Christmas Crafting

Sophie Mould

Sophie Mould

29 August 2013

Well, it's still summer but sadly not for much longer (boo, hiss!) and this is exactly the time of year we start preparing our Christmas issue, yes Christmas! So with the festivities in full premature swing, we thought we'd set our fabulous intern, Imogen Cooper, the task of spying out some Christmas crafts for you all to bear in mind and start making before the big event itself - over to Imogen...

Hello! I'm Imogen and I'm currently on work experience here at Making. The winter months are beginning to creep closer so I thought I'd share a few Christmas crafts to keep you all occupied this holiday season. Better still, they all make great gifts - bonus!


These legwarmers  look great and are a perfect make for all you knitters out there. The colours are lovely and festive too - don't they remind you of candy canes?



Another crafty gift that will keep your loved ones warm (and fashionable) is this scarf. Ideal for adults and children alike, it makes a brilliantly versatile present.



If knitting and sewing aren't for you, try your hand at this scrummy looking mint choc fudge. Made with all the sweetest treats (well, they are  for Christmas) the recipe makes a batch of 117 so stock up on your gift bags!



If you know someone who, like me, is a lover of photos, these beautiful photo mason jar candles are a truly thoughtful gift. Choose your own favourite pictures and give your friends and family something that's really individual. 



And here's one for the kids...gingerbread playdough! Ok, you can't eat it, but it smells fantastic and makes a great gift for any little one. 



If you're stuck on what to make for the man in your life then look no further as ties are always useful. Easy to make, these have a really flexible design and can be made in any material you like.



Next is this simple but beautiful DIY pillow - I love! The fact that this can be decorated with any word or symbol makes it a brilliant all-round present. 



Perfect as a small gift or even a stocking filler, these candy cane soaps are sure to look and smell as delicious as the real thing. Never made soap? It's surprisingly easy and can be    made in batches of six using this recipe.



Decorations are a great gift and these clay ornaments are no different; just look at how adorable they are! They also double up as inventive gift tags to pretty up presents and cards. You can find out how to make them here.



Perfect for family, this framed handprint is sentimental, unique and a fun make!



Last but most definitely not least is this stunning picture frame memory wreath. Friends and family will love to see all their favourite photos in one special gift. This again can be changed to suit individual receivers (can you tell personalisation is a big hit?!) and updated as time goes by. Also, while it looks fantastically festive, this is more than welcome to stay up all year round.


I hope you've now found something for even the fussiest family member! Making would love to hear from anyone who has given these crafty ideas a go. Let us know how your homemade Christmas gifts have gone using our facebook or twitter pages. 



A week in the life of a crafty intern

Tanya Blake

Tanya Blake

2 August 2013

   Caitlin At Desk 

Hi, my name is Caitlin Brangwyn. I am 15 years old and currently working towards my GCSE's. At school I am studying all the usual subjects including Maths, Science, English etc, however my real passion is the creative subjects, for which I am taking Graphics and Textiles.

Although not entirely sure what I'd like to do in the future, I know that I'd definitely like to do something with a design background. Whether that be architecture, graphic or fashion design, I'm not sure yet. Work experience placements have helped me narrow down my options. Making is my second work experience placement and I have enjoyed it thoroughly.

As a keen crafter I often buy Making. I enjoy flicking through it and often using the magazine as inspiration- especially for present ideas as well as using the ideas I have found for my Textiles and Graphics work.

I started sewing when I was about seven. I have a large family as my parents are divorced and almost everyone is crafty in some way. Initially it was my step-mum who taught me to sew, however my mum has always enjoyed sewing and I was soon picking up crafting tips from both of them. I can remember making all sorts of clothes, bedding, cushions and blankets for various different toys, and can now do the same for my two younger sisters. Having grown up with crafting, it will be something I will continue for the rest of my life.

Back to Making though! I was only there for three days but I learnt a lot and it made me realise that publishing is something I may very well be interested in...


It was hard to know what to expect from the day having never been to a publishers before. However after meeting the team I found I was immediately settled. Although GMC Publications itself is a fairly big company, I was surprised that the Making team was so small! It is extraordinary to think that a very small team of people are able turn out such a professional and well thought out magazine every month. The atmosphere of the office was lovely. Everyone was working hard but there was a nice level of chat too.

I was asked to source some items for the Christmas 'Lust List'. I was very pleased to be able to contribute something towards the final magazine and am excited for it to be published so I will be able to see some of my own work in print!

Emma, Editor of Making, then asked me if I wouldn't mind producing a small blog over the few days to explain about who I am and why I wanted to come to Making, which I continued to do for the rest of the day.


I was excited to get back in the office on the second day. Having finished sourcing items for the 'Lust List' I was given the task of putting the page together. Claire, Designer of Making, showed me how to use Adobe Indesign. Previous to this work experience I had used both Photoshop and Illustrator so the program was fairly familiar, however it was good to get a designer's insight into the program and I enjoyed learning little tips, which will help with other design work I do. I spent the majority of the day making up the page for the magazine. Having finished the page I printed it off to show Emma. She seemed pleased with the results and I was proud of my achievements for the day.


Having reflected on my work from the previous day the first thing I did on Wednesday morning was to adapt and edit the 'Lust list' page I was working on. After looking closely at my previous days efforts a couple of faults grabbed my attention and needed changing. These were tiny things like a full stop being out of place or two spaces instead of one, but these details are why the magazine is such high quality. A final copy of a magazine can be changed numerous times before put into production, something I didn't necessarily realise before I'd come to Making.

For the rest of the day I was given a project for another magazine, also produced at GMC Publications, Making Jewellery. My assignment was to design a page for a new project. I have found over my time at Making that the designing side of the publishing industry is what I enjoy the most. 

Work experience is such a worthwhile thing to do. It gives you an insight into the world of work and (with the right company) is very enjoyable too! Some people may be put off because you might have to give up your own time during holidays or weekends, but it's a small price to pay if it means that, after, you know that you'd definitely like to do something in that industry. You don't even need to give up too much of your own time. Before Making I did some work experience with a graphic designer, I was only there one day but learnt so much and it provided me with another option for a career path.

My time spent at Making was so insightful. Before the few days I'd never really thought about publishing, but it was so enjoyable that I'm definitely going to look more into it and see if there are any other magazines that would be happy to take me on for a week or so.

I'd just like to thank Making for letting me come in for a few days. I have found it so useful and enjoyed it immensely. Hopefully I may be able to come back at some point and continue my work experience.


Caitlin Brangwyn.

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