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Decorate your home in style with last-minute festive upcycles

Christmas tree book art on p16

Behind the scenes Meet the makers behind Upcycled Hour

Mini cone wreath

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Charis Williams

HOME REFURBS Industrial shelves

3 WAYS WITH... Washi tape

FURNITURE REVAMP Sewing pattern box

9 772054 347004


9 772054 347004


Reuse it! Discover how to rag crochet using old t-shirts and duvets


Rock ‘n’ Roll style Transform a broken guitar into a work of art using decoupage

DEC 2015 £4.99

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03/09/2014 11:28


The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! Although the event itself will be upon us before we know it, there’s still enough time left to fit in a few final festive upcycles. Whether it’s a gift for a distant relative that you’ve forgotten to buy for, or a last-minute addition to your Christmas decorations, we’ve got plenty to inspire you this issue with our selection of Christmas projects scattered throughout the following 113 pages. I absolutely love the rustic deer frame on page 18, while the mirrored Noel sign on page 62 is guaranteed to add that essential touch of festive sparkle to any room! If you’ve already finished your festive upcycling, we’ve still got lots to inspire you this issue. Discover how to decorate an old chest with vintage sewing patterns on page 28 for a stylish storage solution that will finish off any craft room perfectly, or pick up a new skill on page 79 by learning how to make your own yarn from old clothes, then using it to crochet a stool cover and ombre basket. Also this issue, we go behind the scenes at the ever growing Upcycled Hour on page 93, our Art Editor John Thackray faces his fears to learn how to upholster a footstool on page 65, and we chat to upcycling aficionado Hester Van Overbeek on page 24. I really hope you enjoy the issue and please join us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to share photos of your upcycles. All that’s left to do is to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! SALLY FITZGERALD Senior Editor

JOIN US ♥ FACEBOOK Find us at www.facebook. com/Relovedmag and click ‘Like’ to join. ♥ TWITTER Go to and search for @RelovedMag to follow our tweets. ♥ INSTAGRAM Go to and search for @Reloved_Magazine and click ‘follow’ to join. ♥ RELOVED MAGAZINE Go to www.reloved to find out the latest news from Reloved.




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What’s in the issue.. E FURNI T URP R E VA M Learn how to give your battered old favourites a fresh new look

P28 Sewing pattern storage

P34 Upcycled chair

P90 Industrial shelves

Refresh your home décor with original upcycled pieces

P26 Stencilled planters

P32 You want wall art? Nailed it!

P42 Christmas stocking

P54 Christmas placemat pillow

P56 Rock ‘n’ guitar art

P60 Christmas decoupage tray

P62 Mirrored Noel sign

P70 Platter with panache

P76 Driftwood planter

P106 Chartered waters lampshade


P110 Distressed crate



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Quick makes to create in an evening

P52 Salvaged wood tree

P16 Christmas tree book art

P18 Reindeer picture frame

P22 Coral dots dessert plates

P68 Hessian ball decoration

P86 Larch cone mini wreath

P96 Tubular frame from straws


P98 Christmas hanger


P65 Ministry of Upholstery

P93 Upcycled hour


P46 Cheery chair upgrade

P79 Rag crochet


P48 Friendly photo coasters


P50 Easy breezy bicycle

P24 Hester van Overbeek

Every issue..

IN CONVERSATION WITH: HESTER VAN OVERBEEK Discover more about her upcycled life


UPCYCLING HEROES: GREEN IN MIND Brilliant bespoke upcycled furniture


MY VINTAGE HOME: BLUE BLOSSOM LANE P102 Linda Smith shares her transformed piano bar and other treasures


ANNIE SLOAN’S DIARY Art Deco glamour


SALVAGE SISTER COLUMN P72 Christmas cash saving P102



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who’s who senior editor Sally FitzGerald Art Editor John Thackray Production editor Bob Wade creative Director Jenny Cook Senior advertising executive Laura McLean Acting marketing manager Verity Travers Marketing executive Deirdre Attinger

Anthem Publishing Ltd, Suite 6, Piccadilly House, London Road, Bath BA1 6PL Tel +44 (0) 1225 489985 Fax +44 (0) 1225 489980 All content copyright Anthem Publishing Ltd, 2015, all rights reserved. While we make every effort to ensure that the factual content of Reloved is correct we cannot take any responsibility nor be held accountable for any factual errors printed. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or resold without the prior consent of Anthem Publishing Ltd. Anthem Publishing recognises all copyrights contained within this issue. Where possible we acknowledge the copyright holder. Reloved is a trade mark owned by Anthem Publishing.

Commercial Director Simon Lewis

Competition rules

editorial Director Paul Pettengale

By entering a competition you are bound by these rules. Late or incomplete entries will be disqualified. Only one entry per person will be accepted. The company reserves the right to substitute any prize with cash, or a prize of comparable value. Competitions are open to UK residents, except employees of Anthem Publishing and any party involved in the competition or their households. By entering a competition you give permission to use personal information in connection with the competition, for promotional purposes. If you do not want your information to be shared, state ‘no offers’ on your entry. Receipt of prize is conditional upon complying with the competition rules.

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this issue’s contributors ♥ KEITH YOUNGS is the founder of Salford’s Fitzwarren Street Second Hand Market. He likes nothing better than travelling around Europe searching out vintage bargains to transform from car boot sales, auction houses and flea markets. This month he explores the phenomenon that is Upcycling Hour – find out all on page 93.


♥ HESTER VAN Overbeek Hester started www.hestershand at the beginning of 2014 and has since posted a new craft tutorial every Thursday on her YouTube channel. Focussing on frugal, easy to make crafts, she shows you how to do anything from Ikea hacks to styling a small bathroom. Meet her on page 24.

♥ NICOLETTE TABRAM trained as a textile designer at Central School of Art and worked in fashion for many years, including as a senior designer for Monsoon. After leaving her job, she began to upcycle furniture using her own stencils. Now she is also teaching workshops at Little Willows in Pinner. Recreate her beautiful stencilled planters on page 26.


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♥ Tin can transformed p8

♥ Like clockwork p9

♥ Home sweet home p8

♥ Eco wooden Christmas tree p9

Creative Hub NEWS ♥ EVENTS ♥ PRODUCTS This is the essential place to come for endless inspiration from the world of upcycling – just turn the page to begin...

♥ Take a seat p8

♥ Second chance p8 DECEMBER

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Moni and Dora of upcycled home design company Modoo Home ( are all about creating sleek, stylish home furniture made from once unwanted tables and chairs, as well as cushions made from recycled foams and mattresses. Co-founder Moni says, “We have been upcycling for our own use and friends for years and love the idea to give something old a new look, which fits into a modern, contemporary home.” The pair are passionate about choosing durable materials, with AquaClean technology meaning any stains or spillages can simply be cleaned away with water.


This adorable mixed-media pop art piece is one of many made from upcycled tin can lids, lovingly decorated with original prints of fantastically dazzling and eye catching scenes. Mixed-media artist Natalie McGlynn set up her online boutique Baubie Sunshine in 2010, and loves to use the rustic quality of tin can lids to create unique decorative pieces of art, complete with a gold hook so they’re ready to be hung in your home. “I strive to make something beautiful out of what is usually considered useless garbage,” Natalie explains. We certainly think she achieves that with her funky pop art designs. Find out more about Natalie and her work over at


When high school sweethearts Maggie and Jerry moved into their first home together in Washington three years ago, they decided to turn the remains of their home renovations into unique wooden signs to sell at their local Christmas market. It was such a success that they began their Etsy shop, Minty Daisy, and eventually they used the entire stock of wooden lath from their home. They now continue to create beautiful pieces out of repurposed wood from old homes in the Seattle area, keeping the materials from landfill. “Our designs are influenced by our life together”, explains Jerry. “We love to travel around the world and many of our signs are inspired by our travels.” Explore more of Minty Daisy’s rustic goodness over at


Made entirely from repurposed materials, cushions from Secondavita Cushions (etsy. com/uk/shop/secondavitacushions) are brilliantly vibrant, and definitely original. Designer and maker Giacomo Baraldi chose the brand’s name, as in Italian it means ‘second life’. He hopes that through repurposing these materials, he is giving them a whole new lease of life and creating items with a story. Examples of the materials he uses are deckchair cloth, clothing, fabric samples, kimonos, towels, ties and curtains. You won’t get anything like them elsewhere. 8


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Vintage lovers will be enchanted by these amazing clock creations by Paul Parry of Staffordshire-based workshop Bad Dog Design ( Made using nixie tubes, the large and more primitive forerunner of modern day LED and LCD displays, Paul takes vintage boxes and old pieces of electronic equipment, including cameras, to make completely one-off items brimming with character, history and intricate design. Since starting to make the clocks last year, Paul has made almost 200 different works, many of which were fashioned uniquely for each respective customer. We think they would make a stunning impression in any home – can’t you just imagine getting one as a beautiful gift?

BLOGS WE L♥VE ♥ BUSY BEE KATE This blog’s author is truly a busy bee – mother, wife and business owner Kate Pietrak. Kate turned a passion for collecting vinyls into a business, transforming them into gorgeous notebooks. Now she blogs too, sharing her DIY tutorials and upycling inspiration among some tasty recipes. We love her tutorial on taking vintage record covers and turning them into glittery tree decorations. Follow her on Pinterest for crafty projects @busybeekate.



This adorable wooden Christmas tree from Ditto Graphic ( dittographic) is made entirely from salvaged and deconstructed wooden pallets. Shop owner Liza was inspired to utilise waste materials from husband Glen’s boat building. Originally a one-off piece to decorate her shop’s Christmas stall, the tree got so much attention that Liza decided to keep making them, along with other gorgeous items, including personalised gingerbread men decorations, greeting cards, and bespoke street signs. We admire the transformation of salvaged wood into a fabulously minimalist Christmas tree.

Trends With Benefits is a fun mix of craft, fashion and a little bit of food. A fantastic combination – just like the three best friends behind the blog itself. The creative trio of Em, Kate and Kendall all have different crafty passions, which fortunately they love to share with us. Learn how to decoupage and make a pretty storage box, have a go at making your own hair accessories, or – our favourite idea for the Christmas period – upcycle an old jam jar into a sparkling glitter globe, just the thing to bring some fun to your house this festive season.

♥ S.O.T.A.K HANDMADE When we came across S.O.T.A.K Handmade, we knew we needed to share it with you. Mother of three Svetlana is the quilter and sewing fanatic behind the blog, where she shares her adorable handmade cushions and quilts, along with gorgeous lunch bags, placemats and notebook covers. We love the look of her sewing machine cover tutorial, where you can use scraps of material to create a truly funky ‘stacked books’ style patchwork. See Svetlana’s etsy shop uk/shop/sotak handmade.


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CH General Finishes Pearl Effects Paint

Learn How to Knit Kit

£42.00 £20.00

Lampshade Kit


CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE Our favourite gifts for crafty and creative folk this year

Mauverina H Print Sewing Scissors and Case





Ever issuey 6 s

Annie Sloan Mini Project Pack

Free Annie Sloan Work Book when you subscribe to Reloved or turn to page 40

House Sewing Basket

Wild & Wolf The Makery Tape Measures

£5.00 Blue Hot Melt Mini Glue Gun www.hobbycraft.





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Sausage Dog Pin Cushion

Wild & Wolf V&A Roses Hammer




Nicolette Tabram Kota Stencil

Mini Christmas Pudding Decoration Kit

Cream Crocheted Lace on Wooden Spool



Liberty Patchwork Bundle




The Makery Pick and Mix Buttons

Wild & Wolf Thimble Desk Tidy

£60.00 £9.95


Alphabet Letters


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Read on any device, any time!


♥ Free preview issue ♥ Single issues just £3.99/$5.99

Search for Reloved and download your FREE App today

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Photo © Penny Millar

Photo © Harriet Thomas


n last month’s column, I wrote about a bureau that I had been updating with frottage and stencils. In the article, I mentioned how much I love painting this type of furniture. And a few days later, I came across another great bureau that I couldn’t resist updating too. I decided that this would be my piece for this month’s edition of Reloved – I know, two bureaus in a row. Sorry! But I really like them, and I did say that they are very versatile – and hopefully I’ll prove this point now. My new bureau is a really stunning and unusual piece. I think it would have been made in the 1930s or 1940s judging by its rounded shape and the rectangular front with two drawers and four vertical rectangular handles. It’s made of quite a coarse oak with a lot of rather obvious grain. Running my fingernail across the surface, it felt very uneven, so I knew it might be an idea to do a


Embracing the glamour of Art Deco...

This month regular Reloved columnist Annie Sloan turns her attention to the glamorous era of Art Deco styling with this bureau upcycle. All you need is some aluminium leaf and size and you’re set for a complete transformation... technique that brought out this grain, rather than trying to hide it. With an Art Deco look in mind, I thought of colours and techniques that were popular around the time. Silvered finishes and black are both things I identify with being from the period. If I was going to be really authentic, I would probably have chosen to work with pale spearmint greens rather than red, but I like the strong dynamic contrast that helps to bring the piece up-to-date rather than slavishly copying an historical look. In fact, I say I liked the piece but I actually didn’t like the legs. They are rather bulbous and heavy, reminding me of the baronial hall Tudor oak look, which was very fashionable at that time. They are rather at odds with the shapely stylish look of the top part. If the bureau was a dog, I would have to refer to it as a rather lovely mongrel. So, the idea was to make the top part the star of the show. While smooth silvered pieces were fashionable in the 1930s, I wanted to show the grain of the wood by using aluminium leaf (I pinched the idea from a Pre-Raphaelite frame I once saw, oak covered in gold leaf). Metal leaf is very thin and when you stick it to a surface it shows up every undulation and texture.

I used aluminium leaf as it is much cheaper than silver leaf. To stick it to a surface, all you need is a special glue called size (which I have in my product range). After applying the glue, it stays sticky for months so you have time to place the squares of aluminium without having to apply more glue. You need to use a nice, soft bristled brush to apply the glue to avoid creating brush marks. Just a word of warning – wash your brush immediately after you have finished. If the glue dries, you will probably have to say goodbye to your brush! I applied the size directly to the wood and, after a few minutes, the size changed from a slight purplish tinge to completely clear – this is when I knew it was ready for the leaf to be applied to it. If the surface is very absorbent, you might have to apply two coats of size as the first can be sucked right into the wood. One hand holds the flimsy sheet of leaf and the other holds a soft brush with which you push the leaf onto and into the wood. Keep working, over-lapping slightly or abutting the leaf. Small gaps won’t matter and sort of add to the look. At one point your work will look very messy with bits of leaf everywhere, but don’t worry! The application of my Clear Soft Wax using a cotton cloth over the leaf helps to tidy everything – it pushes the leaf into the crevices of the wood grain and helps to stop the leaf looking too shiny. The final touch is to apply my Dark Wax and this is when the magic really works! The shiny surface suddenly looks like old silver. To give the piece real pizzazz, I painted the inside of the bureau with my bright red Emperor’s Silk. Then to separate the red from the silver I painted the molded border in Graphite, along with the handles on the front. The legs were also painted in Graphite, to help them ‘disappear’ which I think works. I hope I’ve done the piece justice. I love it!


