012

Freebies: Holiday gift tags

Today Mr. Hunter asked me if, on his next day off, we should go out Christmas shopping. I looked at him a bit in shock. Not that much because in my head the holidays are still light years away but mainly because it was somehow hard to acknowledge that "Mr. leaves everything for last minute" was bringing that up!

Freebies: Holiday gift tags
Photo Credit: Sass & Peril

Well, in any case, October is knocking at our doors and soon enough the shopping windows will start to change from autumn to winter colours, snow flakes will replace the leaves and you will inevitably be stocking up on presents. So here is a present from Sass & Peril to all of us. Free holiday gift tags you can print and add that little personal touch to with ribbons and maybe some glitter (why not?).

I should be posting a few more Christmas themed posts as we get closer to the holidays, so keep an eye at the label for more ideas, freebies and tutorials. If you have a suggestion or a post you would like to share, please send me the link and I will tag it here! 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Heart shaped confetti

Remember the printing on old books tutorial? Well, here is another tip of what you can do with old yellowy book pages! If you are looking for originality and, like most of us, need to keep your wedding budget under control, why not make this?

Heart shaped confetti
Photo Credit: ddeforest Vintage Wedding Confetti

If you want to spend $16 USD (about £10) you can buy 500 of these from ddeforest on Esty. Or, you can do what I would do, which is to buy a heart shaped hole punch like this, from Amazon or any crafts shop and an old looking book from a charity shop, that usually will cost you £1. Most of the time you can find the good old classics, like Pride & Prejudice, very easily (I love it!!!).   

If you want to make smaller size confetti, you can get this one or even this entire set (that includes also flower, star and butterfly shapes) and will still cost you much less. With this size you could even try to recreate the rainbow cards, replacing the butterflies for your sweet little hearts, stars or flowers!

Heart shaped confetti
Photo Credit: ddeforest Vintage Wedding Confetti

Friday, 28 September 2012

Free printable jar labels

I think everyone will agree, recycling is a must. I confess that until I moved to the UK I didn't have the habit to recycle. It's only now that, in Brazil, buildings and councils are showing some real concern about it...

Today, however, I not only separate the rubbish but I try to re-use many things at home, as this blog might have given you an idea already. Glass jars are one of my favourite items to find a new use for! And it was wonderful to come across this free printable labels from

Free printable jar labels
Photo Credit:

This Australian graphic design website offers so many and cute options for labels and bands that you won't believe. Follow the link and check the three PDFs available to download (at the end of a selection of very nice pictures, by the way). I believe there are more than 50 options for you to print and use!
If you need tips on how to decorate jars tops with scrap paper, read Make your own lids, my first ever post on this blog! 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Yarn made heart!

I first saw this on Pinterest a while ago, but unfortunately at the time the picture lead me to (I suppose) a Chinese website with a broken link, so not much help... However, I persisted and believe I have finally found the person responsible for this amazing technique: Canadian Michele Pacey, from

Yarn made heart!
Photo Credit:

Her Sunkissed Heart Wreath tutorial is so precise and easy to follow that I became a fan already. You will only need skinny ballons (those that require a pump to fill), PVA glue and yarn! And, of course, container, scissors, water and some newspaper to minimise the mess around your home.

The hardest part of the tutorial for me is to wait the two nights required until you have your final sweet and cute yarn heart, but I think it is worth the wait! These have so many different uses, they are lovely to decorate babies bedrooms, wedding venues or just to hang by your window and admire the effect of the sun light shining through it... I need to make one!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Chocolate decorated glasses

I am a chocoholic, although I try really hard to contain it... In any case, I love this idea. It works for kids parties but also for grown ups gatherings. I know it looks a bit girly, but I guess we're excused if it is tasty.

Chocolate decorated glasses
I don't know who to credit on this photo, please drop me a line if you do!

