Baking sheet noticeboard

Make a magnetic noticeboard, that’s what.  This little project is so simple and inexpensive, yet really rather satisfying.

You will need:

1. A baking sheet that preferably has no lip (mine has a slight lip on one side only)

2. A piece of fabric that measures 5cm more than the baking sheet all the way around. I used Liberty’s new Pastel Woolf print from the Bloomsbury collectionI love this print as it is a clever mix of modern with a hint of the 50’s.

3. Spray glue. I used display mount.

4. Drill and four screws OR drill and ribbon.

Liberty print noticeboard

Baking sheet and fabric.

Liberty print noticeboard

Display mount spray glue.

Tutorial:

Liberty print noticeboard

1. Spray the front of the baking sheet and the back of the material with the glue. Make sure you hold the glue about 30cm away from both surfaces and do it outside or protect your table with lots of newspaper. Leave it for 20 seconds to become tacky. The glue can get everywhere but the reason I used this type of glue is that it does not mark the fabric and it bonds so quickly, securely and smoothly.

Liberty print noticeboard

2. Smooth the fabric onto the baking sheet.

Liberty print noticeboard

3. Turn the baking sheet over and cut the corners off the material. Spray the back of the baking sheet with glue and then fold the fabric over the sides.

Liberty print noticeboard

4. Don’t worry if your corners are messy, they won’t be seen! If it’s a gift, it might be a nice idea to cut a piece of fabric to stick on the back of the baking sheet to cover the corners.

Liberty print noticeboard

5. Nearly done. Now, to think about how to hang it.

Liberty print noticeboard

6. If you want to hang it with ribbon, drill two holes at the top of the board.

Liberty print noticeboard

7. Thread the ribbon through the holes and then this could hang on a hook or nail.

Liberty print noticeboard

8. If you don’t want to use ribbon, you can just screw it straight into the wall, which is what I did.

Liberty print noticeboard

Ta da!

I made this board for my new Crafty WorkspacePlease try it for yourself and email me pictures of the finished result!

 

Bulbs and bedding plants

What to do when your beautiful spring blooms start fading?

If you have bulbs planted in pots or beds you do not need to leave them empty for the whole of summer; bedding plants are the answer. They are perrenial and need very little root space so they can be planted on top of bulbs.

Wilting daffodils

Wilting daffodils.

Geraniums

Geraniums make perfect bedding plants and are just so friendly looking.

This is what I needed to plant bulbs and bedding plants:

Planting bedding plants

A fairly deep pot and compost.

Secateurs and trowel.

I have decided to try out expand and grow compost. This is basically dehydrated compost that has the volume of 12 litres but when you add water it expands to a volume of 50 litres. This is perfect for balcony gardening as I don’t have room on my balcony or in my flat to store huge bags of compost.

Expandable compost

Fill the pot by one third and then add water until it expands to fill the pot completely.

Bulbs

I then cut off the dead/wilting leaves of my daffodils and hyacinths so I am left with the bulbs.

Planting bulbs

I then position these quite deep into the soil with the bulbs’ roots facing downwards (important!). Then cover the bulbs with about 6 inches of soil as my bedding plants will be planted on top of the bulbs.

Geraniums

I prepare the bedding plants by breaking the polystyrene and removing each plug carefully. Don’t be tempted to pull the plugs out without breaking the polystyrene as this can rip the fragile roots.

Planting geraniums

Prepare a hole in the soil for each plug.

Planting geraniums

Ensure each plug is secure.

Geraniums

A pot that will bloom daffodils in spring and then geraniums in summer.

All done. My bulbs will start to come up mid-winter and bloom in spring and the bedding plants are perennial so they will flower every summer once the bulbs have died back down. Perfect low maintenance pot for my balcony.

Cotton reel holder

As promised, I am going to share a couple of tutorials this weekend for storage solutions that I featured in my Crafty workspace post.

This first tutorial shows you how to make a cotton reel holder. This really is a great solution to the problem of having a million and one cotton reels and never being able to find the colour you need. It also takes up no desk space, which is important when sewing as you need as much space as possible.

You will need:

1. Baton of wood (I bought mine from B&Q and it was pre-painted). Length: 180cm, Height: 4.5cm, Depth: 1.5cm. The baton I bought is actually meant for skirting board so it has a curved edge, which looks nice.

