DIY Decorate: Lacey Lampshade

DIY Lacey LampshadeWhen it comes to decorating the bedroom always falls by the way side as it’s not a public room in your house. You always want to get your living room and kitchen in order first and then something else crops up so you always push back doing up the bedroom. So I am determined to bring a bit more life into our drab bedroom and to start off I made an impacting lacey lampshade to set a romantic tone for relaxation and comfort. I have seen a lot of people on pinterest make these white chandelier type shades but most were made using waxed paper rather then the lace I used. I wanted lace because I already have lots of it ( thrifty as always) and it is very romantic, light and serene. Plus a mini disclaimer that my room is not green I just really want to paint it that when it’s done but for now we have to live with this horrible peach and gross border. Sorry for the terrible photo shop. lol.

DIY lampshade before and afterYou will need: Lots and lots of lace, square of cardboard just larger then a dinner plate, white thread, hot glue gun, white string

1. First you need to cut lots and lots of lace circles a little smaller then a jam jar, I would estimate about 400. That sounds a lot but they don’t take long to make when you fold over several pieces of the lace and cut from there.

2. Stitch the lace pieces together with a straight stitch on the sewing machine and make sure you leave a long piece of thread at the end of each piece. For the centre piece you will need approximately 10 with a length of 10 circles, 20 with a length of 8 circles, 30 with a length of 5 circles.

3. You will then need to cut your hoops for the frame. Make 3 different sizes with each 1.5cm width, 1 a dinner plate, 1 a side plate and 1 slightly smaller. The smallest one you need to make sure it is bigger then the bulb in your lamp fitting so that it is not touching otherwise it might burn while on.

DIY lampshade step by step

4. When you have the hoops cover them by using strips of lace and wrap around securing each piece with a little hot glue.

5. Once you have the hoops and lace lengths you can construct the shade. Use 4 equal pieces of thick thread or string to attach the smallest hoop to the medium hoop and then 4 more from the medium to the largest hoop. You want to position then at the middle points around the hoop, like north, south, east and west.

6. You can then attach the lacey lengths. Start with the smallest hoop and attach the lengths of 10 till full. The medium hoop attach the lengths of 8. The largest hoop add the lengths of 5. Flip the lampshade the other way around and your are almost done

7. Use the string or thick thread to attach the largest hoop to the light fixture. The lampshade is quite light so its should hold in place and not sag. You want to have it attached far up into the light fitting so the bulb is encased within the smallest of the hoops.

DIY lampshade romantic bed lookThere we have it! I love the way it floats when the window is open and how stunning it looks as a feature piece. My only wish would be that it was a little darker in the room when the light is on but it still looks fabulous. Hopefully get cracking on the rest of the room to make it more friendly and relaxing.

Lorna

x xxx

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DIY Thread Spool Holder

Beautiful Spool HolderI really enjoy when I have wanted or needed something for my house for ages (but time, money or more important things get in the way of getting it) and then suddenly pops into my head, ‘OH I can make that’. It normally happens as all great things do when your not thinking about it and you come across an item or an idea and you go ‘Hey I’ve got it!’. Such a think happened this weekend when I needed a nail to hang a picture up and while rummaging through my nail/hardware junk tin I came across some very long nails which my dad had given me in his own tool box clear out. It suddenly clicked they would be the perfect size to fit thread spools on and I since I had wanted/needed a spool holder everything else came together in my head. The result my wonderful DIY thread holder which I made completely for free. yay!

You will need: A long piece of cardboard with a width that will fit the amount of spools you want, masking tape, fabric that will cover the cardboard, long nails (as many as you want spools), a hammer, sewing machine or needle and thread

spool holder cardboard1. Fold the the long piece of card board over several times so you get a rectangular piece with several layers of cardboard and then secure it with masking tape.

2. Take the fabric you want to cover it in and cut it to size. You want it to go around the cardboard shape covering back and front with enough space around the sides for a seam. Sew a seam around three sides  (or two if you have folded it over) with the right sides of the fabric facing. Turn the right way round and slip the cardboard into the pocket you’ve made, like a pillow into a pillowcase

spool holder cover3. You can finish the open edge by stitching a straight line across the the top with the excess fabric folded either in on it’s self or round to the back. As I had quite slippery material I used masking tape to secure it first (strong enough to hold in place but never damages fabric)

4. Measure out where you want to put your nails and mark them on the side of the cardboard you want to be at the front. You can mark with pen to make it clear as you will be driving the nails through the fabric so you won’t see the marks.

