Friday, 25 May 2012

Freebie Friday: Competition - Win a Jubilee Bunting necklace!

To celebrate the upcoming Jubilee, we are giving away one of our new bunting necklaces.

You could be the proud owner of the beauty below in time for next week's festivities..

To win this necklace, all you have to do is suggest what you'd like to see us to make next!

You can send us a comment below this post, Tweet us or send a message on Facebook to enter.
You can also e-mail us at with your suggestions

The best suggestion will then be picked and we will contact the winner to send them their prize!

We will take on board all your ideas and try to make the things you all want to see!

Good luck everyone!

Terms and conditions:
More than one entry is permitted. The winner will need to have an Etsy account although no payment will need to be made. Entrants must be in the UK to win the necklace. Closing Date for Entries: Weds 30th May 2012.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Thrifty Thursday - Treasure Baskets and some new things in the pipeline...

We're steering in a slightly different direction for this week's Thrifty Thursday and in some parts a more personal one. Today's post will be focussed on the small people. Yes, kiddies!

The purple bird became a mother last year for the first time and has sadly "sniff," just returned to the rather boring world of work. When she was enjoying her lovely, all too short maternity leave, her Thursday afternoons were spent at the local Treasure Baskets group.

Treasure Baskets is for babies who can sit up but aren't quite at the crawling stage. The groups, in our experience, usually last just under an hour and are held weekly.

Each session involves a bunch of babies sitting on the floor, with their parent behind them, and some baskets full of treasures infront. The baskets do not have your typical baby toys in, quite the opposite, but that doesn't matter when you're 6 months old! Inside the baskets are wonderful objects with exciting shapes and textures, and some that make funny noises.
More information on Treasure Baskets can be found on the links at the bottom of the post

Sadly the group is now finished but it was great fun watching all the babies (sometimes literally) dive into the baskets and exploring all the items inside them.

As the little chick enjoyed it so much, purple bird decided to make her own treasure basket for home. At first she was a bit stuck for ideas, but after a bit of a search online and remembering what sort of things were in the baskets at the group, the ideas soon started flowing!

The finished article looks like this:

The little chick's treasure basket contains:
Scourer, old mobile phone, bells, body mop, honey stirrer, natural sponge, toothbrush, plastic tub with couscous inside (sealed with lots of sellotape!)

The basket cost next to nothing to put together as nearly all the items included were pilfered from around the home. So you can be very thrifty and not have to spend any money at all but still create a trove of wonder for your little one!

Whilst we're on the subject of kids, we've been thinking up some new ideas for things we could sell in our Etsy shop, that you could buy for your youngsters.

Here's what we've come up with so far...
- Baby headbands - see picture below.
- Young children's crochet jewellery  - no metal used at all, all cotton yarn and buttons, so completely washable!
- Toys - soft animals, balls and cubes for babies.
- Playroom bunting.

The little chick in her pretty flower headband!

We'd love to hear what you think about our ideas, and also if you have made a treasure basket for your baby, what did it include?

More information on Treasure Baskets:
About - Little Acorns site
About - NetMums site
How to make a treasure basket
More ideas and some safety tips *please read!*

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A Natural High - Woolly Wednesday

Our Cotton Yarn Addition…

As you know we birds get a real buzz from anything colourful but there is something extra special about this dyed 100% Cotton which has had us emptying out our bank accounts in a quest to obtain every available shade! We must be addicted!

Like most crochet newbies do, we started out using acrylic yarns as they are so much cheaper than anything else and available in a lot of varieties of thickness, colour and texture. However, once we progressed and became more adept in the ways of the crochet hook, we ventured into the sacred realm of natural fibres!

Yarns with a wool content or other natural fibre content are a lot more costly, some more than others, so we had to be careful only to buy a specific yarn for a particular project, rather than splashing out on the full range. We found this to be a little limiting to our creativity as we love to experiment.

One day we found a great supply of this Patons 100% Cotton yarn in both DK and 4-ply weights at  and remembered that we had read about this kind of yarn a lot on Lucy's (Attic 24) blog when we were starting out. She talks about using Rowan Handknit cotton for her projects and I am sure this is the ubercotton of cottons but when we looked at it pound for pound, the Patons stuff is pretty much half the price so we let our wallets do the talking!

Colourful cotton we can't keep away from!

