DIY knotted produce bag | KIttenhood

DIY Knotted Produce Bag

DIY knotted produce bag | KIttenhood

In an effort to use as few plastic bags as possible, I have more tote bags than anyone could carry. And if I see one I like, I’m probably gonna add it to the collection. Extra points if it gets really small and packs itself up! But I also like those retro style rope bags that are great for carrying produce or bottles. They’re very resistant, virtually weightless, and they’re essential in the everyday trip to the grocery store. So I decided to make my own. After trying a few versions, I ended up making this one in 3 shades of pink and using the most basic of knots. Read on for the full instructions! 

DIY knotted produce bag: Materials | Kittenhood

What you need: 

  • 15 m string (I used 3 colors) + extra for the handles
  • scissors
  • (optional) bowl, adhesive tape 

DIY knotted produce bag: Cutting | Kittenhood

Cut 12 pieces of string measuring 125 cm each (or longer, if you want a longer bag). 

DIY knotted produce bag: Bottom | Kittenhood

Divide the strings into two groups of six. Arrange them on the bottom of an upside down bowl or simply on the floor/table. The groups of string should meet at the middle. 

DIY knotted produce bag: Weaving | Kittenhood DIY knotted produce bag: Weaving | Kittenhood

Stick the horizontal group to the bowl with tape to secure in place. Take one piece of string from the second group and pull it over and under the horizontal strings. Do the same with the others, alternating rows like you would weave. This will be the bottom of your bag, so make it as tight or loose as you wish. 

DIY knotted produce bag: Knotting | Kittenhood

Now knot the strings two by two, close to the weaving. 

DIY knotted produce bag: Knotting | Kittenhood

When you’ve completed a round, move on to the second row. Take two strings from neighboring knots, and knot them together, a few centimeters lower. Do this all around and keep alternating strings to form diamond shapes.

DIY knotted produce bag: Knotting | Kittenhood

I made a total of 5 rounds of knots. You can make more or less, depending on your preference and string length.

Now you can cut the string ends to the same size and divide them into two groups, as shown above.  

DIY knotted produce bag: Handles | Kittenhood

Take your first group of string ends and divide it in half again. You will have 6 strings in each group. Knot, glue, sew or melt their ends together. To cover, take a separate piece of string or rope and knot it very tightly using the buttonhole stitch technique. Repeat for the other handle.

DIY knotted produce bag | KIttenhood

This is what my produce bag looks like empty. I like how using different colors of string created a pretty gradient effect! 

 DIY knotted produce bag | KIttenhood DIY knotted produce bag | KIttenhood DIY knotted produce bag | KIttenhood

DIY felted fox picnic blanket | Kittenhood

DIY felted fox picnic blanket

DIY felted fox picnic blanket | Kittenhood

It’s no secret that I love picnics, foxes, cuddling in blankets, and felting. If these are a few of your favorite things, try this DIY picnic blanket! The project will take a couple of hours, depending on the size of your blanket and the number of foxes you decide to use. But it’s really cute and unique. Plus you get to stab wool with your needle, which can be therapeutical as well as rhythmical – the perfect activity for when you’re blasting your favorite tunes. 

DIY felted fox picnic blanket - Materials | Kittenhood

What you need:

  • wool, wool blend or felt blanket
  • pen (I used a trick marker)
  • ruler
  • orange felting wool 
  • felting needle
  • fox cookie cutter (mine is from Ikea, also available on Amazon)
  • sponge (larger than the cookie cutter)

DIY felted fox picnic blanket - Measuring | Kittenhood

Start by measuring your blanket and deciding where you want to place your foxes. I made 10 foxes on three rows (3-4-3), but you can make the pattern however you want to. Mark the spots with a pen. 

DIY felted fox picnic blanket - Fox cookie cutter | Kittenhood

Start with your first marking. Place the blanket between the fox cookie cutter and the sponge. 

DIY felted fox picnic blanket - Fox felting | Kittenhood

Fill up the shape with orange wool. Start with a thinner layer. 

DIY felted fox picnic blanket - Felting | Kittenhood

And now for the fun part! Stab the wool into the blanket with your felting needle. Stab and stab and stab. Add more wool if and where necessary. You should get a relatively even surface. Stab a little extra at the face, tail, and legs. 

DIY felted fox picnic blanket - Felt fox | Kittenhood

This is how your first fox will look like, more or less. Continue making as many foxes as you want and you have yourself a cool new blanket! Come to think about it, this would also make a good baby blanket! 

DIY felted fox picnic blanket | Kittenhood DIY felted fox picnic blanket | Kittenhood

Gudetama lunch box available here.

