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Dye your own shibori chair

2C2A2810 copy.jpgRecycling week starts today so am posting some classy recycling projects on my blog this week. When I spotted this down at heel cocktail chair in a charity shop, I knew I was  onto a winner.

I made a pattern and then created my own shibori print just by pleating and using clothes pegs. The hook and loop tape opening on the side seam makes fitting easy.

Tip: Before doing anything with the fabric, wash on a hot wash and then tumble dry it on a hot setting. This way it will shrink as much as it is ever going to. Iron so you have flat fabric to work with.

chair

You will need:

6m of medium weight Calico

Pins, needles and thread

Safety pins

Cotton tape

Water-soluble pen

Dylon Ocean blue hand dye

Salt

Clothes pegs

Sewing machine

Hook and loop tape

 

1.To make the pattern for each section of the chair cut out a piece of calico, cut them large so there’s enough spare fabric for fitting, the lower edge of the chair will need more than you think necessary to allow for making a tape casing, so be generous. Pin each section onto the chair and then add seam allowance. Remove the section and cut out. Sew the calico cover together, leave one of the side seams half open. Fit the cover onto the chair, pin the side seam closed and adjust the fitting, taking it in to give a closer fit.

2. Remove the calico cover from the chair, mark the sewn seams with felt pen as well as the centre line of each panel.

3.Unpick the calico cover, your pattern, and pin onto more calico to make the chair fabric. Cut out the fabric, into as many pattern pieces as you need, I had 6, and press.4 Pin pattern onto washed and ironed fabric.jpg

4.Concertina each pattern piece of calico into pleats.

5 Concrtina each pattern piece into pleats

5. Press flat with a steam iron.

6 Press Flat with a steam iron.jpg

6.Peg the pleated pieces at even intervals.

7 Peg each pattern pieceat regular intervals.jpg

7. Wet the pegged fabrics. Mix the  Dylon hand dye according to the manufacturers instructions and then put in the pegged fabric pieces. Follow the instructions on the dye packet.

8 Wet the pegged fabrics.jpg

8. Once the dye has taken, remove the pegs and open up the fabric and put the pieces under running water until the water runs clear.

9 remove pegs and rinse the pieces until the water runs clear..jpg

9. Wash and dry the pieces

10 wash and dry pieces.jpg

10.Sew the pieces together as you did for the original calico pattern leaving one of the side seams half open.

11 Sew all the pieces together .jpg

11. Try the cover on the chair inside out and pin any adjustments that need to be made. Remove the cover and make the adjustments on the sewing machine.

12 try the cover on the chair inside out and pin to make any adjustments needed.jpg

12. Cut a 3cm bias strip from calico to bind the curved raw edges around the chair legs. Pin, and sew, turn the raw edge under by 0.5cm then turn the binding and sew in place. Sew hook and loop tape to both sides of the seam opening.

13. To make the tape casing, turn lower edges of the chair cover in by 4cm, turn in the raw edge by 1cm then sew down close to the edge. Measure up for the tape, thread through the casings with a safety pin.

 

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Make your very own lamp out of vintage mechano

I found an old box of my husband’s Meccano pieces in the attic and thought the industrial vibe would transform into a great lamp. You can find bits of Meccano in second hand shops and on line or buy new from places such as Argos RRP from £9.99

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You will need

Turquoise flex and a bulb  Iconic lights

5 x flat mechano pieces with right angled sides 14cmx 6.5cm with sides 0.5cm

2 x 13.5cm x 6.5cm flat mechano pieces without right angled sides

Wheel with diameter of 7.5cm

2 Cross brace pieces with zig zags 31cm x 5cm

14cm x 0.8cm flat metal batton

Box of meccano screws and bolts

Screw driver

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Instructions.

1.Using the flat pieces with the right angled sides, screw them together to construct a rectangle with a hole in the centre.

2. Screw one of the flat pieces 13.5cm x 6.5cm at the back of the rectangle shape to the far right, this will help hold it rigid.

3.Screw one narrow side of the other flat piece 13.5cm x 6.5cm, onto the top edge piece at the back of the box shape on the far left so it is sticking upwards.

