DIY | Small photo studio for less than £20

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Taking professional photographs of our food, crafts, or anything we want to blog and share on social media is important. Why? Because if we are buying, we expect the photos to look clear, and honest to the description, not grainy and in bad lighting.
This SO important if you want to stand out on platforms like Etsy – I mean we all wish that social media marketing and promotion didn’t exist but it does and you need to show off pretty things clear, crisp and in a CLEAN background.

What if you are strapped for cash? Like most people starting out in either selling, (or photography) you want to have a professional look. – Nine times out of ten, you will assume you need to have ALOT of money to invest in the best. The best does not always mean the most popular brand or the most expensive.  Want to know what i did? Keep reading.


So i went to my local DIY store, and i bought TWO shelves. Each for £6 which makes a grand total of £12 – They both measure at 28 by 15 inches which is perfect for smaller photography.
I also got a three pack of masking tape from the pound shop.
Now the choice of wood will depends, you can go for something thinner like backing board or plywood but i found that the two plain white shelves had a nice thickness and felt more sturdy. – Which they will more likely to last longer if you move them about a lot etc. I also liked them as they are EASY TO CLEAN – They are basically a shelf for a cupboard so a warm cloth with soap will wipe away any dirt or marks with ease.

I literally placed one flat on my table and the other behind pushed against the wall. This worked for me, they felt sturdy and i wasn’t worried about that as i wouldn’t be taking photos of anything that moved. If you have children or pets, you might want to attach one to the wall so it doesn’t fall – Safety and all that.

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Now because they are white, you can use this plain white surface as your back drop, which is PERFECT for a crisp clean photo. But Rebecca what if i want a fancy back ground and i don’t want to make my bank cry.  WELL I GOT YOU COVERED!!

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FREE BACK DROPS

So you want to make your stuff look pretty like these photos?

 

Whilst i was in my DIY store today, me and my mother proceeded to the wallpaper section. Where each style and roll of wall paper had a roll open and ready to take samples.
That’s what i did – I aren’t even joking. I ripped about a meter off each one i liked and dropped them into my trolley. I got a few wood effect wall papers and some delicate pretty ones.
If you are using pro lighting, then remember to play with your settings on your phone or camera as some wall papers might have shine.
The staff don’t mind you taking samples, and you don’t have to ask them to do it for you as a roll is on display – WINNER!
If you want to use them as a back drop, then attach them with some tack or masking tape.  I will cut them to the size of my boards, so it’s easier to stick on and less bulky to store but with plenty left over i can use the rest for other back drops.

The other option is sticky back plastic, which a smaller roll costs around £6 and by the time you get lots of options your racking up a bill!
So the next time i am near a DIY store, i am making sure i check out the wall paper section.

LIGHTING

All the photos i took today was using natural daylight at around 3:00PM which because of the time my photos might look a little cool – I know it’s not always possible to get good lighting but if you can, take advantage of that at its peaker times. If you do struggle with it in your home, and if the weather is okay – GO OUTSIDE!
I do have a studio light kit which i was fortunate enough to get when i wasn’t such a poor soul – but honestly. I rarely use it, because daylight is FREE and much more nicer 🙂
If you do take photos of smaller items then i went on Amazon for you guys, and if the budget can stretch they sell these little LED lights. Click to view them.

(BUT if you want to save even more money, just get some cheap table lamps and LED daylight light bulbs – Make sure your lighting is daylight bulbs as that is what you are replicating.)

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Honestly guys, i am a firm believer in making anything happen from the things you have or can get for less LOL –

So what did we spend today? 

White boards x2 – Total = £12
Wall paper back drops = £0
Lighting – Daylight = £0 
That’s it folks, this is my new mini photo studio. Small, cheap, easy to put away without cluttering your life up. – I hope you take advantage of those wall paper samples though!

That’s all for now, take care

XO

The links provided are affiliated, and i might earn a small commission if you purchase via them. 

Completed Chevron Baby Blanket

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ITS DONE!

Yes, i weaved in those ghastly ends and it’s currently in the washing machine being tested. Hopefully it will come out in one piece. – As my fellow crocheters and knitters know it’s always an anxious moment because you want your work of art to be perfect! And that’s with any craft or hobby. I’ve plenty of projects where I’ve cut the wrong piece of yarn and its all fallen to pieces.

I think this super chunky chevron is a must have for anyone as its quick and super fun to make. Something excites me about using thicker yarn (maybe because its quicker) so for sure add this to your list!
Another plus about this being a chunky baby blanket is i know it seems a little too bulky for a baby but the magical thing about chenille yarn is, this would be perfect to place down on the floor and allow your baby to lay and roll or relax after a bath without the babies skin etching against something that’s not so soft. So for me this item is very versatile!