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STOCKISTS SOUTH DEVON TILLY’S 32 Molesworth Road, Millbridge, Plymouth, PL1 5NA Creative chaos reigns in our quirky shop/workshop - come see! 01752 559522







14 High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1UW Gesso Interiors is all about Stylist Vintage Living. We offer hand painted vintage furniture lovingly restored and painted in a delightful Annie Sloan paint colour. We stock elegant and cosy homewares and Annie Sloan paint and products that give your home that French/Nordic look.. Facebook: 01305 259312

LONDON HOME & PANTRY 114 Islington High Street, London, N1 8EG Stunning Lifestyle Boutique selling French, Scandi & Vintage Style Home Furnishings, Accessories & Gifts with monthly Annie Sloan Workshops. 020 7226 9528


POETIC DESIGN 36 Station Road, Upminster, Essex RM14 2TR Interiors showroom stocking various styles from country rustic to industrial quirky, including furniture, lighting and home accessories and proud Annie Sloan stockists. 01708 222213

NORFOLK HECTORS BARN 61 Manor Road, Dersingham, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 6LH Hector’s Barn specialises in all things quirky, diverse, unique and inspiring! 01485 540632

SUFFOLK LITTLE GEMS INTERIORS The Barn, The Street, Assington, Sudbury Modern country and French; painted furniture, home accessories and gifts. 01787 210951

NORTH CHESHIRE GIFTSHOP ON THE CORNER AND MOO DESIGN INTERIORS 235 Chester Road, Helsby, Cheshire, WA6 0AD Rustic Country Style Home Decor by Moo Design. 0198897880

HARTLEPOOL / COUNTY DURHAM ECO CHIC-IT Unit 5, Usworth Enterprise Park, Usworth Road, Hartlepool We stock a unique array of elegant vintage painted furniture and accessories. Annie Sloan Chalk ™ paint stockist, Workshops. Upholstery service. Commissions taken. 07411 680311


10 Market Place, Pickering, N Yorkshire Boutique situated in the market place of Pickering specialising in painted furniture, shabby chic interiors and accessories. AS fabric to order 01751 476212


3 New Broadway, Hampton Road, Hampton Hill, Middlesex TW12 1JG Chalk Paint™ stockist. Appointed and trained by Annie Sloan. Expert advice on your project, help and inspiration. Paint techniques workshops. Picture Framing 0208 9430786


616 London Rd, Westcliff on Sea, Essex Cm14 5rd Painted furniture, Workshops, Fabrics, & Gifts & Home Accessories Twitter: @is616LondonRd Instagram: IS616LONDONRD 01702 808489

36 Durham Road, Wimbledon, SW20 0TW London stockist of Annie Sloan products, accredited Essentials 1 & 2 painted furniture workshops. Beginners and intermediate sewing classes. Six little rooms full of inspiration with a helpful, friendly and professional service. 020 8947 5115



26 St Mary Street, Thornbury Rustic country with a hint of French and Coastal. Picture framing, furniture restoration and homewares 01454 411000

22 Augusta Street, The Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Stockists of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Wax, Brushes & Books specialising in upcycling & painting of vintage furniture. Regular introductory essential paint techniques workshops 0121 448 4406 / 07837 810763






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ST S 32 Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire A quirky mix of past and present and everything Annie Sloan! 01789 297850




Beacon Farm, Barr Beacon, Beacon Road, Aldridge, Walsall 18th century barn brimming with painted and decoupaged furniture with an English Rustic and country flavour. 0121 360 3680




Ogmore Road, Ogmore by Sea CF32 0QP A delightful rural store offering the very best in country living Like us on facebook: The Stone House 01656 651478


90 Albany Road AND 1 Romilly Crescent, Cardiff Stylish Painted Vintage Furniture, unusual gifts and homewares alongside Annie Sloan CHALK PAINT™, waxes and associated products. 02920 312231/372111






WARWICKSHIRE BEATRICE & CLEMENTINE 92 High Street, Henley in Arden Dodwell Trading Park, Stratford on Avon Country Cottage meets Warehouse and Industrial chic. Upcycled furniture, fabrics and homewares. 01564 795979


Bonsai House, Southside, St Samspons, Guernsey GY2 4QH We are a home and interiors specialist with a beautiful showroom and an e-commerce site. We are part of the Bonsai Group based in Guernsey, Channel Islands +441481200011




Stone Cross , Penkridge , Staffordshire ST19 5AS We specialise in one off pieces of hand painted French inspired furniture and home interiors . Facebook: JoJos Interiors 01785 711101 07702 783374

35 Main St, Newcastle. County Down BT33 0AD The Craft Loft , the local Stockist for all products from Annie Sloan in Newcastle Co Down , and advice through workshops in a beautiful setting . Facebook: Annetts Childrenswear and Nursery Instagram: the_craft_loft Tel: 02843722293





12 Market Place, Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 9AZ We are situated in the market town of Shifnal, specialising in French inspired painted furniture, shabby chic interiors and accessories. We carry all Annie Sloan Products including Fabric. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ™ workshops available. 01952 463227


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Dolgellau, mid Wales Nia was an actress for 25 years, then worked on the makeover programme ‘Real Rooms’ for BBC Pebble Mill. She has been working her magic on furniture for many years and her shop is a design led paradise for interiors and gifts.. Twitter: @siopmedi 01341421755


5 Portland Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 6DN A home interiors store where modern vintage meets with contemporary rustic style. A full bespoke service offering restyled and handmade furniture, home accessories and wall coverings. 0115 8461083




Church Street, Cowbridge CF71 7BB A delightful store brimming with reloved and upcycled wares to inspire your Annie Sloan projects. Open 7 days Like us on Facebook: Happy Days Vintage Homestore 01446 771191


28 Steep Hill, Lincoln. English Country and French elegance. Hand painted furniture, homeware and gifts. toptobottom@ Facebook toptobottomaccessories. 01522 394819


Rough luxe; rustic gallery with hand painted furniture, local artisan, hand crafted gifts and home decor, architectural salvage, reclaim and upcycled ideas. 07745 215689





Oldswinford Galleries, 106 Hagley Road, Oldswinford, DY8 1QU Stockists of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, waxes and workshops as well as boutique items for your home. 01384 395577

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Christmas tree book art



Words somehow always give an object greater meaning – it makes the objects ‘speak’ to us and that’s true of these simple but special decorations. Choose your source for the pages and quickly create fascinating Christmas trees. Photography © Camera Press/ Flora Press


Paper for template

White or cream thread

EQUIPMENT Scissors Needle

♥ STEP ONE First make a template for your tree. Fold a plain piece of paper in half, then with the folded side on the left, draw one side of the tree adjacent to the fold. You may want to add a little trunk to the bottom of the tree too, but the longer it is, the less steady your tree will be when standing. Add half of the star to the top of the tree. Cut out the template, so that when you open the paper up you have a full tree. You could use the template on the left, or create your own shape.

TOP TIP The typography looks brilliant for these trees, but for a completely different look, just change the type of paper you use. Plain colours or old wrapping paper will make more colourful trees.

♥ STEP TWO Now choose the pages you want to use from the book. You can use text, Christmas picture books, music paper, old maps, anything you like for this project. Bear in mind that the thicker the paper, the easier you will find it to stand your trees up. You will need three pages for each tree. ♥ STEP THREE Fold each page in half, fold the template in half and use the template to cut out the trees on all three pages. TEMPLATE (Scale to desired size)

♥ STEP FOUR Now it’s time to stitch the tree together. Open out all three tree book pages and place them on top of each other so that they’re lined up exactly. Using your needle and thread, stitch a line of running stitches all the way down the centre of the tree, from the star down to the trunk. This will secure your pages together. ♥ STEP FIVE Open out the tree and manipulate the pages so that they’re arranged at regular intervals and your tree can stand up by itself. Leave plain or decorate as desired. These make great place settings too if you attach a piece of card with a name written on it.


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ReinDeer picture Frame Make your own picture frames with regular tools and accompany it with a reindeer head silhouette. Project and photography Š Almie Louis from Grand Recycler (



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you can achieve good results using ordinary tools. use wood with a natural profile to avoid needing a router. REINDEER PICTURE FRAME HOW TO... MATERIALS

Reclaimed skirting boards/roof panels/floorboards Wood filler White paint for woodwork Leftover MDF wood

Thin dry tree branches (for antlers) Black acrylic paint PVA glue


Mitre box

Staple gun

Sponge brush

An assistant (optional) Hand sander

Old newspaper and tins for props Workbench with a clamp

Jig saw fitted with a wood-cutting blade

Pencil and paper for template Safety goggles Dust mask

♥ STEP ONE Determine your desired picture frame dimensions and, using a hand saw, cut the wood into four pieces, one for each side of the frame. ♥ STEP TWO With a mitre box and hand saw, cut the ends off each piece at a 45° angle. (Practise using a mitre box on some off-cuts before you proceed to the picture frame.) A mitre box allows you to hold the wood firmly and will guide the saw so that it cuts at the correct angle. ♥ STEP THREE Arrange the cut pieces flat on your work surface so they form the shape of the frame. ♥ STEP FOUR Hold the pieces in place while you staple the corner sections of the frame together – this is where an assistant is very useful. Turn the frame over and apply staples to the rear of the corners as well. Fill any gaps with wood filler and leave overnight to dry.

♥ STEP FIVE Once the frame is dry, smooth away any rough patches with a hand sander. ♥ STEP SIX Place the frame on the props on top of the newspaper and start to paint it white. You can do this roughly, there is no need for a perfect coat. ♥ STEP SEVEN Finally, attach a hanging device to the frame. REINDEER HEAD ♥ STEP ONE Use any type of wood, but I used 6mm-thick leftover MDF, which comes in 4mm, 6mm or 8mm thicknesses. ♥ STEP TWO Use the template (scaled to your desired size) and trace it onto the wood. ♥ STEP THREE Secure the piece of wood on the workbench with clamps. Use a jig saw and cut around the template lines. ♥ STEP FOUR Use the hand sander to get rid of any rough edges. Wipe with a damp cloth and allow to dry. ♥ STEP FIVE Using a sponge brush, paint the reindeers’ head and dry branches on one side and leave to dry. Do the same for the opposite side. ♥ STEP SIX Decide how long you wish the reindeers’ antlers to be and glue them to the back of the reindeers’ head.

SAFETY TIP The most important thing to remember when using a jig saw is safety. As the blades move very rapidly, a serious cut can occur quickly, which means that you must plan ahead. Before you use a jig saw for the first time, practise on scrap wood. This will give you a feel for the way the tool cuts and moves. Always wear safety goggles and a dust mask. Work in a hazard-free area and on a work surface that needs to be solid and stable.


DEER HEAD TEMPLATE (Scale to desired size)


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Coral dots dessert plates



Create this dot pattern in coral orange paint on a set of dishes that you already have in your cupboard, or use the pattern to tie together a collection of thrifted dishes into an attractive matching set. By Anna Joyce, photography © Lisa Warninger


4 white dessert plates, approximately 22cm in diameter

edges, dab away some of the paint and try again until the results of the dauber prints are looking consistent.

Ceramic or all-surface acrylic paint in the colour of your choice (I used Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Geranium) Ceramic plate for test painting Rubbing alcohol


6mm foam dauber

6mm or smaller fine-tipped paintbrush Acrylic artist palette Cotton balls

Cotton swabs ♥ STEP ONE Wash your plates in hot, soapy water and dry completely. Take a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol and wipe down the entire surface of each plate to remove any remaining dirt or oil. ♥ STEP TWO Squeeze out a bit of ink about the size of a 10p piece onto the artist palette and pick up a small amount of paint with the tip of your foam dauber. Gently tap the end of the dauber on your test plate to evenly distribute the paint. ♥ STEP THREE Pick up more paint as needed and begin testing the pattern on the plate. Come down onto the surface of the plate flat with the dauber sponge and press gently, lifting straight up when you are done. The dauber should leave an opaque circle of paint. If the circle is too light, add a bit more paint, but if the paint is pooling around the

♥ STEP FOUR Fill your dauber with paint and blot as in step 2. Starting at the rim of one of the plates, begin painting dots in a U shape around the edge of the plate. Use the sponge tip of the dauber to come down flat on the surface of the plate as you practiced in step 3, painting polka-dot scallops around the edge of the plate. Aim for about 10 scallops on a 22cm plate, each approximately 4-5cm wide and 5cm tall. Refill the dauber with paint, blot and repeat to continue adding pattern. Embrace irregularity!

TOP TIP I chose a bright coral orange paint for my pattern and used it on plates with a gold rim for a metallic accent. Your plates may already have a different style of rim or an existing design that you can paint the dots to complement.

♥ STEP FIVE After you have finished with one plate, set it aside to dry and continue adding the polka-dot scallops to the rest of your dishes. If there are dots that you are not happy with, use a moist cotton swab to remove them while the paint is wet. Allow the plate to dry and then continue the pattern. ♥ STEP SIX If needed, use the fine-tipped paintbrush to fill in any blank areas or holes in the design. ♥ STEP SEVEN Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to heat-set or cure the paint. To preserve the decoration, always wash the plates by hand and avoid abrasive scrubbers.

This project is taken from Stamp Pencil Paint by Anna Joyce, published by STC Craft/A Melanie Fallick Book. RRP £16.99


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Hester van Overbeek If you’ve been reading Reloved for a while, you’re sure to be familiar with Hester’s work, so we thought it was time to find out more about her upcycling life...


eeing Hester’s home in the September issue of Reloved gives a glimpse of an idyllic life, but, like everything in life, she has worked hard to get there. We asked Hester a few questions to find out more about her journey to become an upcycling icon...

♥ When and how did you first become interested in crafting? I’ve been making stuff since I could hold scissors. My parents always had my sister and me drawing, glueing, painting and stitching little artworks, animals and Barbie clothes. I spent a brief year at fashion college, where I learned how to make clothes, and

when I moved to my previous home I started making my own furniture, mainly for budget reasons, but also as I thought it would be fun to do. ♥ What do you enjoy most about upcycling? I love using materials and pieces of furniture I already have lying around. For me it just makes so much more sense using what you already have, instead of buying something new. I always have a look in my shed for wood off-cuts first before I venture to the lumber yard and purchase something new. It’s also great to upcycle your flat pack furniture, giving it a new and personal look with just a few adjustments.

♥ Why did you decide to set up your website, Hester’s Handmade Home? When I did up my previous house, I had a very low budget, so I made a lot of furniture and furnishings myself. Friends and family were getting very inspired by my DIYing and started making things themselves as well. When a friend said I should start a website showing people how easy it is making your own bits for your home, Hester’s Handmade Home was born. ♥ What are your top tips for anyone upcycling for the first time? Just do it! Don’t be afraid you can’t do it, have never used power tools before or feel a bit clueless. Just follow a good tutorial, read up on tool safety and start. If it doesn’t work out, just take it apart and start again. I will give everything a try apart from anything to do with electrics and plumbing, you do need to call in the experts for that. ♥ How did you pick up your DIY skills? My dad taught me a lot, always showing me how he is building something. He recently gave me a whole stack of old DIY books and



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magazines – it’s amazing how in the 1960s and ’70s people used to make and build a lot of stuff themselves. I also like to work out how something is put together, so I’ll have a good snoop underneath a table to see how it’s built. My whole family is pretty crafty, all my aunts are good with fabric and yarn and all my uncles are very skilful with a saw and a hammer. ♥ What’s your advice for making a big impact on your home on a minimal budget? Choose a theme or colour scheme and follow it through, making a mood board really helps with this. Tear out a lot of magazine images you like or start a Pinterest board. Don’t try to makeover a whole room in a day, take your time. Find some good bargains online or by paying a visit to your local reclamation yard, and start upcycling. ♥ Can you tell us about your first book? The book Furniture Hacks is all about turning pieces you already have into something new and exciting. For example, an old bookcase becomes a sideboard and a plain Ikea bed becomes a four poster. There are also some quick crafts for the DIY shy or people that don’t have a lot of time, like the washi tape chest update and the nail polish dipped cutlery handles. ♥ What’s your favourite project that went into the book? I love the window shutters made from an old blind. I’m obsessed with shutters at the moment and have been trying to come up with an easy way to make them myself for a while now. I also love the driftwood door handles project, for a super quick nautical kitchen update. ♥ Where do you source your furniture and upcycling materials? Living on the south-east coast there are some great second-hand places around that are still affordable. You do notice places getting more expensive now the upcycle bug has caught on in the whole country. I also love Ebay and snooping around friends’ houses. ♥ Do you prefer hacks or upcycling vintage pieces? Why? I prefer hacks. I’m not too keen on the whole vintage look, I prefer a more modern, contemporary style. This doesn’t mean you cant use old furniture though – with a bit of paint, some wood and fabric, everything can be transformed. ♥ What are your favourite things to upcycle? I do love an Ikea hack. I love the Swedish superstore for their simplicity and great design, but do make it your own – you don’t want to end up living in an Ikea showroom!

