New Buy – What Would You Do With it?

I went to the brocante over the weekend and bought this Henry II buffet. These normally go for anywhere between 30-100€. I bought this for 2€; I spotted it a while ago, but it was only 25€ then. It’s obviously something they just wanted rid of now.

Although I had to pay 30€ for delivery it worked out the same amount that I was about to spend on wood to finish off the ‘vestibule’ under the stairs. I could use wood from this to do that and I’d have something to use as a project that I wanted to finish before Christmas.

So, before I tell you what it’s going to be used for let me know…..how would you use it?

A French Cane Chair Using Recycled Elements

I thought I’d focus this post not so much on the how to, but the what to use in terms of recycled items. It’s not only good for the environment in terms of less landfill, but saves money, time in terms of shopping trips, packaging, and fuel going to get/having delivered the resources.

I’ve always loved this style of French cane chairs…

Gorgeous isn’t it? So when I saw this on le Bon Coin I knew I wanted it. For 35€ it was a good price too, particularly as the style above is sold in the region of $1,500…

The fabric is obviously 🤢, but the frame is solid with no woodworm and the springs are strong. I checked this when I went to buy it, but the other thing I noticed was that the seat cushion filling is a little strange. It’s sort of….crispy 🤨. Not dirty, but it has a crispy kind of sound when you press it. Weird.

So straight away I knew that this would need to be replaced. That’s ok though. As many of you who follow the blog know I like to salvage as much as I can, so I actually have some feather pads and foam from furniture that is no longer wanted for various reasons. When I first started doing up old furniture I was shocked at just how expensive these items can be, so now any furniture that may have been just taken to the tip gets a good going over to see what can be kept in the attic until I can use it.

You can see that my chair and the one I like are different in shape, which I’m ok with, but the back rest is very different. It doesn’t have wings, but I wandered if behind the padding was more cane. When I got it home I started to look under the fabric and found this…

A solid wood frame, and some strange wadding. It also reeks of cat, yuck.

So there’s no lovely rattan back to reveal, so that’s going to have to be reupholstered in a similar style, but I wanted a more modern wadding. Under the seat pad it looks like this….

The wood itself I really like and, although I had intended to give the chair the whitewashed effect of the target chair, I started to think I’d actually like to keep it as it is. The one thing that gave me pause was the idea that I already had this ottoman….

which I thought would go really well with the chair. However it’s legs were painted white, so I needed to check out if if they could be made like the chair, or if the chair would need to be made like the ottoman. Either away I wanted to bring the chair more in line with this structure on the left, so that I can put the two together like the one on the right…

I knew I’d need to have a second pad on the top of the ottoman that will match that on the chair. So let’s get to work.

After removing the fabric and wadding at the back of the chair I could see those strong springs and this interior section which is still in good shape.

Here’s the front – I’ve yet to hoover off the remainder of the wadding. As I focus on recycling it’s obvious that this is something that can be maintained.

I had to unscrew the side arms to remove the material tucked in. It was hard going as it’s a well made piece.

I disconnected the two springs holding the material that he’d the seat pad above in place and removed it, splitting the worn material open to reveal this deteriorated sponge. I shook that out and washed the remaining material; this and the internal panel was kept. It might not be pretty, but is still strong fabric. So it needed to be washed and have foam placed on top to replace the interior foam. The frame and back were hoovered really well as it was mainly in good condition.

I then used some salvaged foam from a sofa bed that we aren’t going to be using in this home. I cut a foam seat pad in half before cutting it into the shape of the backrest. The second half was going to be used on the seat.

I used fabric glue spray to attach the foam to the seat back, and added fresh wadding from an unused throw cushion that I stapled into place with its interior lining.

The remainder of that sofa bed is going to be used on other projects, so I’ll keep you updated.

The rest of the chair was covered with this knew, lavender velvet material. I also added a new seat pad from the additional back cushions of the sofa bed….

Then for the ottoman.

I made another pad from the sofa bed cushion and sewed one side of a zip along its length. Then I sanded the legs and stained them with this stain and wax, left it two hours then buffed it into a shine.

