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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

We've Got Wedding Fever!

Wow. What a weekend we just loved hosting our open bridal days. So much joy and excitement to be shared! We met some lovely brides and were inspired by their colour choices and themes!
The whole team were in Friday, including our newest recruit Hermoine. We loved every second of setting up our displays and even got our noses into some bridal magazines, doing some very serious research..... not at all getting side tracked by dresses, photo shoots and venues!

We are perfectionists, so Friday evening included various group discussions from invitation display colour schemes to what vase the flowers looked best in etc! What can we say we are creative people so it just has to be perfect! The set up was beautiful.

Bloomin’ Clares, a local florist in Fair Oak was one of the local businesses we had at our open day! Bloomin’ Clares’ aim to create floral magic and they most definitely added a magical touch to our open day. I’m sure you would agree if you attended they smelt and looked INCREDIBLE. We love fresh flowers in our barn and were privileged to showcase her work!

Our team were on hand to inspire, inform and listen! Our services include bespoke jewellery, hand crafted invitations and craft stock a plenty to contribute towards achieving the perfect little touches for your big day! If you are getting married we would be more than happy to help and we love to make everything we design as personal to you as possible.

Among the tea drinking and cake munching we enjoyed sharing our free Make & Take with you brides to be and your trusty bridesmaids. Why not have a go at home following these simple instructions to beautiful paper craft bunting?
Among the tea drinking and cake munching we enjoyed sharing our free Make & Take with you brides to be and your trusty bridesmaids. Why not have a go at home following these simple instructions to beautiful paper craft bunting?
You will need:
·         Letter stickers
·         Patterned Paper or Card – a great way to use up some scraps!
·         A length of ribbon or lace
·         Paint – we chose white chalk paint but any colour would do
·         Pencil, paintbrush, scissors and a hole punch

1.      Use your letter stickers to create a triangle template. We found sticking our letters onto your template paper the best way to create the right size.
2.      Draw round your template onto patterned and cut out your triangles. Make sure you have the right number to spell out your word/words

3.      Punch two holes in the top edge of your triangles to weave your ribbon/lace through  
4.      Apply the stickers to the centre of each triangle, being careful to try and position at the same height on each
5.      Wash the colour over the triangles, being careful to make sure the coverage is even around the edge of the stickers for a crisp finish
6.      Add layers of paint until you can no longer see the pattern through the paint; this may vary depending on your background colour. We ended up applying four coats
7.      Allow to dry completely and then remove your stickers to reveal the beautiful pattern
8.      Weave through your ribbon or lace, allowing plenty at either end to hang
9.      Hang your beautiful bunting for the world to see! Now there’s no stopping you, why not repeat for Valentines, Easter, Christmas, Birthdays and more!

Missed our bridal open day? Do not fear we have another date in the diary!

Come along to our free Bridal Open Day on March 17th and 18th 11.00am-4.00pm. No need to book!

We just can’t wait to get cracking on with working with all you brides to be! We have lots of hen parties to plan, invites to make and jewellery to design. We certainly feel privileged that those who visited chose us to play such an important role in your big day!

                                                See all you crafters and Brides again soon!

                                                                           Happy making

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Spoooooooooky Lantern Countdown

There's just 5 days until Halloween so to help count you down, here are five spooky lantern ideas to get you and the kids into the seasonal spirit! We have some amazing lanterns in store available in both white or orange which are just what you need (trust us) as a fun seasonal activity, they make perfect home décor if you are planning THAT Halloween party too or just a lovely family get together over half term!

We have used five different techniques to use the product to its full crafty potential. Flexible, affordable and fun that’s us at BellaCrafts!

1.  Glittery Scenes!

What you will need:

Lantern, sharpie, lots of glitter (we mean it) and tacky


This is one of the simplest techniques; outline your silhouettes using the tacky glue fine precision nozzle. we chose to do the moon and tree silhouette. Please use our designs as guidance, you could create any spooky silhouette you desire!

Apply pressure to the tacky glue tube to pipe glue into the outlined silhouette.

Simply sprinkle glitter onto the tacky glue shapes,ensure to keep the lantern as level as possible to avoid the weight of the glue moving and leaking, distorting your desired silhouette.

Ensure you cover the glue with plenty of glitter and tap off the excess. As the glue dries you will find the glitter will soak into your silhouette nicely and with the excess shaken off will leave a neatly glittered silhouette and super sparkly spooky scene!

Use a sharpie to add any writing you may want.

2. Hand Painted designs 

What you will need:

Lantern, acrylic paint set and a paintbrush.

The lantern base can be tricky to sketch onto, so if you are feeling brave (go on you can do it!) use acrylic paints to free hand paint a design onto your lantern.

