Maple And Oak video tutorials: How to tie the Head Scarf

Maple And Oak video tutorials: How to tie the Head Scarf

Here comes the latest video tutorial. This time I’m explaining in detail how to tie the Head Scarf in a big bow. Two other option on how to wear this design are also briefly mentioned. Should you prefer to read instructions over a video, you can find a written tutorial here.

Please excuse the wind noise in the first half of the video, I learned my lesson and will film further videos indoors. The lovely Morgan Rattray helped me reduce the noise significantly but unfortunately, there is still some left. I’m not much of a videographer, so I didn’t want to bother with dubbing the whole video…then it probably would have taken another couple of months for me to publish it.

For the Head Scarves, I use only my prettiest and lightest vintage fabrics so they make the perfect summer accessory. As usual everything is limited edition or even one of a kind. Aren’t they just the best fashion statement? You can find a pretty good selection in my online shop.

I hope this video helped a bit – let me know if you have any questions!

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

My funky embroidered jean jacket

My funky embroidered jean jacket

Maple And Oak - funky embroidered jean jacket 5

The jean jacket. A staple in every wardrobe. I found mine about 4 years ago in a thrift store and I loved it for about 2 years. The last two years it was collecting dust in my closet. But it never felt like it was time to put it in my ‘to-donate’ bag just yet. Which was the right decision because after reading ‘This can be beautiful’ by Tiffany Pratt and a recent Mollie Makes magazine, inspiration struck and I knew exactly what to do to put the spark back into my relationship with my thrifted jean jacket. It just needed to be up-cycled into a funky embroidered jean jacket!

  • Step 1 – Follow instructions in ‘This can be beautiful’ on how to sprinkle bleach and dye over your jean jacket. Oh, already so much prettier!

  • Step 2 – Now I take a ribbon (I found one second-hand a while ago) and sew it around the cuffs and waist.
  • Step 3 – Then add lots of brooches, pins and patches. My pins are from Salty Sea Dog Designs, The Baltic Club (found at Crafted) and The Penny Paper Co. (found at Majesty and Friends). You can find a couple of vintage fabric brooches in my shop and I’m currently working on a new product: iron-on vintage fabric patches!

Maple And Oak - funky embroidered jean jacket 6

  • Step 4 – Check yourself out in the mirror and admire how pretty you look already!

  • Step 5 – Embroider. I looked at the embroidery pattern in Mollie Makes for inspiration but adjusted it for the shape of my jacket and drew it free-hand rather than tracing it and of course, I chose the colours that worked best with my vision of the jacket. Then my poor jacket got a lot of stitches. It took me about 12 hours to finish the embroidery on my funky embroidered jean jacket but ever since I took an embroidery class by Femmebroidery, time just flies when I embroider!
  • Step 6 – Stitch around those iron-on fabric patches. One of them (the kitty skull one) I got years ago from a friend, the others will be available soon-ish on my website in little kits with embroidery floss.

Maple And Oak - funky embroidered jean jacket 7

What do you think? How do you like my embroidered jean jacket? I’ve been thinking about offering them as a custom order wearable art piece – would you be interested in one for yourself?

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie ❤

How to make a bunting garland

How to make a bunting garland

Garland with vintage fabric - Maple And Oak

A few months ago, I made a super cute garland with pompoms which is still hanging happily in my living-room but even though it’s super colourful, I feel like wool is a medium that I prefer to work with in the darker months of the year. So the idea of making a different garland with spring vibes has been floating around my brain for a while. What to do, what to do? A bunting garland with vintage fabric!

utensils to make vintage fabric garland

If you want to follow along, this is what you need to make the Maple And Oak bunting garland:

  • Fabric scissors
  • Crafting scissors
  • 2 different kinds of vintage fabric, ca. 80 cm x 25 cm
  • Sewing machine
  • Cardboard
  • Pen/sharpie
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Bias tape
  • Iron
  • and a chop stick

First, we want to fuse our fabric to the fusible interfacing. I chose two sweet vintage fabrics: pink with light grey polka dots and a mint green, light pink floral number. Make sure to put the wrong side of the fabric on top of the shiny side of the interfacing. The right side of your fabric will be facing up. Then iron until you can feel them fuse together and your fabric get stiff.