I took material sufficient to cover the original ottoman and placed it on top of it. Then I put the new pad on top and pushed into both ends of the other side of the zip, then further pinned it along its length. Undoing the zip entirely, I then sewed the second half to the still loose material.

Reattaching the two sides of the zip to make sure the pad was placed correctly I stapled the material on the four sides of the ottoman with one staple each side. After removing the zip again I then stapled the fabric to the ottoman and covered the base in the contrasting fabric.

I’d already added grey piping to the pads, but now I finished the project with some gold, nail-head trim.

It has a very different feel to the target chair, but it goes very well with the room. My daughters love it. Its positioning in t window gives it a perfect place to read and dream 🥰.

Side Area

I updated you on the changes to the layout of the kitchen last week, but as I was working on that I had started on this little side area.

On the adjacent wall area will be the range oven we would like. As a result this space is very narrow, only 40cms. Added to that the right hand, workable area underneath the counter is only 50cms. This is because the left hand side, just prior to the dividing panel, will buffer against the oven itself.

In the French countryside there aren’t gas lines, so we’ll have to rely on small, LPG gas bottles. When we were going to have the range oven underneath the chimney breast we had a pipe put under the floor that connected to the garage, which would store the bottle.

Visiting a friend we found they had theirs in a cupboard next to their oven. So this gap seems a great place to store ours and means we don’t have more, expensive work done.

The dividing section is hinged, and you can open it so you can easily slide out and replace the bottle.

The pole is from the stairs I took down in the corner of the kitchen, and it’s framed by the same wood appliqués that I used on the bookcase glow up.

As with the other areas I’ve created this wooden splash back. It’s going to be finished in maritime varnish just like the others to ensure its longevity.

I’ve checked the height and this is a workable space for out peddle bin and maybe the compost bin too.

We’re going to have additional plug sockets put on the back wall, so we can use it for the blender, slow cooker etc. The main point of the area is to give you elbow room when you’re cooking , but also have somewhere that you can place things should you need to.

The skirting board are done and I think it’s looking far more polished.

I’ve just finished varnishing the interior of the base cupboard that will be on the back wall, and I’m starting to paint it. When I have that in place I’ll have the height that I need for the butlers sink.

It’s getting there. By Christmas 🙏.

Art Nouveau Christmas Tile Coasters (Free Printout)

These are upcycled tiles that I’ve decorated with Art Nouveau or Art Deco Christmas scenes.

Here are some of the tiles….

The how to is here, and you can see that this time I’ve added felt in complimentary colours….

You can’t get your free printout here…

Up-cycling a Dining Table to a Coffee Table

I’m changing some of our living room decor – I’ll go into this more in another post. Today though I thought I’d share this little, big find that I discovered at the brocante. I had been searching for something with character and this seemed to fit the bill with its pantina and beautiful, turned legs. It’s a table that I had to reduce down, but it’s still wonderful and to be honest I genuinely like the height. No more bending over to put my cup down.

This is what it looked like when I first brought it home. Unfortunately it’s on its side in the hallway, but you get the idea.

The first thing I did was look underneath to see how it was secured. All these slats of wood are to allow a central leaf of the table to extend it. That leaf no longer exists and I didn’t want a table that big anyway. I think the combined height of this was 2-3 inches, so that seemed a good place to start reducing the table.

A hefty screw driver managed to get out all the screws without too much difficulty. I’d actually paid 9€ for the table. As my DIY journey continues I’m starting to develop an idea of just how much things cost, and believe me these screws alone would set you back that amount new.

I had the choice, do I further reduce the legs on the table? I knew if I did that a lot of what had appealed to me about it would be disguised. Do you see below where it would be natural to remove the top part of the posts leaving the first curve? The trouble with that is the lowered edge of the table would hide this first curve from view. I thought that would be a shame, so took a wait and see approach.

Each of the tops of the posts had a round piece of wood jutting out to fit into the slats connected to the table. I didn’t have the tools to make a similar hole in the table top directly, so I decided to screw right into the table. I was thinking at this stage that I would paint it and slightly distress the finish to highlight the shape.

