Soul Food Studio

Crafts

Envelope Notebook

CraftsAmanda Russell

My theory of leading a more sustainable life goes like this. Don’t try to change too much in one go, successful change is about taking mini steps towards establishing new habits.

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I’m aware I use fresh clean paper for list writing and feel it’s something of an extravagant use of resources for something I will shortly be throwing away. As a stylist I’m a great list writer, it helps me get to the next place, a disposable task, rarely is a list for keeping. Of course I can list write on my mobile but I’m the kind of person who is better with constant physical reminders. With this in mind I decided to wean myself onto using scrap paper instead.

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I am intrigued by the printed patterns on the inside of envelopes. Questions crowd my mind, what does it mean, are they traditional patterns, where was the custom started?

Being a natural hoarder I can’t bring myself to bin this beauty, they are saved to use in lots of ways covering boxes, in collages or as gift tags.

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I am drawn into the magic of stories about how an inconsequential doodle on the back of an old envelope has lead the way to a great design. With this spirit in mind why would I want to use fresh paper for list writing and planning when I can use such beautiful paper which arrives at my door for free?

I re-purpose each of my treasured envelopes into two useful pieces of paper, using scissors to cut off the margins, over laps and folds. When I have a few, I stack them together, punch a hole in the corner and keep them together with a split ring clasp, a large safety pin, twine or whatever takes my fancy.

If you like this post check out my post on Kintsugi: The Glam Rock of Ceramic Repairs

Easy Wine Crate Shelf

CraftsAmanda Russell

If you’re pressed for space this is a great little make that’ll give you plenty of added storage space and a stage to display special finds. Wine merchants are happy to part with these wooden crates for free or for a charitable donation. It only takes a lick of paint and bold geometric wallpaper to transform a discarded crate into a must have box shelf. I chose wallpaper from Harlequin, a roll will go a long way, there’s plenty left for covering lots of things like files, books and shelves.

You will need:

  • Wooden Wine box

  • Emulsion paint

  • Kaleidoscope wallpaper by Harlequin

  • PVA adhesive

  • Picture frame brackets Homebase

  • Paint brush

  • Scissors

  • Screw Driver

  • Electric drill black and decker

  • Masonery screws

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Step by steps:

1.Paint the exterior of the box with emulsion paint.

2. Mix pva with a little water to the consistency of double cream and paint the inside of the box to seal. Leave to dry.

3.When dry measure and cut wall paper to size.

4.Paint the reverse of the paper pieces and insides of the box with pva adhesive let down with a little water to the consistency of pouring cream

5. When dry, using the drill screw picture frame brackets to the reverse on the edge, drill holes in wall then screw completed box to the wall.

Here is another piece you might like, go take a look: Get Yourself an Asymetric Coffee Table

Quick Revamp for Drop-in Seat Chair

CraftsAmanda Russell

This old chair was languishing in a charity shop, crying out for a hefty dose of TLC. For a super easy and quick transformation I painted it with a bright green paint and used contemporary print tea towel to cover the drop in seat.

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You will need:

  • Old chair with drop in seat £10 at charity shop

  • Hammer

  • A staple gun with staples

  • Tea towel 10cm bigger than the seat

  • Dressmakers pins

  • Dressmakers scissors

  • Tarragon Glory 4 Emulsion paint by Dulux £15.99 homebase

  • Paintbrush

  • Sandpaper

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Step by steps:

  1. Remove the seat from the chair and put to one side.

  2. Sand the chair frame to give it a key so the paint will adhere.

  3. Paint the chair with a bright coloured emulsion. Leave to dry, it may need a second coat of paint if the wood is showing through.

  4. Remove the tacks from the edge of the chair seat, then take off the outer fabric.

  5. Use the old chair cover as a pattern and pin it on to the tea towel.

  6. Cut out a new seat cover. Place the new seat cover, right side facing down on a flat surface. Place the drop in section of the chair in the centre of the fabric.

  7. Starting in the middle of one side staple the new fabric into place. Work outwards from the center towards the outer edge then repeat with the other half.

  8. Repeat step seven on the opposite side of the seat, making sure you pull the fabric taught as you go. By starting in the center and working outwards you will stop the fabric twisting. Once two sides of the chair are completed repeat with the other two sides. At the corners, pleat and turn in the fabric to make a neat finish.

