My Christmas Wish List

This Christmas my list mostly consists of craft things and bits for the house with a couple of clothing and jewellery items thrown in!

I’ve recently gotten into candle making so I have a few things that I would like for that, they include…

For the house

Clothes and Accessories

Jewellery

Tools

What’s on your Wish List?

Project Make – Hallway Floor and Back Door Mat

The hallway in my house had laminate wood flooring which hadn’t been laid very well, was a bit battered and never seemed to look clean which always irked me somewhat. I really wanted to cover it with something as I was unable to remove it due to being rented accommodation.

I looked everywhere for a hall runner rug that would fit the 4 meter 10cm length and that would also fit width ways. The hallway starts off wide at the door and becomes narrow toward the foot of the stairs which made it awkward to find something suitable that would work well. The cost of the cheapest rug that I found was around £80 and came in really mundane solid colours – brown, grey and a golden colour, and most of the others I found I didn’t really like the pattern or colour of in a higher price bracket. There was nothing that I truly loved that fitted my style, that is until I started thinking about other types of flooring.

My first thought was carpet tiles as they were pretty cheap to buy and easy to fit too but, being a hallway I thought that might be a bit impractical with dirt being bought in from outside. I then thought about vinyl flooring as it is hard-wearing and can be cleaned really easily but the patterns that were available were not really anything that I liked. I wanted something bright, fun, easy to install, easy to keep clean, and even easier to replace if I needed to for whatever reason, it also needed to fit my budget. It was when I started to rethink over getting carpet tiles that a thought occurred to me… I knew what would fit my specifications perfectly and would be a pretty unique choice for flooring…kids soft foam play area tiles!

This is the outcome! I ordered these from here. When they arrived I opened up the packets and went about sorting them into colours before starting on laying them down.

I prepped the floor by sweeping and hoovering to get up every last bit of dust and dirt, I didn’t want to cause any further damage to the laminate underneath so this was a vital step.

I then chose the colour scheme I wanted, choosing to place the coloured tiles together to create a stripe effect and placed the first tile at the foot of the stairs and worked my way back towards the door. I then removed the first tile I had laid and cut one of the edge flat, removing the “teeth” before placing it back down and shuffling the tiles up so the cut edge butted up against the rise of the step.

The next cut I made was the tile to go against the door. Once I’d got this row in I was able to work my way back up towards the stairs and remove the teeth from the side closest to the wall and move the tiles into place.  I then added the next row which just needed the teeth removing from both ends.

The third row was the trickiest as I needed to cut down some of the tiles to fit the shape of the wall so that the tiles fitted snugly without any room for movement.  To do this I took each tile, laid it over the tiles that were there and made marks where the teeth and tile met.  The tricky part to this is to remember to make the marks on the opposite side of the tile to where you are measuring otherwise you will end up with the cut going in the wrong direction… so mark the left side of the tile to be cut with the right side of the tile that is already in place.  Be sure to put the tile fully against the wall before making the mark too!

Once all the tiles were in place the only thing I needed to do was to finish the edge near the doorway, this was fairly simple as I was working with a straight edge so only needed to take a measurement and cut a straight line.  I did have to go around a pipe but that too proved to be fairly easy to navigate… once Id cut the tile to the right size I laid it down and made a mark where the cuts needed to be to fit the tile around the pipe, then using scissors I made a small cut to each mark, then refit the tile to see if the cuts were deep enough to accommodate the pipe before removing the tile and making the last cut.  I then re-fitted the tile.

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I had left over tiles and decided to use these to make a back door mat in the same way!

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What do you think of my flooring idea?  Is it something you would try in your home?

Upcycle Project – Dining Chairs(Part 4)

I’m finally on the last part of the posts about my dining chair upcyle project (Part 1, 2 and 3 can be found in the following links – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 ) and today I will be sharing the finishing touches that I have added, lessons I have learned and how much the project cost per chair.

Firstly though, the finished chairs…

I finally finished the chairs, it took several weekends to complete but I’ve done it and am really pleased with the outcome!  The final finishing touch that I have added is some pompom trim that I used for the alcoves when I decorated the downstairs which I purchased from Amazon (if you missed that post you can find it here) .  I decided to add the trim to add a further element of co-ordination into the colour scheme and design of the room and I feel that it pulls all the elements together really well.  I like the idea that people will notice all the little touches and will allow their eye to investigate the room in greater detail.

This chairs project was really my first major foray into the world of upcycling and upholstery.  I have not worked on a project quite like this before and along the way have learned a few lessons…

  1. However long you think it will take, double it and add an hour.  Sanding the chairs was probably the longest part and I couldn’t believe how much time I spent clearing the old varnish from the frames of the chairs.
  2. Clearing all the varnish and stripping the frames back to bare wood is the best thing to do for the paint to adhere properly.  Failing to clear all the varnish, like on my yellow chair, has resulted in patchy paint and the colour of the varnish bleeding through all the coats of paint I applied.  It still looks patchy now and seems to be more noticeable at the bottom of the legs.
  3. Sometimes it pays to sit back and think a bit…I tried to create a fancy curved corner and edge on the first seat that I tried to upholster which didn’t really work and frustrated me when it didnt go to plan.  I should have sat and thought about what I was doing and ways to cover the seat before starting.
  4. Have fun with your project.  Think about what is fun and makes you smile and go with what you think will work.  The worst that can happen with a project like this is that you have to sand the chair down and start again.