Cotton is a lot less fluffy than any yarn we have used before. It tangles less, splits less and the finished item really shows the stitches well, making the stitch pattern a big part of the creation. Because the stitches are so clear to see we agreed that we wish we'd splashed out on some sooner when we were learning as it would have made life easier!

See how clearly you can see these crocodile stitches
we are learning.

Cotton yarn is washable so great for any children's products. Because it does not tend to fray or shed easily it is also brilliant for creating jewellery and presses beautifully flat with an iron. There is not much this cotton can't do. 

The bright range of colours are great for kids,
and it is fully washable too!

What can I say? We are seriously addicted! You can see from these pictures that our supply is growing. We may have to start dealing soon to fund our habit! Half of the circle below is DK weight and of course, we had to match it with the same colours in 4-ply for teeny tiny stitches! Find out more about yarn weights here.

A rainbow of cotton in both DK and 4-ply

I think the limit for cotton is that when it comes to warm, cosy clothing or a cuddly teddy bear, there is nothing to beat soft, fuzzy wool. Therein lies the contradiction!

There are products in our Etsy shop which use 100% cotton yarn and we are experimenting with it a lot at the moment to tie it in with our jewellery making as it works so well in this way so pop back from time to time and see what's on offer. We would also love to see if any of you get bitten with the cotton yarn bug and what you create with it. Send us links here or tag us on facebook or instagram.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Jewellery for beginners - Earrings

When we first got into jewellery making the web wasn't as full as it is now with helpful resources for craft lovers, and we ended up buying a rather expensive kit with a DVD.

The kit was very informative and was a great starter set, but now everyone has to watch their pennies a bit more, it would be far too much of a luxury.

So, here at Two Bird's Craft we thought we'd start making our own jewellery tutorials!

We will start you at the very beginning for those of you with no previous experience.
Today's jewellery tutorial is for a pair of simple earrings, at the bottom of the page we will list some links for you to find some supplies if you need them.

Earrings are one of the first things we made and are definitely the easiest and quickest item of jewellery to make, so let's start:

To make the earrings you will need:
Two headpins in the metal of your choice
Two earring hooks.
Beads or charms to make your earrings pretty!
Pliers - round and flat nosed and
Wire cutters.

Pliers and wire cutters are essential kit!

Thread your bead selection
Step 1:  Thread your beads onto your headpin

Cut the headpin leaving 1cm space
Step 2:  With your wire cutters, cut the headpin one 1cm away from your top bead

Step3:  Next, get your round nosed pliers and grab the headpin a mm or two above your top bead and bend the wire 90 degrees.

Use the round nosed pliers
Bend 90 Degrees at top of beads

Step 4:  Still using your round nosed pliers, use the fattest bit of the plier you can whilst stilling getting a grip on the wire and from the top twist the wire into a loop.

Make a loop

Step 5:  Now, get your earring hook and your flat and round nosed pliers.

Hold the small hook on your earring hook with your flat pliers and then open it with the round nosed ones. Then hook your headpin by the loop you created onto your earring hook. Now you just need to close the hook the same way you opened it and...voila, an earring!

Connect to your earring hook

Now you need to do that all again to make a pair!

You can you any amount of beads and charms as you like, but we recommend putting a small bead or a sead bead at the bottom of your headpin (especially if they are flat bottomed ones), so that any big beads don't fall straight off! If you're feeling adventurous, you might even want to hook a few headpins full of beads onto your earring hooks! 

We've been experimenting with mixing crochet and jewellery making together, here's one of our teeny crochet flowers looped onto the earring hook - what do you think?

Here's one we made earlier!

We hope everything in the above tutorial makes sense and you all enjoy making your earrings! If you need any help or think any pictures/instructions need improving then please get in touch!

As promised, here are some suggested websites for supplies:

Good sellers on eBay:

Monday, 21 May 2012

Make and Tell Monday - Bracelets, Purses and more...

Hello everyone,

Well, last week didn't go entirely according to plan. We have both been a bit lazy on the production front and to make matters worse we had illness in the nest, plus a lack of jewellery supplies which we were expecting to arrive. All in all, a pretty rubbish start to this post, which should be where we tell you all about our new creations!

Looking back at last Monday, we outlined our plans to work on several items based on the experimentation we had done the week before. As far as this goes, the little heart we showed you now has a big brother made with DK 100% cotton which we are LOVING at the moment! (More on this yarn on Wednesday) However, the heart operation (groan!) has been… wait for it… Bypassed… ahem, as we found a great pattern for little crochet flowers and have spent nearly all our time making these instead!