  9. Drop the new seat into the freshly painted chair.

Here is another piece you might like, go take a look: Stamp your own floral lampshade

Kintsugi: The Glam Rock of Ceramic Repairs

CraftsAmanda Russell
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With its lush floral bouquet and wreaths, when my large blue and white transferware platter broke it was too special to throw away. A while before I was given a Kintsugi repair kit as a gift and my broken platter was the ideal candidate for a trial run of this technique.

The ancient art of Kintsugi, is the glam rock of ceramic repairs. This elegant method of repair was developed by the Japanese who believe a ceramic piece, once repaired is more beautiful than the formerly undamaged piece.

After repair the china will stand up to gentle use, clean by wiping over with a damp cloth. The platter is perfect for a huddle of plants, or to hold a selection of metze dishes or fresh fruit.

While gluing the pieces together an extra pair of helping hands can be useful to maneuver the china into place, particularly if they are large pieces.

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To get hold of your own Kintsugi Kit visit - https://humade.nl

1. Wash the broken china in warm soapy water to remove dirt and grease from the broken edges of the china, rinse and dry.

1. Wash the broken china in warm soapy water to remove dirt and grease from the broken edges of the china, rinse and dry.

2. Using a lolly stick mix together equal parts of the two part quick dry epoxy adhesive.

2. Using a lolly stick mix together equal parts of the two part quick dry epoxy adhesive.

3. Stir a small amount of the gold dust into the adhesive to colour it.

3. Stir a small amount of the gold dust into the adhesive to colour it.

4. Use the lolly stick to spread an even layer of gold adhesive along both broken edges of the china.  5. Wait a minute for the adhesive to start going off before bringing both halves together and then holding together firmly until the adhesive has set. Before the adhesive completely hardens brush over with gold dust.

4. Use the lolly stick to spread an even layer of gold adhesive along both broken edges of the china.

5. Wait a minute for the adhesive to start going off before bringing both halves together and then holding together firmly until the adhesive has set. Before the adhesive completely hardens brush over with gold dust.

6. When the adhesive is completely dry, bring a warm glow the gold adhesive by burnishing gently with a soft cloth.

6. When the adhesive is completely dry, bring a warm glow the gold adhesive by burnishing gently with a soft cloth.

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If you like this post check out my post on Envelope Notebook

Peter Pan Collar Blouse

CraftsAmanda Russell
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With their crisp coolness I cant resist a mans poplin shirt. Here’s a beauty I transformed into a desirable Peter Pan collar blouse, perfect for long hot summer days. Using embroidery scissors and a stitch ripper I unpicked two shirts ready for remodeling, a striped one for the body and white for the collar. I traced the pattern for the shirt and collar from a favourite old blouse I’d had for several years.

You will need:

  • 2 old cotton shirts I for the body of the shirt another for collar

  • thread

  • pins

  • dress making and embroidery scissors

  • measuring tape

  • pencil

  • ruler

  • greaseproof paper for pattern making

  • stitch ripper

Steps:

1.         Cut three bias strips 3cm wide, 60cm long. Open out one of the sleeves, at the widest section make a 45 degree fold.

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2.         Use a pencil to mark 3cm intervals along the fold line, pencil to draw a straight line joining the marks. To make bias strips, cut along the fold line, then along the drawn lines.

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3.         To make long bias strips join strips together.

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4.         Right sides together place 2 strips at 90 degrees to each other, sew to join

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5.         Trim seam and press open.

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6.         The back of the blouse is made from the front button opening of the old shirt. Pin the paper blouse pattern in position with a button at the top of the opening and allow for seam allowances.

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7.         Cut the out front and back section, then sew together at the shoulder.

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8.         Cut four collar pieces from the second shirt and 2 from bondable fabric stiffener. Iron fabric stiffener on the reverse side of two collar pieces. Pin and sew two collar pieces together, repeat with the remaining pieces. Trim the seam and cut notches on the curved seems, turn right sides out and press.