♥ Your photography and styling is always so beautiful – do you have any top tips? Thanks! I try and use natural light as much as possible and use a daylight LED light on cloudy, rainy days. Also, make sure you use a nice background – I love shooting on my kitchen table, which has a great textured, wooden surface. Don’t over-prop your images, and I do seem to favour my focus to be slightly off centre. ♥ You completely transformed your beach home when you moved in – what was the process for that? The house was such a mess when we moved in that I managed to strike a deal with the landlord. I would bring it back into a stylish, nautical state in return for a slight rent deduction. We started by ripping up the stained carpets, painting floorboards and putting down a new dining room floor. We also painted every single wall, tackled the overgrown garden and gave the boring kitchen a little nautical lift. Then it was on to furniture and, as the house was a lot bigger then our previous home, we needed a lot more stuff. That’s how the website started, me making things for the house. ♥ How do you get your different upcycled pieces to work together in your home? As I mentioned before, pick a colour scheme or theme and then stick to it. I went for a Scandinavian-nautical look, so that everything in my home was blue, white and natural wood. I love clean lines, so I made sure none of the furniture was too ornate and, as long as you stick to your colour scheme, everything will go together.

♥ What’s next for you? I just finished my second book Crafting With Mason Jars and Other Glass Vessels, which will come out in March. It still has an upcycling theme, but this time with smaller objects: the humble glass jar. You’ll be amazed how many things you can do with a jam jar! I also just moved into my new home, which is a house that needs a lot of TLC, so I started a new series on my YouTube channel, Hester’s House Updates, where I show you that you don’t need a lot of skills or money to turn an old, worn-out house into a modern, loving home.

Furniture Hacks is out now and Crafting with Mason Jars, both published by CICO Books (, is available for preorder on Amazon. Visit Hester’s website at for a weekly craft tutorial video. Also find Hester at: DECEMBER

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RL27.Stencilled Planters.FOR PRINT.indd 26

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Stencilled planters



Take a plain plant pot and give it some style in just minutes using stencils. Choose a colour to complement both the planters and the surroundings, either inside your home or outside, and have fun choosing the plants too! Project and photography by Nicolette Tabram from Decorate Decorate (

MATERIALS Containers

Plants and compost

Stencil Paint – we used Nicolette Tabram Stencil Paint in Whitstable Spray adhesive or low tack tape


Stencil brush

Selection of stencils – ours are from Nicolette Tabram Designs ♥ STEP ONE If using old containers, make sure they are clean and dust free. ♥ STEP TWO Add a few drainage holes by hammering a nail through the base of the container several times.

♥ STEP FOUR Dip the tip of the brush in the paint, removing any excess. Rotate the brush onto a piece of paper to distribute the paint evenly along the bristles. This prevents the paint from bleeding under the stencil. ♥ STEP FIVE Using a circular motion, apply the paint through the holes. Once complete, carefully lift the stencil. The paint dries very quickly, does not need to be varnished and is fine for interior or exterior use. ♥ STEP SIX Wash the brush and stencil immediately in warm soapy water. ♥ STEP SEVEN Create a straight line when painting a solid border by masking the line with low tack tape. ♥ STEP EIGHT Fill the container with your chosen plant and water well.

TOP TIPS Hyacinth, narcissus or amaryllis bulbs would make a lovely alternative to plants. Border stencils work well on straight sided containers, but stick to single motifs on conical shapes and bend them around the curved surface. Play around with the position of the stencil. Place it over the edge of the container or paint only a section of it.

♥ STEP THREE Lightly coat the back of the stencil with the spray adhesive and position onto the container. Alternatively, you can use low tack tape to hold the stencil in place.


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Sewing Pattern Storage This creative use of old sewing patterns will brighten up any sewing or craft room and is a great way to store your sewing supplies. By Amy Anderson



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Mod Podge Gloss

Large wood box (with lid)

FolkArt Acrylic Paint – Linen and Baby Blue Four 5cm wood balls with one flat side, for box feet

Vintage sewing pattern pieces with their pattern envelopes Handle of choice for the box lid Mod Podge Wonder Glue Screws


Mod Podge Basic Tool Kit – make sure your craft knife has a very sharp or new blade Tack cloth (optional)

Self-healing cutting mat (optional) Drill and drill bit to fit handle

♥ STEP ONE Prepare the box by sanding, if necessary. Wipe away dust with tack cloth.

Repeat this process with the other three sides of the box.

♥ STEP TWO Paint exterior of box and lid completely, using FolkArt Acrylic Paint in Linen. Apply several coats for full coverage, allowing it to dry before applying the next coat. If desired, the interior of the box can be painted using FolkArt Acrylic Paint in Linen.

♥ STEP TEN Apply a final layer of Mod Podge Gloss to the whole box and lid and allow to dry completely.

♥ STEP THREE Paint wood balls with FolkArt Paint in Baby Blue. Apply several coats for full coverage, allowing each to dry before applying the next coat. ♥ STEP FOUR Remove tissue patterns from a pattern envelope. Trim the envelope front from the rest of the envelope with scissors. Repeat with several envelopes. ♥ STEP FIVE Mod Podge the envelope fronts onto the box lid, overlapping where desired. Do this by adding a medium layer of Mod Podge to the back of each envelope front and smoothing it onto the box lid. Repeat with remaining envelope fronts, let them dry for 15-20 minutes and then add a topcoat of Mod Podge Gloss. Allow to dry. ♥ STEP SIX Trim any excess paper that extends over the box lid by flipping the lid upside down onto a solid surface and then running a craft knife along each side.

TOP TIP Smooth the tissue patterns carefully so that you don’t tear your pattern pieces. It’s okay if you get some wrinkles in the thin tissue, it adds to the character of the finished piece.


♥ STEP SEVEN Unfold the sewing pattern pieces and cut into large sections. Starting on one outer side of the box, decoupage the pattern pieces down. Do this by applying a medium layer of Mod Podge to the box surface, then smooth the pattern piece down on top. Allow to dry for 15-20 minutes. ♥ STEP EIGHT Continue Mod Podging pattern pieces down until you have covered one entire side of the box. Allow to dry and apply a topcoat of Mod Podge. Allow to dry. ♥ STEP NINE Trim any excess paper from the side of the box using a craft knife. Slowly run the craft knife down each edge of the box side, trimming the excess pattern pieces.

♥ STEP ELEVEN Glue the four wood ball feet to the bottom of the box, using Mod Podge Wonder Glue. ♥ STEP TWELVE Drill holes to attach the handle to the lid. Make sure that you follow the instructions on the hardware packaging for attaching the handle. ♥ STEP THIRTEEN Allow the box to dry for 24 hours before using.

This project is taken from The Big Book Of Mod Podge by PLAID Enterprises, published by Lark, available from RRP £16.99


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Opening times: Henley in Arden; Monday-Sunday 10-5pm Stratford-Upon-Avon; Mon-Sat 10-5pm Sun 10.30-4.30pm 01564 795979

 Set in the old bakery in picturesque Henley-in-Arden  Antique, vintage and upcycled furniture  Vintage treasures for you and the home  Annie Sloan stockist and official Chalk Paint™ workshops Beatrice and Clementine 92 High St, Henley in Arden Warwickshire, B95 5BY 01564 795979

Stratford Antiques and Interiors Dodwell Trading Park Evesham Rd, Stratford Upon Avon Warwickshire, CV37 9SY

Would you like to advertise in Reloved? Get in touch with Laura McLean

Tel +44 (0) 1225 489989

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RL27.Nailed it FOR PRINT.indd 32

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You want wall art? Nailed it!



Creating wall art doesn’t have to be restricted to those who are skilled with a paintbrush, here’s a way for everyone, no matter what their artistic talent, to pick up a hammer and have a bash at it! By Joselyn Hughes (


Paint (optional)

Wood plaque or piece of wood with at least one flat surface Tape

1.5cm finishing nails

Yarn, string or embroidery floss (in the colour of your choice)

♥ STEP FIVE Remove the template. ♥ STEP SIX Tie the yarn, string or embroidery floss around one nail (you can glue the end down if you like) and begin to wrap it around the remaining nails as you see fit. (I like to go around the outline at least a couple of times so it stands out.) This does not have to be perfect by any means.



TOP TIP Your yarn, string or floss doesn’t have to be all one colour, you could connect lengths of different colours or use a variegated thread. Maybe circle the border in one colour and fill the shape in another.

Template (available at, or draw one of your own) Scissors

Hammer ♥ STEP ONE If you want to paint the wood piece or plaque, do that first and let it dry. ♥ STEP TWO Print out or draw a template on a piece of paper – an object, word, shape, etc – and cut it out.

♥ STEP SEVEN When you feel you’ve adequately strung your nails, tie off the end and glue that end down.

♥ STEP THREE Centre your template on the wood – you can tape it down if you want. ♥ STEP FOUR Hammer the nails around your shape, spacing them about 1cm away from one another, until you have outlined the whole of the shape.

This project is taken from DIY, Dammit! by Joselyn Hughes, published by HarperOne. RRP £15.99


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RL27.Upcycled Chair.FOR PRINT.indd 34

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Upcycled Chair

This chair was in a bad way – the supports were missing, a chunk of stile had broken off, and the seat desperately needed updating – time for a rescue! Project and photography by Jenni Hill from Can’t Swing A Cat (


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Jenni loved the idea of filling her home with finds and this was the perfect first upcycling project to embark on. Upcycled Chair how to... Materials

Old chair (ours was a broken one left by the side of the road) Wood screws Wood glue

Wood to replace missing supports

White paint (or whatever colour you want the chair to be) Spray paint (we used white for the heart in the chair back)

 abric for seat (measure your chair F seat to work out how much you need)



Masking tape G clamps

Electric sander or sandpaper

♥ STEP ONE In the photo on the previous page you can see how some of the wooden supports were missing, but what you can’t tell is that the leg closest to us was hanging off. It seemed as though the previous owners had tried to glue it back together, but upon closer inspection I realised that all it needed was screwing back in. The screw that held it in place was twisted and so I pulled it out with some pliers and replaced it with a new one. ♥ STEP two As you can see, one of the stiles was badly damaged too. Thankfully, the chunk of wood that had broken off wasn’t far from the chair, so the project could go ahead. I covered the broken part of the stile in glue. Then, after putting the piece that had broken off back in its rightful place, I added masking tape and G clamps to hold everything still until the glue dried.


Pinking shears Staple gun

hole. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get an exact match, but was able to sand down a couple of millimetres off each end of the piece I got so that it would fit. ♥ STEP six Then it was time for the fun part... painting the chair! I decided to paint it white, in the hope that it will fit well in any room of my future house, no matter how I decide to decorate it. ♥ STEP seven Next I spray-painted the heart white. In hindsight I wish I’d chosen a different colour to make it stand out, but if I decide to update the chair in future, I can easily unscrew the heart from the top rail and repaint it. ♥ STEP eight Since the seat of the chair was filthy and the fabric was outdated, I bought a new piece of fabric from a haberdashery. After cutting the fabric to the right size with the help of pinking shears, I got to work recovering the seat. This was surprisingly the most difficult part of the entire project, as it proved tricky to keep the fabric crease free, particularly in the corners.

♥ STEP three Next, I filled the cracks in the other stile with glue too and added G clamps as I did before.

Your chair Obviously any damaged old chair that you find will have different problems to Jenni’s, but the techniques can still be applied. We’d love to see how you get on!


♥ STEP four With the chair leg and the two stiles completely fixed, it was time to sand the chair down. I started off by just using sandpaper, but it was so exhausting that I eventually resorted to using an electric sander, which made the job so much easier. ♥ STEP five Next I unscrewed one of the legs and took it with me to a local DIY shop so I could find some pieces of wood to replace the missing supports. I was hoping that by taking a leg with me, I’d be able to find a piece of wood that would fit perfectly in the

♥ STEP nine Since the seat had been screwed firmly to the chair’s frame, my next challenge was finding the holes in the underside of the seat where the screws had previously been. ♥ STEP ten I couldn’t simply put the screws straight in the cushion though, as they had to go through the underneath of the chair frame in order to hold everything in place. Once the seat was attached, the project was complete!


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Green in mind Sally FitzGerald meets Gary Lincoln and finds out about the Green in Mind bespoke furniture upcycling company that transforms furniture and their clients’ homes.


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♥ Here Sliding door cabinet showing you should never be afraid to use colour. ♥ Left Stylised birds and foliage are more evidence that bold is beautiful


or many people, one of the most appealing aspects about upcycling is that everything you create is unique, a one-off piece owned just by you. This was exactly the motivation that led Gary Lincoln to set up eco-focused upcycling business Green In Mind. Gary Lincoln and Joanne Port-Lincoln run successful interior decorating business Luxel Decorators, and their experience through this led them to see just how useful upcycling can be in creating an individual style for their customers. Gary explains, “My clients often want something designed specifically for them and over the last 20 years we have often upcycled their existing furniture to fit into their newly painted surroundings. As recycling got more important, so did saving perfectly good furniture, so five years ago we decided to set up Green In Mind to showcase one-off bespoke pieces.” Green in Mind now offers to design and upcycle a piece of furniture for you, by tracking down something you’ve wanted for years, but never been able to lay your hands on, or giving a tired old cabinet you already have a makeover. And as the emphasis is on creating a style that is individually tailored, the customer is always central to the design process. Gary reveals, “Our process starts


♥ Bottom left The classic Singer sewing machine table transformed. ♥ Right Feast your eyes on a range different stunning sideboards and chests of drawers.

with a consultation to get an idea together with our client. We guide them through design and colour so it fits perfectly into their home. Quite often using Photoshop we can create the finished look without even starting on the job, so they can tweak their design if needed. We keep all our design steps transparent to the client as this appeals to their imaginative side, thereby they are creating their own upcycled piece.” Gary’s personal style is what he refers to as ‘eclectic’. “Personally, I love the retro look with a modern twist, but all styles and eras have amazing design appeal. We are spoilt for choice.” And if you’re not quite sure which style or era would best suit your piece of furniture, Gary is happy to help with his extensive knowledge. He particularly enjoys getting to hand paint artwork onto the fronts of clients pieces, creating a look that is so unique to that person. “These pieces are so enjoyable to do and the finished looks are amazing. The response I get from my customers makes it all worthwhile.” One thing that Gary encounters a lot, and tries to dismiss as soon as possible, is a fear of colour when it comes to painting furniture. He explains why this should never be a barrier. “Colour is the best way to utilise a trend. Styles change so fast, if the colour


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gets boring you can easily fix it with a new on-trend colour. Never be afraid of colour. Choose a shade that is right for you, even if it does happen to be lime green or dark purple. Be brave and go with your instinct and you’ll enjoy the piece much more.” ARTISTIC UPCYCLING As well as saving old furniture, Green In Mind’s ecological ethos extends still further. “We save everything, even all the leftover paints so that we can make new colours out of them. Everything is handmade and painted. We reuse handles and broken furniture to create new and exciting designer furniture. I often use charitable organisations, so I know that what I do spend on furniture goes to a good cause. I’m surprised how many people are not eco-friendly. I think if we can educate them about the joys of upcycling in an artistic way, then maybe this will motivate people to carry this ideal through into their everyday life.” Green in Mind don’t just upcycle furniture by painting it though, they are also big fans of using digital images as decorations. Gary explains, “We find a design, or create one that suits the client, then it is printed onto eco-friendly vinyl and it’s adhered to the furniture professionally. This process can transport the furniture to new heights!” Gary and Joanne are also working on a new range, which they’ve called their ‘fused furniture’, and which Gary is particularly excited about. “This allows me to use unupcyclable pieces that you simply cannot usually use to create future furniture with history, style and a totally new look.” Green in Mind really are taking upcycling to a whole mew level! So if you’d like help creating a true showstopping piece of furniture for your home, and an eco awareness is as important to you as the finished result, head over to www. and join Gary and Joanne to create a piece that is truly unique to you and that you can treasure for years to come. For more information visit






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RL27.Vintage Stocking.FOR PRINT.indd 42

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Christmas Stocking

This stash-busting vintage stocking uses scraps of fabric left over from past projects to create something gorgeous. Project by Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden from R&B Design ( Photography by Antonia Attwood




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The eye catching red lining for the stocking is an old striped cotton shirt, rescued from the rag bag and dyed. CHRISTMAS STOCKING HOW TO... MATERIALS Old shirt

Fabric from stash Dylon fabric dye

Greaseproof paper for tracing Selection of ribbon and trims Toy filling Teabags


Pencil and rubber

Needles and thread

♥ STEP ONE Dye the old shirt in the washing machine following the manufacturer’s instructions. To make the tea stain for the exterior fabric, boil a kettle of water, pour over four teabags in a teapot, then stew for 5 minutes to make a strong colour. Wet the exterior fabric, pour the brewed tea into a washing up bowl and add enough water to submerge the wet fabric. Move the fabric about in the tea, then leave for about 10 minutes until you have a rich colour. Wring out the fabric, then hang up to dry. ♥ STEP TWO Draw the stocking design for the exterior and lining onto the greaseproof paper. Fold both fabrics double, pin the patterns on, then cut two linings and two exteriors, you will have four pieces of fabric. ♥ STEP THREE Take the two exterior pieces and pin and sew the front seam on both. Repeat with the lining fabric, press the seams open. Measure the width of the exterior 3cm below the top line. Cut the ribbon and trim to this length, then assemble new trimming by layering and sewing together. Pin the newly assembled trim to the exterior, 3cm below the top edge, and hand stitch in place.

