have some ‘time expired’ books such as out of date restaurant or travel guides
or have a few charity shop finds why not create some book ends from them. Top
with a child’s toy animal, sprayed with Rustoleum paint.
I was lucky enough to find a couple of mid century modern dining chairs
on ebay, but the covers were dull as ditchwater and needed replacing. I found a
great upholstery fabric at https://www.craftysewer.com/
that gives more than a nod to mid century. I loved the colours on the underside
of the fabric so I have used it reverse side up.
You will need
Unscrew the seat from the frame.
Place seat on fabric, and cut out the fabric including a 4in overlap.
Staple on the fabric at each of the 4 corners, as shown in the picture.
Fold and turn the edge fabric over each side of the chair and staple
into position. Screw the newly covered seat back onto the chair.
by Juliet Bawden photo by Antonia Attwood Styling assistant Elsa Collier
I have devised a simple heart shaped wreath for Valentines day. This is a one off for the day. If you want the wreath to last longer use fake flowers and leaves, or use a heart shaped florists oasis for the foundation and use fresh leaves and flowers as we have here.
1.You will need
15cm Polystyrene heart from £2.20 from
If you’ve been reading the press recently,
you may have seen the headlines about how many Christmas wrapping papers are
none recyclable. So we waste lots of resources on something we then cannot get
rid or reuse. So apart from it being fun why not print your own Christmas
wrapping paper and save the planet at the same time.
Tape or string
Acrylic or poster paint
Spare sheet of paper to practice on
Brown wrapping paper
Lid of a food storage box
½ inch Paint brush
Using the kitchen knife cut the potato in half and then score and cut out your design from one half. Choose a simple design such as a star or a stylized Christmas tree.
Press your potato onto to kitchen paper to get rid of the excess starch. Pour some paint onto the lid.Using a paint brush apply paint to the stamp you have just made. Try the design out on a piece of scrap paper. Print on the brown paper.
Leave the paper to dry and then wrap it round your parcel, tying it with stringand adding a bit of foliage as decoration.
I was recently given some enormous, if somewhat bruised, windfall quinces. So as a great lover of cheese I decided to make some quince jelly, sometimes known as quince cheese. Suffice to say as soon as I wanted to make the jelly I couldn’t find a recipe. Then I found buried amongst all my other cookery books a slim volume called WI Book of Jams and other preserves written by Pat Hesketh and published in 1984. It has over 100 recipes tried and tested by the women’s institute.
So I turn to the page for Quince Cheese, on the same and facing page were recipes for cumberland rum butter, apple butter, marrow orange cream and bramble cheese. Fruit butters are a softer consistency than cheeses and are usually spiced and should be hermetically sealed. They are usually served as a spread. Cheeses are cooked to a stiff consistency and set in small moulds so that they can be turned out for serving and cut into wedges.
500g quinces chopped into roughly 1cm pieces
Wash the quinces and cut up into pieces
Place in a pan and barely cover with water.
Cover and cook until reduced to a pulp.
Pour through a sieve and weigh the liquid. (discard what is left in the sieve).To each 500g of liquid add 500g of sugar.
Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar.
Continue cooking until a thick consistency is obtained.
When a spoon is drawn across the base of the pan, it should leave a clean line.
Pour into prepared moulds. I used small glass pots used for ‘Gu’.
Make some fabric tops by cutting out circles with pinking shears.
Today’s make is really an Ikea Hack of a Nornas Bench transforming a rather dull nondescript softwood bench into an on trend vibrant padded seat/coffee table by being creative and painting, dying, and doing some sustainable up-cycling.
Following the makers instructions dye the velvet and leave to dry.
Saw off the edges of the bench so that there is no overhang.
Paint the bench black and leave to dry.
Cut a double layer of wadding the size of the bench top, plus enough to drape over the edges. Cut away the corners and then staple the wadding to the underside of the bench.
Press the velvet before using. Drape the velvet over the bench and leaving enough for a 2cm seam allowance, mark with a pen remove the fabric and then cut away the corners.
To give a neat edges to the corners, turn the corners under and iron on the webbing
Place the velvet over the wadding covered bench and staple the velvet into position on the underside.
To make the cushion. Cut an old duvet up so it is the size of the bench top.
Cut the rug into two pieces, the size of the bench top plus 1 cm all the way round.
Sew the old duvet round its edge to the wrong side of one piece of rug.
With right sides facing sew the piece of rug with the duvet attached to the other piece of rug. Sew round three and a half sides.
Turn the cover through the correct way and then close the opening by over sewing.
Tips. I learnt this trick at art school, when I was stretching frames for printmaking. To get straight edges when stapling, start in the middle of one side and staple to the edge then do it with the other edge and then repeat with the opposite side and then do the other two sides in the same way.