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9.         Pin and tack the collar pieces in place on the neckline. Take a long strip of bias binding, pin and tack along the neck line over the collar edge, sew in place. Trim along sewing line, cutting notches along the curve.

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10.   Fold the bias binding to tuck in the raw edge, fold again and pin and tack, before sewing down.

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11.   Pin and sew bias binding around the armholes.

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12.   Sew the side seems together, neatening edges with zigzag stitch. Finish the arm holes by turning the bias binding to cover raw edge, pin, tack and sew in place. Hem the bottom edge of the shirt, folding up by 2cm and press, then to neaten fold raw edge in on itself. 

Here is another piece you might like, go take a look: Star Light Canvas

Going Backwards to go Forwards: Rediscovering the Joy of Writing with a Fountain Pen

Crafts, Interior, StylingAmanda Russell
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With their generous flow of ink and near instant drying, my addiction to gel pens stretches back over many years. But, I miss using a fountain pen, the right nib brings the feeling it’s possible to write for miles. On a few occasions I have seriously tried to get back into using them, however I felt replacing empty gel pens for cartridges in landfill was neither sustainable nor tackling the root of the problem.

As an interior stylist, the constant flow of ‘bits’ through my life swiftly leads to an ugly build up and an urgent need to declutter. While tacking my accumulations of clutter in the studio, I inevitably uncovered my stash of old fountain pens. The question of what to do with them skated across my mind, closing the box and running away seemed attractive. A jumble of different makes, brings the inconvenient headache of both sourcing and storing a broad selection of refill cartridges, making fountain pens a complicated option to adopt.

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Lining up my cache of pens reminded me of the joy I have using them. Rather than ditching them I felt tackling the problem of keeping them charged with ink was worth one more shot. A recently invaluable discovery is Cult Pens, who stock a wide range of writing supplies and deliver speedily. I had a buzz of excitement as I ordered ink and reservoirs for the pens, a small change was about to become a reality on my journey towards a more sustainable life.

Making the swap back to using a fountain pen feels like a big win. There’s the aesthetic pleasure of holding a pen coupled with the delight of welcoming back an old friend, Waterman’s turquoise ink, in its design icon, quirky shaped bottle, that’s tip able for easy fill. A moment of peaceful reflection is brought to Sunday evening as I round up my pens, ready to fill for the week ahead. And incase of emergencies there’s always a few cartridges in a tin ready waiting in my bag.

If you like this post check out my post on Plastic Free Kitchen

 

Easy, DIY Roman Blind

CraftsAmanda Russell

I couldn’t resist this print fabric and a roman blind is the perfect canvas for showing off the mid century design. Below I show you how to design and make your own really simple roman blind, lets do it right now!

You will need:

  • Pre-corded Roman Blind kit, I used one from John Lewis

  • Pins, needles, thread

  • Dressmaking scissors

  • Fabric, I used Villa Nova fabric

Measure the width and drop of your window for finished blind size. Add 1.5cm to the both sides and 6cm to the length, then cut out the fabric.

Wrong side up turn in the sides, fold the fabric over by 0.5cm and then a further 1cm, pin in place and sew down.

Take the loop tape off the head rail, turn the top of the blind over by 1cm, then pin the loop tape in place 0.5cm below the turn. Sew the loop tape in place along both edges.

To make the pocket for the bar on the lower edge fold the fabric up by 0.5cm then again by 4cm, sew in place.

To find the positions for the rod channels measure the length of the blind then divide into 6. Mark positions for the rod tape on the reverse of the blind, draw a light line from one side to the other.

To calculate the length of the channel tapes add 2cm to the width of the blind measurement then cut the channel tapes. Turn the side of the channel tape in by 1cm then using the lines you drew on the blind sew in position leaving one end of the channel open.

Cut the rods 2cm shorter than the width of the blind, insert into the channel through the opening. Turn in the tape by 1cm then close the opening by sewing onto the side of the blind, repeat for each rod.

Once you’ve made your Roman blind install it following your kit instructions, I used a pre-corded kit from John Lewis.

If you like this post check out my post on Quick Revamp for Drop-in Seat Chair

Must Have Boho Bench

CraftsAmanda Russell

Transform a softwood bench into an on trend luxe padded seat by painting, dying, and a bit of sustainable up-cycling. Currently there are lots of tribal inspired fabrics out there so grab a bit of the action with this gorgeous upholstered bench.

