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DIY lace bowl … in 10 minutes

Do you have a constant second hand shopping list floating around your mind at all times? It is almost certainly a waste of brain space (space that for me I suspect could have been used up in the area of knowing how to pronounce certain words)  but it does nurture patience and acceptance as you wander around charity shops and car boot fairs, not finding the things you want but knowing you will one day.

Mine goes something like:

Summer shoes

Vintage Toys

Midwinter Crockery

Retro Glass Jugs

Lexicon word game

Scrabble

Lace

(It goes from the specific to, er, kinda general…)

Any bargainous retro or vintage item

I pick up this stuff time and time again, whenever I see it. Often because I don’t believe a house can ever be too full of the delightful swirls of old crockery but also because I know this stuff will come in handy for craft purposes.  Lexicon and Scrabble are INVALUABLE. (Hmmm. Although I won’t dig out more than £1.50 for them. Invaluable might be a bit too strong a word. Hehe.)

And I have quite few reams of lace. I like to stack it in piles and have crafted a few lovely things out of it- my favourite being this flapper style head band for a friend’s little lass.

A little while ago I found a few tutorials for lace lampshades on Pinterest and, although we are not in need of lampshades as I am whipping these up all the time out of totally obvious things like zips, I wondered if the same principle could be use to craft up some bowls.

Turns out it can. HOORAY!

You need:

Step 1- Blow up a balloon to about the size you want the bowl to be.

Step 2 – Take a strip of lace  – the length needs to go around the balloon and will be the circumference of your bowl. The width will be the side of the bowl. Mine was around 27 inches long and I chose 5 inches in width.

Step 3 – Do a series of cuts, at one inch intervals all along the length, from the bottom up to about 2 inches  from the top. It will be like a flappy thing. (*wishes she had photo of this bit that wasn’t blurry!*)

Step 4 – Dunk this into mod podge.

Step 5- Wrap this around the bottom half of your balloon, overlapping each one inch segment by just a few millimetres. Doing this allows the lace to curve around, without having to have pleats. The bottom rim should be curving under the balloon, leaving an empty bit at base of balloon.

Step 6- Make sure the seam and each overlap is well pushed together.  Be warned, it does all get a bit slippy and slithery and your balloon my try and escape your grasp a bit!

Step 7- Leave it to dry (it should be done in an hour or two if left in a breezy, warm place)

Step 8- Add another layer of Mod Podge and leave to dry again

Step 9- Pop balloon! You should have a fairly sturdy bowl with no bottom!

Step 10-  Tweak it a little, bending it gently in to the right shape, if needed.

Step 11- Cut out a piece of lace to be the bottom. It needs to be whatever shape the balloon happens to have made it! Mine was a kind of small oval.

Step 12- Dunk it into the Mod Podge and place this into the inside of the bowl, covering the hole, pushing it gently onto the existing lace structure. Leave to dry flat on its bottom. (Otherwise you’ll have a wobbly bowl)

Step 13- Give a light coat of varnish around the outside. My varnish dries in an hour, if in warm, breezy place.

Step 14- Give a light coat of varnish throughout the inside. Especially seal off the edges of the bottom piece.

Step 14- If you like the original colour of the lace then VOILA! You are done.

Step 15- If, like me, you used an ancient tin of varnish because you are too stingy to throw it away and it was really yellow, you will need to find a spray can colour you are happy with. I went for neon orange and I LOVE IT!

DONE!

It isn’t perfect, if you were to inspect you would see it was slightly wonky and the seams would be quite obvious but I think the “lacey bowl” effect is nailed.  The overall paint coverage hides a whole load of the little discrepancies.

I am pretty sure, taking out drying time, that the whole thing is done in a matter of moments – possibly one of the quickest crafting up of a bowl ever? Of course, it isn’t water tight, so you cannae eat your cornflakes out of it, but as a vestibule for bits and bobs (of which our household needs many) it is purdy purfick.

