Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Done-Up Dining


These chairs we bought last year at charity shop for £60 (including table). Fabric remnants were bought at charity shop in Wolverhampton for 99p each. You can see from the 'before' photo that the chairs had water marks on them from where I had attempted to clean them as they were quite grubby! My hand ached for days after this project from removing dozens of industrial staples from hardwood and hammering in hundreds of tacks! Worth it though.

Woodstock-Worthy Waistcoat

Ok, now my friend Paul is going to be cross with me for failing to take a 'before' photo, but sometimes I just get a bit excited to be starting a project and that part gets overlooked. So, with the total absence of a before photo, I will describe instead.

I found this thing - not sure if it was a long top or a dress in a charity shop in Wolverhampton. Initially, I tried it on as I liked the embroidery, but I hated the shape of it, so put it back on the rail and walked away. Then I had a lightbulb moment!! As its jersey fabric, it wouldn't fray, so I knew I could easily transform it. It had tiny buttons at the front, down to the waistline already,making it very suitable for a waistcoat. I cut off the sleeves, then cut from where the buttons met, down to the bottom. Then cut all around strips of about a centimeter wide. I gave each one a little tug and they roll in on themselves an make great fringing.

The finished look is really folksy and will be great for gigging in. Roll on next gig!!

Darling Driftwood

I was frustrated by my longer necklaces tangling up,and hanging them from drawers and cupboards got annoying, so I threw together this natty hook rack from a piece of driftwood from a beach visit, some old hooks from the 'hooks' box,and little bits of broken china,which I have been collecting from in the earth in our garden- you know- the bits that just turn up when you're digging about. It certainly does the job well and is hanging on the side of my wardrobe.

Monday, 1 February 2016

From Dull to 70's Dreamy


I got a little bored with the plain green lamp in our lounge. Then I remembered I had bought this vintage fabric in a charity shop a month or so back, with the intention of re-covering the dining chairs (more on that soon), but the fabric didn't really look right for that project, so I used a little bit here, and at some point I might make a dress with the rest. Easy enough to do -I just cut it to size, then stuck it to the edges of the existing shade using my hot glue gun. Quirky enough to sit beside our second-hand (what else?) sofa which is looking very groovy with its crochet throw-picked up for around a fiver from a charity shop in town.

Friday, 18 December 2015

More Drawers

I have been playing with wallpaper samples again! This time it's a chest of drawers in the bedroom. Originally pine, I painted them off-white about two years ago. Today I decorated the fronts with a free sample of wallpaper.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

What Tales Could These Binoculars Tell?

I found these gorgeously old binoculars at a charity shop in Huddersfield today. Can't help wondering what sights they've magnified. Have trawled the Internet, I found some exactly the same. Apparently they are Edwardian! They cost me £3.99.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Folk Art Box

How beautiful is this???!! No, I didn't paint it, but it'll certailnly be providing me with lots of inspiration for other upcycling projects. I picked this up for £6 in Oxfam, Huddersfield. It has some age. I just love the fact that someone once spent ages painting this. It feels like it has stories to tell.
Oh, incidentally, the little sunburst frame in some of these photos was £1.45 from Age Concern. I'm thinking of removing the back and hanging it as an empty frame, or possibly trying to find a mirror to fit it. 


I've been looking for some new brown boots for a while, but generally find them a little tight. I found these in a charity shop in Huddersfield for a mere £10. I don't think they have ever been worn! The best boot-find I have ever had was a pair of furry suede boots I got out of a skip at the marina a few years back. They were really great quality and lasted me ages!

The Hedgehog Jumper

Who doesn't love a hedgehog, huh? I found this super-cute jumper in the British Heart Foundation shop a couple of weeks back. As I recall it was £3.45 :)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

A Tale Of Four Fireplaces

The original fireplace
Exposing the brickwork

Old fire surround with opened up fire

New fire surround

Constructing the Box

The Final Fireplace, with repainted surround.
We've made a few changes with the fireplace this year. Back in Feb we decided to open it up, and expose the brickwork. It wasn't long though before I had found a really nice fire surround in the charity furniture place for only £10. This was slightly bigger than the original, so we had to expose a little more brickwork. But I wasn't happy with the colour of the new surround,  so having lived with it for a bit, I decided to repaint it. We also didn't like the open fireplace as we were getting a lot of dust etc down the chimney. So we made a box to slide in the hole, from materials we had in the shed, and filled it with logs from a tree that we had pruned back in the garden. Next we added a frame around the front of the box and slotted it into the space. Now we love it!