Spool holder with nails in 5. Place a nail one at a time on it’s mark and drive it through the fabric and cardboard until it reaches the other side but doesn’t go through the cardboard at the back. You want to drive each nail through at an angle, between 35-45 degrees to vertical so the spools don’t slip off. It’s also a good idea to do the hammering on top of a surface that won’t get damaged like a cutting board or another piece of cardboard.

6. The fabric will be pulled into the cardboard by the nail so to create a neat finish slowly pull it out  along the nail so it sits against the cardboard once more

spool holder up right7. You are then ready to use it. You can either lay it flat on a table or store on a shelf, or you can mount it on the wall. I will mount it eventually but I want to get the right positioning before I start nailing anything into my walls. To mount it I would probably use some smaller nails or pins that I could drive into the back of the holder, wrap string around them and make it like a picture frame. I would then use a standard picture hook to hang it.

spool holder with sewing machine

I love that I will now have easy access to my most used threads and they won’t sit in a box getting tangled up. I like the bright fabric I used, an of cut from a skirt I made a few years ago, which will brighten up my craft room walls when I hang it up. Have you ever had a project you just didn’t know how to do and it revealed itself in a flash of genius? or are you still looking for inspiration?

Lorna

x xxx

DIY Notice board

notice board in placeAs part of my January Cure challenge I had to sort out our entry way and create a landing strip. We use the back door that leads into the kitchen as our entry way as the front door leads only to the living room door and the stairs so no place to store coats, shoes etc. We keep coats in a little cupboard in the kitchen which is under our stairs (also houses our meters and surplus dried foods). There isn’t much space elsewhere and we have our kitchen table immediately there as you enter our home but I found a brilliant simple shoe cabinet from IKEA that fits a perfect gap between the doorway and table. It means we can take our shoes off at the door and not drag dirt into the house. The cabinet top makes a great place to keep papers, pens and important info for the house on but it kept on getting very cluttered and turned into a dumping area. So to resolve this I made the notice board I had into a catch all board to take clutter off the surface but keep the info and stationary we need close at hand. It also looks a lot neater and prettier then a plain cork board too.

noticeboard placementYou will need: A notice board, Fabric to cover the board and extra for pockets, scissors, sewing machine or needle and thread and a staple gun

I collected all of the items that were lingering on and around the board and sorted into keep, chuck or move to another room. I then decided how I wanted to store the items I was keeping on the board. I wanted three pockets, one for stationary, one for important mail and one for coupons/vouchers plus I wanted to add a calendar to it. I measured the noticeboard against my chosen fabric (some off cuts from some old curtains) and measured out my pockets, then marked and pinned where I wanted them to go on the main fabric piece. I sewed the pockets down using a decorative zig zag stitch but you can use a needle and thread if you don’t have a machine. I was lucky in that my fabric for the pockets already has a neatly stitched hem, making the pocket opening very neat. You can do this too by first sewing a hem before you attach the pockets to the main fabric piece.notice board pockets

I then stretched the fabric around the notice board on one side, rolled the edge over to make a neat finish then stapled the fabric in place. I then stretched the fabric to the other side and repeated the process. Do this on all four sides to complete. Always stretch and staple the opposite corners to the staple before and you should get a nice smooth finish. I then just propped it back on the shoe cabinet and added the essentials I needed. I also drove a pin nail through the cork for somewhere to hang my calendar.

notice board complete

It definitely makes the place look neater and keeps things in order. I also added the word art our friend James gave us as a house warming present, great inspiration for when you leave and come home.

I can I will I did

Lorna

x xxx

Simple Christmas: Festive Tree Skirt

a very pretty eco treeIf you saw my cardboard Christmas tree tutorial you would have seen I had to prop the tree up and keep it stable by using some books. It looks kinda cool but I wanted it to look more like a traditional tree so I made a skirt to cover the base up. The design is super simple and you can jazz it up however you like to fit in with your colour scheme. You will need a square of fabric or felt and scissors. If you are doing a slightly fancier one you might need a needle and thread or your sewing machine to decorate and finish the fabric.

skirt pattern1. If you want a quick no sew skirt use a piece of felt as it wont fray. I used a piece of cotton so you can see the extra steps. You want the fabric big enough to cover the bucket your tree is in or the base of books if you’ve gone for a cardboard creation

2. Fold the square into quarters, cut the bottom edge into a curve and cut a smaller curve into the top edge to allow space for the trunk. If you’ve ever made a circle skirt its exactly the same pattern

3. Unfold the fabric and you should have a circle with a hole in the centre. Use one of  your fold lines to cut from the bottom to the centre hole so you can wrap it around your tree trunk.

