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crafts, Handmade

Upcycled Photo Frame

upcycled photo frame

Recently we were having a good sort out at home as we were due to have the decorators come in whilst we were away on holiday. It was surprising the amount of clutter zones we had!

We had boxes to hand in at the local charity shop, a few items were passed on to other family members, and I lost count on the number of trips to the local tip. But some items were too good to just chuck away. We had some lovely photo frames that we have had for many years now and it would be sad to just dispose of them. The thinking cap went on!

The rescue began for the frame

There are so many ways in which you can upcycle photo frames. Seeing as I am in the process of creating my own space in the office and craft room, I thought I would make use of it in this room. I am often found in this room for hours on end. It is a room I want to make bright and cheerful…..my own little space!

Amongst the pile of items found there was also an old wooden cork notice board that we had purchased a while back and hadn’t gotten around to using as yet. This is an item that would be very useful in my office and craft room but I thought it could do with a little brightening up.

An idea was then thought of for the frame

An idea then came to me. how about using the frame to upcycle it and make a pin board?

I measured my frame and then the cork board – the cork board needed 10cms cutting off the width which wasn’t a problem.

How I made my pin board using my old photo frame:

  • I started by cutting off the 10cms from the cork board. Once done, I double checked it fitted inside the frame.
  • The frame had the glass removed and was then sanded lightly. I wanted to keep the gold on the inside edge.
  • Paint colours were then chosen, along with fabric (fat quarters).
  • The frame was then prepped with masking tape to help save the gold on the inside edge. And to also separate each section I wish to paint.
  • Two paint colours were chosen. I wanted the middle section a different colour to the inside and outside edge. The first colour was then painted on to the inside edge. These were done in pink.
  • Because we were going over a dark colour we needed 3 to 4 coats of paint. Allowing each coat of paint time to dry before doing the next.
  • Once the first section was done we then moved on to the middle section. This was painted in a dark lilac colour. Once again we needed 3 to 4 coats of paint. Allowing each coat of paint time to dry before doing the next.
  • We then moved on to the final section which was to be the same as the first. Painted in pink, with 3 to 4 coats of paint.

Prep work was then done with the fabric

With it going into my craft room, I thought I would add some fabric. What better way to do this than add some fat quarters?

How I added my fat quarters:

  • I chose to add two different colours. One pack was a purple variety, the other was a raspberry variety. I thought the colours would blend in well with the colours on the frame.
  • The first thing I needed to do was cut the fat quarters down in size.
  • Once cut to size I then ironed them.
  • They was then positioned in place.
  • Once I was happy with the positioning I then pinned them together.
  • Then using my sewing machine I sewed them together.
  • Once sewn together I then positioned it in place on the cork board.
  • I then glued it in place using a glue gun.
  • The board was then positioned inside the frame and glued in place.
  • I finished off the frame by adding a few gems to add a little sparkle.
  • A space was ready and waiting for my upcycled frame to then be hung.

This was a very simple and fun project to do and I love the results.

I absolutely enjoy upcycling projects do you?

Christmas, pets

Dogs love Christmas too

Dogs love Christmas too

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It is a time for us all to enjoy spending quality time with friends and family whilst enjoying some much-needed downtime.

Do you have pets? If so, do you spoil your pets at Christmas?

We have two dogs, Coco our two-year-old Siberian Husky. We also have Hunter, our 1.5-year-old German Shepherd. Both dogs get spoilt every birthday and every Christmas…. also, in-between if I am honest!

I have had a few comments saying I am bonkers, but why shouldn’t they be spoilt too? After all they are part of our family. If you are a pet owner or have owned a pet in the past, I am sure you will understand the bond you get with your pet. It is a strong bond that is also special. So why not show our pets just how much we love them too.

Getting creative

Last year I attended a sewing machine class with my Mother-In-Law. At this day class we were both shown the basics of how to use a sewing machine, something I had been wanting to learn for years. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and have been putting my new found skills into practice ever since.

Of course, Coco and Hunter were both made something on my very own sewing machine. I made them both a stocking each. Do you hang a stocking up for your pets? It is only fair that our fur-babies have their very own stocking.

Hunter loved having his very own stocking, he would go and check it every now and then.

Coco’s stocking was a different shape to hunters.

I thought I would do Coco’s stocking a little different to Hunters. I found Coco’s stocking much easier to make than Hunters.