I am definately making these again – perhaps as a way of displaying some small crafts I hope to see one day at a fair. (Vague plans, too lazy and flighty to make enough of one thing to purvey!)

It is sitting in my little kitchen pop of orange, underneath some heart palpitatingly beautiful pottery I found at a car booty last week. The pottery, it is called Lord Nelson Gaytime. Honestly. You couldn’t make it up.

Linking up with the magical Liz and the Magpies- celebrators of all things second hand.

And the final shout out for the Charity Shop Blog Hop! Being hosted here this Thursday – come along and link up your charity shop loving posts and get all kinds of blog loving 😀

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Transforming rubbish old tins with old paper

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I really, really hate throwing stuff away. If it wasn’t for my husband I’d probably get written about in the Metro, how I have to tunnel myself in and out of my house because it is wall to ceiling with stuff. Much of that stuff would be containers that I plan to Do Something With. I have a whole cupboard of jars and tins and things. They are SO useful, but I appreciate that they are a bit annoying while you wait for the inspiration/ time to craft ’em up.

A few weekends ago we went to an AMAZING car boot – and met some of your typical Booty Rogues and Gems– and I came away with a load of lovely jumble, including two rolls of truly retro wall paper, one for 10p and one for 50p. For real, I mean, HOW LUSH!

I felt it would be perfect for a bit of transforming old tins business.

You will need:


Schnizzors (that is Gangsta for scissors)

Paper or fabric

A ruler (but you are not a school kid and it isn’t the nineties so maybe a measuring tape instead)

A pencil

Some homemade Mod Podge (Pva and water)

Some old tins – coco tins/ milk powder tins/ stock tins/ etc tins

Measure all the way around the tin, and the height of it. Plot this on to your paper (It will be a long rectangle) add an extra 0.5cm onto the end of the length and cut it out.

Slather it with Mod Podge, if it is thick. Be a little scrimpier if lightweight paper. Smooth it on, adjusting it, overlap the last 0.5cm. I did loads at one time and, honestly, it probably took me 15 minutes for the whole shebang. In the past I have also varnished over the top to make them super robust.

These will be ideal for odds and ends and crafting supplies, but also for… wait for it… presenting people with biscuits! Tim makes the most AMAZE biccies and it is always a bit of a worry that the tin they get given in (or manky tupperware) might not come back. With these it just doesn’t have to.

Linking up with that totes marv Liz and the Magpies!

PS Fancy joining in with the Charity Shop Blog Hop? Simply write up your fave chazza shop/ route & link it up in a few weeks time. See the details here, my friends.

Dominoes Fridge Magnets – the quickest, most fun craft ever

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Van Morrison sings a song, Domino, that is BURSTING with memories for me. It is the opening track of “His band and the Street Choir” and was played on almost every family gadabout in my childhood, all of us bundled up in our VW camper, rumbling along from South London to Eastern Europe.

It has been soaring through my mind for the last week- since scoring two sets of Dominoes from that epic car boot fair. One for 10p and one for 50p. I thought one of the sets would be ideal for crafting so got to thinking what they might be good for. I had a few ideas, but settled on some nice traditional Fridge Magnets.

I have sheets of magnets I bought online for £2.50 a sheet. They aren’t the strongest BUT they are so slimline and it is fab to be able to cut them perfectly to shape. I use about 1/4 of the sheet so 50p plus the 10p for the dominoes brings this revitalised game up to a grand 60p expenditure.

I did it primarily for the asthetics and was pretty happy with the result, but not completely over the moon or anything. Then our 5 year old nephew came over that day and played over ten joyous games  of Dominoes with Tim. He had never played before but he just loved the simplicity of it, and there is something cool about playing a game with on a fridge. And now I am sold on the idea and think a fridge basically looks bereft without a whole set of Dominoes on it.

Like VHS’s and Barbies, Dominoes is one of those things that are part of the furniture of charity shops and car boots, so don’t pass them by another time. What a thrifty fun gift this would make, eh?

