15 uses: Upcycled Furniture

After a brief spell away 15 uses is back this week and i hope you all enjoy this upcycling bananza. Since we will be moving in to our new home soon we have been thinking about furniture and what we need to make our little flat comfortable. The previous owner left lots of mismatched furniture and it would be really nice to turn some of them into useful pieces for ourselves. Not only is it good for the environment its easy on the pocket especially when it comes to moving which is such an expensive time. Although we don’t have children and i can’t get away with ‘playing’ imaginary games any more, the first lot of upcycled furniture pieces are play areas for kids. I had to include them because they are so dam cute!
diy play furniture5 ideas for imaginary play.

1. Kitchens seem to be a popular pieces on pinterest and in toy shops. I remember having a plastic kingfisher kitchen as a child with two sides to it and a little roof supported on both sides so you can see from one side to the next. Fun to remember my sister and i use to crawl through the gap as part of our made up obstacle course, until the day she got stuck in it :D

2. An old book case can make a easy shop front, you can let kids play with actual groceries or there are many plastic /textile play items that you can buy,

3. Another Kitchen one because it’s so cute. Any old piece of furniture can be transformed into a kitchen unit. Use a little imagination and you can really help your child imagine all sorts of things.

4. Not as exciting as a kitchen but a laundry set might encourage children to clean up after themselves and start learning important life skills.

5. Get crafty and encourage your child’s own artistic skills by making a work bench, whether their interested in woodwork, sewing or painting you could make an area with their favourite job in mind.

suitcase upcycle

5 ideas with suitcases

1. Add legs off an old table and pad the insides and you have got the coolest seat ever. You would have to reinforce the back some how so you can lay back in the chair and not rip the case off its hinges.

2. Same idea as number one but have it close to the floor to make a pet bed. I’m sure the pooch would appreciate it  and it would look so much nicer then a standard plastic one

3. Once again, simply add some legs and you’ve got a cool table

4. Stand a case on its end, cut out a rectangle from the side and add in some shelving to make a unqiue book case or as in the example above a cocktail bar! Scweet!

5. Use a collection of suitcases to make cool storage . You could cut the lids off and slid each case into a deep book case to make an instant set of drawers wit a vintage feelcrazy upcycled

5 random but fun ideas

1. You could use a whole collection of furniture, book shelves and spare wood to make a display unit for a whole wall. Paint in the same colour for a cohesive look or go wild and paint it  a rainbow.

2. Make an old TV into a cat bed. Wearing gloves and goggles you can take the inside components and screen out, pad with a cushion and spray paint it a wacky colour.

3. An old chair with no legs can make a lovely garden swing with firm ropes and a strong branch

4. Got chickens? a dresser with a hole cut out the side with added ramp makes a safe chicken roost, off the ground and secure

5. Updating your bathroom, use your old bath suite to make a funky sofa. Cut a piece out of the side, sand down and add a comfortable custom cut foam piece. Paint to suite your style.

Check out the pinterest board for all links

Lorna

X xxx

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A Simple Christmas: Crafty Crackers

christmas craftingOne of my favourite traditions at Christmas is pulling crackers as we sit down to our feast. I love the naft jokes and the sometimes nice mini presents, and i also love that every one in my family wears the paper party hats all the way through dinner. They are really really expensive though even when they only contain a novelty moustache comb or a pair of lips. If you make your own you can personalise them or at the very least put something inside a bit more interesting then another pair of toe nail clippers.  I used sweets for the practice one i did but you can use anything you want as long as it fits in the cracker of course. There are two types i’ve shown below, one with a few more steps then the other but still very easy)

You will need: Toilet rolls, ( 1 for the first type, 2 for the second, glue/double sided sticky tape, cellotape wrapping paper(for each cracker you want a piece that will wrap fully round the toilet roll and a bit longer then a A4 sheet of paper), gifts/sweets, terrible jokes, ribbon.

crackers how to1. I found out this little tip to help make the toilet roll rip easier and make it more like the bang of traditional cracker. (incidently you can buy the cracker bangers online if you want to add that extra spark) Cut into the center of a toilet roll from both sides but make sure you don’t slice all the way through. It doesn’t matter if you flatten it to do this, they are quite easy to reshape

2. The first cracker you only need one toilet roll for the center. Do the cut as in no.1. and add in the sweets/gifts and joke into it, try to jam it in so it doesn’t move around too much. Tape the toilet roll to the center and the edge of your wrapping paper.

3. Roll the toilet roll up in the wrapping paper until it meets the other end and tape in place. Use the ribbon and tie into a bow on either side of the toilet roll. Tie fairly tight but try not rip the paper. You now have a cracker to enjoy on Christmas day.

4. If you want a more traditional looking one, repeat steps 1 & 2, then cut another toilet roll in half so you have two smaller tubes. Tape or glue these in place and the ends of the paper in line with the main toilet roll, so there is a gap between the small ones and the main roll. I then use stripes of double sided sticky tape along the edge of the paper to secure the small tubes when i roll it up. Homemade crackers

5. Roll it up and secure with tape if needed. Use  ribbon to tie a bow around the paper where the gap is, pull it tightly and it will bring the cracker together. You now have a beautiful cracker for the dinning table

i also used pinking shears (zig zag scissors) to give the cracker a nice neat edge, you need a few toilet rolls to make a few but you still have time before Christmas. Finally, you need to make sure you find the tackiest, naffiest, most terrible jokes to put in :) My first one was

‘What hides in a bakery on Christmas Eve? A Mince Spy!

crackers about crackers

haha love it

Lorna

X xxx

A Simple Christmas: Recycled yogurt pot lid picture ornament

Today is the start of a little collection of Homemade trinkets and treats you can make for your home this Christmas. You don’t always have to spend a fortune on decorations, or presents for that matter, and sometimes you can’t afford to buy those beautiful big baubles your craving. This Christmas i will be making most of our ornaments because we don’t have the money to build up a Christmas collection straight away and what better way to use my crafty skills. Most of the crafts i will be sharing with you will be made from ‘rubbish’ from around the home. With a few little extra buys you can transform some trash into Christmas treasure, starting with these personal ornaments.

