Thursday, 24 April 2014

How to....

 ...refresh and transform worn brass hardware

My bedroom makeover is coming on in leaps and bounds this week!
The floor is almost finished painted, and I cant wait to share it with you! But whilst I finish, I thought I'd share this simple trick!
We have a door in our bedroom that leads up to the loft, and I have repainted it to freshen it up. But the old brass door-knob was looking  a little worse for wear! Covered in paint around the base and scratched and worn on the top.
Ideally I would've liked to invest in a new one, but as we are on a tight budget, I decided to give it a little make-over!
I unscrewed it from the door, then placed the paint-coated base in a bowl of white spirit to loosen the paint...
I left it to soak for a couple of hours.
Then, using a scalpel, I gently scraped off most of the paint...
Then I used an old toothbrush to scrub off the remaining paint. It came off easily!!
Next up, I got out my trusted tube of "Rub'n'buff" to refresh the metallic finish on the knob with.
This metallic wax is an excellent thing to have in the house, as it has so many uses!
I got this tube almost a year ago when I used it to gild a mirror frame (See the post here)
Mine is in "antique gold" (which has turned out to be a very useful finish), but Rub'n'buff comes in all sorts of metallic finishes!
And one tube lasts "forever"!
(This is not a sponsored post, I just love "Rub'n'buff")
As the name suggests, you simply rub it on...
(I like using my fingers, but you can also paint it on with a brush)
...until you've covered the entire knob...taking extra care to cover where there is damage to the metal finish!
...After leaving it for about 10-20 minutes to "set", gently buff it up with an old rag to restore the shine...
The repair job is done, and the old brass knob has got a new shiny finish!!
Sorry If some of these photos are a bit hazy, but I accidentally dropped my phone in the sink just prior to doing this , and some damp on the lens developed....(Like I would ever do that on purpose) Doh!!
Anyway....You can just leave it as it is at this stage, but I sealed the finish with a light coat of Clear acrylic lacquer for extra protection... 
You can even use a bit of the "rub'n'buff" to match up the screw heads...
A definite improvement, don't you think??

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


 ....My pick of the best...

(or " My wish list")

AAAAh! Easter is all over and packed away! We've had a great time, but it is going to be so nice to get back to normality again tomorrow! With Little Miss Moo back at school I can get back to finishing Our bedroom makeover!
There is still a few BIG jobs left to do, like wood panelling the wall behind the bed and painting the wooden floor (Blog posts coming!!)  but I am hoping to have it all wrapped up in the next couple of weeks!
Whilst I get cracking with the jobs ahead, I thought I'd share these amazing Origami style light shades...This is the style I have in mind for our bedroom ceiling light!
We had actually planned to use a beautiful chandelier that I bought in Norway last summer, but realised that our ceilings are too low , so that's gone on e-bay (together with a bunch of other stuff) to fund the new ceiling light...
I love the way my DIY origami shade has a soft glow, and think something similar will be perfect for our new look bedroom...
Depending on how much money we can raise, these are the options I have narrowed it down to:
 From the high end (probably unattainably expensive as I cant even find a price for these, but I can always dream...) designer option:
Brass Origami style pendants from Swedish designer Lukas Dahlen
.....To this funky mid range alternative:

"make a wish" origami shade in satin copper card from werkdepot,  £66,63
Or my current favourite: 

"chestnut" origami lampshade in paper from studio snow puppe, £80.13
I just love how Snow puppe's origami shades looks just as beautiful inside as they do on the outside...
Here's another, slightly cheaper option from them:

 the "moth" origami shade from studio snow puppe , £53.14
Perfect for over the bed, as you can lay down and gaze up into the shade... don't you think??
If we cant quite raise enough for one of these, here's some cheaper alternatives:
The Urban Origami shade in PVC from Dunelm mills at under £20...
...Or this:
Paper "pumpkin" origami shade from TwReborn1 at £27.47 (which may even be a DIY-able option...?)
So whilst I work up a sweat, finishing our bedroom over the next weeks, I am hoping my old stuff will make some ££'s so I can get one of these beauties!!
I have a few DIY's lined up for you all over the next couple of weeks as well, so keep popping by to have a look!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Egg vase....



When I spotted these DIY egg vases on the Instagram-gallery of hundrafyrtioettan, I knew I had to have a go myself...
Perfect for Easter, they look like giant eggshells that you can fill with daffodils, and so easy to make, I had to share...
 All you need is balloons, water and plaster bandage.
 (Paper Mache would probably do the same trick, but the advantage of using plaster bandage is that it cures faster and is fire proof should you want to stick a candle in them instead of flowers...) 
Fill the balloon with water then blow it up to the size you want.(The water is just to weigh it down..)
Wet your plaster bandage (as demonstrated by my assistant , Little Miss Moo, in the picture above..)
Smooth it onto your balloon, until you've covered it, leaving a gap at the top (Obviously!!!)
Leave to dry and cure for 1-2 hours.
Pop the balloon (Upside down over a sink)...and voila!! 
Place some potted daffodils inside for a perfect Easter display...
What do you think?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Easter crackers....


I spent this morning making these fun Easter crackers for our Easter breakfast table, and I just love how they've turned out!
They are really easy to make, I will show you how:


Use your empty toilet rolls to create the shell of the crackers, and use any napkins, tissues or gift wrap you have to decorate with... There's two other things you will need for this make, the first is THE CRACKER SNAPS...I ordered mine from here
Second, You will need to cut some A4 paper to create those neat cracker ends...I have done the hard work for you and measured out where to cut the paper to fit an average toilet roll:
 I have created this template for you, to make the first step easier:
Cracker, save to your computer and print


First, use a scalpel to cut out the diamonds on the template..
If your toilet roll is extra large, you may have to elongate the diamond shape...

