Thursday, 19 November 2015

re-launching into the blogosphere!

My, it's been a while since I've been here!

calaveras, roses, autumn palette, Japanese pattern, Mexican, Los Dias de los Muertos, sugar skulls, paisley
Autumn Macabre repeating pattern collection

I have so much respect for those craft bloggers that can come up with a new project, make it, document it and write it up every single week (sometimes multiple times per week)!  I burnt myself out trying to do it, and also lost sight of what I should really be focussing on first, which is to build a portfolio of patterns and prints first, and then worry about what they may be useful for second.

orchids, roses, helleborus, batons, blossoms, peach blossom, repeat pattern, wallpaper, floral, botanical, botanical sketch, botanical art
Serene Botanicals repeating patterns

To that end, I knuckled down to completing the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design modules 2 and 3.  Such a fantastic experience, packed with invaluable resources (access to WGSN!  OMG!  I didn't think I was into following trends, but it's just so wonderfully fascinating!), not to mention the supportive Facebook groups who still share our experiences even though the course is over, as we each step into the Surface Pattern Design world in our own ways.

peony, floral, flower, wrought iron, repeat pattern, fabric design, acanthus, shabby chic
Shabby Peony pattern collection in blue

My way, as I've said, is going to centre around developing my portfolio first.  Trying to write blog posts and manufacture my own products from my fabrics was just taking up way too much time and energy, and I found I'd stopped drawing.  Not good when drawing is what I love.  So instead of doing that, I've turned instead to sharing my work on Spoonflower, Behance, Facebook, Instagram, Etsy and my brand new Redbubble shop.  This means I can create art and patterns, but still have a product focus, without being a manufacturer myself (at least, not yet!).

office supplies, stationary, mockup, peony, floral, floral repeat, shabby chic, pink, blue, intray, binder, journal, pencil case
Shabby Peony office supplies mock-ups

As you can see, I've been hard at work on different projects, producing work fairly consistently.  Now I just have to get consistent at sharing it!

Currently, I'm working on sketches for a Christmas range of patterns (a bit late in the game? probably! This year has just flown, hasn't it?) which will also be versatile enough to use at any time of the year!  I'll share as soon as they're done!

Take care,


Monday, 6 April 2015

DIY Framed Cork Moodboard

Welcome to today's tutorial.  Sorry for the lateness on this one, but with Easter going on and a two year old who is just coming to understand the wonders of chocolate, well it's been a busy weekend to say the least!  Hopefully your holiday has been peaceful and fun-filled in equal measure!  Given that we're all now recovering from chocolate comas, I thought I'd keep today's tutorial quick and easy.  Today we're making moodboards using just a frame and some cork roll, easily found at any big craft shop!  It features my rolled roses, click here to visit that post (opens in another window, so you won't lose this one!) to learn how to make simple rolled roses from fabric scraps and ribbon.

DIY corkboard moodboard tutorial cork pin roses lace shabby chic craft frame cottage

DIY corkboard moodboard tutorial cork pin roses lace shabby chic craft frame cottage
For this tutorial, you will need the following:

  • A roll of craft cork
  • a picture frame (mine is for and 8X10 and was from a discount shop, but any frame will do)
  • lace or ribbon (enough for two 20cm lengths)
  • velvet ribbon 1.5cm (I made 6 strips of 10cm each in pink and blue.  Make as many as you would like for the amount of thumb tacks you wish to use).
  • thumb tacks (brass tacks with a nice large flat face for good adherence to your roses are best)
  • double sided tape
  • scissors
  • craft glue and skewer
  • marker
  • extra strong glue (E6000 or similar)

Start by unrolling your cork, and lay it down as flat as possible.  Dismantle your frame and use the glass as a template for cutting your cork.  Use the marker to draw around the glass then cut the cork with scissors.  Depending on the thickness of your cork and the length of the points on your tacks you will probably need a few layers.  I stuck with 3 layers, which still left the tacks slightly proud of the cork, but any more than that and I wouldn't have been able to close the frame again.
To keep your cork layers together, put a strip of double sided tape along the top and bottom, and a strip down the middle of two of the layers and sandwich them all together, making sure to keep the edges as even as possible.  By putting the tape down the middle, you prevent the top layer of cork from bowing out of the frame.
Cut your lace or ribbon to two 20cm lengths and position them diagonally across two of the corners of your cork.  Pin them in place and turn the whole thing over.  Use double sided tape to secure the ends of the lace or ribbon to the back of the cork.  Remove the pins.

