Did you know this stuff grows in the wild in so many public places across the UK for about 4-6 weeks of the year. And it comes back again every year.
Something we trrrry to do is go on an elderflower foraging hunt at this time of year. We come back with a bag of freshly picked elderflower and love turning it into something yummy.
Over the years we’ve made, gin, cordial, wine, but this year we found a fab recipe for orange and elderflower jam. And I can proudly confirm after nearly finishing a loaf of bread, it’s delicious on toast!
Where can I find it?
Elderflower is abundant throughout the UK, in woods and along roadside hedgerows. From late May you’ll see masses of tiny white flowers hanging in sprays which develop into purple elderberries later in the summer.
What does it look like?
Credit: Pete Holmes / WTML
The flowers are flat-topped clusters of tiny, creamy-white flowers, the fragrance is sweet and summery.
If you come across any on your daily wanders, why not take a little home to make something yummy too!
Here’s a few recipes we’ve enjoyed over the last few years to inspire you!
The best gifts are handmade and this one’s an easy one for anyone to make.
You’ll need a plain mug which you can pick up from most homeware shops, a few coloured sharpie pens and a packet of alphabet stickers, both can be purchased from Hobbycraft or a general Craft Store.
If you’re gifting this for someone, you could personalise this by using the first letter of their name. Choose your letter or letters and stick them on the mug. Then with your sharpie pens, draw hundreds of tiny dots around the letter. For added effect, use a few colours and gradually fade and make the dots more spaced out the further you get away from the sticker.
Once you’re happy, peel off the sticker from the mug and you’re left with an outline of the letter.
There you have it, fill it with treats, their favourite teabags or a packet of biscuits and you’ve got a beautiful hand personalised gift.
A quick note, these dots won’t survive in the dishwasher, so handwash them only 🙂
Looking for an anniversary gift idea? This creative make could be the one.
I created this fancy number to give to the husband as my 2nd wedding anniversary gift. I secretly knew I would appreciate this much more than he would, I also knew my hallway would look that lil’ bit cuter coz of it too! The husband of course is blissfully unaware of my crafty tactics!
Traditionally, 2nd anniversary is cotton, so I wanted to incorporate cotton fabric in there some how and came up with this…
I bought an ikea box frame (£3.50 in white or black), and got 2 spoons personalised by ‘Washed Up Wood’, they can engrave anything you like onto a spoon! Covered the backing of the frame with fabric and held it in place using super glue on the back of the board.
I tied the spoons together using coloured string and then tied this string around the board and made a knot at the back. It held in place naturally due to the tightness of the knot at the back, so no need for glue here.
I attached a flower to cover the knot on the front of the spoons and placed this into the box frame.
If you’re looking for a handmade gift idea, here’s one for a friend or loved one.
Do you like receiving happy mail? Me too, I’ve been given a few packs of beautiful postcards and notelets which I can now send to some of my friends when I want to say hello, or thank you in the post.
I wondered if I could make my own notelet kit for my friend who LOVES sending little cards and notes. So I made this little kit filled with lots of love and decorated paper to use to send to people.
2 sheets of A4 card
Double sided tape
All of these can be bought from most craft shops like Hobbycraft. Take one piece of A4 card and cover it in your decorated paper, I used this pink stripy paper shown in the photo below. Use double sided tape to stick it to the card (I find you get less air bubbles/glue bumps). This will become your cover of your writing kit.
Now lightly score 2 parallel lines where the cover of your book will fold. I made mine to have a spine of about 1 inch thick which is just enough to hold several letters and envelopes.
Next take the second sheet of card, hold it landscape, and cut a vertical line down the middle of the card so you end up with 2 equal sizes of A5 card.
Score 4 parallel lines along each sheet of A5 card of where you want the folds for the pocket to be. See the photo below for help on how I folded mine. These 4 fold lines will create a ‘tab’ that will be the actual bit that sticks to the inside cover of your book.
Before you stick it down, cover in your decorative paper, maybe use a different one to the one on the main cover. No need to cover the whole of the tabs as these won’t be seen. I then used double sided tape on the tabs of the pockets, and stuck them down.
Once stuck down, I stuck a little bit of string on the inside of each pocket at the bottom which ensures nothing falls out. I used Sellotape for this. You shouldn’t be able to see the string on the outside of the kit.
Next the fun bit… Decorating the letter paper and envelopes! I used my alphabetical stamps, washi tape and some embellishments I had in my craft box. See some ideas you could create…
Then, cut a piece of string to go all the way around your book plus extra to tie a bow. Tie it into position, tying your book firmly shut. Then cut out a rectangle of decorative paper and stick this on top of the string on the front cover, holding the string in position. I then decorated this rectangle personalising it for my friend using lettered stickers and ribbon.
Fill up your writing kit and your sorted! You could add a loop of material to hold a pen if you’re keen. Add stamps to the envelopes and you’re good to go! A lovely little handmade gift idea for any budding writer!
This gift idea for families is a thoughtful handmade touch great for Christmas or new baby announcements.
This great prezzie is a personalised frame filled with all their names scrabble style!
Firstly draw out your design on paper to check all the families names link up and then buy all the letters you need. My trusty friend eBay has many sellers with wooden scrabble letters available either as single letters to buy, or a full scrabble board’s worth.
Next choose a decorative sheet of paper for the background of your design and cut out the desired shape for your frame.
I bought a selection of box frames from ikea, they have various sizes in either white or black very reasonably priced too! If your a crafter, it might be worth buying a few of these as they are great for displaying your work of art!
Place all of your letters on the decorative paper in the design you’d like it. Make sure everything’s straight and parallel to the edge of the decorative paper as it would look bent when displayed in the frame. Using superglue, glue each piece down with a little glue along the edge of any letter touching another letter.
