Thursday, 24 July 2014

Mod Podge Kids Shoes Makeover

Since having a girl, I have to say shoes has taken on a whole new meaning, especially due to the fact that she is more obsessed with shoes than I am!

However, thankfully we have had amazing generous hand me downs and only recently I purchased her first pair of new shoes, which I just could not resist, adorable purple boots.

They were not expensive nor real leather, and therefore it did not take her long to scuff the toes. I was hugely disappointed, until searching pintrest I cam across the shewearsflowers blog where she fixed her little girls shoes using mod podge!

I could not wait to get started and the results are great! I choose this cute flower print, the smaller the print you can find the better.

I first covered the shoes with mod podge, then put an entire strip of fabric across the top of the shoe and pushed it into the rubber lining as much as possible. I put another layer of mod podge on top and left it to dry. I then used a craft knife to cut off the excess fabric.

I used the outdoor mod podge, but you could also try the hard coat for this job, and add a few more coats to ensure it lasts long!

I am so super chuffed that we have made a pair of shoes last a bit longer! I thinks some super hero fabric & the boys shoes are next! 

We stock a full range of mod podge products online and in store

Friday, 13 June 2014

A Piece of Cake!

From Beautiful Cake
So this week we have two amazing cake workshops happening at Make HQ, both taught by two amazing tutors, Jamie - From The Cake Eating Company and Adrienne from Cakes Galore

The Rosette Cake - Wednesday  3 spaces left
Cake Covering & Decorating - Monday 3 spaces left

Both workshops are $80 each and are all inclusive as well as receiving a tool to take home!

The ombre rosette cake is such a versatile cake to learn how to make! This cake is perfect for baby showers, pretty birthday afternoon tea's, from young to old girls birthday cakes and even wedding cakes! We have been browsing on pinterest and have come across some amazing inspiration from these cakes.

This ombre outside naturally leads itself to having a layered effect inside too! Look at this amazing cake below made by Tracey who blogs over at Something like Sugar from Dunedin (she also makes cakes to order and we can see why! yum yum!)

One of our class attendants on Wednesday is learning to do the Rosette Cake so she can make it for her wedding, we can't wait to see the result!   Have a look at these cakes from our pinterest boards, original links are below

Have you had trouble working with fondant before, not sure how to get that smooth professional finish? Well our workshop on Monday is perfect for that! Learn all the tips & techniques you need to wow the crowds at your next party! 
You also get to learn how to make this beautiful fondant rose to put on top, or make mini versions of it if you like to go on cupcakes! 

The possibilities are endless with the skills you will learn from this class! Have a look at some examples from our pinterest board below.

From We Heart
From Cotton & Crumbs
From Sweet & Saucy Shop

Monday, 12 May 2014

Kids Craft Out

At Make we understand how exciting it is for kids to craft, but coming up with ideas that they will not only learn from but also cherish and be able to use is hard to find! So we have created a special programme after school for those crafty kids in your family!

These workshosp are aimed for 8 year olds + (if your child is younger and you think they can do it, they are welcome as long as you stick around until we feel comfortable that they are). They are also totally suitable for boys & girls.

Book either as an entire workshop for the term (and receive an amazing craft book for kids worth $40) or book separately! 8 spaces per class.

Our first session will cover making a patchy memo board using a wide selection of fabrics, make it patchy or make one big bold print! All materials included $25

In week two we will be recovering lampshades in our favorite fabrics, ribbons, felt & more! You child will go home with a fantastic homemade lampshade! All materials included $25

Week three sees the sewing machine come out! Some sewing experience is great but not necessary. Make a perfect throw to keep you cozy on those cold nights coming up! All materials included $25

Week four we will be decorating and making an applique pillow case! Perfect to decorate your room! All materials included $25

Week five we make this simple but effective door stop again in the fabric of your choice! We may also add some embellishments! All materials included $25

Week six we learn the art of decoupage and make some creative letters, using papers, comics, fabric! All materials included $25

In the final week we will be printing onto Canvas bags, using a variety of methods, including painting, stenciling, freezer paper and applique All materials included $25

Book the entire workshop online 
View the individual workshops

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Mother's Day Raspberry Chocolate Heart

What I am making for my Mum this Sunday

- Jamie from The Cake Eating Co.


Raspberry Chocolate Heart
 My mum likes classic flavours and what is more classic (and delicious) than chocolate and raspberry! This cake is easy to make and so pretty. Just don’t tell my mum!


