Category Archives: Decor/DIY

Make, Do, Mend: Cheat’s scented candles

I came across some thyme adorned candles on Pinterest (where else) a few weeks ago. We don’t have a supply of thyme but do have a huge rosemary bush in our back garden, so I decided to give my own version ago.

I used some repurposed glass jars (I’m pretty sure these used to have GU puddings in them – yummo!), few sprigs of rosemary and some all purpose twine. This couldn’t be any simpler. I just twisted some of the twine around the rosemary (I joined two sprigs together to go all the way around the jar) and made a knot to keep it all in place.

This could be a lovely addition to a dinner table to create a bit of ambiaaaance this Autumn!

-Hanna

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Make Do Mend: Advent Kit

So I am off for a little trip to see some lovely people and be a bridesmaid for my best friend. Yay!

I am thinking that I want to bring a few little pressies for people but know I’ve not got very much dosh for buying.

I am taking a few little advent kits that I have put together.

Tiger have some ‘Final Countdown’ 1 -24 pegs for £1 that I am going to put in a little Candy stripe bag with 24 doilies and green and white butchers twine!

BAM! You have a little make your own ‘Advent Kit’.

Shizzle and Merry Christmas!

xx

- Celeste

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MAKE, DO, MEND: Bunting from old books

After 26 days far far away, the much missed Mr F returned home this weekend, and that, my friends, called for much joy and celebration in my heart and home!  No decent celebration is complete without bunting, right?

Alas, my sewing skills and forward planning have much to be desired, and I generally have an easier relationship with paper and pens than fabric and needles and so, when I finished work for the day on friday I set about making some bunting suitable to celebrate a homecoming.

I hunted around my house and found an aptly titled old penguin book called ‘Love and the English’, which I had picked up ages ago in Oxfam with the intent of doing a spot of crafting with it, and no better time than for the return of my english love!

With the help of some scissors and a sharpie I made and lettered little flags that have page heading such as ‘Beautiful, romantic animal’ !?! ‘Chicken, champagne and caresses’ &  ‘Conversation, courtship and chastity’ (kinda makes me wish I had read some of it!)

And hung it along some old ribbon, securing it with trusty gaffa ( I would have dearly loved some washi tape, but that would have required some forthought.. next time!)

Voila!

Perhaps, this might come in handy for those times when great celebration is called for, but time & pennies are not in abundance!

Over & Out

Sarah

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Make, do & mend: Whisky and candles..

What happens when combine a whisky loving husband and a candle crazy wife?

Old whisky bottles as candle sticks obviously :)  There’s a collection of them now and they’re making us feel cosy when the nights are drawing in.

You should try it.

-Hanna

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Make Do Mend: Old shoes, new shoes.

I never love straps that come across the ankle on me because a) It makes my legs look even shorter and b) It makes me look like I have flipper duck feet. So combine short short legs with flipper duck feet and I really don’t love it.

So, with these little sandals,  from Dorothy Perkins for a mere £15, I took a Stanley knife to them and voila! If you find shoes that are cheap enough for you to customise then grab a Stanley knife and give it a go!

New shoes.

Careful though, don’t stab yourself!

- Celeste x 

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Make Do Mend: Lyric Art.

I had a day when I knew, for the good of my little heart, I had to do me some making!!!

For about a year I had saved this Lyric Art tutorial from A Beautiful Mess on  my desktop but I just couldn’t figure out the perfect lyrics to use. On my way home from work I was listening to the beaut band ‘The Head and the Heart’ and it jumped out at me.

‘Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways.’

So without even putting my bag down I went straight to my ‘craft cupboard’, which also happens to be where we keep everything else… and where a friend occasionally hides in order to scare the crap out of me, and got out my old ‘Frankie’ calendar.

I took a Rob Ryan picture and another picture, stuck the letters on (some improvising was necessary for the ‘&’), painted, peeled and this is the fun little result! Yay!

Happy days! I love it!

Here is the video of the song ‘Down in the Valley’ that I love.

HOW?

If you like this idea, then check out the tutorial by A Beautiful Mess.

I got sticky letters from Amazon.

I used the Frankie calendar but you can use anything for the background, art magazine, newspaper, wrapping paper, a painting.

Just grab some paint… and then away you go! :)

AVOID eating whilst painting… I am a bit ditsy, and as I had the paint on my saucer in a blob somehow I thought it was ketchup and I dipped my sausage in it. What a ‘stickhead‘.

Here they are all framed and lovely ready to go up with my map from ‘Not another Bill’ and my 1922 map of Australia!

Happy Making… it is good for the soul!

xx Celeste

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Make Do Mend: Welcome Mat. ‘Moi moi!’

So as you know our lovely Hanna moved far from us, well a few hours down the road. (One forty-five if you smash it down the motorway, which of course I never do! ) I had in my mind that I wanted to get her a sweet welcome mat for a house-warming present. I searched the interweb for some cute ones but couldn’t find one that was just right so I figured how hard can it be to make and design a little welcome mat yourself? Turns out, not very!

Materials you need:

1. Ideas for designs

2. Plain Coir Mat. (Wilkinsons do them for a mere £3.80!!)

3. Outdoor paint. I got these from Hobbycraft.

4. Paint brush. I got a fairly wide flat brush.

Method:

1. Choose a design. I got some chalk for the purpose of outlining, sadly that didn’t work so I had to free hand it. So because you have to freehand it is probably best to keep your design fairly simple.

