I'm definitely a DIY gal at heart, spending most evenings looking at projects on Pinterest or making something at home with more or less success. Sometimes it's a definite failure, but they say that's how you learn. Sometimes things also just work out well, like these leather catchall trays. It's hardy a DIY as it is just so incredibly easy to make them, but I think they would impress most people as gifts and they are also so incredibly useful around the house for all those little trinkets we all seem to have so many of.
To make these I had some leather scraps, a leather hole puncher (it's pretty heavy duty) and some gold and silver studs with screw backs. The leather was cut into the shapes I wanted and then I just punched two holes in each corner where the studs would go. Simply screw the two parts of the studs together to shape the leather into a "tray" shape and you are done with the DIY'ing. Almost too easy, don't you think? If you want to you can super glue the screw bits together, but it isn't necessary. I am toying with the idea of making a felt version and maybe even a really big one to hold yarn and knitting things. As you do. So far nothing is decided, but who knows, maybe one suddenly appears on this very blog?
One of my favorite things about the Christmas period is the lead up to the festivities. I love when the Christmas lights are lit, people are starting to think about presents, Christmas cards are being written and sent and it's Advent. Growing up we would do things surrounding the advent period in school, and my favorite part is still the advent candles. In Scandinavian countries most families will have some sort of advent candles to light, one for each Sunday in advent. This Sunday, November 30th, marks the first Sunday in advent, and I have my candles to light. Although I am forever trying to decide on an advent candle holder that can come back year after year I haven't found something I really like so this year I got cube candles from Ikea (perfect for scandi inspired Christmas stuff) and decorated them with red and gold colored baubles in different sizes. Definitely a low cost and easy solution and the candles are big enough to last all the way through December.
For our wedding (yes, more than 6 months ago) I decided that our sweets table would be useless without some gold love birds on it. And I had to make them myself. Normally this is not a problem, but I had this idea about 5 days before we were due to walk down the aisle, so timing was not great. The lovely thing about being a craft supplies hoarder is that I had both gold paint and oven bake clay lying around the apartment. Who doesn't, right? So I went all crafty and hand shaped two birds, which I was pretty happy about, and cooked them in the oven according to the instructions on the packet. Not that they look the exactly the same, that would be very difficult, but they did look pretty cute on the sweets table. Can't say they made the biggest difference, but after they were made I was much calmer. Anything to calm a stressed bride!
In our whole wedding planning process there was a lot of purchasing of things that probably were not necessary. And some things that we thought could work but then didn't. So yeah, we have some stuff lying about, and this wicker heart was one of them. So what is a gal to do, right? She DIY's. On it's own it was booooring and had no place in our house, but decorated, well that's a different story.
I used some leftover cream paint and wooden letters we had in the craft box and painted the letters a couple of times so that they would look a bit nicer and the holes would be covered up. Once they dried properly I took some blue ribbon we also had on hand and superglued the letters to the ribbon. Once that dried up I used the same superglue to glue the ribbon to the heart. The last thing to do was to grab some of the leftover ribbon and make a loop to be able to hang the heart. Finish off with a bow and it's all done! Most of my supplies were from Hobbycraft, which is where I usually go for hobby stuff. Other great places are Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
A little while back I got it in my head that my life would be sooooo much better if I covered our pin board with fabric. In a way. I guess I was right, because I love how it looks and how much nicer it is to pin something on the board now that the background isn't the traditional cork color, but actual life improvements? Not yet. But visual improvements are always a plus in my book.
So yeah, I do have a thing for organizing and a tidy space and when I saw my husbands sunglasses lying in the way somewhere in our living room I just died a bit inside and decided to fix it. With a small apartment comes the need to organize and be very tidy, something I love to embrace and the husband, well, not so much. But his sunglasses, they now have a spot they belong.
I made a little trip to the local hobby store this week and bought mostly only what was on my shopping list, but some aluminium wire did make it into my shopping bag. I had a plan to make a little something something I saw on Pinterest (if it happens, I will of course let you know) but when those sunglasses were in my hand and I was thinking how to organize them, this mini clothes hanger DIY just popped into my head and I got DIY'ing. There are no instructions for this as I just molded the aluminium wire into the correct shape and twisted the end of the wire to close up the mini hanger with pliers. I was planning to wrap the leather cord in the picture around the base of the hanger but decided I liked the look of the mini hanger as it was.
