Chic Lampshades from old Jumpers

IMG_20160124_185459Hello Everyone! How was your week? I’ve been busy wedding planning which has been so much fun and allowed me to get super creative (special blog coming soon.)

I thought for today’s post I’d take a break from being a Bridezilla and share with you one of my favourite uses for old knits-upcycling them into super cute lampshades.

Whenever I’ve got a load of clothing that I don’t want anymore I tend to separate it into piles, stuff that’s got another life in which I donate to charity and then stuff with stains or holes which most people wouldn’t want. This is the stuff I use for projects. I had a lovely cream knit jumper left over but had split the sleeve and decided that I’d transform an old lamp of mine.

For this I used a small jumper around a size 8. it’s important it’s a tight fit so do try and use a small size.

Pull the jumper on over the shade as if you were dressing it, until the hem lies straight with the bottom of it. Then using a pair of scissors, cut off the sleeves and around the neck so you just have around 1 inch overlap left which hangs down inside the shade.

Take the tube of jumper off and apply either strong glue or double sided tape to the shade, redress with the jumper and the carefully fold in the overlap on the top. There we have it. A transformation that takes no time at all and looks super cute!14572767595081564702033

xx

Cupcake Case Lamp Upcycle Project

20160124_130726

Hello everyone! How’s your week?

So I’ve got some news, my wonderful man of nearly 4 years became my fiancéee yesterday! I’m so overjoyed and honoured and ridiculously excited and I already know I will be turning into a huge bridezilla….

Today, I’ll be showing you the cutest little project ever…how to upcycle a lamp (and a pretty grotty one at rhat) with some paint, buttons, glue and cupcake cases!!!

20160124_130637

I must apologise for the lack of pictures, I’m posting from history here. Firstly unscrew your lampshade. Cover the electricity cable with newspaper and then. Make sure the base is all clean then give it a good spray in paint. A huge bonus of spray paints is they stick to practically anything, glass, metal, plastic etc so it shouldn’t matter too much what your base is made from. Leave to dry before giving a second coat.

Get your shade. For a small shade you’ll need about 50 cases. You can get incredibly pretty patterned ones and I would definitely use them for something like this rather than plain. Carry on sticking cases to the shade by placing a little glue in the middle. The great thing about them is that they are so squishy you can squeeze them all together. Make an overlap at the top of the shade and bottom and cover the entire thing, squishing in sides and cramming them in until you can see no bare lamp.IMG_20160124_131112

Glue a buttons to the odd cup cake centre here and there. Reattach lampshade and there we have it.

 

Incredibly simple and so effective. I’ve seen very similar designs going for a fortune in boutiques

xx

Quick Crafty-Handmade Mini Dreamcatchers

IMG_20160204_085435

Hello!

I must start off by apologising for being so quiet these last few days. I have just survived my first week of my new job (yay) and now am in bed from chronic flu (not so yay) I wanted to get a post up today but decided to be nice and simple.

I thought I’d show you how to make one of my favourite and most popular items; Minature Dreamcatchers. I love the mystic and meaning behind the dreamcatcher and find it such a calming thing to look at (I even have a beautiful one tattooed behind my ear, by the lovely ladies at Shaded Lady Tattoos, Falmouth.)IMG_20160227_113149

There are so many intricate and beautiful designs out there, I think the beauty of this design lies in the simplisticy and rawness.

You will need…

A small willow hoop. Now you have two options here, you could buy some or my far preferred option is to make my own, by wrapping a very small willow whip around its self. You can do this with any woody plant, clematis etc. I find it easier to do all the wrapping while it’s still alive and attached to the plant. Cut off from the main plant and leave to dry and die for at least a month.

Some fabric strips. For a hoop around 8 cm wide you’ll need to cut your strips  about 10cm long. Use whatever patterns you like and be creative-use scraps.

Some twine.

A knife.

A little superglue.

 

Start by cutting very slight grooves into the some places around the hoop, around 5 or 6 notches cut into it evenly spaced. Then start wrapping a line of twine around the hoop in a zig zag, sitting the twine into the notches. Just think about trying to create a star effect.

Once done, secure in place with a little glue.

Then get your fabric strips and tie them round the bottom half of the hoop. Dont worry about creating an uneven length it’ll add to the effect.

Finally tie a little twine to the top to add a handle.

