Tag Archives: DIY

Travelling Atlas chair

When I moved to Switzerland I left a few things in England that wouldn’t fit in the van. One of those things was this old dining room chair. I had bought it years ago in Germany for a few euros intending to upholster it which never happened. It has traveled quite a bit,  it originally came from England, was imported to Germany, then moved back to England and now lives in Switzerland.

But before it moved here it got a makeover!

I used:

  1. 1829 Acrylic Eggshell paint in Pale Mortlake cream
  2. The Atlas fabric from Prestigious Textiles
  3. My new Stanley Heavy Duty staple gun (which I bought for a bargain 10 pounds!)
  4. Impact glue
  5. ribbon

The biggest part of work was preparing the chair, I sandpapered it and pulled of all the fabric. Then I spend a few hours removing all the staples that were used to fix the material to the chair with a screwdriver. Then the fun part: three layers of paint and new material. I stapled the new material to the wood and hid the staples by gluing the ribbon on top of it.

It took me two days to finish it. I bought 1.5 m of the material, because the pattern was so big and I wanted to be able to choose the countries I would sit/lean on. I have enough left over to make two cushions for the sofa as well. This was my first upholstery project, but it certainly wasn’t the last one, especially now that I am the proud owner of a staple gun!


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origami crane tree


I got this idea from the wondeful movie “500 days of summer”, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should, it is full of decorating and fashion inspiration and has a great soundtrack. I actually made this last year and since then it has moved to 3 different countries.

What you need: A twig, some paper (maybe out of old magazines), scissors, thread and a needle, a plant pot or vase, some sand.

Here is what you have to do to make it:

1. Go for a walk in the nearest park/wood and find a suitable twig. I am pretty sure you can buy one in a home decor shop or at a florists as well, but I think it is nicer to go and hunt for one yourself.

2. Learn how to fold a paper crane. This is a good tutorial for an origami crane, but there are tons of youtube videos on how to do it as well.

3. Find some nice paper. I used the paper out of a glossy womens magazine, I tried to find pages that have similar colours and then cut out squares in different sizes.

4. Start folding.

5. Arrange. I used some thread with a little knot and threaded it through from the bottom (there should be a little whole). Hang your cranes into the twig and place it either in a plant pot filled with sand/pebbles/… or a nice vase.

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Frame your keys

I made something yesterday I would like to show off. Since we moved in in May there hasn’t been a key solution, I tried to keep mine on top of the fridge (our fridge is kind of free standing and close to the entrance), but wasn’t consistent with that so I always had to look for them. It also did not look neither nice nor tidy. Last week I found this frame at the local thrift store for just 1 CHF and I knew it was gonna be my new key hanger.

So yesterday while procrastinating I started making it. First I sandpapered it a little to add a bit of shabby chic. It already had a nice colour on it so I didn’t need to paint the frame and only had toscrew in a few hooks. It was done so fast that it only kept me from working for about 10 minutes, not very convenient if you are procrastinating. If you are thinking of doing this I would recommend to look for a frame with a bit of depths so the keys can hang free in front of the wall.

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garden in a jar

I love plants! Unfortunately I am not very consistent at caring for them plus I never know what to do when going on holiday so after the years my plant collection consists of some very persevering specimen.

Succulents are perfect as they seem to be happy under every kind of condition, putting them in a jar makes it even easier, as you build a little eco system. Under the right conditions it can stay like this for years.

All you need is a jar (every kind or size will do, mine has a sealed lid although that is not necessary), some pebbles or glass pearls for the bottom, some dirt and something to keep the soil from falling through the pebbles (I used some small fir branches this time, but I have used tissue paper or cut nylon tights before).

For the plant you can use any kind of succulent, but moss or grass is likely to do well, too, plus you can find some moss almost everwhere. In this case I have used a lttile succulent that I bought for about 2£.

The pebbles on the bottom of the glass prevent the plant from getting too much water. Add some fir branches, some dirt and your plant. You have to add a little bit of water to the terrarium (I soaked the roots in water before planting it), close the lid and place it near a window so it will get enough light. If you can see little drops of dew on the glass in the morning it has the right amount of moisture, otherwise you can adjust by taking of the lid for a few hours or add a few more drops of water.

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Dip dyed curtain vest

My first entry!!! This project was superfast, you can do it in one day or two evenings. Since we recently moved into our new flat in Switzerland with lower ceilings I had to shorten all my curtains to size. I didn’t want to throw away all the excess fabric as it was a nice linen like material that reminded me of a linen vest I have, so I took my old vest as a template and sewed up a very simple vest.

I copied the shape of my old vests front and back onto the fabric and gave 1 cm seam allowance on each side. Then I sewed the tops and sides together. The seams are hemmed with a small zig zag stitch.

When I tried it on I liked it, but it did look a little bit pale so I thought I could dye it. Since the next supermarket is miles away and I could not be asked to go shopping I thought I could probably find a natural way to dye it with things that grow outside. I found a great list of natural materials you can use to dye fabrics on www.pioneerthinking.com and decided to go with turmeric for a summery yellow (plus I didnt even need to leave the house).

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