Tag Archives: upcycling

Wooden Cigar Box

16 Jun

I bought this box from a house clearance shop for about £10. It was a bit shabby and so I had the intention of using it to practice decoupage on.


I gave it a good sand, and painted it white inside (I still need to replace the hinges). But then, before I painted it I had a rethink. It had actually scrubbed up quite well and so instead of painting it I varnished with a dark stain.

Now the dilemma is do I leave it as it is or do I still stick on the butterflies I found and cut out of a piece of wrapping paper?

Perhaps just on the side?

What do you think?


Upcycling a Footstool

1 Jun

Ages ago Katie kindly gave me this lovely footstool that once belonged to her grandmother. I’d been looking for one to do up for a while and this was exactly what I’d been looking for. It’s already been well used in my house but I finally got round to doing it up.

I started by stripping off all the old fabric and padding and giving the whole thing a good clean. I found fabric I liked in Fabrics Galore (Wandsworth Road, London) and wadding in The Crafty Sewer in Tooting.

I cut the wadding to size and lightly secured it on the footstool top with glue. Then I wrapped the fabric around it and got out the trusty staple gun. Halfway through it was obvious that the wadding wasn’t up to the job so I cut a second piece and layered them together. I’m still not completely happy though so any tips from furniture restorers on where to find proper wadding would be much appreciated. It does the job well enough for now though so I finished stapling the fabric securely round the top with a firm even stretch across the top.

I wanted to keep it dark wood but freshen it up, so the next step was to give the wooden base a good sand and a new coat of varnish. This was more difficult than I thought because some of the vanish came off easily and other parts were more difficult so it too a lot of elbow grease to get an even tone. You can still see the grain but I like that.

Two coats of varnish and the footstool is finished. Thank you Katie!

Live: Fast Fashion

25 May

How simple is this wardrobe update? Pop a corsage on your top and it instantly creates a new look. Mix and match different corsages with various tops, dresses, coats and jackets for lots of choices.

As modeled and designed by the lovely Alice. I think this works particularly well because the pretty bright red flower she’s chosen really contrasts with the monochrome polo neck.


Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair – The Vintage Furniture Flea

30 Mar

Upcycling projects

Katie visited Judy’s Affordable Vintage fair a few months ago and so I thought I’d go have a rummage. This event was particularly up my street as it was all about furniture and home accessories. It was great for inspiration but a lot of the items for sale were ready to go straight into your home and I was looking for an upcycling project. The most scary thing about the fair was that I recognised many of the things from my childhood. My mum still uses crockery in the pattern below! Does this mean I am vintage now too?

There were lots of sewing boxes around the fair that I particularly liked.

Upcycling projects Upcycling projects

I also really love this French glass.

Upcycling projects

And although I’m not quite come round to the idea of this style yet I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

I did really want these two storage jars but the woman on the stand wasn’t very friendly so I didn’t bother.

But I did buy a fabulous basket blanket box. I’ve wanted one for ages but don’t really have the room. However this one is really compact and it needs striping and respraying and reupholstering so I have my project and thing the trip to the fair was well worth it just for that.

Stands particularly worth a mention are Your Vintage Life., Retro Bazaar, Rare and Racy, Oh So Retro and the lovely girl I bought my blanket box from. I seem to have had a very forgetful weekend (see my post about The Crafty Fox Market) and I can’t find her details so any help appreciated!

Decoupage Inspiration

16 Mar

Ever since I saw Nova & Lorsten’s cool Mills & Boon decoupage products at The New Vintage Event in Brixton I’ve been looking for a way to use it in a project. We have two very boring Ikea coffee tables at home which are starting to look a bit tatty so my flatmate and I are going to give it a try. Meanwhile here are the ideas that have been inspiring me on Pinterest.

Source: cadlowmuralworld.blogspot.com via Hannah on Pinterest

I love the patchwork effect on this chair.