And voila! So simple and beautiful and raw. I’m sorry this is a basic one, I’m feeling super poorly! Looking forward to sitting in bed now to catch up with all your inspiring posts

IMG_20160204_085435

xx

Making Shelves from Draws-A quick fix tutorial

12767338_1275051442521281_883264510_n

I’m writing this after my first day of work in my new career! Don’t you hate being the new person?! I get so worried and end up thinking up about all the possible things that might go wrong, my handbag ends up like an emergency kit-deodorant incase of chronic sweats, make-up incase it goes wrong, painkillers incase PMS strikes, etc. But then where do you draw the line…tights incase you ladder yours, a new shirt because lunch can be dangerous,  a birthday cake incase you turn up and its someone’s birthday?! It’s a NIGHTMARE! The result was I ended up with a bulging handbag full of useless things, but by some miracle it went well, and I didn’t even need my puncture kit…

I’m feeling a little drained tonight, so going to keep it simple, and share with you one of my favorite makes yet-mainly because it was so, so easy yet so effective!

I do love skips. Call me a scrounger, but its amazing what other people get rid of, and some times people chuck out some beautiful things, that are just crying out for a second life. One time I found three beautiful pine draws from a little dresser or bedside table. I guess the table was broken, but the table was fine. I knew the draws would come in handy, so I asked the owner if I could take them, and brought them home.

I gave them a sand, a prime and then painted with an off-white for interior wood. Again, I used a cheaper own brand paint, because while Annie Sloan etc is great, I refuse to spend so much on a can of paint. Once dry, I simply screwed all three on top of each other, using one central screw. And that WAS THAT!

How simple is that?! And yet its beautiful! Its so quirky and beautiful, its great for towels in the bathroom or just items in the living room. The thing about having a central screw is you can twist each draw slightly so each layer faces a different angle. You can change this according to where it is in the house-how cool is that?!

I could rave about this all day, because its so simple, so cheap and so cute.

I’ll sssh now, but please make one, its just so satisfying! I hope you all had a lovely Monday and that you too can sympathize with the Dreaded Being New.

xx

 

 

What to do With an Old Bucket

I was lucky enough to have an office above a pop up shop that specialised in all things beautiful. One of those shops that inspires you to have a beautiful house, with beautiful things and sit around drinking perfectly crafted coffees all day (the reality being your sitting in a mildly damp house where nothing matches, whist sipping a lumpy hot chocolate.)

Anyway, I digress…the pop up shop closed shortly after Christmas, and with the closing came a fluffy of dirt cheap offers. They had some beautiful steel buckets for just £1, all vintagey and retro style. I had no idea why I loved them so much, or why I could possibly want a bucket, but I bought one. The next day I was no closer to thinking what I could do with it, so of course I went and bought the remaining 9…

I spent the next few days convincing my other half that they had a perfectly valid reason to be in the house, before I started getting crafty. So here are some ideas on just what you can do with a good old bucket…(with or without a hole!)

Firstly, if your bucket is just an old boring one, jazz it up with some spray paint! There’s some great stone and metallic style ones available.

  1. Plant Pot. The first thing I’ve done (and loved) is used the buckets to plant some of my treasured house plants in. Some of them were needing replanting into bigger containers and they make idea pots. Just make sure you put a few stones in the bottom for drainage and your away. I love the colour of the green against the steel, it looks fresh and raw and so great.12755383_1274300905929668_1101328136_o.jpg
  2. Ornamental Flower display. Where light is poor in my house (my hallway has no windows) I still love to have flowers. I wanted to create a floral display using the bucket. I put some of the foam you get for florists in the bottom, then covered in shreddings. (I save paper shreddings I get from the packaging in the post). I then stuck in some floral and foliage stems and voila. It looks spectacular and I love it.12767385_1274300335929725_1263619013_n
  3. The next thing I did was to stick a load of toilet rolls in it! Instead of just stacking my loo rolls in the bathroom, by putting them all in the bucket it looked amazing!
  4. My final project was to make a pouffe! This is my favorite so far, and all I did was…Stuff in a pillow, cover in fabric then attach some wooden legs!12755186_1274302952596130_1339808644_o

So there we have it;one bucket, many uses!! Here’s hoping you all have a lovely Monday, I’m off to my new job, wish me luck!

xx

Recycling an Old Draw-DIY Blanket Box Project

12630948_1274215475938211_863805172_o.jpg

Following on from the tale of my transformation of my dresser from yesterday, you might remember I mentioned that I put aside the big old chunky draw from the bottom.

Well today I’m going to show you how I made a super cute blanket box from it (which has since become a cat nap box instead!)

I must apologise firstly for the lack of photos in this one, I’ve only got the finished project ones so I’m going to have to try being super clear with my directions!