♥ STEP FIVE Right sides together, pin and sew together seams of the lining and the exterior, leave the lower edge of the lining open. Clip the seams and cut notches on the curves, turn the stocking right sides out through the opening in the lining. Press along the seam line of the stocking. ♥ STEP SIX Stuff the shoe section of the exterior with toy filling, using the scissor point to push the filling into the heel and toe. Sew the opening in the lining closed, then push the lining into place in the exterior. Sew a loop of ribbon to the back of the stocking to hang it from. PATTERNS (Enlarge by 405%)

Pattern 1 Cut 2 Add 1cm seam allowance

♥ STEP FOUR Right sides together, pin and sew the lining and exterior fabric together along the top edge of the stocking, open out and press along the seam.

FIND A FABRIC We couldn’t resist tea-staining the lush Cath Kidston fabric decorated with flowers, leaves and birds. Visit to see more fabrics.


Leave open for stuffing shoe

Pattern 2 Cut 2 Add 1cm seam allowance Top edge


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Washi tape It’s bright, it’s colourful and it’s versatile – it’s washi tape, and it’s a quick, cheap and easy way to add some pizzazz to any upcycling project. Let your own imagination be fired up by our three fabulous projects... By Amy Anderson (


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Cheery chair upgrade


hairs can go out of style, but that doesn’t mean you want to spend the money to replace them. This project takes a basic chair from traditional to modern with the addition of some paint and washi tape. It’s simple, it’s stylish and you won’t believe how easy it is.

♥ STEP ONE Paint the chair white, then let it dry. Note: If you’re refurbishing an existing chair, you’ll need to first sand the chair to remove any existing paint, then prime it.


♥ STEP THREE Select one colour of washi tape and press a strip vertically along one of the spindles, extending from the top down to the first sketched line of the rhombus. Add one to two more strips, as needed, to completely wrap the top of the spindle. Repeat on the other spindles.

Chair, with back spindles Acrylic paint, in white

Washi tape, in three complementary colours Decoupage medium

♥ STEP TWO Use the pencil to lightly sketch a rhombus shape (an off-kilter diamond) across the back spindles of the chair.


♥ STEP FOUR Select a second colour of tape and wrap it around the bottom portion of the spindles, extending from the bottom up to the sketched line.

Scissors or craft knife

♥ STEP FIVE Use the scissors or knife to cut clean edges on the sketched diagonals.

Primer (optional)


Foam brush

Sandpaper (optional)

♥ STEP SIX Wrap the third washi colour around the chair legs, starting from the bottom and extending up at varying intervals. Use the scissors or knife to cut the top edge of each of the taped sections on an angle. ♥ STEP SEVEN Using a foam brush, coat the taped sections with decoupage medium to keep them from peeling. Let dry.

TOP TIP Chairs lend themselves particularly well to this kind of upgrade, because you can wrap the tape around the spindles. Look for other opportunities to jazz up items such as a nest of side tables, a step ladder or footstool.



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Chairs can go out of style, but that doesn’t mean you have to replace them. This project takes a basic chair from traditional to modern with the addition of just some paint and washi tape.


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Friendly photo coasters MATERIALS

4-6 ceramic tiles, 10x10cm

Digital photos of pets or children Decoupage medium Washi tape

Pour-on high-gloss finish

Adhesive cork shelf liner


Computer with a photo-editing app

♥ STEP ONE Use a photo-editing app to size your images to fit on top of the ceramic tiles with a 1.25-2cm margin on all sides. Print the photos on laser print paper, then trim to the size of your coasters. ♥ STEP TWO Paint decoupage medium onto the back of one photo, centre it onto the surface of a coaster, then smooth it down with your hands to secure it in place. Repeat with the other coasters. Let dry for 15-20 minutes.

Colour laser printer and laser print paper (so the colours won’t bleed while decoupaging)

♥ STEP THREE Use strips of washi tape to create borders around the photos, overlapping the photos as desired.



♥ STEP FOUR Paint another coat of decoupage medium on top. Let dry.

Craft knife and a self-healing cutting mat

♥ STEP FIVE Protect the coasters from heat and moisture with the high-gloss finish. Raise each coaster off of your work surface with a small, stable, but disposable item like an inverted yoghurt container. ♥ STEP SIX Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the finish, then pour it in the centre of each coaster, coaxing it to the edges, so that it covers and drips over the sides and corners. ♥ STEP SEVEN Let dry without moving or handling for at least 24 hours. ♥ STEP EIGHT Cut any remaining drips off the bottom edge of the coaster with a craft knife. ♥ STEP NINE Press the bottom of each coaster onto the adhesive side of the cork shelf liner, and use the craft knife to trim the excess cork around the edges.


To buy this book for the special price of £12.99 call 01872 562327 or visit www.efcbookshop. com and quote code WT12

TOP TIP These projects are taken from Washi Tape Crafts by Amy Anderson, published by Workman Publishing. RRP £14.99


If you don’t have access to a colour laser printer, you may also use an inkjet printer. Let the ink dry for 5 to 10 minutes, then lightly coat with a matte spray acrylic sealant on both sides. The sealant will protect the ink from smearing when you apply another medium over it.


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Custom coasters with washi tape and photographs make an excellent personalised gift. Just remember to seal them well, especially if the gift recipient loves really hot beverages.



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Easy breezy bicycle Dazzle up a new bike or revamp a thrift store find. Add sealant to make the tape permanent or let it be temporary. MATERIALS

Washi tape, in three or four complementary colours Cruiser bike

Flexible tape measure Glue (optional)

Decoupage medium, or a weatherproof sealant if you want permanent decorations (optional)


Paintbrush (optional) ♥ STEP ONE Measure the circumference of all the bars on the bicycle. Add 1cm to all measurements to allow for tape overlap. ♥ STEP TWO Cut strips of washi tape equal in length to the measurements determined in Step 1. ♥ STEP THREE Wrap a washi tape strip around one bicycle bar, overlapping the ends so it sticks to itself. Use a dab of glue, if needed, to reinforce the overlap. (Make sure to avoid getting glue on the bicycle if you want the tape to be temporary.) ♥ STEP FOUR Repeat Step 3, adding strips of different colours, randomly or in a repeating pattern, to all bicycle bars until the entire bicycle is decorated. Optional: Apply a sealant to weatherproof the bike surface.

TOP TIP This makeover is a perfect gift for a child, either as a bargain way to spruce up their old bike or to make their first bicycle even more special.



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We’re now

on Instagram – come and say hello!

e n i z a g a m _ d e v o @rel

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Salvaged wood tree



Instead of having a living fir Christmas tree, why not take some wood that is well past its growing days and create something novel and unique? Use this tree design to inspire your own creation this Christmas... Project and photography © Almie Louis from Grand Recycler (


Leftover wood (I used a piece that is 10x10cm thick) Long, thin piece of wood for the tree trunk Christmas decorations White paint

Christmas stamp and paint Wood glue

EQUIPMENT Paintbrush

♥ STEP ONE First, measure five pieces of wood and a trunk for the tree. Each one needs to be 6cm smaller than the other. I used the following measurements – 12, 18, 24, 30, 36cm – which allowed me to stack them on top of each other. ♥ STEP TWO Work on a solid and stable surface and cut the pieces with the mitre or hand saw according to the measurements. Use a hand sander to smooth the edges. Wipe them clean with a damp cloth.

Mitre/hand saw

♥ STEP THREE Glue them on top of each other with the wood glue, to form a wooden Christmas tree.

Work bench

♥ STEP FOUR Nail the trunk to the newly made tree and paint it white. Allow to dry.

Hammer and nails Hand sander

TOP TIP We painted the tree white so it would work well with red decorations, but you can play with other colour schemes like green and purple.

♥ STEP FIVE When completely dry, use the stamps and decorations to decorate the tree.


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Christmas placemat pillow



Got some old Christmas placemats that only get used once a year? Transform them into pillows that you can use every day, with just a few stitches and some stuffing. It couldn’t be easier... Project and photography by Katie Nathey from Upcycled Treasures (


Placemat – make sure it’s the kind that is already sewn together with two pieces Thread

Pillow stuffing


♥ STEP ONE You should probably iron your placemats first, otherwise it will have lines all over it like mine did. ♥ STEP TWO I decided to take the stuffing out of an old red sweater pillow I made a couple of years ago, but you could buy some at any fabric store. ♥ STEP THREE The first thing to do is use a needle to unravel some of the threading holding the placemat together, but only unravel about 8cm or so. I did this in the centre of a side, rather than a corner, because I figured it would be less obvious that it is sewn up.

TOP TIP If you don’t have any suitable placemats to use, then have a look at your old tea towels. They can be turned into little pillows in the same way, but with a little extra stitching to create the pocket after folding the towel in half.

♥ STEP FOUR Tie off the thread edges so they won’t unravel and begin putting in the pillow stuffing, making sure to push it around into the corners. After filling the pillow with stuffing you can begin to sew it shut. Since it’s only about 8cm it won’t take too long either, which is awesome. Talk about instant gratification! It was so easy and, since I only had to sew a small section, it looks professional and pretty.


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Rock ’n’ Guitar Art

Upcycle an old guitar into a beautiful work of art, with little more than paper scraps and sparkly findings. By Andrea Currie




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Choosing a colour scheme and embellishments for your guitar can be inspired by your favourite music genre. ROCK ‘N’ GUITAR ART HOW TO... MATERIALS

Mod Podge Furniture Gloss

Mod Podge Mod Melt, sea glass clear

♥ STEP ONE Remove the hardware and strings from the guitar.

Mod Podge Rocks! Peel & Stick Stencil, Starlite

♥ STEP TWO Mod Podge a piece of test paper to the back of the guitar with Mod Podge Furniture Gloss. If it becomes too transparent, paint white multi-surface primer all over the guitar to cover the dark colour, and allow it to dry completely.

Old guitar

♥ STEP THREE Cut decorative paper into 2.5cm wide strips.

Mod Podge Mod Mold, Alphabet

Mod Podge Spouncer Set

At least four different thin papers in various patterns (speciality gift wrap works great for this)

Acrylic multi-surface primer (if your paper is transparent and guitar is dark)

Fine opaque glitter (in coordinating colours) 1.8m fake rhinestone ribbon (eight rows of rhinestones works the best) Various rhinestones and embellishments of your choice 1.8m of string or yarn


Mod Podge Basic Tool Kit Mod Podge Mod Melter

♥ STEP FOUR With thin layers of Mod Podge Furniture Gloss, add strips to the guitar in alternating patterns and lengths. Overlap the edges by 1.3cm. Smooth the paper out with your fingers.

This project is taken from The Big Book of Mod Podge by PLAID Enterprises, published by Lark, available from RRP £16.99


♥ STEP TEN Measure the circumference of the guitar with string and cut rhinestone ribbon to length. Depending on the size and rows of rhinestone ribbon desired, the ribbon may be cut down to three or two rows wide. Use hot glue to adhere the rhinestone ribbon to the edges of the guitar.

♥ STEP FIVE Fold the paper over the edges of the guitar with a dab of Mod Podge Furniture Gloss, and smooth out. ♥ STEP SIX Apply a top coat of Mod Podge Furniture Gloss to the entire guitar surface. ♥ STEP SEVEN After the Mod Podge is dry, cover the exposed areas (top of neck, sides of guitar) with Mod Podge Furniture Gloss and quickly sprinkle with glitter. Repeat on the still exposed areas. Allow to dry completely. ♥ STEP ELEVEN Cut a single row out of the remaining rhinestone ribbon and adhere it to the guitar frets. Three rows of rhinestone ribbon should also work for the string knobs at the top. ♥ STEP TWELVE Add embellishments where desired. Use Mod Podge Alphabet Mod Mold and Mod Podge Mod Melt to create fun phrases or names. Top off with coordinating rhinestones, using either hot glue or white craft glue.

TOP TIP Give your embellishments a musical theme by including colourful plectrums or even the guitar strings coiled up into spirals and coated in glitter.

♥ STEP NINE Once the glitter and Mod Podge layer is fully dry, add a protective layer of Mod Podge Furniture Gloss over the entire guitar. Be extra gentle when adding Mod Podge over the glittered areas. Switch brushes if glitter builds up on the current brush.

♥ STEP EIGHT Use Mod Podge Rocks! Peel & Stick Stencil to add glittery shapes to the guitar body, by stencilling on Mod Podge Furniture Gloss. Remove the stencil while Mod Podge is still wet, and sprinkle on glitter.


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Relax and unwind with our brand new adult colouring magazine‌ Available from WH Smith and independent newsagents

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23/10/2015 09:32



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Christmas decoupage tray



Looking for that perfect present this Christmas and want to have a go at crafting it yourself? Let Sophie from Sophie’s Shabby Finds give you some upcycling tips and ideas for the festive season. Project and photography by Sophie Ebeling from Sophie’s Shabby Finds (


An old wooden tray

Christmas decoupage paper napkins PVA glue

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I have used French Linen) Annie Sloan Dark Wax

Gold acrylic paint (optional)


Paintbrushes ♥ STEP ONE Lightly sand down the edges of the tray, ready for painting, then use a small brush to paint the edges and rim of the tray. I have used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – no upcycler’s paint box is without a tin or two. One tin will last a while or you can get tester pots for smaller scale projects. I have used French Linen to tie in with the grey tones in the decoupage paper and because it fits in with any Christmas colour scheme.

♥ STEP FOUR Once you have decided where to place the napkins, you can get glueing. Using watered down PVA, first brush a layer onto the tray. Carefully place each napkin and then glue over the top with the PVA solution. Don’t worry about any tears or creases at this point, because when they dry you can’t see them and the crinkled texture is part of the look. Leave to dry overnight. ♥ STEP FIVE Once the napkins are dry, you will see if you need to work on any more areas to make sure the tray is fully covered. Coat with a final layer of watered down PVA to seal and protect the decoupage papers.

