Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Posts tagged ‘interiors’

Flowers from Clay

These pretty ceramic blooms make cheerful decorations, and are lovely props when arranging still life compositions for photographs.

My mum and I discovered the flowers at a car boot sale a few years ago- the blossoms have rough, unfinished backs/bases and appear to have been made to decorate a larger ceramic object/item. Some of the flowers have small chips, but I think that they just add to the vintage charm!

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Simple Storage Box DIY

To start the new year as I mean to go on, I have been having a tidy up of any bits and bobs that seem to be without a proper home. I needed a box to store some papers and photographs (a kind of memory box), but didn’t want to pay the kind of price required to purchase a nice decorative one! I found a brown cardboard box of perfect proportions at the local bargain shop, and decorated it myself using (imitation) gold leaf to make rustic-looking polka dots.

I drew circles in pencil onto the box as a guide (I drew around the base of a small plastic pot), and then glued torn up pieces of gold leaf in place (they were leftover pieces from other projects). For a super simple DIY project, I am pleased with the outcome: decorative storage at a bargain price! I like storage to be attractive as well as useful (you do have to look at it after all), and this technique could be applied to boxes of any size or shape, and would also be a nice way to make decorative gift boxes.

For a few other storage ideas please see these posts:

gold-dot-box

Easy Christmas Decoration DIY

Preparing for Christmas has felt a bit hectic this year, and most of the crafting I have done has been making presents (so I can’t post pictures here or they won’t be a surprise!), with less time than I would like to make decorations etc. This paper garland, however, is a quick and easy project, and the same method can be used to make diamond-shaped decorations or delicate-looking paper stars.

MATERIALS:

  1. Paper (you could use coloured paper, wrapping paper, old sheets of music etc).  cardboard or tissue paper won’t work for this project.
  2. Thread or ribbon for hanging
  3. Scissors
  4. Glue

First cut the paper into squares- one square will make one diamond-shaped decoration, or six of these can be joined to form a star.

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Next fold the square in half to form a triangle, and then fold it in half again.

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Now make a series of straight cuts across from the edge with one fold, to the edge with two folds, stopping the cut approximately 1/2cm from the edge. The number of cuts required will depend on the size of the paper squares that you are using, and how you want the finished piece to look, so you may need to experiment first (the cut lines shown here were approximately 1cm apart).

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When you open up the paper square it should look like this:

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Now to start the gluing. begin by gently curving the two points in the centre of the square and gluing the tips together. Inserting a pencil whilst you glue can help to prevent the paper from creasing.

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Next turn the square over, and curve the next two points towards you and glue the tips together.

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Continue gluing the opposite points together- remembering to turn the paper before gluing the next section- until you reach the outside edge. You will now have a completed diamond.

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The diamonds can be hung as individual decorations, or you can make several and form a garland or a star. The garlands can have other decorations hung between the diamonds (I used gold baubles), or you could make lots of different coloured diamonds.

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The stars are easily made by gluing six diamond sections together in the centre. They look quite intricate and delicate but are in fact quick and easy to make, and fairly robust.

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I love these paper decorations, and the fact that they are made from materials that most of us have easily to hand: they are also environmentally friendly, particularly if you upcycle paper that has had a previous life (like the vintage music sheets I used to make this star). They are also easy to personalise, or to make in colours to match your other Christmas decorations.

Merry Christmas!

A Cabinet of Curiosities

CABINET-OF-CURIOSITIES

A tiny cabinet of curiosities- perfect for displaying some interesting little things. To give an idea of scale, the three tiny ivory mice on the top are less than 1/2cm tall!

WUNDER-KAMMER

The polymer clay unicorn skull was featured in an earlier post, and there are DIY instructions for the leather flower here.

The glass cabinet was a bargain find in a bric-a-brac shop (only 20p!), and the display changes every time I find a new tiny piece of treasure.

MINIATURE-CURIOS

Many Colours

PAINT-SWATCHES

These coloured paper rectangles were taken from a paint company colour chart- I stuck them in my sketch book as I liked the look of all of the colours together, and they’ve given me ideas for different colour combinations for a few craft projects.

PAINT-SAMPLES

Easter and Spring Time!

EASTER-CRAFTS

I hope that you all had a lovely Easter weekend (despite the very wet weather if you were in the UK!).

DECORATED-EGGS  DECORATIVE-EGGS

I have left my Easter decorations (hand-decorated wooden and ceramic eggs hanging from white-painted branches in a vase) out for a little longer, as they have been brightening up their corner of the house in this dull weather. At least spring has now arrived!

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DIY-EASTER-DECORATIONS  EASTER-CRAFT

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EASTER-EGG-DECORATIONS  GOLD-EGG-DECORATION

Easter Egg Decorations

GOLD-CRACKLE-EGGS

I love Easter, and most years make some new egg decorations to hang from a vase of white-painted branches. I love the fact that Easter means that spring has arrived, and the world (in England) starts to get a little more colourful again as flowers and leaves start to appear.

EASTER-DECORATIONS

This is an easy DIY project that doesn’t require many materials, and as each one is unique you don’t have to be too precise when making them either!

MATERIALS:

  • Plain Easter egg decorations with a smooth surface (I used un-glazed ceramic ones)
  • Imitation gold leaf (or the real thing if you’re feeling decadent!)
  • A pair of tweezers
  • A paint brush
  • Acrylic paint
  • PVA glue

   DECORATED-EGGS-DIY

First paint your eggs in the colour(s) of your choice. Acrylic paint works well as it dries quickly and has a surface that the PVA glue can adhere to.

CERAMIC-EGGS

Next tear or cut your (imitation) gold leaf into small pieces- the leaf is thin so should be easy to tear by hand.

Next dilute some PVA glue with water (I used a solution that was approximately 25% PVA and 75% water). Covering a small area at a time, paint some of the watered-down glue onto the egg, and then using tweezers (as the gold leaf is fiddly and delicate to handle) apply a piece of gold leaf to the surface: repeat as required.

When you have finished applying the gold leaf, give the whole egg a thin coating of the watered-down glue, and leave to dry thoroughly. The diluted PVA solution didn’t tarnish the leaf that I used, or dull it’s reflectiveness.

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TIPS:

If you want to cut the leaf with scissors to get straight edges, then it is easiest to do this whilst the sheet of leaf is still between two of the tissue paper pages that it comes packaged in. As the leaf is metal, beware that it will dull your blades a little.

If your pieces of gold leaf are too large, then you will find that they tend to be difficult to place flat on the egg, as they are difficult to control with the tweezers. I found pieces larger than approximately 2 x 1.5cm difficult to work with, although this will vary depending on the thickness of the leaf that you are using.

HAPPY MAKING AND

HAPPY EASTER!

GOLD-FOILED-EGGS

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