DIY corkboard moodboard tutorial cork pin roses lace shabby chic craft frame cottage

DIY corkboard moodboard tutorial cork pin roses lace shabby chic craft frame cottage

Now it's time to reassemble the frame.  Set the glass aside, as you won't need it (I do these sort of things a lot, stay tuned for a tutorial for what to do with that glass!).  Sit your cork in your frame and replace the back, being careful if the cork is a bit thick for your frame.  It may need some gentle persuasion.

DIY corkboard moodboard tutorial cork pin roses lace shabby chic craft frame cottage

Follow my Rolled Rose tutorial for turning the strips of velvet ribbon into pretty little roses.  Glue the roses onto your tacks with strong glue (not just craft glue, as it won't bond properly to the metal of the tacks).  Let them dry thoroughly before using.

DIY corkboard moodboard tutorial cork pin roses lace shabby chic craft frame cottage rolled rose fabric rose

Here's the result so far:

DIY corkboard moodboard tutorial cork pin roses lace shabby chic craft frame cottage

Now, at this point its perfect for a few different uses; to organise the mail or notes as part of your household command centre or office, or as somewhere to keep reminders, invitations or keepsakes.  I used mine to create a little shabby moodboard.

DIY corkboard moodboard tutorial cork pin roses lace shabby chic craft frame cottage
Ribbon, felt flowers, eyelet lace, a vintage-look label, some silk flowers, paint chips and a cute little souvenir Mum picked up in Singapore or Malaysia.  It's a great way to draw a few different things together, get them out of the drawers and up where they can be seen and give inspiration for decor or a craft project.  An option would be to replace the lace in the bottom corner with a strip of pretty fabric to make a pocket for larger items or envelopes.

So there you are, a nice easy one for the Easter recovery!  Let me know what you used your board for by leaving a pic in the comments, or on my Facebook page.

Take care,

Friday, 27 March 2015

Fairy Wishing Bottles

Origami stars are said to bring good luck when presented in jars as gifts to loved ones.  This craft puts a bit of a shabby whimsical spin on the tradition.  It's easy to do with children (even if you make the stars ahead of time) and they can make their own favours at a Fairy-themed party!

fairy wishes craft DIY book page art ribbon rose glass vial miniature

To make these cute bottles, you will need the following:

  • 6mm strips of quilling paper in pastel colours
  • 3mm satin ribbon
  • needle and thread in a colour to match your ribbon
  • small craft vial with cork
  • resin flower the same size as the cork
  • fine glitter
  • scrap of regular printer paper
  • sticky tape
  • book page
  • double sided tape
  • craft glue and bamboo skewer
  • pencil and eraser
  • scissors

glitter quilling paper book page glass vial ribbon resin rose

Quilling paper can come in a variety of widths.  For my little vial, pictured above, I used 3mm strips, but for the larger bottle, being made in this tutorial, I used the 6mm.  Each strip should yield about 4 - 5 stars.  You could, of course, use a paper trimmer to create your own strips from your choice of paper.  Just be careful that the paper is not too thin, or it will break when you try to knot it, and that it's also not too thick or it will be hard to fold.  Giftwrap would be perfect.

quilling paper star lucky origami pastel paper how to DIY craft

To make the stars, start by tying a knot in one end of a paper strip.  Carefully tighten and flatten the knot, then trim the short tail.  You should be left with a pentagon shape with a long tail.  Fold the long tail up and across the front of the pentagon.  Then fold in down the back.  Fold it back up across the top to the opposite 'shoulder' of the pentagram, then down the back again.  Tuck the long end of the strip under the top fold at the front of the pentagon.  Pull it through and then trim it so that you're left with just the pentagon.
Hold the pentagon between four fingers of your left hand, then use your thumbnail on your right hand to push into the fifth side.  Repeat for each side.  As you push into it, the star will 'puff' out.  Pinch the points to give them more definition.  Make enough stars to fill your vial without packing them down.

funnel diy glitter paper how to no mess

Next, make a simple funnel to put the glitter in the vial.  Cut a semi-circle from your scrap of paper.  Roll it into a cone, making sure the is a small gap at the bottom, and secure with sticky tape.  Place the narrow end into the vial and slowly pour in the glitter, giving the funnel a little shake now and then to help the glitter pass through.

glass vial bottle stars origami lucky wish glitter gold resin rose cork diy craft how to

When you're happy with the amount of glitter in the vial (a little goes a long way!), use the bamboo skewer to apply craft glue to the inside of the vials' rim and insert the cork.  Put some more glue on the top of the cork and stick on the resin flower.  Set aside to dry while you make the ribbon rose to go around the neck of the vial.

