I recently visited the Perth Upmarket and noticed a vendor called Zozo Handmade selling beautifully knitted cacti. It got me wondering if I could create something similar yet with an easy tutorial that even a child could follow. A quick google revealed heaps of knitted cacti done lots of different ways but none of them using a knitting loom or french knitting nancy.

This cute little beauty is currently keeping my mother company in her nursing home. The cacti look best grouped so I created 3 and have included as much information as possible in my tutorial. They are great for a housewarming gift.

To create this project, you will need: circular knitting looms in various sizes, green wool, a wool needle, crochet-type hook for looms, potting mix, small jars, stuffing, terracotta pots, permanent marker, rubber band and small rocks.

I started by creating the “fingers” of the plant.

Wrap the wool around the loom as shown above and then sweep the outlying strand across and lift the loop below over the top:

Continue until a long tube is created. When you are happy with the length, grab your wool needle and thread the outlying strand. Loop this in and out of the wool on the loom as if doing a running stitch:

Once all the loops have been threaded, unhook them:

Pull the outlying strand tight and it will turn your tube into a finger:

Stuff it with stuffing and continue to create the “fingers” in varying lengths.

If you want to create fatter cacti, simply use wider looms. I also created the pots by re-purposing some old mini terracotta pots:

This is how I filled the jar with rocks and stones:

Here is the final product:

I think they look very cute! Tell me what you think!

My sister recently go married and I want to dedicate this blog to her. She took so much leave after my mother had her stroke that she didn’t have much annual time off for her own honeymoon. It’s been postponed to this week when there are public holidays on (she’ll be missing my 30th birthday which makes me sad).

Things were hectic up until the wedding, I was a bridesmaid, so I just wanted to put together a little box of goodies so that her honeymoon was postponed but not forgotten. I will get her something bigger than this when she returns.

I started with a nice box and some tissue paper:

I placed some faux rose petals on top (you can buy these from Dusk here in Australia):

I laid another layer of tissue paper on top of this and then placed the bride and groom’s initials which I had spray painted. You can buy these letters pre-done if you don’t have time to do them from scratch.

On top of this, lay some more tissue paper down and place a scented candle:

And then because I wanted to keep “Love on Top” like Beyonce I placed the gilded “love” sign I crafted on the top of the pile before I sealed off the box:

At the end of my sister’s wedding, I went up to change out of my bridesmaid’s dress in her room. I opened the box and set the initials onto the bed along with the rose petals and placed the scented candle on the bed side. I hoped it would make Tamara and her groom feel their honeymoon wasn’t forgotten.

Thanks to my sister for being a wonderful daughter to my mother and making those big sacrifices. Hope you also love this DIY for something heartfelt if you’re on a budget.

 

I am just astonished at how many great creatives are roaming around Dubai, Singapore and Perth. I met Sangeeta from Paper Couture online when she started following me on Twitter. Later, at one of my DIY workshops, she introduced herself and gave me a whole bunch of free printables which she had designed. I was so impressed that I am still using some of these today.

Sangeeta is a graphic designer/art director by profession, and a self claimed writer! She’s also a busy wife and mother who loves creative print design, interior design, DIY, contemporary dance, fashion, and Dubai.

After having her little girl she realised there was a niche in the market for classy, stylish and fun designs for wedding invites, birthday parties and more.

Like many talented DIY-ers, Sangeeta had been designing all of the above for friends for the past 12 years, so she finally decided to go ahead and offer her services to a wider audience? And voila! Paper Couture was born.
Her work was so gorgeous that when I needed to get tags and stickers for DIYnamicstyle.com, I knew exactly where to go. I finally met Sangeeta on my last trip to Dubai and there she was, heavily pregnant and still dishing out her beloved printables. I love when I see that passion in people.
You can see her tag on my latest bag which is on sale at Neon Pony.
If you want some amazing work for your next party or wedding you can contact Sangeeta below. Even if you are not in Dubai, she can do the design work for you from overseas.

Sangeeta Kumar D’souza

It’s been chaos at the moment. If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, you will know that things are being cooked up at www.DIYnamicstyle.com headquarters. Thanks to the lovely Vanessa at All Things Indulgent for also letting me know my new-look logo went up! She’s a doll.

We (my lovely Aussie intern Mica and myself) are about to launch videos onto a mobile app provider in the Middle East and something wonderful is in the pipeline with Wander and Hunt. The same great DIY tutorials will still be here.

I was in Singapore shooting a South East Asia-wide campaign for Sephora.

I then flew direct to Dubai (exhausting) working in my role as Dove hair ambassador and styling at the C.Wonder store launch (that’s me below with fash-billionaire Chris Burch, creator of C.Wonder and Tory’s ex-hubby):

Then I returned back to Perth and presented the Runway Model of the Year Award at the West Australian Fashion Awards:

Now, while all this was happening, I was laying the plans to re-launch this site as www.DIYnamicstyle.com and my little side business.

Why the re-branding? Well, turns out, unlike Dubai, doing DIY in Australia isn’t really “cheap.” The name “Cheapnchic.net” didn’t seem to apply any longer plus I decided to launch a range of products from the blog and I didn’t want them to be labelled as “cheap.” Makes sense, no?

I love the new logo and packaging. Thanks to Paper Couture Dubai (full blog on them soon) for the great tags and cards.

DIYnamic Style will be hosting Thriftspirational Op Shop Events. I’ll be producing bespoke party decorations and favours in the Perth area (check my DIY Body Scrub and Oat Mask below):

I’ll be doing crafting stations at event launches and baby showers (just like I did in Dubai). More photos of these to come at the end of April, plus my workshops with readers will stay. Stay tuned if you’re reading in Perth.

