maker’s tip

The best craft projects to take on holiday!

The best craft projects to take on holidays!

The best craft projects to take on holiday!

I’m totally an advocate for taking your craft out and about. It’s a great way to pass the time plus get inspired by your surroundings! I’ve been known to take knitting to the beach, stitching on the train and even crochet to the pub! But my fave would have to be crafting on holiday. Whenever I travel, I’m never without my journal and a project to work.

Over the years, I’ve even developed a few holiday craft rituals. A trip to Melbourne is never without a visit to Morris & Sons to pick up a ball of yarn for a new scarf. And car rides interstate are all about Triple J and crochet.

But don’t get me wrong, crafting on holiday can be perilous and a little planning in necessary because not every craft matches every situation. Here’s my fave craft projects to take on a trip!

Crochet – best for plane trips and beach holidays

Whenever I know I’m going to be sitting for a while, be it on a plane or on the beach, I always make sure to pack a crochet project. They’re great because they don’t demand too much of your attention (especially if your working on something familiar like granny squares) so you can still keep up a conversation or enjoy what’s happening around you. And all you need is some yarn and a hook, which fits perfectly in your hand luggage or beach bag! And don’t worry, I’ve travelled with crochet hooks heaps of times and haven’t ever had them confiscated at security. But if you are concerned, use a bamboo or plastic hook.

When choosing your project, remember that you don’t want to be lugging around a ton of yarn so a crochet kit like this one is just perfect! That way you know you’ve got just the right amount of materials and won’t have to madly dash to the craft shop when you’d rather be relaxing!

Knitting – best for winter getaways

Knitting can be a little more complex, especially if you’re working with a pattern that requires increasing/decreasing. So knit projects are best for chilled out holidays spent by a crackling fireside with a mug of hot chocolate. And as you stitch away, your ever-growing knit project also doubles as a toasty makeshift blanket! Hooray!

As I’m not a super skilled knitter, I definitely like to work from a pattern and kit when I travel, incase I find myself stuck without WIFI and can’t google myself out of a fix! Loving this snood kit from What Jane Knits!

Embroidery – best for long car/train rides and relaxing getaways

Embroidery is great because there’s so much variety! You’ve got different stitches, threads and colours wrapped up in one cute design,  perfect for when you want to really buckle down and get into the detail of the design. I love taking some embroidery on car or train trips where I can spread out with all my threads or when I’m just taking a break and want to be distracted by some beautiful crafting! Such a wonderful, rewarding way to pass the time.

If you’re new to embroidery, hoop based projects like this one are super fun and once you’re done you can just pop it on your wall!

Journalling and scrapbooking – best for overseas travel

In my family, you simply don’t travel without a journal. It just doesn’t happen. When I’ve been overseas with my family, almost every evening is spent updating our journals with sketches, tickets, pictures and borchures from the day we’ve just had. And when I’m travelling along, I take my journal with me everywhere so I can whip it out at cafes and galleries when I’m feeling inspired. Once you get home, it’s so lovely to have a book full of memories you can flip through anytime you want to relive your trip!

Because I like to fill them with cut-outs and illustrations, my favourite journals are ring binders with good, thick paper (like this one!).

Do you love to craft on holiday? What’s your fave portable project?

How to ace handmade gift giving in 7 days

How to ACE handmade gift giving in 7 days!

How to ace handmade gift giving in 7 days

Hey movers and makers!

Today I’m super excited to be sharing a new wee e-course I’ve been working on! As you may already know, last year I put the finishing touches on my ebook ‘Make to Give’ (which you can see more of here!). This book is alllllll about handamde gift giving, a topic I’m quite passionate about!

See, the aim behind Paper & Pin and my craft practise in general is to get people making. Craft has had such a HUGE positive impact on my life and everyday I benefit from the relaxation, calm and pure joy it brings me. So rather than just sit at home and hoard all this crafty loveliness to myself, I try my best to spread the love with DIY projects, tips and inspiration!

And so with that in mind I’m so excited to be launching ‘Giving Handmade’ – a free 7 day e-course made to help you start your handmade gift giving journey!

But why handmade gifts? Well, from my chats with newbies I’ve noticed that a lot of people start crafting because they want to make something to mark an event. Like a crochet blanket for their new grandchild. Or a clothes for their kid’s birthdays. Or handmade jewellery for their friend. And I think that’s AWESOME because it totally goes along with my mantra of ‘share more craft!’ plus means that some people out there are receiving some really special gifts!

But I also realise that making gifts is kind of scary. What if it doesn’t work? Or I run out of time?! Don’t worry, I totally get it and I’ve been there! I realise it’s these fears that can often stop you from even starting a project, which is why I’ve decided to share all the tips, tricks and strategies I’ve developed over the years to make sure handmade gift giving is as easy and stress-free as it can be!

I see this e-course as kind of a companion piece to ‘Make to Give’, taking some of the best tips and tid bits from the book and delivering then to your inbox each day for a week! So, If you’re interested, all you have to do is sign up to my list here! If you’re already signed up (thanks for that!) but want to do the course as well, sign up here!

Each instalment covers a different part of the process, from planning to prep and actually starting a project! Don’t worry, there’s no long winded emails or homework, just crafty food for thought!

Maker's Tip - the best paint for (almost) everything!

Maker’s Tip – the best paint for (almost) everything!

Maker's Tip - the best paint for (almost) everything!

If there’s one thing that I always manage to stuff up, it’s mixing paint. It’s not colour that’s the problem, it’s the quantity. See, I always feel terrible when I waste paint (I’ve even been know to try and put excess paint back into the tube!) which means that I’m always over cautious and never mix enough. Cue a frustrated 10 minutes madly trying to re-match the shade!

Which is why I’m mad about sample paint pots. You know, those little tubs or tins of paint you get from the Hardware shop when you’re picking your wall colour. Well, I use them for (almost!) everything, including my photo backdrops that you see EVERYWHERE on this blog, this painted block DIY and a bunch of projects in my new ebook Make to Give! I love these pots because they only cost a couple of dollars and you can always get the exact shade you’re looking for with no mixing or re-mixing required! The paint is generally thicker than your regular acrylic craft paint so you get great coverage and once you’re done, just pop the lid back on and leave the rest for the next project.

There are definitely some things this paint probably isn’t best for, including fabric (although only if you’re planning to wash it, if not, go crazy like I did with my giant picnic rug DIY!) and paper (it’s a bit thick for painting on paper but works a treat on heavy card). And it generally doesn’t wash off clothes particularly well so remember put your painting pants on!

If you’ve got some more hot paint-related tips, let me know! And if there’s a crafty trick you’re DYING to know or just need held with a certain skill, let me know in the comments and I’ll make sure to help you out in the next instalment of Maker’s Tip :) :)