Thread a needle with some sewing cotton the same colour as your satin ribbon, tie a waste knot and have on standby.  Starting with about 15cm of satin ribbon, bend it at 90 degrees in the middle. If you've ever made crepe paper streamers, then this method will be familiar.  With the fold as shown below, fold the horizontal ribbon across to the right.  Fold the vertical ribbon up over the fold you just made.  Fold the horizontal ribbon back to the left, then the veritical ribbon back down.
Keep folding the horizontal ribbon across and the vertical ribbon up and down, alternating them, until you form a concertina about 2.5 - 3cm long.

ribbon rose how to diy craft concertina sewing needle and thread pink

Hold the bottom of the concertina between two fingers and pull gently on one of the ribbon ends to form the rose.  Pinch it between your fingers so it doesn't unravel, and use the threaded needle to sew a stitch or two to secure the rose.  Trim the ends of the thread to make the stitching as invisible as possible.  Use the bamboo skewer to put a dab of glue on the neck of the vial.  Hold the rose in place on the glue by wrapping the two ends of the ribbon around the neck and pinching them at the back for 30 seconds.  Glue and trim the two ends of the ribbon at the back of the vial.

glass bottle vial stars lucky origami wish gold glitter ribbon rose resin rose pastel amethyst ring

glass vial bottle cork resin rose ribbon rose origami quilling paper stars pastel lucky gold glitter

Fold your book page vertically in half, lay the vial down on the fold to give a size guide.  Draw freehand a simple butterfly wing shape and cut it out, keeping the folded edge intact.  Gently erase your pencil marks and then use double-sided sticky tape to attach the wings to the back of your vial.

book page art fairy wings butterfly wings drawing freehand folded paper

book page art craft diy fairy wings butterfly wings text  folded paper

Congratulations, you've just made a gorgeous little fairy bottle full of lucky wishing stars!

If you don't feel confident drawing your butterfly wings, try printing some out from a google search.  Or you could use a rubber stamp on some vellum.  If you're into parchment craft you could create gorgeous lacy fairy wings.  You could even sew some out of felt or embroider them!
These jars would make great table number holders or photo holders by omitting the resin flower on top, and inserting wire into the cork instead.  Coil the other end of the wire to create a folder for a piece of paper, postcard or photograph.  It could even hold earring cards, business cards or little signs on a market stall!

Fairy statuette figurine statue glass vials button resin rose ribbon rose gold glitter pastel colour quilling paper origami lucky stars wishes book page butterly wings

I made the smaller bottle first, using 3mm strips of quilling paper to give absolutely tiny little stars, and topped the bottle with a button.  I just bought a heap of these glass vials from a local discount store, so watch out over coming weeks for more projects featuring them!
By the way, the fairy figurine featured here is The Crystal Keeper by Christine Haworth.  Thanks to my family for building my fairy and angel collection over many Christmases and birthdays!

As always, I appreciate it when you take the time to make comments and I will always respond back. Don't forget, if you try any of my tutorials, please share it with me, either in the comments, on Instagram (just include @liliflorapretty in the description or comment) or on Facebook (see the link at the side to follow!)

Take care!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Shabby Rosie Posey

Welcome to this week's tutorial: making your own gorgeous little shabby chic poseys!  This tutorial will also feature a couple of alternative uses for your posies and flowers.  Let's get making!

shabby chi rose flower lace velvet button pearl bead

For this tutorial you will need the following:
  • Velvet ribbon 1.5cm wide cut to 10cm lengths (5/8ths" by 4")
  • Lace. Mine is 3.5cm cut to 12cm lengths (1 3/8ths " by 4 3/4")
  • Florists wire.  The wire used here comes in 46cm lengths (about 18"), some are left full length for beading and stringing buttons, others are cut in half for the velvet and lace roses.
  • Needle and Thread (use a colour that blends in with the lace)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Ribbon for tying posey
  • Florists or washi tape
  • Pliers (preferably a pair each of needle nose and round nose, as well as nippers for cutting the wire.  If you only have a pair of normal household pliers, that's ok.  See the notes in the tutorial about how to use these.)
  • Beads.  These could be glass or plastic.  Use a mix of pearls, rounds and spears.
  • Buttons.  Make pairs of buttons, one larger than the other.
  • Craft glue, bamboo skewer and cardboard to protect your work surface.

velvet ribbon florist wire craft glue scissors pliers ribbon beads wire


Start by forming your velvet ribbon roses.  For full instructions, check out my Rolled Rose Tutorial post.

rolled rose velvet ribbon fabric craft diy flower

Make 3 each of light pink and dark pink.

