Author Archive

Christmas Decor for Cottage Owners

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Pin It

Christmas time is here and it has brought with it festive cheer, flashing lights and a mass of chocolates (just us?) We know how important those little touches to your holiday property can be to guests, particularly at Christmas time, so we thought we would write up a blog post giving you some inspiration on decorating your holiday property for those festive guests.

A Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Decoration

Image via Flickr

So obvious that I wasn’t sure whether to include it! No Christmas is complete without a tree but they are quite bulky and not the best for travelling. Save space in your guests’ car and save them time by having a tree up and decorated when they arrive.

A Plate and Mug for Father Christmas

Father Christmas Treats

Image via Flickr

Travelling around the world giving gifts to everyone on the nice list is pretty tiring, and we have word that Father Christmas gets a little peckish! Why not provide a fun plate for children to use so that they can leave out a mince pie and milk for the big man in red. Don’t forget a carrot or two for the reindeers!

Psst! We hear that Father Christmas is quite a fan of these festive tipples, as well…

Tableware

Christmas Tableware

Image via Flickr

What is Christmas lunch without a tablecloth and centre piece? Whether you go for a fun, novelty throw away table cover or something a little more traditional and plush, leave one for your guests. This will make their holiday property feel a little more like home, even more festive and also has the benefit of protecting your dining room table! Providing a matching centre piece or candles can really add to the festive feeling.

Little Touches

Little Touches at Christmas

Image via Flickr

Christmas is not all about the big things; it is the small and thoughtful things that can really make a difference. Why not leave some crackers (the edible, or the pulling kind) for your guests and add some festive sweets or biscuits to your welcome pack? If your property is dog friendly, don’t forget to put in some treats for the pooch – it’s these little things that can make a lovely festive addition that your guests are sure to love!

Pin It
Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Simple Handmade Crafts: A Guide for Beginners

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
Pin It

Curious about craft but not sure how to get started? To inspire you to give crafting a go, we asked six bloggers to come up with a craft that’s simple to make at home or on holiday. Each are inexpensive to make and require little specialist equipment, making them a wonderful keepsake or thoughtful gift.

Take a look at the full guide below, or scroll down and follow the links to see the single guides as created for us by some very talented craft bloggers.

Sykes-Cottages-Simple-Beginners-Craft-Guide

Copy and paste the code below onto your website to share with your readers

 To see each of these tutorials individually and to check out the websites of the talented crafters who kindly created them for us follow these links below:

Upcycled Phone Cosy by Live It. Love It. Make It

Spiral Earrings by e-eliseETC

Penguin Finger Puppet by Craftsonsea

Fabric Bow Keyring by The Things She Makes

Winter Spiced Candles by ReallyPrettyUseful

Crochet Tablet Cover by Beak Up Crafts

If you make anything from our craft guide, why not take a picture of it and let us know – we’d love to see! Share your photos with us on Facebook or Twitter using the #SimpleCrafting hashtag.

Pin It
Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Simple Handmade Craft Guide: Upcycled Phone Cosy

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
Pin It

Mobile phones are notorious for getting scratched screens, especially when they’re rattling around in a bag or pocket! To get around this, why not create a handmade phone cosy to keep your smart phone protected from damage and scratches? If you’re not sure how then read on for this tutorial, created by H and Sammy from Live It. Love It. Make It. on how to create an Upcycled Phone Cosy using a scrap of denim.

Sykes-Cottages-Craft-Guide-Phone-Cosy

Copy and paste the code below onto your website to share with your readers

“We love making these phone pouches as gifts for our friends and family, everyone has a phone that needs a cosy place to live in and stay protected.”

You will need

phone-case-diy (1)

a scrap of denim, a felt square, embroidery thread, sewing needle, scissors, a pen and a phone to use for size.

How to

Upcycled Phone Case Steps 1-2-4

Step 1. Take your scrap of denim and place the phone you want to make the case for (or a similar one) and draw around it leaving a 1.5cm distance around the phone.

Step 2. Cut out the shape and use it to cut a second piece the same size.

Step 3. Use these denim pieces to cut two more pieces the same size from the felt. Then trim away a little from the edges of the felt to make them slightly smaller than the denim.

Step 4. Using the phone as reference, mark one of the denim and felt pieces about 0.5 cm down from the top of the phone.

Upcycled Phone Case Steps 5-2-8

Step 5. Trim away the top above where you have marked and do the same on the other pieces. Cut a small triangle in the top centre.

Step 6. Take your embroidery thread and stitch a simple line across the top of both the front and back pieces of your phone cosy.

Step 7. Place both pieces felt side together and sew all the layers together. Don’t sew too close to the edge so you can leave space to fray out your edges.