The little flowers we have been making are in readiness for a line of jewellery we want to create, subject to the arrival of our belated supplies so hopefully we will have more to show you on these later in the week. We put together a prototype for your comments shown here, but it is unfinished as we have no clasps at the moment. Flower hair clips are another idea we want to try too.

The Jubilee coasters have been similarly pushed aside but we need to crack on with these this week or there will really be no point at all! 

In addition to these we had a great idea for mini bunting necklaces which may just make it into our Etsy shop for the weekend in question but the way things have been going recently one really can't tell!

So this week we have been blocking up the pipeline with even more ideas and experiments. We promise we will behave ourselves and start stocking our Etsy shelves soon though!

Now for the finale. The pink bird's niece and nephew are coming to stay in the Summer so she thought she should get a move on and start making them some goodies! Here is the first. This little fella is an owl purse based on a circle which we adapted after lots of tries with other patterns. the top opening is pretty narrow but it is for the niece who is only three so it will be perfect for her little paws! To give you an idea of scale it is about 15cm wide and the strap is 45cm long so she can wear it over her shoulder just like mummy! 


We hope she likes it and would love your comments too. A photo went onto Instagram earlier and it got lots of likes. If you think we should make some for our shop let us know. We are still finding our feet with the Etsy shop so any free market research would be appreciated!

So we have not been completely idle this week but have a lot of work still to do! Once again, let us know if you would like us to try any particular ideas out or just send us your comments on what we have put together so far.

Lots of love,


Friday, 18 May 2012

Freebie Friday: 10% off all purchases in the TBC shop!

As promised last week, we'll be giving something away free each and every Friday!

To celebrate it being the best day of the week, we're giving a 10% discount on all orders placed in our Etsy shop today.

To claim your discount add your item(s) to the basket, click checkout and then enter coupon code FREEBIEFRIDAY1805

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, we'd love to hear what you get up to, whether it be craft related or otherwise!

Contact us:

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Thrifty Thursday - T-shirt Yarn

A great way to upcycle unwanted clothes...

During the course of our crafty internet exploration we came across this great tutorial by craftpassion on how to make t-shirt yarn. 

The process is explained really well and we found it easy to follow. As we both had a few bits and pieces from our wardrobes which had seen better days, we tried it out and had a few balls of t-shirt yarn ready to use in short order. Thanks craftpassion!
It is so much fun to create giant crochet using a massive hook! The contrast between our usual tiny, intricate patterns and these great big loops which grow so quickly is brilliant! 

We used a 10mm hook as it was the biggest we had but I think we could have done with a bigger hook still to keep things a bit more flexible. As we were limited on colours we created a chunky trivet which would be great in the middle of the dinner table for serving up a hot pan of food such as paella or fajitas.

Now we have tried this method we are hungry to try more colours and different patterns. This type of yarn is great for creating rugs, baskets, bags and other containers - anything which needs to be a bit thicker and more rustic. 

The plan is now to keep an eye out in thrift stores and charity shops for different coloured t-shirts so that we can get a palette together for a larger project. We were in serious danger of hacking our wardrobes up to do this, but realised that it would not be the most economic plan of action! Instead we will be patient and post again once we have the materials created to make something new but we urge you all to give t-shirt yarn a try and let us know what you did with yours. Send us a photo!

Lots of love,

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Woolly Wednesday: Yarn Thickness Chart

A great resource for newbie hookers...

When we were learning to crochet, we found there was a real trove of free information, patterns and tutorials to be found online. Whilst these were amazingly helpful in getting us started, there was a little confusion in using them due to the differences in terminology between UK and US patterns.

We have already covered the different stitch terms and hook sizes in tables earlier in the blog. The final hurdle was the terms for the yarns suggested at the start of the patterns. It took a while before we realised that 'DK' or 'Double Knit' yarn is the same as 'Worsted Weight' yarn over in the states! 

Here is yet another useful table to help you avoid any confusion as you get hooking.

There will be further fibre related posts each Wednesday. If you would like us to cover a particular subject one week, please comment or email us here.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Crochet Flowers and more!

One of the first books we bought when learning to crochet was Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench.

The book is wonderfully laid out and easy to read and understand. The crochet terms, hook sizes and wool names are all UK terminology.

We have both made several things from the book but one of our favourites has been the crochet flowers.

These are easy to make and really add an extra something to whatever you're making. - We have used them for adornments to things like purses and gadget cases, and even made a pretty flower garland!