What d’ya reckon? Have you crafted anything with Dominoes? Want to get a song stuck in your head that respectfully honours this sunny summer we are experiencing? Here is Van with Domino live, with all the glories of the Seventies right there…

My Workbench: repairs of any kind undertaken

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One thing I discovered pretty early on about crafting is that if you don’t have a little nook where you can keep your tools and materials accessible, it simply doesn’t happen. That one extra step of getting out your things can completely dissolve your crafting resolve, don’t you find?

We have lived in some tiny dives in the past (yup, especially thinking of the first place we had as a married couple with a CRAZY Hungarian landlord. Our place was basically a box at the bottom of his garden and he would tell us off for having friends over, and for keeping it not quite as tidy as he liked. In fact, once we had handed in our notice he took potential future tenants inside while we were out at work without telling us, and then had the audacity to yell at me about the clothes on the floor, calling it a “f%!*ing brothel!”)

So, we are so stoked to have a big enough place where I can actually have a workbench (okay, I too called it “Craft Corner” but right here and now I am switching to “workbench”. Craft Corner sounds a bit toddlery and I can’t have that. Couldn’t possibly explain to the hospital how Ramona has a perfectly spherical chunk out of her tongue from chewing on my leather punch! )

Anyway, with no further ado, here ’tis…

As you can see, it is pretty much in our main living room, so all the bits and pieces are stuffed in to jars in the draws, in a faint nod towards organisation. Tim found this humongous wooden beast in a skip-  who would dump this?!

I put this little shelf up myself *smug* with like, a level, and drill, and all that.  (I am getting to grips with power tools these days so that Ramona doesn’t grow up thinking some household jobs are daddy ones. Cor, being a feminist is tiring, innit.)

These scissors were a SNIP at £4 from Oxfam in Herne Hill – pinking shears are over £20 in John Lewis. However, er, they are blunt. Any tricks on how to sharpen these? The Google jury is out on the matter.

There are a few papers stuck up there – one is a small yellowed advert for a corset company just round the corner from our house. We found it in the floor boards, have a read, it is quite the funny one…

Home made corsets for Housewives! Repairs of any kind undertaken! A Lady will call with Samples!

I love old tennis rackets, I really, REALLY do and always have. In the house I lived in before I married Tim, I had a whole wall covered in them, and each net had homemade rosettes pinned on. Whenever I see one for under £2 I always snap it up.

And, we have a perfect little gap on the right hand side, normally invisible to the human eye, where all my extra fabrics and things I don’t know what to do with can be stuffed innocuously.

Do you have a workbench or a craft corner? Or just a wild eyed Hungarian pressing his face against your windows?

Linking up with the magnificent Magpies over at Liz and Me and My Shadow.

These are some of the spare shots not used in the Pretty Nostalgic feature. They were shot by Jenny Harding, you should scope out her photography site, it is BEAUT!

And finally, did I mention I’m on FACEBOOK?! *sings* Come on over! Come on over baaaabyyy.

Bumblebees and Boats- stitching on books

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What CAN’T you do with a needle and thread?*

It can be therapy- like these prisoners who learnt to stitch their stories.

It can raise political consciousness and beautifully challenge social norms. 

It has helped people find the meaning of life – like this jolly chap who went on a journey to find out about where his clothes came from and ended up trying to sew them all himself.

And then, at its most simple,  it can just make ordinary things look pretty. . .

From that crafty wizz Martha Stewart

I love how needle and thread have replaced pencil.

From Paper Stitch (loads of beautiful art on there)

And I wanted to give it a go.



We have a few funny old books, this one above is from a 1950’s one called “Getting the most of of life” – really, it is just such a load of nonsense. But has a lot of words that evoke images.

If you look carefully you will notice there is poo in this vessel.



These two pages are from “A Treasury of Thought” a delightful book with excerpts from  Shakespeare, indexed by subject. The one above is from the Ships entry and the one below from Bees. I know for some it is pretty much an Awful Thing to be treating books in this way, but I kind of feel you are giving them an extra kudos- letting pages see the light of day that might not otherwise.