Along the way I originally thought the central columns had to go, but I managed to review this later.

I reused some of the slats to join the tables like this….

… and then added the legs in the same direction so that they also joined the two halves of the table top together.

I reused the screws which have a slightly rusted look and actually blend with the table really well. I submerged them into the top by taking a wider screw bit and doing this about halfway into the wood to make a slightly deeper hole at the top for the screw head to nestle in.

As they’re so well disguised I’m not going to paint the table, or even refinish the top. I like the worn, characterful wood. We decided to live with the height for a little while and then when we’re certain we’re happy with it I’d unscrew it, glue the legs and rescrew it all together to make sure it’s sturdy.

Here’s the table looked at that point…

Here’s the patina…

You can see the screws don’t stand out.

Oh, and here’s what the kids liked to do….

After we’d lived with it a while we definitely liked the height, but I kept looking at the table legs thinking they looked unfinished. Then when I was chatting to my mum I picked up the central column and compared it to the table. It had been too tall you see, so I wondered what the difference was.

I could see a slight crack between the table top and it’s wooden apron and the difference was minimal. Keeping the central column straight I marked where this crack was on each leg then sawed across. Then this could be slid in the middle.

This is where we are now…

I’ll update you soon on my plans for the room.
In the meantime let me know what you think in the comments – I’d love to hear from you if you’ve used a re-purposed item for your coffee table.

20 Tips To Help You Do Your Own Upholstery

1. Thread

The first tip is to consider the thread you’re going to use. Your furniture has a lot of use. If you’re sat on your sofa reading this think about how it’s impacting the fabric and seams. As your body pushes the filling to compact the material is pulled down also and this causes stress on the seams. If you’ve ever worn clothes that are too tight (guilty) you’ll have noticed how this extra pressure on the seams causes them to give. You don’t want that to happen to your sofa after you’ve spent lots of time making them (and it’s hard work).

So when I started to upholster my couches I made sure to buy thread that was specifically made for upholstery. I got mine here and even though it was expensive it was well worth it. You can alternatively use a zig zag stitch to make your seams stronger, but I would highly recommend this.

As you can see by the picture the spoils are big as they’re designed for professional machines. However I just place mine in something beside the machine and it continues to work fine.

2. Needles

As with the thread your choice of needle is essential. You’re going to be going through thick fabric designed to take a lot of stress, so your needle will face a lot of stress too. I was delighted with how these needles worked, they didn’t snap and considering I’ve broken a lot of needles when I sew that’s saying something!

3. Material

When selecting the material you need to consider how strong it is and what you’re using it for. I’ve used lighter fabrics on dining chairs when I’ve upholstered them in the past and, even though they looked stunning when I first did them, they didn’t wear well over time. They’ll have to be redone soon meaning not only more time but additional cost too.

If it’s something like an occasional chair you can use mid-weight fabrics, but you have to be honest about how often it will be sat in. For example this Queen Anne chair is only ever sat in when all our other seats are taken when we have a lot of people over – so high days and holidays. So a mid-weight fabric was fine for it.

4. Amount

I use this chart from here to assess how much material I’ll need, but I always order more than necessary by about three metres. It means that if something should go terribly wrong I have additional material quickly to rectify the situation- and as it takes a long time to reupholster a sofa or chair you don’t want additional days waiting for new fabric to complete a frustrating project.

Also if you ever have a section of your upholstered piece ruined beyond redemption then you can replace that section if need be. No matter how good Vanish is (and I always have a bottle of the spray around for wine spills and it’s been a life saver) it can’t fix holes. My original sofa fabric has holes in it from wear and although there was a patch of fabric so I could salvage it prior to having the time to cover it it’s still a patch, even though it’s successfully concealed (for my tips on this look here).

5. When selecting the design think about this

Does it have a big bold pattern? If so you’ll also need to think about pattern repeat and the additional material you’ll need to make sure the pattern ‘flows’ throughout the sofa. This is tricky – this was the first sofa I upholstered with a pattern and, although it’s not a deal breaker, I wish I’d thought more carefully about how I was going to match the pattern when I was cutting out.

