Archive | Gift Giving

Tips on making a photo album

Tips on making a photo albumI will admit, this is my first time making a photo album. So I guess you are thinking why on earth am I sharing my tips on this! The thing is, when I was at Uni (studied Fashion) I did my fair share of presentations in booklet form (I don’t even remember what they were called, that was such a long time ago). They were kind of similar to a photo album. At least the planning process is the same. And this is what I am going to share here about. The way I create a layout that is eye pleasing, not just how to cut and paste.

I am using our wedding album as an example as I have been putting them together over the last few weeks.

1. Select the photos that you would like in the album. Go over couple of times to see if there are any photos that look very similar. Make sure you have a good selection of pics to tell a ‘story’ including some close ups as well as the main photos. I don’t personally like a row of pics with everyone posing in the groups, unless this is the style you are aiming for of course.  Basically, aim for variation!Tips on making a photo album2. Organise your photos into subfolders. If you have a large number of photos (which you should as it is an album that you are making) then this is a must. Sorting your pics into chronological or some other order helps to spot even more photos that you don’t need. Having to deal with a big volume of photos can be quite overwhelming. So cutting them into smaller bites is always a good idea. Here are a few subfolders I made for our wedding album: preparation, church, bride and groom exit, church group pics and so on. I of course mixed a few pics in between the folders to make it look good, but organising photos this way helps to see a bigger picture. Tips on making a photo album3. Create a mock up photo album on PowerPoint (or similar program). This helps you to play around with photo layouts before it is stuck in the actual album . At this stage you can also decide on the album theme and style. You can pick the font, picture frames, layout style or even small embellishments.  It’s important not to overdo it and pick only a few theme details that will reappear throughout the album. Reappearing features (let it be one font type or frame style etc) connect an album as a whole from start to finish. Try to do the same with the photos, look out for similar colours and shapes and have a good variation (some close ups next to wider angle shots). The last thing I want to say is have fun with it. This is your photo album at the end of the day ;-).Tips on making a photo album4. Cut and paste the photos in pre-planned order. This should be quite straight forward. One thing you should remember is that the layout might not look exactly how you planned, but it will be pretty close.Tips on making a photo album Tips on making a photo album5. Fix the unexpected issues. When you plan ahead it can help you to avoid mistakes. However mistakes do still happen. If there are any issues sometimes you have to think outside the box to creatively fix them. Sometimes the fixed mistake ends up better than the original plan. When making our album I made a mistake about the number of pages. I did not want to leave the extra pages blank as it would look unfinished. I put “to be continued…” to give a sense that the story being told in the album is still ongoing.    Tips on making a photo albumI created our wedding album in one of the hand bound books I made last week. That was great as I had complete control on how many pages to insert and what type. I could even choose the most suitable cover for our wedding theme!Tips on making a photo albumI hope this inspired you to make your own photo album!

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Say it in 3D: make a pop up greeting card!

Say it in 3D: make a pop up greeting cardLet’s be honest, do you keep the greeting cards you receive for birthdays or Christmas? I don’t, although I try to reuse them in paper crafts. I know that majority of us would eventually bin them. And knowing this makes me sad :(. I don’t like the idea that we spend 2-5 pounds on the card for it to be binned. This is why I make every possible effort to make a handmade card. There are two major reasons for that. It cost practically nothing since I reuse or use up all the paper stash I have. Handmade cards have a better chance in surviving longer as it has a sentimental, caring value attached to it.

I like making my own patterns that are perfect for for making paper crafts, here is one of them ;-).Simple flower pattern for paper crafts

Say it in 3D: make a pop up greeting cardReady to make one now? Click HERE for the step by step pop-up card project.Say it in 3D: make a pop up greeting card Say it in 3D: make a pop up greeting cardHave fun!

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17 Christmas gift project ideas to start making now

17 wednesdays to go till ChristmasRecently one of our readers e-mailed me some wonderful pics of projects she completed, that she made for Christmas gifts. That prompted me to think about the gifts I am going to make this year. But how long before Christmas should you start making handmade gifts? Join our forum discussion! But for now, here are some ideas to get you started.