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You will need:

  • Nornas Ikea Bench

  • 2 meters thick wadding

  • Black paint

  • Paint brush

  • Dylon Goldfish Orange machine dye

  • Old velvet curtain

  • Old rug

  • Staple gun

  • Old duvet

  • Sewing machine and thread

  • Scissors

  • Saw

  • Iron and ironing board

  • Invisible marker pen Korbond

Step-by-Step

  1. Following the makers instructions dye the velvet and leave to dry.

  2. Saw off the edges of the bench so that there is no overhang.

  3. Paint the bench black and leave to dry.

  4. Cut a double layer of wadding the size of the bench top plus enough to drape over the edges. Cut away the corners and then staple the wadding to the underside of the bench.

  5. Press the velvet before using. Reverse side up drape the velvet over the bench, leaving enough for a 2cm seam allowance along the bottom edge.

  6. Fold the corners and mark with a pen remove the fabric and sew the corners down, then cut away the excess fabric

  7. Right sides out place the velvet over the wadding covered bench and staple the velvet into position on the underside.

  8. To make the cushion. Cut an old duvet to the size of the bench top.

  9. Cut the rug into two pieces, the size of the bench top plus 1 cm all the way round.

  10. Sew the old duvet round its edge to the wrong side of one piece of rug.

  11. With right sides facing sew the piece of rug with the duvet attached to the other piece of rug. Sew round three and a half sides.

  12. Turn the cover through the correct way and then slip stitch the opening closed.

Tips. To get straight edges when stapling, start from the middle out, staple in the middle of one side and s then staple on the opposite side, then staple from the middle out along one side and repeat with the opposite side, then do the other two sides in the same way.

Here is another piece you might like, go take a look Quick Revamp for Drop-in Seat Chair

Star Light Canvas

CraftsAmanda Russell

As if you need to be reminded of the star you are, who could resist making a bright starry statement like this? A really simple project, with just a couple of halogen lighting chains, a canvas and emulsion paint my glittery star project will brighten up any room.

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You will need-

Emulsion paint

2x Halogen Lighting chain

Paint brush

Paper

Masking tape

Electrical screw driver

Bradawl

1.Paint the canvas with pink matt emulsion paint

2. Draw a large star on a piece of paper then cut out, stick to the reverse of the canvas with a line of masking tape along each straight edge.

3. Work out where you want to have the lights, I had about three along each straight edge and one on each point end.

4. Start making the holes to push the lights through. With one hand supporting the front of the canvas press the bradawl through the masking tape on the reverse and make a pilot hole, next enlarge the hole with the screwdriver, don’t make it too large the light is held in by it. Press the light from the back through the hole to lodge just around the collar of the fitting. Continue round the star with the lights.

5. Hang the canvas up using Command hooks. Do not leave lights on when unattended.

Tip

Before putting the lights into the canvas decide where you want the cables to come out, mine was at the lower edge. I worked out the middle of the total number of light positions on the canvas, this was where I inserted the light at the end of the light chain.

If you like this post check out my post on making your own Christmas decorations 

Turn an old ladder into a contemporary Christmas tree

CraftsAmanda Russell
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I made this picture perfect tree out of an old ladder with near-on zero prep, using a coat of chalk paint to cover ancient paint drips and to create a matte finish.

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You will need-

  • Planed timber
  • Saw
  • Spirit level
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Crown Cloudburst matt emulsion paint, £11.99 for 2.5l, Maxwells DIY
  • Polyvine Chalk Paint Maker,  £11.36, Amazon
  • Paintbrush
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1. Put up the ladder and decide how steep you want the sides of the tree to be; you might have to remove the retaining cord. Mine was quite broad as I wanted to max out on the display area.

2. To make the back leg shelf supports, cut batten from 2.5cm x 5cm planed timber. With the spirit level balanced on the front step, extend the level line and mark where to locate the support batten on the back legs with pencil. Screw the battens in place.

3. These shelves projected 25cm beyond the edge of the step to give extra display space, but you could make yours shorter if you’d like. Decide on the length, then cut each shelf from planed wood. Screw in place on the front steps and back batten.