This leads me on to the next topic too…

6. Buying fabric as inexpensively as possible

Good upholstery material is expensive. A durable, heavy weight fabric is going to be setting you back at least £20/€25 euros a metre. Since a regular couch require up to 16 metres, excluding piping, then that’s a lot of money (for my pocket anyway). It’s still less expensive than a new couch, but the whole point of learning this skill is to save as much as possible.

What I do now is go on eBay and put in ‘upholstery fabric’ in the search engine and then in the criteria options on the let hand of the page I tick over ten metres, bail and whole rolls. You see when a fabric is distincontinued as fashion and seasons change there are often half or whole rolls of fabric that are removed from general sale an de they pass into the hands of discounters who sell them as whole batches on eBay.

So for example, as duck egg blue goes out fabric in that shade passes on to discounters.

I bought th fabric for the sofa above for £50 for 27.5 metres and it cost me about £30 for delivery. I used eBay uk because there doesn’t seem to be a similar discount system in France. However even with the cost of delivery it works out at about £3 per metre!

As we have two sofas I stick to similar tones so that I can buy sufficient fabric in this way.

7. Wash the fabric before you start

I didn’t do this once and when I did wash the fabric it shrunk significantly. Luckily it was the first couch I’d covered and I’d sewn them too baggy and after washing they fit perfectly. For obvious reasons I wouldn’t want to chance repeating this experience and risk them going too small next time.

8. Piping

As upholstery fabric is expensive you may want to consider whether you choose a contrasting piping that’s premade or make your own piping. Making piping is relatively easy, however it takes a lot of fabric when you consider the price. So you may save time and money by buying piping separately.

In terms of the sofa above I used the same fabric and made my piping as there was a significant amount left over.

9. Re-use fabric from elsewhere

I’ve trawled second hand shops before searching for good quality, mid weight curtains that have been kindly donated by someone. I’ve used this kind of material to cover occasional chairs too.

I’ve mentioned the first couch I covered, which I don’t use in our living room now as it’s a sofa bed. I’m probably going to use it elsewhere and I think I will cover it again in more neutral tones. It was pink velvet and with the lilacs seemed too feminine in our new living room. However I hated wasting the fabric, so I dyed it and covered another chair with it. Once you learn the skill of upholstery covers it can be very beneficial in getting a new look relatively inexpensively.

10. Pinterest

I spoke in this post about how I used Pinterest as a source of inspiration for design details. I’ve also used it to find upholstery how tos. They’re so good I decided to do this list of tips rather than my own!

11. Unpicking V pinning

In order to get a pattern for your sofa you can do it one of two ways. You can remove and unpick all of the previous covers, preferably salvaging zips, cord for piping etc as you go. To do this it’s best to have a marker with you to label each piece (cushion 1 front, cushion 1 side, cushion 1 back etc) as well as details such as whether it’s joined to the other parts by a seam, with piping, has a zip fastening etc. It’s also a good idea to get you phone out and photograph each section as you taken it apart to give you a record to refer back to in case how you’ve marked each piece suddenly stops making sense.

I tend to use that method when a cover is beyond any chance of saving for obvious reasons. However if that’s not the case, and if feeling the original material through the new fabric isn’t an issue, I take the material still in its entirety and pin it to the part I want to replicate. I then cut an approximate size of the piece and use that as a pattern to make a cover for the top of the upholstered piece.

I will do this as a unique post later because it bares explaining in detail. However it’s far better in your initial upholstery attempts to go with the unpicking method if possible. There will be trickier areas where you will have to work out how to make a slipcover work – you’ll have to ensure the material fits neatly on the seat of the chair frame and under the cushions for example. Previous experience will help you do this.

