Festive Craft Workshop with #LauraAshleyXmas at Rosylee Northern Quarter

This Christmas is going to be extra special to spend some real quality time with my family, and for some reason when its times like this, I love to get crafty. I was delighted to be asked to come along to the Rosylee in the Northern Quarter on behalf of Laura Ashley to try my hand at some festive crafts.

I had been to the venue before and love the opulence of it. The dark wood and glitzy lights really set it apart from the other slick and trendy places which are situated around it.

When I arrived there was already loads of bloggers there, it was nice to see Ellie from Life of Ellie Grace who I had met the week before on the Greggs Festive Cruise and Emma from What Emma Did who I met at the Nutri Kitchen Smoothie Wars event.

First of all I went to learn how to make origami boxes. I was pretty impressed to learn that the boxes didn’t involve any glue and were purely held together with folds and a few cuts. We got our hands on some beautifully designed wallpaper from Laura Ashley. The photos of the items really don’t give it justice, beautiful colours and a lovely smooth matt finish. I decided to go with the Summer Palace wallpaper design as I was drawn to the butterfly and bird design. Whilst it was a festive workshop I think the design would work all year round. As the wallpaper was the perfect thickness it meant that the boxes we were about to make were quite strong.

Origami box

Our tutors from Ministry of Craft took us through the folding process step by step and eventually we were left with a beautifully tight fitting gift box. We were all discussing what else these could be used for and as they are so study we thought about desk tidys, make up holders and generally to keep hold of your bits and bobs. The first one did take a while to get right however once you learnt the process making the lid was really simple. You could easily whip up one of these in 10 mins or so once you knew what you were doing.

Instructions on how to make the box are here

http://blog.lauraashley.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Quick-and-easy-origami-box-tutorial.pdf

After the box was complete we went on to making the huge bow to go on top. This was made through cutting various sized strips of the wallpaper and twisting them in a figure of eight design,, securing them with double sided tape. Seeing these huge bows for sale in shops makes you think they are impossible to make, I was shocked at how easy it was and also how effective you can make a gift look. I chose a different design of paper however when making a box and bow again in the future I would love to use neon or glittery paper to make a really fancy design.

box and bow

You can make your own bow by following the instructions on how to make a bow here

http://blog.lauraashley.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Super-sized-bow-instructions.pdf

We had a break for some food and was treated to mini canapés. There was an interesting selection of cheese tarts, mackerel topped bruchetta and mini Yorkshire puddings filled with strips of beef and horseradish served on paddle boards. The mini yorkshires were my favourite, really original and looked really interesting, the event was held on a Sunday afterall.

canape

After a brew and a chatter we all got back to the important task of crafting. This time our group moved over to the row of sewing machines and took up our positions. I don’t think I have used a sewing machine since I was about 12 in home technology. we were going to construct a drawstring gift bag with a bunting design on the front which could be used as a gift sack for a small gift.

sewing machine

We were handed a lovely soft piece of red hessian and its strange how quickly all my sewing skills came back to me. I really enjoyed using the machine and managed to whip up the bag below in not much time at all. It just goes to show what you can do when you have the right materials. I felt proud that I had actually managed to make something so nice.

gift sack

I think the items we made look lovely and would make even a really rubbish gift look great. I’d personally love to receive a present wrapped in such a thoughtful way. I definitely think it means so much more when you get a gift which you know someone has spent time making.

I’d like to thank Laura Ashley for inviting me to the event and to Ministry of Craft for all the new skills I learnt!

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