Month: June 2015

Give a bookcase a facelift – from boring to oooooooh that’s nice!

Almost everyone has a bookcase in some shape or another – they’re practical and useful, but often a bit boring to look at. I did this project for Your Home magazine to show how a simple unassuming piece of furniture can be changed into something eye-catching and unique in a few simple steps. You will need: Wooden bookcase 6 x MDF squares to fit the depth of the shelves (mine were 331mm x 307mm) Eggshell Paints in citrus bright colours. (I used Bongo Jazz 1, Dusted Moss 1, Tarragon Glory 6, Soft Moss 2, Dusted Moss 3 (outside) all by Dulux) Pencil Wood Glue Paintbrushes Hammer 30mm thin nails Drill & fine drill bit How to complete the project: Measure the height between the bookcase shelves, and the depth of the shelves. Cut 6 pieces of 18mm thick MDF 1mm smaller than both measurements (or save the stress and order from Jali who will cut them perfectly to your measurements under £4 each). Stand the MDF pieces on the shelves in a staggered formation then step back to check if you …

What shall I do with my plain white bathroom?

Lots of bathrooms are white which is generally a good thing as it gives a clean and crisp feel, but can sometimes be a bit clinical and bland. This was most definitely a problem with one bathroom I was asked to look at, though this had the added joy of mustard paint that gave a slightly sickly air, but on the positive side was light and bright and a great size. The other important part of this makeover brief was that there wasn’t the budget to do any major plumbing nor huge renovations, but as far as I’m concerned that makes it a more fun and challenging project because you have to be creative and work with what’s there rather than ripping it all out and start from scratch. The homeowners wanted a vintage feel with no trace of mustard. They didn’t want to re-tile which I understood as that would have been a major job, but the expanse of white tiles needed breaking up somehow. I found some stunning patterned blue tiles in Fired Earth that might be prohibitively …

Hand painted garden wall – 50 pre-schoolers and I get creative with Annie Sloan paint

When dropping my 5 year old at school recently, the teacher (who is very used to seeing me at the gates covered in paint) asked if I had any time to help add some decoration to a plain wall at the back of the Early Years garden. Having failed to help in class with reading, cookery and swimming I was delighted to be asked and agreed straight away. The teacher asked if it could have a garden theme as it was behind their planting space where beans, vegetables and flowers are being encouraged to grow. The wall was long and low, and I wanted to find a way to decorate it with the children so they had input and ownership so it meant more to them than if I just painted it myself. I looked on Pinterest for ideas and found some fun ways to turn handprints into animals. I tried out various ideas using my two girls to check that the ideas worked and which animals looked best. I asked Annie Sloan if their paint really is …

Easy craft: Smile-inducing personalised toothbrush caddy – perfect for kids to make

Our bathroom sink area always seem to be cluttered with toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes and it drives me crazy. So with the girls on half term, we decided to customise a humble little glass jar into a place they want to put their things into (which in theory will help keep the place tidy). Kids love having things with their names on and of course the choice of words is up to you. This is really fun to do for small people or grown ups alike! 1. Make sure the jar is clean and dry – these are Kilner jars that cost £1.65 each at Ocado. Wrap masking tape around the top and bottom. I did this for 2 reasons – firstly it creates a defined band of colour, and also it means there’s no paint to be chipped off on the top or bottom edges. 2. Stick self adhesive letters (mine were left over from another project from EBay – here) on the glass. Let the kids do their own thing and it will have …