Source: trendpulse.net via Julie on Pinterest

Maps are a popular idea for decoupage.

Source: pnwcottage.blogspot.com via Hannah on Pinterest

This table has been decoupaged with fabric rather than paper.

Source: rockettstgeorge.co.uk via Hannah on Pinteres

I’m mildly obsessed with butterflies so using this wrapping paper would be right up my street.


Ideas for craft projects

21 Feb

A few ideas I have spotted recently…

I love this vintage suitcase stand on Shabby, Chic and Charming. I have been really struggling to get hold of the legs I want for the suitcase project I still haven’t finished (as soon as I get the legs I’ll be done, so hopefully I will post it soon!). This is a neat alternative – using a luggage stand to put the suitcase on. The only problem is that I think it might be too high for what I want it for, but if I don’t find legs in the next week, I will definitely be giving this a go!

Another great idea for old luggage – turn it into a charging station! Seen on Design*Sponge.

I love this simple but beautiful leather case for the Kindle Fire. Seen on Momtastic.

Transform a board game into a jewellery box! Via ReadyMade

What have you been making lately?

Five minute project: tile coasters

15 Feb

My family have had these tiles for a LONG time. We bought them when we lived in Mexico and since then they have graced various pieces of furniture – they formed a table top originally, then were carefully removed and used on top of a bar, and now my parents have used them as part of a bathroom backsplash. They are great and I wanted to do something with the ones they no longer needed.

As I now have some real wood side tables, the first thing that came to mind was that I should make them into some coasters! I ordered some felt from Amazon, which arrived a day after ordering it.

All I then needed to do was cut it to size and stick it to the back using some strong glue.

Project done!

It took five minutes, they look great, will protect the tables from scratches and ring marks, and I actually only needed one piece of the felt (would anyone like some? If so, let me know in the comments and I’ll drop you an e-mail and post it to you for free).

Upcycling inspiration

6 Feb

I am currently working on a little bit of an upcycling project, taking a wooden suitcase I bought back in August in Newcastle and turning it into a coffee table. It’s proving a little trickier than expected, which I will tell you all about when I finally finish doing the work (working on the house seems to take precedence at the minute), but I thought I would share some of my inspiration as there are so many great examples of re-purposing furniture out there at the minute.

I have a couple of these library card holders, which I currently use for holding my spices, but this is a great alternative for them. Via Style by Emily Henderson

And here’s another great use of an old drawer cabinet being used as a coffee table. Those little legs make it just the right height. Via Richmond Thrifter.

Repurpose an old dresser by painting it and adding some hooks and a paper towel holder. Via Small Place Style.

This suitcase storage solution on Etsy is a great idea and so different!

It could even be as simple as putting a crate on its side and using it as a storage solution / coffee table – what a great idea! Via Pinterest.

Ideas for craft projects

24 Jan

A round up of some great craft projects found on pinterest.

Origami heart bookmark via Bloomize

DIY Stencil pillows via Wit and Whistle

Sweet hand made teabags - what a great gift tag idea!

Amazing upcycled map drawers via Richmond Thrifter

Have you seen any good craft projects lately? Share them in the comments!

Shoestring Swap Shop

18 Jan

After the success of the last one, we are planning another swap party!

The Shoestring Swap Shop will be on February 4th at the Railway pub in Clapham North, from 1-6pm.

As well as a massive swap party for clothes (and any gifts you got this Christmas that you think are just not you), you can also buy some delicious cakes from the Cherry Blossom Cakery, make Valentine’s cards for your loved ones, and lots more.

If you are interested in hosting a stand showing people how to upcycle their clothes or furnishings, e-mail us at Shoestringsplendour@gmail.com.

If you would like to come, please RSVP on the Facebook event page or by dropping us an e-mail at the above address. More details will be coming soon, so make sure you sign up today.

Hope to see you there!

PS: as a further enticement, here’s a reminder of my bounty from our last event

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