 

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My photo taking for this post hasn’t been very good but i wanted to just capture it in it’s natural way rather than making it look perfect for a picture.

 

If you want to see how i did this, head on over to my previous post about the Chevron

Click here > Chevron Blanket

 

I also would like to give a mention that today has been an awfully sad day as my boyfriends Grandmother passed away and that i was hoping that i got a chance to of made her a blanket. My heart its sending out love and that i know she is at peace with her husband.

And any of my UK companions who currently live in London, PLEASE be safe with the hearing of todays events. It’s such a cruel and terrifying world that we live in and i fear each day for the future of the younger generation. Terrorism and any act of violence when it comes to any country especially your own really hits hard. SO please, lets just take a few moments to share love to each other all over the world where people don’t have the life that we have. Where they suffer war and death each day, and most importantly share the love to those precious around you.

 

Have a good one!

(P.S Alex is not very good at giving advice with open arms and love so i imagine her helping hand to her co worker might be a little less lovely than most expect.)

Crochet reversible egg & chick -PLUS diy light box

Happy Friday folks! As you know if your someone that crochets you can’t just have more than one WIP (Work in progress) and i was browsing the crochet groups i’m in on Facebook and saw this really cut egg and chick that was reversible, now i must be really behind on crochet trends so i have never seen anything like it!  I clicked the pattern link and sat staring for ages, should i buy or just crack on with my current projects. No i bought it alright and within 20 minutes i had my hook and yarn out crocheting away.

The pattern itself didn’t cost that much at all and i’ll be sure to link everything at the end of this post.
What made this so special i had to do it? If your like me and when doing soft toys i dread the parts where you need to stuff the damn things, its not a quick task! So this little piece requires NO stuffing at all… What else might you say? its cute and reversible i mean what else is more fun – The pattern also comes with instructions on how to do a rabbit as well if you want to make two lovable characters for easter. It’s very flexible and i used a 4mm hook and DK yarn. You can change up the thickness of your yarns etc and go big!
I am pretty sure that you could even make some other cute animals ready to hatch free!
These are so perfect and such a great concept, i think i may have to plan and do some more animals in the near future like baby dinosaurs – OH here we go, my crochet brain.

See my video below on how this little cutie unfolds – I will say sorry for the crappy quality, i was holding a selfie stick in between my legs whilst filming lol! (Scroll to the end for pattern link)

 

Wait this blog isn’t over – DIY light studio

So not only have i been busy trying to finish up stuff, i made my own mini photography studio. It cost me around £10.00 to make. I tried to follow the man on the tutorial i found but i couldn’t find everything exactly and it hasn’t gone as perfect as his but i am actually really happy with the results.

 

 

 

What i used:

  • Cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Tape (I would suggest what the tutorial says as get some of the duct tape)
  • White fabric (I got it from my local craft store – i paid £2.45 for a large piece which i could probably use to make another one or make some plain pillow cases)
  • White card – Now the guy mentioned some special name but i just got craft card ( i didn’t have enough so i also used some white printing paper
  • Lamp – I bought this for £4.00 at a local shop called Wilko’s, again its not the exact fixture as his but it really does the job.
  • Daylight bulb, i think this also cost around £4.00 and that was for just one!!

 

DIY light box   < < < CLICK for full tutorial 

 

Click for crochet pattern >  Reversible chick pattern

 

So that’s it, i didn’t want this to be a long blog as i had two things i wanted to show you guys and i am going to be busy now getting my Bina doll finished and make a start one Pooh bear (Yup not even started it) IF and i really do hope she is finished i will blog tomorrow if not i guess it will be a pretty random one!

Hope everyone has a great weekend, stay safe & thanks for reading xoxoxo
(P.S I had an interview today and i have a good feeling.)

Crochet throwback – Granny baby blanket

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Who doesn’t love a throwback? Especially when you’ve come so far with your hobby and you look back and see a huge difference and think wow i actually did that. Whether you’ve improved or your taking a trip down memory lane. It never gets tiresome looking at past projects, if anything it motivates me even more to create more things.

Last year once i had mastered the granny square & felt like i was ready to unleash my crochet craft even more. I started to make items to sell on request & this one sadly never got sold. I sit and wonder why? but i have him tucked away safely in my box and hoping that when i attend a craft year at some point or make any progress with an online store this will go to a great home.