Skirt cut4. If you have made it in felt you can simply leave it as it is. For most other fabrics you’ll need to hem the bottom, top and cut edge of the skirt. You can do this by hand with a needle and thread or sewing machine

skirt complete

Its up to you how you decorate it, I have kept mine plain with a decorative stich for the bottom and added a little bit of lace at the top. You could create a whole scene using embroidery or applique and you could even making from lots of different fabrics for a unique look. I’ve stuck to a plain red as I wanted to keep it simple and blend in with the surroundings as I already have an unusual tree.

Happy Holidays

Lorna

X xxx

Simple Christmas: A Simple Star

star atop a treeI needed a topper for my tree and one that was thrifty and eco friendly, so I returned to my old friend the toilet roll. This is a quick tutorial of how to make a golden star to sit atop your tree. You will need a toilet roll or a cut down kitchen roll, a piece of cardboard, craft knife, glue or masking tape, gold spray paint and a star template ( or draw your own)

1. Use your template to draw the star on to your piece of cardboard. I made a template on the computer by using four diamonds to make the classic nativity shaped star

2. Use a craft knife to carefully cut out the starstar and template

3. Spray paint the front of the star

4. Glue or tape the toilet roll on to the back of the star and at the bottom. Spray paint the back of the star including the toilet roll to make a neat finish

star with toilet roll attached star back painted

a very pretty eco tree 

5. Pop on the tree and admire your work

I love this simple star for my glorious little tree. Its bright and bold but nice and traditional. If your tree is lacking something special still then this is the perfect little DIY to finish off with the Christmas decorating

Lorna

X xxx

 

Simple Christmas: Yarn Tinsel

The first decoration I’ve made this year is a easy but quite a time consuming craft called finger knitting. I learnt it off a video on design sponge and it creates a very long garland like tinsel. You can use any wool or ribbon but the thicker the better to get a fuller looking garland. I used some thick mustard yarn which I had taken off a scarf/poncho thing and tied each bit together to form a long string, it is easier however with one long continuous piece. It takes quite a while to make a substantial garland so this is perfect to snuggle under a blanket on the couch and watch several Christmas films! Thanks go to my wonderful mother in law for allowing me use of her hands to show you how to do it :D

point 11. Tie one end of the yarn to your thumb on your non dominant hand, doesn’t have to be tight as you will be taking it off soon. Have your palm facing you.

point 22. Weave the yarn through your fingers by going over your forefinger first, then under the middle, over the ring and under the pinkie, then come back to the thumb by going around and over the pinkie, under the ring, over the middle and under the fore.

Point 33. You will now have a complete line across your fingers. Repeat step 2 so that you have  two lines across your fingers

point 4 completed point 44. Now take the bottom line on each finger and pull it over the top one and over the tip of your finger, so you only have one line. At this point it does feel like you’ve cocked it up but you haven’t. To do the one on your forefinger, untie your thumb and place the lose thread towards the back of your hand and pull over the bottom thread. It will look weird but you will later use it to tie off the bottom of the garland.

5. Now repeat the weaving process again so you once again have two lines and then bring the bottom line over the top again. This is basically the process and you keep doing this till you have the length you require.

point 6 several lines off the fingers6. At first you will just have an ugly clump of yarn at the back of your hand, every now and again pull the bottom, i.e. where you started, to stretch the garland out and eventually it will start to look how it should .

Christmas tree partial decoratedI really love this decoration as a more homely and warm alternative to tinsel. I’m not adverse to a bit of glitter but I like that this isn’t made from plastic and I finally found a use for that yarn I’d been hording. The perfect craft to do whilst watching a few cracking Christmas movies

Lorna

x xxx

 

Simple Christmas: Cardboard Tree

Christmas tree with the lights onI love Christmas trees but I know there is a lot of environmental and consumerist issues about their purchase however I’m not going to get into that at the moment. As an alternative this year and since money is tight I am opting to make my tree from huge pieces of cardboard some of our new furniture was packaged in. It was really easy to make and I had ever needed to create it so it didn’t cost me anything. The only things you need are two large pieces of cardboard but you can opt for a smaller tree of course, a pencil, a Stanley or craft knife, masking tape and spray paint in the colour of your choice, I opted for classic green. The thicker the cardboard the better as it will make it more substantial and remember that any ornaments you put on it must be on the lighter side. I have to say that it didn’t turn out perfect as I had fairly flimsy cardboard, but I managed to stabilise the tree with some heavy books around the base and later in the week I will show you how to make a tree skirt to cover them up and make the tree more festive.

cardboard christmas tree outline1. Draw your tree design on to the two pieces of cardboard. I made very straight designs so the trees branches would be strong and stable to put ornaments on. the branches are definitely the strongest part of the tree.