Ok so I started with the feet. I had been looking at buying some but didn’t really want to buy them brand new. I wanted some short and stumpy legs (just like mine!) rather than tall table ones and they were surprisingly difficult to find as well as pretty expensive. I’d been saving empty ribbon reels for a while in the vain hope I’d find a good use for them, along with some small flower pots I had lying around. I realised that by creating a little tower of upside down plant pot, topped with a couple of reels I had the perfect stumpy leg! I glued four of these together with industrial glue and then spray painted them a cream colour. A little unorthodox but the result was 4 really awesome legs made from junk!

I put these aside and got working on the padded lid. I had some old ply lying around so cut it to the size of the the box to make a lid. I then went to the store to get some fabric. I chose some lovely spotty green material which looks perfect. I wanted the lid to be quite plush so I needed lots of padding. I was just planning on buying some wadding but then I had an idea…. I had some old pillows at home going spare that were waiting for a project!

So I ditched the padding and bought some biscuits instead…

Once home I aligned two pillows side by side down the length of my ply. Then covered with the fabric I bought earlier. I wanted to tuft the fabric (create buttoned pockets in the fabric) before I attached it all together.

As I’ve mentioned my needle skills are poor so I approached this with intrepidation but actually found it bearable in the end. I sewed through the fabric, into the pillows underneath and then back up through the fabric, repeated around 10 times for each puck and pulled tight before securing with a knot. I then added a button to the centre of the dent. I created all my tufts then after tucking the fabric round the ply and attaching it underneath, I stapled it all the way along the the ply on the underside of the lid.

12773282_1274215505938208_1796568380_o.jpg

This gave me my finished lid. Ok so here’s the confession..one of my dents isn’t really a dent and looks a bit silly. I think the stitching hasn’t held or something…It looks authentic..

Next up I prepared the draw. I sanded the whole thing before giving it a coat of prime and leaving to dry. (I used the same primer as I did for the dresser) I then gave two coats of paint (same paint as dresser). Once dry, I attached two hinges to the lip of the back of the draw and screwed on my lid from earlier.

I then applied industrial strength glue to the tops of the legs and attached them to all four corners. Finally I finished the front of the draw with a little lace and bow and there we have it.

I learnt a lot from this project, namely about my sewing ability! However just how thrifty you can be. It would have been so easy to spend £40 on legs and padding but actually I had a solution right here at home waiting to be used! Sometimes its just about looking outside of the box…literally!

Have a lovely Sunday everyone, I start a brand new career tomorrow, so will be spending the rest of the day feeling the nerves 😦

xx

Vanity Dresser Upcycle Project (How to Distress Paint with Only a Hairdryer)

12754999_1273478422678583_1110399172_o

A few months ago when we moved into our new home, I picked up a beast of a dresser from a second hand site. It was beautiful and had some age to it but the wood was dark and heavy and it just looked dreary. It had a stunning scalloped mirror that was fixed to the back, and to be honest, at that time it was easily is best feature.

When I came home from work one evening to find the mirror had broken free of its supports, splintering them as they fell and taking some impressive chunks out of my wooden bay window sills, I wasn’t impressed. The only redeeming feature was gone and as a hopeless DIYer I knew it was beyond repair.

Project Upcycle commenced! I had quite a few baskets about the house and the bottom drawer was so impressive that I had other plans for it (to be continued in another blog) so I decided to remove it all together and create a shelf in the alcove remaining by fitting a sheet of Ply into the void.

I then sanded the whole thing down. Unfortunately I don’t own a sander so I did the painstakingly boring task of it all by hand….after this I gave it a good clean with some vinegar soaked rags. The old wood smelt bad and there was years of dirt built up.

After the sanding I gave it a prime. I used an ordinary own brand for interior wood but chose it in grey.

Next came the painting. Again, I’m on a budget and while Annie Sloan etc are all lovely I find cheaper brands often pretty much just as good for a fraction of the price. I used a lovely gloss finish duckshell blue and covered the whole thing.

After leaving to dry overnight (made the mistake of painting in situ in my bedroom then sleeping through the fumes!) I applied a white gloss to specific edges. As it dries, a trick of mine is to blow a hot hair dryer over it. This will make the top layer crack to reveal the colour below-distressed look with none of that fuss! Once you’ve achieved the cracking you want just leave to dry.

To finish the look I put some baskets in the shelf and there we have it! I plan to replace all the handles at some point and would love to reattach the mirror too!

Excuse the rubbish before photo, its the only one I had!

xx

12754801_1273478672678558_1275814769_o.jpg