Halloween Frame of Mind

Posted on August 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

So - the back green garden has been blooming despite Edinburgh's wacky weather - the cabbages came in (despite the wood pigeons snipping away at the leaves) and went - can't blame the pigeons on the disappearance of the cabbages!! So now we have a few empty garden boxes to fill up. The wee man (little K) sprinkled some turnip seeds into the empty cabbage box while we adults planted carrots and kale seeds. More plants are coming soon.

Since the weather has cooled considerably, I'm getting into a more autumn frame of mind (I know it's only mid-August but you have to be here to appreciate my mood). Any road, Halloween has been on my mind lately and since I am away from home and all my goodies, I checked out what was out there for inspiration.

Now, the thing about me is that I am utterly useless at actually making stuff that look gorgeous (I'm more your basic idea gal). If it has more than 3 or 4 parts and/or more than 3 steps to create, projects and ideas I look for have to be easy, simple, and cost-effective. Needless to say, they also have to be recreated using recycled materials.

First up is this witty frame arrangement that I found a few years back at Pottery Barn. (Note the frames are no longer available at the store).

Pottery Barn Inspiration

Okay - I'm inept at hanging up artwork straight on walls and usually avoid the task (or get someone else to do it). But this Halloween frame arrangement that I spotted on Pottery Barn seemed ideal for me to attempt as all the frames were stuck together every which way. Perfect, I thought. But, wouldn't you know it, I got plumb tired out at the thought of all the gluing and nailing and hanging I would have to do and, so, I never did make it.

However, it still is an easy enough idea and I think it would be easy to construct if you've got a few old ones around (frames, I mean ... ). Ask friends if they've got some they're not using as well. By the way, instead of buying your picture mats, make your own from any stiff white paper you've got around the house; it's easy (so she says) to make your own. Here's a link to make your own mats.

And you know what? Good old Pottery Barn even put up a free pdf of spookly photos you can download and use in your frames. Go here for the link.

Recycling pine board into coat rack

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's another one of my better ideas (well, I think so!!). From the same dumpster that I found the wood for my folding screen, I pulled out a lovely pine board that I simply could not leave behind and created this cute coat rack for my hallway. 

Anyway, here's what I did with it. To spiff it up a bit I added framed pressed leaves (the leaves were leftover from another project) and repurposed a couple of hooks.

Here's how to do it. 

First, for the leaf prints, I gathered up some maple leaves from the tree in front of our building, flattened them with an iron (set at very low) and glued them to copies of old letters. I already had the frames (Ikea but purchased for pennies at a church bazaar) and inserted the leaf prints. I sanded the pine board and just screwed in each frame and added the hooks. I added picture hanging wire on the back and hung the whole thing on the wall.

Et voila, fini!

I have to say that the concierge in my building is giving me funny looks these days. Today, I came home lugging a couple of old wooden crates that I found in an alley beside our building and all she did was roll her eyes and shake her head. I'll have to make her something nice.

Tutorial: Repurpose a picture frame into a footstool

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (5)

Who doesn't love footstools? They make great seating for the little ones, provide a resting place for tired feet, and give a nice decorative touch to any room. They're easy to make and very affordable if you do what I've done and simply use an old wood picture frame, an unused foam pillow insert, wood curtain finials, and a piece of fabric remnant. No sewing required - just a heavy duty staple (or a hammer and some upholstery tacks - get them at your hardware store) to attach the fabric to the frame.

As you can see from the above, it's very easy to do. You can pick up sturdy wooden frames at flea markets, garage sales, or charity shops. 

DIY: Recycle pictures frames into blackboards

Posted on November 22, 2010 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

If you've been following my other blog, you may have noticed my blackboard message centre. I have a secret. It's actually a sheet of foam-core art board that I picked up at Wallack's Art Supplies on Bank Street. It's lightweight and you can write on it with chalk - no paint required. And you can pin notes, postcards, recipe lists, etc. on it as well. The only drawback is that because it's paper-based, you have to be careful when you wipe it to use an almost dry rag. Otherwise, the board tends to warp. No, this is not the recycling part.

What I Did

I revamped my blackboard message centre by sticking it into a vintage frame. The frame is what's recycled and the small nails I used to attach to the back of the frame are also recycled. Hey - I keep anything and everything because you never know when it will come in handy.

How to Make It

Basically what you do is cut the foam-core board to fit inside the back of a wood frame (where you would normally stick a picture) and then nail into place or you can staple it on with a heavy-duty stapler. Nothing could be easier and it's very inexpensive to make. If you don't have an old frame, hit the charity shops or garage sales - there are always loads there. If not, Ikea carries a lot of inexpensive frames. 

Other Ways to Make a Blackboard Message Centre

If you want to know how to make a more traditional blackboard, go here. Or why not make a non-traditional blackboard message centre using whatever you have on hand?