Friday, 26 June 2015

Summer Craft & Gift Fair


Not long to go now until our annual Summer Craft & Gift Fair in the Woodford Suite, Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan taking place in just over 2 weeks on Sunday 12th July, 2015.
We'd love to have you come and see us, this event is now in its 4th year andis the perfect place for some retail therapy.

With over 30 stands showcasing a whole host of handcrafted items and quality giftware including greeting cards, jewellery, glassware & ceramics, art, knitting & crochet, skincare & cosmetics, fairy doors, shaped crayons, wash bags for children, jam, handbags, fairy doors, candles, vintage collectibles, baked goods, craft supplies, homewares and accessories you're sure to find some treasures.
Free admission!

For further information visit the events section of our website at

Or telephone 049 436 4877 or 087 189 6229

Saturday, 18 April 2015

What a beautiful day

It's the weekend, the sun is shining and I'm in the mood for crafting. There's something about a sunny day that makes you feel happy, well it does me!

I recently got a delivery of gorgeous gemstones and I can't wait to get playing with them, the design ideas are all in my head, now I need to get making them into jewellery.

Apologies for being so quiet this year, although I'm not the best blogger in the world by far I had hoped to blog a little more often. Unfortunately the year did not get off to a great start and I was unwell. The good news is that I am 99% back to normal health now (well normal for and am gradually catching up with all the things I had planned to do this year.

Here at Downland Crafts both Tom and I are totally craft mad and are involved in lots of projects for the craft community not just our own website. We also know that many of our customers who purchase craft supplies from us have their own small businesses so recently we set up a new website for craft based sites. After noticing that most of the Top 100 & Top 50 type craft directories out there were based in the UK we felt there should be one for Irish Craft, so as we couldn't find one we set up our own.

You can add your website, Etsy shop, Facebook page or blog for free by visiting and clicking add your site under the logo. All we ask for your site to be approved is that you are based in Ireland (North or South), you sell handcrafted items, craft supplies, write a craft blog or organise craft events. We've also set up a corresponding Facebook page and Twitter account, once you become a member you are welcome to post on the Top 100 Irish Craft Sites page to showcase your products and special offers. You can also tweet using the #top100irishcraftsites hashtag and we will retweet for you.

We didn't stop there...oh no! I then decided there was a need for a new Facebook group again after noticing that, although there are business groups on Facebook already and I am a member of many of them on behalf of Downland Crafts, there wasn't a group especially dedicated to Craft Businesses so you guessed it I set one up!

Crafters often come into business through their hobby and can operate slightly differently from other businesses and have different needs. We hope by having this group the information available to our members will be more applicable to them.

This group is for people who take their craft seriously as a business and have a business presence online such as a Facebook business page, shop and/or website. The purpose of the group is to offer support and advice to craft businesses, this is not a selling group.

Again we have set up a corresponding Twitter account and will be using the #IrishCraftBiz hashtag.

Similar to our new Top 100 Irish Craft Sites, to become a member of the Irish Craft Business Network you must be based in Ireland (North or South), sell handcrafted items, craft supplies or organise craft events . When you ask to join you may be asked to provide information on your business such as links to your pages and sites so we can verify you.

Well that's enough waffling for now, I hope you find these new projects useful....I'm off to do some crafting.

Have a great weekend
Trish x

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Any New Years Resolutions?

So who is making New Year's resolutions? Just the one or a few? I think my own should be the same as it was last year to blog more often. Ah well, they say God loves a tryer and I do try....honest!

We have lots of plans for 2015 and it's going to be a very exciting year for us with lots of new product launches including our very own range of stamps.

Yep, it's been busy at DC designing and having samples made and if you are a member of our new Facebook group you will already know that our first set of stamps has been produced and is now in the testing stage. I can't tell you how exciting it is to see your very own designs actually made into physical stamps and my heart was beating faster when the delivery man arrived and the big smile stayed on my face all day.

Of course we want to make sure that the quality and price is right for our customers so are testing stamps from different companies and using different mediums to ensure we only get the best. You can join our Facebook group by clicking this link and keep up do date with the latest news plus take advantage of special offers especially for our Facebook followers only. This group was set up especially so that we could get to know our customers better and see what you are making with your purchases from us. Many people told us that with all the recent changes to Facebook they were not always receiving notifications from our page so we thought this would be the perfect solution. When you join us be sure to say hello and tell us what your favourite craft is.

