Did you read the title of this post and immediately start singing 'Na na na na na na-na!'? If not, well then you've disappointed me greatly in your failure to spot the Will Smith reference but hey, I'll forgive ya if you keep on reading! After all, this post has hee-haw (Nada, zilch, nothing) to do with Will Smith and EVERYTHING to do with DIYing or up-cycling, as I prefer to call it! What do I do with some time off I hear you ask? Take a chill pill, perhaps? Sit the hell down? Watch trashy telly like any normal human does? Nope, not this maniac-I get crafty! Well, not every time I have a spare hour I hasten to add but this week, I decided to get a little creative at home after some Pinterest inspo searching (if you don't know what this is.....download it IMMEDIATELY!! You can thank me later!). I've never considered myself the arty type..that was always Mimi but the idea that you can re-make something by adding (or subtracting) to it feels way more achievable that starting with a blank canvas and raw materials.
After my Pinterest-athon I realised I had a real notion for pom-poms....yup, you read correctly...POM-POMS! I'd pinned a few photos of summer straw bags with cute and colourful pom-poms attached and thought 'I could make that!'. Cue a holiday souvenir from Mimi from her recent trip to Spain in the shape of a gorgeous little straw clutch bag and I was ready to rock, armed with 180 pom-poms from Poundland (you'll later realise that 180 wasn't enough). Hubby willingly handed over his glue-gun (which he is now subsequently regretting) and I got to work. 15 minutes later et voila, the perfect summer accessory which you won't see anywhere else. That's what I love about up-cycling-you're making a one-off that can't be bought on the high street. A personal touch goes along way in defining your style.
TIPS: You may be able to tell from the photo that the glue can be a tad tricky to work with-it gets very stringy, so best to have newspaper underneath it to project your surface and also a pair of scissors to cut the shoe-lace effect when applying.
I applied the glue to each pom-pom individually then placed it exactly where I wanted it on the bag. This meant if I went overboard with the glue I had another 179 pom-poms to choose from, rather than messing up the bag itself! Also, before gluing anything, I arranged the pom-poms on the bag to decide on the colour arrangement liked best and also to know how many I needed to use.
An evening of crafting sent me into an up-cycling frenzy! Determined to use all 180 pom-poms (Only joking....nawt!) I then attempted a home decor pin I'd added to my Pinterest board. I've been meaning to change the ugly artificial flowers we had in this vase for ages, so I de-flowered the stem (sounds rude!) and glued little pom-poms along it to create a fun, more modern look for the office/spare room. Love it!
I then did the same with a set of battery-operated white lights (also from Poundland) to drape along our picture shelf. This room is decorated grey and white so a little pop of colour was definitely needed.
TIPS: These would be perfect in a kid's room. Painting/spraying the stem white (Or you could use real twigs if you preferred) and attaching brightly coloured or pastel pom-poms would be so cute in a nursery or play-room. Hobbycraft sell a variety of colours all individually bagged if you're keen on a certain colour combo. The lights could be draped/wrapped around along a curtain pole or put inside a clear vase for decoration.
Just when hubby was about to forcefully remove the glue-gun from my grip, I had an epiphany (well that's what I'm calling it. He'd say it was more pom-pom withdrawl)- the lonely cushion on our office couch was now looking rather sad in comparison to the newly-styled picture shelf above it. A rummage in the kitchen draw for a needle and thread and an hour later (I'm rubbish at sewing!) we had the perfect addition to our cute little grey sofa!
TIPS: Mark your cushion with a pen (or dressmakers pencil/chalk if you have it) where you want the pom-poms to go. Alternatively, pin them in place prior to sewing-that way you can ensure you're spreading them evenly and again, in your chosen colour combination.
For fear of being banished from the house or sent to the doctors for EPPUD (Excessive Pom-Pom Use Disorder), I deemed it best to step away (begrudgingly) from my colourful little fluffy friends and tackle another up-cycle job I'd been planning to do. I think frames can make or break a photo or print and although I'm not one for spending heaps of cash on art or having my holiday snaps professionally framed, I do prefer to display them one step up from under a fridge magnet.
Our friend Linzi had the loveliest poster made for Mimi and I a few years back when we uploaded our track, 'Christmas Cupcake' on to iTunes (yup, check it out here!) I'd ashamedly housed it in a dilapidated off-white old Ikea frame, promising myself I'd get something more suitable. With a paint brush in hand and the left-over paint from last week's up-cycling of the Man Cave, I got to work this morning on bringing the frame back to life and boy, did it do the trick! A couple of coats later, this beautiful keepsake has taken pride of place on the picture shelf on the office and completes the overhaul of the space perfectly.
TIPS: Be sure to use paint suitable for wood. If you're painting something small, buy a tester pot from your local DIY shop. Homebase have heaps to choose from. They're usually under £3 each so no need to splurge a giant tin.
Lastly, following on from my recent #gardengoals escapades (where I've been trying to improve our back garden on a budget), I had some rope/twine left-over from stringing up solar light-bulbs (also from Poundland) on our shed. Glue-gun in hand I got to work on a old plant pot I found under the sink. The inspiration for this up-cycle came from a trip to our local (out-of-this-world!) garden centre, Silverbirch. I can't actually believe I'm letting you in on this treasure-trove of all things beautiful. Honestly, this is no ordinary garden centre...all I say is, you're welcome!
So, I digress....on a recent visit I'd picked up a cute little rope-detail plant pot and thought, 'ah ha!' I have the very thing at home. Not sure where it's eventually going to live or what it'll house within it, but I like that I have breathed new life into this little abandoned pot.
|Up-cycled pot on the left |
(ugly artificial flowers above!)
TIPS: I found it easiest to glue the end of the rope at the bottom of the pot, winding up to the top, securing it with a blob of glue, ideally in line with where you first started the rope (means you can hind this at the back when displaying it). I then added more glue along the edge of the rope underneath the pot to ensure it doesn't unravel and fall a part.
And that's it for now peeps. Hope this inspires you to give up-cycling a go. I know to some this may seem tame in comparison to some of the jobs folks undertake on furniture and the likes, but to me the little additions/tweaks made to the pieces I already had kicking about have made a real difference to the spaces they now reside in. It's also given me a boost of confidence in knowing I can produce something of worth with minimal time and effort, as neither of those I have in abundance when it comes to DIY. I'll be sure to keep you posted on any future 'projects' I undertake but for now, I think it best that I step away from the glue-gun for a bit before Hubby has to have it surgically removed!
Happy over-hauling peeps!