What I used to make the stockings:

  • Paper to draw my templates out on.
  • Fabric scissors.
  • Pencil.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Tape measure.
  • Adhesive diamante craft letters.
  • Sewing pins.
  • Variety of fat quarters.
  • Ribbon.
  • Fusible wadding.
  • Fabric glue.
  • Calico cotton fabric.
  • Handmade with love button.
  • Pom poms.
  • An old snow drape which I cut to size to create the snow effect.
  • Glitter stars.
  • Printed photo of Hunter.
  • Hollow fibre stuffing.

How I made the stockings: the same instructions are for both stockings

  • I started off by drawing myself a template to work with for both stockings.
  • This was then used to have two pieces of Calico cotton fabric cut to roughly the same size.
  • The template was then pinned onto the Calico fabric and then the Calico was then cut to size and shape.
  • One piece of Fusible wadding was then cut to size. Which was just a little smaller than the Calico.
  • The three was then layered and ready for sewing together (Fusible wadding in the middle).
  • Once layered the fabrics were then pinned together, to help hold the shape needed and make life much easier when sewing.
  • When I had finished sewing the three fabrics together I then stuffed the paw sections with Hollow fibre stuffing. I then run a stitch across the top to help keep the stuffing in position.
  • For the bone label on Coco’s stocking I cut a template out and used it to cut a fat quarter to shape. I cut two bone shapes out of a fat quarter and cut one piece of Fusible wadding. I then layered them with the Fusible wadding in the middle, pinned and sewed them together.
  • I then started to decorate the stockings as per photos below. Using fat quarters, pom poms, Hunters photo, buttons and glitter stars.
  • In order to hang the stockings I cut some ribbon to size and sewed it in position.

Ta da

They were both hung nicely in place at Christmas waiting for Santa Paws.

Our dogs are, and always will be apart of our family. NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS!

(dog in the middle is our loving Buddy – forever loved and missed dearly)

Do you have any pets?

Handmade

Handmade Advent Calendar

Handmade Advent Calendar

Just because us adults are now grown up, why should we miss out on all the fun? Us adults enjoy the count down to the big day too. And age is just a number, right? I am sure I am not alone in saying we are all big kid’s at heart.

Making the countdown fun and personal…

Christmas can be expensive enough so why not help keep the cost down where we can. Advent calendars are a brilliant way to help us count down to the big day, and the lead up to the big day is half the fun right? there is no reason we can’t go and purchase another advent calendar from the shops, but this year I thought why have the same store-bought ones each year?

This year I got my craft on…

This year I have decided to make us a family advent calendar and make it personal to my family. A calendar we can re-use for many years to come. One that will help us make the Christmas season even more special. Advent calendars are becoming even more themed like, with so many choices ranging from, alcohol, beauty, toys, chocolate and so on. Another reason to make a family one, why be stuck with just the one theme?  

Adding a little fun into the advent calendar…

The advent calendar I have made will involve us all as a family taking part, by adding a little thought and love into it. You can buy a pre-made empty advent calendar in a choice of many different designs for those not feeling very creative, but I thought I would have a go at making my own. So here goes……

Secret Santa advent…

There are six of us living in our house, our advent calendar will have 25 pockets to it. 24 pockets shared between the 6 of us will mean we will all get 4 pockets each. Pocket 25 will be shared between all of us. In pocket 25 we will all add a family game or something we could all do together over the festive period, so the fun lives on beyond the big countdown. We will all write down that activity on paper and add it to pocket 25.

The aim of the calendar…

We all wrote our own names and one of our chosen advent numbers/pockets on a piece of paper four times (one for each of our pockets) and put our four pieces of paper into a dish. We then all took four different pieces of paper containing a persons name and number/pocket which we wasn’t allowed to inform others of who we had. If we pulled our own name out we had to put it back to change it for someone else’s name. We then had until the end of November to purchase an advent gift for that persons number/pocket on the advent calendar. As we work our way through December we can all excitedly see what our secret Santa has placed in our advent pockets on those days. I thought this would be a much more fun way to enjoy the big countdown to the big day.

What I used:

  • A mixture of different Christmas fabric. To use for the pockets and bunting.
  • Calico cotton fabric to use as the backing.
  • Fusible Iron On Interfacing fabric. To use in the middle.
  • Light Hessian fabric. To use as the front.
  • Mixture of Christmas themed ribbons. For decoration and the bunting.
  • Mixture of mixed designs 3D flat back Cabochons. For decoration.
  • Self adhesive felt. Used for the numbers.
  • Lace fabric. To use for decoration.
  • Fabric glue.
  • Flower head pins. Used to support the fabric when cutting and sewing.
  • Fabric Scissors.
  • Tape measure.
  • Pen.
  • Cotton.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Glitter stars for decoration.