To get the right consistency for the chocolate you need to temper it. If you have no clue what that means, check steps 2 to 5 of Dark Chocolate and Coconut Bonbons post. Bare in mind it is simpler to do than it seems when you first read it.
The rest is pretty simple. Choose your glass (sweet cocktails might go really well with it), dip it into the chocolate then on a cup filled with hundreds & thousands. Leave it to dry. Again, for cocktails my tip is to take the glasses to the fridge, if you have enough room for it of course. 

Note that for kids parties it is always worth to advise the little ones not to try to eat the glass. I'm sure they will be pretty tempted. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Free gift for you!

I decided to start a Mango & Passion Fruit shop on Etsy! Yay!
I am still in the very early stages of it, but my first addition is already live, Shelly! (see pic below)

To celebrate finally having the courage to get this project off the ground, I am giving away one handmade personalised mug with... try to guess? An owl!!! (I love owls...)

Anyone can participate on the prize draw. It doesn't matter if you're from the UK, US, or anywhere else in the world! Just answer (via comments or email) the question: What would you like to see more on M&P? Any ideas, suggestions, random thoughts are welcome...

Don't forget to let me know your email address so if you're the lucky winner I can contact you and get your postal address to send you the mug!

Once again, thanks for all the support. I am putting together a bunch of DIY projects to post here in the next few days... =)

Free owl mug draw
Shelly and the prize! A handmade owl mug personalised by me (with Pentax K-x)

>>> UPDATE: 5th October

And the winner is...
Who gets the hand painted mug on our first prize draw is @lucylovesyablog. Thanks to everyone who emailed, commented and followed M&P on twitter. A lot more coming soon...

Friday, 21 September 2012

Re-use broken glass bulbs to make sweet little vases!

When I came across this picture, I immediately remember a very sexist Brazilian joke about man having two uses only and one of them being to change a light bulb. I know, it is awful, but it's the sort of thing you heard once and you can't help but quoting it. And I have to say, despite being all DIY and crafty, if there is one thing I totally rely on Mr. Hunter for is to replace broken bulbs!

Well, moving on... I came by this idea through pinner @Emily Kent and I fell in love with it. I just wish I have known it before my wedding, so I could use it to decorate the outdoors. I guess as it rained cats & dogs it wouldn't have made much difference anyway.

The tutorial is very self-explanatory, but let me know if you need any help with it!

Re-use broken glass bulbs to make sweet little vases!
Photo Credit:

NOTE: So I tried today (3rd Oct) to open a glass bulb and I realised I was wrong when I said this tutorial looked really straight forward. It's not. The first lesson is that this is a really messy process and you will need lots of newspaper covering your work surface, as there will be lots of tiny glass dust everywhere.

I followed this other tutorial just to get to the point of removing the inside of the bulb. What they don't mention however, is that a lot of pressure will be required to break your way through. You will also need to be extra careful: first not to hurt yourself and second not to damage your bulb. Good luck!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Sharpie + Porcelain + Oven = personalised items!

I believe every crafter that browses the web in search for inspiration came across a version of this post before. If you haven't, however, here is a "must try" tip.

Did you know you can use a good old sharpie (permanent markers in general) to decorate porcelain?

It's simple and you can use any colour... Most people write a quote or a nice little playing sentence... I decided however to try to draw something... (mainly because I am not a fan of my handwriting and love owls too much...)

Use a sharpie to decorate porcelain
Photo Credit: Zaira Brilhante, with Pentax K-x

I used a pencil first to trace my drawing... Then I covered it with the marker. I kept next to me a tin with some hot water and cotton sticks. This way, if I made a mistake with the sharpie, I could quickly dip the cotton stick into the water, wipe it and dry the surface before I continued. When you finish, pop it in the oven for 30 minutes on 180°C or 350°F.

If you want to save money, why not to try it with the kids instead of a trip to the pottery shop? They would make great father's or mother's day gifts! Please, if you do try it email me pics and I will post or link them here!

Use a sharpie to decorate porcelain
This were made by Etsy shop Brookish, that sells them for about £10 each.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Little notepads out of cereal boxes!

