Category Archives: Craft

Hs Handcrafts is open on Etsy!

I’ve only gone and done it…I’ve opened an Etsy shop.

This is something I have been thinking about for some time. Not because I need another time suck on my hands but rather because I have made too many things and I cant possibly keep them all. So that’s exactly what you will find in my shop – not a carefully curated collection of items but rather all the things I wanted to make but inevitably had no use for!

Right now you can find listed for sale the pattern for my Saxifraga hat (same price as on Ravelry so whichever option you prefer for purchase is fine!)

Saxifraga hat pattern listed for sale on

Two knitted versions of that hat – one in red and blue, the other in black and cream.

Saxifrag hat listed for sale on http://hshandcrafts.etsy.comSaxifraga hat listed for sle on


A couple of fairisle hats – one adult sized, the other baby sized

Pathfinder hat listed for sale on

Crazy for colour hat listed for sale on

A knitted version of my Stellaria cowl pattern

tassel keyrings listed for sale on

Some fun tassel keyrings.

If you love any of this stuff so much that you would like to buy it I would be honoured! (Although I am currently trialling only shipping within the UK until I get my feet on the ground) Feel free to ask me anything about any of the listings!


If you would like to keep up to date with my current makes head on over to instagram where I will be posting sneak peaks of future listings as I work on them!

knitted easter display on hshandcrafts

Crackin’ Crafters


Insect EggsAfter my research the other week into knitted egg cosies I was fully prepared to get going on our work Easter project to decorate some eggs along the theme of the type of work we do.

For those that don’t know I am an agriculture PhD student in an agroecology department of a research institute. This means that the type of work we do, the theme around which the eggs should be decorated, is anything to do with agroecology. Essentially this is everything that is found in a wheat field, except the wheat. Not a simple task.


Together with some of my colleagues (also very crafty people!) we set to work to create a display on the theme of farmland biodiversity so we had a knitted soil together with colourful bacteria and fungi sewn on, crochet wheat and weeds and then for the main event we knitted egg cosy insects and sewed them on to the eggs so they could be suspended from above to create a 3D scene! I knitted an egg cosy to look like a greenfly or aphid. We also had a ladybird, a bee and a moth.AgEgg

We also had to come up with a team name and as egg-related puns seemed to be the theme of the day we decided to go with “Crackin’ Crafters” and created an embroidery stitch sampler to showcase our team name!

crackin crafters

We were all so proud of our display, despite its Blue Peter like appearance – and given the difficulty of the theme I thought we did really well. There were loads of amazing entries, no other knitted ones though!! It was a really fun day and a great way to make us all think differently about our work and get a it crafty!to create an egg themed display around the type of work we do.

If you want to find out more about what its like to work as a PhD student in my department you should definitely check out my friends blog about the trials and tribulations of an agriculture PhD (she’s the one who made that amazing ladybird!!)

Fired and glazed

So my pottery came back from the shop and it has now been fired and glazed and I’m really pleased with it! The blue came out lovely and bright and it will now take pride of place in my hallway holding all my pens so I never have to go rummaging around the back of the coffee table to find one again!

I’m always so surprised by how much the colours change in the kiln …sometimes its easy to grow attached to the lovely pastel shades as you paint them but this time I love the vividness of the bright blue!

In other news, we  are moving house soon and so the immense job that is packing up all our stuff has begun and sadly my sewing machine is now back in its box and parcel taped up so there will be no sewing for quite a while :(

I’ve managed to keep my knitting from being packed though!


jewellery pot painted by HsHandcrafts

Pottery Painting

My fellow PhD students and I often go to a place nearby where you can paint pottery. It is great fun and you get some great unique items at the end. We usually go just before Christmas so we can all paint gifts for our friends and families.

We went again recently as we had a lot of new students arrive for the summer and wanted to take them somewhere fun to welcome them all.