Wait for it to dry and insert into your box frame et voila!
A barn wedding is always such a privilege to decorate. Most of the time, the barns are so magnificent, it doesn’t need a lot to impress your guests! I love the look of the brown wood against the lace and white fabrics of the table cloths.
We recently helped the lovely Nicky & Oliver with their beautiful barn wedding. The venue looked stunning, we loved all of their great ideas they chose – my favourite was their table numbers.
Our hessian chair tie backs all behaved themselves adding a touch of vintage to the room. Take a look through some of the photos we shot.
If you’d like help decorating your venue, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Nappy cake designs! Here they are, we’ve made a fair few, so I thought I’d save some of our favourite designs all in one place. I’ve also included a tutorial of how I made my first ever one.
If you’re looking to try making a creative gift for the next baby shower you attend, this handmade gift will be pretty unique and incredibly useful! It will also remove the chances of you turning up with the same gift as someone else!
My first ever nappy cake:
about 60-70 nappies (I’d recommend buying size 3, they’re a good width and if the mama has a big baby they’ll fit!)
All of these except the nappies can be purchased from a craft store e.g. Hobbycraft.
Start by rolling up each nappy, into a toilet roll shape, and secure with a small rubber band. Then when you have enough to make the base layer of the ‘cake’, stand them all up and make a circular shape. When you’re happy take a piece of string and tie it around really tight to ensure all the nappies are behaving! Then repeat this and make the remaining two other layers of the cake.
I then measured the height of each layer and cut a long piece of wrapping paper to wrap around the edge of each tier (like where you would ice the cake) I wrapped it round and stuck down with a piece of sticky tape. Then tied a pretty ribbon on top of the wrapping paper, around the middle of each layer. I added a chocolate lollypop at the top which had the ‘happy birthday’ message on, something that my niece could actually enjoy! Et voila 🙂
Here’s some of our other nappy cake designs that we’ve created more recently:
The perfect handmade gift for any chocolate fan! A mini parcel filled with all the ingredients you need to make the best hot chocolate known to man!
First I melted my fav chocolate into a heart shaped ice cube tray, once it started to set, I pushed a disposable wooden teaspoon into each cube and left to harden. (Teaspoons and ice cube tray are on eBay at super cheap prices)
Then I filled clear mini cellophane sachets (also bought from eBay) with lots of sweet treats, some with marshmallows, some with deluxe hot chocolate powder, some with chocolate sprinkles. I sealed each sachet with a handmade sticker by stamping snowflakes onto plain white parcel stickers just to add a Christmassy touch!
Once my heart shaped chocolates (with wedged in teaspoon) had set, I removed them from the ice cube tray and put each one into a clear cellophane bag – and sealed the same way with a sticker.
When you have all the different sachets filled, pack them into a mini bundle, one of each one. I used clear display bags with a gold pattern on and tied with a ribbon.
I then printed out instructions on how to enjoy and decorated the reverse for an additional decorative touch and tied to the ribbon.
Here’s a gift I’ve made for a few of the ladies in my life! Skittle flavoured vodka!
I bought a few 250ml Kilner clip top bottles, filled them with vodka and popped in about 20 of their favourite coloured skittle. It’s best to stick to one colour of skittle type in each bottle as it could look quite mucky in colour if you went for the fruit salad option!
Leave them to stand for about 3 days, and by the power of magic the skittles disappear! You’ll need to filter them a few times though to drain away some of the sugary sediment left at the bottom of the bottle. To do this, either grab some muslin and pour the vodka over it into another container, or a paper coffee filter works well. When you’re done, pour the magic juice back into your bottles and design a tag to go around the neck.
I wrote some serving suggestions of ways best to enjoy – with lemonade and ice or neat on the rocks!
Great prezzy for alcohol drinking chummys – it taste delicious and is handmade with lurrrrve 🙂
This handmade gift idea is such a lovely thing to make for any friend, partner or family member.
I made this gift for my husband. I thought of 52 reasons why I love him and listed each one in this handmade gift. To be honest I think I probably appreciated this gift more than he did! (He’s not a handmade gift kinda guy shall we say!)
Personalised deck of playing cards
I ordered a pack of playing cards which I had personalised with a photo of the two of us. (You can type into google “personalised playing cards” and there are many online retailers to choose from)
Once the pack arrived, I designed two playing card sized covers, one for the front and back. I used thicker card for this.
I decorated the front with alphabet stickers – that said “52 reasons why I love you”.
I then hole punched everything and thread coloured string through each playing car to create a mini book.
Then with a marker pen I wrote a reason on each card. I gotta admit some of the reasons did stretch my imagination! But call it a test to your relationship! Can you name 52 reasons for your loved one?
This would be a great gift for any loved one, I personally think it’s adorable!
It has come to the end of the school year here, that day teachers have been dreaming of… 6 weeks off! Thought I’d post pictures of a gift I made for my bestie who’s an amazing teacher.
It involved 2 boxes of crayola wax crayons, a tube of ‘no more nails’ (which by the way is my solution to most problems in life – it fixes everrrrything!!) a bit of patience and a sharp knife.
I saw the idea online and thought I could conquer this one! It wasn’t too difficult, I printed out the letter in the font I wanted to use as a trace. Placed the card I stuck the crayons to, on top of the traced letter and then I was able to see the letter through to use as a guide.
I did a dummy run to check I had enough crayons in the right colours first, then off I went – hacking away at each crayon making it the right length! They are very easy to saw, the hardest bit is ensuring the thin paper wrapping on each crayon doesn’t tear and look messy. Once happy with the length, apply a line of glue down the edge of the crayon and hold in place for a few seconds.
And there you go, a gift filled with so much love! I have told my friend though, she can only marry someone with a surname beginning with P!