Post updated on 07/03/2013 - Finally I saw this again on Pinterest and with a link to the original tutorial! So I can now update this post with the appropriate credit. I am also adding at the end a picture of the notepads I made myself, that at the time of the post I was too lazy to take... Well, for the original tutorial by Creme de la Craft, visit this link. Note that when I wrote my version of it, I did it based only on the picture and on my experience of making it... So the steps are not necessarily the same as Natalie's.

For a long time I collected notepads. I just couldn't stop buying them, but for some very weird reason I also couldn't use them! They were so beautiful, brand new, immaculate. They even smell great! There was nothing like a brand new notepad...

Anyway, I guess I am less crazy today. With all my different projects I actually, for the first time in my life, needed more notepads than I was buying them. Worrying. Well, not really, as over a month ago I came across this amazing idea. Unfortunately I saved the pictures, but not the website. So I decided to give it a go myself and write my own version of how to make it. 

Little notepads out of cereal boxes!
Photo Credit: Natalie of Creme de la Craft

So here is how you make them. Open a cereal box, choose what size you want your notepad to be and cut it. Remember your cover should be slightly bigger than your inside pages. 

Note: I use a corner cutter to give that rounded effect on the borders. You can do it with scissors, but I find the finish with the cutter a lot smoother. 

Place as many blank pages as you wish inside your notepad. Remember not to overload it, otherwise you might make your life a bit too hard. The next step is to sew them to your cover. I did mine with cotton yarn and used a medium size tapestry needle for that. 

Now it is time for you to be creative and make it look nice! You can use some scrap paper and mod podge to create that effect on corner. You can also use the same colour yarn as before to add a little button to the front cover. 

Note: When sewing the button, remember to start from the inside of the notepad and to finish as you come off the cover, but missing the button. This way you can leave enough yarn to go around the notepad and wrap it around the button, keeping it closed.

Little notepads out of cereal boxes!
Photo Credit: Natalie of Creme de la Craft

One last trick. Either with mod podge (but be careful not to over use it) or with double sided tape, glue the first and last page to the inner front and back covers, this way hiding the original design of the cereal box. 

This is the pair I made! Picture take with Pentax K-x 

Aren't they gorgeous?! I think it is a great gift idea for classmates over Christmas. You can use white A4 paper for the pages but you can also experiment and try a lighter tone of brown paper or maths paper or even create personalised pages on Photoshop, with a different message or drawing on each one!  

Monday, 17 September 2012

Painted heart bag

I am crazy about bags. I know girls are often addicted to shoes, but in my case, bags rule.
You can't ever have enough bags... And when you can actually make them, this premise is even more fun!!!

I just love the simplicity of this pic tutorial. And you can use different patterns. I am a big fan of stars as well, so I might try it instead of the heart shape.

Painted heart bag
Credit Photo: V& Co

I found this on Pinterest, but unfortunately there was no link to a website. The photo's credit says V & Co and googling I found this website: I haven't had the time to search for this particular post among the many cute things I saw there, but this is a great blog anyhoo!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Art with buttons!

This is a quick post, but I couldn't help it. I saw this very cute picture for sale on an Etsy shop for U$ 65 (about £40). I just could not believe it. It is soooooo simple to make and it wouldn't cost you even a 1/4 of that!

Art with buttons!
Baby girl monogram by Letter Perfect Designs

Buy a plain blank canvas from any arts & crafts shop or at Amazon. Prices will vary from £2 to £3 depending on the size. The one in the picture is 25cm x 25cm (10'' x 10''), but you can make it smaller or bigger as you wish. I like the mini ones (10cm x 10cm) very much!

Choose the buttons you want to use. I recently bought in Hornscastle a bunch for £1 that would be more than enough to make this. They often come in different tones of your chosen colour. Ebay is the place to get some fairly cheap ones. 

For the fabric, this one uses grey silk. If your frame is roughly the same size as this one, a one metre cut should be more than enough. I checked on Ebay as well and if you're lucky you can find a good piece for about £5 to £7. But it doesn't mean that you necessarily need to use silk. I particularly like to work with natural cotton or a medium weight fabric. 