2 Use a craft knife to cut around the outline of both your tree parts. This takes a long time btw.

3. Cut a slit through the middle of the ‘trunk’ on each piece about half way up/down. On one piece you want the slit going from the bottom up and on the other from the top down.

cardboard christmas tree

4. Spray paint the tree in the desired colour, using paper or more cardboard to protect your paint area. This is best to do outside or in a very well ventilated area.

5. Slot the tree pieces together. This is where it got tricky for me as the base was quite floppy. I used masking tape to secure the pieces. A piece of tape around the top of the tree to keep it together and then used the tape lengthways to stick the pieces together where they meet in the middle. Keep taping till secure.

christmas tree painted6. Spray paint the fully constructed tree again, this will hide the masking tape and give a better finish to the tree.

7. I used books around the four corners of the base to keep the tree upright and give it strength.

8. DECORATE! bare in mind the weight of each ornament and don’t over load the tree.Christmas tree partial decorated

Its one of my favourite ways I’ve upcycled cardboard and is a very green Christmas tree in more ways then one. I just need a few more decorations to make it feel extra Christmassy, my next few posts will show you how to create the yellow garland that is draped around the tree, a star for the top and a skirt for the bottom. What do you think? feeling festive?

Lorna

x xxx

 

15 uses: A plastic Christmas

Plastic is incredibly bad for the environment, to produce it and when it’s thrown away. I sometimes imagine the whole world choking under a blanket of plastic, which isn’t too far from the truth since thousands of animals, if not millions, are killed by tossed away plastic each year normally through strangulation or choking. There are lots of environmental programmes out there at the moment that are attempting to find ways to replace plastic with an eco alternative, I recently heard about one using a type of fungi. For the most part however plastic is here to stay so we need to make sure we dispose of it responsibly or better yet not at all and make it in to sometime useful again. So here is my little collection of upcycling plastics into a wonderful and eco conscious Christmas!

Plastic Christmas tree ornaments

Plastic Tree Ornaments

1. Rings of cut plastic can easily be transformed into simple ornaments by wrapping round colourful wool or ribbon until the entire surface is covered. Add a loop to hang and you have some mini wreaths for your tree.

2.  I love the look of these plastic toys spray painted in different colours. Toys like this are so easy to find at charity shops and jumble sales, just drill or screw in a little hook into each back, add ribbon and you can hang them. Really light weight too.

3. A collection of plastic bottle tops can be strung together with ribbon and extra beads to make an easy and green ornament as always spray paint is your friend

4. The bottom of soda or pop bottles are often used for creative crafts for their flower like shape but in this case I think they are more like snowflakes. A fun craft for kids to decorate but make sure an adult cuts off the bottoms of the bottles

5. I had to include my own yoghurt pot lid creations from last year. I will be using mine again this Christmas and I still love the personal touch it brings to your tree. Here’s the tutorial.

plastic christmas trees

Plastic Christmas Trees

1. Plastic spoons- I have actually come across large sets of plastic cutlery in charity shops before so I think they would be easy to find and glue to a paper cone, but don’t go out and buy them new! We don’t want to encourage any more plastic consumption.

2. Another one for soda bottles- This tree uses the top end, with the neck used to add more to the tree with the sides cut to flay outwards.

3. This crazy tree appears to use everything and anything plastic, not quite my style but amazing recycling credentials, 5 star!

4. This green plastic bottle tree is beautiful as its the closest to the real thing. It looks like it would need a firm base and structure though.

 5. A plastic bag tree, Once again a structure looks like it is needed to stuff the plastic bags in but I’m sure you inventive crafty lot will be able to think of something.

plastic wreaths and other ornaments

Plastic Wreaths and Other Christmassy Ornaments

1. Not a decoration but using plastic packaging to organise your Christmas decorations will mean a stress free time for next year and protect your more delicate ornaments

2. Cute little festive penguins- made out of two soda bottle bottoms glued together and painted. I’m sure you don’t have to stick to penguins they probably make really good roly poly santas too.

3. Another use for soda bottle bases- glued together and spray painted they make a unique but wonderful wreath for any door, but you probably need quite a lot so start saving now for next year.

