Book ends

So, this crafting thing is getting quite addictive now; the satisfaction of making something myself is amazing. Book ends is my next project…

We need book ends for the new shelf above our bed (definitely don’t want stray books falling down in the middle of the night). I had a look online and couldn’t find anything that I liked so I decided to make my own. They turned out really well so I wanted to share the idea with you. If you want to make a personalised gift, these would work well too:  use printed photos, book pages, magazine pictures, mementos, like theatre tickets etc.

You will need:

Cardboard letters from Laines World for £2.99

PVA glue, water and pot

Paint brush

Wrapping paper or printed photos or book pages – I used Liberty print and Cavallini Vintage Ticket wrapping paper

Scissors

Varnish (optional)

Dried beans, peas, lentils or rice (for weighting the hollow letters) although sand would be ideal.

Book ends

You will need: Cardboard letters, paper, scissors, PVA glue, brush, water, pot, dried food, varnish (optional).

Tutorial:

Book ends

1. The letters are hollow so you will need to make a hole in the top and pour in something to weight it. I used dried peas, but sand would be ideal. When you begin to cover the letter with paper, you need to make sure you cover over the hole.

Book ends

2. I decided to draw round the letter so I could keep the print in tact. However, you can use the decoupage method.

Book ends

3. Mix together PVA and water (in equal parts). Brush it onto one of the sides of your letter.

Book ends

4. Stick the paper onto the letter and then paint over it with the glue/water mixture.

Book ends

5. Once you have covered the whole letter you will need to paint over it all again with the glue/water mixture and let it dry. If you have varnish, you can do a couple of layers of this too, alternatively do a couple more coats of the glue/water mix.

Book ends

Done!

Decoupage book ends

And done!

Book ends

This took me no more than an hour (with a bit more drying time on top of that). It is so nice to have something to use in my home that I made and looks just as good as something I could have bought, but for far less money. Get crafting people! x

 

 

The other half of Double Merrick

I have always struggled to find interesting, yet affordable, art work. When people ask me for help decorating their homes, one of the things they always say is that they don’t know what to put on their walls.  If you get this right it can totally transform a room. In my last post we visited illustrator and designer Merrick in his beautiful, family home in rural France.  Now, I would like to introduce you to his unique and thoughtful work; his prints are both interesting and affordable and inspired by old classroom wall charts, films, children’s building blocks, even a Magic 8 ball! When shops are filled with so many generic products, it is a breath of fresh air to come across very good value limited edition prints. Perhaps one of these prints might suit your walls…

How did Double Merrick come about?

“In 2009 I was working as a freelance illustrator mainly working in magazine editorials. I had a number of ideas that didn’t sit well with my freelance work, but they just wouldn’t go away. Eventually they morphed into prints and the response was phenomenal! Thus Double Merrick was born. We currently sell through the site www.doublemerrick.com and are stocked by the likes of Pedlars, Liberty of London, and Selfridges. The business is great as it allows me to get involved in all sorts of fun stuff from designing plates and mugs, to madcap adventures rediscovering childhood friends, or swapping prints for a swanky holiday house.”

Double Merrick Magic 8 ball print

Double Merrick morse code print

Double Merrick chat print

Double Merrick La Lune print

Where do you get inspiration from for your prints?

“All over really. Where we live in France is particularly interesting as not much changes, and there is a feeling that the past is just below the surface. As a consequence there is a lot of old tat around to sift through, books, posters, ephemera, etc. I spend a good deal of time going round trocs and brocantes. Some things just strike a chord with you, most of the time you don’t know why, and the print is often the by product of trying to work out ‘why?’.”

Double Merrick France print

Double Merrick La Mer print

Double Merrick solar system print

Double Merrick La Terre print

Do you have any advice on where or how to hang art?

1) Go with your gut – The stuff you hang on your walls should either be fascinating to you or hold sentimental meaning. Don’t bend to fashion, or it will just look really dated in twelve months time. Building up a collection should be a gradual, organic process and not about achieving this season’s look, it’s about personal history and your story.
2) Don’t balk at spending money on framing – Good framing can completely make an image, it can make a really cheap print look expensive.
3) It isn’t welded to the wall – Not sure if that print works in that place, move it around until you can find it a better home. Things should evolve.
4) Taste is about confidence. It’s just having the belief that one thing will look good with another, that a print would look great on a pink wall, or that fruit crate label looks amazing and is important enough to be framed.

Double Merrick numbers print

Double Merrick Pomme print

Double Merrick cerises print

Double Merrick do re mi print

Thank you Double Merrick! x

 

Duck Egg Designs

One of the things I love most about interior decoration is sourcing the perfect piece of furniture, print, fabric or vintage find. However, it does take a long time and you do need to be totally committed to the cause.  I think this is what stops a lot of people from bringing their vision of  what they want their home to look like to life.