Step 8. To finish off your cosy, pull at a few of the threads on each edge to give it a worn, distressed look.

phone-case-diy (4)

And there you have it a lovely little quick and easy gift for anyone young or old, If you want to get fancy why not personalise it by embroidering an initial or name on the outside of the person you would like to give it to?

This Upcycled Phone Cosy tutorial was created by, and contributed to our craft guide by H and Sammy from Live It. Love It. Make It. You can also find H and Sammy on twitter, instagram, facebook.

Want to see another craft? Click here to go back to the guide’s main post.

Pin It
Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Simple Handmade Craft Guide: Spiral Earrings

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
Pin It

Jewellery is the ideal gift, either for yourself or for someone else! Erin shared with us this easy to follow tutorial to make a pair of spiral earrings; once you’ve made the earrings, why not try making a matching bracelet and necklace?

Sykes-Cottages-Craft-Guide-Earrings

Copy and paste the code below onto your website to share with your readers

This tutorial will show you how to use basic wirework techniques to create a pretty pair of earrings – a perfect project for beginners! This method can also be used to make a charm for a matching necklace, creating a lovely gift set.

What you need

Materials

sterling silver wire (0.6-0.8mm diameter works well), six Jade rondelle beads (tutorial uses 4x6mm), wire cutters, round and flat nose pliers, a pen & a small file (optional)

Steps one and two

Step three

Step 1: First up is creating the beaded charm for the earrings. Start by cutting a piece of wire approximately 2” long then use your flat nose pliers to bend the very end of it round into a small loop – this will be the centre of your spiral.

Step 2: Take your flat nose pliers and clamp the centre loop still with one hand then begin to wrap the length of wire around it with the other. After two or three complete wraps you should be left with a small spiral.

Step 3: Use your pliers to bend the wire at the end of the spiral at a right angle away from it then thread on the three beads.

Step 4

Step five and six

Step seven

Step 4: To turn this into a charm bend the remaining wire at right angle just above the top of the last bead then use your round nose pliers to create a small hanging loop completing your first charm. Repeat this process to create one for the second earring then set aside whilst you work on the earring wires.

Step 5: To make an earring wire take another 2” length of your wire and use round nose pliers to create a loop at one end just like the one created in step 4 – this will allow you to attach on the charm.

Step 6: Bend the length of wire around a pen or other small round object to create the curved shape then use flat nose pliers to bend the other end of the wire outwards slightly. Again, repeat this process so that you have two earring wires. If the cut ends of the wire are sharp you may wish to file them down slightly.

Step 7: Use pliers to carefully open up the loop on your first earring wire and thread on your charm, then use the pliers to close the loop securing the charm in place. Repeat this for the second earring and you’re done!

To see more of Erins lovely crafts and creations visit her website, e-eliseetc and you can follow Erin on twitter @eeliseetc.

Want to see another craft? Click here to go back to the guide’s main post.

Pin It
Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Simple Handmade Craft Guide: Penguin Finger Puppet

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
Pin It

Finger puppets are so much fun, no matter your age and creating them is even more fun! Why not try out this easy to follow tutorial to make a penguin finger puppet? Once you’ve created the penguin why not try other animals and create a whole zoo of finger puppets? They’re fun to make and fun to play with!

Sykes-Cottages-Craft-Guide-PenguinPuppet

Copy and paste the code below onto your website to share with your readers

What you need

Materials

How To

One to four1

 

Step 1: Draw a template of your penguin onto a folded piece of paper and cut it out to create two penguin shapes; one for each side of the puppet. Use this to create a template to make sure that the puppet will fit your finger by pinning the sides of the paper template together and placing it on your finger.

Step 2: Pin the paper templates to your black felt and cut out around them to create the front and back of your penguin.

Step 3: Take one paper template and draw the white part of the penguin on to it and cut this out to create a template for the penguin’s body. Now pin this to your white felt and cut around the paper template to create the white part of your penguin’s body.

Step 4: Use your orange felt to cut out a beak and two feet.

Five to Seven1

Step 5: Pin the white body onto one of your black shapes and sew into place, then sew on the beak and feet.

Step 6: Pin the two sides of your puppet together. Begin stitching from the inside out of your puppet to ensure that any knots used to secure your thread will be hidden on the inside of the puppet. Remember, don’t sew along the bottom of your puppet – otherwise your finger won’t get in!

Step 7: Once your penguin is stitched together, fix the googly eyes in place with super glue. Your puppet is now ready to play with!

For more craft tutorials by Kate visit her blog, Crafts On Sea. You can also follow Kate on pinterest, instagram or like her page on facebook.

Want to see another craft? Click here to go back to the guide’s main post.

Penguin Finger Puppet

 

Pin It
Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.