Sara Davies knew her desire to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing. But she didn’t know just how emotional and overwhelming it would turn out.

Neither did she imagine the support from women up and down the country who admired her for ‘having a go’ and not being afraid to jiggle her wobbly bits alongside those slender and supple professional dancers.

An army of admirers watched a working mom of two children, Oliver (7, and Charlie (5, respectively) shake their stuff as she woke up at 5am to make her morning routine. Many people left support messages on social media and encouraged women to write letters.

‘I’ve never lost the mum tum. Those first few weeks I had so many corsets on and then Spanx,’ the businesswoman and Dragon (from Dragons’ Den) tells me from her office in Darlington, County Durham. Things didn’t start well for Sara when she made the error of following her business model.

Sara Davies (pictured), who runs Crafter's Companion from her office in Darlington, County Durham, has filled her home with DIY decorations

Sara Davies (pictured), who runs Crafter’s Companion from her office in Darlington, County Durham, has filled her home with DIY decorations

She reveals: ‘I thought if I worked really hard, the better I’d get. The first week was a rough one for me. The leaderboard was a complete mess. I had done a good job of my cha cha cha — but hadn’t allowed myself to lose the inhibitions. I realised I’d be first out if I didn’t let myself be more vulnerable. I went on a big journey of self-discovery those first few weeks.’

Sara’s passionate tango was the reason she topped week four of the leaderboard. ‘That show changed me so much. It has changed how I view myself as well as the way that other people view me. It’s changed me physically, too. No, I haven’t lost any weight, but I’m toned and my stamina levels are great.’

Although her Strictly journey was over in week 8, Aljaz Skorjanec and her friendship are still strong.

And there’s no need for Sara’s husband of 14 years Simon, 42, to feel any jealousy, as he’s become great mates with Aljaz, too.

It was to her husband (whom she started dating while still at school) that she dedicated her ‘couple’s choice’ dance, as a thank you for allowing her to shine on Strictly and flourish in business by sacrificing his career as a management accountant.

Today, he helps Sara run Crafter’s Companion, her business empire that’s now worth around £37 million, meaning they live and work together.

Sara’s business was built off the back of her genius invention, The Enveloper, a clever gadget that makes envelopes from any piece of paper or card. But don’t she and her husband drive each other mad? Their offices are in opposite directions of Darlington’s headquarters. He also set some ground rules.

‘The deal was that I wouldn’t micro-manage him,’ says Sara. ‘The whole point was for him to free up my time so I could do the creative stuff. I would be a control freak with anyone else but if I did that with him, he’d quit. So, I’ve been forced to take that step back.’

Sara (pictured) is adamant the biggest misconception about craft is that any sort of artistic flare is required

Sara (pictured) is adamant the biggest misconception about craft is that any sort of artistic flare is required

Naturally, as the crafting queen, her home will be filled with DIY decorations, like the ones she’s made for Inspire readers. It is not necessary to have any artistic flair in order to craft, she insists.

‘I can’t draw or paint. Most women enjoy some type of hobby. If you have that little bit of creative streak then you’ll turn your hand to all sorts of things — baking, knitting, sewing, embroidery. Once you start, the feel-good factor will make you do more.’

No wonder lockdown crafting boomed. People were desperate for ways to relax. Not that Sara has much time to relax: a new series of Dragons’ Den starts in January and she’s just finished her autobiography. Will she still continue ballroom dancing? She’s not sure.

‘I was taught by one of the best dancers. I could find a teacher, but it would be like driving a Ferrari and switching to a VW Polo.’

3D snowflakes

Materials required

  • 8 paper bags
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Plaster snowflake
  • Needle and thread

The Method

1. Place the bags of paper on top of one another and draw a design in them.

2. You will need to use the glue gun. Apply adhesive one at a time along the bag’s bottom and the other in the middle, so that it forms a triangle.

3. Attach the bags to one another.

4. Make a circle with the glue by gluing the last and first bag together.

5. You will need a needle and thread in order to make a shining snowflake from the center.

Napkin for a festive tree

Materials required

  • Nappies in squares of green, preferably cloth
  • Cinnamon sticks

The Method

1. To make a rectangular shape, fold the napkin in half. You can fold it again in half to create a square. Make sure the corners align and that there are no wrinkles.

2.To form a diamond, turn it in your direction with the corner folded in front.

3. Each layer should be folded in half.

4.Put one hand on the napkin. Sandwich it between your fingers and turn over.

5. Both the inner corners should be folded to the other side. One should be on top of another. Reverse the napkin.

6. The layers should be folded up once more. Once you have folded the layers, place the corners in the pockets created by the previous layer.

7. For the tree trunk, use a cinnamon stick.

Baubles made of fabric

Materials required

  • Ribbon and fabric
  • Scissors 
  • Balls of polystyrene
  • Foliage to decorate

The Method

1. You will need to cut the fabric into squares large enough that it covers the ball.

2. You can wrap the material around the ball, and then tie it at the top.

3.You can tie ribbon to the area where you have gathered material, but leave enough for a loop.

4.Place foliage, and then tie it in place using more ribbon.

Flannel reindeer

Materials required

  • Face cloth or brown flannel
  • Soap bars
  • Elastic band
  • Pipe cleaners for brown pipes
  • Sing a tune
  • Ribbons and red pompoms
  • Eyes that are giddy
  • Tape with double-sided adhesive

The Method

1. Open the face cloth with a corner in front of you so it’s a diamond shape.

2. The soap should be placed in the middle.

3.Grab the corner that is in front of your and the one opposite, and then hold them at the top. Roll them toward the soap.

4. Hold each end in the centre. Secure the ends with elastic bands.

5.You can fold the ears. For antlers, take a piece of pipe cleaner and bend it in half. Next, make small cuts from the other end.

6. String a bell onto the ribbon. Tie over the elastic band. Add a pompom to your nose and googly eye.