All posts filed under: Make It

Make a fab kids drawstring sports kit bag in an hour

My daughter has a whole heap of PE kit to keep at school – trainers, football boots, shin pads, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts… there’s loads! She wanted a fun big bag that could keep everything all together rather than an array of carrier bags, so we got sewing and made this in under an hour. It’s super easy so a great project for kids or novice sewers. My fabric is by Michael Miller Bam Boy about £13/m Here’s how you make it: Decide how big you want the bag to be. Cut out 2 pieces of fabric this size plus 3cm at the width and 6cm on the height. Pin the fabrics right sides together…  Put pins as markers at the side seams 4.5cm from the top edge and stitch starting and finishing at these pins down the sides and across the bottom of the bag (use a 1.5cm seam allowance).  Remove the pins.  Press the seams open and continue the pressed seam allowance up to the top edge. Stitch these seam allowances down (these will be …

The best new craft mag and my work’s in it!

Listen up all ye who who like making things for their home – there’s a new kid on the block and it’s the best “make it” magazine I’ve seen in ages! The first issue of “The Craft Network” has loads of projects to make for the home (and they’re ones you’ll really want to try) as well as being affordable and doable too. There are ideas that the beginner can achieve successfully and some for more confident makers too. There are all sorts of crafts with instructions and step by step photography to guide you so you won’t go wrong. I was asked to complete a whole host of footstool projects from recovering dated old ones to making a crochet-covered stool from scratch. There’s patchwork and lots of staple-gun action so I do hope there’s something for everyone. My girls modelled in the early morning shoot and were fantastic (and they weren’t late for school either). I’ve also done a painted light fitting, underbid storage boxes, a set of little hooks and jeans pocket storage hanger. There’s loads more …

Woo hoo I have a new website!

I am a complete technophobe and even when I try really hard at getting it right, more often than not I get it all wrong so the concept of building my own website was more than a little daunting. A friend pointed me in the direction of Wix claiming it was really easy to use. I was very skeptical but I spent many hours, made lots of mistakes, got frustrated, got un-frustrated and ta- daaaaaaaahhhhh here it is!  I am terribly proud of myself because it all seems to work well and is a great place to see all the things I do… magazine room makeovers, styling, writing, up cycling and craft, as well as the videos I did for Style At Home magazine. It’s also got info on my new venture which is taking on private commissions for design and styling because for years people have asked me to come and help but up tis now I’ve only worked on magazine features. So I’m excited and I hope you have a chance to look at …

Learn to do upholstery – I promise you can and I’ll show you how in “Style At Home” magazine

Giving a new lease of life to an old piece of furniture is something that I absolutely love to do so can you imagine my delight when the lovely people at Style At Home magazine asked  me to write a feature on upholstery to help readers get started on their own projects. The feature is now out in the new issue and I hope it will inspire you to try your own project and help you actually do it. Because I do do this sort of thing myself, I have an understanding of what is a good idea to try when you’re a beginner and what’s not. I know that recovering a footstool is straightforward, tackling a button-back chaise is not. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, making new covers for a chair or sofa with loose cushions really isn’t that difficult and you can do it well. In the feature you’ll find out about what furniture to buy, what fabrics to choose and then I’ll talk you through a few basic projects. Grab a copy of …

Get ready to party and make carnival style lights – my favourite craft project for years

As you may or may not (but now you do) know,  I make all the lovely Upcycle projects for the brilliant Style At Home magazine each month – I take something old, maybe ugly but definitely unloved and turn it into something you’ll want to have in your home. Check out this month’s projects in the new issue just out…      I also sometimes do the “It could be designer” feature where I have to work out a way to make something that’s inspired by a fabulous, but jolly expensive home accessory. There are lots of  great rusty metal letter lights around at the moment so I was delighted to take up the challenge to make my own version and share the results with readers. I do lots of this kind of thing, but I have to say that this project is completely brilliant and the letters really do look amazing – even I was impressed with how they turned out. They’re not difficult to make and you could do your family’s initials, or make a word, or …

Giving an old tapestry a second chance

In the charity shop the other day I saw a framed tapestry picture. It wasn’t something I wanted on my wall necessarily but having done a bit of tapestry before I could appreciate the time and effort someone had gone to to complete the needlework and I did like the finished result. The shop assistant said it had been there a while and she didn’t think anyone would buy it and that made me sad – all those hours stitching gone to waste! I decided to buy it and think of something to do with it later – I wanted someone’s hard work to be appreciated again. On one of my many journeys in Pinterest I came across some tapestry and velvet cushions and I saw some other versions in very expensive high street stores. All were of similar design with a velvet piece either side of a central decorative panel. They looked great so that’s what I did too to complete my cushion. You could do this design to “frame” any central piece – it could be a printed or …

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 …

Want to make your house stand out? Make your own fabulous number plaque from a slate floor tile

Everyone’s home has a name or number of course and having clear identification means that all friends can find you when they come to visit, or that special online purchase is delivered without a hitch. When I was looking for a number plaque for my house that was traditional yet bold, I found limited choice, none of which inspired me. I was sure I could do something myself that I would love the look of and as I always like things if they’re a bit unusual this was the way to go. In simple terms, the plaque is made from a 40cm slate floor tile with the number painted on top. I used white paint but you could do something really eye-catching with orange or turquoise (or any other bright colour) paint – get a small pot of craft paint at Hobbycraft to avoid wastage or use a standard exterior or oil-based paint. The only thing is to make sure it’s a good contrast to the colour tile you choose so it can be seen …

Fabulous upcycle projects in Style At Home

My copy of the fantastic “Style At Home” magazine has just dropped on the doormat. There’s so much to read and be inspired by in the issue including these upcycle projects where I’ve turned drab, run of the mill things into lovely home accessories using on-trend pastel colours and geometric shapes. Go grab a copy as all the instructions you need to do it yourself are there!

Personalised storage – make for yourself, or give as a lovely gift

Lots of us have storage jars around the home keeping everything from tea bags to cotton wool to elastic bands in order. Many high street versions can be a bit boring and there’s not really much choice if you want something fun. I had an idea to get some push top glass Kilner jars and add my own words using self-adhesive vinyl letters I found on EBay – such a simple but really effective trick! They stick really easily, the only difficulty is getting them straight but if you’re worried then wrap masking tape round to give you a line to work on. Sometimes it’s hard to think of personal gifts for friends and family, but who wouldn’t be cheered by a jar of cookies (home baked even better) with cheeky slogan or simply a name on the front? Write anything you want, and the stickers come in lots of colours so you can be as creative as you like – the choice is yours 🙂