2. Dowling. Length: 320cm, Diameter: 6mm

3. Paint and brush

4. Drill, eight screws and wall-plugs, spirit level, pencil

5. Hacksaw and sandpaper.

Cotton reel holder

1. Saw your baton into four equal lenths of 45cm and sand off the edges.

Cotton reel holder

2. Use the hacksaw to chop the dowling into 10cm lengths. You need 32 of these. Use the sandpaper to soften the edges.

Cotton reel holder

3. Drill eight holes across each baton, an equal distance apart. Try to drill the holes at a slight angle so the dowling points up rather than horizontally.

Cotton reel holder

4. Use a spirit level and pencil to mark where to screw each baton onto the wall. Drill in two screws, one at each end of the batons.

Cotton reel holder

5. Screw in all four of your batons and then paint the dowling and the ends of the batons.

Cotton reel holder

Done!

Cotton reel holder

Cotton reel holder

I have found that one of things that will stop me sewing is not having direct access to the tools needed as it is quite a fiddly process. This reel holder makes it simple and I keep the bobbins in one of the jars.

Tomorrow, I will show you how to make a magnetic board from a baking sheet, fabric and a bit of glue. If you have any crafty storage solutions please do let me know; either leave a comment or email me a photo katy@apartmentapothecary.com. x

 

Craft room

I have been very busy recently trying to transform our guest room into a work space for both me and my boyfriend. The challenge is to fit a double bed and enough space for two people to work into a relatively small room. Oh, and the budget is only £150…eeek! We need:

– Desk space for two

– Space for a lap top and desk top computer

– Storage for craft materials

– Filing cabinet

– Space for sewing machine

– Double bed

– Drawers for clothes

Difficult? Just a little.

Before:

Home office

This is the desk that we had before. There was absolutely no storage and only really enough room for a computer, definitely no craft space, let alone room for two to work here at the same time. Photograph by Peachey Photography

After:

I did a lot of planning and searched around for creative storage solutions. Have a look at my last post in which I show my inspiration and my tips for creating a functional, yet stylish, work space: Tidy desk, tidy mindWhat I have created is a much more practical, functional space and even though it may not look quite as nice as it did before I think considering how much we had to spend and how much we needed from this space it is as stylish as it can be. I have kept the whole room white with clean lines so it looks as large and as uncluttered as possible. See what you think…

Home office and craft room

I painted a chest of drawers we already had and changed the knobs (one is missing, I know!) so it could act as an extra ‘leg’ and it provides lots of storage for craft materials. I then bought a 2.5m long piece of MDF for £30 from a timber yard, which I painted and varnished. This sits across the drawers and two Ikea trestle legs that only cost £25. An off-cutting of the wood top is used for the shelf.

Home office and craft room

This is my end of the desk for my sewing machine, cutting mat and space to craft. A tutorial to show you how to make the cotton reel holder will follow. I have used the noticeboard as an inspiration board with my favourite pictures, magazine cuttings, fabric swatches, postcards.

Craft storage solutions

Jam jars screwed onto the shelf for easy access.

Craft storage solutions

Make sure you use at least two screws otherwise your pots will swivel!

Craft storage solutions

I put a broom handle, that I painted, between the shelf brackets and hung Ikea Fintorp pots on Grundtal S-hooks for tools and pens.

Craft storage solutions

I’ve used more S-hooks to hang tools so everything is to hand.

Washi tape

Washi tape and ribbon reels on the broom handle.

Craft storage solutions

A magnetic board that I made from a baking sheet…tutorial to follow!

Home office and craft room

Using a 2.5m table top gives us both space and flexibility.

Craft room

My chalkboard storage boxes (see tutorial) are used for craft materials and my favourite interiors books sit on the shelf. I’ve also hung my favourite Double Merrick print. I’ve also added a Loaf lamp that I already had.

Craft room

I’ve used old Kilner jars with labels printed from Graphics Fairy for my sewing supplies.

Modge podge jars

I’ve also covered jam jar lids with fabric for storage pots; much cheaper than buying new.

Craft room

I have recycled a mustard jar and more old Kilner jars for storage.

Wicker trunk

My fabric is in a wicker basket that I found in a skip (love a good skip-find!)

Home office and craft room

The finished room. There’s a filing cabinet tucked in the corner with all my magazines stored on top, that actually looks more like a bedside table (bought from eBay for £20). I hung hooks in this room for guests to hang their belongings when they come to stay. In total we spent about £120 on: desk, shelf, filing cabinet, storage and paint. Now, I just need to find two proper desk chairs although that will probably require quite a bit more than £30 (maybe more like £300!)