TOP TIP This tray is themed for Christmas, but all you need to do is change the decoupage paper design to suit other occasions. You could keep changing the same tray or make a set.

♥ STEP SIX Sit back and admire your work, whilst enjoying a mince pie (or two)! Tweet me your project pics @SophieShabby and go to my website to buy this tray.

♥ STEP TWO Now it’s time to distress! Using a small piece of sandpaper, rub back around the rim for a vintage shabby chic feel. I have also used a small amount of dark wax around the edges with a small brush. For a bit of Christmas glamour, highlight a few areas on the tray in gold paint. ♥ STEP THREE There are hundreds of different materials you can use for decoupaging: scraps of wallpaper, wrapping paper or even old sheet music and newspapers. I have decided to use traditional decoupage napkins, which give a vintage, textured feel. Cut each napkin into four and start arranging them on the tray.


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Mirrored Noel sign

Give Christmas some stunning glitter and shine with mirrored letters that will make your room sparkle. Project and photography by Jenny Brownlees



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Place these mirrored letters in the right place to reflect the coloured lights shining on your Christmas tree. MIRRORED NOEL SIGN HOW TO... MATERIALS

Paper Mache 10cm N O E L letters, available from Hobbycraft

♥ STEP THREE Place the next tile directly underneath and the next to the side, covering all areas that you can with the full square tiles – the smaller bits can be cut to fit later.

9 packs of ‘Darice Mirrors Square Mirror Tiles’ (1.3cm) 25 Pack available from Hobbycraft

♥ STEP FOUR Repeat with all four letters, until you have as much of the front, side and top surfaces covered in full tiles as possible. (We left the letter backs sprayed plain silver.)

Silver craft spray paint

Glu & Fix All Purpose glue


Hand held tile/glass cutter (available pretty cheaply on eBay) or alternatively a craft knife, ruler and flat pliers

♥ STEP ONE Take the letters and, on a covered surface, spray silver with your can of craft paint. This will ensure that if there are any small gaps between your tiles, only the silver will shine through.

♥ STEP FIVE Now to fill in the missing sections of tiles. With a ruler, measure the shape you need (mostly a triangle or half a tile) and if you have a tile or glass cutter, this is perfect for this project. If not, use a ruler and a craft knife to score along the surface in the shape you want to cut multiple times, both on the front and back, and gripping the tile with pliers, snap along the scored line. ♥ STEP SIX Glue in the remaining tile shapes until all four of the letters are fully covered and complete. TOP TIP Spell out any word you like by buying different base letters and tiling in the same way.

♥ STEP TWO Starting with the letter ‘N’, use a small amount of Glu & Fix All Purpose glue to adhere the first tile, fixing it flush with the top of the letter.



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Joining the ministry John Thackray ends up sitting comfortably when he tackles a course to make a footstool with the Ministry of Upholstery, taking place at Annie Sloan’s shop in Oxford.


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♥ Left Working on the support webbing. ♥ Here John and the other students hard at work on their footstools. ♥ Bottom left Day two of the course is ‘doing day’, putting the techniques learned to good use.


ased in Manchester, the Ministry of Upholstery was formed in 2010 by Anthony Devine, an upholsterer and furniture maker, who has produced handmade furniture for the likes of the QE2, Harvey Nichols and Crowne Plaza Hotels, as well as appearing recently as an expert on the BBC1 show Money for Nothing. Nothing The Ministry of Upholstery is now one of the UK’s leading modern upholstery schools and offers a range of courses including; a 8-week flexible business start up course, an Annie Sloan painting course and the one I’m about to tell you about, a weekend footstool making course. It is also a stockist of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™. STAYING THE COURSE From the moment I was told I’d be going on a Ministry of Upholstery course at the Chalk Paint Mecca that is Annie Sloan’s shop in Oxford, I found myself suffering from a strange mix of excitement and apprehension.


♥ Top right Putting the finishing touches to a floral footstool. ♥ Middle John conquers his fears of a staple gun misfire disaster. ♥ Bottom Measure twice and cut once, as the students get the fabric scissors out.

Up until this weekend I’d never upholstered anything and had always wanted to learn, but despite an obsessively methodical need for tidiness and order, I’m not that patient. As a result (and with a badly positioned cup of tea), I can quickly turn the location of any upcycling or DIY project into a calamitous scene from Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. As I walked out of Oxford train station and through the busy, sun-bleached city centre, this potential carnage was all I could think of. Thankfully, Anthony kept a tidiness tally to help prevent any possible disasters and apart from one incident on Sunday afternoon when I managed to send the contents of my toolbox crashing to the floor, I can proudly say I escaped accident free, but still came last on the tally chart. The course was one of two specials put on by the Ministry of Upholstery as part of the celebrations marking 25 years of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. Spread over two days, despite my belief that I was a staple gun


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misfire away from disaster, the course was intense but extremely good fun. From the moment Anthony starts the course introduction, you can tell that upholstery and the true use of traditional techniques is something he’s extremely passionate about. Having worked in the industry for as long as Anthony has, it’s very easy to get tired of what you do, so it’s refreshing to see someone talk about their craft with as much love as a child on their first day at big school. Anthony’s passion is infectious and in the intimate and, despite it being my first visit, remarkably familiar surroundings of Annie’s old workshop, you can’t help but absorb this enthusiasm and quickly start to find yourself in the upholstery zone, believing you’re going to create something very special. Day one was the prep day, where we were taught about Chalk Paint techniques by a couple of members of the Annie Sloan team, made buttons (a task so therapeutic it should be used on mind, body and soul retreats), readied our frames and selected our Annie Sloan fabrics. I feel I should add that selecting your fabric is a task made easier if you take some pictures of the colours in your home so you aren’t stood, like I was, looking at some stunning materials trying to remember the colour of the cushions and curtains in the living room. Day two was the doing day, where we readied the foam, fitted the fabric, installed the buttons and tidied the underneath to leave us all with stunning footstools, even if I say so myself. This was the day where Anthony was in his element. We’d entered his zone and working under his repeated mantra of “we don’t teach you to do it, we teach you to do it right”, it meant we didn’t cut corners. It eliminated the need to tie things 600 times and, as a result, ended with a professional, tidy looking product. NOVICES AND EXPERTS I’m pleased to say I had a great weekend, learnt a whole new set of skills and proudly walked away with a great looking footstool – which doubled up as a handy seat for the packed train home – that could pass for one made by a pro. In the grand scheme of things I’m fairly new to the world of upcycling/DIY and don’t feel any shame in referring to myself as a relative novice when it comes to any project that uses materials other than wood. In hindsight this lack of knowledge may have contributed to the sense of apprehension I mentioned at the start. If, like myself, you’re a beginner, don’t let it put you off attending a course at the Ministry of Upholstery, you’ll have a great time. This is definitely a course for people of any ability, not just beginners like myself. With Anthony’s mantra, even the more

experienced among the group this weekend were saying they’d learnt new tricks to make their lives easier on future projects. On a final note, if you do a workshop at Annie Sloan’s Oxford shop, you’ll be fed and watered like a Regency King and Queen, with some amazing spreads from the local delicatessens on Cowley Road. This is a treat in its own right! For further information visit the website at, telephone 0161 6371710, email enquiries@ministryofupholstery. or find them on social media: Facebook – MinistryOfUpholstery Twitter – @ministryofUphol Instagram – @ministry_of_upholstery






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Hessian ball decoration



No fabric should ever go to waste in an upcycling household and these rustic ball decorations are a good way to use patterned or even plain pieces of coarse fabric. A dash of paint co-ordinates them beautifully. Project and photography © Almie Louis from Grand Recycler (


Polystyrene ball Hessian fabric Terracotta pot Dry red moss

Wood decorations Wallpaper glue

Red acrylic paint

EQUIPMENT Paintbrush

Glue gun and bullets

♥ STEP ONE Paint the wood decoration and terracotta pot red with the acrylic paint and allow to dry. ♥ STEP TWO Measure the circumference of the polystyrene ball. Place the hessian on a flat surface and cut it into strips according to the measurements. ♥ STEP THREE Dip the fabric in the glue and remove any excess glue with your fingers. Stretch it over the ball from the top to the bottom. Repeat this process until the entire ball is covered. Add more glue if needed.

TOP TIP The balls sit well in pots, but if you replace the polystyrene balls with square blocks or triangles (wood, plastic or other solid material) you can do these different shaped decorations to make an interesting geometric set.

♥ STEP FOUR Allow the ball to dry overnight. When everything is dry, place the ball on top of the terracotta pot and patch together with the glue gun. ♥ STEP FIVE Decorate it with the dry moss and wooden decorations.


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Platter with panache



Add a little panache and pizzazz to the delivery of any meal, snack or drinks with an upcycled tray that is bursting with glitz and glamour. By Joselyn Hughes (


Letter stickers

Butcher’s tray (this enamelled tray can be found at craft supply stores, but any tray with a raised rim will do for this project) Glitter (optional)

♥ STEP THREE Mix together your resin as per the directions and pour it into the tray. (The directions will mention how to deal with bubbles that may form while pouring.) ♥ STEP FOUR Let the resin fully dry. SALT AND PEPPER SHAKE-UP

Casting resin (not as scary to use as it looks)

♥ STEP ONE Draw the letters S and a P on one each of the teeny tiny jam jar lids using a water-soluble pen.


♥ STEP TWO Using a hammer and nail, nail holes along the lines of the letters in each lid, enough so salt and pepper will come out when you’re ready to use them.

2 tiny jam jars (with lids) EQUIPMENT Paint pen

TOP TIPS Most craft resins aren’t safe for food, so make sure you don’t eat straight off the tray’s surface! Wash the decorated tray by hand.

Water-soluble pen Hammer PLATTER ♥ STEP ONE Apply the letter stickers you’ve chosen to your tray.

♥ STEP THREE Wash the lids and dry. ♥ STEP FOUR Fill each respective jar with salt and pepper and get to eatin’!

♥ STEP TWO Outline each letter with a paint pen. (Paint or decorate your tray as you’d like. You do not have to do it like I did.) Sprinkle glitter over the tray too if you like.

This project is taken from DIY, Dammit! by Joselyn Hughes, published by HarperOne. RRP £15.99


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Photo © Harriet Thomas

Charis Williams

TV presenter, reuse expert and Salvage Sister Charis Williams is our expert on all things upcycled. This month Charis advises on the best ways to save money by having an upcycled Christmas and how to cut glass bottles cleanly...


ow is November treating you? I’m guessing you survived Halloween (unless you are truly undead and still interested in upcycling, which is real commitment!) and you are now bracing yourself for Christmas and all the festivities it has to offer! I know I am. This month I’m going to give you a few ideas on how you can save some cash over Christmas and make yours a bit more sustainable. As much as I love Christmas, or any excuse to be a bit silly to be honest, I do worry about how much waste we are creating. Things like stocking fillers for instance. You know that the thing you are buying is basically being bought for the sole purpose of taking up space in a stocking and keeping the kids occupied for as long as it takes to open and chuck behind them! What I really try to do at Christmas is think about each family member and what they are


really interested in, so they get something which is really special and unique to them – and that means swerving the high street. This may sound like it’s going to cost a little bit more, but there are ways you can get around this.

something good and well thought out that they really want, rather than a last minute panic buy.

♥ Start buying presents earlier online, places like Ebay offer much better prices than the high street, even for brand new items still in the box that are unwanted for whatever reason by the seller. But make sure you leave enough time for it to be posted!

♥ Buy second-hand – car boot sales, Gumtree, Preloved – you can find some really amazing one-of-a-kind pieces at bargain basement prices. Here is a photo (top right) of what I recently purchased at a boot sale, this beautiful ram skull for £45 and a vintage trunk for £30. These are absolute bargains and I know I would much rather have received one of these than 10 mass produced off-the-high-street-shelf items… or socks and the dreaded bath salts!

♥ Upcycle an item, like painting a picture frame and putting in a photo of loved ones, or upcycling a bedside table you got at a reuse centre. There are so many items you can easily upcycle with a lick of paint and changing fittings such as handles. ♥ If you have a really big family and present buying fills you with dread, making your bank card wilt with anticipation, why not do a secret Santa, so each grown up only buys one present for one other grown up in the family? The deal is that it has to be

♥ Buy handmade items from artists and designers in your local area.

♥ Make something yourself. This could be really simple – how about homemade fudge in a pretty jar with a ribbon on? Or tealight holders made from the blocks of a pallet with a hole for the tealight? Maybe knit a hat? Or make cable tidies from Lego men! The ideas are endless – check out my Pinterest board ‘Handmade Christmas gifts’ for more inspiration. Here’s a few ideas of what my family members are getting, so you know I walk the walk! My sister is getting a brand new AllSaints denim waistcoat that still has tags on, but I bought it on eBay, RRP £100, I paid £10! (Saving loadsa wonga and earning me many, many good sister points, which I shall redeem on babysitting!) My mum is getting my handmade wooden letter ‘S’ – she has been hinting! (S for Sandra!) My boyfriend is getting a new CD player for his car – I’m watching some on eBay at the moment and I reckon I can get him a £200 one for around £40. For dad, I’m going round the boot


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wooden letters (left). If you go to my Salvage Sister website and find the ‘shop’ tab, you can now order some of my handmade items straight through the site. Before you check out, put the code ‘IWANT10’ into the coupon field and this will take 10% off your total. This is only valid until 1st December, so get your skates on! Facebook – Charis Williams AKA The Salvage Sister; Twitter – @CharisWilliams; Instagram – @CharisWilliams777; YouTube – TheCharis777;

sales every weekend at the moment looking for another vintage trunk for him, so he has somewhere to put his tools. My son, Ely, has a major Lego obsession – we have to go into the Lego store frequently so he can gaze at the latest pack that is the flavour of the month at school. At the moment it is Jurassic World. What he probably realises, (knowing his mother is the Salvage Sister) is his will be bought on eBay, where I can get it up to 50% off. Lego is quite expensive, particularly if your child is as fickle as mine and something is old hat within a few weeks! I have already stockpiled a lot of other Lego blocks, people and animals from boot sales and Gumtree. Lego is great, because I can wrap some of these pieces separately and he feels like he’s had more than he actually has – this also helps if some of it isn’t in the original box. He also needs somewhere to store the Lego and I usually buy him little vintage wooden boxes from charity shops and markets when I see them. He also needs new clothes and shoes, which will be Christmas gifts and keep him busy for a big chunk of Christmas morning, and the rest of the day he’ll be mesmerised by Lego!

My daughter Tiger is 9, although she already thinks she is 14! All she is interested in is being like Taylor Swift at the moment. Which isn’t such a bad thing, as it is encouraging her to learn the guitar. I have already found a second-hand guitar at Emmaus reuse centre for £10 and a vintage case for £5, which is totally blowing the bank I know! Other than that, I know she’ll want clothes, shoes, chocolate, music and Roald Dahl books, all of which I have been stockpiling from boot sales, Gumtree, reuse centres, charity shops and eBay for months now. Now those stockings don’t seem anywhere near as daunting. Let me know how you get on with your Christmas shopping – tweet me or find me on Facebook, I love hearing about all your bargains. Talking of Christmas, I have a little treat for my rampaging reclaimers. I have been really busy updating my website this month, and as a little pre-Christmas treat I’m offering my loyal Reloved readers 10% off purchases from my online shop, such as my upcycled cricket helmet lamp (far bottom left), my wine bottle lamp (near bottom left) and large

UPCYCLING SOS ♥ Auntie @chariswilliams777, I’m making some wine bottle candles for people out of their first date bottles and the like. How can I get a good, clean edge without destroying half the bottle or knicking it to pieces?! Louisville KY, USA From Instagram – @clifton_waxworks Ah, yes, getting a clean break can be a bit of a pickle at first. And if you’re using a bottle with sentimental value, you need it right first time! I would pick through some recycling bins in the neighbourhood (yes, I do this too), so you have practice bottles. Most methods for getting a clean cut in glass involve scoring the glass and then using very hot followed by very cold temperatures to break the glass. I’ve tried a few methods from online and the easiest way I found of doing it at home, with the least casualties, is with an Ephrems bottle cutter to score the glass. Next, use the candle provided to heat the score line all the way around until hot, then rub an ice cube around the line to crack the glass cleanly. This method seems to have a 100% success rate for me now. Make sure you wear safety glasses and sand the clean break to take the sharp edge off.