Raspberry Chocolate Heart


Chocolate Sponge

4 eggs

110g sugar

85g flour

15g cocoa

  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Line a high sided baking tray with baking paper.

  1. Whip eggs and sugar together until a thick ribboning foam is formed.

  1. Triple sieve the flour and cocoa. Fold gently through the eggs and pour into the lined tin. Spread evenly over and bake for 6-8minutes. Remove and cool


Raspberry compote

200g raspberries (frozen or fresh)

30g sugar

  1. Heat raspberries with sugar until the sugar is just dissolved. Set aside to cool


Chocolate ganache

200g dark chocolate (make sure it is a quality dark chocolate or it will not set)

200g cream

  1. Cut up chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.

  1. Boil cream, pour over chocolate and mix until emulsified.


To assemble


  1. Cut a heart template out to the desired size using baking paper. Using this template cut out as many hearts from the sponge as you want layers.
Ready to assemble
  1. To put the layers together smear a layer of ganache over the sponge then over the smear some raspberries.
Sponge layered with raspberries
  1. Repeat until all your layers of sponge are layered. Leave the top layer without anything on it.

  1. Cover the whole cake in ganache, move into the fridge to set. Apply the ganache again, thicker and make sure it is a smooth finish. Set it again in the fridge.
First layer of chocolate ganache

  1. gently warm the ganache until it is liquid, pour over the cake to create a shiny finish.
Smooth layer of chocolate ganache

  1. Decorate it! Use shards of chocolate or pipe ‘Mum’ on it! I have used pink macarons around the side with cocoa butter painted zebra stripes finished in edible gold leaf.
Ready to decorate

Raspberry Chocolate Heart decorated with macarons 
Guest Post by Jamie from The Cake Eating Co or visit her on Facebook
Jamie is one of our amazing Culinary Craft Workshop tutors. 
What are you making mum for Mother's Day?

Friday, 2 May 2014

Crafting Alongside Kids

What to do when you REALLY want to get something made, and they do to..

Creating with or for our kids can sometimes be hard, whatever art or craft activity we get out, they are immediately interested in it aswell. And lets be honest here, sometimes that can be just plain annoying!

Perhaps you have a last minute card to make, and you hold a pretty high standard for yourself, visible glue will not be tolerated! What do you do when your pre-schooler begs to 'help' you?

Stamped Aeroplane Garland

When the answer is NO

"Mum, Mum, can I please carve stamps with you?"

The answer was no.

I wasn't going to let my 4 year old carve stamps with sharp carving tools (call me over protective but I value his fingers)

But I did want him to be involved. I was carving stamps to use for his birthday party, we used them in a variety of ways, including in the aeroplane garland above, on wrapping paper and the food boxes.

I wanted them to be made well, but I didn't want my high standards for my own creations to put my son off having a go, so this is what I did.

  1. Acknowledge him. - "I see you are really interested in carving stamps with me, it looks like a lot of fun."
  2. Explain WHY he couldn't - "These carving tools are very sharp, and I would never want you to be hurt, so I won't let you use them." (Notice I emitted "because I don't want you ruining my stamps")
  3. Give him options - "If you want you can wait until I have finished carving them and help me with the stamping, or I can give you some scissors and foam and you can make your own stamps now."
  4. Encourage his efforts - "I can see you are concentrating really hard on your stamps, you have cut up a lot of foam very carefully with your scissors" - Rather than praising his efforts I prefer to 'feedback' to him what he is doing, and encourage the behaviours and skills rather than the art itself. (concentration, persistence, fine motor-skills, patience, care)
Concentrating very hard on his careful cutting and sticking

The result?

About 2 hours of very enjoyable side by side crafting and several sets of very nice stamps!

Once I had finished my stamps, he stamped 9 sheets of large newsprint that we made into wrapping paper for his pass the parcel game. He used 3 shapes, a cloud, an orange Dusty Crophopper and a black Echo & Bravo stamp (characters from the Planes movie - his chosen party theme).

My favourite part was that he told stories the entire way, this is Dusty racing in front, this is Dusty getting lost in the storm, this is Echo and Bravo and their friends rescuing Dusty stamp, stamp, stamp and so on. It was a very entertaining narrative and all the while we were producing very personalised and useful wrapping paper.

I think it can be hard, but very fulfilling to create a space where we give our children quality tools and supplies, some safety and messiness boundaries and then allow them to create without passing judgement on their artwork or correcting them. (the words good, nice and well-done are banned in our household) You will surprised at what they can do!