Following customer feedback we are also expanding our 925 sterling silver range of findings. These new items will be available to purchase on our website very soon and will include ear wires, head pins, eye pins and split rings which offer extra protection and are the perfect solution if you find your beading wire can sometimes slip through the cut on a regular jump ring.

For those of you who are interested in our 2015 craft & gift fair events we will have new dates for you at the end of January. The new calendar will be available as always on our website via the events section and anyone already on the list, which currently has over 500 names on it, will be emailed with details. If you are not already on our mailing list you can join by simply adding your details to our online form and then click submit. Once your details have been successfully added we will send you a confirmation email.

Our January sale will be starting on Friday 2nd January and will run for the whole month, stock permitting. New items may be added as we do a bit of a clearance on low stock end of line items so keep checking back so you don't miss a bargain. We will also be offering extra special offers to our Downland Crafters group on Facebook so don't forget to join in the chat.

Until next time....happy crafting!
Trish (& Tom)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Christmas Craft & Gift Fair

Good evening, bad blogger here! Yes I know it's been ages. So much for the New Year's resolution back in January to blog more often, oh well, looks like I'll be making the same resolution again this year. Anyway the reason I decided to finally write another post was to tell you about our fast approaching Christmas Craft & Gift Fair.

This annual event is now in it's 3rd year and offers the perfect place for some retail therapy whether you have presents to buy or simply love beautiful things. It is being held on Sunday 7th December in the beautiful Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, Co, Cavan. This year we will be in a different room and you can find us at the Cranaghan suite at the rear of the hotel near the spa between 12.00pm and 5.00pm.

With 65 stands we will have a whole host of handmade crafts, food items, craft supplies and giftware including handmade greeting cards, handmade beaded & gemstone jewellery as well as fashion jewellery, glassware & ceramics, art using various mediums, knitted & crocheted items, skincare & cosmetics, candles & soaps, jams & chutneys, bags, fabric crafts, fairy doors, confectionery, baked goods in the form of cakes, mince pies, Christmas puddings & gingerbread houses, wood crafts such as plaques, bowls and toys, millinery, gift baskets, vintage collectibles, paper craft & jewellery making supplies, craft kits and much, much more.

There will also be a raffle, face painting and live music from the fabulous In Harmony. There is no admission charge at the door so be sure to pay us a visit.

If you have visited our website lately you will know that we have added many new and exciting products to our range recently including new unmounted rubber stamps, cd's, gorgeous ribbon and our latest Ann's Party range of earrings.

Party Paws Christmas un-mounted rubber stamp sheets featuring a large focal image and 3-4 sentiments depending on the design. 8 designs to choose from at only €4.99 per sheet.

Party Paws Cd-Roms available in Christmas and PDF based Festive Fancies.

The perfect addition to your yuletide crafting stash at only €14.99 each.

Our new range of ribbon includes this 38mm wired faux burlap as well as top quality grosgrain.

Grosgrain is available in both Christmas designs featuring wording and pictures and also crafter's ribbon especially designed to compliment your crafty makes with wording such as 'made in Ireland', 'handmade with love', knitted with love and more.

These ribbons have proven to be extremely popular and you can see the whole range currently available on our website.

be sure to take a look before they all sell out.

Our new range of Ann's Party earrings feature two aluminium scales one large, one small.

These lightweight and easy to wear earrings are perfect for the festive season and beyond. Currently available in 12 colour combinations.

All these goodies and more will be available on our stand at the Craft & Gift Fair along with handmade Christmas cards and more. If you see something on our website that you would particularly like us to bring with us on the day simply send an email to and we'll be sure to pop it in the van.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Loom Band Jewellery

Have you joined in with the latest craze yet? These loom band kits are extremely popular with the younger crowd and can be fun for adults too whether making for yourself or for your children. Or perhaps spend some quality time making these stretchy bracelets together. Each kit comes complete with everything you need to get started including the loom, the loom hook tool, instructions, s-clips and 600 multi coloured bands.

The bands are latex free and easy to make once you grasp the technique. We have tried them and found them easy enough to pick up and quick to make. Imagine the patterns you could come up using the different coloured loom bands.

Try this new loom band kit for only €7.75 available on our website now by following this link

Please be aware that due to the nature of the parts they are not recommended for children under 8 years old and are a potential choking hazard.

