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Category Archives: DIY

It’s a shelf, yeah, made out of a book.

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Anyone following me on Pinterest would think I have a mild obsession with shelving. I have been trying to get inspired about out bedroom walls which have been bare since we painted them a year ago. I have pinned shelves out of boxes, baskets and books. We don’t need shelves for a reason, we’ve nothing special to go on them, it’s just walls kind of look a bit rudey nudey without them, don’t you think? We also have loads of dark old furniture in our room so the last thing we need is walls packed with wood shelving and jammed with books. For this reason a novelty shelf appeals to my aesthetics. So last night, with the help of my trusted familiar, Husband Tim, we put up a book shelf- a shelfy thing, but with a book rather than a plank.

I LOVE IT!

On another level, we have created our whole home out of stuff we have found by rumbling in the jumble or dredging the streets so this alternative shelving shebang really floats our boats. Who needs Ikea shelves and brackets when you can find a rubbish (really, what IS there to fill a whole 300 pages about rugby?), but nice looking book, and saw off a hunk of wood from a discarded old dressing table?

 

It is the perfect size for a lovely tin or photo frame, it I was going to do a number of them scattered around the walls but instead have a few other things that would make equally novel shelves. We will hopefully get busy tonight to finish that up I was just too excited about the Pinaddicts Challenge to wait until it was all finished. You actually MUST go and visit the craftgalore over at Melksham Mum- such a delight. 

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Vintage Spoons Hanging Hooks

Cor, don’t you just LOVE a nice souvenir spoon?! When I saw these in a New Zealand charity shop for 50 cents I snapped them up. They just totally evoke a colonial inspired 1980’s afternoon tea vibe, eh?

I have had them rattling around with a faint idea of using them for something but then when a need arose for a place to hang our tea towels I just KNEW. Just knew. These spoons were always meant for greater things than stirring sugar lumps.

Here it is, another 5 min recycling crafty frolick:

I found this bit of wood on the pavement once and have had it randomly on display. I love the imprint of VB ENGLAND along it. It is a bit rugged but I thought it would help my spoons to sparkle.

Linking up with the ever brilliant Magpie Monday of course!

DIY Parasol light installation thingy

Thanks to your creative brainstorming over my vintage parasols I have a delightful new addition to the spare room. A kind of lampy, fairy lit, parasol installation hanging from the corner of the ceiling.  The photos don’t quite do it justice, it looks a lot more ethereal in real life!

It was so easy to do, literally took about ten minutes. I screwed a hook into the ceiling and tied the parasol onto it. I then gaffa taped some fairy lights to the stem of the parasol (taking care to make sure no bulbs touch the paper). The only tricky bit was reaching up behind it to hang it and get busy with the gaffa.

The large mirror on the wall disguises the wire.

I love it even if it does have a bit of a breasty look about it.

Tim is going to despair when he sees I have created another lamp thing. They are just so cosy and add such ambiance, oui?

It’s been framed: thrifty home decor

My tea towel. I love it. I bought it in a Faversham charity shop for 50p and knew instantly that it’s destiny had changed. It was not going to end up drying soapy water off Nutella jars disguised as cups. It would be art. Hung with great joy upon our kitchen wall.

I bought the frame for £12 from another charity shop (ripped off I know, it is just an Ikea one) and painted it white. It now sits on our brick wall and adds a massive oomph of Old Skool England into our rather Frenchy kitchen.

There is a thrifty principle here. (Although you have clearly realised this is just an excuse to show off my tea towel.) If you see something pretty and it is kind of flat- frame it! Prints are expensive, framed prints even more so, we have only TWO actual arty prints in our whole house, but our shelves and walls are filled with nice bits and bobs stuffed into frames. Here are some things I’ve framed.

Photos (hahahahahahaha, just kidding)

Record Sleeves

Buttons

Wrapping paper (Map prints/ London underground prints)

The graphic from a reusable bag (the bird – a native NZ Tui – here)

A swatch of fabric

Obviously some of these things are more to provide background depth to a collection of things you have on a shelf (like the fabric) and others are more to be a central piece on your wall.

Just for example, a retro tea towel would work quite well:

Keep your eyes peeled for anything lovely that captures you, and always buy good frames if you see them in charity shops. Especially big ones as they are hard to come by. I nearly always end up giving my frames a lick of paint. White frames can be overdone these days but sometimes a white frame just provides an unobtrusive way to show off your goods.

This tea towel is so old it is Made in the UK – when did we last have a tea towel industry here?!

Done anything thrifty lately? Why not get on board with #ThriftyThursday! Or tell me about it in the comments box…

Extreme (budget) Makeover – the recycled lounge

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“Apart from a handful of things given to us, our entire house is created from stuff we have found on the side of the road, or in charity shops” I explained to a friend. He scanned the lounge where we were sitting and said “Yup… I can beleive it”.

Bahaha.

So maybe the random array of furniture and funny little odds and ends (and the smell of cat wee) (just kidding) gives it away a little. But we love it, and that is what counts, eh?