DIY woven bike basket | Kittenhood

DIY woven bike basket

DIY woven bike basket | Kittenhood

When I decided I wanted a bike, about seven years ago, I knew only one thing about it: that it should have a front basket. The bike came first and my search for a basket followed. It wasn’t all that easy. Who knew you couldn’t fit any type of basket on any type of bike? Some years later, I got the perfect basket for my birthday, which I’m still using now. But it needed a makeover. It had a cross stitch fox on for almost four years now, but the thread was worn out and so was the paint on the wire. So I came up with the idea to weave the whole thing in wool. It’s very easy, although, I admit, it does take some hours to complete. On the bright side, you’ll have an awesome, custom bike basket in the end! Ready to get started?

DIY woven bike basket | Kittenhood

What you need:

  • yarn in colors of your choice (I used less than half of the amount shown)
  • wool needle
  • scissors
  • wire mesh bike basket (mine is from Decathlon)

DIY woven bike basket | Kittenhood

Cut a long piece of yarn and thread your needle. Double knot the other end to the upper interior of the bike basket and cut off excess. Then simply go in and out with your needle until the end of the row. Just like regular weaving, simply pass the thread to the next row and continue. 

DIY woven bike basket | Kittenhood

When you almost run out of yarn, thread the needle again, and knot it to the end of the previous yarn. Continue as normal, making sure the knot goes on the interior of the basket. You can use the same method to change colors. 

DIY woven bike basket | Kittenhood

Continue to weave until you cover as much of the basket as you want. I chose a full stripe pattern, but you can also cover just part of the basket, or leave blank lines here and there. 

I also wrapped the top of the basket in yarn and made a blanket stitch variation for the handle. That’s it!

DIY woven bike basket | Kittenhood DIY woven bike basket | KittenhoodDIY woven bike basket | Kittenhood

 

DIY concrete hexagon egg tray | Kittenhood

DIY concrete hexagon egg tray

DIY concrete hexagon egg tray | Kittenhood

Some of you might know Dacian as the faceless boyfriend and outfit photographer behind this blog, but today he’s taking a new form. He’s materializing as a hand model and mastermind for this DIY concrete egg tray. I’ve had two attempts at making this object myself before he took matters into his own hands. Finally, it looks perfect. I love the hexagon shape and the way that this is not just an Easter craft – in fact, you can use this all year round, and swap the eggs for round fruit or small decorations. 

DIY concrete hexagon egg tray | Kittenhood

What you need:

  • 2.5 kg cement
  • balsa wood board, 4 mm thick
  • ruler
  • craft paper
  • pencil
  • sharpie
  • cutter & cutting mat
  • 6 polystyrene balls (approximate diameter of an egg)
  • vaseline & paintbrush
  • tape
  • double side tape
  • small screws and screwdriver (optional)
  • trowel
  • container for mixing concrete (e.g. bucket)

Cutting balls Cutting balls

1. Start by cutting the polystyrene balls. You can choose to cut them perfectly in half, or vary the sizes like we did, to create a more organic shape. 

Measuring Measuring

2. Draw a hexagon on a piece of craft paper. This one is 26 cm diameter, which is designed specifically for 12 eggs. Then arrange the polystyrene balls inside the hexagon. Feel free to move them around until you find the perfect design.

Hexagon design

3. Draw the contour of your balls on the paper. Assign ascending numbers to the balls, so you remember how to arrange them later, and repeat the numbers on the circles. This is important if you chose to cut the balls at different sizes. 

Cutting the hexagon

4. Use the cutter and ruler to cut out the paper hexagon, Make sure you do this on a cutting mat!  

Cutting the sides

5. Now let’s start making the mold. Measure and cut six pieces of wood measuring 13 x 4.4 cm (13 is the side and 4.4 is the height of the mold).

Making the mold

6. Then measure and cut the base of the mold, measured against the paper hexagon. Tape the base together and cut off excess tape.

Taping the sides

7. Tape the sides of the hexagon with the tape facing the exterior. Use as much tape as you need to keep the mold very firm. We used an extra layer of duct tape. 

Imprinting the circles

8. Place the paper hexagon inside the mold and trace the circles with a pencil, pressing firmly. This will imprint the right arrangement on the balsa wood. 

Sticking the ballsSticking the balls

9. Stick the balls in their right places with double-sided tape. Don’t use glue, because it will instantly melt the polystyrene! For extra security, we put small screws through the back of the mold and into each ball. You don’t want those moving around! 

Vaseline

10. Cover the interior of the mold in vaseline. Do this with a paintbrush, to make sure you cover every ball and every spot in between. This step will make it easier to remove the concrete from the mold.  

