Lamps and shades – made by Hours of Fun

Homemade, personalised, unique lamp bases and lampshades
Last year I tried my hand at upcycling lights and quickly fell in love with how you can transform a lamp by recovering the shade or by covering the base using the technique decoupage – covering an object with layers of paper and varnish.
For Christmas I got busy making a superhero bedside lamp for one of our friends. It had marvel characters around the base and the shade was covered in a bright superhero red. I also did a minecraft bedside lamp for my nephew – covering the base in squares of different shades of green with a creeper face and the shade covered in green material. I then did a matching down light for his ceiling light.
You can also take an existing lampshade and add ribbon or buttons to it to give it a new lease of life and jazz it up.
This is a perfect way to accessorise your room without going out and spending ages trying to track down the perfect matching shade colour, then finding it only to see the price tag is way above what you wanted to spend.
If you have left over curtain material you can use it to make new lampshades. You can use leftover wallpaper which we did in our bedroom and now our light matches the décor perfectly.
If you don’t fancy trying this yourself then why not contact Hours of Fun and ask us to make it for you. We will work with you to match the right colour and design you want, then hand craft a unique, personalised lamp or shade just for you. They make lovely gifts especially for children with themed bedrooms. I have also made matching bunting for my nephew so he has a fully themed bedroom as his favourite computer game mine craft.


Personalised unique photo frames – upcycling fun

Here at Hours of Fun we love to upcycle things and make new, gorgeous items from old, shabby things. Or transform a plain item into a patterned piece or design to match a rooms décor or a person’s passion.
One of my favourite crafts is decopatch or decoupage depending on what paper and technique you are using. They are both crafts involving paper layers, using glue and varnish. Decopatch is a brand of paper designed especially for ripping, gluing and layering. It is stronger than tissue paper but not as thick as printer paper. It rips well and doesn’t tear when applying glue. You can buy specialist glue with varnish in it, or use PVA glue watered down slightly then craft varnish as the final coat.
Decoupage is the original craft involving layering up any type of paper, adding glue and varnish, sanding down each layer, then building it up in the same way, sometimes up to 30 or 40 layers. The aim is to have a finish that looks like a smooth coating rather than individual pieces of paper. You can also distress it using sandpaper or distressed ink to give it an aged, weathered look.
We have been making a lot of photo frames using both of these techniques recently. The decopatch paper comes in a range of gorgeous patterns and designs and is perfect to use if you want a frame to colour co-ordinate with a room or match a favourite colour. We have also started making personalised photo frames using photographs printed onto paper, then glued onto the frame in a mosaic style pattern.

The photographs have been of families through the years, full of memories and they create a gorgeous keepsake. We use photo frames that have a border around the inside of the frame, in between the frame and the space for the picture. This breaks up the design, allowing the frame and the picture to stand out clearly from each other.
We can produce your own personalised photo frame. All we need from you are the pictures you want us to use and we will create a gorgeous keepsake you can keep or give as a gift.


Festival of Firsts fair at the Community Centre

I am a little behind on my blogging, so time to catch up this week, starting with the second day of the Festival of Firsts last month.  After our fun on the milk float the Hours of Fun stall headed to Hoylake community centre to set up the badge making stall in the garden, next to the bouncy castle provided by Wirral Bouncy Castles Hire

It started out quiet which gave us the opportunity to have a go on the bouncy castle which is always a lot of fun!  There was lots going on around Hoylake throughout the day which I believe may have spread out the visitors and locals who were out and about, however we had a steady flow of people and some fantastic badges were made by all ages, from 2 years of age up to adults.  I also got to use my new banners again which looked fab on the railing and hung up behind the stall.


Hours of Fun at The Reebok Stadium craft and gift fair

The latest craft fair we have appeared at was at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday 2nd December 2012, this was the biggest event Hours of Fun had done to date and I was really looking forward to it and also a tad nervous!

It was going to be a long day as the fair was 10am – 5pm, I much prefer 11am – 4pm on a Sunday!  We had to get over to Bolton too so the alarm clock had to be set and everything was packed and ready a few days before hand.  I had decided organisation was the key to this event running smoothly!   The hall was massive with rows upon rows of stalls selling all different types of gifts, treats, handmade goodies, food and much much more.

