ShabbyShe

I like upcycling, repurposing and crafting with my kids

Archive for the category “Home Decor”

A bit of embroidery…

I adore my sewing machine and couldn’t live without it now, but I do love to go back to basics sometimes – slow down, hand-stitch and enjoy the change of pace and focus. Hand embroidery is such a lovely activity in the evenings when you want to relax but still somehow keep the hands busy! I must admit, though, I increasingly need good strong daylight for hand sewing, so I can see what I’m doing 😉

specs case made from felt and upcycled fabric

I made these glasses cases for my Etsy shop using soft felt and upcycled knit fabric – repurposed from girls’ clothing.

The teal/turquoise case was so popular I’ve recreated variations on it since for other customers. I used simple white embroidery silk thread on the teal felt to create a swirly flower pattern to mirror the curves and swirls of the interior fabric. I love the simplicity of this one and it remains one of my all-time favourite makes.

teal or turquoise glasses or phone pouch

The black glasses pouch below is again lined with recycled material and here I experimented with French knots using a beautiful variegated embroidery floss in pale pink through to almost red. I made two heart shapes purely from French knot stitches and I think the overall effect with the ombre-style thread is lovely!

heart embroidery in french knot stitch

I’m back busily using my machine currently as my Capri Sun lunchbags are all the rage – maybe people are getting organised for the return to school (in September here in England)!

What are you up? Do comment below & tell me about your makes/upcycles x

 

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Pine Table Upcycle

I guess this is more of a furniture revamp than an upcycle: we bought a table, and it remains a table. Just now it is a fabulous, funky table!

Here she is in her original state, minus some varnish on the legs. A perfectly nice and functional pine table with a heavy, solid feel that tells you it’s a quality item. We acquired the table at a local charity shop for a very reasonable price. There’s nothing wrong with it as it is, but we wanted to add a bit of interest to go with our new kitchen.

Antique pine table ready for a redo

First we removed the legs, which luckily were attached with screws so were easy to disassemble

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Legs were then reattached after sanding down. We didn’t need to sand the top as we had other plans for that…

pine table with sanded legs

Next job is priming the wood ready for the final colour (I must admit I quite liked it in white too!).

priming pine table legs for repainting

Here’s a glimpse of the final colour – a bold sunshine yellow which sets off the dark top rather nicely! (Excuse the decrepit old laminate flooring).

table with repainted yellow legs

The final part of the process involved adding a zinc top to the table – basically a large sheet of zinc which is moulded around the wooden top and then soldered in and hammered in place. I sadly don’t have a picture of this process as my hubby got on with it quite quickly. He enjoys a new craft as much as I do…!

However I do have a detailed photo of some of the effects we tried out using cut lemons, scourers and sandpaper!

zinc table top with different effects

Zinc can be marked or stained with citrus fruit to produce different effects

Here’s another peek at the finished table…

beautiful pine table upcycle using zinc and yellow paint

I’ll show you more when we have a decent floor in place to show it off!

Meanwhile, we started on up-doing the chairs to match…! More in my next post. Have a great weekend everyone! x

 

Blogiversary!

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I have neglected my beloved blog since August! I had the urge to write today, logged on and find that it is 3 years to the day that I started this little project. I love coincidences like that 🙂

My only excuses are the usual: 1) work and family life taking over (happy with family doing that, but as for work…!) and 2) I’ve been busy with craft fairs and my Etsy shop.

Let me show you my latest upcycled makes, on a Christmas theme …

burlap hoop with rustic heart design

This embroidery hoop art is made using hessian (burlap) and scrap fabric, which I’ve upcycled from curtain fabric samples. I used free machine embroidery to applique the hearts to the hessian and make the strings. I love the cute rustic look of this piece, ideal for lovers of shabby chic decor.

embroidery hoop art using upcycled fabric

This green spotty fabric is the perfect backdrop for my cute birdcage hoop. Again, I sketched the birdcage design using the sewing machine without a presser foot. It’s quite hair-raising when you first try it, but I’m addicted to this technique now! The flower is a piece of scrap ribbon and a little bead, and a bead also makes the upcycled fabric bird’s eye!