4. Three holes from the top, screw the top edge onto the last piece with right angled sides.

5 Turn the lamp round and attach one cross brace from the right hand bottom corner hold at, a 45 degree, angle and screw it where the brace meets the top of the box approx 5 screws in.

6 Screw where the brace cross piece meets the other last right angled piece of Meccano.

7. At approx. 45 degrees in the other direction slip the last cross brace between the flat plate and the first cross brace. Screw together. The result should look like a zig zag.

8. To make the whole thing stable screw the flat metal batton to the angled piece at one end and to the cross brace you just fitted at the other.

9.Screw on the wheel to the highest point of the second cross brace.

10. Thread the light fitting through the cross braces.

You may not be able to get exactly the same pieces as we did, in which case build your own design. Just make sure the base is stable and strong enough to hold the flex and bulb.

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Marble your own fabric to create these stylish cushions!

Recently I found an ancient, well 1990’s Dylon leaflet about marbling on fabric and so intrigued were we that we decided to create a marbled cushion.

Traditionally marbling was done on paper and was achieved by floating oil colour on water or size. If you try and do this on fabric, the fabric feels hard and unpleasant.

I did a few experiments on different kinds of cloth and the ones that give the best colour and luminosity are Silk and Satin. I have used a heavy slipper satin for these cushions. For best results use a white or light coloured fabric.

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You will need

Shallow plastic trough. This needs to be bigger than the pieces of fabric that you are going to float in it. The fabric needs to be large enough to fit over the cushion pad

Bucket or large jug

Whisk

Fabric pieces. Satin or silk

Dylon fabric paints

Tool from one of the following: Knitting needle or a barbecue stick or toothpick

Roll of kitchen paper

Sewing machine

Scissors

Pins

Thread

Ruler

Fabric marker pen

Cushion pad we used a 29cm sq

Lots of newspaper to cover the work surfaces and access to a sink

Waterproof gloves

Spatula

2C2A2125 copy

Instructions

1.Put on your gloves to protect your hands. Whisk the wallpaper paste into water according to the manufacturers instructions, until it is the consistency of yoghurt. Pour into a shallow trough until it is almost full. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes. Tip: Whilst you are waiting for the paste to set, use the time to cut your fabric so it fits in the troughwith enough border to lift it in and out. Cover the work surface in newspaper.

1.whisk wallpaper paste into water

2. Apply drops of colour onto the surface of the paste and then use your tool to swirl them around. This can look pretty messy at this stage.

2 Drop ink onto surface and then draw a stick through it..jpg

3. Carefully lower a piece of fabric onto the paste surface. Leave for a few seconds for the paint to absorb, you may need to push it down with your fingers.

3 another pattern.jpg

4. Carefully lift off the fabric. It will be covered in paste as well as a pattern below the paste. Leave on a work top for at least 5 minutes.

5. Wash off the paste from the fabric under running water. Leave to dry.

6. When dry, iron the fabric o the back, using a hot setting for 1-2 minutes to set the colour.

Tip : To clean the paste between applications use a spatula to remove the surplus colour.

To make the cushion cover with an envelope back

1. Measure the cushion and cut one piece of marbled fabric to that dimension for the cushion front. 29cm x 29cm

4 lay cushion on wrong side .jpg

2. Cut two further pieces the width of the cushion cover by approximately 2/3 the length. (29x 20cm) For the cushion back.

5 meaure mark and then cut out front

3.Turn under by 0.5cm and 0.5cm again and pin and then neaten with a running stitch along one 29cm side of each back piece of fabric .

6 turn under by 0.5cm and again and neaten.jpg4. With right sides facing, and neatened edges overlapping in the centre, pin the 2 backs onto the cushion front and sew round the edge.

7 sew round edge with runnng stitch.jpg

5.Turn the right way out and fit the cushion pad into the cushion

8 Turn right way out .jpg

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Repaint and decoupage an old wooden chair

Orange Chair  copy.jpg

A boring wooden chair can have new life breathed into it for very little money but lots of imagination, with a mixture of painting, some good photocopied images and a bit of sticking.

