Thursday, 23 October 2014

Super Spooky Tutorial Round Up - Our 5 Fave Halloween DIYs

Halloween is possibly my favourite day of the year so, predictably, our Pinterest board is groaning under the weight of horrifically easy and terrifyingly cute ideas for DIY costumes, decorations and treats. Here are my favourites but do check out the whole selection. Not all are suitable for kids, but most of them are!

1. Pumpkins are the mainstay of Halloween, but if you want to hide from trick or treaters this year, and secretly craft behind your closed curtains, then why not sew up this cute pumpkin pin cushion?
2. Obviously it’s a given that something MUST be carved, so after you’ve whittled your traditional jack-o-lanterns, get out your sharpest knife and have a go at this super gross watermelon brain
3. I’ve pinned lots of ideas for DIY treat bags on our Pinterest board, but I love these trick or treat candy collection buckets. Old paint pots, duct tape, cardboard. Boom!

4. As a busy mum, I’m a fan of the VERY quick and last minute costume ideas (there’s loads on our board) but this Owl Costume for kids with fabric feathered wings is something to take your time over and keep forever.
5. Liven up your party: add simple cardboard black cats to your existing Christmas fairy lights and drape throughout your venue, or pin them up outside your house to attract the trick or treaters.
Found on
Follow us on Pinterest for more creative DIY ideas, or sign up to one of our courses to increase your crafting confidence; we offer courses in sewing, knitting, crochet, printing, jewellery making. And if you’ve got any excellent Halloween hacks or despicable DIYs then please do share them with us on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Happy Halloweening!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair - Our Top 10 Finds

Last Thursday we rubbed shoulders with the glitterati of the craft world at the preview evening of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. In the post-industrial chic of the Old Granada TV studios we browsed the stalls, chatted with the makers, coveted the amazing products and made some sound investments!

We hope you were able to attend over the weekend, but if you didn’t manage to get there here’s our round up of our favourite finds and people to watch. You can find each maker’s work online and we hope we might influence you to check them out. Start your Christmas wishlist here!

1.    Lynsey Walters – Both Sam and I have bought Lynsey’s joyous felt jewellery at previous fairs and this year was no exception. Always a favourite!

2.    Vinegar & Brown Paper – ideas etched in glass! We loved this stall. Vintage mirrors, inkwells, conical flasks, crystal decanters all etched with simple messages. A brilliant idea for a bespoke gift. Thoughtful and unusual.

3.    Jules McKeown - Yuyu is a modern interior brand creating original collections of bold surface pattern designs across a range of fabrics, cushions, wallpapers and limited edition screen prints. All products and fabrics are beautifully made in the UK.

4.    Bella May Leonard – contemporary embroidery as art, as well as embellishment.

5.    Sarah Heaton – Whimsical, lovable, usable ceramic tableware.

6.    Anna Byers – Statement jewellery including interactive pieces with moveable parts. My favourites were the geometric pieces made from Perspex and precious metals. Swoon.

7.    Laura Lou – completely charming kitsch textile jewellery

8.    Graeme Reed – illustrator from Stoke-on-Trent selling limited edition digital prints 

9.    Amy Lawrence Designs – Knitted artisan jewellery inspired by nature and traditional cultures. I could have bought the whole collection!

10.    Ruth Pullan – hand-stitched leather satchels and bags. British materials and traditional craftsmanship.

If you need any further inspiration for your Christmas list, just remember we have Ministry of Craft gift vouchers. So you can treat your nearest and dearest to the gift of a craft course, or more realistically, they can treat you!

Friday, 10 October 2014

New Course - Classy Clutch Bag

Theres no denying that the clutch bag is the mainstay of the festive season. With so many nights out and parties you need a little faithful friend to keep all your important things together and add a splash of colour to your outfit. Clutch bags come in many different shapes and sizes, here are some of our current favourites from the highstreet…
Vintage Kimono Wool clutch £48.19 | From Etsy | FABbyCAB

Recycled Sari Clip Clutch £20 | from People Tree

Beaded Pick 'n Mix Pouch £495 | from Selfridges | Charlotte Olympia

Next month Ministry brings you the opportunity to make your very own custom, one-off, no-one-else-is-going-to-have-it clutch bag with our brand new CLASSY CLUTCH BAG course. Classic colours, or bright and bold, you decide! Your new clutch will set your outfit off to perfection.

Oh this? I made it myself!

The next Classy Clutch Bag course is on the 22nd November and costs just £42.50, (cheaper than some of the featured bags above, and for that you get a finished clutch PLUS the skills to make all the bags you could ever need!) 

This course is bound to be popular so book yourself on ASAP and start shopping for the perfect fabric immediately.