4. To make the chalk paint, mix 400ml Crown Cloudburst Matt Emulsion with 200ml Polyvine Chalk Paint Maker. Then, with a crosshatch strokes, paint the ladder Christmas tree and let dry before decorating.

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If you like this post check out my funky feather wreath post

Learn to create your own decoupaged hand plates

CraftsAmanda Russell

Who’d of thought charity shop find vintage plates could so easily be transformed into such elegant wall art. A really simple project, you will need an inkjet printer to make the transfer images. I found these gorgeous copyright free eighteenth century wood engraving designs for teaching hand language.

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You will need

Charity shop plates

Inkjet Water slide decal pack clear

Sponge

Acrylic spray

Copy right free images

Scissors

Instructions –   Select the images you want to use. Print them out in a variety of sizes, cut out using scissors then try them for size on the plates.  2. Follow the manufacturer instructions print the images onto decal paper, then spray with acrylic varnish. Apply a couple of coats covering the printing completely to seal, so it doesn’t break up in the water.  3. When the images are completely dry, cut out with scissors keeping close to the edge of the design. To help the images slide onto the plates sponge on a thin layer of water. Put the paper backed image into a bowl of warm water, leave for about 30 secs. Lift the edge of the image off one corner of the paper. Hold the image over the plate, gently curl the backing paper away and slide the image onto the plate. Use the sponge to pat out any bubbles or wrinkles in the image.  4. Leave til dry then mount in place on the wall using Command strips   Credits   Inkjet Water Slide Decal Pack clear: Specialist crafts LTD  Command Strip http: command.3m.co.uk  If you like this post check out my post on  how to turn and old ladder into a contemporary Christmas tree

Instructions –

Select the images you want to use. Print them out in a variety of sizes, cut out using scissors then try them for size on the plates.

2. Follow the manufacturer instructions print the images onto decal paper, then spray with acrylic varnish. Apply a couple of coats covering the printing completely to seal, so it doesn’t break up in the water.

3. When the images are completely dry, cut out with scissors keeping close to the edge of the design. To help the images slide onto the plates sponge on a thin layer of water. Put the paper backed image into a bowl of warm water, leave for about 30 secs. Lift the edge of the image off one corner of the paper. Hold the image over the plate, gently curl the backing paper away and slide the image onto the plate. Use the sponge to pat out any bubbles or wrinkles in the image.

4. Leave til dry then mount in place on the wall using Command strips

Credits

Inkjet Water Slide Decal Pack clear: Specialist crafts LTD

Command Strip http: command.3m.co.uk

If you like this post check out my post on how to turn and old ladder into a contemporary Christmas tree

Make your own Funky Feather Christmas Wreath

CraftsAmanda Russell

Who wouldn’t want this incredibly chic colourful feather wreath to bring bright carnival colour to your room? I show you how to make this unique wreath with the minimum of effort.

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You will need:

Turkey Quills in assorted colours

Polystyrene wreath form

Glue gun

Fishing line

Command Hook

Satay stick

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The secret to the wreath is to put the feathers in at an angle so they completely cover the white polystyrene form. Starting pressing in feathers on the outside edge, first, make a pilot hole in the edge of the wreath with a satay stick, press the feather into the hole, then squeeze on a blob of glue to hold. Add the feathers in staggered layers, about 3cm from the next one. Work from the outside to the inside edge moving, around the wreath with each new layer.

When finished decide which is the top of the wreath and tie around a loop of fishing nylon to invisible suspend the wreath from a removable Command hook.

I used:

Specialist Crafts: 3 packs Turkey Quills in assorted colours £6.17

Specialist Crafts: Polystyrene ring approx £1

If you like this check out my post on how to decoupage you own hand plates

Create your own handmade Christmas decorations

CraftsAmanda Russell

This nifty little project making Christmas decorations, is one for people who have pets using old pet food containers. We are talking about those lightweight aluminium ones with a lip round them.

