Top 5 Pumpkin-Themed Makes!

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With Halloween peeping its scary little face around the corner we’ve been scouring the Internet looking for spooky inspiration for crafts and bakes. As our Little Buttons are a bit young to appreciate the ghoulish fun of the festivities we thought we would pick 5 pumpkin-related projects.

1. Pumpkin Cake Pops

Our latest post for Hobbycraft is a batch of pumpkin cake pops. These would look great on a Halloween party table. Our Little Buttons seemed to enjoy them!

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2. Pumpkin Hairband
For a really quick costume for babies how about this pumpkin hairband or hairclip.

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3. Pumpkin Pinata Party Cake
This was a cake we designed last year for a Halloween party. The sponge is packed with trick and treats and is covered in an orange buttercream.

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4. No-bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
This really looks delicious for Halloween, special occasions, or actually any time at all!

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5. Glitter Pumpkin DIY

A simple craft to add a touch of elegance to pumpkin decorating. No scary faces in sight!

 glitter pumpkin

 ~ Tia & Laura xx ~

Sparkly Superhero Cape

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My Little Button has taken to wearing her bath towel as a superhero cape of late, so I thought I’d make her an actual super ‘H’ cape in case she wanted to practise her superhero skills in public, with clothes on!

You will need:

  • 1/2 metre of fabric for the backing
  • 1/2 metre of fabric for the front
  • Matching felt to the front fabric for the letter

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1. Begin by drawing and cutting out the pattern as above. Place the template on folded fabric. The measurements I used for my 18-month-old were 62cm for the total length of the cape and 34cm for the width at the bottom. The cape gradually gets smaller as it goes up towards the neck.

2. Pin your front and back fabric to the pattern and cut out. Leave a 1cm seam allowance when cutting.

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3. Snip the top of the neck hole (as per the photo) and round off the edges.

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4. Design your superhero logo. I used Arial Black for the lettering (size 400), printed it on paper, and cut it out of felt. I printed a star to the size of an A4 sheet of paper and cut this out of the backing fabric.

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5. Pin the star and letter to the back and centre of the cape and sew in place.

6. Pin the front and back pieces right sides together and sew with a 1cm seam allowance. Leave about 4 inches along the bottom edge for turning the cape the right way out.

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7. Make small snips around the corners of the cape to help give them a rounded effect.

8. Turn the cape the right way round and slipstitch the opening closed.

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9. Sew a piece of Velcro to the neck tie.

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KAPOW! You’re then ready to unleash your superhero in public! Watch out Brighton – Super H is coming for you!

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~ Laura xx ~

Meet a Maker on Hobbycraft

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This week we were interviewed by Hobbycraft for their ‘Meet a Maker‘ feature. We were asked about our inspiration, our favourite crafts and how we make time for crafting (erm… we are regularly sitting at the sewing machine at midnight!). To have a read of the interview, head over to Hobbycraft now.

Tia & Laura x

Our #Bakeface Chocolate Brownies

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We were very lucky to be sent this gorgeous hamper of baking goodies from the lovely people at Billingtons. They asked if we’d like to take part in their #bakeface competition (where you bake some goodies and upload the picture of you stuffing it into your face!)  With the ‘help’ of our little ones we made a batch of Billingtons brownies using the contents of the hamper. They were so delicious – crisp* on the outside and deliciously gooey on the inside. Our toddlers loved them.

*we actually burned them a bit… but we think it added to the flavour!

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To make a batch of these brownies you will need:

  • 250g Billington’s Unrefined Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 350g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 100g Billington’s Natural Glacé Cherries (optional)

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Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5, line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

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Whisk the eggs until pale and fluffy. Add the Dark Muscovado Sugar and whisk until thick. Gently fold in the chocolate. Sift in the flour and fold in until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the glacé cherries.

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Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until you see a paper-like crust on top. There should still be some movement in the centre of the tin.

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Remove from the oven, leave to cool, then cut into squares.

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Yum!

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~ Tia & Laura xx ~

Balloons Baby Dress Tutorial

baby dress tutorialI’ve made a few attempts at following patterns to make myself some clothes recently.  I made two skirts and a dress. Well, both the skirts came out too small (I am telling myself it was the pattern. It WAS the pattern) and the dress didn’t fit round my boobs. All that lovely fabric… ugh. So, sod that – I’m having a break from adult sized clothes! But I love making baby dresses – they use less fabric, don’t require much shape and take a lot less time.

This dress is pretty easy – it follows a similar method to the little bunny dresses we made for Hobbycraft back in the spring. I made a dress to fit my 6 month old, but you can make it to any size – just select an existing non-stretch dress in a similar style to get the measurements. This dress is reversible by design too – you just need to use poppers rather than buttons and skip the pockets. This tutorial is for a pinafore dress. The dress you use as template doesn’t need to be a pinafore – it just needs to give you a guide for width, height and arm holes.

You will need:

  • existing dress for template
  • tracing paper
  • fabric for dress
  • fabric for lining
  • fabric scraps for applique
  • bondaweb
  • buttons

1. Place the template dress onto some tracing/parchment paper and, using a ruler to give accuracy (and adding a 3/4 seam allowance), draw around one side and along the top and bottom to the centre point of the dress. You could draw around the whole thing but this method ensures symmetry.

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2. Fold the paper in half and cut out the template. You now have the template for the front of the dress. For the reverse, you just need to trace the front panel and add an inch to the top of the strap, as below right.

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3. Pin the templates to the fabric. Cut a front and back piece from both the outer and lining fabric.

