Saturday, 30 August 2014

Easy wall hanging DIY

Today I am sharing a quick and easy DIY!
Inspired by Jeran from Oleander+Palm's "land of nod" project.

I am just putting the finishing touches to our new work space in our loft, and introducing a bit of fun an color... this wall hanging being one!!
One of the best ways to add some textures to your walls is to use a wall hanging! I have shown you how to make a Macrame wall hanging  before, and I want to try weaving soon, but if you are after a quick fix, this one is for you: It is so easy, you could even do this with the kids! And it takes less than an hour to make!

All you need is a piece of dowel (I've painted the ends of mine), some wool in the colors of your choice and some scissors!

This is pretty self explanatory, but here's some brief instructions:
Simply measure out how long you want your wall hanging to be, and cut lengths of wool, double that!
Use 4-5 lengths at the time, fold in half and loop around the dowel as shown above.
Repeat with each color as you please, until you're happy with the look of your wall hanging!!

Plait 3 pieces of wool together and tie onto the ends of the dowel so that you can hang it up on the wall... 

Trim the ends with the scissors.

 And there you have it a tactile, simple wall hanging to add some texture to your walls!!

I am planning on doing some other types of wall hangings soon....weaving being one of if you are after something a bit more ahem....complicated(?) then please pop back soon!!

 photo signature1_zpsb6cf70d0.jpg nopin=

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

DIY paper plant pot

Here's a little 10 minute DIY for you.

I have developed a new-found love of green plants recently, and plan to keep some in our new work space in our loft (God bless them, they know not what fate awaits...LOL)
As this is a rather new development, I am not really kitted out with stacks of beautiful plant pots...and in an attempt to save some money (I cant believe how expensive a nice plant pot can be....or maybe I have very expensive taste???) I decided to just make some out of paper to cover those ugly plastic ones that come with potted plants!

All you need is paper (I used wallpaper lining, which you can pick up cheap in any DIY shop....but any thick paper will do) scissors and tape! And something cylindrical to use as a template: I used an old gift box for wine...perfect size!!

meassure roughly how tall you'll need your pot-cover to be,add enough to cover the bottom and then cut the paper to size . Make a small fold at the top then "Pretend" to wrap up the wine box, taping it in place around as you go!

Then I pulled the paper "pot" off the wine box....

....and crumpled it up before placing my plants inside.

If you are thinking: What's going to happen when you water the plants?...I would suggest that you take the plants out before watering, and place a yogurt lid in the bottom of the paper pots to catch any drips after!

I think they look rather nice, don't you??
...and cheap as chips to make!!
 photo signature1_zpsb6cf70d0.jpg nopin=

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Our new work/play space in the loft

Summer is nearly over....Boy does time fly!! We are on our usual "last of the summer" break in Norway at the moment...its becoming a bit of a tradition! And we'll be here until the penultimate day before its time for Little Miss Moo to get back to school!!

Its a good thing then, that we managed to finish turning our messy ,dumping ground of a loft into a work and play space, where LMM can sit and do her homework and play with her friends..... and where I can retreat to do my projects and blogging....saving our "new" kitchen from the mess of my creativity!!

So, here's what the Loft used to look like!!
It really was a mess!!
It took me, and my little "helper" 2 days to clear the mess and get all our stuff organised in the eaves....

With that done, it was a case of giving our damp damaged walls a lick of paint (more on that later...), and lay down some new flooring,( I chose to put down cork tiles, as I wanted a floor I didn't have to be too precious about...this is after all supposed to be a functional work space...besides : they were cheap!!) before I could implement my new work space design....

....and I hope you'll agree:  The transformation is quite remarkable!!
It is now a very functional space where we can all spend time: For both work and play!!

I made the double desk going all along the far wall from a piece of laminate panel from  Wickes and some Oddvald trestles from IKEA, and it's perfect for the space!! Little Miss Moo can sit and do her homework whilst I do my blogging work, allowing us to spend time together at the same time as we can get on with our own stuff!! 

...and its also perfect for when little Miss Moo has friends around, as there is plenty of space for everyone to sit and do some drawing or crafts...

And keeping all our craft and art supply's handy in an IKEA Raskog trolley is a great way to promote creativity! 
If you like the "I will survive" plant basket, I will share the stencil template with you all soon!

I love how the painted brick wall turned out....and on one side of the desk, I've created a little collage of inspiring pictures and some black and white family pics...I love the "Don't grow's a trap" washi tape from Tiger...

I've also, true to my plan of introducing some more plants into our home, added a couple of succulents (they are easy to keep!) I've made the paper plant pots myself, and will show you how in my next post!!

I've used my jazzed up natural basket from Bodie and Fou as a bin...I just placed a cheap paper waste basket inside!

I used a couple of Ribba picture ledge's from IKEA to display some art work, above the desk.

And on the other side, I've created the perfect spot to sit and do my blogging!

I've used my new House Doctor vases to house my pencils and brushes, and my new faded clipboard from An Artful life studio to display current projects...The textured wall hanging is an easy DIY I will show you very soon!
Also note Little Miss Moo's artwork, proudly displayed on the picture ledge above!

The Ranarp spotlights are also from IKEA, and I love the hint of industrial feel to them! 
The space underneath the trestles is perfect for my hoards of interior magazines...I've simply screwed a piece of wood to the base to create a shelf there!
And the old filing cabinet has also had a makeover with some DIY stencils, that I will share with you all very soon!

I purchased this futon on e-bay for £20....

...creating a nice place to relax with a magazine and a cup of coffee!

