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Crafts: Be productive and make something beautiful




With so many of us rediscovering the simple pleasures of getting creative in our own homes, we asked the experts to recommend five of the best kits for spending downtime productively - and producing something beautiful

Alice Synge of Backstitch, Burwash Manor, Barton

Backstitch - Black Spring Posy Embroidery Kit (35670416)
Backstitch - Black Spring Posy Embroidery Kit (35670416)

What?

Black Spring Posy Embroidery Kit, £19.50

Why?

“Hand embroidery is the ideal gentle and calming activity for these strange times. This pretty embroidery kit includes everything you need to get going on a skill that can be enjoyed and achieved straight from the off. Stitchers will find that they can improve their technique over the completion of the project. It’s a moving meditation that is soothing in the doing and it also teaches you a new skill: perfect!”

Where?

Backstitch at backstitch.co.uk and @backstitchshop, shipping orders daily

Camilla Carter of Knitting Needle Lane, Cambridge

Knitting Needle Lane - Baby Wavy Blanket by Anna Granta (35670417)
Knitting Needle Lane - Baby Wavy Blanket by Anna Granta (35670417)

What?

Baby Wavy Blanket by Anna Granta, £22

Why?

“Created for us by Cambridge’s crochet whizz Anna Granta, this stunning baby blanket is one of many craft kits that we sell here at KNL, all lovingly created at affordable prices with the crafter in mind. Sized just right for a baby (62cm wide and 85cm long), it is suitable for adventurous beginners, with a clever design which, because it is repeated in changing combinations throughout, results in a harmonious but not repetitive blanket. For simplicity, each section has written instructions, with directions for which sections to use in which order. The pack comes with everything you will need, all within a charming turquoise craft bag.”

Where?

Knitting Needle Lane at knittingneedlelane.co.uk, offering click and collect or free home doorstep delivery in Cambridge

Louise Drake of Sewing Daze, Sutton

Sewing Daze - Rainbow Mini Yarn Bundles (35670418)
Sewing Daze - Rainbow Mini Yarn Bundles (35670418)

What?

Rainbow Mini Yarn Bundles, £7 for seven balls. The balls are also available individually in 50 colours, £1.10 each

Why?

“Rainbows are always so bright and cheerful, but recently they’ve taken on a much more poignant meaning. These 100% cotton Rainbow Mini Yarn Bundles have been very popular with people wanting to show support for key workers, but also with parents homeschooling and creating craft projects. They’re so versatile and will put a smile on anyone's face.”

Where?

Sewing Daze at sewingdaze.co.uk and @sewingdaze

Katie Lynn of Molten Wonky at The Handmade Shop and Gallery, Bury St Edmunds

Molten Wonky at The Handmade Shop and Gallery - Fused Glass Craft Kit(35670484)
Molten Wonky at The Handmade Shop and Gallery - Fused Glass Craft Kit(35670484)

What?

Fused Glass Craft Kit, £30

Why?

“At the moment I am putting together home glass fusing kits, which I’ve been selling to local people. Having now worked out a way to be able to get people to post their work back to me, I’m excited to be able to offer these kits. They include everything except a pencil and your imagination! You can choose to make a coaster, a picture, a love heart or a rainbow.”

Where?

Molten Wonky at moltenwonky.co.uk or thehandmadeshopandgallery.co.uk - email info@thehandmadeshopandgallery.co.uk

Alexandra Waylett, textile artist and tutor, Coggeshall

Alexandra Waylett- Pebbles in a Box (35670415)
Alexandra Waylett- Pebbles in a Box (35670415)

What?

Pebbles in a Box, £39

Why?

“This gorgeous machine embroidery project will arrive at your door complete with all the materials you will need. The piece you make can then be turned into a bag, a cushion or a work of art to adorn your home – the choice is yours! I developed my ‘pebble’ technique when working on samples for a coastal exhibition. You can choose from a range of colour combinations, I’ll pick a selection of fabrics (including velvets, silks and lame) and each completed piece will be unique. The project is perfect for both machine-embroidery beginners and those with more advanced skills. I’m always happy to support you with answers to any questions that you may have, by phone, while you are working through your project.”

Where?

Alexandra Waylett at alexandrawaylett.com

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