Monday, 31 December 2012


Hi! Last day of 2012! The Peppermint Store blog has only been around since May, but a little overview of 2012 still feels in order.

I felt like I have not posted much this year, but still, got up to 20 projects, including a mix of clothes, shoes, jewellry and even knitted accessories! Pretty pleased!

I love having an archive of my projects and a space to share them with friends and family and whoever else is interested in an easy, fun, affordable and environmentally friendly way to get the wardrobe pieces you want.

So TPS is definitely coming with me into the new year. With plans for yet better projects, better photographs and more frequent updates.

But before it's time to put those resolutions into place, I thought I'd put together a list of my favourite DIYs of 2012.

Since making them I have worn these to bits and pieces. With a plain top or T-shirt they make a simple outfit fun and interesting.

Also these have become a favourite wardrobe item. They look so summery with that bubblegum pink heel. I love wearing them with skinny jeans and a loose fit tee.

I loved giving some of my comfiest worn out clothes a new life. This skirt is decorated with old T-shirts and this simple DIY probably extended its life significantly. 

Another summery item. A tent-sized plain sundress I reworked into my size and gave some fun details, including an open back and a slight dipped hem effect. This is probably the most time-consuming and "technical" of all the projects presented on the blog so far, but it was fun to remake and absolutely radiates summer.

A project to make on rainy days and use on sunny. And a great opportunity to be creative with trims, buttons and beads, whatever you've got laying around!

Last summery craft (though I wear it all year round). This bracelet took a heartbeat to make and has been worn about a million times since.

A tea time craft. With a cup of tea in one hand and pliers in the other a £1.50 second hand bracelet I bought only to realise I'd never wear turned into earrings I wear all the time.

Phew, this was a time consuming project! It didn't take too much time to do, but to create the blog posts...I'm exhausted just thinking about it. But I hope I managed to get across the idea of how ridiculously simple it is to make useful and cute items even if you've never picked up a knitting needle before.

Finally, a small time investment big result project. And since winter is not over yet, I'm sure this will get plenty more use.

And that's 2012 on The Peppermint Store. Good, but next year will be so much better!

See you in 2013 everybody! And Happy New Year! Celebrate in style!

Friday, 28 December 2012

20 minute headbands

Ok, last DIY of 2012. A discreetly bejeweled headband so quick and simple it can be made over a lunch break and be ready in time for any glitzy New Years parties. And it can be made with scrap bits and pieces you likely have around the house. The best part is that you can vary this DIY so much to create your own look, by using whichever trims/ribbons and costume jewel pieces you have laying around or like the look of.


  • Ribbon - I like black velvet for its simple elegance, but the possibilities for variety of this DIY start here
  • Some old or thrifted necklaces
  • Hair elastics - elastics anything will work, I just didn't have anything else around
  • Needle and thread
  • Possibly some pliers to remove any necklace ends that don't look too great

Measure how much ribbon is needly by simply wrapping it around your head, and remove a couple of cm for the elastic stretched out.

Lay out the necklace over the ribbon and sew in place. Glueing works, but sewing will look better and spare you the headache of removing/hiding smeared glue.

Sew the ends of the ribbon around the hair elastic and that's it.  

If you are planning on using them as headbands in 1920s style, you might not want elastics showing. So simply leave the ribbon ends long and you can tie into a pretty bow.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Dolce & Gabbana inspired gold trim cape

Before this year is over and it's out with the old and in with SS13 inspiration I wanted to show you this cape inspired by the Dolce & Gabbana Autumn/Winter 12 collection. It's the perfect cover over neat cocktail dresses to and fro the season's festive soirees. And it couldn't be easier to make.

Before and after. A little detail makes a big difference.

I love everything about the D&G collection; the detail, decadence, opulence of it...amazing!  And the gold on black baroque pieces were my absolute favourites.

So when I found a heavy, thick, pure lambswool black cape in a charity shop for next to nothing it was clear what its destiny was to become.


  • Black cape. If you don't have one, so easy to make one, a great tutorial here.
  • Gold trim
  • Black velvet trim
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Not pictured: sewing machine/needle & thread

Step 1. Pin, then sew the gold trim in place wherever you think it would look great. I chose just above the hem at the back.

To cover up the stitches and add a little elegant detail, pin and sew the velvet trim over the top of the gold trim.

And that's it!

As I was rummaging through my wardrobe looking for an outfit to go with the cape my inspiration deviated from Dolce & Gabbana's baroque and towards F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

If I was going to a New Years party this year this is what I'd wear: black silk dress, heels with DIY gold details, a DIY hairband with gold details (tutorial coming up later in week), and for outdoors this cape. But alas I work. 

Unfortunately the DIY heels are pre-The Peppermint Store, but if you want to make something like them the web is packed with great tutorials. You can find a superb one at my DIY bible, here

Ciao for now!

Rose necklace makeover

I haven't been feeling my very best over the last few days and what better to do when stuck in bed recovering than the tedious task of sorting, cropping, editing photos.

Right, so now that all the photos are edited, I'll be posting a whole three DIYs this week. Starting with the very easiest, a necklace makeover.

So I'm all about colour in summer and shades of gray and black in winter. Therefore I rely heavily on accessories for happy bursts of colour.

I got the below costume jewellery pendant from my mom. I loved the shape, but it felt a bit boring.

So it became forgotten about until I was cleaning my little atelier and was flicking through some recent magazines, getting ready to throw them out. Came upon this page, something about purple being trendy this AW. I love some plum shades, so perfect!

Supplies couldn't be easier. Nail polish and a pendant. I'm sure any hobby paint would work too, but you know my love for nail polish by now.