The talk around the hall between stall holders was that it wasn’t as busy as expected, however there was still a steady trickle of customers wandering around the stalls and the cheese stall behind us didn’t stop all day!  Hours of Fun had a steady flow of customers and we managed to cover costs, but it hadn’t been as successful as I had let myself hope, especially as the stall costs at these type of events are more expensive than the other events I had appeared at.

The organisers were creative crafts association and the day ran smoothly and they kept us informed including announcing it was time to pack up just after 4pm when the customers had slowed to a near stop.  This was fantastic as often you can see stall holders starting to pack up or looking around for guidance as to what to do when there have been no customers for a while.  I feel keeping the stall holders informed is a very important part of the day.

Not sure if I will do one of these large events again, maybe sometime next Christmas.  I  think I would focus on a limited number of products to take and sell, but with the cost of the stalls I will need to think carefully before booking any more.

I had some amazing support again from my family, with my mum, dad and brother  coming over with my nieces and nephews and Chris came over for the day bringing some fab Christmas decorations to add to the stall and help out.  Thanks to everyone. 

We now look forward to the last fair of the year – Goosnargh Village Hall near Preston this Sunday 16th December 2012.

Christmas Craft Kits for all ages and all lots of fun

Hours of Fun have been researching make your own kits, exploring what is out there, starting off with a sample of kits as we look to develop and grow this section.

The driving ambition behind Hours of Fun is to inspire all to get crafting and a kit containing everything you need is the perfect way to get started.  By early next year Hours of Fun are hoping to have a collection of kits available, hand picked and presented by Hours of Fun, covering all sorts of crafts from sewing to card making, knitting to jewellery.  We are busy exploring ideas, packaging, supplies and value for money.  We do already have an amazing selection of make you own kits AVAILABLE NOW in the Hours of Fun shop.

These make a perfect gift for Christmas or a treat for yourself as a new hobby during the dark nights of winter.  Learn to knit, crochet and sew.  Try shrinkling, spirelli and Scrapito techniques – all fantastic kits for crafting, lots of fun and great to do with the Kids.

I am really excited about what is to come in the New Year, as I love exploring kits, new techniques and ideas.  I have already come across new techniques and refreshed old ones I have not done since I was a child.  Pompom making as been a recent blast from the past and we have a couple of Pompom making tools available – Knitting bee with free pompom maker or a pompom kit with a range of different sized frames.

If  you can not see what you are looking for or have any fantastic ideas for kits you wish to share get in touch with Hours of Fun either by commenting on this post or contact us.

Happy Crafting!!

Hours of fun at the Last Drop Village craft and gift fair in Bolton

On Sunday Hours of Fun had a stall at the Last Drop Village in Bolton as part of their craft and gift fair run by Bolton Crafts Association.

It started at 11am which was very respectable for a Sunday craft fair as it means you don’t have to get up quite so early, especially when you have a bit of a drive to get to the location.  On arrival stall holders we were all about setting up their stall, catching up with people and meeting new people.  I knew Angie was going to be there whom I had met at Neston Civic Hall in September, she has a fab Facebook page full of crafting ideas, its well worth a visit.

I was feeling rather rough as if I may be getting a bug, however I was lucky enough to have Kev by my side as we set up shop.  I was super excited about getting my new twirly display stand set up and it looked fab with all the items on it.

Sales were steady throughout the day with a mixture of Hours of Fun goodies being sold.  Double sided sticky tape, stranded cotton, stickers, christmas bells and card packs amongst the sales.   12pm came and went and then the next couple of hours went by in a blur. My mum, dad, Niece Hannah and Nephew Luke arrived at the fair with their lunch boxes and some money to spend, they were staying for a while and keen to help out.  As a complete surprise my brother-in-law Dave and Nephew Oliver turned up too, it was amazing.  I love the support I get at every fair, I have been lucky enough to have at least one visitor at each event alongside those there helping out for the day.  I had some amazing superstar assistants in Hannah, Luke and Oliver.  They went round giving out business cards and leaflets to all the stall holders, Hannah was a superstar taking the lead on sticking all the labels to the bags hanging on the twirly display stand.  They all bought some goodies, both as gifts and for themselves and it was lots of fun having them there

My mum bought a Me to You make your own latch hook rug as a challenge for herself, although I don’t believe it will be a challenge for her as she has done lots of sewing and needle work before.  If she does have any problems we can get Chris on the case with his expertise in rug making.