We chose to make a frightening pumpkin design! We blended warm rich oranges and golds, with darker undertones such as green and black to add detail and make the pumpkin lantern come to life!

Top tip for making this lantern make sure you allow the paint you have painted to dry before adding finer details, such as the pumpkins face! This will make it much neater in terms of appearance and easier to work on!

We chose to cover our entire lantern however you could paint simply an edge or just the middle part!

3. Spooky Silhouettes 

What you will need:

Lantern, Black card, scissors, double sided tape.

Cut out your desired silhouettes from black card, ensure detail is minimal, stick to a basic outline of a shape! We chose to do ghosts!

Top tip any minute details will become lost once placing inside the lantern! Simple is best for this one!

We also recommend using the white lanterns as these appear to be slightly sheerer than our orange ones and will look most effective.

Use double sided tape to attach the silhouettes to the inside of the lantern- as simple as this!

Your lantern will cast spooky shadows when lit and there you have it! 

4. Ghouls and Ghosts 

What you will need: Lantern, white tissue paper, double sided tape and googly eyes.

Using some white tissue paper cut it into strips and lay the strips over the lantern. We found using slightly longer strips to hang past the length of the lanterns was the most visually successful in creating a moving ghost shape when the lantern hung!

Attach the strips with the tape at the top of the inner lantern.

Add crazy creepy googly eyes to finalise the design (this is bound to prove popular with the children!)

Spooky effective!

5. Bat Attack Lantern 

What you will need: Black card, sharp scissors and double sided tape.

Choose your Halloween animal, we selected bats as we love the shape of them!

Use pencil to sketch your design onto card – or use an online template if you prefer to cut out the desired shape!

Ensure you cut as neatly as possible to create a defined shape. (Sharp scissors are essential to ensure detail)

Bend in half the silhouettes and attach double sided tape to the middle of the back of the shape. This will allow the silhouettes to be attached to the lantern in a 3d manor, which is particularly eye catching.

Apply the double sided tape along the fold and stick your creepy crawlies all over your lantern. 

SO simple but so effective we adore these Halloween lanterns and cannot wait to have them hanging up in our homes! Happy Halloween everyone and remember all the materials used can be found in our craft shop at the Barn! 

Why not pop in and see ours in store and join in with some of our spooky activities!

Visit for more info! 

Much love


Sunday, 7 August 2016

The New Forest Show

So moving on from a busy weekend we were straight off to set up the New Forest Show on Monday. We loaded up the car with ceramics, paints, fliers and a tent! Yes we decided to camp.... After long days working on a busy stall who needs a comfy bed and a good nights sleep after all?!

Day 1: We began by stacking up the car with everything we could cram in, and when we say cram, we mean cram. Locked and loaded we headed off to the show full of excitement and anticipation.

After missing our turn off, and the excitement slightly dwindled, we arrived over an hour later... not the twenty minute stroll we were expecting! Getting to the kids area at the show was fantastic though. It's huge and full of stalls from hot tubs to horses, arenas, art tents, beautiful gardens and delicious food. We set up the gazebo and unloaded everything we could before setting off to the campsite to put up the tent. Feeling very proud of our Girl Guiding backgrounds we headed back off to the barn to collect the final bits, then back to the show again to do the last bits of setting up and finally back to the tent.

Only slight problem, it was now dark and we had no idea where we had pitched our tent. After trawling round in the dark for what felt like forever we finally found it, set up our first class accommodation and went to brush our teeth, all ready for a good rest. Only thing was, we took the wrong path back to our tent. Once again we were circling around the dark, no idea where we were going or if we would find the tent. We trawled past caravans, tents, campervans and still no sign. By this point it was also cold and we were trying to decide who best to ring if you can’t find your tent, fire men would be good! Eventually back in our tent, day one done and dreams about firemen rescuing us all night long...

Day 2: After a chilly night in the tent we set off early to the show. And what a fantastic day, beautiful sunshine and fun had by all. We were kept well entertained by the dance performances, Crazy M the clown, choirs and more. There were some truly beautiful ceramics painted and there was a lovely atmosphere. Its always great to see families just enjoying time out together and everyone getting creative!

We loved seeing these three!

We wrapped up just after six and headed back to the tent. Loaded up with paint pallets to be washed we made our way down to the Dish Washing station, unfortunately we hadn't quite realised the how late it now was and we were running out of time to get there before the pub stopped serving food! After a long day there is nothing more important than pub grub! So after a quick debate about stashing the pallets in the bush, we headed to the pub with the pallets in hand. Not remotely embarrassing (!), still a lovely meal and then to bed.
Belinda carrying our box of pallets

Day 3: More ceramics. More Crazy M the Clown, more choir singing and most importantly, more sunshine! Another lovely day and it was great to see some of our well known customers around the show too. Belinda was up to her usual antics, posing with a horse, very funny!

