Stop, Look, Listen: Things to do with used magazines

I regularly look at my coffee table and feel guilty about the sheer number of magazines I buy, although I do assure you that they are not all trashy women’s gossip mags. Every time I take my latest stack over to the recycling bin I can’t help thinking that there MUST be some way of reusing them. So this week I decided to be pro-active and did a search on the internet for magazine uses.

This is such a clever idea from DIYLife and something I would never have thought of. This is definitely on my future project to do list. I can just see it in my craft room/home office now…

The Buff and Blue has a tutorial showing how to make this mirror frame made from old magazines. The different colour papers makes for a really effective, colourful and unique mirror.

Along similar lines Craft bits has a tutorial to help us turn ordinary and boring wall clocks into works of art using old magazines.

These are a very clever idea. Saved By Love Creations has a tutorial about how to make these coasters.

If you are wanting some Christmas craft inspiration you can pop over to Earth911 to learn how to make Christmas tree from magazines.

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Happy Sunny Sunday!

I just thought it was about time to update you on the progress of my garden furniture. Take a look:

My dog Chappie enjoying the sunny garden

I love it! It brightens up the garden so much, especially compared to the drab grey wood it was before. I have even brought a lovely cream parasol and base that was discounted in Argos. They were £50 at the start of the summer but I managed to get them for the bargain price of £20! Total bargain!

Just for the fun of it I thought I would add a photo of my husband-to-be manning it up on his man-B-Q 😉

Office/Craft Room Colour Scheme

The aim of this game is to create a bright and airy craft room/home office but at the same time create a colourful and creative space. After a good few days of trying to figure out what colour or colours I wanted to use I finally found my inspiration…drum roll please…

MY RED AND WHITE MONKEY DOORSTOP!

My Inspiration

As soon as it hit me I felt shocked that I hadn’t thought of it before! As soon as I knew that I wanted the colour scheme to be red and white I knew that I wanted to have 3 bright white painted walls (or plain wallpaper depending on the condition of the walls) and 1 feature wall with some sort of red patterned paper. So off I went in search of THE wallpaper that would fill my craft room/home office with the personality and colour I so craved. Finally after much search and many ‘debates’ with Mr H I think I have finally found THE wallpaper…

Wallpaper

…that is until another THE wallpaper comes along :-p

Now it is a case of deciding how many rolls we need…

All In A Days Work

This is my chair!

My chair

It sits in my conservatory and the bright stripes really brighten up the room. On first glance it just looks like an ordinary chair. But to me this is no ordinary chair. This is my best upholstery project from last year! For the past year I have spent 3 hours a week, on a Thursday morning, at college learning upholstery and with the support of the tutor I managed to completely strip down, build up and upholster this chair.

This is what the chair looked like before.

Before

Sorry about the blurry photos. They were taken on my phone and are unfortunately the only ones I have. Here are some close ups.

Before – Close-up

Before – Close-up

It was yet another eBay bargain. I was able to get this little beauty for £5! I then has to spend money on materials and fabric which cost a pretty penny but even with that it was still a bargain and way cheaper than it would have cost me to buy one brand new. It looks a million times better with its new upholstery.

Yesterday I found myself with itchy fingers and decided that my sofa (which sits in the conservatory with my chair) also needed something. So remembering how I still has some left over fabric from the chair decided to make some matching cushion covers.

Matching cushions on the sofa

Matching Cushion Close-up

I made them into envelope covers as this meant I could take them on and off to wash but I didn’t then need to buy any zips. I already had the cushion pads that needed covers so in my head that means they were…FREE! I do love that word!

Statement Staircases

The best thing about owning your own house is that you have full say on how it is decorated. It can be as sensible or as crazy as you want it to be. This has changed the way I have begun to find inspiration when thinking about how I could decorate a room. For example, on Saturday when out shopping I came across this staircase…

Tiled staircase

The photo isn’t great as it was taken on my phone. I just couldn’t lose the opportunity to take a photo to keep as a reminder for when I come to decorate the hallway. I suppose to some people it might have been obvious to use bright or vintage tiles to make the staircase more interesting, but for me I had always assumed the stairs would be carpeted. I had never really thought about doing anything else. In fact I can’t believe I have never thought about it before! I love that each tile is different but that they all tie in due to the colour scheme.

