Unique Craft Idea for New Year – Promise Pot Tutorial

pots1a The New Year is seen as a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. As we say farewell to the old year we pledge to leave behind traits that we no longer find desirable. Unfortunately many people, myself included find that keeping resolutions is harder than we might have thought. Rather than viewing forgotten resolutions as a mark of failure, my family decided to make the whole experience more positive from the outset with this unique craft idea for New Year. It was with this in mind that the ‘Promise Pot’ was born. Instead of resolving not to do certain things, the idea is that you pledge to do something positive for yourself or your family. This could be anything you like, perhaps you dream of visiting a new country and this year you promise to make that wish come true. Or maybe your needs are smaller and this year you pledge to read more books. The only condition is that your promise must be positive. So if you have a very particular goal such as weight loss, rather than vowing to loose a set number of pounds, perhaps you could resolve to treat yourself more healthily over the coming months instead.

This tutorial was originally created and written by myself for the Boden community in 2011 (hence the date on the flags 🙂 ).

Promise Pots can be large or small. A large one can cover a whole family and be kept the year round as a reminder. Smaller pots are perfect as place settings which guests can take home.

6finishedSmall Promise Pots


Florists Oasis

Organza Fabric


Decoration (such as ribbon or lace)

Disposable Kebab Sticks

Thin Card



1flowerpotI made the smaller pots using tiny flowerpots bought from a local garden centre, I believe they are intended for small cacti.Oasis

Once you’ve chosen the pots you’ll need to fill them with florists oasis. I find the easiest way to do this is to take a big chunk and slowly shave it down using a kitchen knife.Organza

Once the oasis fits snugly into the pot it needs to be covered with fabric. I like to use gold organza, it’s thin, sparkly and perfect for the job. Gather the fabric around the Oasis and tie at the bottom, trim off any excess fabric. Turn the Oasis over and push into the pot.

Next it’s time to decorate! I used red lace, but ribbon, sequins and glitter all look fabulous stuck around the edge of your pot.6stick-in-pot

Take a Kebab stick and cut in half. Cut a small piece of card 1½cm wide by 9cm long. Fold the card in half and write the year on both sides. Glue the folded card around the top of the cut kebab stick, then push into the centre of your pot.

Next cut a square of Organza fabric, approximately 28cm square. Place the pot into the middle of the fabric and pull up the corners towards the centre stick. Tie the fabric in place around the stick using a piece of ribbon.

Take some more kebab sticks and cut in half, make more cardboard flags to attach to the top. Put 4 flags into each pot. Your guests can now write their promises onto the flags and keep the pots to inspire them.

shot-glassShot Glass Promise Pot

Using a shot glass is a quick and simple variation for individual pots. The only difference is the Oasis is not covered with fabric, it is pushed into the glass and then a small circle of kitchen foil used to cover the top. Then glue some ribbon around the glass to hide the Oasis. The flags in this picture already have some promises written on.

large-potLarge Promise Pot

To make the large version for your family or to give as a gift, use a larger Terracotta flowerpot. In my example here the Oasis is only covered at the top using a couple of pieces of Hessian fabric. Any fabric will do but it must have a loose weave to allow the sticks to be pushed in. I then used some cocktail sticks to secure the fabric at the edge of the pot. You will need to cut off one pointed end to do this, thus creating giant pins. Glue some ribbon around the edge of the pot and then fill the fabric with sweets to add a bit of colour. The flags are made in the same way as before but will need to be longer in length.

I hope you all have a fabulous New Year with many wonderful times ahead of you!


The Great Lord of the Rings Cake Off!

A weekend spent at home can quickly become boring if you don’t have any activities or projects with which to occupy yourself. My husband and I found ourselves in just such a situation a few weeks ago. Rather than spend a weekend in front of the television, I challenged him to a cake off! The rules were simple, we would both make a cake and decorate it on a chosen theme and then let our friends vote for the winner.

After watching the recent Hobbit film we decided on a Lord of the Rings or Tolkien theme. Both cakes were mini cakes (so they could be eaten quickly and therefore keep their freshness).

I chose to make a Hobbit Hole, the cake was baked in a pudding basin and carved to give the shape. I was really quite pleased with it 🙂

My husband (the ambitious fellow that he is) chose to make Minas Tirith, it was constructed of multiple layers of mini brownie cakes, then covered in icing.

We put the photos onto our personal facebook pages and let our friends and family vote for a winner. The results crowned…..

My Hobbit Hole victorious!

It was a hilarious way to spend a weekend and basically a free activity as we had everything we needed in our cupboards.

So if you find yourself slipping into boredom one weekend how about challenging a friend or family member to your very own cake off or bake off. You can even do a challenge with a group of friends, or perhaps in aid of charity. Not forgetting that it doesn’t matter who wins as everyone gets to eat cake!!

Heart Coaster Tutorial

Apologies for the lack of blogs recently, I’ve not been very well. As such today’s tutorial is a little shorter than I would like. In essence though the technique is the same as in the previous tutorial for the Heart Badges/Magnets on card. I think these make the perfect coasters all year round, hearts are most definitely not confined to Valentine’s Day in our house.

You Will Need

Thin Cardboard

Old Newspapers

PVA glue

Acrylic Paint

Decorative Paper

Quick Drying Gloss Varnish

Step 1

Start by cutting out a large coaster sized heart from the thin cardboard (old cereal boxes work perfectly). As in the previous tutorial, if you want to make sure the hearts are even, fold the cardboard in half then draw half a heart against the fold before unfolding and cutting out. Four to six hearts makes a good sized set if giving as a gift.

Step 2

Using PVA glue, stick nine layers of newspaper to one side of the heart shape. Once dry,  repeat the process on the opposite side. Remember to cut away any excess paper to keep your heart shape neat. If the heart curls slightly when drying, place it under a weight to flatten out. If it has badly curled use a hot dry iron (place brown paper between the shape and the iron), be careful not to burn it.

Step 3

Once dry, paint both sides of the hearts with acrylic paint (I used a burgundy colour).

Next cut out a heart just slightly smaller than your original shape from decorative paper (I used old maps). Stick to the front; as it’s slightly smaller you should see some of the painted edge all the way around.

Step 4

Finally varnish both sides of your coaster with 3 layers of varnish.