The pin board was just as easy, I measured the size and purchased fabric I liked in a sufficient size, cut it down a bit and basically forced it in between the frame and the cork board. A bit fiddly but extremely easy and fast. Now the only thing that is bugging me is the color of the actual frame. Don't you think it would be better if it was white? Or maybe gold? I know, me too.
Sometimes I just HAVE to make something, and on these occasions it's the easier projects that have to do. This is not really much of a DIY but more of a re-purpose of something. Take a frame and use it as a tray. Not too difficult? I was just a bit bored with how this frame looked but I like the shape, it's not easy to find frames that aren't rectangular. I dare you.
So for this little DIY project you need a frame, something to put in the frame (I went for a map of London), spray paint (and possibly primer, it will make the paint stick much better) and if you want to distress your frame to get a semi shabby chic look then you need some sand paper. I also got myself some scissors, a measuring tape and pritt stick to glue the map to the frame base, but you don't really have to do this.
If you want to spray paint your frame, do this outside, or, when the weather is bad and you just don't want to wait, put newspapers all over your bathtub, open the window wide and spray away. This is of course not the best solution, and this stuff can smell pretty serious, so only spray in short bursts and take breaks.
Once the frame has changed colour and is totally dry, take your sand paper and distress the edges to make it look old. I quite like the look and am thinking this could even be put on the wall if I get bored with it as a tray. This frame is a bit small, so it only holds a couple of things, but could be cute on a bedside table? Or on a shelf? The possibilities are endless!
I know I have mentioned before that I am very much into the easy DIY project that can be finished in an evening or, if we are generous, a day. There is one ongoing project on our living room floor that is in desperate need of attention, but the motivation is lacking. So instead I decided to crochet a clutch with yarn made from recycled fabric, you know, priorities. It sounded fun to work with a very different material and the jersey yarn is so thick that most projects are finished fast as you get a very big volume in a short period of time. Perfect.
There are no instructions on how to do this except crochet however wide you want your clutch, maybe buy a zip first so you know it will fit? I knew I could get a 20cm zip so just made sure the clutch was bigger than that even though the zip had not been purchased at the start of the DIY. Then crochet until you like how it looks when it is folded in two. Sew the sides together with the leftover yarn. Then hand sew the zip to the top. Done. This can easily be done in one TV filled evening.
I think one of my all time favorite craft things is Mod Podge and decoupage. It can be used for so many things, it's easy, fast and fun. There is something really nice about personalizing stuff, like this acrylic drawer that looks a bit boring on its own, but when it gets a photo added to it, it's more my thing to have around the house. The only worry now is that I find it very hard to keep myself out of Muji as I really want to buy loads of acrylic storage and get creative.
So, how to do this thing? You need Mod podge or decoupage glue, anything you want to personalize, like an acrylic drawer from Muji, scissors, sponge applicator for the mod podge and of course a printed picture! I actually printed mine at home on semi- fancy photo paper and that worked well.
Making it is super easy, cut the picture to size, put mod podge on the picture side and place on the bottom of the drawer. I placed my picture on the underside of the drawer as it will get less wear there, but you could probably also just put it inside the drawer if you prefer. Once the picture is glued on, apply a thin layer of mod podge on top of the backside, so the blank side to make sure the edges stay down. The glue will dry clear, so don't worry about it all looking very white in the beginning. Let it dry for 24 hours or more, drying time never hurt anyone, and then you can use your amazing new box for anything you like. Jewelry maybe? Or love notes and cards?
After a wedding and a (very!) short honeymoon we had so many pictures to remember those days by that well, I had to make a photo album. How long have we been married? Almost 3 months. And have I finished the albums? No. While I LOVE the idea of photo albums and it would be amazing to have the pictures printed and ready for me to look at and wistfully think back, making said album takes time. So much time. For the record, all the photos are printed, and I have slowly put things in order and found the correct place for the photos in the albums, but the cutting, gluing, positioning, decorating and writing little notes. That is yet to happen. I now move the albums around the apartment with hope that if they are lying next to my bed I will just go to bed early and sit down to finish them. Or maybe if I put them next to the TV and DVD's I will pick them up next time I watch a movie? Or how about putting them on the dining tables, so I can sit there after dinner one day and just finish what I started? No. It just hasn't happened yet. So here is to a fresh start to the week and possibly getting on with what I have put off for about 3 months. And then come the rest of my DIY projects that are currently on our living room floor (yes, all of them) in little piles. Could we please have more hours in the day? Thanks.
I'm Christine and I currently live in London with my husband where I do my best to go to as many restaurants as possible, bake, DIY and occasionally let my hair down and go to a museum. x