And here are the costing calculations on the attached document…

Costings for chairs

So, in all the chairs cost £17.63 to upcycle which doesn’t seem too bad when you consider that I have bespoke, one of a kind, unique chairs that fit my home and style perfectly and I have had the experience of learning new skills along the way.  And I’m proud to show them off and say “I created these”.  I would recommend to anyone that can’t seem to find furniture that they completely like or keep finding thing that are not quite right to go out and see what is available for sale second-hand and try your hand at creating something that you love!

 

Upcycle Project – Dining Chairs (Part 3)

I have shared the first two parts of this project already, you can find the first post (about finding my chairs) here, and the second part (about preparing them and painting) here .  Todays post is about upholstering the seat part of the chairs.

I had decided to replace the seat part of the chair fabric with white vinyl and decided that I would replace the seat padding at the same time as the padding was fairly flat and on some chairs felt pretty non existent.  I decided to use a thick, 2 inch deep foam for the seat padding which I bought from Amazon.  I also needed to buy a staple gun and the vinyl material which I also ordered from Amazon.  As the width of the material I chose to use was 1.4 meters I purchased 2 meters in length which gave me enough fabric to cover all 4 seats.

The first task I had was to remove the old fabric from the seats once the seat had been removed from the chair frame.  Sounds fairly simple doesn’t it?  This task took an age!  The old fabric had been stapled to the seat base with about a million staples per seat, and it wasnt just the sheer amount of staples used that made it a lengthy task, the staples were really tough to remove, some of them embedded into the wood quite deeply.  I used a screwdriver to lever the staples out one by one.  Once the staples had been removed I could see that the seat padding was made up of bits of milled material and foam had been used around the edges of the seat to make them less hard.  The foam had disintegrated fairly badly and had in many places turned to dust.  I had to carefully remove the fabric and use a Hoover to clean up as I went along.

The foam pads that I had bought were slightly bigger than the seat bases which meant I needed to cut the foam down to size.  as the seats were not square I also needed to make sure that the foam shape matched that of the seat so I used the seat as a template and traced around them onto the foam with a sharpie marker before cutting the excess foam away with scissors.

Once the foam had been cut to size I then needed to cut the vinyl down too.  I cut the piece I had bought into 4 sections, one piece for each seat.  I then laid this down on the table with the facing side to the table and the underside of the fabric facing up.  on to this I laid the cut foam and then placed the seat on top.  From that point I was able to start securing the fabric to the seat using the staple gun.  I started in the centre of the front of the seat, then the back centre, making sure the fabric was taught and evenly stretched over the foam.  I then secured each side before trimming down the excess fabric and then continued to staple the fabric into place.  Once I reached the corners I chose to fold the fabric and tuck it in, creating a neat looking corner.  I had, on the first chair. attempted to be fancy and create rounded seat edged but it didn’t work particularly well and I ended up with excess fabric in one corner and an awkward looking seat covering.   In hindsight I think that if the foam hadn’t been so thick then that idea would have worked a lot better!

In the pictures above you will be able to see that I started with stapling the corners of the fabric first…this was the first seat that I covered where I thought that making the corners rounded was a good idea…it wasn’t!  And starting on the corners meant that the tension of the fabric was out which made it harder to get the fabric to lay nicely over the foam.  On the other seats I secured the fabric in the centre of the sides and worked front centre 0 back centre, then both sides in the centre before working my way along the rest of the sides and out towards the corners.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take any more pictures of the full method I used….

Next week I will be showing you the completed chairs and the fun decoration I have added to the chairs!

Room Divider

The downstairs of my home consists of a front door that opens onto a narrow hallway with a door that leads into the living area.  The living area consists of 2 rooms that have been knocked into one with a bit of an archway separating the 2 spaces with a kitchen right at the back that leads onto my garden.  I love the main space, it feels big and airy and light, and I love that even though it is one big space it still manages to hold the definition of 2 separate spaces so well.

Having the space set up as 2 separate rooms, the main “living room” area at the front of the house – where watching tv, sitting and relaxing, chatting with friends, reading takes place, and the “dining room” area towards the back, nearest the kitchen, made the most sense to me.  I liked the idea of having areas defined by their use and making the most of the archway between what was the partition wall at one point.  I started to think about creating a proper divide for the space, the idea that I could close off one part of the space if I wanted for privacy or if it got chilly in winter and I wanted the space to feel more cozy seemed really appealing.  At first I thought about using my Ikea Kallax Unit to divide the space and had seen some really neat ideas using units in this way on Google, however I was worried that it could make moving between areas awkward, that I would lose floor space in one of the areas and that it would look more clumsy than cozy.