Here's the pattern to make these lovely little flowers, it's really quick and we've found you can use whatever wool and hook size you like - it will just mean you make different size flower!!

  • Using your first colour for the inner of the flower, chain 6 then join with a slip stitch in the first chain to make a circle.
  • Make 16 double crochet into the circle. Join with a slip stitch and fasten off.
  • Join second colour for outer part of flower into fastened off stitch.
  • *Chain 3, make 1 treble into next two stitches, chain 3, slip stitch into next stitch, repeat from * 4 more times  - this makes 5 petals.
  • Pull tail to close up centre hole and sew in ends.

See, easy peasy! 

One of our favourite crochet bloggers, Lucy from Attic 24, has also written a post about a pattern in this book, you can read about that here - she, like us, can't sing this book's praises highly enough.

To end the post, here's a picture of one of our creations from the book which was easy but also very satisfying to make - a lovely crochet purse with the pretty flowers we mentioned already. 

Happy hooking!

TBC xxx

Monday, 14 May 2012

Make and Tell Monday

What we have been making this week...

Hello everyone, 

Hopefully you all had a great weekend and are fully charged ready for the new week ahead. If you need just one more hit of something pretty to stand you in good stead, take a look at the two birds creations of the last week.

In the experimental stages we are looking at little stuffed hearts. The self striping colours on this worked really well we think! We will be looking at ways to use these and other colour combinations and finishes this week.

Also in the works are Jubilee coaster sets! We started out with solid colours to test the pattern and then stumbled across this amazing striped jubilee wool! Please comment and let us know if  you think we should have a set of four striped coasters, or a set with one of each solid colour and a fourth striped one. We can't decide… Perhaps we will try both!

Something we were trying out a few weeks back was the tiny crocheted owls. We now have a complete rainbow of the little creatures all ready to adorn your keys! Each owl is made with 100% cotton and decorated with a patterned cotton tummy and cute, button eyes! They all turn out just a little differently and have developed unique personalities!

Our little rainbow owls are available for purchase in our Etsy shop right now so take a look! If you would like a particular colour which has sold out please email us direct and we would be happy to commission another for you.

We have lots more ideas queued up but if you have anything you would like us to have a try at making for you please email your suggestions.

Lots of love,


Saturday, 12 May 2012

We want to hear from YOU!

We love telling you all about the things we've been making, but we'd also love to hear what you've been up to.

We'd be happy to help feature and promote any fellow crafter's websites/Etsy shops via our blog and Twitter.

Whether you've got a long term labour of love, like our crochet blanket, or you've just worked out a new pattern for something - get in touch!


Have a great weekend everyone, we'll see you back here on Monday!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Freebie Friday: Free P&P on all Etsy items TODAY ONLY!!

That's right, you read it correctly. Free postage and packing! But only for today, so be quick and visit our Etsy shop here - even multiple purchases will be posted free of charge, how generous are we!?
All you need to do is enter the coupon code FREESHIPPING at the checkout.

And as we are super lovely, if you pay us a visit every Friday, then we will have some sort of freebie every week!

Freebie Friday is part of our new way of posting entries - you may have noticed Woolly Wednesday and Thrifty Thursday already.

So remember to come back and see what the other days of the week bring, especially next Friday for more freebies!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Upcycling inspiration

Here at TBC we are always looking for new ways to create items.

One thing we've been really interested in lately is the idea of upcycling.

Upcycling is when you create an item from something that already exists. For example, turning a juice/milk carton into a coin purse.
More information can be found on upcycling here.

Websites; Craft Passion and Cut Out and Keep have a brilliant range of upcycling tutorials if you fancy having a go, as does Craft Gawker.

Here are some of our favourite upcycled items:

Amigurumi Bunny Pencil Holde
Amigurumi Bunny Pencil Holde

Hello Kitty Magnets
Hello Kitty Magnets

Made from a recycled instant coffee jar, this adorable container now has a life of its own! [tutorial]
Made from a recycled instant coffee jar, this adorable container now has a life of its own! [tutorial]
1 repin   

We've added more of our favourite ideas to our Pinterest here

We'll be having a go ourselves so check back next Thursday to see how we got on!


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Woolly Wednesdsay: Giant crochet lions

Mr Pink Bird stumbled across this video yesterday about an artist who has created 3 GIANT crochet lions to celebrate the 2012 Olympics. They are truly spectacular, and make our granny square blankets seem minuscule in comparison.
That's some good hooking!