Next, we’ll make a template for our bunting garland. It will be a diamond shape, you can make it as big or small as you like (just make sure you’ve got enough fabric). Mine measures 10 cm at its widest point and 20 cm top to bottom.

Outline the fabric diamonds and cut them out. I ended up having 7 polka dot and 7 floral diamonds. Aren’t they just adorable?

The next step is to fold the diamonds in half so they look like a triangle, right side onto right side. Sew around them, leave just a little space open. I used black thread, so it’s easier for you to see what I have been doing – unfortunately it also makes it easier to see when your seams end up a little bit crooked.

After all your diamonds have been transformed into little triangles, turn them right side out. They might be a little stiff because of the interfacing (which, in the end, is the point of the interfacing) but it’s absolutely doable. And then use the chop stick, to poke, poke poke (carefully) into all three corners so they become nice sharp corners.

Then I top-stitched the triangles, mostly because I like what it looks like when the bunting garland is finished. You don’t have to follow this step, it’s really up to your personal preference!

Last but not least, we’re going to put the short side of the triangles into the bias tape and sew across it. This part ended up with really messy seams for me because the bias tape was pretty slim and the triangles pretty thick. (It also might have been the end of a long day and I could’t be bothered with unpicking the seam and doing it all again…) Here, I suggest to take your time and use thread that matches the colour of the bias tape because then it won’t show so much if your seams are a little wonky.

Even though this project isn’t as perfect as I would have liked it, I just love how it brightens up my front porch. It often frustrates me that we’re just renting and we don’t know for how long we’re going to stay in this place because I would love to paint a couple of walls, ceilings and stairs but there really is no point doing that when you might be moving somewhere else in just a few months. So using garlands, paintings, pictures and all kinds of decorations is my way of making my living quarters a little bit more funky!

how to make vintage fabric garland 8

If you decideded to follow along, how did it go for you? Did you have a better experience sewing the bias tape then me? How did you do it?

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

Triangle Scarves and Feminist Embroidery

Triangle Scarves and Feminist Embroidery

Femmebroidery collaboration Maple And Oak Designs

I never really thought about embroidery as something that would be a fun and cool craft until I met Maria of Femmebroidery about a year ago at a ‘food group’ meet up (yup, it is what is sounds like – a bunch of girl and boys eating together). At first, I was a bit sceptical but then she showed me photos of her work and I was instantly hooked and NEEDED to learn how she does it. Luckily Greater Goods – a local boutique, tea shop and maker space – offered one of her workshops and I signed up.

Femmebroidery collaboration Maple And Oak Designs 2

At first, Maria told us a little bit about herself and her art. Now, if you’re like me, you might think that embroidery is something your grandma or suppressed Victorian ladies would engage in but that’s not Maria’s style. She creates feminist embroidery art not only as an creative outlet for herself but also to raise awareness on important issues like gender, race and class inequality and change the world one hoop at a time. I just love the contradiction in her work: sweet florals juxtaposed with ‘Smash the Patriarchy’-statements stitched in beautiful cursive letters. It fits right in with my aesthetics and beliefs. My accesories and style might be cute, fun and adorable but I’m not a sweet little girl and social injustice and how to change it has always been a hot topic for me.

Femmebroidery collaboration Maple And Oak Designs 4

Maria taught us a bunch of basic stitches, how to transfer a design to the fabric and how to put your fabric into the hoop. She even brought a couple of different patterns that we could choose from to make our first real piece of embroidery. And then we got to choose from the pretty colourful flosses. Oh, I just want to use them all!

