Craft it Yourself Episode 1

Craft It Yourself Ant Anstead Clemency Green Robin Johnson

A new programme started on the television last night, called Craft it Yourself, an interior design craft series that shows you what you can make for yourself , delivering an expensive home makeover at a lower price through hard graft or quick fixes.

For those of you wishing to make an income, working from home, and looking for inspiration on what to do and how to make an income, this is a great programme to give you ideas on what you could make – and the difference between costs and retail prices, giving you an insight into the potential profit you could make from a home business crafting.

During the programme the three presenters try out a variety of crafts that are new to them and share with you their exasperations and successes.

In this first episode they took a clutter filled junk room and themed it in a Cuban style, presenting the room with a makeover at the end incorporating all of the items they made in the programme.

There are three presenters, trying a variety of DIY crafts at home as well as attending specialist Craft Workshops:

  • Robin Johnson, a woodworker
  • Clemency Green (Clem), an enthusiast of home décor  will try anything from sewing to welding
  • Ant Anstead is a luxury car maker.

So, what did they make?

  • Rope & Tassel Curtain: This was a speedy video showing quickly how you can make a simple curtain from few materials. The total project time was put at 3 hours, with a budget of £50.
  • Gallery Wall of Framed Botanicals: Clem dried botanicals, before placing them in a two sided glass frame that’s very popular at the moment – these simple and stylish click-shut frames were then hung on the wall of their room. The glass frames they said cost from £12 and you can pick them up most easily on ebay, where you’ll enjoy the largest range of sizes and styles. Why not think about what else you could put in this type of “on trend” frame for resale!   Double Sided Glass Frames on eBay
  • Beaded Chandelier: These typically cost upwards of £300 in the shops, but they showed you how you could make your own beaded chandelier – current chandelier trends are using wire, rope, wood, rather than the traditional glass style. This project started with a simple hanging basket and by adding 3000 wooden beads (1000 beads in each of 3 sizes) it was transformed into a wood bead chandelier. They recommended using a beading needle, costing £1.  This project took a loooong time, it’s very labour intensive, with repetitive stringing of beads.  Costing £105 to make, you could master these quite easily and resell for £300+
  • Woven Bench: In this you did need woodworking skills and tools – and patience – or you can simply buy in a frame and just do the weaving yourself. Clem and Robin used reels of sash cord to create a colourful seat, by simple “weaving” using three colours of sash cord. They showed how you just wrap the cord round, using hitch knots to secure the cord every five rows. The total cost of this project was £30 for the wood and £50 for the sash cord.
  • Painted Crockery:  This was a quick video, where you could see how you take plain crockery, glass paints and brushes – then simply paint designs onto the crockery and let it dry.  This was dishwasher safe and cost £15.
  • Make a Knife: Clem attended a blacksmithing course with Alex in Somerset and made herself a new kitchen knife, working with a hot fire at 1600-1700 degrees!  Cost of the workshop was £200.
  • Cactus Cupcakes:  If cupcakes are your thing, they showed you how to make a cactus style cupcake. Cost £9 for 12.
  • Making Tiles: The fireplace in the room needed some tiles for the makeover, so one of the presenters visited Douglas Watson, a ceramic tile artist in Oxfordshire.  Douglas is a professional and formally qualified fine artist who has spent the last 40 years making his own tiles and hand painting miniatures onto tiles – they then need firing.  It would take 3 weeks in total to make tiles, decorate them and fire them – in the programme Ant Anstead simply painted plain unfired tiles with basic patterns in 3 colours of a water-based paint – and it took him a loooong time to make the 44 he needed.  The programme advised that you could just use shop bought tiles and porcelain pens, which you can get on ebay.
  • Tie Dye Cushions:  Cost to make was given as £6.80 for a pair.  You need cushion covers, fabric dye, salt to set the colour and elastic bands to wrap around them.

Three Easiest Crafts:

What we find easiest is a personal preference, but painting crockery, tie dying cushion covers and the botanicals glass frames seemed the easiest.

Drove Them Mad: 

What drove the presenters mad seemed to be the repetitive nature of the chandelier, woven bench and tile painting.  While the start could be fun, once they got to the part where they had to just “repeat until finished” they had to grit their teeth to complete!

Where to Sell Handmade Goods:

Etsy was mentioned on Craft it Yourself as is the market leading website, with over 7,000,000 members – and it’s the main marketplace where people sell their handmade goods online easily.

Is this a programme to watch that shows you how to make the crafts?  Mostly, not really – some of the simpler crafts can be completed with the information in the programme, but they do give you a feel for what would be involved, how long it would take – and if it was achingly tedious to do!  The chandelier and woven bench certainly tested their patience, as did making 44 tiles in any pattern that was workable.

Programme Resources and Sources: 

  • Etsy
  • eBay
  • Programme Hashtag: #craftityourself