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Driftwood planter

Make a planter from driftwood and ďŹ ll it with coastal plants to bring back nostalgic memories of seaside holidays. By Louise Curley, photography by Jason Ingram


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Foraging for pretty rocks, shells and pieces of driftwood are the perfect souvenirs to take home to remind you of time spent on the coast.


Plastic fruit punnet, margarine/ butter container or yoghurt pot Pieces of driftwood

Crocks such as broken pieces of terracotta pot or stones or else pieces of folded newspaper

Specialist cacti compost or a mix of multipurpose compost, horticultural sand and grit or perlite Succulents – Echeveria ‘Blue Prince’, Sedum pachyphyllum ‘Nejedly’, Sedeveria ‘Yellow Humbert’, Graptosedum ‘Alpenglow’, Pachyphytum oviferum Mulch of small pebbles, horticultural grit or sea glass


Screwdriver or pencil Scissors

Hot glue gun

♥ STEP ONE If your chosen container does not have any drainage holes, make some using a screwdriver or sharp pencil. If it has a lip running around the top edge, snip this away with a pair of scissors to make attaching the driftwood easier. ♥ STEP TWO Use the hot glue gun to stick short pieces of driftwood to the container. If you have any gaps where the container shows through, add extra pieces of driftwood – this will also give your container more texture. Put to one side for a day or so, to allow the glue to cool and harden. ♥ STEP THREE Fill the base of the prepared container with crocks to cover the holes and prevent compost falling through. Fill the container with cacti compost or the compost mix, which will provide the good drainage relished by your succulents. ♥ STEP FOUR Finally, plant up the container. Cover the compost with a mulch of sea glass, grit or pebbles.


This project is taken from The Crafted Garden by Louise Curley, photographs by Jason Ingram, published by Frances Lincoln. RRP £16.99


Use plants that love seaside conditions, such as sea thrift and Mexican fleabane (erigeron karvinskianus). Look for sea glass – small pieces of glass polished and smoothed by the sea and washed up onto beaches.


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Rag crochet If you’ve only done crochet with woollen yarn before, then you’re in for a treat as we explore the world of rag crochet. Half the fun is in sourcing your fabric for yarn strips to crochet with and then you can create brilliant baskets and more... By Dedri Uys


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Cutting and joining yarn Getting started BASIC TOOLS The following list gives tools that you will definitely need and additional ones that are not essential but would help to make the job a bit easier. Large crochet hooks – sizes 9-15mm (US M/N-13-US P/Q) are best for use with fabric

Scissors – always keep fabric scissors for fabric only

Fabric – the longer the piece of fabric, the better Blunt tapestry needle – to work the tails away with


Cutting mat

Rotary cutter

Ruler designed for use with a rotary cutter Sewing needle and thread Sewing machine


efore you start cutting the yarn, you need to decide if you want to use one continuous strip of yarn or lots of shorter strips that can be joined together after cutting. Cutting a continuous strip is the easiest – and quickest – method of cutting in bulk. Cutting lots of strips and joining them together gives you the freedom to alternate colour and texture more frequently, and to use up smaller pieces of fabric that would not be suitable for continuous cutting.

These projects are taken from Big Hook Rag Crochet by Dedri Uys, published by Search Press, RRP £11.99


FABRIC You can use virtually any fabric to make the fabric yarn. Using old clothes or bedsheets is a brilliant way to upcycle. It is best to avoid fabrics like towelling, because they release lots of little fibres when cut. Silk is excellent for making fashion items like necklaces and bracelets or cuffs. Non-stretch fabric is perfect for pouffes and other stuffed items. Jersey cotton is extremely versatile and can be used for almost any project. Due to its stretchy nature it isn’t recommended for stuffed items, unless you ensure that the tension is very tight. CALCULATING FABRIC Fabric amounts given in these projects are guidelines – you will need to keep a careful eye on each project as you make it, because of the handmade nature of the yarns. On larger projects, it would be wise to allow for up to 10 percent more fabric than that specified. The metric and imperial measurements given in this book are not direct conversions, which means they are not interchangeable. For this reason, it is important to adhere to one system only or there may be discrepancies in the quantities of yarn and width of the strips.

(2in) strip, stopping 2.5cm (1in) before you get to the other end.

♥ STEP THREE Continue cutting down the centre of each 5cm (2in) strip, stopping 2.5cm (1in) before the end each time. You should now have a zigzag strip of fabric.

CUTTING A CONTINUOUS STRIP This method is the perfect no-sew method. ♥ STEP ONE Spread your fabric out on a large flat surface. A table works best, so that you can move around the fabric as you cut. Cut 5cm (2in) strips, beginning at the end closest to you and stopping 2.5cm (1in) before the opposite end. Continue cutting 5cm (2in) strips like this all the way across the width of the fabric, always stopping 2cm (1in) before the end farthest away from you.

♥ STEP TWO You now need to cut in the opposite direction, cutting into the intact edge. Cut down the centre of the first 5cm

♥ STEP FOUR Cut around each corner of the strip you have made to create a smoother strip of yarn.

CUTTING A CONTINUOUS LOOP You need a tube of fabric for this method (shown opposite). T-shirts and duvet covers work well, but you can use any piece of fabric as long as you turn it into a tube first.


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MAKING A TUBE The tube will require a sturdy seam, so you need to create this with a sewing machine or overlocker, not by hand. ♥ STEP ONE Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with the wrong sides facing each other. ♥ STEP TWO Sew the end opposite the fold together using a zigzag stitch and the same colour thread as the fabric (contrast colour used here for demonstration).

PREPARING A TUBE If you are using a duvet cover, make sure that you cut and remove the seam at the bottom of the cover and the fold at the top so that you are left with a tube. If you are using a T-shirt, cut away the bit that contains the arms and the seam at the bottom of the T-shirt, so that you are left with a tube.

♥ STEP FOUR Make a diagonal cut, aiming for the point where the seam meets the edge of the fabric.

HOW TO CUT A LOOP ♥ STEP ONE Place the fabric tube on a large flat surface so that the seam falls on the fold farthest away from you. Fold the fabric by bringing the edge closest to you up to about 10cm (4in) short of the far edge. ♥ STEP FIVE Insert the scissors into the next slit to the right of the seam. Make a diagonal cut, aiming for the first slit to the left of the seam. This cut should follow the line of the first cut.

♥ STEP THREE Open the seam and pin or press it flat.

♥ STEP TWO Starting on the end closest to you, cut 2.5cm (1in) strips all the way along the fabric, making sure to stop about 5cm (2in) before the edge farthest away from you. You need the far edge to remain intact.

♥ STEP FOUR Topstitch over the seam using short zigzag stitches, removing the pins just before you get to them.

♥ STEP THREE When you have finished cutting the entire piece of fabric into 2.5cm (1in) strips, you now need to open it up so that you can see the seam. Take a pair of scissors and insert them into the first slit to the right of the seam (pictured below).

♥ STEP SIX Continue cutting in this way until you reach the other edge of the fabric. Make the last diagonal cut by starting at the point where the seam meets the opposite edge and ending in the last slit to the left of the seam.


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Joining yarn CUTTING SINGLE STRIPS If you have a lot of small pieces of fabric, it’s easiest to cut them into single strips and join them together as you go. If you are using scissors, simply cut the fabric into 2.5cm (1in) strips, making sure that you cut along the length, so that you have fewer strips to join. If you are using a rotary cutter (recommended for larger pieces of fabric like bedsheets), fold the fabric a few times so that you can cut through multiple layers at once. Using an acrylic ruler and a rotary cutter, you then cut through all the layers of fabric in 2.5cm (1in) strips. ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF MAKING YARN STRIPS If you need a yarn with a bit more give, try cutting along the bias (the diagonal) of the fabric. Knitted fabrics such as jersey are naturally stretchy, so do not need cutting along the bias. Some designers prefer to tear, rather than cut, their fabric into strips. A torn edge adds a pleasing texture to the crochet fabric. If you want to try this, tear a few sample strips first.

BUTTONHOLE JOIN This method is slightly neater and more secure than the knot join, but does require a bit more work. You need to cut a slit through both of the strips of fabric, then pull one of the strips through the slit. It’s great for rugs and baskets. ♥ STEP ONE Place one strip of fabric on top of the other so that the ends align. Fold both over, about 2.5cm (1in) from the ends. Make a 1cm (½in) snip through all four layers. You will now have a buttonhole in each strip.

♥ STEP TWO With a strip of fabric in each hand, place the left strip on top of the right strip, end to end, lining up the buttonholes.

RUNNING STITCH JOIN This method is the neatest of the joining methods, but it requires the most amount of time and effort. ♥ STEP ONE Place one strip on top of the other, end to end, so that they overlap by 2.5cm (1in). Use the same colour thread as the fabric (shown here in a contrasting colour so it’s easier to see) and make a few running stitches along the overlap, starting from the right and ending on the left.

♥ STEP TWO To secure the thread, make a few stitches on top of each other before cutting the thread.

JOINING SINGLE STRIPS When using any of the joining methods, make sure that you push the knots or joins to the back of the work. If a join falls in a bad spot (like right at the front of a stitch), undo the last few stitches and redo them with a slightly tighter tension. This will move the position of the join to the back of the fabric. KNOTTING This is the easiest way of joining the fabric strips, but it is also the least tidy. Knotting is fine for rugs and some storage baskets.

♥ STEP THREE Pull the opposite end of the left-hand (dark blue here) strip up through both of the overlapped buttonholes. ♥ STEP FOUR Pull it all the way through and tug gently until a knot is formed. Continue adding strips in the same way, as needed.

♥ STEP ONE Place two strips together so that their ends align. Knot the strips together using an overhand knot. Tug on the knot to make sure that it is secure. 82

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL CUTTING ♥ Washing and ironing the fabric first makes it easier to cut neat, even strips. ♥ If you are going to use a rotary cutter, always use a cutting mat so that you don’t damage the surface you are working on (or blunt the edge). ♥ Cut along the longest edge of the fabric, not the width. This will ensure that you have longer strips and fewer joins. ♥ Cut the strips evenly so that the yarn thickness remains the same throughout the entire project. ♥ Don’t forget to cut away any unwanted seams and labels from the fabric you are re-using.


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Stool cover Choose pastels, as here, or other colours to coordinate with your interior, or paint the stool before you start. MATERIALS

A wooden stool

Ivory fabric yarn (CCi) – 19m (21yd) cotton, approximately 12mm (½in) wide

Light grey fabric yarn (CClg) – 26m (28yd) cotton, approximately 12mm (½in) wide Dark grey fabric yarn (CCdg) – 19m (21yd) cotton, approximately 12mm (½in) wide Teal fabric yarn (MC) – 77m (84yd) cotton, approximately 12mm (½in) wide


11–12mm (US P) – adjust the hook size if necessary to obtain the desired fabric Large tapestry needle Sewing needle

Matching thread TO MAKE THE COVER USING CCI ♥ ROUND ONE Ch 3, 8 htr into the third ch from the hook, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (8 sts) Working into the back bar of each st on Rounds 2–10. ♥ ROUND TWO Ch 1, 2 htr into each st to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (16 sts) ♥ ROUND THREE Ch 1, *1 htr into next st , 2 htr into next st; rep from * to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (24 sts) Fasten off CCi, join in CClg. ♥ ROUND FOUR Ch 1, *2 htr into next st , 1 htr into each of next 2 sts; rep from * to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (32 sts) ♥ ROUND FIVE Ch 1, *1 htr into each of next 2 sts, 2 htr into next st, 1 htr into next st; rep from * to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (40 sts)m Fasten off CClg, join in CCdg. ♥ ROUND SIX Ch 1, *2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 4 sts; rep from * to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (48 sts) Fasten off CCdg, join in MC.

♥ ROUND SEVEN Ch 1, *1 htr into each of next 3 sts, 2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 2 sts; rep from * to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (56 sts) ♥ ROUND EIGHT Ch 1, *1 htr into next st, 2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 5 sts; rep from * to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (64 sts) ♥ ROUND NINE Ch 1, *1 htr into each of next 4 sts, 2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 3 sts; rep from * to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. (72 sts) The first nine rounds should have a diameter of 30cm (12in). Your work should measure as close as possible to that of the proposed stool seat. If it doesn’t, work additional rounds, with eight evenly spaced increases, in the pattern set before continuing with Round 10 of the pattern. SIDES Working into the back bar of each st. ♥ ROUND TEN Ch 1, 1 dc into each st to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. Working into both top loops for the remainder of the pattern. ♥ ROUND ELEVEN Ch 1, 1 dc into each st to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. ♥ ROUND TWELVE Ch 1, [1 dc into the next st,

dc2tog over the next 2 sts] to end of round, sl st under both top loops of first st of round to join. ♥ ROUND THIRTEEN Repeat Round 12 and then fasten off. FINISHING Weave in the fabric yarn tails into the stitches of the stool cover by using your fingers or a large tapestry needle. You may need to sew the ends in place using matching thread and the sewing needle.

TENSION The first three rounds to measure 10cm (4in). The tension is not important, but the stitches should be easy to work and the fabric comfortable to touch.

DIMENSIONS 30cm (12in) in diameter, 2.5cm (1in) deep.

STOOL COVER PATTERN NOTES This pattern can be easily adapted for larger stool sizes by working additional rounds after Round 9, consisting of 8 evenly spaced increases in the pattern set. Likewise, the pattern can be adapted for smaller stools by discontinuing increase rounds when the desired size is reached and skipping to the instructions for Round 10.


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Ombre basket


his rustic, striped basket looks good enough to grace any room in your home. It would make perfect storage for logs, toys, newspapers and magazines – or whatever else you need to keep tidily stashed away in style. MATERIALS

Black fabric yarn (MC) – 18-24m (20-26yd) medium-weight, 100% cotton jersey strip, approximately 2.5-3cm (1-1¼in) wide

TO MAKE THE BASKET USING MC ♥ ROUND 1 Ch 3 (count as 1 htr), 9 htr into the third ch from the hook, sl st into first st of round to join. (10 sts) ♥ ROUND 2 Ch 2 (counts as 1 htr), 1 htr into st at base of beg-ch, 2 htr into each st to end of round, sl st into beg-ch to join. (20 sts) ♥ ROUND 3 Ch 2 (counts as 1 htr), 1 htr into st at base of beg-ch, 1 htr into next st, [2 htr into next st, 1 htr into next st] rep to end of round, sl st into beg-ch to join. (30 sts)

Various shades of fabric yarn (CC) – 18-24m (20-26yd) mediumweight, 100% cotton jersey strip, approximately 2.5-3cm (1-1¼in) wide per stripe

♥ ROUND 4 Ch 2 (counts as 1 htr), 1 htr into st at base of beg-ch, 1 htr into each of next 2 sts, [2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 2 sts] rep to end of round, sl st into beg-ch to join. (40 sts)

9mm (US M/N-13) – adjust hook size if necessary to obtain the desired fabric

♥ ROUND 5 Ch 2 (counts as 1 htr), 1 htr into st at base of beg-ch, 1 htr into each of next 3 sts, [2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 3 sts] rep to end of round, sl st into beg-ch to join. (50 sts)


Large tapestry needle

Sewing needle and matching thread

♥ ROUND 21 Standing dc into the standing htr of the previous round, 1 dc into each of the next 15 sts, 11 dc into ch-10 sp, 1 dc into each of the next 32 sts, 11 dc into ch-10 sp, 1 dc into each of the next 16 sts, sl st into beg-ch to join. Do not fasten off. ♥ ROUND 22 1 reverse dc st into each st to end of round, sl st in beg-ch to join. Fasten off. FINISHING Using your fingers or a large tapestry needle, weave the fabric yarn tails into the stitches of the basket. You may need to sew the ends in place using a matching thread and the sewing needle.