But while I was stitching until my fingers bled (well, maybe not bled but they did hurt after a couple of hours!), I had another idea. Wouldn’t a collaboration (you all know how much I love collaborations!) be a fun thing to do? And wouldn’t a feminist embroidery be the perfect addition to my Triangle Scarves? Luckily, Maria loved the idea just as much as I did and after meeting up a couple of times – it was a bit difficult to stay focussed on the task at hand and not get caught up in political discussions, especially since Trump had just been elected – we decided on two designs:

  • Solid colours with pretty florals.

  • And lovely floral fabrics with the female symbol to represent feminism.

Just look at all those pretties! Isn’t Maria’s needlework just amazing? Even the prototype one that we made while experimenting with ideas was so perfect, I just kept it for myself. I especially like how the fabric covered buttons and the floral feminist embroidery stand out against the solid coloured background.

What do you think? Are you as excited as we are? Which design to you like best? We only made a limited edition of 20 scarves and already sold almost half of them at markets in the past couple of weeks. If you love one of these (I think they would look so cute in someone’s Easter basket!) or would like to see the other colours, just send me an email to – they’re 50$ CAD, just like my other Triangle Scarves.

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

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Grandma’s berets

My grandma’s berets

A bit over a year ago, my grandma moved into a nursing home. When my mom was facing the difficult task of emptying the apartment my grandparents had lived in for over 30 years, she found my grandma’s berets. I don’t think that I have ever seen my grandma wearing any other hat style. Berets were definitelty her go to nogging ware. My mom thought that, because of my long-standing obsession with accessories,  I would cherish these hats the most. Oh, she was so right!

But what to do with 7 berets and all kinds of neutrals and one red one? If you have been following this blog or seen my vintage fabric accessory designs, you know that I am not quite into neutral colours. Give me pink, bright blue or red anytime!

Well, thinking about it, I do like neutrals when they’re contrasted by a pop of colour. What to do, what to do? Oh, I know! How about up-cycling these berets with a fun add-on?

I started out with 7 berets and came up with 5 ways of up-cycling them. I decided to leave one as it was to honour the way my grandma wore these hats. It’s the pretty charcoal grey one in the bottom right corner of this photo collage.

Let me walk you through my other little projects:

1. Fur Pompom

A few Christmasses ago, my super creative sis-in-law made a fur pompom for me from a vintage fur coat. I’ve had that pretty pompom hanging out in my studio for way too long. Finally the right idea! So I just sewed smack in the middle of the navy blue beret. Should you not have a fur pompom just lying around in your creative space, here’s a handy little tutorial! You don’t need to cut up a vintage fur coat, faux fur is a wonderful alternative but just don’t buy new fur, ok?

2. Yarn Pompom

Let’s stay with pompoms for a little while longer. As you can see in the photo of me wearing the red beret above, I attached a black yarn pompom to the red beret. Isn’t it just so French? I feel like I really need to make a trip to Paris in winter, so I can feel Frencher than French. If you don’t know how to make a yarn pompom, it’s time to learn. So easy and so much fun, watch this helpful video to practise!

3. Fabric Scrap Rose

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in vintage fabric scraps. While donate some of them to my local thrift store for quilters to have fun with, I keep the prettiest of them. I’ll be using quite a few of them for my spring/summer 2017 collection but I’m happy about any projects I can use them for. So why not make a gorgeous pink, grey and yellow fabric scrap rose to adorn the beige beret? I sewed it onto the brim of the hat, so it looks nicely when I’m wearing it. Here‘s how it’s done.

4. Pin it!

Projects four and five are super easy! A friend brought me these vintage looking punk pins from her trio to England while another friend gave me the cutest camping-themed pins for my birthday. They have been looking cool and pretty on my dresser for the longest time because they didn’t look perfect on my jean jacket. But they were perfect for the dark navy and brown beret.

5. The Bow

I just love bows, so I just had to make one from my most favourite 60’s barkcloth scrap. This time, I sewed it just on top of the brim for the best positioning. It’s a fairly big bow because I wanted this beret to make a statement. And it does, don’t you think? Here’s another little tutorial to show you how to quickly sew a little or big bow!

