Tag Archives: second hand

Upcyled Bunting

23 May

Choosing fabrics, whether it be for curtains, table cloths, cushions, clothing or just for sewing is a very personal thing.

It says so much about our tastes and personality and can leave an indelible mark others.

In the last twelve months our family has suffered the loss of three grandmothers. All very different and extraordinary women with their own remarkable and unique stories.

I have been lucky enough to collect some of their old fabrics, which I have kept with the idea of giving new life to these seemingly mundane objects.

So when my mother in law asked me to make some bunting for her little summer-house, I had a rifle through my fabrics and found a piece that had belonged to her mother.

It turned out to be perfect for garden themed bunting, the pattern being a mix of summer flowers and summer fruits.

I got to work cutting the triangles using my trusty Kellogg’s template.



I lined the back with a simple cream cotton and chose a bold cherry red bias binding  to bring the whole thing together.


I was quite pleased with the result and my lovely in-laws sent me photo of it in situ. I think it looks pretty good.

summer house bunting 3

(I’ll skim over the part where I made it slightly too short, simple arithmetic was never my strong point).

I have another couple of upcycling projects coming up using some of my own Grandmothers fabrics. I am still toying with ideas, but I think one may be a cathedral window quilt and the other may involve Suffolk puffs. These two techniques would be great for showcasing many of her fabric choices without needing large quantities of any one pattern. Plus this involves hand stitching which I love 🙂

I’d better get cracking then!



Tie Dye Eggs

19 Mar

This post starts with a Pinterest fail.

I had seen that you can dye eggs using silk ties or scarves. Obviously the results on Pinterest looked fabulous.

Without much planning I decided to give it a go.

And the result was an egg that looks like a black eye.


To be honest I had a further attempt with the same results,  at which point I threw my toys out of the pram and got adolescent over it.

A week or so later I decided to have another go.

Firstly I bought an extraordinarily un-attractive 100% silk tie from my local charity shop for the princely sum of £1.50.

It doesn’t need to be a tie. It could be a scarf or a hanky. Just as long as it is 100% silk and the pattern is bold and colourful. To be honest the more tasteless the better.

At home I picked the tie apart, taking out all the bits and pieces and was left with just the silk fabric.

Next I took my egg and place it on the silk, making sure the right side was in contact with the egg.

Gathering up all the fabric tightly around the egg I secured with a hairband. (I went wrong last time by not having the fabric tight enough).



Using the fabric of an old pillow I then tightly wrapped the egg, securing with another elastic band.


Next thing I did was to pop them in a pan with some cold water covering the top and threw in a glug of vinegar. I bought it to the boil and then boiled it for a good 2o minutes.


When the twenty minutes was up allowed them to cool for as long as possible (which wasn’t long) and unwrapped them.

The results were not bad.


They look like abstract stained glass eggs. The children might enjoy colouring in the shapes with felt tips, or embellishing with stick on jewels

Crafty Swish Party

9 Oct

I think I might have started something.

I’m not really sure how it happened, it was kind of organic really.

I was talking to Lu in Dunhelm (That’s where all good ideas derive from). High on tea and scones, we thought about having a crafty swish party.

Essentially people could pop by for tea and cake and swap fabrics, buttons, wools and other crafty bits that were no longer of any use. It seemed like a nice idea, a good way to socialize, make new acquaintances and pick up some treasure without spending any money.

I said I would host it and sent out the invitation (FB of course!). Then I closed my eyes, sucked in my breath and hoped that I wouldn’t be left hanging.

To my amazement people were genuinely excited. One lady demanded that she bring cakes  (Well I couldn’t say no to that).

I’m not one of those natural hostess’. My social skills can sometimes leave a lot to be desired, so I did have a bit of a worry this morning, particularly after the nightmare that I had last night. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say it was awkward.

10am came and my first guest arrived and she had cakes! I could have just locked the door there and then, but that would be rude.


Miranda has just started a cake business and so this was the perfect opportunity to show her wares. Her cakes were just gorgeous, in fact they were so pretty that I knocked the top off of two of them (Bad hostess!). You can find her page here https://www.facebook.com/MrsBlythinMakes?ref=hl#!/pages/Mirandas-cake-house/432847943503087?fref=ts

Gradually other people arrived and the house was suddenly filled with chatter and treasures and tea and cake.

There was felt and fabric, buttons and beads, wool and threads, paints and picture frames.

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I think most people went away with something new in their little paws.

It went well. In fact it went so well that people were keen to do it again, maybe next time learn a new craft.

Miranda suggested a cake decorating workshop and Mrs M is now looking into showing us how to make our own Christmas baubles.

Somehow we seem to have created a little craft group.

Upcycled Desk

26 Sep

Sometimes your next project is right there on your doorstep.

Or in my case the neighbours doorstep.

On Sunday we came back from the scarecrow festival to see the our neighbour was having a clear out. She had put a few bits of furniture in the front garden, with a note saying Free, Please take.

Well I don’t need to be asked twice!

I have been thinking about getting a desk for The Bo’s room, and there right before my eyes was a tired looking but perfect pine desk.


Into the house it went.

I asked the Bo what colour he would like me to paint it and predictably he said fire engine red. So there wasn’t going to be too much faffing in B&Q over colour swatches.

The weather has been amazing so I took the opportunity to get on my overalls old maternity dungarees and get cracking.

A quick sand and a coat of primer later I was ready to break out the red paint. Only this time I thought I would give a can of spray paint a go.

Resisting the urge to go to my nearest abandoned train depot and scrawl I Luv Charity shops  🙂 everywhere, I went in search of a face  mask.

Being sure we had one somewhere,  I picked up what looked like the right thing, only to realise it was my husbands cricket box.

I decided to take my chances without a mask (or a box).

Pretty much doing a jig as I shook the aerosol can and spraying with fairly wild abandon I thoroughly enjoyed this upcycle project.



All in all it cost me £10.96 for the sandpaper and the spray paint. Bargain desk for The Bo!

The only downside to spraying is that it is all over far too quickly 😉

Now what can I spray next? Off to the railway it is then.

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