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4 Fantastic Links for Cardboard Furniture Inspiration

19 Feb

photo credit creative commons license bakar_88

 We started spring cleaning since we had a very stormy weekend, and there wasn’t a whole lot else to do. The reason I am sharing this with you is because it became painfully apparent once again, that even if we clean till we are blue in the face it will only take about 5 minutes for some of our rooms will look like a hurricane hit them since we don’t have enough storage space.

Anyway, I started researching cardboard furniture and different methods of making it and will probably try to attempt some larger projects in the near future.

In the mean time, For you viewing pleasure here are 4 links to cool cardboard furniture inspiration:

Hours worth of drooling here

 Apartment Therapy  no less drool worthy!

 Eco  has some great bookshelves that I love in this collection.

 Leo Kempf – all about his process  and materials.


MUST HAVE: Top salvo buy – London Underground luggage racks

2 Feb

It’s nice to see larger organizations jumping on the upcycle / re-purpose wagon, and not just individuals. I would love to have a couple of those as coat racks. (If you have been reading here regularly, you know I have a coat rack / hook obsession 🙂


If you grew up in London and were a regular commuter on the Metropolitan Line, you may well remember their high back seats and capacious 1960’s luggage racks with umbrella hooks. When the trains were decommissioned last year the clever folk over at The London Transport Museum decided to rescue the racks, scrub them up and are offering a limited number in three different sizes. Available from March, you can own a little piece of London history in your own home…

London Transport Museum luggage racks, reclaimed, metropolitan line, interiors, storage, salvage, antique, ideal home, alice humphrys, homeshoppingspy

London Transport Museum luggage racks, storage, reclaimed, vintage, metropolitan line, ideal home, alice humphrys, homeshoppingspy

London Transport Museum luggage racks, vintage, reclaimed, metropolitan line, storage, ideal home, alice humphrys, homeshoppingspy

What a novel shelving solution! Made from aluminium they are super lightweight but sturdy. Perfect if you need a little extra storage in the hallway or kitchen. Other memorabilia includes a reproduction of the original 1960’s poster that introduced the newly modernised line 50 years ago…

Original 1960's poster, london underground, tfl, retro, retro print, tube map, print, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

and not sure I’d want to be reminded of the tube this much in my own home, but made to order cushions…

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The Perfect Solution For Lost Socks – Crochet Lost Socks Basket!

1 Feb

Have you ever wondered where all the lost socks go? I know that I am not the only one who keeps on buying new socks because in some mysterious way, I always end up with a bunch of non related socks.

It’s not as if I was raised or am raising my family to leave one sock outside and throw the other one into the laundry hamper. It’s as if there are casualties if not fatalities in the journey of the socks from our dirty feet to the clean sock draw. I would say that about 40% of the socks never make it back. They just vanish into thin air. Maybe they are kidnapped by a monstrous sock napper that lives in the laundry hamper or  maybe they are munched up by a ravenous washing machine or ripped of the clothes line by a stealth sock ripper. Who knows. What ever the case is, their sock spouses need a place to wait hopelessly for them to return from wherever it is they disappeared to, because sometimes they do.

 To this purpose, I decided to make a lost sock basket, in which all the lone socks would gather and save us the trouble of digging through piles of single socks in the hopes of finding a pair.

 Since I am enjoying the look and the texture of the crochet baskets from plastic bags I decided that this was the route I would take for the lone socks basket, but I wanted to explore other patterns than the one I have been using.

 The complete book of crochet

I have an old book that used to belong to my mother called The Complete Book Of Crochet and  it is copyright 1946 and the edition I have is from 1972. I was 5 years old when my mother bought this. She made quite a few things out of it, and I remember this book as always being around. It seems appropriate to me that now that my own daughter is 5 years old I use some of the patterns in it. As a matter of fact, I have had it for the past couple of years, and have been dying to make something, but doilies and crochet table clothes, as beautiful as they are seem kind of dated to me. Taking one of the patterns and using it with the much coarser plarn, instead of with delicate, thin cotton seemed the thing to do.

chair back 7722

I am not going to copy the entire pattern here, but you can see it on the scan (its # 7722. If you click on the image it will open much larger).

I adapted it to the size I wanted since I was working with a different size plarn than the weight it was originally planned for, the important thing is the sequence of the different crochet stitches. Since I do most of this in the evening, after I have finished all the other things I have to do, my concentration is less than optimal, and I found that I had to pull out just about as much as I crocheted.


For some reason I was surprised with the result was a bit floppy. I am not sure why because it is quite big so it makes sense that it would be. I solved that easily enough with wooden Skewer in all 4 corners. If I wanted it to be a magazine basket instead of a sock basket, I could strengthen the top with skewers too.

Now I want an Idea for something I could make out of a traditional doily pattern. Any thoughts?

How To Make a Coat Rack from Tin Cans

15 Jan

I finished them, or kind of did LOL.

Tin can coat hooks

It was quick, light and fun as anticipated, and I would have been able to say that I finished them completely if I was happy with the colors, and had the hardware for the wall… (I don’t know what it’s called in English, neither does Google translator….the little plastic thing you insert into the hole in the wall, into which you can screw a screw….)

BTW, the reason they have light canvas totes hanging from them instead of heavy leather coats is because they are secured to the wall with blue tac at this point in time. It was quite amusing trying to get the bags to stay up long enough for me to walk the 2 steps back to photograph them….