12. Placing the new ‘pattern’ to get the most out of your fabric

As I said in fabric selection you need to be able to ensure that any pattern is used successfully prior to cutting. Back to this sofa you can see how the couch cushions have the main focus of the pattern centrally to the cushion cover. If you flip these over you’d see that it’s not the case the other side. It was only after I’d cut out the first part of these that I realised I needed to be thinking about doing it! Lesson learned.

13. Use pinking shears for the hems

I haven’t the capacity on my machine for a blanket stitch to protect the edges – at least I don’t think I do, not an expert sewer – so I use these to stop fraying.

14. Cutting before mitring

This is an obvious, but so essential it bears spelling out just in case. Upholstery material is thick. A piece of fabric, sewed onto piping grosgrain, then another piece of thick material! If you’re not mitring you’ll find it won’t fit under the sewing machine foot.

15. Design details for mistakes

The first couch I covered I didn’t notice that the previous cover that I’d unpicked and used as a pattern didn’t actually fit anymore. I’d bought it second hand and the cover had evidently been washed and had shrunk. As a result when I went to put the new cover on it didn’t fit. It took me ages to realise what had happened and I confirmed it by spreading the old cover along to back of the couch – it was too short!

I was so frustrated. What was I going to do? All the cutting had taken place and there was no material big enough to replace what was needed. Unfortunately as the cover has now been used for my new arm chair as I’ve previously said, I can’t show you the eventual outcome. However what I did was make a sort of capped sleeve of pleated fabric to create extra width.

Simmilarly when I reused that material I found there wasn’t a piece big enough for the back of the sofa. So I divided what would be the back into three parts and made a button, fastening feature to disguise it. The back of that chair you can now see below.

16. Alternative fastening

Just because you have your ‘pattern’ doesn’t mean you can’t make intelligent changes. My original couch covers were very fitted and it was always a struggle to get them on and off when they needed cleaning. So when I recovered this couch I used a flap and butting fastening. A great way to make it easier and prettier!

17. Zip foot

Obviously you have to use a zip foot for the zip closing, but to be honest I keep mine on throughout. Thick fabric and piping elements make the material a challenge to handle and it helps with my use of time to just use this.

18. Make sure that you organise your time

I spent a week working pretty consistently on my last armchair, so you need to know from the outset this will take some time and plan accordingly. Obviously you can cover the sofa with a throw, but you don’t want a naked sofa around a long time – particularly if you have little ones around. I stripped an ottoman to cover recently, went to the kitchen to do something and found my youngest had torn holes out of the foam!

Which leads me to…

19. Remember your mirror images

Unless your going to re-use zips etc you can just unpick one back cushion and one seat cushion. Then reuse the pattern with the opposite side to create a mirror. It means at least one set of cushion covers will remain on the couch at all time throughout and that’s less of an opportunity for little fingers.

It also means you can unpick the back cushion, make the two cushions, then unpick the base cushion for the same reason.

Obviously if you use the pinning method above you don’t have to strip the sofa or armchair of the current material and therefor you can spend longer completing the project.

20. Upholstery staples

When upholstering with a staple gun you must ensure your staples are fit for purpose. This means making sure they have sufficient depth, so always buy the largest staples to fit your gun and a heavy duty staple gun that fires well. 

I’m about to do a post on covering the main body of a couch with a scalloped edge so stay tune for that; hit subscribe and follow on Instagram and Pinterest to be alerted when it comes out. Any comments – or tips you want to add – I’d love to hear from you!

Update On The Upcycled, Freestanding, Vintage Kitchen

Update On The Freestanding Vintage Kitchen

This is taking a lot longer than I thought it would and, as a result, is a little frustrating. However this is mainly because at present the kitchen to be hasn’t any light in it, so as this is winter and the light fades early it inevitably cuts down on the time I have to work in there.

Added to that I’ve changed the colour scheme. I’ve kept the yellow, obviously, but instead of lavender I’ve added a pale, duck egg blue as well as the teal for the baguette bin.

Additionally the amount of coats I’ve had to put on the wood has lengthened the time. As it was a dark colour, even though I’d used a spray primer coat, it’s taken several coats to cover it sufficiently. I thought that spray primer would save time, but it never goes on thick enough and just seems to give me a cough. I just swapped to a normal primer and it’s seems to be going a lot quicker.