 

Jules has since realised that making a work space for two may not have been such a good idea; I like a good chat whilst I’m crafting or blogging and he has a lot of ‘real’ work to do! Ha! Too late now.

 

 

Tidy desk, tidy mind

I’ve been secretly beavering away on an interior decoration project, in an effort to transform our spare room. We have been trying to create a guest room combined with a home office (for Jules) combined with a craft room (for me): not an easy task.  I will be revealing all next week but in the mean time I thought it would be nice to share with you my inspiration for the room and my tips on how to create the perfect work space.

1. Plan carefully how you want to use the space.

You need to decide whether your work space is needed for just a computer or writing, drawing, crafting. This will then dictate how much space, storage and the type of desk you will need. Be careful to select a desk that is an appropriate shape and size according to the type of work you plan to do.  Make a clear list of everything you need to store and plan a space, drawer, pot for all of these things.

Home office Ercol desk

If you only work on the computer you can be a lot more flexible and opt for a much smaller desk. In this case they have re-purposed a small Ercol dining.

2. Keep your desk as clear as possible by using creative storage solutions.

Think carefully about how you can use the wall space in front of your desk for storage, as well as the space under your desk. Could you add a storage unit under your desk or put up shelves above the desk? Also, think carefully about what you will need to use on a regular basis and how you can make these things easily accessible, whilst remaining off your desk.

Craft room storage solutions

Hooks, jars and a paper dispenser are used to great effect here. Adding this wall unit, drawers under the desk and the filing cabinet to the left means this desk can remain clear and fully functional.

3. Don’t lose your style!

It can be difficult balancing style and function but there are so many ways you can inject your work space with your own style: antique desk or chair, vintage storage pots, stylish lamp, mid-century shelves. Look for pieces of furniture and storage with both form and function, otherwise your work space will not be a nice place to be.

Vintage work space

This beautiful, antique desk adds such style to this work space. The vintage boxes, pots and tins also add personality and character to what can otherwise be a very dull space.

4. Don’t scrimp on stationery.

It’s so nice to be surrounded by things you like the look of and this can only help stimulate creativity. Nice stationery will add to a space where form and function can exist together.

stylish stationery

5. Make an inspiration board.

I love being able to see images, post cards, photos, notes that inspire me. Why not make an inspiration board that be put in front of your desk? This can be added to when you are working on something particular to help inspire you. You can also pin up business cards, reminders or post-its to help keep you organsied.

Tidy desk

What about making this washing line instead of the traditional notice board?

6. Tidy your desk every week!

I genuinely believe that a tidy desk means a tidy mind. If you can’t find what you need to do your job or make your craft you are far less likely to do it at all! Choose a particular day each week to go over your desk and put things back into place, sort paper work, recycle paper you don’t need anymore. This will definitely help the creative process.

Danish desk

Tidy desk, tidy mind.

7. Develop a filing system.

There is a constant stream of paper work coming into most people’s work spaces. You need to have a clear system in place so you don’t get yourself into a mess and miss bills or a deadline. Generally, it’s a good idea to have three different paperwork stations: Paperwork that has not been looked at yet, paperwork you are currently  dealing with, storage for paperwork that has been dealt with. Try and develop your own system that will work best for you.

Filing solutions

Dividing up paperwork is a good idea so nothing gets lost or forgotten.

 8. Invest in a good lamp and a good chair.

Light and comfort are very important whilst working. You can not get by with a kitchen chair or with a dim ceiling light!

industrial style home office

Gorgeous Benjamin Hubert lamp (and look at the old mattress springs used as a noticeboard!)

9. Be creative with the space you have.

If you can not dedicate a whole room to your home office use a cupboard, a landing, a corner of your guest room. As long as you are organised and choose the right desk and chair it does not need to be an eyesore.

Small home office in a cupboard

An inbuilt cupboard in this living room is used as an occasional work-space. They have used a great chair and lamp so even when the cupboard is shut they become a design statement.  

 10. My favourite office accessories with both form and function:

stylish filing cabinet

Make your filing a bit more stylish with this cabinet from cb2.

stylish clipboards

Rose and Grey decorative clipboards – perfect for your filing system.

Mid century string shelving

Mid-century style string shelving.

 

I will reveal my new work space next week…hope you’ll join me!