The rest is pretty straight forward, isn't it? Place your canvas over the fabric like if you would wrap it. Mark and cut the excess remembering to leave enough to fold inwards so you have a nice finish.

With the fabric still placec over your canvas, play around with the buttons to design your letter. You will need patience now to sew each button, but what arts & crafts project doesn't require that? :)

Once you're done with the sewing, time to stick your fabric to the canvas. To help you with the folding, use some drawing pins (have a look at how they did it on right side). Depending on how thick is the side of your canvas, I advise you to twist the point of the pins and maybe stick some tape over it, so there is no chance someone handling the frame will hurt themselves.

To finish, use some fabric/textile glue to stick the fabric inwards covering both the wood and the taped pin edges. If you're aiming for the exact same look, add some cute ribbon to the top to help you hanging the frame.

I can't see anyone spending more than £15 to make it. To be honest, if you already have things lying around at home, like assorted buttons, fabric glue, drawing pins, ribbons and spare cuts of fabric, it will cost you a lot less.

Oh my, this was meant to be a quick post and it is now 2am! I got carried away again...

Art with buttons!
Another Letter Perfect Design monogram, this one is 8'' x 10''

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Late summer tip: Crochet beach bag

I am getting more and more into crochet. So it was amazing to find Crochet in Color, with a bunch of cute free patterns, including the one for this super cool bag. Great to take to the beach.

Late summer tip: Crochet beach bag
Photo Credit: Crochet in Color

Follow this link for the pattern for this 9.5 inches in height 12 inches in diameter ombre basket. Liz uses 9 different colours of worsted weight yarn, size L hook  (8mm in the UK). You will also need a tapestry needle. 

This seems pretty straight forward to make. I haven't tried it myself, but would encourage even beginners to give it a go, the tutorial is very visual. A note to UK readers is to bare in mind the instructions are in US terms. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Your favourite quote on a cushion

One of my favourite blogs is Wit & Whistle and this was the first place where I came across this technique of using stencils to help you writing down your favourite quotes on fabric.

Your favourite quote on a cushion
Photo Credit: Wit & Whistle

I postponed it for a while, as my fabric marker is awful, but today I was bored and decided to give it a go. The key ingredient to make it work is definitely patience. I didn't know how hard it could be, but writing with a pencil, through a stencil, onto fabric is not an easy task.

Well, let's get down to it. You will need the fabric you will be writing on, a piece of cardboard the same size, a pencil, a stencil and a fine point fabric marker (brush style is ideal, those similar to white board markers are no good, nor those our mums used to write on our uniforms with, the ones with a kind of ball point). Trust me, the marker can make or break your work!

Your favourite quote on a cushion
Photo Credit: Zaira Brilhante, with Pentax K-x

The secret to make it neat is to try and count the amount of letters you can fit per line and how many lines you will need to write your quote. This way you can define the space between words and between lines. I didn't succeed too well, but this was my first attempt.

The stencil I used was 20mm high letters. I would recommend you use one size bigger, it will make your life easier and the result will look sharper. Place the cardboard underneath the area you will write on. In this case, I inserted it inside the cushion to make sure the ink wouldn't run to the other side.

First trace your letters using a pencil, but don't rely on it too much. Although you can erase from the fabric, it might leave a shadow or even hurt the material a bit, depending on its quality. As this was a test, I was using a really cheap cotton cushion (£5 pounds, from John Lewis).

Once you're finished with the pencil, it is time to get down to use the fabric marker. Take your time, don't rush. And be really careful not to let your hands touch the wet ink and stain the rest of the fabric.

PS: Just out of curiosity, I wrote on mine the chorus of After The Storm, by Mumford & Sons. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Afghan Pattern #3 - Granny Flower

I am really sorry for the delay in posting this third pattern, but finally here it is.