How I made the advent calendar:

  • The first thing I did was decide on the location I would like to hang the calendar.
  • I then went on to measure the space I had and then worked out my measurements.
  • Pockets were then made in a mixture of sizes. I done this by using a variety of different Christmas fabrics. Cutting them all to a variety of different sizes, making sure not to make them to big and to stay within my measurements. The pockets were then pinned and sewn. Leaving the top section open, giving us somewhere to place our advent gifts.
  • The 25 pockets were then decorated, using ribbon, lace, cabochons and off cuts of fabrics. All being glued with the fabric glue.
  • All 3 of the calendar fabrics were then measured and marked for cutting. The front piece of fabric will be 1″ bigger than the middle piece of fabric. The middle piece of fabric will then be 1″ to what is going to be the backing fabric. This then allows for the edging fold/overlapping.
  • Then came the nerve wracking bit…It was then time to cut the fabrics to size. This part always makes me nervous.
  • The fabrics were then ironed.
  • The fabrics were folded by laying what is to be the front fabric down first, then what is the middle piece on top of the front piece. The fabric that will be the back was then laid on top.
  • All 3 fabrics were then pinned and sewn together.
  • The calendar was then decorated with lace, the pockets and ribbon.

Bunting to finish…

The bunting was then made and added to the calendar. I made this by re-measuring the width of the calendar and then cutting some fabric to size and the triangle shape I wanted. I then cut some ribbon to size, allowing extra to tuck round the back to finish. I used fabric glue to glue it all in place. Glitter stars were then added with glue to the calendar to finish. Followed by the pockets being filled with secret Santa gifts. We were then ready for the countdown to begin!

Slideshow

This was my first ever handmade project of this size. I have always wanted to make things myself but have never really had the time to do so. Now I am no longer working due to ill health I am now able to put the time and effort into different projects. Since finishing this advent calendar I have made both of our dogs a Christmas stocking each and I am currently working on an interior project with Ian. All of which I will be sharing with you later this week.

Are you doing anything different this year for Christmas?

Collaborative post

Making Your House Feel Cosy

making your house feel cosy

Making Your House Feel Cosy

Making your house feel cosy is the easiest and best way to make your property feel like home, whether your motivation is the winter months setting in, a new house or maybe just a desire to do something new to your decor.  To create a cosy and homely feel does not necessarily have to cost you too much or take up too much time, in fact you might find you already have everything you need to make your property just that little bit cosier than before. Here are some of the many ways you can revitalise your room with a cosy decor, which or how many of these you choose to use is completely up to you:

9 Ways Of Revitalising Your Home:

  1. Buy some throws and blankets and place these around your home, you could place them over the back of sofas or chairs or you could even hang them on display. If you do use this idea, think about the current fabric trends of 2016, we are seeing the return of tie dyed fabrics, textured fabrics and bold colours are also popular this year.
  2. Re-light your fire. Nothing is cosier than a nice warm fire with its soothing glow and comforting heat, most fires now can be turned on without actually heating up, creating the cosy feel without making you too hot, use this feature whenever you are home and want to cosy-up with the family.
  3. Re-paint walls to a darker colour, something like chocolate-brown or a charcoal grey would be perfect, use lighter colours such as white and cream to break-up the dark colours and lighten the room, otherwise it may be too dark.
  4. Add plenty of family photographs and portraits to the room, hang these on walls and add frames to mantle pieces, even consider adding some black and white or sepia effect photographs, i.e. pictures with an old feel.
  5. Add rugs, even consider putting rugs on top of rugs. Layering like this instantly creates a cosy feel, as does rolling a rug out onto the floor, this is especially perfect for anyone with hard-wood or laminated flooring.
  6. Plants and nature are always a good way to make a home feel cosier. Consider adding some potted plants or even fill some glass bowls with some soil and plants to create a ‘nature terrarium’.
  7. Transform one wall by covering it completely with a curtain instead of painting or wallpapering it, this will make the room instantly warmer and cosier. This works perfectly in bedrooms.
  8. Add a comfortable chair in the bedroom, this will bring the sitting room into the bedroom and tempt you to curl up in the chair and make the most of the room. For the icing on the cake, think of adding a warm and comfortable looking blanket over the back of the chair.
  9. Include hanging fairy lights into your interior design, even if it is not Christmas. These usually work the best in a bedroom however, if you place them right hanging fairy lights can be used all year round in any room to make it feel a little bit cosier.

You do not need to do all of these things, just start by implementing one and keep going until you feel like your house is finally as cosy as you’d like it to be.

*** This is a collaborative post ***