They do only take a couple of minutes to do, but I know if I had a tiny dot more patience and took them a bit slower they could look LOADS better. Darn my laziness.

I did wing this one by Ramona to see if she could tell what they were though. “BUMBLE BEE” she yelled. *fist pump*

(Yeah, okay.  Bumblebee is Ramona’s current fave word and is what she defaults to most of the time but still, a leetle bit recognisable, no?)

Joining in with this months Pinaddicts Challenge  over at the luscious  Love Bump – check out the other things I hope to make one day soon on my Pinterest Board. 

PS- So remember that beautiful vintage magazine, Pretty Nostalgic, came to our house to take some pics? Well, the issue is out and you can catch a glance here. The whole thing is STUNNING!

Just a little confession though, our house is not normally that tidy. Not even close. My mum even came round the night before to help us clean up the piles of washing, the  raisins scattered all over the floor, the crumbs and pop corn and garlic skins on the kitchen side, the toys in every corner. Just so you know. Also, just so you know, we don’t normally look quite that wild eyed and deranged, promise.

PPS- I just started a Facebook page, are you on there? I would actually really love it if you wanted to come and say hi, or even just like it, if you are a shy one.

*You can’t:

Eat with it, unless it is really fine spaghetti.

Use it to catch a ball, or put an energetic baby to sleep, or win an Olympic medal with it, or fly with it. Etc, etc.

Home Made Mod Podge Recipe- Don’t be hoodwinked!

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In lots of ways I am a hand clapping optimist. I find it really hard to imagine the worst case scenario and always think everything is going to work out, which is often to my detriment. In other ways I am a doubting cynic. When it comes to brands and their promises I am more dubious then Scooby doo smoking doobies in dubiousville.  When a grand claim is made of a product my mind screams “LIES, ALL DAMN LIES!” like some kind of crossed witch.

There are some exceptions:

  • Helmans mayonnaise (no other will do. I can eat this with a spoon for lunch.)

Ummmm.

Okay, actually, I think that is it on my list.

So when I first heard about crafting super power that is Mod Podge I tried to ignore the screamy witch and find out exactly what it is that makes Mod Podge such a delight. First of all I began by trying to find out what Mod Podge is.Wanna know what it is, basically?

Watered down PVA glue.

That’s:  PVA glue with water in it.

PVA (that you can by from Poundland) with water (free)

But people are paying heaps for this crafting Must Have, to do things like decoupage and scrapbooking, that people have done for years with watered down PVA.

I kind of think the people of Mod Podge are trying to fox us all a little bit.

Oh well. Now we know, eh?

Home Made Mod Podge Recipe

To make a jar of fake Mod Podge you need 1 cup of glue and 1/3 cup of water. Shake really well  and use as you would Mod Podge. To make it gloss add 2 table spoons of water based varnish or to make the sparkly add super fine glitter.

I wanted to try making some decorated pegs. I made some Christmas pegs  with ribbon and scrabble tiles in this way but found cutting the fabric and getting it to not fray really tricky. When I read on Sew Scrumptious’s lovely site that she used Mod Podge to make the fabric paper-like I gave it a crack with my fake Mod Podge. It really works.

Just give the little scraps of fabric a good soaking then leave them to dry as flat as you can. Then snip them up. It is truly ace and made making these pegs so easy. And if you are like me and keep every snippet of beautiful material than this is the PERFECT use!

I used some navy polka dots and even a bit of lace, so simple and quick:


What do you think? Are you a Mod Podge Die Hard? Or are you generally happy with the fake/ home made versions of things?

Linking up with Lakota’s Ta Dah Tuesday AND the wonderful monthly Pinaddicts challenge– although this was originally Sew Scrumptious’s pin!

Don’t miss other thrifty/crafty/motherhood shenanigans-

Come and find Lulastic on Facebook!

Or Twitter 🙂

Loo Roll Zoo – guest poster in the hoouuussse!