Previously I have painted a pot to hold my jewellery, a set of coasters which I gave to my granny as a Christmas gift last year and a mug.

jewellery pot

jewellery pot

Set of coaster painted with floral designs

Set of coaster painted with floral designs

Mug painted with botanical drawing of a tea plant

Mug painted with botanical drawing of a tea plant


This year I decided to make a pen pot as I always struggle to find my pens as they are strewn all over the place.

I really love the look of traditional blue and white pottery so wanted to recreate this but with a twist. Instead of blue and white I chose a bright blue for the pattern but opted for a pale bluish grey for the background. I mixed together a pale blue with lots of white and a touch of grey and covered the pot using a sponge to give a really light coverage. I then painted a design on using a really bright blue. I went for a kind of leaves design but its pretty abstract really.

Its quite difficult to envisage how the pot will turn out because all the paints appear as pastel shades when you paint them on and then you leave them at the shop to glaze the pot and fire it in a kiln. It is this process of firing the paints that brings out the colours.

blurry picture of pen pot pre kiln

blurry picture of pen pot pre kiln

I cant wait to see how it turns out!


mousemat made from postcards by hshandcrafts

Craft at the office

Craft doesn’t have to be restricted to at home. Sometimes it can be fun to bring a bit of craft into your workspace…just to brighten up the day!

I love to keep my workspace colourful. I do this by keeping postcards on the wall, having bright storage solutions and using coloured pens as often as possible.

I wanted to come up with some other ways to brighten up my work space so I thought I would try to make some!

I have always had issues with how to store some of the smaller items I need out on my desk such as paperclips and post-its. Then I spotted this tutorial to make origami baskets. I chose to make mine from some bright yellow lined paper I had lying around (didn’t I tell you I like my stationery to be colourful?!) They are great and can sit out of the way on my monitor stands!

origami baskets for paperclips and post its

origami baskets for paperclips and post its

I also decided to get rid of my boring old mousemat and create a new one using some postcards from the Natural History museum. They are basically stuck together using sellotape on the back and then bluetacked to the desk so they wont move around!

mousemat made from postcards

mousemat made from postcards

Ive found some other great ideas which I might also try when I get some time, such as these bookends which would be a great use of the remnants from some of my sewing projects

Fabric bookends – tutorial from design sponge

There’s also lots of ideas using washi tape such as this one to spruce up your keyboard


Make a card for your Dad

Its just over a week til Father’s day and so all of the shops are filled with cards and gifts for Dad.

I always like to make a card so I thought I would share with you some card making ideas that can be great fun to make!

spotty overlay Spots!

Make a template of whatever shape you like and then stamps paint dots around it  making sure to overlap with the edge of the template as you go.

Another way to make this craft work if you don’t want the mess of paints is to scribble all round the edge of the template with coloured pens!










Make your own stamps and layer them up on different coloured paper.

You could even add Washi tape to give it that proper scrapbook feel!






string art String Art!

You can easily make this work for a card by punching holes into paper using a pin or a needle and then using embroidery floss to make your design. Then stick another piece of card onto the back to hide all the messy knots and loose ends.





leaf cut outsLeaf Cut outs!

This might be a better craft for the Autumn when the leaves are dried out and all beautiful colours but you could always use the same idea with different pieces of coloured card or paper.

















Now I have so many ideas I just need to decide on one and get making!


decorated egg by hshandcrafts

Washi Tape Eggs

It feels like spring is here at last! After a weekend of wind and rain the sun has come out, the blossom is in bloom and the birds are singing. With Easter just around the corner all thoughts are turning to bunnies, chicks and eggs and what better way to brighten up your home for Easter than with some simple decorated eggs!

Lat week I was making a cake to say thank you to some colleagues at work for helping me out and I thought that rather than cracking the eggs right open I should save them for some Easter decorating.

I carefully inserted a pin into the top and bottom of each egg to make a hole. I then gradually made each hole bigger until it was 3-4 mm in diameter. Then I could carefully blow the contents out of the egg to be used for my cake making!

once the eggs were emptied I filled them with water to clean them out and then left them to drain for a couple of minutes before putting them in the microwave for 10 seconds to prevent any remaining bits of egg from going mouldy.

