Soul Food Studio


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.


You will need-

Emulsion paint

2x Halogen Lighting chain

Paint brush


Masking tape

Electrical screw driver


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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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

Unique Space Saving Ladder Plant Stand

CraftsAmanda Russell

Have you noticed the great plant invasion in every interior recently? They can take over all your surfaces so here's a project for a handy ladder plant stand that makes a gorgeous tired indoor garden. Use it to grow plants on as well as herbs for the kitchen. With bags of handy storage you can't help but make space for it in your life.

You will need:

  • Saw
  • Screws
  • Black and Decker drill and jig saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Dulux Matt Emulsion paint
  • Spirit level
  • Scrap wood selection for shelves and battens
  1. I used all my scrap wood for this project, a couple of old boards for the shelves and stripwood in a variety of dimensions for the supports. It was a very mixed bag of scraps so to start with I painted the ladder and all the wood with emulsion for a uniform colour.
  2. To make the ladder lean against the wall you need to adjust the back legs. Put up the ladder, then lean the back legs against a wall so they are perpendicular to the floor. Hold in position, this will raise the front legs off the floor. Measure the distance between the floor and the front legs. Measure and cut this amount off the back legs, now the ladder will hold its position against the wall.
  3. Next add battens on the back legs for shelf supports. Place the spirit level on the bottom step, then use a pencil to mark the position on the back legs. Measure the distance between the back legs, cut a batten from strip wood and screw in place. Repeat for the remaining steps.
  4. Measure for shelves then cut  wood to length. Screw each shelf in place on the step and batten. Touch up the ladder shelves with emulsion.


Emulsion paint is quick and easy to use, surfaces need minimal preparation, it gives great cover and the brushes are easy to wash clean.

If you liked this post check out my blog post on how to make a retro tiled coffee table 

Designer Work Station

CraftsAmanda Russell

I'm always designing and making at Soulfood Studio and I wanted a worktable I could stand at for designing and cutting out projects. I love this faux bois budget station, it gives me everything I wanted, loads of style, a big worktable packed with extra storage. It was super easy to make combining readily accessible Billy bookcases and a flush door, the project is pulled together using an easy bang on trend faux bois paint finish.

You will need:

  • 4x Billy bookcase
  • Flush door
  • Emulsion paint
  • Varnish
  • Universal primer
  • Roller and tray
  • Masking tape
  • Kitchen roll
  • Paint brush
  • Paint kettle
  • Bucket
  • Measuring jug
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Graining Rocker and Combination comb available online
  1. Follow the instructions that come with the Billy bookcases to assemble the four worktable supports. To make the bookcases boxier, we cut the lower skirting section off at the base with a saw, making the bottom shelf flush with the floor.
  2. Paint the bookcases, shelves and door with primer suitable for melamine, and then use a roller to apply two coats of the white emulsion.
  3. Paint lining paper with white emulsion so you can practice the faux bois graining technique. For the graining glaze mix together 1lt orange emulsion with 1lt acrylic scumble glaze. Paint a generous coat of glaze onto the lining paper. Take the graining rocker and pull through the glaze using a rocking motion to create the wood grain design. When you are happy with your paper practices start graining the furniture surfaces.
  4. To get varied woody effects, try using different rocking speeds and for simple graining use the combination comb dragged through the glaze. For best results be generous when applying the glaze and work quickly. To work the glaze while it stays open paint and grain in small sections, brush the glaze on in stripes the width of the graining rocker. After each pass clean off graining tools with kitchen roll. Don’t forget to paint the edges of the shelves and table top, glaze and run the comb over it.
  5. When all the furniture surfaces are faux bois grained, leave to dry thoroughly for a couple of days, to protect the surfaces apply varnish before assembling the furniture. To make the structure more secure use a very strong wood adhesive product, cutting out the need for nails and screws,

If you like this post check out my post on Styling with plants