Day 4: An earlier start to make sure we could pack away the tent before the show but we were up bright and early ready to go! One of the highlights of the day was heading to take part in the Welly Wanging World Record attempt. After much military style organisation, the welly wanging took place with both young and old taking part. A hilarious end to a fantastic week. After packing up our stand it was finally time to head home. We were really sad to be leaving the show but looking forward to being back in our own beds and all ready for the next happenings! A huge thank you to Aaron Lawford from Sullivan Lawford who let BellaCrafts join him in the fab kids section!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Here, there and everywhere...

This summer we thought we'd let you in on the crazy world that is planning our External Events. Every year we attend school fetes, festivals, country shows, markets, plus team bonding days! We thought we'd give you all a sneak peak into what happens when we get out and about! So here we go with our last weekend of events and do keep your eyes peeled for our next update.

The first weekend of the Summer Holidays really kicked off with a bang. We whizzed off on Friday to offer ceramic painting at the Netley Marsh Show and prepared some beautiful taster crafts for Southampton Uni's Summer party, followed by workshops at Ikea on Sunday.

Our Summer party went off without a hitch, lots of very happy crafters creating decopatch, hand sewn flowers and other projects, though as it usually goes, decopatch being by far the most popular! We think it was a great way to unwind for the end of term.

On the other hand, Victoria, on route to Netley Marsh, had a few hiccups... Having taken a slight detour (I.e. Programing the sat nav to the entirely wrong location and driving 20 minutes in the wrong direction) she arrived at the show to find her old banger had betrayed her and given up on the handbrake. Now any of you who know the Netley Marsh Show will know it takes place on hills and mounds, not the easiest place to find a a completely flat parking spot, but the show must go on! So some time later after a beautiful area prepared for young ceramic painters and novice hook a duckers, the RAC arrived at the show.

Car fixed and the real fun of painting and games could start. Beautiful weather, lovely visitors and marvellous creations, who could ask for a better weekend!

Ikea was a completely different world... with their plush internal offices and creative stations. We were tasked with preparing several upcycled jars - great fun! Then showcased our creations and ran workshops for eager participates. A really enjoyable day and we can't wait to go back.

Check out our next update where will be sharing the gossip about the New Forest Show and our little camping trip....
Til next time crafters!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Getting Totally Muddy!

So this week we wanted to celebrate one of our team members doing something selfless for charity. Last weekend Victoria ditched her glad rags, threw on some old clothes and got covered head to toe in mud! Yep that's right in her hair, in her ears, not to mention where else...

And why we hear you ask? Well all to raise money for Cancer Research UK in their Pretty Muddy 5k. As many of you know BellaCrafts really embraces being part of the community and all of us love to see how arts and crafts can be a real therapeutic experience for those who may be having a tough time due to their own illness, supporting others at home or having lost someone dear to them. It's amazing to see how quickly people get lost focusing on the tiny flick of their paintbrush or obsessed by placing their sparkly crystals in exactly the right order, suddenly we forget all those issues and worries! And we know we'd definelty prefer to be crafting rather than getting covered in mud!

We met Victoria at the finish line, keeping our distance, as she ran towards us with arms wide for an embrace! Here's what she had to say:
"I had a great time running around getting totally splattered! I've never been much of a runner (or anything remotely sporty to be honest!) but knowing that you are running for a good cause and to make those who have supported you proud, there could be no better motivation. I personally have watched 6 family members and friends go through battles with cancer, some winnng, some sadly defeated and some on-going so it's something that I do feel really strongly about. I'm glad I can do something to give back... Next year 10k!!!"

Take a look and have a giggle as these totally flattering  pictures of our Victoria in her running gear. And for anyone who is having a hard time, whether it be due to illness or anything else, please do feel free to pop into us and just spend an afternoon in good company, with a cuppa wiling away the hours arts and crafts projects.

Check out those legs!

If you entered the Race for Life or Pretty Muddy we'd love to see your photo's too. Leave us a comment below :)

Friday, 1 July 2016

The Big Weekend!

This weekend the BellaCrafts team were busy visiting the Ricoh Arena attending the Craft and Hobby Association’s Big Weekend. We had a fantastic time rubbing shoulders with some of the industry’s biggest and best! Such a wealth of experiences, knowledge and every level of business. The three day show was packed with seminars, talks, networking and even a chance at a screen test with Create and Craft! We of course threw ourselves in! There's a list of people and companies who made the event for us and we'll be making sure we take up every opportunity.

We especially loved catching up with Sara Naumann again, we love, love, love her stamps and she is always such a friendly face with fantastic ideas about marketing and craft projects alike. We are already looking forward to the next event so we can have a good old gossip! If you haven’t seen her stamps (part of the Paper Artsy range) you really do need to check them out. Here’s a few of our favourites:

We met Debbie Moore, and hear her inspiring business journey. We heard her story of how she began as well as the hurdles and triumphs along the way. It was really interesting and gave us something to really aspire to, her creativity and business acumen were very impressive and her products are, as you all know, beautiful and bang on trend.