Nevertheless a glimpse of what the kitchen will be like is there. I’m hoping that if you’re in a position, like us, were funds are limited it will give you ideas about how to get the kitchen you want with minimal outlay. I’ve outlined costs of the furniture throughout to give you an idea of how much this would be as a project.

The bookcases were in situ prior to the start, so I can’t put a price on them. However it’s a good example of using what you have in an inventive way. I’ll post some picture later with close up shots of them, but there are a few to give you an idea in this post.

They have taken a long time too, because I wanted to cover the wallpaper on the back of each case. I used some polyfiller to give a rough, textured appearance to the rear. You can see I’ve painted the casing the soft, buttery yellow and left the shelves in the wood. These needed staining and a few coats of clear varnish each side to bring them back up to scratch. There have also been coats of varnish on the cupboards themselves, which I want to add more to to make it extra durable.

It might seem a little crazy, but I’ve moved some of our kitchen items in here already. Firstly so I could work out where everything would go and if there was enough cupboard space and secondly as our current kitchen that were using in another part of the house is too small for all our stuff, so it’s handy.

Here are some close ups of the shelves. I love these old, vintage, French images that I’ve put in new frames….

You can see all the storage jars which I’ve separated out into three seperate sections….

I love the black and white Virgin Mary picture.

I think the combination of wood and paint gives it a more sophisticated edge than the paint alone would have.

The sideboard you can see here in its original state….

We bought this in France for our huge living room in the house we initially rented. It was less than 30€, I think because it was so huge and old not many people would have bought it. It is really solidly built, with not a piece of flimsy board anywhere on it. The drawers and everything seem to be solid oak. I love the way the yellow paint shows up the intricate wood detail.

The dresser top you can see we brought with us from the uk. It is also a second hand buy, solid wood throughout and well made. It cost me £60.00 originally, so so far for the furniture alone we’re talking about 120,00€ maximum wth exchange rate and, as like the bookcases, we already had these items I haven’t actually spent any money on them beside the paint since we’ve moved. Heaven knows how much solid, freestanding kitchen units would cost in reality (but take a look here to get an idea).

As I was painting it I suddenly thought of the rose handles I had and gave them a try. I love the result, but you can’t see them very clearly in the pictures. I’ll put a better set on later, when we’re a little further along with the project.

I’ve yet to add some window film I already have, you can see it here. It’s Laura Ashley’s Josette pattern and features roses.

When I realised how well it would go together I also remembered that Laura Ashley did a wall tile in the same design, so I’ve got some for the splash back (about £150.00 for 3m squared). Here’s they are..

We plan on having the sideboard house the sink with brass taps. It will mean cutting a hole in the top and we’ve already reduced the height of the sideboard by cutting off the bottom of each legs.

To make it waterproof we’re going to put tiles on the top. I originally chose these Laura Ashley ones in grey as I thought they would reflect the stone chimney breast well. However they are huge, and are not really adaptable to a work top. That’s the problem of buying on the Internet I guess.

We’re going to use them in the entry way you can see just between the bookcases. I think I’m going to go for some kind mosaic tiles for the worktop, we’ll see.

We’ll need some money to have the plumber come to sort out the plumbing for the sink and also the electrics, so I have to concentrate on other areas in the meantime.

My attention has therefore turning to the kitchen island, which was an old sideboard and somebody had already turned into an island. Here it is before….

I’ve managed to find some wood mouldings (about 25€) which I’ve applied to make it more in line with the sideboard and I’ve painted it yellow and stained the top dark too. Inside, as with the inside of the side board, is the light, duck egg blue colour.

I’ve added the iron towel ring, the rose hooks, and the dark oak curtain rail as well as the paint and varnish job. In total these other fixtures were about 50€. Also the handles for the drawers, which I think reflect the iron towel ring really well, are original Art Nouveau ones that I’ve salvaged from elsewhere. I’m yet to complete it with curtains on the open side of the island.