4. An upturned clear plastic pot makes the perfect cover for a wintery scene, find small figurines or make your own and create a snow scene a lot less messy then your classic snow globe which often end up leaking everywhere.

5. This wreath is much easier to do. Plastic bags shredded and strung together into a ring makes a snowy style wreath and you can always spray paint it a different colour to match your theme especially if you don’t have just plain white bags.

Have fun crafting and don’t forget to check out the pinterest board for more ideas.

Lorna

x xxx

15 uses: Cardboard boxes vol 2.

It’s been a while since I did a 15 uses so I hope your ready to get crafting! Since I’ve just moved I’ve bought a lot of furniture to fill the house and with that has come lots of big cardboard boxes so that has inspired todays collection as I have plenty of materials to play with. I have found for you 5 Christmas ideas, 5 furniture ideas and 5 costumes ideas because it doesn’t need to be Halloween to dress up!

cardboard christmas

Cardboard Christmas

1. Those little scraps of corrugated cardboard that come in packing would make great creative decorations for the tree. In love the brown and can see it translating well to snowmen, robins and mini trees very well. Just need a bit of glue, ribbon to hang and a good imagination to put them together

2. This is so cool! Advent calendar made out of different boxes and scrap cardboard. could be pricey to fill with toys and sweets individually but you could put in them fun ideas to do like a DVD for a movie night, Christmas carols to sing or personal notes giving thanks to family memberts

3. Really fun easy ornaments, cardboard circle and coloured string or yarn. Cut a cardboard circle out, make small slits around the edges and then wrap string around it, through the grooves, to make star shapes. I am definitely going to make these

4. A cardboard Christmas tree. I am going to do this for our tree this year so watch our for my own tutorial

5. A reindeer head. A fun twist on the class stag head above the fireplace and no reindeers have to die in the making of it. Would love to do this too if I have time

cardboard costumes

Cardboard Costumes

1. A cute inventive airplane, probably very popular this year after Disney movie Planes was released. Doesn’t look simple to make though

2. Transport is quite popular with cardboard costumes and this fire engine is really cool. Make sure the straps used to carry it around are comfortable. Elastic is a good bet and would be easy to get in and out of

3. This Lego costume is so easy and simple.  A plain box with plastic cups stuck to the front, spray painted and add matching coloured clothes

4. This crocodile head is a cheap costume if you have the right coloured clothes already, can easily be adapted for other animals as well. Dinosaurs are similar but more fun!

5. The easiest costume but requires a lot of ink. Big flat piece of cardboard with a square cut out for your facebook ‘profile picture’ and add in your details.

cardboard furniture

Fab Furniture

1. You might consider cardboard a weak material but put together in the right way it can be very strong, as with this letter shaped chair. Glue many pieces together and the whole item will be sturdy. The more the merrier and stronger.

2. I love the cartoony look of this bedroom, would look cool in a student or kids room but may look a bit too childish for an adult home, but each to their own.

3. Some cardboard is better then others. You can get ready reinforced cardboard depending on the object it’s packing. We had our cooker replaced and it came packaged in right angled strips of very firm cardboard. These would be perfect for a bookcase like the one above to support the weight of magazines and books

4. This little table makes use of the circular tubes you get posters and prints delivered in. The legs would make it very sturdy and the corners strong.

5. The tutorial to make this chest of drawers is amazing and the result is fantastic. Do take a look.

I look forward to doing some of these! Any of my readers going to try these? would love to know and see the finished results. Check out Instagram Makersmeadow to get sneak peaks before the blog.

Lorna

 x xxx

Simple Christmas: Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus

christmas craftingIt’s the 1st of November! and while most are nursing a Halloween hangover I am thinking of Christmas** I normally start planning Christmas a lot earlier then November but having a lot on my plate recently it has fallen by the wayside. I am expecting Christmas to be a very, very lean one this year so it is even more important that I save money for presents and partying by been thrifty and frugal in things that I can make and do myself. I would love to have a decorated living room for me and Harry to enjoy the holidays in but since this is our first year in our own house we don’t have any decorations! So….. I am of course going to make them all. Last year I did a series of Christmas Crafts you can easily make at home called Simple Christmas and this year I shall continue it with all the homemade decorations I create myself. So to kick things off here are the DIYs from last year for you to make. Just click the picture and it will take you to the tutorial!

crackers about crackers

recycled yoghurt lid ornament

recycled paper christmas tree

Wreath

Happy Crafting and I will be back soon with some new DIY crafts for Christmas

Lorna

X xxx