And this is what the berets look like on my noggin:

What do you think? Do you like my grandma’s up-cycled berets? What would you have done with them?

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

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How to make a pompom garland

How to make a pompom garland

PomPom Garland - Maple And Oak 10

Pretty much every couple of weeks, I take a day to visit my favourite thrift stores in town. To find vintage fabric for my funky accessories line, to find other vintage goodies and to get inspired by the quirkiness of some other things. This time a bunch of tapestry wool caught my eye. They were sorted into pastels, bright colours and neutrals. I couldn’t stop looking at the pastels + an idea started to form in my head: a pompom garland would make for a sweet addition to my living room decor especially with the holiday season just around the corner.

Just look at these colours, how could I not make a pompom garland? I chose different shades of yellow, blue and pink as these are the accent colours you can find all over my living area. Then I organized them in the order in which I wanted to string them on the yarn and started making pompoms with my hands. If you’ve never done that before, here’s a sweet tutorial on how to make pompoms. Make sure to leave a long enough string so you can tie the pompoms to your pompom garland later!

PomPom Garland - Maple And Oak

Once more, these are your steps so far:

After trimming my pompoms nicely, I started making the garland part of the pompom garland: I braided a long string of yarn. Admittedly, it took me probably 20 minutes just to braid the yarn into a rope but it is worth it. It’s so much neater than just the yarn. First I attached the yarn to my pants but then I realized the distance between my legs and arms wasn’t long enough, so I tied the beginning to a door, just how I used to do it as a little kid.

PomPom Garland - Maple And Oak 6

Now all that’s left to do is to tie the pompoms to the string. Oh, so pretty! Then you can start playing with it: home decor or maybe you’d prefer them as a statement necklace? Your pompom garland can be part of your permanent home decor but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe you want to make a couple of them in seasonal colours? Like a green one with a few red accents to put over a door frame instead of a mistletoe. There are no boundaries to your imagination.

I hope you had fun with this little Maple And Oak Designs craft tutorial! I’m a big fan of pompoms now and I can’t wait to start creating more with them.

PomPom Garland - Maple And Oak 2

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

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Maple And Oak video tutorials: How to tie a Triangle Scarf

Maple And Oak video tutorials: How to tie a Triangle Scarf

tie a triangle scarf

Well, well, well – here it is, my latest video. This time, I’m going to show you how to tie a triangle scarf. The design is so sweet and simple yet so stylish. If you prefer to read the instructions, you can find the tutorial here.

Especially at this time of the year, my Triangle Scarves become super popular at the craft shows that I’m participating in. It’s just such a neat, classy look. I mean, generally scarves are just the best accessory (well, with the exception of headbands of course) but I know that many people are afraid of scarves because they just don’t know how to tie them properly. While I enjoy showing everyone who comes to my markets how it works, I’m sorry, I just can’t live inside your wardrobe to put them on for you every morning even though people offered to pay me to do that + it would be quite interesting to have a look into someone’s wardrobe, wouldn’t it?

But don’t give up! It’s really quite easy to put on the Triangle Scarf – watch for yourself:

Right? So easy and doesn’t it make you want to juuust have another look at which scarves I’ve got in stock? Did I mention that I make them all from vintage and reclaimed fabrics? Every scarf is a limited edition or even a one of a kind. I also always cover the buttons with the same fabric that I use for the reverse side, it just pulls the design together so neatly. Well, all my goodies are waiting here for you.

Thanks so much for watching and I hope this video made it easier for you to tie a triangle scarf!

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

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‘Live heavenly’ – Himmlisch Leben + Yoga Headbands

‘Live heavenly’ – Himmlisch Leben + Yoga Headbands

Maple And Oak Headband

Sometimes, you have to make an effort to stay in touch with old friends. Because you moved away and can’t hang out with them all the time anymore. Or even worse: they moved away as well. This was the case with my friend Zoë but on my Germany trip this summer, I finally managed to meet up with her as we still talk frequently and have a lot in common. There are two main themes that unite us: yoga and being a solo-preneur. She launched her business Himmlisch Leben – ‘Live Heavenly’ this year. We just knew we had to somehow collaborate.