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4. Place the front fabric and lining pieces right sides together and pin along the top, from one armhole to the other (so… all the curved bits!). Sew this together with a 3/4″ allowance. Repeat for the back of the dress and snip all along the curved stitching.

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5. Turn both pieces the right way out and press.

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6. Cut a pocket shape from some paper. Cut a piece of outer fabric slightly bigger than the paper – apart from the top as this will be binded. Press the edges in around the paper. Take a thin strip of lining fabric, fold over twice and sew this in place along the raw top edge of the pocket.

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7. Being careful NOT to sew the lining (I absolutely did not do this…) sew the pocket onto the centre of the front of the dress. I used satin stitch.

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8. Cut out some balloon shapes from scraps of fabric adhered with bondaweb. Position these in place along the bottom of the dress and press to set. Finish with blanket stitch for a neater finish. Sew lines for the string.

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9. Now take the front and back pieces of the dress and open them out. Place them so that the linings face each other and outer fabric faces each other (both should be right sides together). Pin together ensuring that the arm holes are matched up. Sew with a 3/4″ seam allowance, all the way along. press the seams open.

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10. Try the dress on to check fit at this point, and place a pin on the front  straps for the location of the buttons. Sew buttonholes on the back straps and buttons on the front. Use a stitch ripper to open up the holes.

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11. Finally, finish the hem of the dress by folding over twice so that the lining is visible on the outside of the dress. Sew along the out-turned lining.

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Tia x

***ps special thanks to Viv over at Binoracle for finding me this lovely star lining fabric on the street! One (wo)man’s trash…***

A Few Of Our Favourite Things

little button diaries a few of our favourite things

1. Gaviscon - Now that I’m in my third trimester, like loads of expectant mums I’ve been suffering with horrible heartburn. My bottle of Gaviscon has become an essential handbag item and I actually can’t live without it at the moment! If you are suffering from heartburn or indigestion symptoms (3/4 of pregnant women do!) then Gaviscon is definitely the best thing you can get and it works instantly to get rid of the acid. Gaviscon’s website is also a great place to pop over to for loads of information and help on dealing with heartburn during pregnancy.

2. Puky Bikes – I’ll admit, not the best name… but these balance bikes from Germany are brilliant. Amelie had a little ride on a friend’s back in the spring and she loved it so much that we have just bought her one now that she’s a bit older. They’re relatively inexpensive, really solid and don’t half zip across the park (whether that’s a good thing or not I don’t know!).

3. Ocado – It’s taken me a while to get this buzz. I had avoided shopping at Ocado because I thought it would be expensive. But it actually isn’t, it’s pretty comparable with the other supermarkets. It has a massive range of products and does some great deals, vouchers and loyalty offers. The food arrives separated into labelled bags, and after my first order they sent me a beautiful bumper pack of new mummy things, which (in my exhausted emotional state) made me a little bit tearful. I know, that’s insane. I cried at a supermarket.

4. Mini Boden – I was really impressed with a recent purchase from this British clothing range. I’ve just bought my Little Button these velvet bunny slippers for Christmas, and they came with super quick delivery and are even more luxurious and cuter than I imagined. After purchasing the slippers Mini Boden sent me a £10 gift voucher and a 15% discount code, to entice me to shop there again. I didn’t really need any more encouragement but the gesture was a nice one.

5. Having both just got back from our Center Parcs holidays we wanted to include it in our list of Favourite Things. We both had such a nice time at their Longleat and new Woburn sites that we’re already considering booking for next year! They cater for children of all ages really well and the lodges you stay in have the perfect amount of space and privacy regardless of whether you’re staying with friends or family. You can see highlights from our trips in our Life In Pictures.

6. Triple Thick gloss glaze – if you’ve read any of my craft posts you’ll see that I’m a bit obsessed with this craft varnish. Who needs mod podge – seriously, go out and buy yourself a jar of this stuff! It’s a high gloss varnish that gives a gorgeous glass-like finish to anything you paint it onto. I use it to finish all my projects – wooden, clay and plastic. I have tried loads of varnishes in the past and this one is the best by a big margin. If you’re a crafter, I suggest you try it and spread the love!

~ Tia & Laura xx ~

No Bake Coconut Ice Squares

no bake coconut ice little button diariesI love coconut ice, it reminds me of my childhood and I’m not proud to say I can eat a whole block of it in one go. In fact that is exactly what I was doing when I pondered the idea of making it myself. After a bit of googling I found a recipe on BBC Good Food (click here to view) and realised that it was in fact astonishingly easy and only requires 4 ingredients. Hooray!

Ingredients:

  • 250g condensed milk
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 200g dessicated coconut
  • pink edible food colouring, optional

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Method:

1. Using a wooden spoon, mix together the condensed milk and icing sugar in a large bowl. It will get very stiff. Work the coconut into the mix until it’s well combined – use your hands, if you like.

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2. Split the mix into two and knead a very small amount of food colouring into one half. I may have overdone it on the food colouring a little here… it does look VERY pink. A bit… artificial looking!

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3. Dust some baking parchment with icing sugar, then shape the first half into a smooth rectangle. Place the other half on top, spreading it out as you go. Re-shape with your hands until you have a rectangle of two-tone coconut ice.

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4. Transfer to the fridge for at least 3 hours or ideally overnight to set. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and pack into bags or boxes. These will keep for up to a month at least, if stored in an airtight container. I mean, they COULD keep for a month. Or they might possibly all get eaten within a couple of days.

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Tia x