Nap Time Crafts: Sun Print Notebook


sunprint card tutorial

Before the summer is out I wanted to try making something with sunography paper. This is paper that is bleached in the sun and leaves a print of what you placed on top. I decided to rope my Little Button and her Grandpa in for this craft project and turn the results into a ‘back to school’-style notebook that would remind me of summer.

sun printing tutorial

My Little Button and her Grandpa went on a nature walk around his garden looking for suitable flowers and leaves to place on the paper to make the print.

sun printing tutorialsun printing tutorial

Once they had collected the flowers we flattened them in between two books and then carefully arranged them onto the paper.

sun printing tutorial

We left the paper in direct sunlight for 10 minutes.  We then removed the leaves and rinsed the paper under a cold tap until the water ran clear, then left it to dry.

Here’s what I learnt from this type of printing:

  • Once you’ve picked your flowers/leaves, flatten them between two books. This will give a much clearer and more defined print on the sun paper.
  • Any trace of wind in the air will move the leaves and disrupt the printing process. I learnt this the hard way after leaving it alone and coming back to discover the leaves on the floor!
  • The longer you leave the print paper in the sun the stronger the image will be. The brand I used recommended 10 minutes.
  • Direct sunlight worked best, not shade.

To make a notebook

You will need:

  • Your sun print
  • Thick card for front cover
  • Neon embroidery thread
  • Paper for pages

sun notebook diy sun print notebook diy

1. Begin by cutting out your sun print panel. Fold your front cover card in half and position the panel on the front. Attach using a small amount of glue in the centre.

   sun print notebook diy

2. Stitch round the sun print panel in neon thread using a sewing machine.

sun print notebook diy

3. Arrange your paper for the pages and fold in half. Straighten up the edges with a craft knife and cut so the papers are 1cm smaller than the front cover on all sides.

 sun print notebook diy  sun print notebook diy

4. To bind the pages and front cover together, make three holes equal distance apart on the middle pages  through to the spine of the cover with a needle. Then start your thread from the middle hole on the middle pages and thread up to the top hole on the spine. Then thread back down to the middle hole on the inside and down to the lower hole on the outside. Keep repeating this process of sewing from the middle out to the spine and going up and down the spine. This will securely attach the spine to the pages. End with the thread on the inside and tie a knot in the thread.

 sun print notebook diy

sun print notebook diy

Fingers crossed for a sunny September!
~ Laura xx ~

Coffee & Walnut Whip Cake

coffee walnut whip cake recipe

It was my lovely mother in-laws birthday recently so I wanted to make her a cake for the celebration. In true Great British Bake-Off style I went for a classic cake and a little twist – coffee and walnut whip cake. I used my favourite recipe for this cake by Lorraine Pascale from her book, Fast, Fresh and Easy Food.

To make the cake you will need:

For the sponge:

  • 175g soft butter
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 100g walnut halves
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50g wholemeal flour
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Coffee Syrup:

  • 1 tp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar


  • 400g icing sugar
  • 200g soft butter
  • 2tbsp instant coffee

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Boil the kettle and grease the baking tins.

coffee and walnut whip cake recipe

2. To make the sponge, put the coffee powder into a mug and add 2 tablespoons of hot water to the coffee. Mix until smooth. Chop the walnuts.

coffee and walnut whip cake recipe

3. Put the flours into a bowl along with the sugar and baking powder and mix. Next, add the butter, eggs, vanilla extract, prepared coffee and chopped walnuts. Beat until smooth and combined. Divide the mixture between two tins and pop in the oven for 25 minutes or until cooked.

4. To make the syrup, begin by boiling the kettle. Spoon the coffee powder and sugar into a mug and add two tablespoons and boiled water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

coffee and walnut whip cake recipe

5. Once the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven and brush the coffee sugar over the sponge. Leave the cakes to cool for a few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack.

coffee and walnut whip cake recipe

6. Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the butter to it. Beat until light and fluffy. Blend the coffee powder in a mug with 1 tablespoon of hot water and stir into the butter cream.

coffee and walnut whip cake

7. Sandwich you cakes together with a generous amount of buttercream and spread the rest on top. Add walnut whips to the centre and sprinkle a few crush walnut on top to finish.

coffee and walnut whip cake coffee and walnut whip cake  coffee and walnut whip cake

You only need a small slice at a time with a cup of tea.

~ Laura xx ~

Deliciously Cute Ice Cream Purses

icecream purse tutorial

Our latest Hobbycraft project is now on their website, and we think its pretty…erm… cool! With the summer in full swing we wanted to make a little purse to keep our ice cream change in, and to remind us of those summer nights once the sun has long gone. For the full tutorial of how to make your own, pop on over to Hobbycraft.

ice cream purse tutorial ice cream purse tutorial

~ Laura & Tia xx ~

Nap Time Crafts: Pinwheel hairclip

pinwheel hairclip tutorial a]

There’s a big pinwheel obsession going on in our household right now. Whilst playing around making paper wheels in the garden, I realised it would be just as easy to make a felt version that would make an awesome hairclip (/brooch/hairband/hatpin/keyring..?). This is a great one if you only have a short space of time and requires very little equipment. I didn’t have a hairclip base so I ripped an ugly one apart. Very satisfying!