You will need:  Clean pet food containers  Patterned paper  Ribbon  Wooden picnic spoons  PVA glue  Paintbrush  Acrylic paint  Thin card  Clear sticky tape  Double sided tape  Acrylic paint  Felt tip pens pencil  Scissors   

You will need:

Clean pet food containers

Patterned paper

Ribbon

Wooden picnic spoons

PVA glue

Paintbrush

Acrylic paint

Thin card

Clear sticky tape

Double sided tape

Acrylic paint

Felt tip pens pencil

Scissors

 

Instructions:  First cover the inside of the container with the paper face down. Draw around the edge with a pencil. Take a pencil and extend the sideline of the square.  2. Cut out the paper cross shape. Fold the side arms in to crease the paper. Paint the reverse of the paper with a layer of PVA glue, put the paper into the tray, press the two shorter sides onto the tray, then press out the long sides onto the sides. Along the top edge of the tray cut deep nicks in the paper and wrap the paper over the edge to stick in place.  3. To cover the outside of the tray, take a contrast printed paper. Paper face down draw around the base of the tray, cut out square shape. Measure around the outside of the tray, add 1cm for overlap. Cut a strip of paper the measured length and 3cm wide. Paint with PVA glue then wrap around the tray cutting long nicks in the paper to ease around the curved corners, press the loose strips into place on the base, then glue the square of paper over to cover. Poor glitter onto a plate, paint the front edge of the tray with PVA and dip in glitter.  4. To make the portraits, if you like use scissors to trim the top of the spoon into a hairstyle, then paint the spoons with a base coat of white acrylic paint. While they are drying make the shoulders for the portraits. Cut a strip of thin card slightly narrower than the opening of the tray and about 2cm high, fold in half along the length then glue on printed paper.  5. Use acrylic paint to mix a variety of skin tone colours, paint the spoons. Leave to dry then use felt pens to draw on details. Use sticky tape to attach the portrait onto the shoulders. To keep the portrait in position cut a narrow support strut from thin card about 4cm long, fold in both ends by 1cm, then tape one to the reverse of a portrait. Stick the shoulders to the bottom edge of the tray with double sided tape and tape the end of the support strut to the back of the tray. With the point of the scissors make a hole through the top edge of the tray. Cut a length of ribbon and pass one end through the hole and tape in place.  If you like this check out my post on  making a star light canvas

Instructions:

First cover the inside of the container with the paper face down. Draw around the edge with a pencil. Take a pencil and extend the sideline of the square.

2. Cut out the paper cross shape. Fold the side arms in to crease the paper. Paint the reverse of the paper with a layer of PVA glue, put the paper into the tray, press the two shorter sides onto the tray, then press out the long sides onto the sides. Along the top edge of the tray cut deep nicks in the paper and wrap the paper over the edge to stick in place.

3. To cover the outside of the tray, take a contrast printed paper. Paper face down draw around the base of the tray, cut out square shape. Measure around the outside of the tray, add 1cm for overlap. Cut a strip of paper the measured length and 3cm wide. Paint with PVA glue then wrap around the tray cutting long nicks in the paper to ease around the curved corners, press the loose strips into place on the base, then glue the square of paper over to cover. Poor glitter onto a plate, paint the front edge of the tray with PVA and dip in glitter.

4. To make the portraits, if you like use scissors to trim the top of the spoon into a hairstyle, then paint the spoons with a base coat of white acrylic paint. While they are drying make the shoulders for the portraits. Cut a strip of thin card slightly narrower than the opening of the tray and about 2cm high, fold in half along the length then glue on printed paper.

5. Use acrylic paint to mix a variety of skin tone colours, paint the spoons. Leave to dry then use felt pens to draw on details. Use sticky tape to attach the portrait onto the shoulders. To keep the portrait in position cut a narrow support strut from thin card about 4cm long, fold in both ends by 1cm, then tape one to the reverse of a portrait. Stick the shoulders to the bottom edge of the tray with double sided tape and tape the end of the support strut to the back of the tray. With the point of the scissors make a hole through the top edge of the tray. Cut a length of ribbon and pass one end through the hole and tape in place.

If you like this check out my post on making a star light canvas

How to make Mattisse inspired wall art

CraftsAmanda Russell

Create a bold Matisse inspired fabric wall art. Use simple motifs to make an impactful piece of wall art.