I settled on the idea of using material to divide the space, something similar to curtains, not only would it be cozy in the winter, it would be tactile and a playful addition to the pompoms Id already added to the space.  I thought that more texture and print would fit together perfectly.  I found just what I was looking for one evening on Amazon…  I knew that I didn’t want anything to heavy as it would be a pain to hang, I also didnt want fabric that was too thick as I wanted them to be easy to clean, wash and dry.  I also didn’t want anything to plain or “traditional” as it wouldn’t fit my style.  What I wanted was something that was bright, patterned, fitted with the colours of the room, was a little bit hippy, easy to care for and even easier to hang and live with!  I love the mandala print of these hangings, and the colours too, they seemed perfect to me.  I was a bit unsure, once they had been delivered as the colours were not as bright as I had imagined or seen in the listing but decided to hang them and see what they looked like anyway…

I hung these with Command Hooks and some pegs for the short-term, though they have been hanging since July and I’ve not changed the hanging method yet, so that may not change!

I’m really happy with the space divider, using hangings to create the divide has worked out really well, they have added texture and colour as well as being a privacy screen when needed though I have not really used it to its full capacity –  the curtains mainly stay open but as it gets colder and the nights get darker that may change!  And despite my reservations on the colour difference when I recieved them, I’m liking them a lot, they are not overbaringly bright and garish and really go well with the rest of the room and the decor!

Moving In and Decorating

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Picked Up The Keys!
I moved to my new home in July, moving, though stressful, especially when things didn’t go to plan for one reason or another, was all completed in a day.  I went with my friend to collect the keys, hired a van, loaded and unloaded then began unpacking.  I hadn’t got much furniture but that made decorating a bit easier as there wasn’t anything to work around or move out of the way.

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And…I’m in!!!!
I decorated in the first few weeks that I was here and had already decided upon painting the downstairs rooms pink and blue, leaving some of the walls the original magnolia colour.  I chose B&Q Colours silk paints in Electric Blue and Playful Pink after doing some research into colours and application, drying time and price.  I also looked into different paint application methods – roller, brush and paint pads, choosing the latter for ease and mess reduction.  I chose the Diall Paint Pad set as it came with a paint tray, two different sized paint pads and the paint pad handle and seemed to be the best value for money.  I also picked up a Harris Angled Brush as I knew from previous experience that an angled brush was easier for cutting in around the edges of the walls and allowed for a neater finish.

Once I had gathered all my supplies together (and made a coffee) I began by masking off the skirting boards and applying paint to the edges of the walls before in filling with the paint pad.  This was my first time using a paint pad and I found it much cleaner than using a brush or roller.  The basics of using a paint pad are to attach the handle to the chosen pad, pour some paint into the tray, rest the paint pad on the paint for around 30 seconds, wipe off excess, put the pad flat against the wall and drag it up and down the wall before changing direction – going diagonal until an area is covered before repeating.  I was really impressed with how easily and quickly the paint went on and had finished the first coat in under 20 mins.  I did need to do a second coat of paint but that was to be expected with such a vibrant colour.

I painted the side walls of the arches with the pink paint, using masking tape on the end walls to create a panel that was as wide as the arch sides and painting them pink in order to complete the look I was going for.  The pink paint seemed to apply better than the blue and only really needed touching up in a few places rather than fully applying a second coat.

Next time I will be sharing the finishing touches I added once the paint was dry and also share some pictures of the nearly completed space 🙂

About My Colourful Life

I’ve always been an avid maker of things, artist, creator and photo taker, bargin hunter, tryer of many things, reader, and blogger.  I have run lots blogs in my time but have found that keeping them updated has been a struggle when there are several to update so, now I have decided to keep everything simple and move everything to one blog and see what happens.

This blog will be a little bit of everything, from my art things, household ideas and creations, fashion, reviews, photos, my projects and how to’s, tips, ideas, recipes, places to visit, things to do and see…pretty much anything will go here!  I suppose you could call it a lifestyle blog…

I decided to call the blog “My Colourful Life” as I love colour, any colour – all the colours of the rainbow, and I hope to share with you some of the colourful aspects of my home, from the upcycling ideas I have had to the soft furninshings I surround myself with.

I recently moved into my own home and have spent time trawling the internet looking for cheap furnishings and things I could cusomise and make my own, along with plenty of decorating and hope to share some of the projects I have worked on as well as things I would like to do as well.

Along the way I hope to share money saving tips and tricks and how to create looks on a budget as well as sharing the best places to look for bargains.

If you have any ideas or questions or even suggestions for future posts you can always contact me at my.colourful.life@outlook.com

I have also set up an Instagram feed which I will be adding images to – you can find that here