Painting Planes at the party

Keeping Them Quiet (and focused!)

You could have heard a pin drop when the 6 four years olds sat down to paint their planes at his party, it was amazing, and BONUS there was barely any mess. I think by giving them good quality art paints, fine brushes and interesting and challenging items to work with they really stretched their skills, imaginations and concentrated really hard.

They same could have been said of one of The Make Cafe's kid's fabric printing workshops today. Imagine a room full of 5-12 years old quietly concentrating on their masterpieces. The only thing we could hear was the parents quiet whispers of awe in the background!

Kid's Fabric Printing
Equipped with the tools, safety, and product boundaries and the right environment, our children will astonish us with their creativity, storytelling and artful insights. We just have to give them the chance!

If you are keen to learn more about stamp carving yourself we are actually running a new stamp carving workshop as part of a larger fabric embellishment block course. Well worth checking out!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Fall deep into the Scandinavian countryside with this rich collection, where meadows meet the sea. Sweet floral and bold geometrics collide to tell the story of Nordika.

We found a heap of projects to inspire you to get creating with this beautiful range from Art Gallery, by designer Jeni Baker

 The beautiful meadow flowers on this bright teal fabric is so pretty & modern! 

This panel is perfect for a quick dress, measuring 112cm from top to bottom - it is perfect for a quick project. 

For the modern tween the black, grey & white Artic Light print is gorgeous! Also perfect for lampshades. 

Find all these prints on our website as well as half meter & fat quarter bundles. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Art of Pressing Flowers

The Art of Pressing Flowers

(& other crafts my mother taught me)

Recently my mother and I have been tackling the foreboding wasteland that is her craft room. Once many years ago my childhood bedroom, now a mountain of (I am sure there was a floor somewhere) clutter.

Today as she worked her way through more boxes, bins and bags, and I poked my head in hoping to spy some lost treasures to glean for my own towering collection of crafty supplies. We uncovered the last remnants of her pressed flower collection.

Pressed Flowers: Lasting reminders of many hours spent together

Crafts my mum taught me

My mum wasn't really into conventional crafts, she sewed on occasion in times of desperation, she never crocheted, her knitting pile was much higher on the started but not finished side and her card making mostly consisted of recycling old cards as often as possible.

To be fair, she grew up in a village in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, so the closest craft store was at least a 4 mile hike, several river crossings, a small single prop aeroplane flight and several month boat ride away. So she learnt to make do, and appreciate the beauty of what was around her, and she thoughtfully passed this onto our family.

When it came to corn husk dolls, acorn people, turtles made from sea shells, anything involving sticks, flowers or pinecones she was in her element.

Pressed flower arranging, all the rage in the 90's

Lessons learnt from pressing flowers

Though my passion for sewing was obviously not passed down to me by my mum, the heart of crafting, thrifting and seeing beauty in the simple things was, and it's one of her greatest legacies.

Do you know how long it takes to press flowers?

It starts with hours of slow methodical work.. then months to see your results.

The process of pressing flowers

  1. Wander your garden (or your neighbours) spotting flowers. - Seeing the potential in everyday things
  2. Carefully pick the flowers, and carry them back home.  - Handle that which is fragile with love and care.
  3. Remove the lumpy bits you don't want to keep. - Evaluating and discarding that which is not worth keeping.
  4. Lay out the flowers, so that none are touching, on some tissue paper, sandwiched in a heavy book. - Some things take time and pressure to reach their potential
  5. Store away somewhere safe and wait a few months. - Patience is always a virtue
  6. Remember that a few months ago you pressed some flowers and find them! - Don't give up on or forget about that which is stored away, waiting for it's moment to shine.
  7. Admire your pressed flowers, though they might not be as vibrant and soft as the ones you started with. - True beauty is not just in youth, or lost over time.
  8. Create something new and beautiful with your flowers. - Creating new from something old

Pressing rose petals
My mother, my sister and I spent countless hours in this way, sharing stories, tears, laughter and creativity. So maybe the result was something most people wouldn't hang on their wall. (at least not since the year 2000) But the true value is in the making, and the time spent together and the lessons learnt.

Seeing potential. Valuing beauty. Patiently hoping. Creating with love

As the countdown to Mother's Day begins, I am grateful for the crafts that my mother taught me, and the time she took to do so.

Helena Dinnissen