♥ ROUND 6 Ch 2 (counts as 1 htr), 1 htr into st at base of beg-ch, 1 htr into each of next 4 sts, [2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 4 sts] rep to end of round, sl st into beg-ch to join. (60 sts) ♥ ROUND 7 Ch 2 (counts as 1 htr), 1 htr into st at base of beg-ch, 1 htr into each of next 5 sts, [2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 5 sts] rep to end of round, sl st into beg-ch to join. (70 sts) ♥ ROUND 8 Ch 2 (counts as 1 htr), 1 htr into st at base of beg-ch, 1 htr into each of next 6 sts, [2 htr into next st, 1 htr into each of next 6 sts] rep to end of round. (80 sts) Fasten off MC, work an invisible join. SIDES (Join a new CC before each round) ♥ ROUND 9 Standing htr into the back bar of any stitch, 1 htr into each st to end of round, work an invisible join. (80 sts) ♥ ROUND 10 Standing htr under the top loops of any stitch, 1 htr into each st to end of round, work an invisible join. ♥ ROUNDS 11-19 Repeat Round 10. HANDLES ♥ ROUND 20 Standing htr under the top loops of any stitch, 1 htr into each of the next 15


sts, ch 10, skip 8 sts, 1 htr into each of the next 32 sts, ch 10, skip 8 sts, 1 htr into each of the next 16 sts, work an invisible join.

TENSION 7 sts and 5 rounds in htr to measure 10cm (4in). The fabric needs to be very firm.

DIMENSIONS 32.5cm (13in) high, to top of handles, 35cm (14in) in diameter.

STANDING STITCHES ♥ STEP ONE standing htr: make a slip knot and place it onto the hook, holding the knot stationary, wrap the yarn around the hook, insert the hook into the fabric, wrap the yarn around hook, draw the loop through the fabric, wrap the yarn around hook, draw the loop through all the loops on the hook. ♥ STEP TWO standing dc: make a slip knot and place it onto the hook, holding the knot stationary, insert the hook into the fabric as indicated, wrap the yarn around hook, draw the loop through the fabric, wrap the yarn around hook, draw the loop through all of the loops on the hook. ♥ STEP THREE back bar: this refers to the strand of yarn on the reverse of a half treble crochet stitch, below the top loops.


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These baskets are not only beautiful but extremely practical. Use them for logs, as here, for other storage or as the most fabulous shopping bags.

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Larch cone mini wreath Recapture the childhood joys of making Christmas decorations with a wreath created from the wonders of nature. By Louise Curley, photographs by Jason Ingram


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Take inspiration from stored seed heads and collect pine cones, acorns and beech nuts from a local wood or park. LARCH CONE MINI WREATH HOW TO... MATERIALS

Cardboard – a cereal box is perfect

Twine or ribbon to hang the wreath

PVA glue and a spatula or an old butter knife Newspaper

Foraged goodies such as larch cones, acorns and bits from your autumn store of poppy heads, love-in-a-mist and scabiosa stellata


Compass and pencil


Hot glue gun

♥ STEP ONE Using a compass and pencil draw a circle 5.5cm in diameter on the cardboard (you need stronger card if you scale the piece up), then pencil another, smaller, concentric circle inside the first and about 2.5cm in diameter. Cut out this central circle to leave a ring of cardboard. Make two of these rings.

♥ STEP FOUR Continue making and glueing the paper balls until you have fully covered the ring. ♥ STEP FIVE Coat all the balls with a layer of PVA glue. This hardens to form a base on to which you can secure your foraged finds.

♥ STEP TWO Take a piece of ribbon or twine for hanging your decoration and double it over. Glue the two ends together onto the back ring – if you are using cardboard with text on it, place these sides on what will be the inside of your decoration. Take the second ring and glue in place, making a cardboard sandwich.

♥ STEP SIX Leave the ring to dry for a day or so, then, using a hot glue gun, attach larch cones, acorns or poppy heads to the newspaper balls.

♥ STEP THREE Tear off pieces of newspaper and roll up into small balls. Use a dab of the PVA glue to stop the balls unravelling and then glue them to the cardboard ring.

TOP TIP I used larch cones for this project, but you could try acorns or sweet chestnuts. The seed heads of poppies, love-in-amist and scabiosa stellata would work too and make unique decorations.


This project is taken from The Crafted Garden by Louise Curley, photographs by Jason Ingram, published by Frances Lincoln. RRP £16.99


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29/10/2015 14:44

Industrial shelves

In need of some stylish storage? Here barn wood and plumbing ďŹ ttings provide the perfect solution. Project and photography by Kristi Haight from Chatfield Court (




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this beautiful old barn wood, found at the flea market, is perfect for making shelves with a bit of character. INDUSTRIAL SHELVES HOW TO... MATERIALS

Four 15cm black pipe nipples Four iron caps

♥ STEP ONE Using your tape measure, find the centre of your wall to determine the placement of your shelves.

♥ STEP SIX Screw each black pipe nipple to a floor flange, which is screwed on to the wall.

♥ STEP TWO Use your stud finder to find the wall studs, so that when you screw your floor flanges to the wall they hit a stud – it is important to screw your brackets to a stud, even if it moves your shelves a bit off-centre.

♥ STEP SEVEN Using a hand saw or circular saw, cut the barn wood to the desired length and width. Black pipe nipples are 15cm long, so to have your wood fit snugly on the brackets, the width of your wood should be about 14.5cm.

Tape measure

♥ STEP THREE Mark the placement of your floor flanges where the studs are located.

♥ STEP EIGHT Place your cut barn wood on the secured brackets.


♥ STEP FOUR Use your wood screws to attach the floor flanges to the wall.

Four floor flanges Barn wood

Wood screws


Screwdriver Stud finder

Hand saw, circular saw

♥ STEP FIVE Prepare your 15cm black pipe nipples by screwing each end cap on to a pipe nipple.

TOP TIP You will need to wipe down all the pipe fittings because they will probably be greasy and can otherwise make a mess of your painted walls.


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Upcycled hour

Social media is providing a great meeting place for upcyclers to exchange ideas and information, and the #UpcycledHour community is now planning its Christmas event...


his December sees the very first event in real time of Twitter’s #UpcycledHour community. Launched in September 2014 by eco interiors consultant Chris Billinghurst, #UpcycledHour started life as a small group of creatives sharing ideas and images of what they have produced, to becoming the most popular hour on Twitter for UK upcyclers. Not only do professional and amateur artisans regularly take part, visitors also include industry partners and well-known figures from the world of interior design. Since #UpcycledHour began, there have been over five hundred people take part and it continues to expand and develop week by week. Many upcyclers have been with #UpcycledHour since the beginning and have collaborated with each other in business as well as becoming friends in real life. The Great Home Hack in March this year at Fulham Palace was a new event which provided a platform where many #UpcycledHour artisans gathered to sell their products, and the atmosphere

that ensued over that weekend has spurred them on to want meet again – and Christmas seemed as good a time as any! The Christmas event will take place in historic Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire at The Prince Rupert gastro pub, well known locally for its ambience, food and ability to host a great party! There will be a variety of activities arranged to keep those clever upcyclers amused during the evening, including a secret Santa – made up of all upcycled items of course – an award for the top retweeted image during #UpcycledHour of 2015, as well as a humorous overview of the #UpcycledHour year. There will also be guests present from industry partner organisations that actively support the upcycling community, including Preloved, Frenchic, Websters Chalk Paint and many more fantastic organisations. The best people to tell you a little more about #UpcycledHour and why they take part, as well as why they will be attending ♥ #UpcycledHour Member Jo Edge – Reclaimed & Reloved: “I’m a professional furniture refurbisher and have been running my Surrey-based business for more than 20 years. My client base is varied, as is my work; one week I’m repurposing a sideboard into a variety of pieces of furniture, the next I’m restoring a gargantuan antique mirror to its former grandeur. Upcycling is a new name for something people have done for centuries and it’s satisfying to see how

the Christmas event, are #UpcycledHour members themselves, so let’s hand over to them for an insight into the world of the reclamation and reinvention artisan.

it encourages an appreciation of old furniture given a modern guise, reducing transfer of useful pieces to landfill. “Joining #UpcycledHour has been a wonderful way to connect with designerremakers and furniture refurbishers from all over the country. Chris welcomed me from the beginning and I’ve remained a member since – if I miss #UpcycledHour one week it’s never quite the same! I love the fact that, although a sales aspect is present, it’s only one element that forms the basis of discussions – we chat about trends, techniques, ideas and so much more. I’m looking forward to chatting with our newer members and having a great evening in Newark!”


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♥ #UpcycledHour Member M J Ryle – The Purple Finch: “Upcycling for me started as a way to be thrifty; my approach to being resourceful on a shoestring budget. I have a background in art and, because upcycling is itself a creative endeavour, it became a favourite hobby. Now I’m lucky enough to call it work, with my little shop in Shropshire, The Purple Finch. #UpcycledHour has played a big role, with its supportive community of so many creative minds. It’s impossible not to feel inspired, with such a variety of ideas and the expertise to help get you there. To be able to meet these like-minded people and share ideas is going to be wonderful – I can’t wait!”

♥ #UpcycledHour Member Helen Drake – Helen’s Retro Home: “I’m a professional upcycler and decorator and have a background in interior design. I used to sell kitchens and bathrooms, but after becoming disillusioned, I turned my talents to more creative activities. I use fabric and paint to create items of individuality that reflect my client’s personalities and budgets. On occasions I work with interior designers and upcycle items to order, as well as selling items I produce myself at vintage markets. Working as a self-employed creative 94

♥ #UpcycledHour Member Stu Abbott – Stu Art Aviation: “I’m an aircraft engineer by profession, with over 15 years experience of working in the aircraft industry and I live and work in the north-east of England. I’m also an upcycler – a designer-remaker who creates bespoke handcrafted furniture and home accessories from aircraft salvage. A few years ago I saw the potential for turning the unique shapes of aircraft components into useful and beautiful pieces for the home or office. Whether an office chair crafted from a pilot’s seat or a coffee table that was originally a plane wing, for me there is something wonderful about the fact that the parts of aircraft I tend to on a regular basis may one day evolve into functional and fabulous items for the home. “I discovered #UpcycledHour a while ago and was particularly interested in the variety of products produced by the artisans who take part. I’ve seen amazing objects refashioned from old radios, architectural salvage and more. We have a lot of laughs and no one takes themselves too seriously, although everyone respects each other’s work. I am really looking forward to the #UpcycledHour Christmas event and have actually been asked by Chris to create a little piece that will be used as a trophy – made from aircraft parts of course!”

means you can feel quite isolated from others in the same industry. I look forward to #UpcycledHour every week, as it’s great to have support and feedback from other creatives and it’s inspiring seeing what other upcyclers are producing. There’s a friendly atmosphere and new people are always encouraged and made to feel part of ‘the gang!’ We share ideas and information and have a bit of a laugh too. It’s going to be so nice to meet my fellow upcyclers at the Christmas event, although I am not sure that one evening is actually going to be anywhere near enough!”


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♥ #UpcycledHour Host Chris Billinghurst – Eco Chic Interiors: “Having an #UpcycledHour Christmas party is for me the culmination of a wonderful year that has involved my working with, as well as promoting and supporting, a group of incredibly skilled, good humoured and inspiring artisans who upcycle and remake with great talent. Many upcyclers have no contact with their peer group and last year I met a great number who were keen on the idea of being involved with a community of like-minded creatives, particularly if they could do so from their home computer or mobile phone! Bringing these people together every week on Twitter for #UpcycledHour, and now for a Christmas celebration, has been a great privilege and I hope to build upon what we’ve achieved with more events and opportunities in the future. The party will be a brilliant chance for us to enjoy each other’s company, to eat, drink and be merry, and I think there will be a few bottles left over ripe for an upcycle!”

♥ #UpcycledHour Member Cheryl Lumley – Copper Blue Creative: “I run my own business with my husband and am an ‘All Round Creative Junkie’! I write a blog about all things interiorsrelated, which includes upcycling and crafts. I’ve started running upcycling workshops in conjunction with Age UK in Gateshead. I’ve also filmed instructional videos on behalf of RustOleum Paints, the result of which will be hitting social media platforms anytime soon! “I started upcycling a few years ago, as I cannot bear to see things going to landfill, I think everything can and should be reused. I want to inspire children and ♥ #UpcycledHour Industry Partners Preloved: “Joining in with #UpcycledHour every Tuesday on Twitter has given us the opportunity to not only get involved with an incredible community, but to showcase our own Preloved members fantastic creations! We’re so pleased we found Chris’ wonderful group of upcyclers and are very happy that we have been invited to take part in the #UpcycledHour Christmas event in Newark.”

adults alike to re-use the things around us to create and save money on buying new. “#UpcycledHour has provided a great platform for upcyclers to contact one another and to feel part of a community that supports this genre of creativity, which is seeing a rise in its popularity almost daily. I love the fact you can share ideas about products, techniques, even social media and there are always other artisans who will provide feedback as well as inspiration. Meeting upcyclers who regularly take part on a Tuesday on Twitter in real life will be wonderful, and I am thrilled that I’ve been invited to the first ever #UpcycledHour event.”

Reloved is looking forward to being part of the #UpcycledHour Christmas event and will be reporting back on the celebrations in 2016, so don’t miss out on seeing how the #UpcycledHour community enjoyed some festive upcycler fun!


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Tubular frame from straws



There’s a beauty inherent in simplicity and that certainly applies to creating a photo frame from nothing more than drinking straws and a bit of twine. How can anyone resist such a cute and quirky idea? By Joselyn Hughes (


2 cute drinking straws

Photo (make sure it’s a good one!) Baker’s twine

Tape or glue (optional)

♥ STEP THREE On one straw, using a needle, pierce the end of the straw and string a piece of baker’s twine through it. Tie it off. Loop it over and do the same on the other end, tying this off too. (This twine will be used to hang your picture.)


X-ACTO knife Needle

This project is taken from DIY, Dammit! by Joselyn Hughes, published by HarperOne. RRP £15.99

♥ STEP ONE Cut both straws to the width of your chosen photo (for the top and bottom of the image). ♥ STEP TWO Using the X-ACTO knife, carefully cut a slit down the length of each straw. (You will insert your photo into these slits.) ♥ STEP FOUR Insert the top of your picture in the slit of that straw and repeat the process for the bottom straw.

♥ STEP FIVE If you need to, tape or glue the back of the photo to the straws to safely secure it.


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Christmas hanger

All you need to make this fabulous hanging decoration are a few scraps of festive fabric leftovers and some imagination. Project and photography by Hester van Overbeek (


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A festive fox makes a great Christmas decoration, but you could make other distinctive pieces using different Sizzix dies.


Fabric scraps in two different festive patterns Embroidery thread

Synthetic toy filling or a pillow 10cm of ribbon


Sizzix® Big Shot™ Machine (660200)

♥ STEP THREE Now comes the fun part! Use colourful embroidery threads to give your fox some details. Anything will do – I used little knots on the tail, stripes on the belly and zigzags on the face. ♥ STEP FOUR Use black thread to give your fox a pair of eyes and pin the back of the fox to the front, wrong sides facing.