Don't forget to check the first two patterns for the Afghan:

Pattern: Granny Flower (#3)

Foundation: Work 6ch and join with ss to form a ring.
Round 1: 1ch, 16dc into ring, join with ss into first dc.
Round 2: 6ch (equivalent to 1tr, 3ch), miss two dc, repeat [1tr into next dc, 3ch, miss 1dc] sequence 7 times and join with ss into 3rd of 6ch. You should have now 8 spaced tr.
Round 3: Start with 1ch, then [1dc, 1htr, 3tr, 1htr, 1dc] into same space. Repeat [1dc, 1htr, 3tr, 1htr, 1dc] into next 3ch space seven times. Join with ss into first dc. Eight inner petals made. Break off yarn.

Afghan Pattern 3 - Granny Flower
Photo Credit: Zaira Brilhante, with Pentax K-x

Although not complex, this one will require some practice as a lot of it depends on how consistent your stitches are. I am using 4.5mm needle aiming to make 15cm square blocks. I used Wendy Supreme 100% cotton DK.

Round 4: Join next yarn between any 2dc, then 1ch, 1dc into same place. Work 6ch then sequence [1dc between next 2dc, 6ch] seven times. Join with ss into first dc.

Round 5: 1ch, [1dc, 1htr, 5tr, 1htr, 1dc] into same space. Then work [1dc, 1htr, 5tr, 1htr, 1dc] into next 6ch space seven times total. Join with ss into first dc. Eight outer petals made. Break off yarn.

Round 6: Join next yarn to 2nd tr of any petal. Work 1ch and 1dc into same place. Then 6ch, miss 2tr, 1dc into next tr. Repeat [6ch, 1dc into 2nd tr of next petal, 6ch, miss 2tr, 1dc into next tr] seven times total. Join with ss into first dc.

Round 7: Ss into next 6ch space, 3ch (equivalent to 1tr). [3tr, 4ch, 4tr] into same space to make a corner. // 4ch, 1dc into next 6ch space, then work [6ch, 1dc into next 6ch space] twice, 4ch, [4ch, 4tr, 4ch] into next 6ch space (second corner made). Repeat from // two times more and then 4ch, 1dc into next 6ch space, then work [6ch, 1dc into next 6ch space] twice, 4ch. Join with ss into 3rd of 3ch. 

Round 8: 3ch (equivalent to 1tr). 1 tr into each of next 3tr. // [3tr, 2ch, 3tr] into next 4ch corner space. Continue with 1tr into each of next 4tr. 1ch, 2tr into next 4ch space, repeat [1ch, 3tr into next 6ch space] twice, then 1ch, 2tr into next 4ch space, 1ch, 1tr into each of next 4tr. Repeat from // twice and then [3tr, 2ch, 3tr] into next 4ch corner space. Continue with 1tr into each of next 4tr. 1ch, 2tr into next 4ch space, repeat [1ch, 3tr into next 6ch space] twice, then 1ch, 2tr into next 4ch space, 1ch. Join with ss into 3rd of 3ch. Fasten off yarn. 

Afghan Pattern 3 - Granny Flower
Credit Photo:  Zaira Brilhante, with Pentax K-x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

20 (ops! actually, 19) awesome free fonts

I saw the following image on Pinterest and straight away went to have a look at it. The pin took me to a post on that listed each one of these. I checked each link and noticed a few things that I thought of sharing here.

20 (ops! actually, 19) awesome free fonts
Photo Credit:

 #13 - American Typewriter was removed

 #4 - Museo Slab is available through that requests you to create an account, add your chosen font to your cart and proceed to check out, the same way you would do if you selected one of the paid fonts.

 #3 - Lavanderia, #11 - Blanch and #16 - Airplane - These three can be downloaded from the same website, It asks you to choose how much you'd like to pay for them. To download it for free, just enter "0" and click on download.

Below all the links you will need. But don't forget to visit 7th House On the Left, who originally got all these cute fonts together. Greg and Ashley Brown blog follows their journey of renovating and decorating their first home!