It's Curtains For You

Here's the story......
I spotted these gorgeous curtains for £7.99 in a charity shop late on Tuesday, had a look, but thought they were too narrow for the window (bedroom) so put them back. Woke up in the night thinking ... Dammit, I could have used them to cover my dining chairs (post here about those). So went back first thing on Wednesday morning and grabbed them quick! They are really heavyweight and look like they have never been used, of at the very most perhaps ex-display. Got them home, and thought I'd just double check, and they fitted fine!!!!
The tie back thingies, that look like train buffers were in Dunelm, in a bargain basket. They were reduced from £5.99 - but, though identical, one was now £2.99, the other was £4.19, which was odd. My husband queried it with a staff member who put a sticker for £2.99 on the dearer one. Now here's the best bit.....when we got to the checkout.....they rang up at 50p each!!!!!
So that's a whole new look for the window for only £8.99.

The wardrobe has been mentioned here. The bedding, I picked up yesterday at a charity shop. The duvet cover was £1.00 and the runner was a snip at 25p!

Incidentally the old sewing box, which I adore and use often was through Freecycle a few years ago.

DVD Cabinet Makeover

I had been looking for a way to keep DVDs out of sight in the living room, when I happened upon this unit in my favourite charity furniture warehouse for £12. It was a very plain dark brown colour, so I used some previously acquired skills (from my days living on a narrowboat) to liven it up a bit. I used acrylic paints and a coat or two of satin finish varnish. This now as the Gypsy Caravan from my earlier post sitting on top, which goes really well.

Little Boxes

This was a little dark wood box that I have painted with test pots and covered the drawers with wallpaper samples. A quick sand, and a coat of varnish and ta-da!

It's A Dog's Life

We happened to be in a charity shop in another town (I was buying a board game), and while we were in there, a lady brought in this gorgeous wicker dog bed. After the donor had left, I asked the lady behind the counter how much she might be selling it for. It was a snip at £4, and it saved her having to find a place to display it. One happy dog.

Showing Off My Drawers (A Before and After)

I got these drawers is my favourite Charity Furniture Warehouse last year. In August I picked up an assortment of quirky knobs, and in September I decided to cover the drawers with wallpaper samples, stuck on with strong PVA glue. The top had already had to be trimmed a little as the dog had had a bit of a chew on it, so I covered that in an amazing leatherette wallpaper, which I have now topped with a piece of glass re-purposed from an old picture frame (it happened to be a pretty perfect fit). The sofa in the top photo also came from the same store a year or two ago.

Dream Closet

So...the original plan was to construct a fitted wardrobe in the alcove in the bedroom. Until we spotted this in the local house clearance shop. It cost less than the materials for our own project would have done too. Though it was too wide for the alcove, it fits perfectly against the window wall. We had some fun trying to get it up the stairs, so ended up dismantling it on the driveway in the rain, but now its rebuilt and I love it so much. I added some battery operated fairy lights which are set in white silk flowers to the top. It's made such a difference to the room, and now I have space for more charity shop clothing finds!

You've Been Framed

I picked up this cute frame yesterday in the Charity Furniture Warehouse for £3. The two chests in the first photo came from The Salvation Army shop back in the summer.

Bin a Good Day

I have been looking for a new kitchen bin for ages, but have found them to be ridiculously expensive. We like to separate our rubbish into recyclable and non-recyclable waste, and previously had a stainless steel pedal bin, and a bucket for the recyclables (which we kept on top of the microwave, out of the way of the dog). This natty bin was in our local house clearance shop yesterday for £7. I got them down to £5 and now it is in our kitchen. No more microwave buckets!

Luscious Yellow Boots

Yellowtastic! I actually squealed when I saw these in Age Concern a couple of months back. And I may have done a little dance when I discovered they were my size. Fab. I think they were about £6.

Nice Knobs

Oooo errr missus! Got these yesterday from a local charity furniture warehouse. At £2.50 each they cost a little more than I hoped, but they have livened up this pine chest of drawers in our bedroom. Incidentally, these drawers are the only furniture in the bedroom, that remain, as yet, unpainted. I sanded them back some time ago and waxed them, but didn't paint them as I wanted to keep the contrast with the antique white lace runner I have on the top. Might revisit these drawers one day and perhaps paint them a pale muted green, as they do look a little dark in the room.