Himmlisch Leben – ‘Live Heavenly’ was born because Zoë wanted to find a way to combine all her passions in one place. When I met her in 2004, I was in uni and she was studying at an institute to become a dance teacher. Fast forward 12 years later: I moved continents and started to build the Maple And Oak Designs brand while she earned a degree in the humanities and various certificates as Yoga instructor, Ayurveda health counselor, Kundalini healing and Lomi Lomi massage therapist. All of her interests amount to the same thing: living a healthy, holistic life.

Now, you might wonder why I am introducing you here in Canada to a business based in Germany? Well, maybe some of you, my dear readers, live in Germany. Secondly, I just think her personality and ideas are so alluring that it might be inspiring for you. Maybe, you want to learn more about Ayurveda or Lomi Lomi and find somebody offering similar things closer to you. But if it’s really Himmlisch Leben – ‘Live Heavenly’ you want to work with, there’s also the wonderful invention of Skype-counseling and healing. Don’t hesitate to contact her in English, even though she claims her English is horrid, it is most definitely not and she’ll be able to work with you.

Even though I find all of Zoë’s approaches intriguing, I have to admit that Yoga is the one that unites us. So we decided to do an impromtu photo shoot of her modelling my Yoga Headbands. It was so much fun amidst the fascinating ‘Externsteine‘ that are claimed to be a sacred, spiritual place by some and a geological oddity by others.

Whether you’re looking to live a holistic life or just on the hunt for the perfect Yoga Headband, I hope you had as much fun with our little collaboration as we did. Namaste.

Reclaimed fabric headband

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

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Why did you move here? Bi-national relationship advice – Patrycja’s story.

Why did you move here? Bi-national relationship advice – Patrycja’s story.

bi-national relationship

It’s been a while since I wrote an article under the bi-national relationship advice headline. But then I met the lovely Patrycja at one of the markets where I sold my Maple And Oak Designs this summer. What a refreshing story, what a sweet girl! This is what she has to say:

Tell me a bit about yourself!

My name is Patrycja. You are probably thinking “how the heck do I say her name?” And even though I love my Polish name, just to make it easier to pronounce I use the English version of it, which is Patricia. I moved to beautiful Calgary, Alberta a little over 4 years ago and I love it here.
For most of my working years I was part of the corporate life, filling out spreadsheets, preparing documents, implementing data and pretty much anything involving office work. However, my passion for something else and something more was always inside of me. I always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur and a creator.
I started a blog this year, which lets me release the creative side of myself. I write about my life, about my adventures, and of course about beautiful Canada. I also wanted to express my European culture and fashion with others and had the idea with my sister to create handmade European inspired jewelry. This is when we created Petite Rock. I am excited with where this next adventure will take me and am happy to share it with others who also want to enjoy the ride with me.

Have you always lived where you live now?

You probably already guessed why I moved to Canada. Yes, I met someone special, his name is Kevin and he is Canadian. Believe it or not, it has been already 10 years since we met for the first time. It was in Czech Republic where he and I met while doing our AIESEC internships. So many memories and so many stories to tell.

How & when did you meet your partner?

So me and Kevin lived in the same dormitory, together with other 15 people from all over the world. We lived together, travelled together and also fell in love with each other. We got to explore Czech Republic and many other European countries during his stay in Europe. But obviously one day our internships had to come to an end and each of us had to go back home.

Did you have to spend time apart?

Long story short, I visited Canada many times, and Kevin also visited Poland. Even though Kevin and I wanted me to come to Canada to work and live there was a lot of paperwork that needed to be filled out and completed. Lots of red tape and pencil pushing. So I stayed in Poland, I got a job and Kevin stayed in Canada. We talked on Skype, we talked on the phone and visited each other once or twice a year. And we have done it for almost 6 years! Even though there were ups and downs, we always stayed in touch.