And now the part of www.DIYnamicstyle.com that has been keeping me very very busy: Handmade fashion, beauty products and gifts.

My hand painted bags are now on sale at Neon Pony in Northbridge. The Toucan bag has already sold. If you are anywhere in the world and would like to have a bespoke bag painted for your requirements, simply email me through the site on the contact fields on the right.

I will continue to balance my media work with my hand made passion. So stay tuned for more and bookmark www.DIYnamicstyle.com now!

I don’t often make kids craft, in fact when I set up this website, I vowed not to do kiddies projects but coming home has made me spend a lot more time with family. I’ll also soon be contributing regular children’s DIY projects to a blog in Dubai but more on that soon.

I also wanted to show you my new craft room in Australia. I have some amazing DIY projects on the cards for Australia Day and expect more content for those of you who read from Oz. My Mum was a die hard quilter and you can see her fabric in this picture.

So this is the project on my little niece’s head. She looks so amazing:

I didn’t get time to DIY the wings and wand but did add white into the crown to match. So this is what you will need for this project:

You will need: ribbon, lace, fake vine, sea beads, tulle in various colours and base fabrics in the similar colours to the tulle (I chose fabrics that would fray to give the flowers a slightly shabby chic feel), sewing scissors, needle and thread, glitter glue and butterflies (I added glitter on them and it’s not shown here). All of the materials were bought from Spotlight here in Perth.

Begin by making the crown out of the vines. Simply take the 2 lengths of vine and form a circle, tucking the loose ends under each other until a wreath is formed. For Isabel’s small head I estimated  20% smaller than my own head circumference.

Now make the flowers. Begin by cutting semi circles from a piece of fabric folded in half.

From here repeat with the matching base fabric until you have a voluminous flower. You fold the circles in uneven quarters and then thread them onto the needle. For more detailed images click here:

Now take your sea beads and sew a magic sprinkling in the centre:

Continue this with the other flowers and set them aside. Take the crown and some tulle and using wire, ribbon or in my case small lengths of wire with beads, fasten tulle around the crown:

Take your needle and thread and attach the fabric flowers from here. I also added butterflies. The last step for this part of the crown is to add tulle on the inside of the front of the crown. This will add a barrier between the ends of the flowers and wires and the child’s skin so it’s pretty important to stop irritation:

To create the back of the crown tie differing lengths of ribbon so that they cascade down the back of the child’s head:

That’s it and now you can gift this to a very special little girl!

Happy Birthday little one! Nice cake by Charles and Violet as well.

On social media, a lot of you have been asking me to share with you a great Christmas DIY. I stumbled across this and fell in love!

These are from the Peter Alexander Christmas 2013 range, they are called the Xmas Pudding Scuff:

I adore them but being an Aussie based in Dubai, purchasing these is a bit tough. I think the idea makes a lovely Christmas gift.

To create this project, you will need: house slippers (mine are from Shoe Express in Oasis Centre), red felt, green felt, fabric scissors, fabric pencil, glue gun, needle and thread and bells.

Start by tracing 6 circular felt circles on the fabric:

Once these circles have been cut around. Use the glue gun to glue the bells in place into the centre of the felt. I had hoped these would jingle, but rather they just form the shape of the holly berries, the glue stops them from jingling.

Now bunch the felt around the bell and thread the red needle and thread in and out of the felt:

Draw the thread tight so that the bell is covered and stitch around the base to secure:

From here grab your green felt and with a fabric pencil draw the outline of the holly leaves:

Cut around these and sew onto the slippers:

Sew on the berries securely to keep the slippers machine washable. That’s it!

I hope you find these as adorable as I do. They will be a gift for my most beloved cousin Paula in Perth who always takes me to Peter Alexander when I am there.

I was so flattered to be asked by Crate and Barrel to host the launch of their festive season event. Once again, my day job seems to be moving in perfect synergy with my love of DIY.

The event activities included making traditional Gluhwein, wreathmaking and how to wrap the perfect gift. I learnt how to tie the perfect bow from floral expert and fellow craft-lover Nadine Shamas. Nadine and I both agreed we wanted to see more crafters and DIY activities happening here in Dubai.

Here are some images of the gorgeous Crate and Barrel store and the festive Tree Lot. The event was packed!

You can also watch the video here:

This post is dedicated to my beloved Aunty Veronica who died a few years ago. Her daughter, my cousin Paula, and I are like best friends and Paula gifted me a few of Aunty Veronica’s things so I could remember her and one of the things I requested was this 70s curtain fabric. Paula washed it and gave it to me on my last trip to Australia.

This is my late father and Aunty Ronnie here in the 60s. What a bunch of hipsters!

So for a recent friend’s birthday I decided to use the fabric as gift wrapping.

You will need: The gift, twine or ribbon, safety pin, scissors, iron, vintage fabric, zig zag scissors and tag.

Place the gift in the centre of the fabric and reserve the approximate excess around the sides as shown in the picture.

Iron the fabric and then cut the edges with zig zag fabric scissors. From here follow the folding in the below pictures:

From here you can add a safety pin to tie it all together securely as the fabric can be quite heavy.

From here I ran over both back and front with the iron one more time to make the edges and creases sharp. Then grab your string or ribbon and place it like below:

Then flip the parcel over and tie here:

Add your tag and you’re ready to go!

It’s very shabby chic and best of all, you can upcycle old fabric or scraps (not necessarily vintage) for this project. Something unique, cheap and chic!

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