Making flavoured gins is a quick and easy way to add some personality to your home bar or to package up for great personalised gifts. These are two very simple summer recipes but I have also had great success with rosemary, citrus and of course hedgerow fruit (like sloes and blackberries.)
I used the basic recipe from good food and then tweaked it for what I had to hand.
1kg fruit (trimmed and chopped into 1″ pieces)
400g caster sugar
800ml gin (i’m cheap by nature so always either use what I have or a supermarket own brand, don’t hate me!)
I used rhubarb for one and frozen mixed berries for the other. Just dump the fruit, sugar and gin into a large glass jar close the lid and shake it every couple of days until the sugar has all dissolved. I let mine infuse for 4 weeks before straining through a muslin into bottles I had saved and cleaned out for the purpose.
The rhubarb came up a pretty pink but the mixed berry came out red and when it’s diluted looks like tizer but actually has a more grown up flavour than the rhubarb! Both slip down a treat when paired with tonic and have the advantage of having a slightly lower alcohol content- ideal for a hot summers day!
Have you tried making your own flavoured spirits?
I did not want a guest book.
I mean Polaroid cameras are fun and you can get super cute books to put your adorable quirky pictures in or for everyone to sing. But in reality one over enthusiastic 7 year old always gets hold of the instax and you end up with £45 of film of pictures of light switches and everyone’s feet!
I have similar feelings on instant cameras. My now darling husband attended a friends wedding and him and some cronies spent a good portion of the night using all of the disposable cameras on the tables to photograph not only all of the fittings and fixtures of the venue but also the other wedding taking place that evening complete with a picture of all of the naughty boys with the other happy couple! Do you know how expensive developing disposable cameras can be! Well dearest darling husband does now!
However I digress.
We did have a guest book, a kind a thoughtful gift from someone, so if I, guest book hating diva can end up with one then anyone can so to come up with something more interesting than a blank book and your guests imagination or a very expensive camera!
I love to over complicate and always want to be ‘different’ so I decided to create two different types of cards, advice for the new Mr & Mrs and date night ideas.
I had them printed (because we have no printer) and cut them out. I bought these brown envelopes from amazon and then used my personalised stamp to customise the back of the envelopes. Pritt stick then came into full force and I stuck them into the book.
Don’t forget some good quality pens then keep your fingers crossed to get lots of lovely messages or cheat and get your bridesmaids to sign it the night before to set the rest of your guests on the right track!
How well it worked, you will have to come back for that!
Last night my fiancee and I were sitting on the sofa talking about weddings, well to be more exact the wedding (10 days and counting) and how totally done with weddings we are.
Everything that can be organised is, our house looks like a wedding monster threw up in it (we are doing a mostly DIY wedding) and quite frankly even I can not make any more lists! Yet still, I continue.
Which leads me onto these, the most extra thing I have DIY’ed for our wedding whilst in that frenetic wedding haze where everything that needs doing is actually done and you are just keeping yourself busy with stuff because you feel like you should!
Onward from the crazy mind dump to the DIY!
But what, hold onto your hats, DIY hand soap wrappers (told you I have lost my mind!)
I have always had this thing about bathrooms, wherever I go I am likely to use the loos and golly gosh they can say a lot about a place (or dare I say it) a person so having nice amenities was important to me.
I took these very basic (but good smelling) hand soaps from home bargains for under £1.00 each. When picking these I made sure the sided of the containers were square and didn’t taper in at all because that will make your job a whole tonne harder. I made a paper wrap using my standard set of wedding illustrations and the fonts I had chosen. This involved a bit of measuring and scaling on my computer screen to make sure they would print the correct size.
I got these printed on standard printer paper (and would have done this at home if I had a colour printer that I trusted!) and cut them out. I used double sided tape to stick them over the sops and voilla done. I paired them with a hand cream (also home bargains) in a complimentary scent because it’s all about the little luxuries! Very little time, effort or money (total cost under £5.00 and that’s because our local print shop are a rip off!) but yes I am aware very unnecessary.
What did you do to distract you from the wedding crazies!
I had stumbled across this video and it inspired me to try getting some of these boxes for myself and giving them a new lease of life.
Once I had painted them using the same white chalk paint I used this video for inspiration as to the surface decoration. I loosely followed along with her and use a combination of cotton buds (as recommended) and small paintbrushes for the more detailed work. I only did one side of each box and did both at once, it took me the length of her video to come up with something I liked.
Once everything was dry I added the gold top edge (because I can’t get enough gold!) and then waxed them the same way Chelsey does.
We are using these on our wedding bars to hold jam jars of paper straws and napkins (for those little spills) and to generally corral all of the junk you need for a bar. Hopefully the photo bombing dog will be safely away buy then!
I love to be creative but sometime I find myself in a rut and being heavily inspired by other people is the only way out of it. Stealing with pride right!
Where do you go for some DIY inspiration?
Poundland is a dangerous place, I can never leave with just what I ventured in for but I must confess that sometimes these are a blessing in disguise! Roll in this wedding bunting, £1.00 for 6m. I snaffoed 3 packets because I knew it would be simple to tart it up a little to fit in more with our style!
Weeny bit meh right, I think my main source of umbridge was that the flags are a creamier colour than the very white ribbon so they looked kinda dirty, not cute! All I added was my ginormous ball of garden twine (B&M around £2.50 for a ball as big as my head!) and a glue gun. I started by stripping the pendants from the ribbon, then measuring lengths of twine to the same length as the ribbon I had removed.
I folded the twine in half and marked it with a bit of washi tape before adding my first two flags (either side of my center line marker.) This is the point at which you decided your spacing, play about with it a little then once you are happy dab a bit of hot glue on the center back to secure.
I placed my flags further apart than they were originally so from my 3 packs (of 6m each) I finished up with 4 sets of 6m bunting. I am not sure where in the venue we will use this quite yet but for the princely sum of £3.00 and a couple of hours we will find somewhere for them!
There is a whole lotta real life going down in the background of this picture (‘real life’ meaning mess) but lets skid over that and finish with some therapeutic puppy!
We have all been there, wander into home bargains honestly intending to get one thing (for me it was their Yankee candle knock off car scent sticks) and come out confused with a giant bag of stuff! But could you say no to all those faux flowers, and the prices always just right!
This is the easiest DIY and took me under half a hour (with a coffee stop and a cat head rub) and I really believe it’s the sort of thing anyone can do, and any excuse to buy faux flowers right!
I snagged 2 bunches of the white peony type and 2 of the purple ( plus 2 of the pink for another wedding related project to come.) I already had a wire hoop that actually came from the inside of a stack of hairnets but you can buy them online or a large embroidery hoop would work well too.
Started by removing the leaves from the flowers and laying out all my flowers so I could see what i had to work with. Then it was just a case of wrapping the stems around the wire ring. I then trimmed any stems that were super long and added more flowers all going in the same direction working my way around the wreath.
Once it was all flowered up i took the leaves and used a glue gun to attach them in little bunches round the wreath to fill any blank spots and generally add some more contrast. I did this from the front of the wreath so that I could make sure it looked just as I wanted. Once this was done the wreath was flipped over and i used the hot glue to secure anything that seemed a little wibbly wobbly! I added a string and all done.
Thus far this has weathered the storms (literally) and has survived just dandy brightening up our front door and welcoming in spring.