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Oof, have I got a TREAT for you lot. I’ve gone and got a Guest Poster, ain’t I?! Maggy is the Empress of Kids Crafts and is one of the five of us who have made it to the finals in the craft category of the MAD awards. I love how completely involved her kids are in the crafty shenanigans and how they often involve plunging through the recycling bin. Here she is with some feral loo rolls- WOOT WOOT!

I am so pleased to be visiting here over at Lulastic AND to have the honour of being the very first Guest Poster! How very exciting!!! My name is Maggy and I am a mum of two (Red Ted – 4yrs and Pip Squeak – 2.5yrs) and I write over at Red Ted Art where I do a lot of classic kids crafts, but also love to do recycled crafts. I am very passionate about recycling – mainly because I hate waste (and the huge landfill problems we are creating), but also because I feel things always still have a value. Plus I love being thrifty! And it is amazing what you can turn something old into!! (I particularly like my jeans recycling craft – making a brand new skirt out of an old pair of jeans – go me!).

When crafting with kids, recycling becomes particularly important – a) because they go through so much materials but b) because I feel I have a responsibility to them to teach them about recycling and re-valuing.

So today I would love to share our Loo Roll Zoo! We LOVED making it and we LOVED playing with it!

We also love combining our crafts with a book…. So… this one was totally inspired by:

Who is Hiding, by Satoru Onishi. I bought this book ages ago for Red Ted, who was less interested in it. Maybe it is an age thing,  I don’t know? Pip Squeak (coming up to 20mths at the time) adored it and had for quite some time. The books is simple: each double spread page has 24 animals depicted (you can see 12 on the cover). They are drawn in a simple colourful style. As you turn the pages, the background changes in colour – e.g. blue, so that in that case the bunny and pig “disappear” as their body colour blends into the background colour (see cover, they are blue) and the child is asked “who is hiding?”… To mix it up a little, there is also a “Who is sleeping?” and a “Who is crying?” page etc. And the page that mine like best:  “Who is backward?” For some reason, in our house this translates into “Who is showing us their bottom?”… and Pip Squeak loves tapping her bottom and saying “Po-Po” (in German). Very sweet, simple book with appeal to “design geeks”.

On to our craft.

It dawned on my one day (as we were reading the book AGAIN), that some of the animals were perfect “loo roll shapes”. Trim a bit at top and bottom for ears and legs and hey presto….

Materials: empty toilet paper rolls, paint (I confess to liking acrylics, as they don’t crumble, but you could varnish your finished animal), bits of felt or card, glue , black pen for features and very favourite googly eyes (optional) (check out our Handprint Alphabet to see all our googly eye fun!)

The kids painted

 Pip Squeak loves painting so much she kept signing “more”… “more more more paint”.

Once dried, I cut out some ears and some feet. Red Ted helped me stick on googly eyes and other features. E.g. for the lion’s mane, we cut a circular piece of felt with squiggly edges and cut a whole in the centre… For the elephant and rabbit we had painted an extra blue loo roll to cut ears from. The rabbit’s ears we glue on the elephant’s ear’s we “slotted” into “slats” we cut. And for example the cat’s ears are part of the original roll – I just cut the roll “down” – leaving two triangles. And don’t forget the bottoms (Po-Po)…

Now you have your own Zoo! Start playing!

I do hope you enjoyed our craft. We have PLENTY more TP Roll Crafts over at Red Ted Art, so do stop by if you ever need more inspiration!!

Thank you for having us.

Maggy, Red Ted & Pip Squeak!

PS- Alright, ‘sLucy here again. Isn’t Maggy awesome? Inspired by the above craft I whipped up a wee duck for Ramona (she is obsessed – remember that crazy ole duck hat I made her?) Unfortunately she is mostly concerned with picking off his eyes/beak/wings so he is now just being ornamental and she doesn’t get to do the playing bit.  (Whaaat?? That’s what she gets for being a rascally picker.)  Here she is doing some picking, wearing her little duck dress.