Next, make the lace flowers.  Thread a needle with sewing cotton in a colour to match your lace (mine is slightly contrasting so you can see it) and form a large waste knot at the end.  Roll up the first 2 centimetres (1") and put a stitch through the bottom of it to hold it in place.  Make large basting stitches along the bottom of your lace, then pull and coil the lace to form a ruffled rose shape.  Put a few stitches through the bottom of it, making sure to sew through all the layers.

lace rose flower wire pliers sewing

Using a pair of flat pliers (or household pliers wrapped with masking tape to soften the ridges), wrap the end of one of your half-lengths of wire around the base of the lace rose.  Make sure to enclose all the layers, and squeeze to tighten.  Make 6 lace roses.

To add stems to your velvet roses, start by making a coil at the end of one of the half-lengths of wire.  Use round nose pliers to get started (or use household pliers and bed the end of the wire around the bamboo skewer), then use needle nose pliers, to pinch the coil and bend it along the length of the wire.  When the coil is about 1cm in diameter, bend it at 90 degrees to the rest of the wire length.

wire wrapping pliers coil flower rose velvet ribbon

Use craft (or hot glue if you prefer), to bond the velvet roses to the wire coil.

To wire the buttons, use full length wires folded loosely in half.  Thread the two ends into the buttonholes (diagonally opposite if using buttons with 4 holes) of a small button and a larger button.  Hold the wire with pliers and turn the buttons with your fingers to twist the wires together and secure the button so it doesn't move.  Continue to twist the length of the wire together.  Make 3 - 4 button wires.

buttons wire pliers wire wrapping

Use a similar method for the beaded wires.  Fold a full length wire loosely in half to find the middle.  Thread the bead, pearl or crystal on one end until it's in the middle, then twist the wires by holding them near the bead with pliers and using your fingers to turn the bead.  Be careful to wind onlly tight enough to stop the bead from moving, without over winding as they can be fragile.  Make 2-3 beaded wires for each kind of bead you're using.

olive green plastic glass crystal spear briolette wire

Put together your posey by holding the stems in your hand, adding different types of roses, button wires and beaded wires, until it's all together.  Use the florist or washi tape to hold the posey together, and then use a ribbon to tie a bow.  Trim the stems as necessary with pliers.

roses flowers buttons beads crystals wire washi tape

lace buttons beads crystals wire velvet

vevelvet ribbon buttons lace beads pearls crystals

lace velvet roses flowers bouquet posey washi tape

Posey's like this make great decor and gifts, but there are many other applications for these forever flowers.
Boutonniere corsage wedding favour ribbon flowers key vintage

This boutonniere was made with a lace rose, a velvet rose, a button and a plastic rose which was attached to a wire using the same method as the velvet rose.  The stems were then wrapped in white ribbon and the vintage style key tied on with ivory ribbon.

embroidery hoop tag shabby flowers roses lace ribbon button

This wreath was made with an embroidery hoop.  Wide white ribbon was wrapped around where the flowers were going.  A posey of lace, velvet and plastic roses with bead and button wires was attached in place with pink lace and pins.  The shipping tag was stamped and the lace was attached with double sided tape before the button and rose were added with glue.  Finally, a ribbon was attached to the top of the tag and the tag attached to the hoop with double sided tape.

hair slide accessory fashion roses ribbon button velvet

Three lengths of wire were used to anchor the plastic and velvet ribbon roses.  The ends were coiled  and then the wires were glued to the middle of the slide.  The glue was hidden with ribbon and buttons glued on, then the flowers attached.

Thought of more uses for these pretty little poseys?  Let me know in the comments, and share your pics on instagram! (tag me in @liliflorapretty so I can share it)

Keep watching over the next few weeks for some exciting developments for both Liliflora Pretty and a revisit to a previous project I may have just found a happy home for!