 Step 2

Attach the template to the toilet roll with double sided tape (Or you could use glue, but tape is less messy). The cut out diamond shapes should sit outside the edges of the toilet roll.


Cut a piece of tissue paper, or napkin to fit, about 2-3cm over the edges of the ends of the toilet roll.
Roll it on and secure in place with some double sided tape.
Use some string to tie off one end of the cracker....
Trim off any excess paper.



Place the cracker pull inside, then fill with treats...I chose little Easter stickers, Little chicks and chocolate eggs...
Tie off this end of your cracker as well...


Why not make your crackers extra special and fun for the kids by drawing on little faces and attaching bunny ears or beaks and feathers...

Create some funny characters...get the kids involved!!


I just love the little characters...

And they will look great at the Easter morning breakfast table... 

Cute...don't you think?
I love Easter: Its all about spring, colours, sunshine , good food and lazy days...
In Norway everyone heads to their cabins in the mountains for a spot of skiing...
I do miss those Norwegian Easter traditions her in the UK, but I guess we'll have to create our own....
....and I think I have just found one we can easily do every year...Our very own homemade Easter crackers....


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Easter wish list....

Instantly downloadable artwork from OfCarola

Y for a touch of yellow

Easter is right around the corner....
I'm not sure about you, but Easter always takes me by surprise....every year!
Yesterday I dug out our box of Easter decorations, and realised that bar a few Easter eggs and some feathers, we haven't got a lot to set the mood...
There is no denying the Yellow is THE colour of Easter, and I haven't been a big fan in the past...But I spent last night window shopping online for a few Easter-y décor updates for the home, and I have curated this Seasonal Home accessories collage I just had to share with you all today:
I admit, the subtle touches of yellow has won me over!

1.Yellow linen table cloth from H&M for the Easter breakfast table
2.Remix blanket  from Ferm living for cosy-ing up on the sofa..
3. Set of 3 Normal ceramic easter egg decorations by Lindsay interiors from not on the high street for decoration
4.Large glass vase from House Doctor to display some pussy willow twigs and some daffodils..
5.Hare rabbit head wall trophy   by Clive Roddy from Not on the high street , just because....
6.Little geometry cushion from Ferm living to brighten up the front room.
7. Carla coffee cups and saucers from Bloomingville...I just adore this patterned table ware range!
8.Hexa glazed yellow stoneware bowl from Habitat, for all those Easter treats...
9.Set of 4 Abode egg cups by Mengsel (One of my favourite print makers) for Not on the high street, for the Easter morning breakfast table...
Now, if only I had the money....
I will be back soon with a fun DIY for the Easter breakfast table...

Monday, 7 April 2014

Concrete vase DIY...

....from a plastic bottle.

I am back!
Feels like I've been on blogging holiday for ever, not just 1 week...but now I'm back!
I have lots to tell you all about, like the furniture painting commissions I have been doing and Our bedroom  makeover progress, amongst other things... But just to ease myself back into it, I wanted to share another quick little concrete project tutorial with you today...
This one all starts with a plastic bottle...
When my mum and dad went back to Norway last week, they left behind this beautiful faceted plastic water bottle...(That's how my mind works...see beauty in everything!!)
I immediately knew what to do with it!!
I'd seen Ben Ueyda''s concrete bottle vases a few weeks ago, and knew that the shape of this humble plastic bottle would make a fantastic concrete vase...
This is so easy to do, so keep your eyes peeled for lovely shaped bottles next time you are shopping, and you can make your very own concrete vase...
Here's how:

You will need:
Plastic bottle
Quick setting concrete mix
mixing vessel/ mixing stick
dinner candle (or anything else you may have to create a long tubular cavity in your vase, such as a thick pen...)
Marker pen
The first thing to do is to work out how much concrete mix you will need, and to what level you want to fill your bottle:
The easiest way to work this out, is to fill your bottle with water, then push  the candle into the bottle through the top....add or remove water until you are happy that the level in the bottle will work for your vase...Remove the candle, and mark the level of the water off with the marker pen on the bottle...Now you have determined the volume of the cavity left by the candle, and to where you want to fill the bottle with the concrete mix.
TIP: Use approximately half of the water left in the bottle to mix up the concrete for a "governors geige" (A decent estimation of how much you will need to mix up to fill the volume)...
1. Mix up the concrete...not too thick, just runny enough to pour into the bottle. Pour it into the bottle and tap a few times to get rid of any air bubbles in the mix...
2. Push the candle in, and leave to set.
TIP: Try to twist the candle out when the concrete has just set, but don't worry if you don't catch it in time...
3. When the concrete has fully set (approx. 1-2 hours), use your scalpel to cut the top off the bottle...
4. Rip off the plastic bottle.
5. Leave your concrete vase to cure for a couple of hours.

If, like me, you didn't manage to twist the candle out in time, simply light the candle and let it burn down...Use the hot liquid wax to coat the inside of your vase to water-proof the cavity..
This worked for me, but if you find that the flame keeps going out towards the bottom, use a knife to cut out the remnants of the wax, and coat the inside with PVA to waterproof instead...
Sand back any rough edges on the top of your vase...

...and there you have it: A concrete vase, perfect for displaying a single flower...make more than one and group together, or you can always just stick a candle in it instead...
Not only is it a unique and unusual item of home décor....that you have made yourself, but you have also re-used a throwaway item, a humble plastic bottle, to make something that will last a lifetime!!
So next time your recycling bin is full of empty plastic bottles, pick up a bag of concrete (about £5) and make some vases or candlesticks, before taking all that plastic to the dump!