Creativity to make you happy

Caboodle Magazine

I spend so much of my time these days looking at screens - whether I'm working on my laptop, scrolling through my phone or binging a Netflix series, it's easy to forget to switch them off sometimes. I think this is one of the reasons that in the past couple of years I've fallen in love with magazines again, it's just such a luxury to curl up in a chair and flick through a beautiful printed mag. In school I was obsessed with magazines, Pop in particular, but really anything I could get my hands on that wasn't a gossip mag. I loved ripping them up and glueing the colourful pages in my art and textiles sketchbooks for inspiration. On my degree (in Book Arts), we did some work on magazines and even produced our own for a project but for some reason it never really occured to me that I might end up working on indie mags! When Leona of Lucky Dip Club asked me if I'd like to be the editor of a mini magazine called Girl Planet I was overjoyed. Having never worked as an official editor before I was a tad nervous, but mostly very excited about the challenge ahead. With the help of Leona and Sam at Lucky Dip Club and once I realised that actually I'd done loads of editing during my time at uni everything fell into place and I'm so proud of the 13 issues of Girl Planet we've worked on so far. Lucky Dip Club is back in May (after a hiatus while Leona was on maternity leave), and I can't wait to start work on a revamped version of Girl Planet - more on that soon! (Keep an eye on the Lucky Dip Club instagram page for updates).

Today, what I really want to tak to you about is Caboodle Magazine, of which I am now Crafts Editor. Not only do I have Leona to thank for taking a chance on me as an editor which has led to this new opportunity, but it was also her who first showed me a copy of Caboodle - it was love at first sight of course! This magazine is like a big hug from your best friend - it's full of personal stories, products from indie designers, tantalising fashion, inventive recipes and fun crafts. There's something very genuine about Caboodle, and I think that's down to editor Kayti, a photographer and designer who's passionate about supporting independents. Kayti approached me about becoming Crafts Editor in early January which was the best start to 2017 I could have asked for! I have already received the crafts for issue 6 and I'm so happy to have worked with so many talented people - I can't wait to show you what they've created when the mag comes out this Autumn. Since I can't show you any of that Top Secret stuff yet I thought today I'd share with you some of the craft tutorials I've created for Caboodle in the past and run you through the process in case you're interested in submitting to the magazine in the future.


Zabby Allen Gardener's Scrapbook DIY tutorial for Caboodle Magazine

So, each crafts section in each issue has a different theme. The first theme I created a DIY for was 'English Country Garden', which got me really excited as at the time I was really into pressing flowers and I love to be outside. Originally I wanted to create something with a bee theme but Kayti got back to me saying Mim was already making a crochet bumblebee dog jumper - I couldn't really compete with that could I?! After a rethink I settled on a seed storage box, decorated with my pressed flowers which I made (and still use today for my seeds), but I wasn't 100% happy with it and didn't think it was going to photograph as well as I'd like. In the end I decided to use my bookbinding skills and created a 'Gardener's Scrapbook' which contained envelopes for storing seeds and cut-outs as well as notepad sections for garden planning. You can find the full tutorial on my Crushin' on Caboodle post. To be completely honest if I was to do this again I would try and simplify it a bit as although it's a relatively easy project I think I made it look and sounds more complicated than it actually is!


Zabby Allen Foodie Memo Boards DIY Tutorial for Caboodle Magazine

The theme for Issue 4 was Fave Food which definitely got my mind whirring (and made me very hungry!). I sent Kayti two ideas - one for a sandwich recipe binder and one for foodie noticeboards made from IKEA cork mats. Since this was my favourite idea I also decided to send her my sketch (below) and this was picked for the final craft. Issue 4 is now sold out so if you'd like to see the full DIY tutorial for these let me know on instagram and I'll share it here on the blog!

Zabby Allen DIY Foodie Noticeboards Sketch


Zabby Allen Rocket Pencil Pot DIY Craft Tutorial

For Issue 5's space theme I channelled my inner Blue Peter presenter and contructed a rocket pencil pot from a Pringles pot, some card and some glittery washi tape. Originally my favourite idea for this was a banner (which I'm now planning on making with one of my planet patches!), so that's what I sketched up for Kayti and emailed alongside ideas for the pencil pot and some Spaced Out bunting. Sometimes your favourite idea won't be the one that's picked, and in the end I'm glad I challenged myself with the pecil pot! Issue 5 is available to buy now if you're interested in checking it out or trying one of the craft projects.

Zabby Allen Run Your World Banner Design

So now that you've seen my DIY projects you'll have a good idea of the kind of thing we like at Caboodle! Although I've already commissioned the projects for Issue 6 I will eventually need to start thinking about issue 7 and beyond, so if you're interested in providing a DIY tutorial for Caboodle then get in touch, I love working with new people! Once I have started working on the new issue I will contact those people I'd like to work with and ask them for some ideas based around that issue's theme - you'll get a PDF including some inspirational pictures to get you started as well as some detailed guidleines and dates. Contributors usually then have a couple of weeks to submit their ideas before I'll pick the ones I think will work best for the magazine - this ensures we have a wide variety of DIYs to suit different abilities and tastes. Once the idea has been chosen you'll have a few weeks to create your step-by-step tutorials and finally post it up to Kayti at Caboodle HQ to be shot for the mag! It's such a great feeling seeing your work in print and Caboodle is distributed all over the world so it's a wonderful opportunity. If you'd like to take part in future, don't be shy and send me a message (through this website for now, while my Caboodle email is being set up). I probably won't get back to you right away but I promise you'll be kept on file for the next issue! In the meantime keep reading mags and keep supporting printed media!

Tagged: DIY