How did you decide where to live?

One day I found out there is a program for Polish people called the International Experience Canada (IEC), which allows work and travel in Canada for a year. I decided to apply and got accepted. That is how I came to Calgary. First I thought it would be for a year, to see how things will work out, but have already been living here for over four years. The love for this country and for Kevin only grew stronger by living here permanently.

What’s most challenging about immigrating into another country?

I think the hardest part is to be away from your family. Even though I just visited them a couple months ago, I am already thinking about my next trip to Poland.
It is also very hard to miss all of the important family events back home. Recently my sister became a mom of two beautiful twin boys and it is so difficult to not see them grow up. I miss them so much!
Whenever Kevin comes to Poland (and he came with me last year in September) I become the interpreter for him and my parents. It can be difficult to see them not able to express what they truly want to express with each other because of the language barrier. I know that my mom and dad would like to talk to him but unfortunately they can’t.

What do you love about your bi-national relationship experience?

What I love is learning about different cultures and customs. Whether it’s the food, the pop culture, the language or the different cities and towns I get to visit, I get to learn about something new and different almost every day.

What advice could you give other people in similar bi-national relationship situations?

Have an open mind. Even though there are many different things than your own culture, it can be just as intriguing and exciting. Also, with long distance relationships, if the love is truly there, there can be no doubt that you will both eventually be together.

What are your 3 favourite words?

Rodzina, means family in Polish that is the most important thing in my life.
Kawa i herbata, which means coffee and tea in Polish. I always enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or steeped tea in the morning 😉
Honey, which I love, love, love! I always add it to my tea and my baking. I’m a huge fan of honey.
Those are three things I can’t live without 😉

I would like to hear about your reader’s own stories about their bi-national relationship as well. Where they have lived, where they want to live, how they met their own partners and also about life decisions that changed their lives. Everyone has their own unique story and it is always great to hear about it.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us,Patrycja! The photo was taken by CEDNA Photography.

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

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Warm and cozy – how knitting and sewing work together

Warm and cozy – how knitting and sewing work together


Stephanie of Barbarack Apparel and I met at a local girlgang meeting a couple of months ago when the weather was still spring-like. The idea to collaborate on a photo shoot was quickly born but it just wasn’t the right time of year for warm and cozy accessories. So we waited and waited until we finally met up to take the photos. And then I had to wait some more until Stephanie edited the photos but here it is, finally, the result of our warm and cozy photo shoot.

It was so satisfying to bundle our models up in her luxurious wool shawls and match them with a funky Rockabilly Headband or Head Scarf. Then we switched things around and put those fantastic toques with their huge funky pompoms on the lovely ladies. Mmmmhhh, seriously warm and cozy. And how well they go with my Triangle Scarves!

If it comes to style

, everybody has their own opinions of course but I believe that if you put something on your head, you have to balance it with something lighter around your neck. And vice versa. So, if you’re wearing a huge amazing knitted toque, wear a lighter scarf. Or if you’re cuddling up in a super chunky shawl + really want to add something on your head – because it is really cold – just wear a light headband instead of a hat. It will definitely keep your ears warm but make you look stylish at the same time.

As you probably all can guess, I am all for funky, bold and colourful outfits. I still think it is important to even out the colours. That’s why I adore the designs of Stephanie, they’re eclectic yet neutral so that I can wear them perfectly with my vintage fabric designs which often feature colourful floral patterns or cute polka dots. A match made in handmade heaven.

Honestly, with these beautiful options, I am almost looking forward to winter.

Well, at least I will stay stylish, warm and cozy. If you want to enjoy winter in accessories just as comfy, you can find Stephanie on Instagram @barbarackapparel and in person at the Market Collective + me on Instagram as @mapleandoak, shop my online shop here or find me at markets in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and Saskatoon this fall. (Here’s the list.)

With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,

❤ Leonie❤

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