Tag Archives: DIY

How To: Make a Wall Planner

Running a business can be very expensive, especially when you run one of those ‘kitchen table oh-my-god-all-my-time-and-money-is-poured-into-this’ like mine.
I have managed to step up from my kitchen table and have rented out a little workspace with the lovely Lucy from Lucy Made Me.
We have managed to furnish it on the cheap, using furniture from our own homes and a few bits bought from charity shops….and being creative types we have come up with a few other solutions too.

We don’t always work together at The Dairy (our workspace) as Lucy works 9-5 in London and I work shifts, so we needed some sort of world domination wall planner, and I wasn’t willing to pay for one.

Luckily I watched enough Blue Peter as a child to have a few tricks up my sleeve…

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I had one of these super cool freebie calender from a magazine. Normally the calendars I manage to get for free suck, but I love the quirky crochet drawings on this one.

I took it apart and laid all the months in a 4×3 square and then reached for my secret weapon…dancing Pug tape.


How to make a wall planner (4) My husband bought me this tape for Christmas….he knows me soooo well.How to make a wall planner (2)I simply overlapped the pages of the calendar slightly and stuck them together. Funky Pug tape makes all the difference.

Now Lucy and I can plan out when all our fairs are and when we will be holding open studios too, and we can mark when we are away on hollybobs so the other knows.

I popped it up on the wall using washi tape so it didn’t mark our rented walls!How to make a wall planner (3)

Have you got a good use for a free calendar?



How to: Make Felt Bread Play Food

How to make play bread felt food tutorial DIY

One of my friends is super talented and has created one of those ratty-old-cabinet to schmazing-dream-playkitchen that you see on Pinterest for her daughter. She sanded and painted and stitched away for weeks on it till it’s looking like something I wish my kitchen looked like.

For Christmas I thought that some felt play food would be in order to add to this little play kitchen of dreams so I grabbed my basket of felt scraps and put my mind to work.

In this post I’m going to show you how I made slices of bread…perfect for little hands to practice making sandwiches and toast.

How to felt bread play food (1)

Firstly I drew a bread slice shape onto a piece of card and used it as a template. I always make templates as I find it so much easier than cutting freehand as I always manage to muck it up! I cut 4 light brown bread slices.

I also cut two really long thin ribbons of darker brown felt for the crust.

I laid two light brown slices together and stitched them together, using the dark brown felt like bias binding, covering the edges. This ensured the bread was nice and thick and not floppy. Who likes floppy bread eh? No-one.

I did this as one process rather than two to save me time as I was handstitching. This could of course be done on a machine, but I liked the rougher look.

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I stitched the entire way round, over lapping the felt crust slightly on one edge and stitching it securely.

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This barely took any time and was quite theraputic!

How about teaming this with some square slices of yellow felt with holes cut in for Swiss cheese, some circles of pink for ham and some green lettuce leaf shapes?

Anyone else hungry now?


How To: DIY a Laundry Bag

Laundry is a bone of contention at our house at the moment…I mean…how can one task take up SOOOO much of my life?

To ease my headache of ‘the dreaded sort’ we purchased two new bins and labelled them whites and darks….I know… how where we living like heathens before only having ONE bin? That simple addition of two bins has shaved at least 15 minutes off sorting time per load…hooray.

What I needed next was a laundry bag for the bathroom (I use a clean flannel daily and I use reuseable cotton pads that need hot washing) and a delicate bag for the bedroom for undies and whatnot.

Using two 12″ embroidery hoop (yeah…I actually had these lying around), some ribbon and two pillowcases I created two matching laundry bags by trapping the pillowcases in the hoops and attaching a hanging ribbon. These actually lay really flat against the wall so are great for small spaces.

embroidery hoop laundry bag how to pillowcase

This is looped over a hook on the interior of the door so it doesn’t fall down every time we open the airing cupboard.

I tend to take them out of the hoops and whack the whole bag in the wash. It helps keep away nasty pongs…especially from the bathroom one…boys seem to be able to make everything reek….including flannels! How is that possible?

So yeah, we have more laundry bags than people in our house…I’m the same with rubbish bins though…. got to have one in every room! There is probably a name for that right?




How To: Make Cake Bunting

cake bunting how to (2)So you have seen something like this (minus the dog hair on the carpet…how unprofessional of me….) on countless Pinterest pins and on bijou websites selling for over a tenner.

