book review crafts handmade Orla Kiely

Tinkered Treasures

Tinkered TreasuresI’m a huge fan of Elyse Major’s blog, Tinkered Treasures, so was very happy to be sent a copy of her new book to review.

Adding charm to the everyday is the concept behind Elyse Major’s first book, Tinkered Treasures. It features more than 35 projects, each craft is designed for beginners and can easily be elaborated with, according to your own skill level.

Tinkering is the name given by Elyse to the transformation of everyday items. Through  you can pick up some great ideas for embellishing, repurposing and altering using items you’ll already have.

The projects are split into sections – Tinkering Sundries, Tinkering Supplies, Tinkering Recyclables and Tinkering Bits and Bobs. The introduction gives you a quick run through of the materials and tools you’ll need, as well as a brief guide to some of the techniques used, such as trimming motifs, making pretty labels and decoupage.

I was really pleased to discover I already had a lot of the items needed to complete some of the projects. I’m not sure how I would rate my ‘tinkering’ skills so I started with an easy project, the treasure tin. My toddler is always picking up little things so I thought this would be a great gift for him. He has magpie tendencies so my handbag is full of Waitrose tokens and kinder egg toys!

This was a lovely project to start with. I picked two small tins and sanded them roughly, then spray painted them three times so the pattern on the tins was completely covered. When they were dry I glued some vintage paper to the lids with decopatch glue. The toddler loved his, and I think I’ll make a little felt toy for Little Sis to keep in hers.

treasure tin

The other project I’ve tried are the bottle-cap magnets as, thanks to my husband, I have a huge stash of them. I don’t really have much pretty paper so used Orla Kiely wrapping paper for the paper insert, then brushed a couple of coats of decopatch glue over it. I cut small pieces of magnet and stuck them to the back. Possibly the simplest craft ever !

Orla Kiely magnets

This is a lovely book. The projects are pretty and useful so I know I will be working my way through them. Many of the crafts are also quite straightforward, so perfect if you need a quick fix. Tinkered Treasures by Elyse Major is published by Cico Books at £12.99 and is available from

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    January 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    hi jenny!

    thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your review! i’m so excited that you like the book and have made some treasures of your very own!

    thank you again and happy tinkering!


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