I have found a family run business that  aims to add a vintage touch to your home by sourcing furniture, home accessories and designing fabric for you. They will basically do the hard work so you don’t have to trawl through eBay, car boot sales and haberdasheries.

Duck Egg is run by Ellie and Nick Harrington. Their own home featured on Kirstie’s Vintage Home Channel 4 and their kitchen, which you can see above and below, was turned into vintage heaven! The products that they design and sell through their online shop will help you create the same cottage-like look.

Kirstie's vintage home

 My favourite Duck Egg picks:

I did a post last week about what to do with vintage findsI suggested putting your plant pots into vintage crates as this protects decking and it looks great. Duck Egg have sourced them for you.

Vintage crates

I’m doing a post next week about recycled planters. What about planting in this lovely enamel strainer? This is just one of Duck Egg’s vintage kitchen finds.

Vintage enamel colander strainer

Follow my tutorial on how to add castors to a steamer trunk, like the one below, to turn it into a fully functional coffee table with lots of storage.

Vintage Steamer Trunk

A 1930’s enamel jug, like this one, will lift your interior from generic to unique.

Enamel Jug

Duck Egg sells new items that are well designed and very reasonably priced. This pendant lamp is very similar to ones I used in my interior decoration project recently.

Duck Egg Designs pendant lamp

Ellie used to be an Art teacher and now uses her artistic skills to design fresh, pretty fabrics that would be perfect to upholster a piece of furniture – follow my upholstery tutorial.

Duck egg designs fabric

So, now there are no excuses for not bringing your dream interior to life; Duck Egg will do all the hard work for you!

 

 

Design classics I want to get my hands on!

This is the first of my design classics posts. We can all dream (or be inspired and then come up with a cheaper, more realistic version)…

Retro Benjamin Hubert desk lamps

Desk lamps made from concrete. The attention to detail on the cord and switch turn this lamp into a beautiful piece of design. Benjamin Hubert.

uten.silo desk organiser

Vitra Utensilo office organiser. This would work perfectly in my new work space but at £209 I might have to fashion my own solution. Heal’s.

Ercol pebble nest of tables

Ercol nest of pebble tables. These are so versatile and the shape, the legs and finish are the best of Ercol design. John Lewis (to get the original 1960s tables buy from eBay).

Vintage haberdashery drawers

I’ve been hankering after these vintage oak haberdashers’ drawers for ages. Peppermill Antiques £750 (I’d call that a bargain).

Retro Dualit toaster

Dualit toaster to add a design classic to your kitchen because every detail counts. Dualit £78.50.

Ercol daybed

I have wanted this Ercol daybed for years, just need somewhere to put it. It not only looks beautiful but is very versatile. Give it to me! (To buy one you should bid on eBay for a bargain.)

Conran Manila armchair

This Conran Manilla armchair is so comfortable. This should be your priority when buying chairs, especially dining chairs, which is what I would use them for. Conran shop £275.

Revival Roberts Radio

I have a navy blue Roberts radio and I am addicted to its dulcet tones. I now want the saffron version for my home office. Roberts £160.

Tea light jars

This is a little craft project you can do to light up parties and summer evenings (can not wait for those). I also thought it’s a nice thing to make for your mum for Mothers’ Day because if your mum is anything like mine, she will prefer something homemade (well, that’s what she says anyway). These little jam jar tea light holders are totally sweet and are hassle free as you use LED tea lights in them. This means when you have a party or drinks with the tea lights about your home or in the garden, you don’t have to waste time changing the candles when they burn out. They are also totally safe for all of you who have kinders running around.

You will need:

Tea light jars

Light material (about 30cmx15cm), PVA glue, water, bowl, paint brush or pencil, scissors, jam jar.

Tea light jars

I’ve chosen to use a Bonne Maman jar (do you see what I’ve done there?) These jars are particularly good for this as they have no lip and the top of the jar is wider than the bottom so it’s easy to line with fabric.

Tea light jars

LED tea lights. I bought six from Asda for £3. Buy here.

TUTORIAL:

Tea light jars

1. Mix PVA glue and water together in equal parts.

Tea light jars

3. Cut your fabric into strips about 2-3cm wide. Make sure they are long enough to reach from the top of the jar to the middle of the bottom of the jar.

Tea light jars

4. Dip your strips of material into the glue and water mixture. Use your thumb and finger to wipe off excess liquid.

Tea light jars

5. Line the inside of the jar (print facing outwards) with each strip. Use your brush or a pencil to stick the strip down the inside of the jar.

Tea light jars

6. This is what it should look like at the end. It does not matter if your fabric overlaps slightly.

Tea light jars

So pretty even if I do say so myself!

Tea light jars

The LED tea lights are really quite powerful and the fabric makes the light very warm and soft. Definitely going to make more of these for the balcony this summer.

Lucky for me I have the best mum in the world to give these to x