This suitcase of memories craft is a guest post from Sara of Crafter’s Companion
I’m delighted to have been invited by the lovely Anna to write a guest post for In the Playroom, one of my favourite crafting and lifestyle blogs
As you’ll all know Anna is a fantastic crafter and it’s safe to say that she understands the pleasure that can be gained from creating something beautiful and unique from scratch. Many of Anna’s projects are primarily aimed at children so I thought I would take this opportunity to encourage mums to discover what crafting can hold for us adults.
I’m also a mum, to two year-old cheeky chappie Oliver, and there’s nothing that I love more than having a crafty afternoon with him when I’m not working. However, it is also nice (and necessary!) to find time for yourself and I’m here to tell you that crafting can be a brilliant escape from the never-ending eat, sleep, change nappy routine! Not only will time put aside for yourself provide a mental break, if it is spent creating something then the satisfaction of doing so can both stimulate and refresh even the most tired of baby brains!
But where to begin? If you’ve never crafted before (beyond children’s paint pots and the likes) then it can be easy to be a little overwhelmed by the craft projects showcased on various websites.
Here are my five top tips for getting your creative juices flowing:
- Start simple – For those that would like to try their hand at crafting but don’t know where to start, I would give card making a go. I love making cards and it has the added bonus of being an inexpensive hobby to start as the equipment needed is minimal. This time of year is a great time to benefit from the cost-saving element of crafting – on the horizon we have Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and spring weddings. All of these calendar dates can start to take their toll on the purse strings, which being a mum are likely to already be stretched. So, rather than spending upwards of £4.00 on a shop-bought card, why not create something that is completely unique and has the added value of the personal touch?
- Start small – card making is a great hobby that can start as just a spare drawer of bits and bobs and the sky is the limit to where it can be taken. What I like about making cards is the instant gratification which can be gained from them – within half an hour you can have made a lovely card, it’s that quick and easy.
- Creativity loves company – crafting is a great hobby to share with your friends, particularly other mums. It can be great to meet your new mum friends for coffees and lunches but these soon add up and the opportunity to meet and do something different in each other’s homes is a great money-saver. In addition, learning from others’ techniques/being able to ask for help if you get stuck is invaluable as your start experimenting with more advanced crafting.
- Create space – ensure you set aside an area, however small, that will act as your ‘workspace’. This is important so that you can lay out everything you need for your project and not get over-faced when starting a new task.
- Enjoy yourself! – don’t beat yourself up if you cut too deep or use too much adhesive – crafting is about creating something unique that is not run off a factory line and is full of heart, so embrace any faux pas and concentrate on enjoying yourself
To help you on your way here is a perfect project for you to have a go at – ‘a suitcase of memories’. Last Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something a little bit different for my Simon and create something that could be displayed in our home not just around the Valentine’s Day period but also for a long time after. I got the idea whilst having a browse on Pinterest one day and thought it was a lovely idea… not just for love/romance themes, but also for a wide variety of other occasions.
You could make a ‘suitcase of memories’ for someone leaving to go to university, a special birthday, a leaving present or simply a friendship ‘just because’ gift. It’s actually very simple to make and the only specialist item you would need is a scoring board like the Boxer Board that we produce. If you’re not able to get hold of one of these boards then you will still be able to make it by using a ruler – it’s just the boards make it a lot easier for you and give you nice crisp folded edges. I hope you enjoy making this ‘suitcase of memories’ as much as I did… it really took me down memory lane choosing all the photos!
Boxer Board (or other scoring board)
Strong glue (like Tacky Glue)
1. Using the boxer board I scored two pieces of A4 Kraft card at 1 1/2″ on all four sides using the box lid side.
2. To attach the two parts together I cut a piece of card to 8 1/8″ x 3″ and scored in half lengthways to act as a hinge and keep the two pieces together. I also cut a further three strips of card but only stuck to the bottom half to give the box extra strength.
3. After lining the bottom of the box with cardstock I cut two coordinating strips to make handles for the box and cut out four circles which were cut in half and folded in half for the corners of the box.
4. After choosing a selection of photos, I printed them off, cut them out and stuck them inside of the lid of the box.
5. I decorated the inside with some elements from the downloadable sheets, along with the outside too.
6. Finally I made a card to go with the gift box.
7. Again using some elements from the downloadable sheets and a backing paper to match I put together the card along with another favourite photo.
So there you have it, the perfect project to fall in love with crafting this Valentine’s Day!
Sara Davies, 31, is the founder of North East-based Crafter’s Companion after setting up the company from her bedroom whilst at university. The £10m company now designs, manufactures and sells craft-related products to people across the world through retail outlets, online and TV shopping channels. Sara regularly features on the Create & Craft TV channel and presents craft show ‘Be Creative’ on prime-time, national mainstream TV.
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.