I chose Moi’ which is ‘Hi‘ in Finnish. Not high in Finnish…like high in fibre! (ok, not funny, bad joke)

This is because our lovely Hanna is in fact Finnish and her husband is English, hence the regular english ‘Hi’.

2. Leave it to dry.

3. Welcome people into your home.

4. Wipe your feet on it.

This is so fun, I think I will start making a lot of these little guys. Maybe one for every room??

A cheap, unique and personal house-warming gift!

Happy ‘Welcome Mat’ ing! And if you do one send us a little picture of your designs and how they worked out, we would love that!!

Bye … and bye in finnish. Whatever that is! (I should look it up but I can’t be bothered… Sorry!)

xx Celeste

 

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Make, Do, Mend: Simple chair revamp

We’ve had these dining room chairs around our table for nearly 5 years now. We bought them from a charity called Emmaus that sells second hand furniture in the early days of being married. They’re not lookers by no means but for £20 for 6 chairs we couldn’t grumble. So it has been on my agenda to get rid of the U.G.L.Y material they’ve been covered with and upholster them for years now… yes, 5 years later I finally managed it. Procrastinator maybe?

This is such a simple project and all it requires is good material (our ship one is from Ikea for £7/m, a staple gun (we got ours from Amazon but B&Q do cheap ones too) and something to help you take off the old staples. Oh and scissors too.

So start by taking the seat off the chair frame and take off the backing material (I saved mine to be put back on after the new material was fixed on). I found a screw driver and pliers to be the handiest for removing the staples.

I was feeling lazy so didn’t take the original material off but just laid the seat on the new material (this wasn’t too clever though as it made it almost too bulky to fit back in the frame so for the rest of them I took it off… dang, cutting corners failed!)

Now cut the new material leaving enough allowance around the edges (about 5 cm). You can also use the old piece of material as a template.

Then get stapling! Make sure your material is fastened tightly around the seat and that the corners aren’t too bulky. As you can see this isn’t the neatest stapling job you’ve ever seen but it doesn’t matter as it gets covered by the backing material.

Then put the backing material back on, pop the seat back on the frame and voila you have a new-old chair!

Hope this has inspired you to give your old pieces of furniture a new lease of life – and save a few pounds on the way!

- Hanna

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Make Do Mend: Pretty as a Picture, for Grown Ups!

If you’re a little on the skint side but you want to put some effort into someones pressie so they know they’re spesh then you can whip up one of these little numbers or just give them a good snuggle… If they’re lucky they might get both! A few months ago I did a ‘Pretty as a Picture’ post about a cute kids picture, here are some ideas for the grown ups!

I’ve taken to picking up vintage kids books, poetry, novels and recipes from charity shops and placing them as a background and then stenciling over the top. If you want to save the books and not tear pages out then you can scan and print the pages.. somehow I like the idea that it’s an original piece of paper they’ve got in each one though.

Here are a few examples of some that I did…

I used pages from a vintage Elizabeth Barrett Browning book of poems as the base.  I also had a few little stencils that I got from Oxfam, a bird, stag, deer and then (surprise, surprise) added some doilies.

You could also use doilies as a stencil if you want over a nice illustration or to highlight some text you like.

In other news, and entirely unrelated, I am very excited that Bob Dylan has announced a new album, ‘Tempest’, coming out soon! Woot!! I love that man! He’ll always have a place in my heart and my … err, ears? That’s a bit strange but you know what I mean!

Drank a little pint under this poster at the Boot, a dirty little pub in St Albans… Perfect!

Happy Wednesday, innit!

- Celeste x

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Make, Do, Mend: Party like it’s Diamond Jubilee!

This weekend has been one for the books… We’ve had our royal fix watching the queen on the telly and had fun with friends. Couldn’t have been any better.

Since we’re always looking for an excuse to throw a little party, the Queen provided us an unbeatable one! So my husband and I had a few lovely friends around for a dinner party. We’re not made of money so costs had to be kept low which resulted in some penny pinching ideas. I thought I’d share few of these crafty details  with you…

We kicked things of with the classic Pimm’s enjoyed through red, white and blue paper straws in a jam jar. (Celeste’s hands are completely normal though it may not seem so in this picture!:))

The idea was to eat outside in the garden, but the British weather decided otherwise. Though it wasn’t raining it was cold. So we packed our tables inside, hung a little bunting in the mirror and were good to go!

I wanted to have a few flowers on the table so I bought 6 white roses from the shop and added some ivy + random purple weeds from our garden to make “wild” flower arrangements. The small ones are in jam jars and the big one is in an Ikea glass jar. With a doily wrapped around no one will ever know (until now) that these flowers cost me all of £3.

Another penny pinching idea was to use sticky back plastic printing to make cloth napkins. The Queen’s head seemed appropriate choice for the motif. As I had a big bundle of material and black fabric paint in the cupboard this was a completely free touch!

Just can’t beat good times with good friends!

Though we ate inside we moved outside afterwards to sit around the fire. Bunting and jam jar (I know – again!! I think I may have gone a bit overboard with the jam jars!) lanterns are such a simple way of adding bit of ambience to your garden (just wrap a bit of wire around a jam jar and make a loop – done!)

Hope you enjoyed this mini party recount and had a good Jubilee (even if you’re not in the UK)!

-Hanna

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