1. RIBBON FLOWER BROOCH, perfect for all the girls out there!Ribbon flower brooch DIY2. SIMPLE TATTED BEAD NECKLACE, another good gift for pretty ladies like you ;-)tatted bead necklace DIY3. SCENTED RICE HEARTS, quick gift to anyone (I am sure you could pull out a manly scented heart if you made it in check fabric)scented rice hearts DIY4.  HEART SHAPED SOAP, make many in one go! citronella, lemon and orange soup DIY5. ENVELOPE BOOK POUCH, great for all of those book worms out there!Easy to make envelope pouch DIY6. KNITTED SOCKS! Who doesn’t need socks?knitting socks basics7. CABLE SWEATER, for someone really really special!Cable Sweater8. FABRIC COVERED DIARY, good way to help someone to start their new year organised (subtle way to hint) :).fabric covered diary DIY9. LOAFERS FOR HIM!Loafers for him DIY10. CROCHETING/KNITTING KIT WITH COOKIES, a great gift from baker to maker! Just wrap some yarn, crochet hook/knitting needles, printed project and some cookies!crocheting kit with cookies11. TRIANGLE CROCHETED INFINITY SCARF, is the most fun to make!Crocheted Infinity Scarf12. HOMEMADE CANDIES, yum :-bvanilla and peppercorn candy13. CUSTOM TEA BAGS, another one that is great for everyone (unless they don’t like tea of course!).gift teabags DIY14. KNITTED LOAFERS, it is easer than you think.Knit Loafers15. A BIRD PILLOW, or it can be a door stopper if you filled it with rice or some stones. Oh we so need a door stopper right now for all the fire doors in our new house!Stuffed bird DIY16. APRON, that’s a perfect gift from maker to baker (or cook)!Apron DIY17. A CAT PILLOW, great for travelers or those who love cats! BTW, it turns out that I am getting a cat for my birthday! Super excited!!!A Cat pillow DIYHappy Wednesday :)

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Creative gifts: animal face cards

boy baby shower gift idea

So, my dear friend Suzanne had her baby shower this weekend and I was’t able to come :-(. Seems like I missed a lot!

In times like this I try to make up by making handmade gifts (well… almost). This time I made a lion face card to accompany this little outfit that really fits South African theme (Suzanne’s motherland). Here is how I made it:

1. I folded a card in half and drew lion’s face on one side using a pencil.

animal gift card DIY

2. when I was happy with the drawing I used some graphic colour pens to add some colour.

animal gift card DIY

3. I used black felt pen to draw round the edges

animal gift card DIY

4. I used a hole-punch to make some holes for the animal “fur”. Cut in behind the fold to make more holes on the folded side. If I did this again, I would probably hole punch all around the back card instead of the holes on the top card.

animal gift card DIY

5. Cut equal length yarn pieces and start attaching them through the punched holes.

animal gift card DIY

6. Once the “fur” is attached, the only thing is left is to write the best wishes ;-)

Animal gift card DIY


lion face gift card DIY

When it comes to gift wrapping, I like to sometimes to keep it simple. Here I used some tissue paper and colourful washi tape to decorate.

washi tape gift card


Enjoy your week, it’s only short ;-)





Creative gifts: handmade token

Handmade gift token printable

When it comes to gift giving, I love making handmade gifts. But sometimes I am just short of time. Handmade tokens just works best in these cases. Here is the one I made recently for someone who is Tottenham Hotspurs fan (I happened to live very close to football grounds). You are welcome to use this tea/coffee and cake token for your own gift giving. Just print it out and write your address ;-).

Handmade gift token printable Handmade gift token printable Handmade gift token printable

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Make your own custom chocolates

make your own chocolates

Joni often ask me what is my favourite chocolate. Well… I do like chocolate! I definitely prefer ones that have something in it like nuts. But I do like experimenting with different flavours ;-).

I made these chocolates few days ago. I went with with “chocolate bark” approach! So I melted some chocolate (about 150g), poured it into the silicon chocolate moulds and added honey roasted/salted almonds on top. Quite simple you may say! Well, it’s up to you ;-). You can make it as custom as you want. You can melt different types of chocolate and you can add all kind of candies and even crisps on top!

make your own chocolates

Freezer works the best when you want to harden these chocolates in no time!

make your own chocolates make your own chocolates

Just think how cute these chocolates be as a gift! Yey :-).

make your own chocolates

Have fun with experimenting ;-)



♥ ♥ ♥ Love is in the air ♥ ♥ ♥

Hey! it’s February already (doesn’t the time flies??) and I thought it is time to gear up for Valentines day. So first things first, I started to get the bakery ready with new bake lines. So pop-in when you are in need for something sweet :-).