Sizzix® Bigz™ Die – Fox #2 (660774) Needle


♥ STEP ONE Cut two fox shapes out of your base colour fabric using the die. Put two fabric pieces, wrong sides facing, on the die to make sure you have a front and a back. Cut one fox shape out of your accent colour and, with scissors, cut out the head shape, ears and belly. The die will leave an imprint on your fox, so it’s easy to cut out. The tail top comes out of the die automatically.

♥ STEP TWO On the front fox piece, attach the ear details to the fox’s face with needle and thread, using a simple slip stitch. Do the same with the face, tail top and belly pieces.

♥ STEP FIVE Use an accent colour, I choose red, to stitch the two pieces together with a blanket stitch. ♥ STEP SIX When you come to the top of the fox’s head, fold over a piece of ribbon and stitch it in-between the two shapes to create a loop to hang the decoration with.

♥ STEP SEVEN Leave a gap of 10cm open so you can stuff your fox, using synthetic toy filler or an old pillow to fill it until it’s plump. ♥ STEP EIGHT Close the gap and your fox decoration is finished.



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♥ Here The stunning piano bar that Linda and her husband created. ♥ Left Vintage typewriter chic. ♥ Below left One of Linda’s first salvage items, a 1920s beaded lampshade.



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vintage HOME

Blue blossom lane Rescuing treasures has been in Linda Smith’s blood since her teens and her home is testament to her talented eye, skill and passion. By Linda Smith (


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vintage HOME


verywhere I look I see an opportunity to change something from conventional to magnificent. I might not always achieve magnificent, but in most cases it turns out pretty cool. From age 13, for extra pocket money, I would work alongside my dad. He was a builder/property developer and while he was clearing houses and shamefully putting everything on the skip, I was right behind him taking the treasures back out again! I still have a 1920s beaded lampshade, which I rescued over 40 years ago. For me, a house becomes a home when it’s filled with people and possessions that are loved and cared for. I have always wanted my home to have a personality, with stories to share, and as I have a passion for upcycling it’s the perfect place to exercise my creative mind and at the same time allow me to do my bit for a sustainable future. 104

When you live in one house for as long as I have, it’s easy to become complacent – things had been sitting in the same place for a few years and I felt a change was needed. I still very much liked the style of my furniture, but it was looking dreary. As I had time on my hands in between freelance work, I decided to paint the table, chairs and matching dresser. I took the top off the dresser, which left me with a beautiful sideboard that completely opened up the room. It was then I discovered Chalk Paint too – I couldn’t believe I didn’t have to prime the furniture! In no time the furniture transformed from dark-stained, heavy look to lovely ‘shabby chic’. With the furniture refreshed and nearly everything else in the house painted, even the table mats, I turned my attention to the extras. I thought it would be a great idea to have a vintage style room and perhaps add a few thought provoking items. Vintage china

and teapots were repurposed and, after rummaging through the local charity shops, it wasn’t long before I got my hands on an eclectic mix of things: a 1930s travel poster, oriental silk pictures, a Bakelite light switch and a lovely glass lampshade, all working beautifully with the look I was trying to create. In the meantime, I was struggling to re-home our old piano, which unfortunately had never played as elegantly as it looked, so selling it wasn’t really an option. My children had grown up and didn’t use it any longer and it was just sitting collecting dust. A friend told me that she had seen a piano made into a cocktail bar and it got me thinking how great ours would look if we could do the same. Within weeks I had talked my husband into helping me to dismantle the piano – little did he know this was to be the start of many projects together. Our aim was to keep the soundboard, which was its heart,


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♥ Far left Wall ladder hung with plant pots. ♥ Left The coolest wind-up gramophone. ♥ Below left Exquisite candelabra.


♥ Below Musical instruments always add beauty and interest. ♥ Here Simple and pure white creates a striking dining area.

dismantled another

piano AND I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO MAKING fabulous things from it and make this the wow part of the bar by placing glass in front of it and installing LED lights so that when the piano was opened it would illuminate the interior. We also wanted to show off the fantastic green and pearlised keys, so we replaced the lid with a glass top. Just weeks after we started, the bar was open and what a talking point it has been since. The dining room has been a work in progress ever since. Old pictures of family were brought out and inserted into a mix of upcycled frames, all made to look as though they had been there for years. I also had a broken clock, which I upcycled and made into a picture frame. I was lucky enough to

locate a fantastic valve type radio for 99p on eBay, although it was in a bad state of repair the style was perfect for what I had in mind. The components inside the radio were removed, along with what was left of the moth eaten speaker material. A platform was made for the base and new speaker material was added. It was then fitted with an Ipod docking station. What is lovely about the radio is that the lights from the Ipod shine through the glass tuning panel at the front, so the radio looks as it did back in the day. I recently attended a hand caning course so I could restore some chairs to their original condition. Having completed one

chair, which I cannot lie was a labour of love, I felt extremely satisfied that I was able to rejuvenate something back to its former glory. What is so great about upcycling is you have something in mind when you start a project, but due to the nature/age of the materials it can take you off in a completely different direction, which can be exciting and challenging at the same time. I have just dismantled another piano and I am looking forward to making some fabulous things from it. I’m not sure what yet, but have the feeling that this project could be one of those that takes me off in all directions! Now I’m on a journey with no destination, busy growing my business, upcycling and reinventing. Breathing new life into other people’s furniture and looking for objects that need giving a completely new function and an extended life. For more, visit DECEMBER

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Chartered waters lampshade This quick, no-fuss lampshade project made from nautical charts, brightens up any room and provides a distinctive coastal charm. By Cynthia Shaffer




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2 large pages from a nautical chart kit, 56x44cm 1 white cloth lampshade – 23cm diameter at the bottom, 18cm diameter at the top, 20cm high

♥ STEP ONE Tear or cut a section out of the chart kit pages that looks interesting or has fun and bright colours that you like. This piece can be any size, but the bigger the panel, the quicker the lampshade will be covered with the paper.

Liquitex Matte Gel

Sisal rope – 20kg (working load), 6mm (thickness), 3.2m (length)

♥ STEP SEVEN Wrap the sisal rope around the top of the lampshade, over the binding. Mark the sisal so that the beginning and the end butt together. Cut two lengths of sisal for the lampshade top.


Old paintbrush Scissors

Hot glue gun and hot glue ♥ STEP TWO Place the cut or torn page piece on the lampshade, snug up against the top edge, but just under the very top binding. You may need to trim the top edge of the page piece into a slight concave curve to better fit around the lampshade.

This project is taken from Coastal Crafts by Cynthia Shaffer, published by Lark (available from www. RRP £14.99


When applying the panels onto the Matte Gel, start from the centre of the panel and move out to the sides to avoid the formation of air bubbles.

♥ STEP FIVE Cut or tear out interesting portions of the chart kit pages that you want to highlight, such as the compass or large words that make a statement. Adhere them on top of the lampshade so they stand out. ♥ STEP SIX Set the lampshade aside to dry.

White chalk


you may need to trim into a slight convex curve to fit snug against the bottom edge.

♥ STEP THREE Use the paintbrush to apply Matte Gel to the lampshade where the paper panel will be adhered. Place the paper panel against the lampshade on top of the gel and then apply a coat to the top of the paper. Brush the Matte Gel on evenly to avoid any forming any streaks. ♥ STEP FOUR Continue to add Matte Gel and page pieces to the lampshade, overlapping them so the fabric on the lampshade is completely covered. You can cut these page pieces, or, if you want a more haphazard look, tear the chart kit pages. As the page pieces start to reach the bottom of the lampshade,

♥ STEP EIGHT Repeat step 7 for the bottom edge of the lampshade. ♥ STEP NINE Glue one length of sisal rope to the very top edge of the lampshade with hot glue. Start by placing a small amount of hot glue to the back of the lampshade and attaching just the beginning end of the sisal. Add hot glue to small portions of the lampshade as you work your way around until you reach the beginning. Make sure that the ends of the sisal are butted up snug together. If there is a little bit of overlap, trim the excess off with scissors. ♥ STEP TEN Repeat step 9 for the second length of sisal rope, placing it just under the first rope. With this second sisal rope in place, the entire bound edge should now be completely covered.

♥ STEP ELEVEN Repeat steps 9 and 10 for the lower edge of the lampshade.


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January issue...


Update the look of your home this winter with upcycled gems ♥

Discover how to create gorgeous mosaics on your furniture ♥

How to display your vintage collections in style ♥


E 10 D

PLUS get creative with concrete * contents subject to change Photography © Lia Griffith ( DECEMBER

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RL27.Distressed Crate.FOR PRINT.indd 110

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Distressed crate

This versatile project offer tons of storage and can roll to the kitchen or dining table for extra seating too. Project and photography by Deanna Zouari from Reclaimed Rapture (, Instagram: Reclaimed_Rapture, Facebook : Reclaimed Rapture, Pintrest : Reclaimed Rapture)


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You can use this for storing linens and quilts or as a dressing bench, a hallway rest stop or at your front door. DISTRESSED CRATE HOW TO... MATERIALS

Wood, such as planks from a pallet (cut to desired size) Hardwood for top Wood screws

Handle hardware

Danish oil stain (I used dark walnut)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I used Old White colour) Gorilla glue

♥ STEP ONE Determine what size you would like your finished piece to be. Visit your local home improvement store and have the wood cut for you – it’s a big time and energy saver. My finished piece is 2m long x 46cm high x 46cm deep. The top is 2.14m long x 51cm deep. I used 15 boards of white pine, 2.5x10x244cm. The boards were cut to 2m, which left me with a perfect 46cm scrap. Always try to maximize the bang for your buck, creating as little scrap as necessary. ♥ STEP TWO Using the best sides of the wood to create the outsides, glue and clamp three sections of long boards that are five boards across. Allow to dry well, 24 hours is ideal.


Jig saw

from the front to the back, then get out your jig saw and cut right across it. Voilà! Repeat on the other side to get the perfect, equal height all the way around. Now, you might ask, why didn’t I just have the shorter sides cut to 43cm from the beginning? Two reasons: I love power tools and seek reasons to use them and because even if you ask for the boards to be cut at 43cm, they’re each going to be a smidgen off each other. So when you drop your lid on, it wont have a perfectly flat seat. I’m also a ‘one and done’ girl – if I can quickly cut the section in one cut, as opposed to five, that’s the sweet spot.

Measuring tape Pencil


Sandpaper, 220 grit Orbital sander 36cm clamps

Distressing tools

♥ STEP THREE Again using the best sides, glue and clamp two sections of the shorter boards, that are also five boards across. Allow to dry well, 24 hours is ideal.

HOW TO MAKE A WORMING TOOL Using an old scrap of wood, screw through several different sizes of screws, but very close together. Don’t worry about them being straight, even put some through on an angle. When using the tool, remember to hit the piece in different directions so there is no pattern.


♥ STEP FOUR Place whatever section will be your bottom piece on a table or workbench. Select which section will be the front of your piece. With someone’s help to hold it straight, align the ends square. Secure with five wood screws along the bottom.

♥ STEP SEVEN Attach whatever hardware you chose. I opted for handles on the top and the crate part. If you prefer hinges for your top to lift up, that is a simple addition. I always try to keep my costs at a minimum and spent $8 US on this hardware, hinges will cost about double that.

♥ STEP FIVE Repeat the process to add the back of your piece. ♥ STEP SIX The shorter sides will slide right into place. But wait... they are too tall! What happened? Don’t worry. Secure with five screws front and back. Using a yard stick, draw a straight line with your pencil across


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♥ STEP EIGHT Turn your crate upside down and attach casters. ♥ STEP NINE So this is a fun part and, if your kids are older, it is great to have them do this. I used: chain, meat tenderizer, chisel and worming tool. Just go at it and distress your wood. Bang it with the chain, scrape it with the chisel, go in a back and forth motion with the meat tenderizer (using the textured side) and create worm holes. Remember to use each of these tools in different directions, so it does look like a repeating pattern. It should be completely random. Don’t forget to do the top also.

♥ STEP TEN Using your orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper, smooth off all your edges and corners, then just do a quick once over the entire piece. In later steps we are going to stain and dry brush this piece, so it needs to be really smooth.

♥ STEP ELEVEN Apply your Danish oil stain. It absorbs very quickly, so by the time you complete staining the entire piece, the inside and the top, you will move directly to paint. Remember to stain both sides of the top and the bottom of the piece. Also, be sure to get the stain in all the crevices and holes you created during distressing.

♥ STEP FOURTEEN Return to your orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper. Go over the entire piece and lid with the intention to pull the paint back. We want the finished look of old barn wood that was weathered and worn. The amount of paint you pull back is whatever makes you happy. If I had to guess, I would say that I pulled back about half.

♥ STEP TWELVE Dry brush your piece and top in your desired paint colour. I choose to leave the interior with stain only, but this is totally up to you. I painted right over my hardware for a better match. Dry brush secret: after barely dipping your brush into paint, wipe it on a paper towel. Your brush should not have any wet paint on it. When you normally paint something, we are applying the paint to the surface, but with dry brush technique you are pushing the paint into the surface. ♥ STEP THIRTEEN Allow to dry well.


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making memories

There’s no need to spend a lot of time seeking treasure, just visit Amanda Chapman – she’s hoarded a trove of buttons, lace, embroidery and much more to create her unique designs.


have always been quite thrifty and conscious of how wasteful society has become. I have been treasure hunting since I was a teenager, buying clothes from charity shops for over 20 years. As an avid treasure hunter I have always had a love and appreciation for vintage items especially; documents, books, photographs, sewing requisites and the need to be creative. The first and most personal piece I made was a hand stitched mixed-media canvas picture that I made for myself. It was made using leftover lace from my wedding dress and some of my late Grandma’s buttons. This was the start of Amanda Jayne Handmade Designs, as I was overwhelmed by people’s response to my picture. My favourite materials to work with are vintage mother of pearl buttons, lace, linen button thread and embroidery. I love all the vintage packaging too. I love rediscovering treasures and upcycling them. I enjoy the challenge of trying to create a keepsake or piece of art, sourcing as much as possible second-hand and only purchasing basics; adhesive, canvases and paper flowers. This means looking at everyday objects in a totally different light, like vintage brass curtains rings as wedding rings. I see upcycling as rescuing and preserving items that have been forgotten or lost. I use them to recreate a story anew or life celebration, and creating something that will be admired and treasured once again. Using upcycled treasures gives my work uniqueness, and helps the nostalgia and sentiment shine through. My favourite technique is sewing! I find sewing very therapeutic – I get totally lost in the piece I am creating and have no concept of time. I love to use blanket stitch to edge and finish off my work and my favourite embroidery stitch is French knots – I enjoy the depth and movement you can create with 114

them. Everything I create is stitched by hand, and I even sew original vintage photographs to my pieces. I celebrate two years of Amanda Jayne at the end of October. Initially I started a Facebook page to share my work and to ‘meet’ like-minded people (www.facebook. com/AmandaJayneVintage), with no expectations, just to create. To say I was hugely surprised to be selling my work in America and Australia is an understatement. There is something so magical about creating a keepsake for someone for the milestones in their lives; marriages, births, anniversaries, but also memory pieces, to celebrate a loved one’s life. I feel so honoured to be asked to create such personal items. My favourite piece to date is a recently finished work that I am submitting to my first exhibition, which is for eco businesses. It was

a chance to re-tell a fairytale close to my heart and a wonderful new challenge for me. I’ve also been surprised at how well my lampshades are received. They’re made from vintage frames and hand stitched using vintage embroidered linens – I use damaged linens as a way to preserve the wonderful embroidery. I work around tea stains and holes to create unique lampshades. I just have such a passion to keep treasure hunting, rescuing, upcycling, preserving and creating work with vintage treasures. I hope to run workshops in the future, and who knows, maybe a book! I would love to fill it with beautiful images of my work and incorporate photos of my vast vintage haberdashery collections. To see more of Amanda’s work go to the Facebook page or visit


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