Here is how I made it for PENCE…actual pence.

I took a quirky old birthday envelope (yes…I keep EVERYTHING!) that had a nice pattern on. You could use wallpaper, wrapping paper or anything really, as long as it is thick enough!cake bunting how to (4)I then marked out the shape of the triangles, adding a little flap at the top to be able to flip it over the string.cake bunting how to (6)

I cut all the triangles out and then score along the flap fold, follow it up by trimming the overlapping edges so they don’t show.cake bunting how to (7) cake bunting how to (9)I had these sticky back foam letters in my craft box, but you could print and cut some out from your computer or draw some onto your cut out triangles if you are talented and sexy like that.

cake bunting how to (3)cake bunting how to (8) cake bunting how to (10)I then folded the flaps over some yarn and secured with some sticky tape, and then attached the yarn to two bamboo skewers from the kitchen.cake bunting how to (1)cake bunting how to (2)

That’s it! ….easy peasy…I am off to hoover my Den floor…I feel like a slattern now…


Thrifty Find: A Dirty Pigeon

Thrifty Find header HOw to DIY Thrifty find PigeonI know what you are thinking….what is that filthy bit of garden cement tat doing on your kitchen table?

It’s BEING AMAZING that’s what.

This was a chance spot in a skip. I eyeball skips as I pass them, trying to x-ray the contents…much to P’s dismay… and this one was a doozy. Unfortunately, we were walking past this particular one, so we couldn’t carry the massive cement planter (with squirrels on it!) or free water butt and stand to our friends (where we were headed) and then home. These folks must have been completely clearing the garden…I mean…who throws away a perfectly good water butt?! Mental folks that’s who.

So, we dutifully knocked on the door and explained to the perplexed fellow that we wanted to raid his skip for the above filthy pigeon, and a minute later I skipped away with a new living room ornament.

Yes..you heard me right…this grimy creature is going to live indoors…

She (we decided it was a girl…she’s pretty fancy looking) got a bit of a scrub up with some washing powder and then I got the big guns out….the spray paint.

A quick swish all over with some white gloss and she is looking pretty damn good.


Mavis…oh yes…we named her…  is now happily tucked up in our fake fireplace (putting a REAL one back in is on the list of housey jobs), next to Bruce, our concrete rabbit.

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Found anything this good for free lately?

wpid-signoff2013.pngThrifty finds link

DIY bedroom decor

As we are still settling into our house, I have been adding decor as and when I feel I need a change. Some pieces will stay, some will go….I am all about the flow of decor at the moment.

With this in mind and a set of battery powered fairy lights in hand, I created a little romantic something to go above our bed.

CIMG9963 Over the bed DIY

I don’t have a lamp my side of the bed (damn 1960’s house has a solitary plug socket on the OTHER side of the room – P has a solar lamp for this reason), so I use these little fairy lights to change and put on my night cream without waking his lordship and I can click them off once I hit the hay.

The signs are from our DIY Engagement shoot and the photo is from our first few months together as a couple.

It took me all of three minutes to assemble… whaddaya think?


DIY: Tiny Calender Magnets

We would be lost without a calendar. We have moved a lot of our life organising to digital (much to P’s absolute relief and my filofax’s horror!) but I still need a visual reference. We set up our hallway to include a calendar and I knew I just needed to have some little magnets to tell me when to take the bins out.

We have 3 bins…and they rotate and switch and jiggle about all over the calendar and make me dizzy…so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Photos for Beck 030

Everyone has some of these right? They give them away in packs of yoghurts and you can very rarely get a full set. I decided these would be perfect to re-use for something more useful.

Small DIY calender magents reuse

Using white labels, cover the magnet and then split it into 3 sections. I did it into 6, but then realised it wasn’t the best idea! Don’t worry if your labels overlap…we are going to trim them off in a bit.

Using Sharpies or felt tips to colour in the sections to colour code to your bins/events/people/pets etc etc etc.

Photos for Beck 033Photos for Beck 034

I coloured the magnet on top of a plastic baggie as not to make a mark on my desk. Worked quite nicely!

Cut them out, trimming round the excess and then pop them on your board!Photos for Beck 039Photos for Beck 040

Job done! You of course can neaten them up and make them smaller or a different shape. I just needed a quick visual reference!

Easy peasy right?