You will need

Wooden chair

Paint brush

Photocopy paper

Pencil

Tangerine Twist paint from Dulux 3 x £1 tester pots at B&Q

PVA glue

Paint brush

Sand paper

Scissors

Blue tack

 

Instructions

  1. Sand the chair
  2. Paint the chair and leave to dry
  3. Find copyright free designs on the internet, enlarge and photocopy the designs
  4. Cut out the shapes
  5. Blue tack the images into position on the chair. When you are happy with composition stick into place using PVA glue.
  6. Paint on coats of PVA varnish to give a good finish to the chair.

Tips

Instead of buying new paint, use what you have in the house and mix colours to create something new and interesting. This is a great way of using left over paints.

Before photo –

IMG_4271

Orange Chair Detail copyOrange Chair Back copy

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Create your own African print pouffe

POUFFE

 

I loved the idea of making a pouffe from African batik style fabric. So wacky and at the same time the perfect item to lift the look of a staid room. Batik is very popular in the South West London in areas such as Tooting and Brixton but you can also buy it in markets in the East of London and Paris.

You will need:

African batik fabrics available in London market stalls 2m

Orange fabric for the base 80cm

Calico 2m

Hook and loop tape 1packet

Water-soluble pen

Beanbag filling I large bag

Pins, needles and thread

Scissors

Paper for pattern

Note:

The instructions for the outer and the calico inner bag are the same. I made the outer part first and then the inner. I used 1cm seam allowance throughout.

 

Make your pattern.

  1. The top piece should be a circle with a 25 1/4 ins (64cm) diameter. This includes a 1cm seam allowance. Draw the circle onto paper and use this to cut the top of the lining and the top of the calico liner.
  2. Cut the paper circle in half and add 4cm strip of paper along each straight edge. Use this pattern to cut two bottom pieces for the outer and the calico liner.
  3. The sides of the pouffee are made up from sections that are 13ins (33cm) from top to bottom including seam allowance . The width of each section will depend on the pieces of fabric you have. The finished piece will be about 80in plus seam allowance. The amount of seam allowance will be dependent on the number of panels used.

 

Instructions

1.Use the patterns to cut out all the pieces from the calico and the African Batik fabrics. I used the large motif that was perfect for the top of the pouffe. I decided to piece together lots of different designs to make the side. As the base is not seen, I used some plain orange fabric.

2.First make base with the hook and loop tape opening for the top fabric. On both base pieces turn the straight edge under by 1cm then turn again by 3cm. Sew down, then pin and sew strips of hook and loop tape along both sides.

2 sew on hook and loop tape.jpg

3.Press the hook and loop tape edges together then machine sew the ends of the seams closed.

3 sew hook and loop on top of one side and wrong side of other

4.With right sides facing, using a 1cm seam allowance pin sew together the sidepieces.

4 with right sides facing sew the panels on to each other..jpg

5 Press the seams open so you have a continuous smooth side panel.

5 Press the seams open.jpg

6.With right sides facing, pin and sew the sides to first the top and then the base making a drum shape. Turn through the gap so it is right side facing out.

6 pin the sides to the top6 with a running stitch sew the top to the sides.

7.To make the liner, repeat the process with the calico. Put the calico liner inside the fabric cover, then fill with polystyrene beads.

7 fill the calico liner with polystyrene beads.jpg

 

Tip

Fold and mark the fabric for the top, base and sides into eighths. When you come to pin on the sides, match up the pen marks on the top and base.

 

Stockists

Hook and loop tape, Water Soluble Pen

http://www.korbond.co.uk/ korbond.co.uk/

 

Beanbag Filling

http://www.homecrafts.co.uk/

 

DETAIL

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5 Key looks from ARGOS for Autumn Winter 2017

The Homeware team at Argos have really come up with some nice looking furniture and accessories for this autumn and winter.  I have issues with Argos stores and their queuing system and I haven’t always liked the quality of their goods, but not this time. There are five ranges that fit in with today’s trends and lifestyles.