Pouring concrete

11. Mix the concrete according to the instructions on the package. We used 2.5 kg cement to 250 ml water. Make sure you mix it well with the trowel! Pour into the shape and level nicely. If any air bubbles form, carefully shake the mold a little. 

Place the mold on a straight surface, in a place out of the reach of kids, pets etc. Allow the concrete to set for circa 36-48 hours. This will depend on the cement you are using, but it’s better to leave it more than risk chipping at the corners. 

When the concrete is dry, you can carefully remove it from the mold. Start by cutting the tape and removing the sides one by one. Then turn the form upside down and remove the bottom. Finally, remove any balls that didn’t come out with the wood. You can add felt pads to the bottom for protection, and your concrete hexagon egg tray is finished! 

DIY concrete hexagon egg tray | Kittenhood DIY concrete hexagon egg tray | Kittenhood DIY concrete hexagon egg tray | Kittenhood

Wes Anderson inspired Easter eggs | Kittenhood

Grand Budapest Hotel inspired Easter eggs

Wes Anderson inspired Easter eggs | Kittenhood

I know I said I’m dyeing my eggs naturally this year, but that was before I had this idea. My favorite idea. I’ve made Easter eggs inspired by Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel! There are three different designs here, which you can mix and match, and I think together they make a great combination. Pink and purple may be a little old school, but in the case of Easter eggs, it totally works. I’m very pleased with how these turned out, and I think you will be, too. So, shall we? 

Grand Budapest Hotel inspired Easter Eggs: Materials | Kittenhood

What you need:

  • eggs
  • egg dye in purple and pink 
  • hot water
  • vinegar
  • thin blue ribbon
  • glue
  • golden letter stickers
  • cyclamen pen

Start by hard-boiling as many eggs as you want. In the meantime, bring more water to a boil and mix it with the egg dye and vinegar in disposable containers, following the instructions on the dye package. 

Grand Budapest Hotel inspired Easter Eggs | Kittenhood Mendl's Easter Eggs | Kittenhood

Mendl’s Easter Eggs

Inspired by Mendl’s confectionery boxes, these eggs take the most steps to make, but they’re still easy, I promise. Start by placing each egg in the pink dye for a few moments, to get a pale pink shade. 1-2 minutes should do. Dry on a paper towel. 

Write “Mendl’s” in capital letters on an egg, using your cyclamen/purple/red pen. Then draw some symmetrical random lines underneath and above, roughly replicating the original logo

Cut a piece of ribbon that’s more than twice as long as the egg. Put a drop of glue on the bottom of the egg and stick the middle of the ribbon to it. When it’s dry, add another drop of glue on the top of the egg and tie the ribbon in a pretty bow. It’s easiest to have an egg cup or a person holding the egg while you tie the bow. 

Pink ombre Easter eggs | Kittenhood Grand Budapest Hotel inspired Easter Eggs | Kittenhood

Pink Ombre Eggs

These eggs are inspired by the Grand Budapest Hotel itself, with its two-toned pink facade. As you can imagine, they’re really easy to make! Start by dipping the egg in pink paint only halfway through. Hold it there for a minute or two, until you get a good pink shade. Remove from the dye. Repeat these steps for as many eggs as you want to use. Then add a little more hot water to your container and submerge the egg entirely. Take it out of the dye as soon as the top is slightly pink, and dry on a paper towel. 

Lobby Boy Easter Eggs | Kittenhood Lobby Boy Easter Eggs | Kittenhood

Lobby Boy Easter eggs

You know Zero’s lobby boy hat? This is what we’re trying to recreate here, and it’s really easy, too. Submerge your egg in purple dye until it reaches the desired shade. Dry on a paper towel and let cool for a few moments. Then simply stick letters reading “lobby boy” on it. Finished!

Grand Budapest Hotel inspired Easter Eggs | Kittenhood Wes Anderson inspired Easter eggs | Kittenhood

P.S. How about these Wes Anderson-inspired free printable popcorn bags

P.P.S. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen the movie! You can find it here. There’s also a new book out and I NEED it.

Dyeing Eggs with Plants | Kittenhood

How to dye eggs naturally

How to dye eggs naturally | Kittenhood

This year I decided to opt for natural dyes on my Easter eggs. And there are many good reasons to do that, too! First of all, it’s natural, so you don’t have to worry about ingesting any chemicals by chance. Secondly, it’s cheap: you use parts of the plant you would normally throw out (pits, leaves etc.). And above all, dyeing naturally is fun. The colors are nice and tame, and you never know for sure what you’re gonna get. I’ve tried a few things and not all of them had great results. Avocado pits, for example, were supposed to create a beautiful shade of pink, but they didn’t create any color at all. In a similar way, blueberries didn’t make the dark blue I was expecting, but an ugly gray not even worth mentioning. However, I got a nice gradient of colors from a couple of plants: 