Tiles are not the only way to make a statement staircase. Look at these…

design-ties.blogspot.co.uk

How about using brightly coloured glass?

Or words?

enpundit.com/dream-staircase/

Ever dreamed about sliding down stairs to breakfast? I know I have.

daddytypes.com/2010/01/13/spiral_staircase_slide.php

Wood shavings inside the steps anyone?

How about brightly coloured painted stripes?

 

design-ties.blogspot.co.uk

Or a mosaic? I think this looks absolutely stunning although it’s a little bit too much for our 1930’s house.

blog.the-dot.co.uk/tag/mosaic-staircase/

Now it is just a case of answering this question: how brave am I?

 

 

 

 

Patchwork Lap Quilt

As it has been so rainy recently I have been unable to get out into the garden in order to finish off my table and chairs…grrrrr. It is even more annoying knowing that I am super busy for the next couple of days and so I am probably going to be unable to really get stick into it and get it finished. As they say that is how the cookie crumbles.

Whilst it has been rainy I have been able to get on with a project for someone else. Said person has seen a lap quilt I made (see below) about two years ago now and wanted one making for them.

My Lap Quilt

Here is the one I have recently made. The best thing about it is that it has only used fabric and wadding that I already owned so in my mind it was free. I love the way it has turned out and am so happy with it that I have decided to show it off here.

My Latest Lap Quilt

My Latest Lap Quilt Close-Up

 

What do you think?

Who knew you could do so much with a jam jar?

Make do and mend is taking over and more people are wanting to re-use and up-date things they already own. As I go through the house and start to try and turn it into a home I am beginning to see even the most mundane and ordinary items as opportunities. This weeks house hold item is…jam jars! There are so  many possibilities.

Makedo-and-mend.blogspot.com

I love the effect of a group of them on a table and think this would be great for an evening bbq or even to create a lovely atmosphere at a wedding. Simply stunning (although I would want to take off the sticky marks).

Mollie Makes

If a plain jar is not quite to your liking how about using fabric (and battery powered candles) like Mollie Makes to make your jam jar votives more interesting.

Laurenelisecrafted.com

Laurenelisecrafted.com has a lovely idea of using silhouettes to create beautiful jars that could be made into votives.

Jam Jar Light

A search on Etsy and I came across this imaginative use of jam jars to create a unique light. This is guaranteed to be a real talking point with any visitors and with a bit of electrical know-how I couldn’t see why this couldn’t be done at home.

House to Home

House to Home use them in a very creative way to store those annoying little items that never seem to have a proper place and just get in the way. This is definitely an idea I may have to borrow…

Shabbychictreasures.blogspot.com

Olivia’s Romantic Home has a tutorial for how to combine photos and jars to make a unique storage solution or a cute display.

If after doing all of this you still have spare jam jars you could even use them to store your homemade jam!

Saturday Sum Up – My favourite posts this week

Here are some posts that are just so good that I just had to share them. They are definitely ideas that I will be trying out.

I love this idea over at All Things Thrifty. It is such an easy but effective way of sprucing up an old lamp and so from this point on I will be looking out for thin metal lamp stands to try it on. I do wonder what it would look like with some funky glittery baubles that weren’t painted. Combine it with a cool lampshade and you will have a ‘brand new’ funky lamp.

Lamp made from baubles

The Bow Tie Butterfly has been gathering various tutorials on how to make paper wreaths. Personally wreaths remind me a little of funerals, however, I do love the idea of putting a mirror tile in the middle on one and mounting on the wall for a unique looking mirror that would cost next to nothing.

Paper wreath

Paper wreath

Hayley Made has been very busy using wooden window frames creatively. One of her latest creations is this amazing chalkboard. It has ensured that I will never again look at window frames in the same way.

Window frame chalkboard

I hope you feel as inspired by these posts as I am. I am now off to find window frames to make chalkboards from, magazine/newspapers,old book and interesting printed papers to make wreaths from and also a tired thin metal bar lamp stand to re-energise.

‘What?? I Can Make That For A Fraction Of The Price!!!’