Friendly Nettle Bakery

I am still in love with the hot beverages (still very cold outside).  If you are the same, then check out this spiked cinnamon malted drink. I am sure you will love it ;-)

spiked cinnamon malted drink

If sweet is not your thing, then it can be savoury. Check out this steak and ale pies… super yum!

Steak and ale pies

I am thinking to make more soap. I thought these citrusy heart shaped soap bars are great as gifts.

citronella, lemon and orange soap DIY

And finally, if you are planning to bake your own cake then you should defiantly try to make these cake toppers that I have recently created :-).

Heart cake toppers DIY... using washi tape!

Have fun with Valentine’s day preparation!

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Cranberry snowballs

Cranberry snowballs as a gift

Today I would like to share about my favourite childhood sweet, the cranberry snowballs. I just remembered how I used to be able to eat the whole box in one go!  Really missing them as I have not seen them in shops for a while. Turns out that they are very simple and really easy to make so I just made a batch today :).

cranberry snowballs as a gift


  • 150g fresh cranberries
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup icing sugar

1. Wash the cranberries and dry them with paper towel.

2. Meanwhile, lightly whisk the egg white in one bowl and sift icing sugar into another bowl.

3. Dip the cranberries in egg white and then roll them one by one into the icing sugar.

making cranberry snowballs

Place coated cranberries on baking sheet and bake them in 80C oven for 20 min. Leave it to rest for few hours before packaging them.

making cranberry snowballs


Rasa :)


Gift idea for teens

gift idea for teens

To be honest, I struggle every year on what gift to get for my teenage brothers. I am sure this is a struggle for everybody! I guess their wishes are often expensive and they certainly are not as excited about handmade gift as you are. So this year I have decided to give my brothers something funny, small and most importantly low in budget. I have bought many little gifts from Tiger including neon sticks and fake dog shit :D. If this is the way you want to go this year, than I also suggest visiting good old Poundland.

gift idea for teens

To package your gifts is easy. Here are the DIY instructions for mini gift boxes.

I hope you are inspired ;)



Christmas gift for him

loafers for him

I think you would agree that getting a gift for a dad or any man is a difficult task. My dad often ends up getting pair of socks or a tie. So this year I thought of something different. I loved the knitted loafers that I made for myself so I thought I will remake it in manly size. I also made it extra protective and strong by taking Sian’s advice and attaching soles on them! What do you think? Click here for Loafers For Him Project with the step-by-step instructions.

Loafers for him

That’s something to do for a weekend ;)

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Renegate Craft Fair in London

Emma Cocker

Just came back from Renegate Craft Fair, just down the road from where I live! What a great place to visit for some inspiration and unique gifts for Christmas (perfect timing!). I will try to summarise, although that’s tough as I have seen lots of inspiring things today. This is why I would strongly advise you to visit this fair yourself if you are free this weekend and in London!

I will start with Michelle Galletta (Kiriki), who make embroidered doll kits… so basically your gift could be half made by you! Check out her website for an amazing embroidery stitch library :).


Lucie Ellen gives you an opportunity to design your own bunting necklace, how lovely!

Lucie ellen Lucie Ellen

I am in love with these cute miniature plush toys that come in their own “houses”….


These ones are made by Kekekaka!


And these cuties are made by Sweet William :). In fact I came across Sweet William on Pinterest, so I was quite excited to see actual workmanship in front of me!! Wouldn’t you?

Sweet William

And finally, but not least it’s Oh No Rachio! I must say I have been attracted to these lovely planters by the succulents that I adore…. and by Rachel Basinger smile of course! :)

IMG_6178 Oh no Rachio!

Hope to see you there!

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Gift Packaging!

crocheted flower gift packaging

I know I know, this might be too early for some of you, but I have already started gift wrapping my gifts for Christmas! I am being really organised this year ;). Here is how I packaged a scarf that I knitted for my mum. The idea is really simple, unless you still need to learn how to crochet mini doilies. In this case you need to learn the basics in crocheting and following simple doily diagrams on Pinterest should be easy. So if you up and ready for this, click here for instructions on how to package your gift using two crocheted mini doilies, button and the cord (or thin ribbon).

Crocheted flower gift packaging

Have a nice week!

Rasa xoxo