You Will Need

  • Canvas, £8, Hobbycraft
  • Tracing paper
  • Bondaweb £3.90 Akaban
  • Fabric scraps
  • Stapler
  • Pencil, paper and tracing paper
  • Command Strips from £2.70 B&Q

Step-by-step

  1. Place the canvas on a large piece of paper and draw around the edge of the canvas, add 10cm to each side.
  2. Draw your design on the paper and mark each colour. Using the tracing paper trace the shape for each colour.
  3. Iron paper backed Bondaweb to the reverse of fabric scraps. Cut out the shapes, then remove backing paper and iron to bond in position. Use a sewing machine to sew around the edge of the fabric shapes.
  4. Place the fabric image on the canvas and stretch the fabric over the edge, use the stapler to secure the fabric at the back.
  5. Hang on the wall using Command Strips

Tips

  • When stapling the fabric on start from the middle and work towards the outer edge so there are no creases in the fabric
If you liked this post why not read my post on making your own   Bang on Trend Super Easy Picture Shelf

If you liked this post why not read my post on making your own  Bang on Trend Super Easy Picture Shelf

Get Yourself an Asymetric Coffee Table

CraftsAmanda Russell

Have yourself an enviable conversation piece coffee table by transforming a very ordinary coffee table with a new asymmetrical top and a lick of paint.

You Will Need

  • Lisabo Tabe Ikea
  • 20mm MDF 
  • Black and Decker electric jig saw and drill
  • Paint 
  • Varnish
  • Wood filler 
  • Screws
  1. Using the jig saw cut the table top over hang off the table. Draw the shape of the new table top on the MDF. Cut out with the jigsaw. Sand the edges of the table and MDF.
  2. Paint the MDF table top blush and the legs graphite.
  3. Place the MDF table top on the table, drill through the new top into the old top then screw down.
  4. Fill screw holes with two part filler when dry sand and retouch paint.
  5. When dry paint the whole table with quick dry

Tip

  • This table gives lots of space for styling a table scape, I love the zingy saffron I chose. For a new look, change your styling accessories with the season.

If you like this post why not check out my post on Stamping your own Floral Lampshade

Stamp your own floral lampshade

CraftsAmanda Russell

I love simple bold classic 60s florals and designed a print in a bright vibrant green for a large lampshade. This is a very simple way to create your own bespoke piece of designer homeware.

You will already have many of the things you need for this low-tech hand printing project and there are only a couple of specialize products you will need.

You will need:

  • Plain drum lampshade 
  • Dylon fabric paints in Green and Yellow from
  • Acrylic block
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Rubber
  • Masking tape
  • Glue stick
  • Hobby foam sheet
  • Car wash sponge
  • Scissors
  • OHP pen (overhead projector pen)
  • Masking tape

Step by Step

  1. Measure the lampshade and draw a design to fit, then trace onto tracing paper. Use a permanent OHP pen to mark the center back of the acrylic block. Place the design under the acrylic block and trace onto the reverse side of the block with the OHP pen.
  2. To transfer the image onto the foam sheet, place the tracing paper design face down on foam, and then scribble over the back with a soft pencil.
  3. Cut out your design from the foam sheet using scissors and a craft knife. Stick the cut out pieces in position on the acrylic block using a glue stick.
  4. Place a line of masking tape around the top and bottom edges of the lampshade.
  5. Mix up your fabric-printing colour, I made a lime green by mixing the yellow with the green about half a pot for this design. For the fabric paint applicator cut a piece 3cm cubed from the car wash sponge. Dab one side of the foam in the fabric paint until it is evenly coated. Then dab the fabric paint onto the design block and print on paper to check colour.
  6. Start printing onto the lampshade, beginning at the seam, reloading the block with paint after each impression.

Tip

  • Transparent acrylic blocks take the headache out of positioning the block especially when printing repeat designs.

If you like this blog post why not read my post on Creating a Retro Tiled Coffee Table

Bang on Trend Super Easy Picture Shelf

CraftsAmanda Russell

Have you ever marvelled at curated collections of pictures and wondered how you can move them about without damaging your walls? This great little picture shelf is the answer, use it to display your own curated collection of pictures, it’s easy to move them around again and again whenever you want to change the look.