Here's a BBC news acticle about it for more information.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Our Etsy shop is now....OPEN!

We've been promising some exciting news for a few days now, and the news is.... we have taken the plunge and opened our Etsy shop!!

More things will be added regularly but to start things off we've added a selection of handmade bracelets to the store.

Here's a picture of what's for sale below:
If you like the look of any of them and would like more information, please visit our shop here.

Please keep checking back as we will be adding more to the shop very soon - we'll let you know on Twitter and Facebook too though incase you forget ;-)

That's all for now, hope everyone had a lovely bank holiday!

TBC xxx

Saturday, 5 May 2012

What we're up to this weekend...

What a week it has been!

We've only been up and running since last Saturday but we have been amazed at the amount of followers and page views we've acquired so far!

Thank you so much to everyone who's taken time to read our posts and tweets, we hope you've enjoyed them.

We are loving our new blog and being a new part of the crafting community. We have met some lovely people online already and hope to meet many more.

This weekend the two birds are getting together for a good old shop for some more supplies in the morning, then we will be having a brainstorming session over lunch, followed by some crafting in the afternoon.

Top on our making list this weekend are:

- Animal Keyrings
- Pretty Hairclips and..
- Buttony Bracelets

Please check back with us from tuesday for some information on our new creations! No doubt we'll be posting pictures of our progress on Instagram as we go.

Have a brilliantly long Bank Holiday weekend everyone!

TBC xxx

Friday, 4 May 2012

Rave Reviewers

Are you hatching a new product, pattern or idea? If you have anything craft related which you would like field tested or reviewed by real people, we would be happy to have a go and let you and our followers know what we think. We would give a fair and unbiased review and promise we won't peck it to pieces!

Our specific areas of expertise are Crochet, Knitting, Jewellery Making, Felting and Beading, but we are constantly expanding on that range so if you have any books, kits or products which are targeted at beginners in a particular craft then we would love to have a go!

Get The TBC Rating!

Contact the birds by email, twitter (@twobirdscraft) or comment on this post to talk about your ideas and see if we can help.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Crochet Blanket - Flowers in the Snow

Both us birds have had our beaks into Crochet for several months now. We started with online tutorials and free patterns, bought some books and are now designing our own patterns and devising exciting ways to use crochet to brighten up our lives! 

Along our journey to crochet enlightenment we have found lots of sites, blogs and information online. To help any trainee hookers out there we will be placing as much of this information as possible here on our blog so you can use it as a resource whenever you get your yarn in a tangle!

If there is anything in particular any of you think would be a valuable addition to our trove, please comment or pop us an email.

Some of our crochet items will be made available for purchase, along with patterns and kits of our own creation. The blanket featured here, however, is very much a work in progress and a labour of love. It will not, suffice it to say, be appearing in our Etsy shop but will instead festoon a sofa or bed back at the nest when it is finished. But when will it be finished I hear you ask?!


We love the way this pattern allows every possible colour combination we can possibly think of, whilst still maintaining a softness and subtlety with the white edging to each square. 

As you can see we have gone into major production of the inner circles as we need so much variation to avoid the same shades turning up together. Looking at these pictures though, we agree it is time to start adding some of them into the blanket now!

We are using DK acrylic for all the inner colours. This is a thrifty way of getting the varied spectrum we need for such a large project. The overall quality and softness of the blanket is not something we wanted to compromise on though, so the white edges are done in Rowan pure wool 4 ply which is divine! We bought this and most of the yarns from an online retailer with an outlet shop near to our nest.

The pattern for this blanket is named 'Flowers in the Snow' and we stumbled across it a while ago on where it is available as a free link. The designer of the pattern is Solveig Grimstad who is a lovely and talented lady. She has provided the instructions in both Norwegian and English! Here is the direct link to the pattern.

When we finally do finish the blanket and have fought over where it will live, we will add a snapshot for your comments. Of course if any of you fancy a go at this pattern and want to show us how you get on, please send us your photos or tag us on instagram. You will no doubt put us to shame with your speedy progress!

Happy Hooking!

Useful and related links
A valuable source for all things yarn related - you can set up a free account and there are many free patterns for those who are experimenting)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Crochet - UK vs USA hook sizes

Following on from our post on Monday helping you work out the difference between UK and USA stitch terms, we thought it would be useful to also include a chart which shows names for UK and USA crochet hooks, so here it is:

Metric (mm)