Naturally dyed eggs | Kittenhood

What you need: 

  • hard-boiled eggs (white)
  • stainless steel pot 
  • white onion leaves for orange dye 
  • curry powder for yellow dye
  • white vinegar 
  • containers for dyeing 
  • (optional) cooking oil for polish

Natural Dye for Eggs | Kittenhood

For the orange dye, the proportion is one handful of onion leaves to one cup of water and 1 tsp vinegar. Bring to a boil in a covered stainless steel pot, then allow to simmer for a little bit. The water should be brown-orange in color. Strain the leaves. Place your hard boiled eggs in one or more containers and pour the dye over them. The color will start adhering very quickly, and it will become more intense in time. The darkest of my eggs was dyed for 24 hours while the lightest for 1 hour. When the dye cools, you can move the container with the eggs to the fridge, do the eggs don’t spoil if you decide to leave them for longer. 

Use Plants to Dye Easter Eggs | Kittenhood

For the yellow dye, you would normally use turmeric powder. Since I didn’t have that in the house, I decided to use curry, which also contains turmeric – and it worked just fine. The proportion here is 1 tbsp curry powder to 1 cup water and 1 tbsp vinegar. Again, bring to a boil in a stainless steel pot and simmer a little before pouring over the hard boiled eggs. If the dye doesn’t cover them completely, don’t worry – you can move the eggs around with a spoon, which will create rather pleasant lines and designs. Straining curry powder can be a little difficult so I skipped this step, which resulted in the color adhering differently, and cute little speckles on the egg. Again, you can leave the eggs in the dye anywhere between an hour and a day, making sure to transfer them to the fridge after the dye is cooled. 

You can polish your eggs with a little cooking oil and a paper towel, but I left mine matte. That’s it! Do you think you’ll dive into natural egg dyeing this Easter? 

Yellow & brown Easter eggs | KittenhoodDyeing Eggs with Plants | Kittenhood

 

Bunny wallpaper free download | Kittenhood

Easter bunny wallpaper free download

Bunny wallpaper free download | Kittenhood

This is my first Easter season living abroad and the marketing here is so much stronger than back home! So much stronger, than I must admit to buying a bunny-shaped watering can AND a chick-shaped toothpick holder/tiny vase in a single session. And while I’m experimenting with natural ways to dye eggs (coming soon!), I thought I’d give my tech a little seasonal refresh. If you plan on doing the same, you can find these adorable bunnies to download just below. Hope you like them! 

Bunny wallpaper free download | Kittenhood

Download desktop wallpaper here

Download iPhone wallpaper here

DIY sparkly headband | Kittenhood

DIY sparkly headband

DIY sparkly headband | Kittenhood

The inspiration for this project came from an Anthropologie headband (which has since sold out). It seemed fairly easy to make and it is fairly easy to make! It’s a really nice accessory you can make yourself for the holidays (how festive would it be in red?) using pretty much any fabric you have lying around, and a piece of sparkly gold trim. And sure, you can use your sewing machine to make it super quickly, but since the size of the project isn’t as big, you can just as well sew it by hand. It’s what I did, and it didn’t take more than an hour total. 

What you need: 

  • fabric in your choice of color
  • gold trim 
  • tape measure
  • scissors
  • sewing needle/sewing machine
  • matching thread

For the full tutorial, head over to DaWanda

DIY sparkly headband | Kittenhood

DIY festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood

DIY festive drink stirrers

DIY festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood

If easy Christmas crafts are your jam, then welcome to your jam! Since festive drinks aren’t really traditional in my area (no eggnog here!), I’ve been thinking of ways to make regular drinks more festive. That’s how I came up with these drink stirrers, super easy to put together with just some small branches that you can probably find close to where you live, and very basic crafting supplies. You can even go a little crazy and spray paint the branches gold (with matching baker’s twine), but I preferred to keep a natural, more traditional look. Here we go: 

Materials for festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood

What you need:

Making festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood

Start by cutting the skewers to size. This can depend on the glasses you use most often, as well as your personal preference. Then cut the branches into smaller pieces. 

Making festive drink stirrers | KittenhoodUse the x-acto knife/cutter to split open one end of the skewer. 

Making festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood

Insert the branch into the opening you just cut. 

Making festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood

Cover the entire area with baker’s twine (or whatever yarn/thread you have on hand) and knot the ends together. Cut off excess thread and you have a drink stirrer. 

DIY festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood

Repeat the steps to get as many drink stirrers as you like! You can also use these as cake or cupcake toppers and even to decorate gifts. 

DIY festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood DIY festive drink stirrers | Kittenhood