Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Getting Crafty for Christmas

This week I treated myself to a book that I’ve had my eye on for a while called Crafting Christmas Gifts - I saw it on the Dunelm Mill website and immediately thought it would be right up my street. I know it’s a little early to be thinking about Christmas, and usually I wait until after bonfire night before starting to get excited about the big day, but this year I’m going to need to start early if I want to make gifts with my own fair hands.

So I took the plunge and ordered it whilst thinking to myself ”surely I’ll be saving money by getting it: think of all the presents that I won’t have to buy this year because I’ll be making them all instead!”. I’m a crafty girl and love sewing, but I often lack inspiration, so I thought the book would at least get my creative juices flowing!

I didn’t have to wait long for it to arrive and I excitedly tore into my parcel to check it out. The book was bigger than I expected and had fantastic quality photographs throughout. The step-by-step instructions are very clear and I especially like the cute illustrations showing the process for each project. As I quickly discovered, there’s not only gifts to be crafted from this book, but there’s also a wealth of festive decorations including garlands, baubles and stockings – so I can add new items to my Christmas decor that I’ve made myself which will save me even more money!

At the back of the book there are all the templates and patterns you’d need to complete all of the craft projects and now all I need to do is get myself some festive fabric so that I can start making – I think I’d better get back on the Dunelm website and order some!


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I made this all by myself: Champagne cork cage mini-chair by my hubby!

Whenever my husband and I open a bottle of bubbly (which is unfortunately not often enough!), while I am cheerfully enjoying my drink, he is bending and folding and contorting. Not himself I hasten to add, but the wire of the cork cage – he is shaping it into a mini chair and I always marvel at the finished item – how did he did it with such little effort? It takes me longer to photograph this dainty piece of furniture than it takes him to make it!

I’ve known people to buy this kind of thing as a table decoration/placeholder for weddings and parties so here’s how to do it yourself and save a bit of cash if you want to get this effect for your event (plus you get to drink the champagne in order to use the cork cages!) Maybe start collecting the cages a few months/years before, depending on your usual bubbly consumption, and not all in one go!

  • To begin making your basic chair untwist wire which attached the cage to the bottle neck and pull it carefully out from between the main cage wires, leaving a stool.
  • Straighten this piece of wire, then bend the wire down to form the sides of the chair back.   
  • Line up one side wire from your chair back with the twists on the back leg, and twist the wire into the back leg so that the wire twists blend together.
  • Repeat this twisting process with the wire on the other side of the leg.

And there you have it – a teeny tiny wire chair! The perfect size for any Borrowers you may have living underneath your floorboards!