You will need:
2 pieces of felt
PVA glue
Rotary cutter (or scissors)
A coordinating button
Needle and thread

1) Begin by measuring out and cutting two 3 inch pieces of felt.

pinwheel hairclip tutorial 1

2) Take one piece and glue one side thoroughly. Attach the two pieces together.

pinwheel hairclip tutorial 2

3) with the rotary cutter, slice the rough edges away so that each piece is lined up neatly. You could also mark a line with a ruler and use scissors, but the cutter will give a better finish.

pinwheel hairclip tutorial 4

4) now snip each corner 1 inch toward the middle of the square.

pinwheel hairclip tutorial 6

5) take one corner, fold into the centre and sew in place with a couple of stitches. Repeat the process with the other 3 corners.

pinwheel hairclip tutorial 8 pinwheel hairclip tutorial 9

6) Attach a button to the centre, then glue the clip in place on the back.

pinwheel hairclip tutorial 10 pinwheel hairclip tutorial 12

and you’re finished. A wheely gweat (oh dear me, sorry!) hair accessory.

pinwheel hairclip tutorial 14 pinwheel hairclip tutorial 16

 pinwheel hairclip tutorial 13

Tia x

Take the Shackles of My Feet So I Can Dance

…and kick. Oh, and splash!

pavlik harness

My little girl, Lilah, has been bound up in a little contraption called a Pavlic Harness for the last four months. She’s only been on the planet for five so it’s all she’s really known. The harness is a little body brace that encourages her hips to develop normally without dislocation. She has a condition called hip dysplasia, and she looks like a little teddy bear with her legs sticking out at the sides. A simple thing to fix, but a slow process and one that’s been a bit challenging. She’s been wearing it all day. Every day. Getting a little sweatier and a little grubbier by the day. Idiotically, the harness is white. We only had her home for three hours when she pooed that delightful baby poo all up the back of it. Baby wipes don’t quite cut the… er… Mustard?!

But this week, the harness came off, forever. Hooray!

We don’t talk about personal stuff much here on Little Button Diaries, but I wanted to share this. Partly because I didn’t just want to ignore it or pretend it didn’t exist, and partly in case anyone else has, or is about to experience this.  I never met another harness baby in these four months, and I was dying to talk to someone who had been through it. I wanted to ask how they found the nappy changes, the limited outfit choices, the lack of bathing, the sore patches and how to cope with a hot little baby struggling in a badly timed heatwave.

But now she’s free and kicking for Britain. She doesn’t stop kicking. Last night I peered into her crib and she was fast asleep with her little skinny legs straight up in the air.

Tia x

pavlik harness


Make a Little Girl’s Dress From A Man’s Shirt

dress from shirt tutorial

Whilst going through a bag of clothes ready for the charity shop, we found a couple of mens shirts that were too nice to get rid of.  We decided that we would snip them up and turn them into dresses for our little girls, using the buttons down the front as the buttons on the dress. We’re big fans of upcycling and this seemed like a pretty straightforward project.  It took us a while – toddlers are not the most willing of models – but we were so happy with the outcome.

For this project you will need:

  • 1 men’s shirt
  • sewing machine
  • simple non-stretch dress (for sizing)
  • tracing/baking paper
  • Matching sewing thread

1. To get measurements for the dress, take a non-stretch dress that fits and lay it out flat. Outline and cut out tracing paper.

dress from shirt tutorial 1

2. Lay the shirt flat, remove the pockets and cut off the arms and collar.

dress from shirt tutorial 3

3. Lay your template onto the remainder of the shirt and line up the buttons so they run down the front of the dress. Allowing space for a 3/4 inch seam allowance, pin to the shirt and cut around the template.

dress from shirt tutorial 4

4. With right sides together, pin and sew the side seams and shoulders. Iron out the seams flat.

dress from shirt tutorial 6 dress from shirt tutorial 5

5. Try the dress on your toddler to check the sizing is right then press. Use pinking shears to tidy up all the seams.

dress from shirt tutorial 13

6. Snip all around the armholes and neck hole. To create a neat edge, press the snipped fabric out onto the wrong side of the fabric. Pin then sew 5mm from edge.

dress from shirt tutorial 7

7. Trim off any excess fabric.

dress from shirt tutorial 12 dress from shirt tutorial 11   dress from shirt tutorial 10

8. To make the ruffle sleeves, measure the top of the armhole the length you want the sleeve to be (from top seam about 1/2 way down on each side).

dress from shirt tutorial 14

9. Draw a line on paper measuring double the length of this measurement. Then, from the centre of this line measure about 7cm (this will be the length of the sleeve). Then join up to create a curve (see photo below) to each end of the line. Fold and press the seam along the curved edge. Pin the centre of the sleeve to the top of the arm hole on the inside of the dress. To create the ruffles fold over a small segment and pin again – see the picture below for guidance. this will create the ruffle. Sew the sleeve onto the dress.

dress from shirt tutorial 16 dress from shirt tutorial 18

dress from shirt tutorial 17


And your dress is ready. Now you can go through and steal all the shirts from the wardrobe and make loads more. Whoop! We made a couple – a Hawaiian one for Harper and the striped for Amelie.

shirt dress IMG_6525dress from shirt tutorial 3 (2) dress from shirt tutorial 4 (2)

~ Tia & Laura xx ~