However one thing I have added are these draw organisers with waterslide decals that designate what each compartment is for. Here’s a sneak peak….

but I’ll do a complete post on that later.

The island, at 450€, was my worst buy. I was taken in by the fact that it was already done up as an island. But, you know what? I could have bought the cupboard for about 30€ like the sideboard, which is basically what’s it is and the same size, and I did the same amount of work anyway. Annoying really, but again you live and learn.

However, having said that as every other pierce of furniture in there so far has been something we already had so far we’ve spent 500€ on the kitchen, which is pretty much the island as we had the sideboard etc. Even if we’d bought the sideboard and dresser it would have been about 600€. I think the maximum I’ve spent on paint was about 150€, and I’m over estimating that.

Again, where would you get a solid, free standing vintage kitchen for that amount?

I’m about to start painting the ceiling and hopefully we’ll at least have the lights in soon. In the meantime if you want to see more of my kitchen plans you can look at this post here.

My Little French Baguette Bin

In this post I included in my list of French period home must haves a baguette bin. A little while ago I bought one for 10€ and it’s been sat there, ready for me to do it up. I used the easiest method to do so, in actual work time it took less than half an hour.

Here it was before…

The first thing I did was remove the panel which held the material, which was super, simple. It just consisted of putting a screw driver between the two pieces of wood and prising it away.

I also unscrewed the lid to paint separately.

Then I cleaned the wood and painted it in a white undercoat. I didn’t paint right inside the box, as it was too deep and would have been messy. I painted it enough to make sure you couldn’t see that.

When it was dry, thankfully undercoat always dries quickly, I spray painted it with this lavender colour. My colour scheme is grey, yellow and lavender like this….

I waited a half an hour, getting on with other things. I gave it a second, light coat and waited again. Each coat takes about a minute to apply and 15-30 minutes to dry. Then when it was dry I sprayed from the inside out, to make sure the bar detail was covered well.

I had this lavender toile material already and decided to use that for the covered panel. I used the old piece as a template, cutting round it and then spraying the board with aerosol fabric glue, before laying the fabric in place and smoothing it out. I attached it back to the inside of the box with my staple gun and replaced the lid.

That’s it!

The two shades, although complimentary, are a little vibrant together (and of course the background, being the old doctor’s surgery, has a lot of work to be done). However, I’m going to be surrounding it with sign writing which should tone it down. I’ll give you an update on that soon.

In the meantime God bless!

Recycled Jars For Food Storage

Recycled Jars For Food Storage

We had storage jars in our kitchen in England and they came wíth us to France. They’re excellent. Not only do they look amazing, in my opinion, but they’re practical.

My husband took the micky out of me when I first brought them home for his extensive flour collection. He used to bake his own bread and he makes his own pizza too. As a result we’d had lots of bags of flour in our cupboard. The thing is, bags split and the contents spill, making a mess. The jars save you from that and they keep your produce super fresh; as I said, we brought ours with us  over two years ago and they were full.  The contents are still fresh.

In my last post I spoke about labelling my mason jars and, as I’d added to these with jars I’d saved from the recycling bin, I was looking to label them as I’d done with my other jars. I also wanted to give them a uniform look and all the jar lids were different. The easiest solution, I thought, was to spray paint the metal lids. 

At first it went well; I sprayed the lids with a light coat of mint and went off satisfied. However when I returned in fifteen minutes I noticed that all the lids with date stamps on them, you know those best befores, seem to run and come through the paint. A second coat was needed anyway, to give it density, so it would solve that this time surely?

Fifteen minutes later – nope. Another coat – nope. I had some gold colour and that covered it well, but I didn’t really like colour (sorry, no picture). However I had a can of matt, black spray paint that I’d bought for another project that resulted in most of the can being left over. So, I tried that. 

Perfect! I’d also produced some water slide decal labels on white transfer paper to finish them off. So, brand new storage jars for the cost of a can of black spray paint and a waterslide decal sheet; about 3,50€. 

Here are the jars on my painted shelves. Now these bookcases are all painted I’m a step closer to my dream kitchen.