1. St Marie 2. Champagne & Limousines 3. Lavanderia 4. Museo Slab 500 5. Mailart Rubberstamp 6. Code Light 7. Marcelle 8. Simply Glamorous 9. Scribblebox 10. Peach Sundress 11. Blanch 12. Villa Didot 13. American Typewriter (NOT WORKING) 14. Bready 15. Walkway Semibold 16. Airplane 17. Print Clearly 18. Sail 19. Matilde 20. Petie Boy

PS: My favourites are Matilde and Villa Didot, what about yours?

Monday, 10 September 2012

Great wrapping ideas using brown paper

I often get a bit upset when I am in a shop searching for wrapping paper and I can't find one that I consider appropriate for the gift, person or occasion. I recently had this problem with Olly's 30th birthday present. No box, bag or wrapping paper seemed to please me. None until I came across Nexttonicx, which had some very useful free printables.

Great wrapping ideas using brown paper
Photo Credit: Nexttonicx
The paper bags are 135mm high x 90mm wide x 35mm deep and you can download 8 different templates by following this link. Blogger Nicola Pravato explains you can personalise them by writing the name of the person your gift is, as long as you have Adobe Acrobat, but I tried and you can also edit by opening the pdf on Photoshop.   

Besides the bags, Nicola shares with us a pattern that she originally used to wrap chocolates but that I adapted to wrap dvds. For both bags & wraps all you will need is brown paper, a ruler and scissors to make sure you cut your paper in a size that fits your printer. I used sellotape to join my brown paper to a normal A4 sheet before printing just to make sure the brown paper wouldn't get stuck in the printer. I just joined the top of the sheets, there's no need to do sides or bottom.

Great wrapping ideas using brown paper
Photo Credit: Nexttonicx

Please follow this link to download the chocolate wrapping templates. Nicola offers 4 different ones and she also has instructions and other tips.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Amazing gifts @ Joseph Banks Centre

This weekend I am in Lincolnshire @ Gordon & Maigret's place for Olly's birthday.

Maigret loves Arts & Crafts as much as I do, so we had a lot of fun going to Horncastle and visiting a sewing material shop and the Joseph Banks Centre, it has the most amazing crafty gifts and it was a great source of inspiration for me.

9-13 Bridge Street Town Centre Horncastle LN9 5HZ‎. Tel.: 01507 526065
Anyone in the area should visit it. Apart from being a lovely shop and really affordable, it also supports some really good causes. I love it!

I will post later on a couple of pictures of my acquisitions.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Buttons + Paperclips = Bookmarks!

Another straight forward tutorial. This one by Jamielyn, from I { heart } Nap Time, it's the kind of blog worth coming back to at least once a week!

Buttons and paperclips make cute bookmarks
Photo Credit: I Heart Nap Time

After I had a go with the cute monster bookmark, I will definitely make a few of these. They will come very handy if you're doing a course and need to mark several pages on the same book or notepad.

The idea is simple: button, paperclips, glue and felt to give it a nice, smooth finish. Jamielyn uses a hot glue gun, but I am sure you can use normal crafts glue or mod podge. Just make sure you leave enough time for it to dry.

Buttons and paperclips make cute bookmarks
Photo Credit: I Heart Nap Time

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Driftwood Photo Display

I love simple ideas and when they look great it is just amazing! The Norwegian blog Morning Creativity, by Erlend Johansen, came up with this unique driftwood display that can be used as a photo frame but also as a lovely piece of art to showcase special memories.

Driftwood Photo Display
Photo Credit: Morning Creativity, by Erlend Johansen 

"Everything is open, nothing is set in stone... Rivers turn to ocean, oceans tide you home. Home is where your heart is, but your heart had to roam... Drifting over bridges never to return, watching bridges burn.

Your driftwood floating underwater breaking into pieces pieces pieces... Just driftwood hollow and of no use. Waterfalls will find you, bind you, grind you" [Travis, Driftwood]

You will need pieces of driftwood, twine, drill, scissors and pegs. The rest is pretty straight forward, but I suggest you visit Morning Creativity for more decoration tips and tutorials!

Driftwood Photo Display
Photo Credit: Morning Creativity