You Will Need

  • Wood strip and beading
  • Brass picture hooks
  • White matt emulsion paint
  • Electric Drill Black and Decker
  • Rawl plugless screws
  • Panel pins
  1. Measure the wood strip and beading and use a saw to cut both pieces of wood to the same length.
  2. Place the beading strip in the centre of the wood strip.
  3. Hammer in position using panel pins.
  4. Paint with white emulsion.
  5. Screw the brass picture hooks on the back edge.
  6. Mark and drill holes for screws on the wall, then screw the shelf in place.

Tip

  • Paint the shelf with the same colour as the walls so it blends into the room

If you like this post why not take a look at How to create your own vintage letter

Turn a wine box into a great shelf

CraftsAmanda Russell

Turn an old wooden wine box into a shelf by painting, wallpapering and adding screw holders at the side to attach it to the wall. I chose a lovely blue paint and wallpaper from Mini moderns, one roll will go along way and that means that you can cover files, books and other shelves too.

You will need –

  • Wooden Wine box
  • Minimoderns Emulsion paint lido £5.00
  • Paint brush
  • Minimoderns wallpaper Darjeeling £50
  • PVA glue
  • Scissors
  • Picture frame brackets Homebase
  • Screw Driver
  • Electric drill black and decker
  • Masonary screws
  1. Paint the exterior of the box with emulsion paint.
  2. Mix pva with a little water to the consistency of double cream and paint the inside of the box to seal.
  3. When dry measure and cut wall paper to size. Paint the reverse of the paper pieces and insides of the box with let down pva.
  4. Press the paper in place rubbing down any stubborn bubbles.
  5. When dry screw picture frame brackets to the side, then screw to the wall.

Tip

  • Wood can be very absorbent and suck up paint, to get an even coat first paint the box with emulsion which has been let down with a little water.

If you like this blog post make sure you read my list on creating your own Designer Work Station 

Upcycled Pallet Coffee Table

CraftsAmanda Russell

I'm in love with this pallet coffee table. Not the the best at being tidy and I do like space to style up, this helps with both! Loads of storage space under the top to slide in shallow boxes and lots more on top for books and plants. 

You will need:

  • -Two wood pallets
  • Surform
  • Emulsion paint
  • Scumble glaze
  • Bucket
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Four castor wheels
  • Basket trays
  1. Carefully remove the long slats from one of your pallets, then screw them onto the base of the other to make support for the drawers to sit on..
  2. Using a surform (a tool similar to a cheese grater) remove any loose bits of wood from the pallet surface, edges and underside.
  3. In a bucket, mix 100ml of scumble glaze with 400ml of emulsion paint, add a little water to thin the glaze. Brush onto the wood. I chose white to give a white-washed look.
  4. Turn your coffee table upside-down and screw a wheel to each corner. Finally slide storage boxes into the gaps under the top.

If you like this post make sure you check out my post on Printing your own Labels

Create Your Own Gorgeous Vintage Letter

CraftsAmanda Russell

How often have you longed for a trendy battered statement vintage letter? I show you how to create your own for a fraction of the cost.

You will need:

  • White foam board
  • Pencil
  • Steel ruler
  • Glue gun
  • Paintbrush
  • Metallic emulsion
  • Cellulose sponge
  • Dulux Matt Emulsion Caribbean Coral
  • Craft knife
  1. This letter is 30cm high and 7cm deep, for an easy job be sure to choose a letter without curves! Draw up the letter on white foam board then cut out using the steel ruler and craft knife.
  2. To make the walls of the letter cut strips to the length of each side and 7 cm high. Glue in place with the glue gun.
  3. Paint all surfaces with emulsion, then leave to dry. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the metallic emulsion paint into a shallow dish. Stir in a few drops of water to thin paint to the thickness of pouring cream.
  4. Tear off a section of sponge, 8cm square and immerse in the paint, remove and wring out excess paint. Dab the sponge on all the surfaces of the letter, making sure you get into the corners. Leave it to dry, then even up the finish by going over with a second coat of paint.

Tip

  • Make this a really thrifty project and use paint left over from another project or buy a match pot of your chosen colour.

If you like this post make sure you check out my post on how to make your own cushion cove