The "side-table" is just a big storage basket with a tray placed on top, making it  very functional, as I can simply carry my refreshments up to the loft on the tray, and place it on top of the basket, which also obviously provides useful storage for odds and sods...

Here's the view from the other side of the room, with my old upcycled bedside tables, now used as storage for papers and other office essentials, like the printer...and of course my DIY wire mesh display wall where I can hang up inspirational pictures  to create my mood boards !

I already had the wicker storage baskets, and as luck would have it, they were a perfect fit for the bedside tables! 

The origami paper table lamp was a bargain in the sales from habitat.
And of course, Arthur - the plant ,fits perfectly in this spot to add a lush touch of green!!

Already this "new" room in our house is improving our lives...We spent most of the time up in the loft in the few days we had before flying to Norway....Little Miss Moo would just disappear up there and I'd find her getting creative with either drawing ...or in this case: some balls of wool:

And that in itself means that I can get on with my own stuff as she now knows where all her art supplies are, and that she can go upstairs when she feels like it, and get creative!!

This is possibly the best improvement I've made to our house so far!!
Its a fun and creative space, a retreat where we can get messy (both LMM and me!!) without having to pack everything away at the end of the day!!
And it also looks great...I hope you'll agree!!

Just goes to show, with a little effort, a small amount of £'s and a bit of imagination, using the spaces in your home to it's full potential will improve your lives, as well as your home!!

 photo signature1_zpsb6cf70d0.jpg nopin=

Friday, 22 August 2014

Wire mesh memo wall DIY

Today I am sharing this detail from my new work space: A wire mesh memo wall!
I know you can buy these purpose made ones, but I just bought a galvanized mesh panel from wickes* for £3.99...

I simply suspended it on the wall with 4 screws...

Perfectly simple....and great for my ever changing mood boards!
I just use some mini pegs* (I sprayed mine silver) to pin up pictures and notes.

I find that having an area designated to inspiration is inductive of my creativity, and a great way to keep myself organised and focused!!

How do you stay organised and inspired in your work space??

 photo signature1_zpsb6cf70d0.jpg nopin=
*affiliate links: I may make a small profit, if you deside to make a purchase though this link!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

How to: Paint laminate furniture

In turning our loft space into a work space/ office , I am , as ever, on a tight budget!!
So making do with what I already have is essential!!
Having said that, this is not going to stop me from achieving the look I am after (See my previous post here)

An essential part of a working office/work space is storage....but I could not afford to go out and buy new, so I've transformed these old laminate IKEA bedside tables that we already had to fit in with my work space design!! Other than being that fake birch wood look , they were perfect...especially as they already had castors, making them easy to move around. All they needed was a lick of paint!!

Painting laminate furniture can be a bit of a disaster, if not done properly.... in this post I am going to show you how to get a lasting and good-looking finish when painting laminate!!

The rules for painting Laminate is slightly different from when painting real wood:
You cannot key up the surface of laminate, as you would with wood, by sanding the surface.
But you still need to prep the surface in order for the paint to grip and not slide straight off.
The key to achieve this on Laminate furniture, is to thoroughly clean the surface:
Use a cleaner with de-greasing purposes : I've found that a regular cream cleaner does the job.
Rinse and dry the surface after cleaning!

The next step is THE MAGIC INGREDIENT!!
Get some Polycell liquid sanding solution* . This will help key up the surface, making it more receptacle to paint!
(*This is an affiliate link: I may make a small profit if you decide to purchase this product !)

Simply wipe it on with an old cloth, leave to dry for 10-20 minutes, then clean off !
You will notice that the previously smooth surface of the laminate now feels slightly rough to the touch!

Before you can paint your laminate furniture, you will need to further prep the surface by painting it with an oil-based primer! This will create a bond between the laminate and the paint, making the finish more durable!!
 It CANNOT be a water based primer, as this will simply not work!!
Any oil-based primer will work, as will a product like Stain stop*, which is what I used!
*affiliate link

For a smooth finish, roller it on with a sponge roller...
Don't worry about an even coverage at this are merely creating a bond for the paint to grip on to!

When the primer has dried, you can paint your laminate furniture with ANY paint you'd like: emulsion or doesn't really matter: If you have prepped the laminate properly, they should all grip nicely to the surface!!

I chose to use gloss paint!
I rollered it on with a gloss roller sleeve! 
I did 2 coats to achieve an even coverage!!
(If you are painting something that will have to withstand a lot of wear and tear: Like a table top, I would recommend that you finish off with a coat or two of clear varnish)

And that's it: My old laminate IKEA bedside tables has gone from fake wood look to glossy white!
And now you know how to properly paint laminate furniture with a lasting finish!!
(of course you can be more adventurous with your color choice than I have)
Using what you've got, and updating furniture with paint, is one of the best ways to save money when updating a room! See more of my tips on decorating on a budget here and here

It fills me with a great sense of achievement when I can make do with what I've got and still create the look I am after... The new work space in the loft is nearly there now...Just a few little creative touches left to do, before I'm ready to show you all!!
And just in the nick of time, as we are off on a little break to Norway tomorrow!
Time flies! (is it just me or does time go faster as you get older??)
Enjoy the last of your summer folks!!

Oh! And if you have a spare minute or two, please vote for me in BEST INTERIOR BLOG CATEGORY in the COSMOPOLITAN BLOG AWARDS!
Voting closes on the 29th August, and I would really appreciate your support!
Click on the image below to be redirected to cast your vote (Page 11)
Thank you!!

 photo signature1_zpsb6cf70d0.jpg nopin=