Here are my most Christmassy designs, which I’m hoping will attract someone’s eye at my forthcoming craft fair next weekend (details here) or on my Etsy shop.

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To make these Christmas themed hoops, I used both free machine and hand embroidery and some felt. I love using felt as it’s such a versatile fabric and of course non-fraying.

So that’s what I’ve been up to, how about you? Promise I will be back soon, I’ve missed this! x

 

Hello April – News Blackout is over!

Is this what Being An Adult feels like? I’ve just upgraded my website to ShabbyShe.com (no more clunky .wordpress. gubbins). I’m feeling very Official now!

The prolonged News Blackout for most of March is at an end, as I was focussing my efforts on producing some items for a new local craft market and my Etsy shop. Now the craft fair is done I can breathe a sigh of relief, and maybe even start making some bits for myself & my family again! I had rather limited sales at the market despite it being well-attended – possibly March / Easter is more a time to browse for pleasure rather than buy. I’m hoping to do more markets and fairs around Christmas and put my efforts for now into online sales and updating my blog (my first love!)

On the Easter theme, I made some cute egg cosies to keep the world’s best breakfast warm on these cold Spring mornings…

Basket of egg cosies made from felt

The Happy Easter cosies are for my children – they begged me for these and I promised they could have them if they didn’t sell on Saturday 😀

I can’t decide which is my favourite – I like the cute chicks but I’m also really pleased with how this bunting design turned out – these were literally tiny scraps of fabric. This is why it’s so hard to part with even small off-cuts!

Felt egg cosy with scrap fabric bunting

I also added my new-style shoulder bag totes to my Etsy shop. I’m really pleased with this design, I think the ribbon trim sets off the colour nicely, don’t you?

Shoulder bag totes from upcycled juice pouches

Happy Easter everyone, see you soon! x

Crafts with Kids: Weaving with CD looms

We’ve been up to a bit of crafty recycling fun recently with some old CDs and wool scraps. The inspiration came from this beautiful post on Make it a Wonderful Life – this lady is a teacher and has had her students weaving an amazing wall hanging with this clever green craft!

Woven CD looms displayed on wall hanging

Beautiful hanging display – Courtesy of Makeitawonderfullife.blogspot.co.uk

Recycled CDs made into art using wool

CD weaving inspiration – from Makeitawonderfullife.blogspot.co.uk

For this easy-peasy craft you will need:-

  • old CDs or DVDs
  • wool scraps (you can use fabric but this sounded more complicated)
  • a plastic lid (from yoghurt, houmous pot etc)
  • a hole punch

The plastic lid is to make some needles to help the children weave the wool through their loom. I discovered (through my daughter accidentally unthreading it once or twice) that the needle is actually essential – it’s just too fiddly without. You will need to knot the thread onto the needle though, especially for younger children.

We started off by finding some old CDs which were no longer wanted. My kids were very quick to find some song collections we’d had free with something or other and a Peppa Pig DVD. (Please don’t pelt me with eggs, parents of younger children – my two are suddenly Too Grown Up for Peppa! It will come to them all…!)

Use old CDs to make looms

Unwanted DVD and CDs, ripe for recycling

Don’t you just ❤ my tablecloth?? 

Next we made some plastic needles…

Needles for a loom made from a plastic lid

This is fun! I cut a sort of narrow fish-shape from the lid of a large pot and used a holepunch to create an ‘eye’. As the originator of this idea said, it’s a good idea to round off the needle’s point as it will prevent snagging.

Hole punch used to make eye in plastic lid needle

If you don’t have a hole punch you could pop it over some plasticine or Blue Tac and pierce a hole with a skewer – definitely a job for Adult Helper though.

I made quite a few as little fingers tend to drop them on the floor and lose them! They’re quite sturdy though and should see us through a few projects like this.

Creating a CD loom using wool

We knotted a length of wool onto the CD and began making the ‘spokes’ to create a loom. The instructions on Make it a Wonderful Life said to make sure you have an odd number of spokes (in this way, as you come back your starting point, the wool passes under instead of over and vice versa, making a tight pattern). I would add that more is more – the more spokes you have, the tighter the weave. The first two CD looms we made had only 7 and 9 spokes which made the weave very open and loose.

