Thursday, 8 November 2012

Review: Simply Homemade - Issue 23

Soooo, this has been out for over a week now, but I have only just got my copy.  I won't bore you with another rant about Royal Mail, but the situation seems to be getting worse.  Instead, I'll just move straight onto the review:

I had been quite looking forward to this issue, mostly for the freebies - this issue came with some jingle bells, Christmas ribbon and some craft wire.  One of the first features in this issue is how to use your free gifts, including a gorgeous jingle bell wreath, which I have recreated (with my own style, naturally), and this is the result:

The instructions in the magazine say to make the boy using a strip of sheet metal, but (a) I didn't have any to hand and (b) I'm accident prone enough without bringing sharp metal into the equation.  So, instead, I used some gold ribbon - much safer!  Anyway, this was really simple to make and I think I will have to make some more.  

This feature also has some other ideas for your freebies, including snowflake decorations and tags.

Another brilliant feature is Cute As A Button.  This shows you how to make buttons into amazing jewellery.  They all seem to have a vintage feel in the magazine, but I'm sure you can make them more modern with different colours and shapes of buttons.  There is a bracelet, necklaces and a hair clip.  There is also a choker, which I think would look amazing as a headband.  My sister has recently taken to making jewellery (something I would love to do, but don't have time), so I may take this magazine to her and just casually mark the things I think she should make - in giant red pen!

Another feature I am really interested in as Christmas Candy Canes.  This has the recipe for making your own candy canes.  I am very excited about this and it will be my first weekend in December project - maybe with the nieces as it doesn't involve any sharp objects or hot ovens - perfect for them.  Actually, scrap that - perfect for me!  Anyway, they look pretty simple to make really and I have checked with my sister that she has everything I need, so I don't even need to go buy anything - result, I think.

I love the Organza lamp. I tried my hand at lampshade covering a few months ago, when I first started out crafting again.  This was the result:

It is something I would love to try again, and the lamp in this issue of Simply Homemade looks simple enough.  It is a table lamp and uses battery powered LED bulbs and looks amazing.  I'm so busy though, this might have to be an after Xmas project.

I am also very much loving the stockings in The Night Before Christmas, particularly the blue and silver stocking, which is sparkly and fluffy, appealing to the magpie within.  It does require knitting (for the fluffy bit) though, so maybe a project I put off until next year, which I have finally learned to knit.

Probably the most relevant to me project in this issue is Bags of Attitude.  This has a few different shaped bags, with instructions and patterns, so I took a keen interest in this one.  One of my nieces wants a school bag making in the Scotty Dog fabric I have, and I think the baby bag could be easily adapted to a school bag.  This one even have step-by-step instructions, with pictures.  This looks as though it could be a full day project though so I will have to wait until I have a free Saturday or Sunday to sit down and make it, preferably before her birthday. There are also some other shapes I might be tempted to have a go at.

Other projects include:
  • Nordic Noel - use Sizzix dies to create fabulous pieces for your Christmas table, including napkins and seat pads;
  • Macrame Makes has some filigree jewellery.  These are made with gold/bronze wire and red beads, so have a Christmas feel, but could easily be made with other colours.
  • Cuddly Cowl has a gorgeous scarf/cowl, perfect for this freezing whether we are having.  Must practice my knitting and maybe make this for next winter . . . maybe!
  • Last Minute Christmas Makes, including bottle labels, a Santa bottle cover and gift boxes;
  • Rustic Christmas has some traditional-style Christmas decorations using fabric and wood, including wreaths, candle holders and swags;
  • Here Comes Santa Clause has some more decorations, this time from felt, including a quite impressive card hanger.
As always, all the templates are in the magazine - always helpful if you want to get started straight away.

The giveaways this issue are:

  • book, Hair Accessories
  • book, Elemental Jewellery
  • festive fat quarter bundle from
  • CraftArtist 2 Professional software
  • Colver crochet hooks set
  • book, Connect the Shapes Crochet Motif
  • Craft supplies set including goodies from Gutermann, Berisford and Trimits
  • Seek It Out Inter Twine project bag
  • Stampin' Up! sets
  • tickets to the Creative Crafts Shows in Surrey and Essex
  • Freddie Freckle sewing kit
  • Gutermann seed beads set
  • book, 101+ Things to do with Glitter
  • Dremel 7700 Decorating Kit
  • Bead Cafe bead string set
  • Hunkydory Home discount vouchers.
This is one of my favourite issues of Simply Homemade, and whilst there are plenty of Christmas projects, there are also some non-Christmas ones too, so you don't get all Christmassed out.  

I also think it is worth buying just for the jingle bells!!!!!

So, go out and get it, it is in the shops now!

Happy Crafting!



  1. Hi Holly! So glad you love this issue so much - it sounds like you're going to be very busy indeed making all the projects. Make sure you send us some photos of your handiwork!

    We also love the jingle bells - we thought they were such a sweet free gift.

    Happy crafting!

    Sarah (digital editor)

  2. a great magazine review - I'll look out for it on the supermarket shelf. love your little jingle bell wreath and the fabrics in your lampshade are gorgeous, just the shades I like!
    hugs, annie x


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