Granny squares most definitely peaked in the 70’s (Damn the 70’s keep popping up all over my blog) & if you do your research or like to delve into some history, you will see so many crazy items of clothing with the granny square. That being said, they made quick and beautiful blankets. Whether you use the square or formation of the stitch itself, it’s widely used in crochet to make anything from a motif to a cosy cardigan. The granny squares though actually go back into the 1800’s and how amazing is that!? 

What i love about this specific blanket is another wonder why it wasn’t snapped up is that its made with cotton. Which i LOVE working with – I think i may briefly have said before that its so versatile when it comes to washing as it’s pretty much treated as it were an item of clothing. Not only that, it’s perfect for anyone with sensitive skin and for babies – This is most definitely a perfect item to give to your child. Not only that, cotton is great for anyone that lives in a country that suffers with warm weather all year round or at peak times of the year. I can be sometimes a little more expensive but really worth it – Not only that, you can use cotton to make dish cloths, face cloths, socks, towels, rugs heck the list goes on.

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So what inspired me to make this? As one large continued granny square as a blanket for me never used to appeal to me and i always thought of it as not challenging enough. I strive to be different and sometimes being different leads you to following the trends. Don’t get me wrong i love Attic 24’s patterns but i see so much i almost forgot about the granny even existing.
After i purchased a large amount of Drops cotton (it was on sale don’t judge, and a year later i still have some left!) I looked at the pastel colours and i loved them so much i was scared that over exaggerating what i wanted to make might just ruin the perfection of colours at hand. So i picked up my 5mm hook and started making a  granny square – Before i knew it, i was changing colours and it was getting bigger and bigger and that’s how i ended up with this special little guy.

I can’t remember the exact shades of yarn i used, but i will forward you the website.
Click here > Cotton pod
They are a supplier for Drops and only Drops (Last time i checked) and YES they do ship internationally – I know also Wool warehouse sell Drops but i much prefer Cotton pod as it’s an independent store and i had such quick service and delivery.

 

The cotton does come in 50g balls and i think i may of used around 3-4 of each colour, i know hopeless but forgive me it was like a year ago!
It does required to use a 5mm hook, and i had some trouble with splitting with the white so i changed it up with a 5.5mm keeping the tension the same.
The great thing about granny blankets if your just doing one big one is that it doesn’t really take long if you keep at it – My 70’s inspired one took way longer than it should as i had other things etc but if i can remember correctly, this was about 2 days maybe 3.

I finished if off with a scallop/popcorn edge as if i am honest at the time it was the only edging i knew!

If your unsure of how to do a Granny square i will point you into the direction of Bella Coco ( as per ) See the link below for the video tutorial!

VIDEO TUTORIAL > How to crochet a granny square

Thank you so much for reading and fingers crossed this goes to a loving home one day!

Have a great day wherever you are & stay safe! xoxo

(PS – i am on form with scheduling posts!)

Bina the bear 

Happy Monday folks. I really dislike Mondays,  it always feel like it should be an extended Sunday. I also hate how quickly weekends pass – so much for tackling all of my washing! 

Woke up today with a stuffy nose and felt like I could sleep all day so I am guessing a bit of a cold is on its way. Im surprised I’ve survived the winter with not having real central heating and just storage heaters. I checked the weather and it looks like we’re back with winds, rain and maybe some thunder. 

So the point of this post is to show you some of my recent project. If anyone can recognise the name then you get a gold star. 

Lalylala dolls – they are the most precious amigurumi I’ve ever come across and it’s been a long time coming to actually make one – It took me a good day to decided what pattern / character I wanted to make and I went with the basic Bina the bear. Just because it’s super cute and that this has the base body which means once you have this pattern you can mod it and make your own characters. With recognition to the designer of course.

What makes the Lalylala so popular? I think because they are very different and special. The designer is highly talented to of come up with such precious things and Im falling in love even more with amigurumi as I make it.

It’s taken longer than expected to do the head and hood and I think peoole forget from an outside point of view how long projects can actually take, which brings me to another discussion tomorrow about how to sell and price items.

I am hoping to get this done in the next few days as yesterday I was out all day at the mothers having Sunday dinner and I got home around 7pm started the hood and didn’t finish it until before midnight. Perfection is key with projects like this and other amigurumi especially if you do alot of free hand work.

The pattern is easy enough to do and I’m quite happy with how well written it is. I am scared about joining her as I want it to be perfect. I also need to make a start on Pooh bear – my hands are aching I feel like I’ve not stopped.

This beauty will be for sale after I’ve finished it and I want a good home to have her and and appreciate this design.

If you want to make or look into lalylala dolls then head over to the official Etsy store 

Lalylala < click to view.
I hope you all have a great Monday and stay safe!