Use wool to create a simple loom from a CD

Once your spokes are in place, you can start weaving! We tied our first piece of wool onto the back of the loom but this made things a bit fiddly, so it may be best to glue the first strand to the disk or just weave around the first spoke a couple of times to secure it.

Making a CD and wool loom

Trial and error are part of the fun!

We all had a great time with our individual looms! Surprisingly (to me) – my 5 year old daughter was the most into it and actually completed hers (albeit a mini one – she just thought it looked nice like that!) My 7 year old boy is usually more focussed on crafts but he declared his “Done for now” and said he’d return to it at a later date. My own one is the fullest but due to only having a few spokes it has quite a loose fluffy look.

My plan is to make a few more and hang them vertically in a single line – a great boredom buster for kids and adult alike, don’t you think? x

CD looms - woven with wool

Lampshade Revamp – A Map Upcycle

DIY lampshade update

Lampshade in need of a revamp!

This sad little lampshade was posing a problem: it is such a dull colour, not enhanced by age or dust, but I couldn’t throw out a still serviceable object…

The shade in question is from our downstairs loo, recent recipient of the makeover treatment with a pallet wood and peg upcycle project and a good old lick of paint. However, the pendant light fitting has remained naked as this lampshade was both ugly and seemed to be the wrong size compared to the huge energy-saving bulb!

I’d seen several lampshade revamp projects on Pinterest and other blogs using either fabric, printed paper or maps which look great. This lampshade was a good place to start as if the worst came to it I wouldn’t have ruined a nice lamp! The tube map was a bargain I spotted a few months ago in a card shop: although I have lots of maps at home from past travels which would be great to upcycle, they are both too thick and have too many creases to apply smoothly to a rounded surface such as a lamp shade. (I have to admit, although I love maps I have a slight horror of opening the folded, booklet kind as I can never work out how to close them correctly again! There’s probably a name for map phobia…)

I assembled my supplies:

  • lampshade
  • map
  • sellotape
  • cutting mat
  • craft knife
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • Mod Podge
Lampshade re-cover project

Map cut to approximate shape

 

Tracing and Cutting the Decoupage to size

I forgot to take a “Before” picture of the map prior to cutting, but you get the idea! I just aligned my starting point on the map with the seam on the lampshade and rolled it slowing, tracing the shape top and bottom with a faint pencil line. I left a generous margin for folding the map in to leave a nice finished edge.

If I were doing this again I would take time to smooth the map flat first as I had to weight it down (as you can see from the picture) – a cool iron and tea towel would be good for this. I carefully cut the shape about 1.5cm (1″) outside the pencil line to allow some overlap for a tidy edge.

Applying the New Cover

Removing fabric trim from lamp shade

Gently peel off the fabric trim to avoid a lumpy edge when refinished

Having cleaned the lampshade and removed the thin fabric trim top and bottom, I taped the map onto the shade and rolled to make sure it would be a correct fit. This picture also shows the wire frame edge with the fabric trim removed.

lampshade revamp with upcycled map

Checking the new cover will fit

I applied matte Mod Podge to both the outer shade and the back of the map cut-out and rolled the map on. I then smoothed the map towards the outer edge to remove any air bubbles and ensure a smooth application. Next I quickly re-painted the overlapping edges with more Mod Podge, tidied them up a bit with scissors and snipped at regular intervals in order to fold them tightly over the edge.

Another generous lashing of Mod Podge all over the decoupaged map sealed it in and gave it a nice slightly sheeny finish. I left it to dry by standing it on a jar so none of the wet edges would get smudged, and then …

Decoupaged map lampshade cover

Revamped pendant lampshade added to Loo Re-Do 🙂

I hung it up! I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It goes nicely with our recently redecorated downstairs toilet complete with pallet wood upcycle loo-roll holder. The only slightly, well, ME-thing about it is that I was intending to hang it the other way up (as it had been before I removed it) hence why the map is actually upside down if you look closely!! However, even with a smaller lightbulb it still looked all-bulb-and-no-action – I want the outside to be displayed not the inner part. So I hung it upside down and I think it looks quite funky 🙂

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What do you think? I might give some more lamps this treatment now I’ve had a go…

This post will feature in Handmade Monday on the lovely Handmade Harbour – check it out 🙂

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