Next fair is at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday 2nd December, this event is the largest event I have attended so far.  I will blog further details about it over the next couple of days.

Emergency cuff link crisis – all solved from treats out of my Hours of Fun travelling craft box!

Over the last year or so I have taken to carrying around with me a little box of crafts and supplies when we head off on our travels, especially if there is a car journey involved as I have found this is a brill time to do some sewing or cross stitch.    This box generally contains the current project which at present is a cross-stitch bookmark for Nan’s birthday, along with my sewing book, scissors and any other little bits and bobs that have ended up in there along the way.

We arrived at Nicola and Mikey’s wedding believing ourselves to be super organised however it became apparent we had forgotten a few things including cuff links for Kev’s shirt.  He checked with a few other people to see if anyone had a spare pair but to no avail, then as often is the case I suggested we could make some however at this point Kev was still dealing with the disappointment of not bringing any as he has some fab ones at home.

I went to my travelling craft box and explored the contents.  We had some spooky buttons left over from Halloween, some black ribbon and lots of needles and coloured threads.  After a check of the size of the hole on the shirt cuff the pumpkin buttons were perfect.  I used 4 pumpkin buttons and the piece of black ribbon cut in half.  The ribbon was quite wide so I used a large eyed needle to help thread it through 2 buttons and tied it together and cut it to the right length to sit comfortably on the shirt.   I then did the same again with the other 2 buttons and piece of ribbon.

The pumpkins required a little persuasion to get through the holes on the shirts but once in place they held the cuff together perfectly and actually looked quite good.  With it being only 3 days since Halloween we could get away with the theme (just!) and  Kev was happy with them too – yeay!

I have experienced a few situations similar to this where my Hours of Fun shop and love for crafting has saved the day.  Only the night before the wedding we realised I had not got any ribbon in to go round the base board of the cake.  Panic not!  A quick trip upstairs to the Hours of Fun store room allowed me to source some ribbon perfect for the job.

Arts and Craft Fair and Little Pumpkins Halloween Fun Day

This Sunday Hours of Fun will be taking to the craft stall once more and appearing at the Arts and Crafts Fair and little pumpkins Halloween fun day down at Stanley Park in Liverpool.

                             Final flyer Isla Gladstone (click here to see the flyer in pdf format.)

It is in the Isla Conservatory which is in the middle of Stanley park, situated in between Liverpool Football Club and Everton Football Club.  The Isla conservatory was originally constructed back in 1870 and since then has been completely rebuilt and restored using original stone and ironwork where possible.  If you would like to read more about the park and the conservatory click here to visit their website  

The Craft fair is open 10am – 5pm and it is free entry so come along.  There will be activities for the children to take part in, a kiddies funfair and a fire eating show along with stalls selling treats and maybe some tricks!

Hours of Fun will be there with our craft and haberdashery supplies along with some Halloween kits we will be trying out.  We have make you own Halloween coasters and wraps, cut outs for creating that perfect face or design in your pumpkin and other Halloween treats.  These are not currently available on the website so visiting the fair on Sunday is a must!


Check out the gallery below for some Halloween related craft supplies – coloured threads, coloured felts and some fantastic Halloween buttons.  I have also included some photographs taken at a Halloween party we had a couple of years ago, it shows some of the simple yet effective decoration ideas for about the house.

Hours of Fun at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool

Last weekend it was craft fair number two for the Hours of Fun stall. Off to the Winter Gardens this time, to the Truly Scrumptious Fair in the Pavilion Theatre. It was a two day spectacular and we were heading down there for the Sunday. We stayed at Lorraine and Jon’s the night before which resulted in a lie in with only a five minute drive to the fair Sunday morning and a delicious home made lasagna the night before (thanks Jonna!).