Take care,

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Make your own Spools and Framed Business Card Holder

Two tutorials in one post!  Because both of these are so quick and easy, I'm putting them together in one post.  Enjoy!
shabby chic craft ribbon lace spools pinsfabric pockets folded frames fans please take one business card holder

First, lets learn how to make your own spools for keeping your trims, ribbons, lace and braiding neat, and even making them display-worthy!  I should firstly point out, that this is not my original idea.  I was inspired by this post by Vanessa Renders.  The post is not in English, but the pictures are very self-explanatory.  Head along to see her lovely photos, I think her spools are wonderful and make a more complete display than mine do.  The extra effort and embellishments will be sure to inspire you!

Here's how I made mine:

  • glue gun
  • toilet rolls
  • cardboard for ends (I used the flaps from a nappy box)
  • my Spool end printables, or book pages, wrapping paper, music notation or scrapbooking paper
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • trim, ribbon, lace etc.
  • pins
Toilet roll craft book page craft ribbon trim beads pearls


Start by cutting circles out of the cardboard.  Mine are 7cm in diameter and I got that by drawing around a wooden spool I already had.  Use a teacup or similar to get about the same size.  The printable circles you can download through the link above are 8cm in diameter.  Use a glue stick to attach your paper to your cardboard circles.
Cut your toilet rolls to size as well, if you wish.  I left one full size, the others I cut roughly in half.
toilet rolls cardboard craft pearls book pages

Use hot glue to attach some trim to the edges of your cardboard circles.  Most of mine are edged with twine, but one I've done with continuous pearl bead trim.  If you doubled up the thickness of the cardboard circles, you could attach a wider trim, like a braid or ribbon.
cardboard craft DIY toilet roll pearlstoilet roll craft cardboard diy pearl trim
Apply hot glue around the rim of one of your toilet rolls and place in the middle of the back side of one of your spool ends.  Hold in place for 10-15 seconds until the glue sets.  Repeat for the other side and your spool is complete!  When the glue is all set, wrap your ribbons or trims around your spool and secure in place with a pretty pin.

toilet roll cardboard craft DIY trim ribbon pearls pins book pages printables roses lace trim

toilet roll cardboard craft DIY trim ribbon pearls pins book pages printables roses lace trim

The printable for this project is basically several circles of Coy Blooms patterns.  A friend (Hi Joey!) and I brainstormed a few other uses for them, such as a garland (print several copies, cut them out and then sew them together) or as coasters (either just by laminating them, or by decoupaging them onto a cork or wooden base and sealing) or even as pretty liners for jam jar rims.  Share your ideas for how else they may be used in the comments below!

And now for our second tutorial:

fan business card holder banner DIY printable craft
This craft would be great to display business cards and brochures in a shop or a market booth or for fans at an outdoor tea party or wedding on a warm day.  It would also be great for favours at a party, like pinwheels, pencils, bubble wands, fairy wands, nail files, chopsticks or even paintbrushes.  Basically anything thin will do!

For this simple project you will need:

  • a picture frame big enough to contain the items you want to display
  • fabric
  • "Please Take One" printable banner
  • scissors
  • bone folder or embossing tool
  • double sided tape
  • fabric marker and ruler
  • items for display

frame fans printable business card scissors fabric embossing


Start by dismantling your frame, setting aside the glass and any image that was inside it.  Use the backing board as a guide for cutting your fabric.  You need a piece of fabric the same width as the backing board, and at least 1 1/2 or 1 2/3 as long.  If your fabric piece isn't big enough to give you all the length in one piece, you can cut two, with one being the size of the backing board, and the other being the 1/2 -2/3 length.
lay your fabric on the backing, fold up at the bottom then back down again to give you a pocket.  If you cut your fabric in 2 pieces, fold your smaller piece in half and lay it over the larger piece at the bottom of the backing.  Place the frame over the top and secure in place without disturbing the fabric.

frame fabric pocket tutorialframe fabric pocket cutting mat

Cut out one of the banners from the printable and use the embossing tool to mark the two folding lines on either side of the text.  Fold as per the following pictures:

printable banner folding tutorialprintable banner folding tutorialprintable banner folding tutorial

Apply double sided tape to the back of the banner ends, and then attach to your frame.  Fill the pocket with your chosen items and put on display!
fans pocket roses frame wedding idea

stripes business card holder pocket market booth styling

You can get inexpensive picture frames pretty much anywhere, I got mine from the sale bin at a discount store, but you could find them at landfill shops, charity shops or garage sales.  Got an idea about how to use the leftover glass?  Share it in the comments below!

I hope you enjoyed these tutorials and will find them useful.  Don't forget to comment, share on Google+ and Facebook or Pin these projects so you've got them for later!

Best wishes,