Marie Claire Idées

Eggshell planters from Marie Claire Idées
A few weeks ago my friend Jenny arrived at my house carrying a magazine file filled with her old copies of Marie Claire Idées. I'd been longing (unbeknown to Jenny) to see this magazine ever since Helen (who like Jenny, is also fluent in French) had raved about it to me a few years ago. Stuck in bed with tonsillitis last weekend I spent several hours looking through Marie Claire. It is stunning. The ideas, the colours, the presentation - everything about it is perfection and it has none of the cringe-worthiness about it that so many craft magazines struggle, but occasionally fail, to avoid. There is no sense of there being any kind of budget to this magazine - it feels saturated with ideas and attention to detail, even the header on the contents page has not been left untouched:

So I wanted to share with you some of my favourite images from the magazines:

I love the idea of a garden table being painted ready for games of backgammon. I think this is one that might appeal to my husband too.

Mice made from radishes and cloves, and adorable lemon boat place settings. This made me want to leap from my bed and start carving right away.

Lemon mice and rabbits, so simple, but so very lovely.

More fruit goodness - I fell completely in love with these.

Jenny drew my attention to these little picture frame boxes when she brought the magazines around. She has made her own more colourful version of one of these as a gift to welcome a new baby and my own head is already buzzing with ideas too.

Doesn't this egg carton make the most wonderful sewing box? I think a child would love this too.

On a grander scale, perhaps this folding screen is a good storage solution - it has room for cotton reels, colour charts and lots of other paraphernalia...and importantly could be used to hide a thready, fabric strewn mess from impromptu visitors (who would have to be warned that on no circumstances should they venture beyond the screen).

And for those who knit, I like this idea for needle storage. Some of the pockets have the needle sizes marked on too.

Even the embroidery, which isn't always quite my thing, looks utterly wonderful. With all these ideas, at the back of the magazine full instructions and patterns are provided (in French, obviously, although like Japanese sewing patterns, it all seems fairly self-explanatory).

I love how much an attention to colour presides over the magazine. The magazine must be edited by the most divine creature as absolutely nothing is left to chance on this front: everything is premeditated. I love how the colours of the bicycle and roses are echoed in the background in the clothes of the girl walking away.

Flowers feature hugely throughout the magazine - some in the most exquisite arrangements, others in more accidental, casual settings.

There is also a lot of focus on the way that rooms are decorated and the details that pull them together.

In the absence of you having your own Jenny to arrive on the doorstep with a bundle of this kind of goodness for you to peruse (she is indeed a rare and lovely bean) then you can order copies or subscribe directly from their website here (if you can't read french, then I recommend installing Google Translate and it will all become clear). It's the kind of magazine that you don't just read once and then throw out, so definitely worth the investment. If you haven't already done so you may also like to discover the Marie Claire Idées blog here. The photos in this post are from six different issues, so really just the tip of a very beautiful iceberg.

Florence x

Please note: all photos in this post belong to Marie Claire Idées.


  1. Though my French is fart from fluent, I've been reading MCI for years - in fact, I made that little sewing egg carton for a swap many many moons ago.

    So glad you've discovered it!

  2. Far, FAR. I've been hanging around with small boys far too much recently - the toilet talk has clearly rubbed off. Sorry.

  3. Beautiful photos Florence! Whoever produces that publication must be in love with their job! I am also sitting here cracking up over Ali's comments.

  4. oh it looks lovely - thank you for sharing, am heading over to the blog now.

    And thank you Ali, your comment gave me the giggles, it's been a long day and that helped!

  5. I love Marie Claire Idees. It is my treat whenever I come to France, or my Mum comes back to England. Every edition is filled with lovely quirky things.

    I particularly love the dolls clothes that are in each edition.

  6. It looks lovely. I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to magazines. I have to make myself throw them away in an attempt to de-clutter.

    Ha ha Ali...I too am chuckling, the toilet talk apparently appeals to my sense of humour!!!

  7. I first discovered 100 Idees when I lived in France 30 years ago, brilliant then but sadly I have not kept the old magazines. Then I found Marie Claire Idees when I was in France last year (did it take over the old title perhaps?) It really has the best craft ideas ever. I have not made anything from my magazine yet but there is a sweet little cardigan on my to do list which I may get around to make soon!

  8. Beautiful, it makes me want to run upstairs to my sewing room and using the influence, start making!!! I will be looking into this magazine, and you dont need words! Thanks for sharing.
    Karen x

  9. Ha! had to go back and read Ali's comment again. Kx

  10. I love Marie Claire Idees and am so glad it brightened your day. It is hideously expensive here and I always feel a bit guilty about buying it so thank you for news of the blog. I am off to have a look.

  11. What a lot of gorgeousness!
    Those radish and fruit animals and jugs are adorable.

    I'm still laughing at Ali's comment!

  12. i love this magazine too .. and even in Belgium (where we are *supposed* to be bilingual) it's hard to find in Vlaanders ... must find my own Jenny!

  13. oh no, is this ANOTHER magazine I've got to take out a subscription for? And I don't have the not speaking French excuse... Speaking of magazines, I got my copy of Simply Homemade Issue 3 yesterday and there you were, featured!

  14. oh no, is this ANOTHER magazine I've got to take out a subscription for? And I don't have the not speaking French excuse... Speaking of magazines, I got my copy of Simply Homemade Issue 3 yesterday and there you were, featured!

  15. What a lot of super ideas - must carve a few radish mice if nothing else!
    Had a real giggle at Ali's comments too....

  16. Hello Florence, thank you for sharing these wonderful photographs. I wish I would have the talent to turn some flowers picked from the garden into such lovely arrangements.

    But seeing the radish mice really made me smile because that's the way I present radishes if I have got the time to play around with the food. They also look nice when serving swiss cheese, perhaps looking out of one of the holes.

    Now I just need to polish my french (or I simply admire the photos).


  17. Beautiful - and so unlike our own dear craft magazines!

    Pomona x

  18. I just have to say that you and your posts are the most inspiring things I've found... ever! Don't ever stop!

  19. What absolutely amazing and fantastic ideas. Can't wait to try some of them. Thank you for sharing them. x

  20. That's funny... I'm French and had a suscription to MCI but stopped it because I found that the issues were becoming less interesting... If anyone fancies old copies, I can let mine go. (just come and leave a comment on my blog if you're interested!)

  21. That first comment by Ali had me in childish giggles! I would LOVE to make those lemon boats. Do you have any idea how to make the sails at all?

  22. Inspired by this post, I finally got my hands on a copy of this lovely magazine on holiday in France this summer! Thank you for pointing me in the direction of such a wonderful magazine!
    Emma :)


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Florence x