I had my amazing husband and amazing best friend by my side and we set off quite bright eyed for such an early start, with a car full of supplies and a bag full of food to keep us going throughout the day. We arrived to find an already lively venue, with lots of stalls and people setting up. This was the biggest event Hours of Fun had appeared at and it was exciting to see what the day would bring. Talk of yesterday told us it had been a busy day both inside and outside the fair and with the morning sun shining down on us we felt like it was going to be a good day.

The new display idea worked really well, although it was quite time consuming to put together but worth it. Big shout out to Lorraine as she took on the challenge of attaching all the items! The stall was ready to go and within ten minutes we had made two sales, fingers crossed this continued! We were a fab team and got in to speaking to everyone as they stopped to look at the stall and handed out leaflets. The day was busy with only a few quiet spells and sales were frequent throughout the day. I had amazing support as Chris turned up to join us for a couple of hours, then my mum and dad arrived which was extra special as it was also my dad’s birthday 🙂 Jonna came down too in the afternoon and then took Lorraine home so she could have a deserved rest and put her feet up. My mum and dad then stayed until the end and helped us pack up which was amazing.

Thank you do much to my husband, mum, dad, Lorraine, Chris and Jonna for coming along to the fair and providing help and support and all made the day so much fun.

The organisation of the day was fantastic, run by Dotty from Crafty Vintage Fairs. Dotty was about all day, there to help, check everything was ok, keep us informed and provide us with free tea and coffee all day as long as we brought our own mugs – fantastic treat for us, thank you Dotty!

With there being a few of us to man the stall we could take it in turns to have wander around and listen to some live music and check out the other stalls. It was a brilliant day and really positive day for Hours of Fun.

We are now looking forward to the next fair at the end of the month in Isla conservatory in Stanley Park in Liverpool, a Halloween special with lots of activities and crafts. I will post more information nearer the time.

Craft fair preparation is underway

Hours of Fun craft and haberdashery shop is booked in for 6 craft fairs, I am still waiting for confirmation back on 2 and will add the dates once received.

So far we have

29th September 2012 Craft & Gift, Vintage & Mind Body Soul Fair – Neston Civic Hall, CH64 9PE

7th October 2012 Truly Scrumptious Fair – Pavilion Theatre, Winter Gardens, Blackpool, FY1 1HL

28th October 2012 Arts & Craft Fair & Little Pumpkin Halloween Fun Day – Isla Gladstone Conservatory, Stanley Park, L4 0TD

18th November 2012 Last Drop Village  Craft Fair, Bromley Cross, Bolton, BL7 9PZ

Come along to the Hours of Fun Stall

(More dates to be confirmed)

With the first craft fair taking place on Saturday MISSION –  preparation craft fair stall and supplies commenced this weekend.

I was given a canvas for my birthday that I had not used and this was disgraceful as it was awesome – you got to print whatever picture you wanted on to a canvas and then frame it!  As it is all about the business at the moment, what better picture to print than the logo and then it will be a fab addition to the signage used at the fairs.

It came in a kit and was simple to make, apart from having printer issues trying to work out how to change the picture size to allow a 15mm border around the print.  This proved to be tricky and after 5 tester prints I decided it would be fine to lose a little of the letters as they would still show, but be on the frame.

I wrote this before we actually constructed the frame and I take back the simple to make comment!  It was rather confusing as the pictures were quite small and difficult to see details, but we got there in the end!

I have set a pretend craft stall in the spare oom to test out the layout ideas I had.  I am really happy with it so far and think the different heights give it an attractive and interesting look.  I need to finish off the signs for the stall and try out the price tags and name cards.  I also need to work out how much of everything I am taking and then prepare a stock list and package it well – time to get everything out, play with it, then re-pack it – yeay!

I have also been organising my storage of stock by making labels for all the boxes so I can tell what is in each one at a quick glance.  Any excuse to get the laminator out!  although I am awaiting the delivery of my next large stock order so it may all change by the end of the week!