You know those fancy envelopes that give you a pop of colour or a blast of pattern when you open them? Sometimes, they match the card or the stationery - I feel sure I got a box of matching paper and envelopes when I was a kid, way back when writing thank you letters was a Thing. Well, you can do your own.
your design/wrapping paper/even fabric (try it!)photocopied or printed on your home printer
glue, scissors, pencil
one piece of plain paper to make the template
Make the template by marking the shape of the envelope flap.
It should go down to the V where the flaps all meet. Cut out your template. It looks like a house.
An unnecessary bit of loveliness for your invitations or thank you letters. Result.
These rope baskets are unbelievably satisfying to make - they feel like textile pottery because you build the base and then angle the coiled disc so that it makes a lip for what turns into a vessel. Then you choose how high you want the sides to go and whether you want to go for handles.
I hunted down the right kind of rope for ages and found this beautiful plain cotton cord that will sew on a domestic machine (very important) with strong denim needles (the normal ones just break). I found a brilliant company in Norfolk that makes all kinds of rope for boats and people like me - they super- kindly took back my very expensive mistake and exchanged it for this thinner cord - thank you, Russell, for saving me from real tears.
Along the way, I wrapped scraps of really nice fabric - the red one got some precious shweshwe, the indigo one below got some vintage ticking and blue dots, the one with handles got silk from Vanners Silks in Sudbury.
I find I'm using them for everything - I've just made one as a thank you for a Sunday lunch. They are great for corralling rogue crap on our bedside tables. I'm thinking they could serve bread quite nicely - maybe with a napkin, if you're not a fan of historic crumbs. A fairly small one holds stationery by our computer. They are meditative to make, take an hour or two, use a mountain of thread and don't actually reveal they're sewn to the casual giftee so you're sure to get an OMG YOU MADE IT! to amuse and gratify. I'll take what I can get, myself.
And all this happened on Valentine's day - 3 valentines, beautiful, crafty and handmade, dropped into my letterbox - dreamed up by fans of the super-crafty Aunt Peaches, who masterminded this worldwide swap. Hope you were that lucky. And laden with love tokens. Mine came from Britain, Canada and America - thank you all for the loads of hearts, flowers and good wishes. I'm quite fond of a bit of world love and was really happy to be part of it.