INHABIT

Inhabit 1

The pace of modern culture has fueled a desire and appreciation for relaxed living and understated design. Inhabit is a minimal trend that celebrates a new pace of home life by creating a comforting and calming space that encourages restoration. A pared-back colour palette of soothing neutral and green tones is combined with tactile surfaces, subtle weaves, printed leaf patterns and simple geometric prints.

Furniture designs show a nod to Danish influences with clean lines, minimal shapes and blonde woods.

Products within the Inhabit trend have a simple aesthetic for a softened minimal look in the home.

Inhabit 2

 

NATIVE EARTH

Native Earth 1

Inspired by the arid beauty of New Mexico and South America, the fashion-forward Native Earth trend offers a warm and rustic feel with tribal-inspired designs.

The colour palette celebrates Autumn with rich clay red and burnt orange hues paired with charcoal tones, blue accents and dark woods.

Metallic home accessories and woven materials add a rugged finish to the look, whilst bold tribal textiles and intricately embossed ceramics create a strong visual impact.

Native Earth offers a modern take on the iconic wilderness trend and creates a sense of warmth this Winter with earthy textural tones.

Native Earth 2Native Earth 3Native Earth 4

 

DARK POETRY

Dark Poetry 1

Dark Poetry is a stylistic approach to interiors with a focus on filling your home with products that are both functional and visually striking. With a fusion of elegant design and decadent materials, Dark Poetry creates a sense of luxurious living. Touches of gold, brushed brass and jewel tones add a feeling of warmth for the Winter season.

The collection of furniture and home accessories allude to architectural forms with structured shapes and designs, whilst velvet textiles and soft upholstery add elegance to the room.

Dark Poetry 2.jpg

FOREST FROST

Forest Frost 1.jpg

Inspired by hazy Winter mornings, Forest Frost introduces a soothing and tranquil look to the home. Forest Frost exudes elegance with a soft blue palette balanced with pastel pink hues. Textiles are adorned with watercolour florals, nature-inspired details and diluted ombre ink washes to achieve a serene setting in the home. Furniture and home accessories are delicately rounded in a painted chalk finish. Velvet and fur textiles ensure this trend feels cosy throughout the cooler months.

Forest Frost 2

 

HYGENA

Hygena 1.jpg

Hygena provides contemporary and versatile designs for the modern home. Every piece in the range is designed to perfectly complement one another, offering ready-made design solutions which are easy to incorporate into the home. Accents of ochre brighten a sleek colour palette of monochrome and midnight blue hues, whilst geometric details offer a bold contemporary look. With urban living in mind, Hygena offers space- saving solutions and clever designs at attainable prices.

Hygena 2Hygena 3Hygena 4Hygena 5Hygena 6

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IKEA’s key trends for Autumn Winter 2017

June and July are the months of press shows, where stylists, journalists and bloggers all get to view next years offerings. Who doesn’t own at least one piece of Ikea furniture? Well their press show was impressive.

The key looks for Winter 2017 and Spring 2018 include Loft Industrial highlights with a bigger focus on metals and dark paint effects to create a loft living look. At its heart is industrial design, that focuses on functionality of the product and clean lines.

IKEA_AW_17370
Being Ikea, it is not a surprise that they include Scandinavian as another important trend, with natural materials and pale colours to create a clean and stripped back look. Remember the Scandinavian countries have long dark winters and need to maximize the brightness of space. However, this collection includes more greys paired with terracotta tones and muddy greens to bring a touch of warmth to a space whilst keeping it neutral.

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Yet another theme is Midnight tropics combining bright and playful colours pairing with rich dark tones with accents of brass and gold and velvet.

IKEA_AW_17388Accessorizing with succulents and tropical plants is key to the trend alongside artwork and patterns that take their cue from nature and in particular foliage. Ikea is forming partnerships with small scale social enterprises and creating limited edition collections that provide livelihoods for people who would have little or no access to decent jobs.

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The other very pleasing development is the chair that has been designed using  100% recycled plastic. Not a first, but this one looks great and comes in white and  black as shown above.

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