Yogurt Pot hanging frames
You with need: As many yogurt pots as you have/saved/pulled out of the bin, Cotton thread preferably gold or red, A needle, Gold and Red Spray paint (but if you’ve got a different colour scheme then go with what you want), photos of you, family, friends and pets.

1. Make sure your yogurt lids are clean and dry and set up a protected place outside to paint them, ventilation is important!

2. Spray paint the top of the lids, half in gold, half in red and leave to dry for at least an hour

3. Once completely dry, puncuture a hole in the side of the rim on each pot using your needle. Then thread a small piece of cotton through the whole and tie in a knot making sure the knot is visible only at the back (glue if need be). Take another length of cotton that will make a loop as big as you want your decoration to hang down. Slip the longer thread into the loop you have already made on the yogurt lid and tie a knot to secure.

4. Measure the front central dip in the lid, i use different circle objects to gauge the size and use it as a template, for example a bottle or a cup. Trace the same size circle around a photo of loved ones and cut out.

5. Glue the cut out photo on to the center and leave to dry. You are then free to hang it from your Christmas tree, mantel or you could even use them as personalised present tags.

The reason i like this project so much is that:

Its easy and you can make alot in an afternoon, though children will need a lot supervision and help because of using spray paint, needles and scissors.

Its pretty cheap, you just need to collect some lids which you still have time to do before Christmas. The spray paint cans cost me about £4 each and my gold one has lasted me forever so only bought a red one new, Cotton i already had but you can get a reel for pennies and you can use photos you already have rather then let them sit in a album where no ones see them

It is personal, you can have Christmas photos, silly photos or just photos of happy memories. Its a one of a kind ornament for you and your family.

Please share your own Christmas crafts and ideas in the comments, still need a few more ideas myself to fill our little tree up and i promise I won’t say seasons greetings just yet… you’ll have to wait till December

Lorna

X xxx

15 Uses: Cardboard boxes

Ah the humble cardboard box, from postage to cereal, tea bags to white goods, many many things come in these mundane big and little brown and white boxes. Many people recycle postage boxes for the ease of re-posting items and gifts, for my shop  i always try and use used boxes for my packaging, big fan of the cereal box turned inside out. A trip to your local supermarket and you often can get all the boxes you need for moving home. Recycling is superb but i think that upcycling its so much more exciting, and with the amount of waste cardboard you can find in the world the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating. This week i will be looking at practical uses, pretty uses and some just darn fun ideas for kids to enjoy the most out of that washing machine box.

5 Storage Uses for Cardboard

1. Lay pieces of Cardboard together and create customised slots for a catch it all organiser for the the front door, mail, keys, you could even make it a docking station for your mobile by threading your charger through a hole.

2. Create a simple drawer organiser with slotted cardboard, pretty it up with some nice fabric or paper

3.  Use larger boxes to create a unit storage area or book shelves. Take that Ikea!

4.  The most simple recycling, cover a cut cereal box in paper and you’e got a handy magazine rack

5.  Uses little bits and pieces of cardboard to create a stationary organiser that fits the pieces you need.

5 Pretty and Creative ideas

1. If your feeling particularly creative then make some amazing art work for your home or create your own art gallery for  recycling only artists.

2. Use layers of cardboard wrapped with yarn to make attractive but cheap place name decor for parties

3. Want a beautiful chandlier for your living room or banquet hall???? make one out of cardboard and spend your money elsewhere such as on the caviar

4. Create a simple cake stand for a party or to house your jewellery just paint it in the colours of your choice and your good to go

5. This beautiful necklace is so unusual and probably quite easy to make, sorry to the etsy shop this is off but it is simple.

5 Imaginative Ideas for Children

You can really create something magical for children to play with out of nothing. it doesn’t have to be perfect their imagination will do the rest.

1. A castle is the first thing I could think of to make, it just opens up so much possibility for play. You could also make any manner of building for your little ones, houses, fire station, little grocery shop, it just depends what your child loves and what it could teach them along the way

2. Create some sort of transport for the little cardboard town you make, Air planes, cars, boats, and these too can be themed for your tikes, How bout a pirate ship for your mini captain hook and peter pan

3. For the younger ones how about a toy storage box? Cutting shapes in the box to fit the various toys also turns tidying up into a fun, stimulating game.

4. A Wendy House, what more can you want? So easy to build and probably more fun to make than you think. There’s also even more chance to recycle other materials such as scrap paper for wallpaper, or why not even actually use leftover wallpaper from your own house?

5. Kitchen appliances – get ’em started young and they’ll be Michelin starred by the age of 12. This doesn’t just stop at cookers too, pretty much anything in the kitchen could be made out of cardboard boxes, from fridges to microwaves.

Hope you enjoyed this weeks 15 uses, the last collection makes me want to have children right NOW so i can make them some of these exciting toys. Any one frequently upcycle their carboard other then postage?

Lorna

X xxx