Once the eggs were ready it was time to string them up. This proved more difficult than I had first thought but I managed to do it by threading some embroidery floss onto a darning needle that was just about long enough to pull through the egg.

I could then start decorating. For a quick and easy result I decided to use Washi tape as it adds colour and fun patterns without requiring delicate drawing work.

So in less than 15 minutes I had 2 nicely decorated eggs!


Mothers Day African Flower Keyring on hshandcrafts

African Flower Keyring

Happy Mothers Day!

I hope everyone has had a great day treating their mums (or being treated to lovely things). Unfortunately I live a long way away from my mum and so have been unable to do so but will get to see her in a couple of weeks so I am very excited for that.

As I didn’t get to see her today I sent her a little treat in the post which is why I have held back this post until today rather than publish it as soon as I had finished making it last week! I made an African flower keyring

I really like the African flower crochet motif but have not really been sure what to use it for. I often see them made up with double knitting, which despite looking lovely always seems to be too big a design for anything I would like to make.

So I decided instead to try making one out of embroidery floss and it worked a treat!

African flower keyring by hshandcrafts

The finished hex is about 2inches across

African flower keyring by hshandcrafts

To make your own…

you will need:

  • embroidery floss in 5 colours
  • a keyring
  • 2 beads in colours of your choice
  • some wadding (1.5inches square)
  • a 2mm crochet hook
  • scissors

1. Crochet your African flowers

To start off you need to make 2xAfrican flower hexes or any other crochet hex would be great. I followed this picture tutorial

but…most importantly you need to use embroidery floss and a 2mm crochet hook to end up with your hex small enough to use as a key ring.

2. Begin to join the African flowers together

Place your two African flowers together with all the loose ends pointing inwards

Join your embroidery floss in a colour of your choosing (I used dark blue here) to one of the corners making sure to join the 2 African flowers together

Chain 1 and then single crochet in each gap between the double crochets from the previous round around three edges of your hex. At each corner put 3 single crochet into the chain space from the previous round.

3. Stuff the keyring

To make sure the key ring holds its shape you need to stuff it with some wadding or any kind of stiff fabric.

Cut this to a hexagon that will easily fit inside your crocheted hexes. (Mine was approximately 1 inch across)

Place your cut out shape in the gap between your 2 African flowers.

4. Continue joining the African flowers

Continue to single crochet all the way around the hexes with three single crochet in the chain space at each corner.

5. Join the round

Once you have crocheted all the way around and your 2 hexes are joined together complete the round with a slip stitch into the first single crochet.

6. Cut the embroidery floss

Be sure to leave a long tail to attach to your key ring

7. Add beads

Thread your beads onto the embroidery floss tail

8. Attach keyring

Thread the end of the embroidery floss through the loop on the keyring and tie it as close as possible to the beads.

9. Cut the embroidery floss

Leave enough of a tail so that the knot wont come untied but so that it still looks tidy.

Voila…your very own African flower keyring!

Have you made anything with the African flower motif recently? i would love to see your designs


HsHandcrafts African Flower crochet Keyring HsHandcrafts African Flower Crochet Keyring

stag and leaf screenprinted design on hshandcrafts

Screen printed tote

Last night I went on a textiles taster course. We were shown the process of screen printing and even got to try it out ourselves.

With only three hours it was a busy evening to get a design drawn, the stencil cut out and the 2-colour design printed but I had loads of fun and now have a cute tote bag with my own design printed on it!

I started out with the idea of a stag silhouette but when I saw some of the tutors portfolio with multiple prints layered up I decided to try something similar so incorporated some leaves and layered them on top.

I am pretty pleased with the outcome, I just wish the blue  would have shown up a bit brighter to emphasize the stag.

Screen-printed tote bag with stag and leaf design

Screen-printed tote bag with stag and leaf design

screen printed stag and leaves design

screen printed stag and leaves design