The nail polish looks red, but two coats of that and you've got the most amazing plum colour.

Paint. Leave to dry. Repeat. Wear.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Before & after project - snow machines and tweed skirts

I don't know about you, but during the winter I find it really difficult to dress nice. Largely because it's cooold and comfy, warm things become irresistible. And then there is the factor that pulling on whatever is nearby instead of putting together an outfit means x extra minutes in bed. Minutes that are pure gold when it's as dark outside at 7 am as at 3 am.

But sometimes you have to get out of the flannel and/or wool (in my case definitely "and"). For me this was most recently on Saturday night when the boyfriend asked me to help out with on a photography shoot he was doing, involving a snow machine! Not one to turn down snow, even if it is made of plastic, the flannel had to be abandoned for the night and some normal clothes, suitable for stepping out in public, were required.

I decided on all black. And as these things go, when you want something you suddenly have nothing in that category clean. The local charity shop came to rescue and I found this gorgeous black tweed skirt. Size-wise fine (it looks huge in the pic, my bad choice of a hanger that stretched it out), but about 2 meters too long, being calf length. 

It couldn't be easier to make it short and cute, yet maintain the elegance that, thanks to Chanel, is an integral quality of tweed clothing.

  • Skirt
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Not pictured: measuring tape/ruler
  • Not pictured: Sewing machine or needle and thread

Decide how much you want to shorten the skirt. Do this either by putting it on and measuring, or by laying a skirt with a length you like over this one and marking the desired length. 

Make sure to cut through both the main fabric and the lining, if your skirt has any.

Remember to measure all around the skirt to make sure you get an even hem (unless you are going for an asymmetrical cut, that is :).

Tweed looks best with frayed edges, so instead of hemming the end I used a needle to pull out fibers to hurry up the fraying. You could just cut and leave it, wear and washing will fray the edges enough, but I planned on wearing mine already the same day as making it.

The lining doesn't look good frayed though, plus it should be a little bit shorter than your main fabric, so it doesn't show, so fold this in, pin in place and sew.

Now, I wanted to add a little detail, a band of the same fabric, extra frayed, by the hem for extra texture.

This is a great way to use up the cut off bit. If  you had lots over you could sew bits together into a looong stretch of fabric to make the band ruffled.

Decide how wide the band should be, measure and mark and cut. Tip: neon yellow is surprisingly visible on black.

Fray fray fray.

Pin all around the skirt and sew in place. Sew close to the upper edge of the band, otherwise gravity will do its thing and the top will fold over and hang down. 

If the shoes look familiar, it is because you have seen them on the blog before.

Yup, the snow machine was as fun as it sounds. For an idea of how fun:

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Knitted squares part III - hot water bottle cosy and mittens

Hi guys,

Third and last post about stuff you can make with knitted squares today.


  • Wool - note that you will need a couple of yarn balls, not just the one pictured
  • Knitting needles
  • Scissors
  • Satin ribbon (for hot water bottle)
  • 2 cardboard donuts (for mittens)
  • Not pictured: needle and thread, ideally thick thread, e.g. embroidery

Hot water bottle cosy

Same technique as for the circle scarf, though when you decide how large to knit your rectangle:

  • The width of the total stitches on the knitting needle will be the height of the finished cosy.
  • The height/length of the rectangle will need to be enough to wrap around the bottle once, so that when it is folded over the bottle fits easily inside
(Of course you can knit a longer, more narrow rectangle and then just sew the sides. So why would you do it my way? Because the stitches end up being vertical on the finished cosy and I think that looks great!)

Turn inside out to hide the where you sewed.

Now you have a knitted sack. The next step is to add a beautiful detail. A satin ribbon will look great and be functional as it will double as a drawstring.

Attach a safety pin to one end of the satin ribbon and use it as a needle to thread the ribbon between the knitted stitches at regular intervals.

Fingerless mittens

Do everything x2.

Knit a square where the height is the size of how far up your arm you want the mittens to go, and the width of the square is enough to go all the way around your hand. Bind off.

You are familiar with my horrible diagrams by now, so just follow the above. Then turn inside out.

And then you have a tube with a hole at the side. A fingerless mitten. Cute as it is, but cuter with pompoms!

This is where the donut shaped cardboard discs come in. As usual: here is a video of how to make pompoms.

Sew the strings you get hanging off from the pompoms to the mitten.

And that's it. Easy no?

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Knitted squares part II - circle scarf

Hi blog friends!

I promised to show you how to make some handknitted Christmas presents (or additions to your winter wardrobe?). So without further ado..

The circle scarf


  • Wool - note that you will need a couple of yarn balls, not just the one pictured
  • Knitting needles
  • Scissors
  • Not pictured: needle and thread, ideally thick thread, e.g. embroidery

Anybody with knitting knowledge will tell you that you make a circle scarf using circle needles, but ignore them, the point of this post is maximum results with minimal effort.

Cast on.

How to know how many stitches you will need? The width you get on the knitting needle will be the height of the scarf, from your shoulders up (if you imagine it sitting on your shoulders as a straight tube around your head, come on, be imaginative ;). So keep going until you are happy.

Then knit, knit, knit until you get a rectangle that wraps all the way around your neck however many times you want (or you can be more methodical and measure how large you want the circumference and knit until you get desired size).

Finish the rectangle and bind off.

Next step is to forgive my crap drawing. Then you'll fold the rectangle over, sew together where the horrible attempt at squiggling indicates, and end up with a tube. Turn the tube inside out to hide the sewing on the inside and ta-dah...your circle scarf!

To illustrate the "tube on shoulders around the head" explanation (hair in the air not required):

Hot water bottle cosy and mittens coming tomorrow! :)