Quick chair recovering

Before, fabric worn at front of seat
After, refreshed.

After my first reupholstering 9 years ago, these charity shops chairs needed refreshing.

Quick and simple upholstering involves removing the staples from underneath, using the old fabric as a pattern to cut new and then restapling.

I find the staple gun a bit fierce but if the fabric is pulled tightly and you work from opposite sides to avoid wrinkles this is an easy project.

Shirt conversion quickie

Blame me if the weather breaks … I have just converted his shirts (some of them) to short sleeved.

A simple chop and hem job using a ‘proper’ short sleeve shirt to get the length right. Just cut off an inch and a half below the intended hem line. Keep the chopped off bits for crafty projects.

Turn shirt inside out, press a hem along the intended length and then turn under the raw edge about a quarter of an inch. Press again, pin and stitch around the sleeve.

Tip: remove the bed from your sewing machine so you can turn the fabric as you sew. Tip 2: start stitching at the under arm seam so if there are any gathers (if the sleeve tapers) they can be hidden underneath.

Fly paper prettified

I love the daily ‘one good thing by Jillee’ blog post. Lots of practical tips to make daily life a little better. Her recent post for diy fly paper got me thinking.

We usually buy plastic window stick ons in France to deter kitchen invaders but as that isn’t feasible at present wanted to make a pretty version of Jillee’s paper strips. So I die cut pieces from brown paper before dipping them in a sugar/honey syrup and hanging the dried sticky piece near the fruit bowl ready for open window weather.

Tip: thread string through the paper before dipping, it is messy to do it afterwards.

reel and bobbin holder

a project on my to do list, finally ticked off thanks to a rainy day

I cadged’ some old golf tees which Edward fixed into an offcut from a floor board. He planed the edges and drilled tee sized recesses in the board before gluing them in place

thanks to yet more rain, he had some time for this project so it isn’t really a jane crafts achievement…

the tees are long enough for cotton and matching bobbin storage leaving my threads tin a bit tidier. Now I can see how many duplicates I have.

Secret book ‘safe’

From the outside a boring old book but open it up …

we cut out the centre of pages of volumes of the “history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire” (2 volumes so far, 6 left in the set) to create a hidden recess to store goodies away from prying eyes

We started by sealing the outside edges with Mod Podge, when it dried a Stanley knife was used to cut out a rectangle starting a few pages in and cutting down through to about three quarters of the way through the book. We then sealed the exposed cut edges with more mod podge

Tips from my crafty assistant: seal the outside of the pages for stability first; cut from the corners out for neatness; don’t make the rectangle too big to weaken the frame left behind.

To finish, the recess was decorated with stickers

I plan to put some chocolate money inside and label the wrapped gift ‘some valuable reading inside’

Up cycle peg bag

scan n cut to decorate my tablecloth to peg bag project

the old oilcloth tablecloth has been taking up space in my fabric pile and all I can think of using it for is peg bags, any ideas?

I used a smallish plastic hanger ( note to self remember to keep hangers when next buying stuff in m&s as stash now depleted) and traced around the width of the hanger on the reverse of my oilcloth. I gave myself a half inch seam allowance and some wriggle room as the oilcloth doesn’t stretch.

The fabric length was cut at one and a half times the planned length of the bag (this gave me the back and folded up to make the bottom of the bag front.  When this piece was cut I folded it in half lengthwise to check it was symmetrical

To get the top front of the bag a separate piece of fabric was cur to match the width and shape of the back piece but length to just more than half of the planned bag size.

I planned the cutting  so the cut pieces finished on the bias bound edge of my tablecloth. This saved a hemming step. (That is why the right edge of my front does a little bend in the picture, I thought it would look stylish, actually it just looks wobbly).

The two pieces were stitched wrong sides together leaving a small gap to put the hanger through. I then Turned them  right sides out and creases were finger smoothed out (even a cool iron melted a prototype).

I cut shapes from external use vinyl on the scan n cut to decorate (and cover the iron damage on my prototype) and trust the project will enjoy a good second life somewhere


Lampshade rejuvenated

imageWe couldn’t find a lampshade to replace the tatty one so simply splashed the remains of a glittery fabric paint over the old shade.

the instructions said to spray lightly but in an all or nothing attempt to cover marks I soaked the shade by emptying the contents over it and rubbed the solution around with a plastic spoon

a long drying time later I am really happy with the results and have resisted the temptation to embellish more

Gel candles experiment


I found a kit in a charity shop so had a go using some old spare glasses

start by dissolving a little gel in a saucepan then soaking the wick, cut to an inch or so longer than the depth of your chosen glass,  in the gel then let it dry on some paper towel

fix one end of the wick to the base of the glass with a little blu tak or plasticine, have to hand a skewer or matchstick long enough to balance across the centre of the glass later

dissolve more gel in the same pan, you can reheat the excess from the priming exercise if it has set by now

carefully pour a little dissolved gel into the glass and swish it around to coat the sides then sprinkle in glitter or sequins of your choice. You can see here my sprinkling was a bit heavy handed

holding the wick upright with one hand pour in some more gel then a little more glitter and repeat until the glass is nearly full. I used too much glitter on the topping up stage which gave a layer effect I hadn’t intended

now balance the skewer across the rim of the glass and drape the excess wick over it while the gel sets

once set trim the wick

tip: wash the pan by hand to avoid coating other stuff in the dishwasher with gel

Up cycled phone cover

image imageI loved my fabric phone cover but it did look tatty so I gave in and bought another (only a cheapo one though as I am going to craft that too) while I played with my old favourite.

so simple:

fabric larger than the cover when unfolded

mod podge , classic not even fabric one

sharp scissors and a biro

Unfold the cover and lay it as flat as possible over the wrong side of he fabric then trace around the edge and mark through the holes (3 on the iphone)

remove the leather trim or embellishment from the old cover so there is a flat surface

cut out the fabric leaving a generous border for now and trim out the lens hole etc fairly neatly but under rather than over cut

coat the old cover with a layer of mod podge then smooth the new fabric in place. Start by positioning the lens holes and the rest can be stroked in place. Add a couple more coats of mod podge -letting it dry between coats. When the fabric feels papery trim the edges more precisely and neaten up the lens holes by rubbing the point of a crochet hook or similar inside them

fold and unfold the cover a couple of times to check the fabric gives and maybe let the glue cure a day or so before you use it

i will let you know how durable this is, but have plenty of scraps to do a refit next time

Decoupage canister


A canister too nice to throw away but bearing branded copy needed playtime.

Ordinary craft paper (Docrafts floral collection) was stuck with mod podge gloss decoupage stuff and then sealed with it too. To cover some untidy cutting on the lid, I stuck on the ott fringe.

Now just need to decide what to store in it.