Here are some horrendoes befores:


We had carpet put in on Monday, and Tim scored some amazing bits of furniture from a skip the day after which just completed it all for us. So here is the Big Reveal of the lounge, a year after we began!

The big soldier was £5 from Oxfam in Streatham (I have raved about this shop before. It is amazing!)

The little soldiers were £5 from the Fara kids shop in Pimlico

The curtains were £70 from the Mind shop in East Dulwich. Yep. 7 0. But they are lovely and thick and long and we had been searching for some time. Plus, it all goes to charity innit.

Then we have a big deep drawer next to the sofa which is great for holding all of Ramona’s toys. We found it round the corner, minus the desk!

This sofa is also from Streatham Oxfam, it was £35 and is so huge it is possible to sleep on it. Love. The cushions are from various charity shops, or made for us by our lovely friend.

Here is the other end of the lounge, and apologies for the even worse photos these puppies will make you feel dizzy. It is so dark down there and my camera hates on it.

This sofa/bench and the bureau were the bits Tim found in the skip. The school bench was £8 from a junk shop in Peckham. The old school pull along duck was £1 from a little school car boot (those are the BEST for kids stuff, unbelieveably cheap.)

This white book case was once pine and in the bin of a neighbours house, we pulled it out and painted it white. It’s not flash but it does a job! One of these sewing machines was found on the street, the other given to me for my birthday, but originated from Oxfam in West Wickham. The abacus was 50p from a charity shop – Ramona loves it! And the various frames were picked up from charity shops.

The desk lamp was £1 from another school car boot. I love finding glass things and putting stuff in them- jars full of pegs or scrabble letters.

So there it is, the recycled lounge- a mixture of charity shopping obsession and pure – finding – things – on – the- street- luck.

Little bundles of found wonders

Well, it has all got a little serious pants around here lately so here are some frivolous pictures from a little corner in our lounge.
This nook is completely inspired by The Recycled House– an artist’s house in Sydenham that we visited through Dulwich Open Studios. They say

“The Recycled House invites you to consider a creative alternative to consumerism”

– which articulates own own philosophy exactly. Their place is “rennovated” using all old things, I say “rennovated” because in some places this just means peeling back wall paper to reveal scraps of older wall paper, or covering a wall with ancient letters. It is something we ourselves had been wanting to do, but in a way we didn’t have the courage – we felt like ultimately we had to get our place looking Ikea-show-room-with-the-odd-stylish-vintage-item-thrown-in-ish. But our visit there liberated us from this, it made us feel like we could embrace the fact that we just love old things and really hate buying new. That things don’t have to make sense or have a function; it is fine to have things hanging around for your eyeballs to feast on.
So we ripped out the Little House on the Prairie pine veneer to expose the peeling paint and ripped wall paper, we hammered in some hooks and hung some trinkets. We displayed some tiny old cardboard boxes that are useless but delightful and folded some of my fabric in a way to make it look intentional.
This is a melodica, it is actually awesome and was £2.50 from a charity shop in Sussex. It even came with sheet music – sweeeet.

These are old glass slides we found in an antique shop in New Zealand, they have Victorians frolicking in meadows and nice scenes. I have been meaning to “do something” with them for years but feel that just nailing them is enough for now.

I have a couple more nooks to come tomorrow but Ramona waketh so I will dash…

PS- Also forgive these shocking blurry pictures, my camera has issues, so I was trying out the night setting! Baha, didn’t work.

The writing (and a pair of flares) is on the wall

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When I was 14 a can of spray adhesive changed my world. (By world I mean bedroom.) Gone were the tatty, blu tacked up Green Day posters and up went all manner of random stuff that shouldn’t naturally be stuck on walls. A pair of purple velvet flares that didnt fit me anymore. Some balls of tin foil. Wrapping paper, letters, the necklace I made out of ring pulls. (Even as a tike I liked digging around in bins.) It all went up, stuck solid.

Recently I have gotten back in touch with that spray adhesive loving 14 year old, but in less of a 3D way.

This is a line from a Foy Vance song. You don’t know him??? Shivering timbrels, you must check him out.

This is an ancient pack of Happy Families.


We have decided to keep our walls bare with all their cracks and concrete and plaster imperfections because we genuinely really like that bald, rough look. And easier to paste things up. (Got any spare flares?)

It does seem a bit weird posting about something so trivial while the UK is rioting. So to add a little depth… the solution is clearly for more love to get walking around, then we’ll all be happy families.

?????

Sort of.

But these are some links I have nodded along to- less “pointless violence by stupid youths” and more “awful violence by hopeless youths but maybe there is a point in here somewhere about inequality and life chances.”

Caring Costs but so do riots – The Independant

They don’t respect police or their parents – Guardian

Psychology of looting – Guardian

“…just because there is no political agenda on the part of the rioters doesn’t mean the answer isn’t rooted in politics.”

Yeah, yeah, the Indy and the Guardian? But, woah, what’s this!!

The underclass lashes out – Telegraph

So, peace and stay safe all. Let’s walk a little love up to some people’s faces.