Also new in stock these beautiful handmade frosted glass beads available in 3 different sizes including 8mm x 10mm oval rice beads, 7mm and 5mm rounds. In gorgeous shades of blues, pinks, greens, red and brown. Cool to the touch these glass beads are the perfect choice for your summer jewellery makes including necklaces, bracelets and earrings. You can pick up 100 x 5mm round beads for only €1.20, 100 x 7mm for €1.30 and 50 x of the large ovals for €1.50 check out to see the full range available and make your purchase today.

We are now limited stock and only have a few copies left of the latest Crafters Companion Inspiration magazine and the latest Hunkydory magazine so be sure to get yours now if you don't want to risk missing out.

Each magazine comes with free gifts. Inspiration comes with 2 cd's, a stamp set, embossing folder, wire crochet kit and paper pack all for only €12.99. Crafting with Hunkydory comes with a free paper crafting kit (worth over £4.99) which includes toppers and card sheets and can be yours for €6.49. Visit to get yours now! 

We are always on the look out for the best deals and the latest products for you so make sure you follow this blog and sign up for our newsletter using any page of our website so you never miss a thing!

Until next time happy crafting!

Trish & Tom
Downland Crafts

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Which Ink Pad Do I Choose?

Dedicated Crafter: Tips & Techniques - Paper Crafting:

Following on from our recent post regarding the sizing of seed beads and wire this one is for the paper crafters out there especially if you are into card making or scrapbooking, although ink can be used in a multitude of other ways.


There are so many different types and brands of ink pads on the market and we often get asked which ones to use for which project, especially from new crafters who are faced with a multitude of choices and can easily choose the wrong one. Many times people have told us that they can't get on with stamping and this may be due to simply using the wrong ink. Here is a rough guide but feel free to ask questions and either myself or one of the other forum members will surely be able to help.

1. Dye based inks - These are a fast drying easy pad to start with if you want to simply stamp an image and can also be a very versatile choice for a few different techniques. If you want to shade an image in one colour these are perfect as the ink can be pulled in from the image and acts like a watercolour paint giving more depth than basic stamping without having to invest in colouring pens. The thicker the line or detail on the image, the more ink will be released when you add water using a paintbrush or water brush. They can also be used for brayering on glossy card and creating shade around a topper using a sponge or brush. Also perfect with alcohol markers.

2. Pigment inks - These are the ink pads you need to heat emboss with as they stay wetter longer and allow the embossing powder to stick to the image. They can also be used for basic stamping but are not suitable for the watercolour effect.

3. Permanent inks - These ink pads are recommended for watercolouring where you want to keep the outside line, for instance if you have stamped in black and wish to colour in with non-permanent markers or watercolour paints. They are useful when stamping on tricky surfaces other than regular card. Do not use with alcohol markers as the line will bleed and ruin your pens. Staz-on is the best ink pad for stamping on acetate and if you turn over your acetate so the ink is underneath you can then colour with permanent markers.

There are many more variations but this will get you started.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Guide to seed beads and wire sizes

Dedicated Crafter: Tips & Techniques - Jewellery Making:

Have you ever been confused about the sizing of seed beads and wire? That is because a different sizing system is in operation in different parts of the world.

For instance in America they refer to seed beads as 11/0, 8/0 etc., the higher the number the smaller the bead. They can also be referred to as E beads or rocailles. Below is a go to guide to the most popular sizes and their conversions.


Sometimes seed beads are sized in millimeters and sometimes in gauges and can vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. Here is a quick guide to the sizing of the most popular ones.

Size 11/0 - approx. 2mm - 5g would give you 580'ish beads - 80cm in length.

Size 8/0 - approx. 3mm - 5g would give you 220'ish beads - 40cm in length.

Size 6/0 - approx. 3.7mm - you would get approx. 7 beads per inch.

Larger seed beads are often referred to as E beads.

The same rule applies with wire which in America is measured by gauge, the higher the gauge the thinner the wire. The opposite to what you might imagine.


As with seed beads these can be described by gauge or in millimetres and here is a rough conversion guide.

16 gauge - 1.2mm - used for structure

18 gauge - 1.0mm - used for structure (i.e shapes or ring shanks)

20 gauge - 0.8mm - the most useful to start with, can be used for structure and to make findings.

22 gauge - 0.6mm - another very popular size with many uses including tiaras and rings.

26 gauge - 0.4mm - commonly used for wrapping such as in tiara making.

32 gauge - 0.2mm - also known as lacemakers wire, can be almost like thread with seed beads for brooches and fine work.

There are of course other in between sizes but these would be the most commonly used.

I hope you find this useful, any questions please leave a comment below or email us