And as many of you know, we at BellaCrafts, couldn’t help getting stuck in and making our own contribution. Victoria taught a sewing workshop creating a collapsible storage box with just one fat quarter. Our much loved Jenniffer Taylor  even took part and it was great to have a good old chat with her again. Jenniffer herself is excelling and business is great for our old friend.
Belinda led a seminar and even featured on the “Ask the Experts” panel with people firing questions about all sorts of different aspects of the craft industry.
All in all it was an incredible weekend with lots of fantastic contacts in the room including Create and Craft TV, Crafter’s Companion, Bert and Gert’s Events, Circut  and more. As always we’ve come away with lots more ideas, big plans and exciting projects that we can’t wait to get under way... Watch this space J

Friday, 27 May 2016

The Diary of a Crafty Bride

This month we are getting super excited about weddings, after all who doesn't feel a little squeal of excitement every time they think of that gorgeous white dress, the beautiful array of bouquets and stunning country gardens. So far this year we've been lucky enough to collaborate with brides making their invites, creating bespoke jewellery and of course hosting Crafty Hen Do's. And, on top of that, a member of our own team is getting married too!

Harriet will be tying the knot with her other half this summer and she's been filling us all in with her wedding trifles and triumphs! Luckily for all you lovely people she's willing to share all with you too. This is the first instalment where she'll be filling us in with her latest wedding creations. Enjoy reading...

"So with my upcoming nuptials fast approaching, I thought I had better crack on and start some wedding prep!  I get married late July so now is the time I should be ticking off the last bits off my list but the list seems to be ever increasing…

My wedding has a relaxed, rustic feel to it and as a keen craftswoman I have decided to make most things from favours, jewellery and invites, to lanterns and hair-pieces myself. This did seem like a good idea two years ago when I got engaged, but as time is quickly ticking by, my deadlines are fast approaching.  I have of course also enlisted the help of Google and Pinterest to inspire my crafty wedding and the possibilities seem endless!

So this week I gathered an array of silk and dried flowers to turn into hair embellishments for myself and my bridesmaids and it was quite a task with my little two year old by my side ‘helping’ me at every step!  However, with my materials now collected and arranged I started to assemble them into some pretty hair pieces.  With my bridesmaids wearing greys, their flowers and accessories will provide the colour – cornflower blue, lavenders and plenty of natural greens which I hope will captured by my lovely photographer.

Using a mixture of sewing with wire and thread and with the help of some strong all-purpose glue I assembled my carefully selected bits of faux-foliage and pretty flowers. In the mix were lavender, love in the mist and forget-me-nots; I am trying to follow a garden flower theme for a nice relaxed feel… I just hope the glue dries in time to not stick the girl's scalps to the hair pieces! 

When I finished, I decided that they could do with a bit of sparkle (which I just can’t resist) so I decided to add some little crystals on wires, some which I made myself and others which I have bought ready-set.  Using some little tweezers and some fine craft pliers, I was just able to fiddle the little pieces into place and set them with my quick drying glue – a glue gun would have been ideal for this but as mine is somewhere in my jumble-sale of a loft I decide against trying to root it out.  I feel that aforementioned 2 year old would also have tried to have joined me up the rickety loft ladder which would definitely have ended in disaster!

Several days later with no loft-related disasters, but a cat that seems to have several little petals stuck to her fur, I have finished the hair ornaments. 

As I will not see my bridesmaids again until the day before my wedding, I am hoping they will look ok and actually stay in their hair!   I keep finding little leaves and beads on the floor from the hairpieces, and not being one to throw ANYTHING away, I have decided to use my leftover crafty bits to decorate some boxes which will contain my Bridesmaids’ thank you pressies – Which are also on my list to make…. I wonder if I can rope my craft-phobic fiancé in to help?  Hmmm, unless we are decorating the boxes in red and white Southampton FC stripes, I suspect not…
Well I had better get back to checking that ever growing list of mine as I suspect the time is fast approaching for me to start tackling my wedding jewellery!  Watch this space…"

Well we at BellaCrafts can not wait for the next instalment... Not sure about you ladies, but with hair pieces that pretty the whole team is queueing to be a bridesmaid!
If you are getting married soon why not pop into BellaCrafts this weekend where we'll be hosting our Wedding Open Days from 28th-30th of May. The event is totally free to attend and you'll be able to peruse  our full range of wedding stationary, commission bespoke jewellery, book a Hen do and enjoy a free make and take.

No need to book but do ring us on 023 8051 7054 for more information or
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