A couple of days ago myself and my hubby-to-be were on our way to a family wedding reception in Derby when we happened across a few small boutique type shops mingled with random charity shops. To be honest it was a good job it was an evening reception otherwise I would have been tempted to have a good nosy around and in all of our wedding finery…well…lets just say it’s better they were closed. But it did mean that I was desperate to find out just what type of shops they were and whether they had any interesting bits and bobs in them.

So on Saturday we decided to take a trip back to these little shops. Unfortunately most of them were too expensive, however, it was a great source of inspiration for future projects.

We went into a lovely little cafe for some lunch. It was decorated in a very shabby chic style and I just couldn’t help but take a few inspirational photos.

Up-cycled Bucket and Syrup Jar

I took a photo of the table number container as I not only like the idea of re-using something that would ordinarily go into the bin but also as possible way of putting table numbers on my wedding tables. Maybe with a plant inside??? Just yet another thought going around my head.

The bucket was particularly lovely as all the flowers were 3d and you could see all the brushstrokes in the paint. I am not completely sure what I would use the bucket for (desk tidy maybe??) but I do love the idea.

Painted and Distressed Wall Unit

I just love the ruggedness of this shelving unit. I like the idea of first painting it an unusual colour, such as blue, before painting it white to give it an added aspect to interest once it has been sanded back.

Quirky Blackboard

I think it would be nice to have something written on a whiteboard to make people smile as they enter the kitchen.

These are just a small selection of the things they had. I would have loved to take pictures of all of it, unfortunately I thought people wouldn’t appreciate me moving and climbing over them to get to the things I want to photograph.

We also went into one of those little shops that sell the painted furniture and accessories that have already had a ‘shabby chic’ makeover and then sell them on for an absolute fortune. I always look at them and wonder who buys this stuff? Surely they can see how easy it is to create? I can’t help but go around the shop telling my partner ‘I can do that myself for a fraction of the price’ over and over again to which he always nods his head to show he’s listening all the while probably thinking ‘You have said this all before’. I still like a good look around these shops as it’s a good way of getting inspiration. Here are just a small selection of the things I liked.

Driftwood Mirror

Just seeing this makes me want to go straight to the seaside to start collecting driftwood together.

Outdoor Tealight Holders

I think I could make this by putting glass paint into jars to colour the glass and decorating wire with beads and shaped around the jar to create the handle. I do think they are really pretty and add a lovely touch to any garden party or bbq.

Multiple Photo Frames on a Wooden Stand

I think this is a brilliant idea to add an interesting detail to any shelf or window sill. It will definitely be something I will be trying once I have scoured charity shops looking for some chunky wooden photo frames.

Chopping Board

I think this is awesome and I wonder whether I would be able to make one if I found a slice of wood (if that is even possible) and sanded and varnished it up.

It would be good to hear you thoughts. How would you go about re-creating some of these things? Where do you get your inspiration from? What have you created recently?

Furniture Finds!

I love eBay! I particularly love eBay when I find an amazing piece of furniture at an amazing price just needing a little bit of care and attention. So on one of my regular eBay searches I came across these lovely gems for the price of £66.00 (that was for both chairs so only £33.00 each).

My New Chairs

What are they doing outside I hear you say. Well, unfortunately at this moment in time we have not made a space for them in our new house (although they will be going into the conservatory) so they are in the garage. However, I have discovered that they make the most brilliant garden chairs. They are ever so comfy and they are lovely to sit on in the warm sunshine with a good book and a glass of something cold. It makes me wonder why I never put ‘proper’ chairs in the garden before, especially because we have space in the garage to store them. Maybe this is a future project idea…

They really are lovely chairs with a beautifully ornate dark wood frame.

I love the Dark wooden frame

Close-up of the back

Close-up of the leg and arm

I brought them for my upholstery course starting in September. This  is my second year studying upholstery and I am really looking forward to learning how to do the deep buttoning on the back of the seat. I cannot wait to get to a stage where I can start choosing fabrics. However, first things first, I need to strip down the chairs to their wooden frame so that I can clean them up and building them up at college again. This won’t be done for a while yet though because I am enjoying using them as garden chairs far too much.

I love these chairs and cannot wait to see them in the conservatory all finished and being used on a daily basis.