Tag Archives: buttons

Gruffalo Cupcakes

I’m in the kitchen at a three year old’s birthday party. I thought this would be the safest place to hide. I was wrong. You see, I thought volunteering to make tea would be a safe bet. Unfortunately one of the parents thinks I work here and he’s being a little pushy about my tea making skills.

“Leave the tea bag to stew in the water longer” he says, pointing his finger at the cup. “Don’t scrimp on the milk!” As he takes the cup I notice the tin of flapjacks in his hand, and it strikes me they look quite rubbish.

So I say “I like your homemade flapjacks”. I smile and there’s a brief moment where neither of us say’s a word. Now it’s fairly rare I travel great distances to deliver impromptu baking critique to men I hardly know, but he just seemed annoying.

“So what have you brought along” he sneers. I crack open the cupcake tin, proudly show off the Gruffalo Cupcakes and fold my arms in triumph. As he shuffles away towards the ball pit, Anna pops her head into the kitchen to ask for some more milk for her tea.

Precooked cupcakes

Gruffalo Cupcakes (makes 12)
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter
120ml organic whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste


Chocolate Butter Cream
600g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter
80g cocoa powder
100ml organic whole milk

To make the cupcakes follow Anna’s famous Oreo Cupcake recipe guide.


Gruffalo Decorations
Teeth, tusks & horns – Mini marshmallows
Eyes and nose – Smarties
Mouth – Cola strings
Ears – Chocolate buttons

With Buttons

With Marshmallow horns

With Green Nose

With Orange Eyes

With Mouth

With Marshmallow Teeth

Chocolate Eyes

Push the Button

If there is one thing that doing all of these wonderful projects for our blog site has taught me, it is that I love re-upholstering furniture. Hopefully, one day I’ll even be able to sell a piece and someone will get as much pleasure out of that piece of furniture as I did creating it. However, every project that I have undertaken has always involved a huge amount of self taught skill (and I use that word lightly). From learning to fabric line an old school desk to creating a shabby chic paint effect. But one simple skill that I really enjoyed learning was how to cover and make my own buttons. So I thought I would share with you how to cover your own buttons, whether for upholstery projects, making your own craft projects or for decorational purposes.

1) Firstly you need to invest in one essential tool – a self cover button tool. It’s really easy to use and covers 5 sizes of buttons to cover from 11 – 29mm. You will then need to pick your cover fabric and purchase the actual buttons themselves. I have recently covered 20 x 23mm buttons for an upholstery project. I purchased the buttons via Hobbycraft and searched for ‘self cover metal buttons’, however you can also get them from most haberdashery shops (the buttons come in 2 parts).

2) You then have to cut small circles of fabric that are around 5mm bigger round the edge of the button. This allows you some overlap to tuck into the teeth on the reverse of the upper part on the button. Place the circle of fabric plus the upper part of the button on top of the softer rubber portion of the self cover tool (lining up to the correct button size).

3) Push the button down into the rubber mould and tuck the excess fabric under the teeth of the metal button itself.

4) Then take the back of the button, pop it on top with the ridges facing down, so the metal loop lines up with the slot of the back button (if that doesn’t make sense then look at the picture below).

5) Finally use the rigid plastic part of the cover tool to push the back of the button down into the covered portion of the button. Depending on which cover fabric you use, you may have to use a little force to make both portions of the button click together. 6) Once they are connected, you can then pop the button out and ‘viola’ you have a covered button.

Thrift Shop Shirt Makeover

Quite frankly I can’t keep up with the weather. I have lost count the amount of times I have had to switch between a jumper to a dress, from boots to espadrilles, from cut off denim shorts to a coat (you get the picture). Don’t get me wrong I never say no to a glorious bit of sunshine, it’s just I find it a little exhausting planning the daily wardrobe when you have to factor in such a changeable climate.

With that said, I found myself with a slight clothing quandary on Saturday morning when I was woken by the searing sunshine piercing the blinds in our bedroom. Filled with the joys of summer, I rummaged through my wardrobe looking for the perfect summer outfit. I was off out for lunch with friends and wanted to make an effort. However, and as I can imagine all the ladies out there can relate to, I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to wear. Through all the clothes I had, nothing quite matched what I was thinking.

That was until I found a mens shirt that I had bought at a local charity shop, which I had planned to make into a sleeveless tie front top. Perfect I thought, this is exactly what I need.

So, here is how I made a lovely summer top out of an old mens shirt.

1. I had to firstly cut the sleeves off the shirt. I measured out exactly where I wanted the new sleeve seam to sit by trying the shirt on and marking out with quilting tape on one sleeve. After taking the shirt off I matched the exact same measurments on the other sleeve. I then used my fabric scissors to cut a clean curve and sew a new seam on both armholes.

2. I then repeated this with the hem. I measured out with quilting tape where I wanted the back hem to sit and followed this line through to the front of the shirt. I then used the tape to create a slight ‘S’ shape that curved towards the bottom of the button placket to create the ties. Again, I cut away the excess fabric and used the sewing machine to sew a new hem.

3. I then decided to ‘pretty up’ the shirt by cutting the existing buttons from the shirt and replacing them with new ones.

4. A quick press with iron, some denim cut-off shorts, a necklace and some red lipstick and I was ready for lunch with my friends.

So there we go, get your hands on your husband’s, boyfriend’s, dad’s or brother’s shirt (or you can also search your local charity shops) and get cutting. They really do make gorgeous summer top’s that keep you cool in the sun.

A New Throne for a New Home – Part 2

Tah dah, we finally did it. Now I know that this sounds like a fairly small triumph in the year we have Olympians breaking all manner of records, but nonetheless, it is with great pleasure we’d like to reveal our latest DIY achievement. Our lovely new chair.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but you’ve upholstered a chair before. Nothing new here. Yes, that’s technically true, but around this time last year we would have never thought this possible. You see our blog URL is just nine months old this June. It was this time last summer when we stumbled upon the idea of ReMadeIt, and look how far we’ve come. So without further delay I’ll stop gloating and let you know how we did it.

In our last update we spoke about how we had three main things to cover. First up, the right arm was in pretty bad shape with a large crack down the middle. After some careful inspection, it turned out just a little bit of wood glue and some clamping was all we needed. A collective ‘phew’ and we’re on our way to tackling the next thing – a large hole where the cushion straps used to be.

To be honest, I thought ‘d have this done in a flash. I mean, how hard can strapping upholstery webbing to the chair be, right? Well how wrong I was. It turned out that you needed the hands of a five year old to get in between the frame to staple it down. After much cursing and two tea breaks to de-stress it finally came together. Thankfully all I then had to do was paint the chair. The upholstery is Anna’s bag.


To re-upholster the chair we adopted the same method used in our previous story – a lovely chair for two. This involves carefully laying out the old fabric pieces and using them as a template for the new fabric. A top tip is to not undercut, you’ll need to do a fair amount of stretching. Better to have too much which you can just trim off afterwards.

We seemed to be sailing through this until the discovery of a very sad looking cushion. It’d clearly had some mileage and perhaps a rather large previous owner. No problem for Anna, who managed to carve a new one with nothing but a square of foam and a very sharp bread knife. Yes a bread knife, in fact my new bread knife which has now been renamed the cushion knife.


Finally to finish we have discovered something brilliant, decorative nail strips. Now I know this does not sound that exciting, but with just a few taps of the hammer we were done. Who needs a fiddly trim eh! Anyway, we finished just in time for the new house move and our new throne sits proudly in our new home.