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I believe this is technically known as an IKEA hack. Take a cheapo IKEA basic piece of furniture and make it look a bit less cheap and basic with paint/knobs etc.

This is for Martha's new bedroom and kept me busy today before the early school run for end of term. The Rast unit was £20 from IKEA last week. The teak colour woodstain/varnish was from Homebase (chosen to match an existing wardrobe) and I gave it an extra coat of clear on top. I picked the knobs up in TK Maxx, they were in packs of 4 hand painted vintagey knobs I like the mix and match look of them the wardrobe got some of these as well!

The hack involved making the flat pack unit (without the back board and drawer runners) and painting this and the drawer fronts 3 coats of teak varnish then one of clear to seal it properly – I imagine a few bedtime drinks will be spilled over it in the future! Then finishing the drawer build adding the new knobs and adding the runners and backboard to the unit.

Can't wait to get it in her new bedroom, but I need to wait for the carpet fitters first.

Easter Bonnets

April 10, 2012

I know this post is a little late, but in my defense, we started these a week ago, and finished them at the weekend, but Alice only obliged to wear hers for a picture today after her nursery Easter Bonnet parade.

I found a pattern online for an old fashionedy bonnet and roughly copied it onto some newspaper a provisional fitting with this looked quite successful so I cut two out of packaging card, laying the patterns so the corrugations would allow the bend in the bonnet. I put the two small tabs in the pattern together to form the lampshade shape and stuck it with gummed paper tape (so it could be easily painted over). We tried them on again and although they were a bit wobbly on their heads they were a pretty good shape so the kids set about painting them – pink of course!

Once they were dry we added the lacy sections of paper doilies to the inside face edge of the bonnets and then we raided my ribbon and fake flower stash for decorations, I tied bows in the ribbons and stuck them on with hot melt glue, including the two thick long ribbons for tying under the chin.

I think they look super cute, however I realised then uploading these pictures that Alice’s face is always covered in food!

 

I have no idea when ‘World Book Day’ is as every school seems to be doing something different every day all through March! But Martha’s School had a dressing up day on Friday. I was reluctant to let her dress up as a disney princess for this one, as they are from films, not books. We settled on the classic ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’  by Judith Kerr, whose beautiful illustrations bring the (slightly surreal) story to life. For Sophie’s costume we needed a blue long sleeve tshirt, a Purple A-line pinafore dress, a big Blue Bow for her hair, paintent black shoes and those pink, blue and white harlequin tights. We had the long sleeve blue tshirt, and paintent black school shoes and I made the purple dress out of a pair of purple ladies vests (size 12) from tesco (£2 each in the clothes sale!), – I detached and sewed the two back panels together, as the front panels had a very low neckline for a 5 year old. She had a pair of white tights and a trip to the local haberdashery supplied the big blue ribbon for her hair and a blue and pink pots of dylon fabric paint. I made two forms for the tights by cutting two pieces of card into long ‘leg’ shapes, about 10cms by 60cms with rounded ends at the ‘feet’, I divided the forms up into squares and drew these on with marker pen. Then stretched the tights over them and spent some time painting in each of the squares with the blue and pink fabric paint. I was trying to be a bit thrifty with the paint and so painted them with as little colour as possible, the bonus of this was that they looked more like the rough colouring in Judith’s original illustrations.

Then as luck would have it the local oxfam had a soft tiger toy in their sale bin for 50p! He even growl’s when you squeeze his tummy. He is obviously much smaller than the huge, greedy tiger from the story but a good prop nevertheless!

 

Ok so nothing like leaving it to the last minute, but here are the Union Jacks and red white and blue bunting we made today for the Royal Wedding tomorrow. I could not bring myself to buy crappy plastic ones and wanted the girls to be involved in the making.

I took two pieces of cream coloured, unbleached muslin I had knocking about that looked about flag sized and found two bamboo sticks in the garden that haven’t been used for my peas. Then we ‘painted’ the union jacks on with poster paint. I folded the flags into quarters then folded them into triangles as in the picture. I made a rough ‘stencil’ with a piece of A4 so that Martha could paint the blue triangles of the flag in the right places with neat(ish) edges. We used plenty of paint so it would soak through the folded fabric and paint all the triangles at the same time. In hindsight it would have been easier if the paint had been thinned a little with water, I touched up the triangles that came out a bit too patchy. Then we opened them up and painted the red cross through the middle and the other red bits. We hung them on the washing line to dry, then painted an inch of glue down one of the short edges and rolled the bamboo cane up in the gluey fabric and left it to dry.

I am really pleased with how they came out I was hoping for a vintage look to the flags and we got that with the kiddy painting and the unbleached muslin with slightly frayed edges. The only real problem we had with their manufacture was my insistence that as it was a sunny day the project should be undertaken in the garden, but it was a really windy day and we struggled to keep the fabric, paint pots, safety newspaper and indeed the children in place for very long.

I also knocked up some bunting with some left over fabric tape from my last bunting project (https://mrspeacocksthingstomakeanddo.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/half-hour-bunting), some more of the unbleached muslin and some red and blue cotton lining fabric I had bought to make the girls some dresses with (I am hoping there is still enough left!) Unlike the last bunting, I left the raw cut edges on these triangles to give it the vintage look I was going for, then just sewed the tape in half lengthways with the short edge of each triangle sandwiched in between.

So now we are all ready, the girls even had a practice waving the flags, shame we are staying at home to watch it on the telly!