I wanted them to be gradated shades of light blue or light blue/gray. Color is not something I do often so getting the colors to look exactly like I wanted them, with the subtle differences you would see on paint chips has proved harder than I expected. Being disappointed with the blues I thought that it would be more subtle in shades of cream….Not quite sure yet.

Anyway, the good thing is that Tuna cans are not hard to come by, and this isn’t a time consuming project which means I can be as indecisive as I want to….!

Of course you can treat these as a blank canvas, dolling them up or keeping them as plain as you want. I love the clean industrial look the bottom of the cans have, which is why I decided only to use color.

I have put together a short tutorial for your benefit:

You will need:

Tuna can/cans

Metal snipers,

Drill or nail (to be used as a punch) and hammer

Flat nose pliers, preferably toothless so you don’t scar the metal



Polyurethane to finish.

Drill 2 holes right near to the bottom of the can, about 1.5 – 2 cm apart. (more or less o.6 – o.85 inches)

Starter holes In Tin Can

Cut with metal snips between the two holes and then down to the bottom of the can. It helps to mark the lines before hand, since you snips will pull you sideways.

preparting tab

Pull the tongue out towards you and fold the edges towards the inner side. (I like the fold to be visible. If you would like the fold to be invisible, then fold the edges towards the outside of the can).

Push the tongue inwards till it is perpendicular to the can and fold the edges on the can itself inwards. The folding makes things look a bit tidier, and also helps you avoid cutting yourself or ripping your coats. This is a bit more complicated to do since you need to find a way to grab the edges of the can with your pliers from the inside…It is doable with a bit of patients.

Finish folding the tongue so that when placed on the table, the opening of the can and the tongue are flat.

Drill a hole in the tongue big enough for a screw.

Paint with primer and get creative with paints. It’s a good Idea to finish it off with poly since coats and bags might be rough on the paint and vs. versa.



12 Jan

Remember my List?

Combine that with the fact that on the same day I wrote the list my coat hanger rack, or one of them, magically fell of the wall in the laundry room. It kind of felt as if the powers that be were trying to give me a big fat hint as to what item on my list would be a good place to start……

 mystery hook

This coat spent the whole night hanging on my new trial coat hanger…  is just a sketch to see if it would work, and guess what – It does.

 Of course, like the rest of the things I am making, it will take time before I can actually show you the finished product, all nicely gussied up for guests and for show and tell, and I am wondering if I should leave this as a cliff hanger to get you to check back soon, or if I should go with my instinct an my inability to keep my mouth shut and show you this:


I am really excited about this, and have a whole master plan R hasn’t heard of yet…. (Although he did giggle in delight when I showed it to him yesterday) he tends to get stressed by the thought of old cans hung on our walls in plain view…..

‘Nuff said!

How To Make A Paper Mache Light Fitting – Part 1

1 Jan

Today, as I was rushing out the door to pick up the kids, I caught a glimpse of my studio and this is what I saw:


It filled me with joy. It’s not as if I have actually finished a piece or that there is anything to show off, but is its quite clear that in this tiny tiny room, work is being done.

What you can’t see here is the piles that are all over the place.

There are piles of newspaper, of plastic bags and of half ready materials. A lot of my time is spending moving piles from one spot to another, but that is not what I wanted to talk about today.

Today I wanted to talk about Paper Mache.

I think I have already mentioned that one of the things that bothers me most about my house, is that I don’t have a single light fitting in the entire house. All we have is bare light bulbs.

The bareness of the light bulbs makes this house feel very temporary. It has reached the point that any material is, as far as I am concerned, a potential light fitting.

A while ago, while surfing the net I ran into some instruction for making light fittings out of Paper Mache pulp using beach balls as a mold. The instructions where removed so I can’t link to them, and since I had a Paper Mache outbreak a couple of years ago,  although I am no specialist, I was able to figure it out without the instructions.

I made the pulp out of the newspaper sticks I had disqualified, and the first batch was exactly enough for one big beach ball.

Newspaper Soup

Newspaper soup

Making the pulp is a pretty easy:

 Cut/tear newspaper into small pieces and soak in water over night.

  1. Boil the newspapers for about half an hour, when you are ready to start working.
  2. Pour out the dirty water, exchanging it with clean water.
  3. Pull out the blender, and start blending the newspaper with large quantities of water.
  4. Strain the blended pulp, squeezing out as much water as possible.
  5. Add glue to the strained pulp. I use wallpaper glue, but there are a few variations to the glue. It’s a matter of personal preference.
  6. Kneed the glue into the pulp till it’s velvety and nice to touch.


I have big eyes, and of course I wouldn’t settle for the small beach balls I had bought. After I inflated one, it seemed to small, so I rushed out to by a regular size beach ball. It seems as if beach balls are the kind of thing that is found in abundance when not needed. When you need one, it’s a whole different story.

Anyway, starting with the big ball was a mistake. I am not sure if the consistency of the pulp was off, or if the thickness of the layer I was using was to blame to, but the big one is the only one out of the three that I have made so far that hasn’t come out near perfect. It cracked and warped all over.


The other two smaller balls were made from another batch of pulp I made, which makes me think it might be the amount of glue that I used on the big one was to blame.

Anyway, I think that both the big ball and the little balls have a  certain coolness to them.

I have always liked to watch as materials changed and mutated as they were worked with. This is seven fold as wonderful when you transform a product into material and then into a different product again.

Although I am quite please with my balls (that doesn’t sound good) I am not going to hang them with their current grayness in my house.

 I am going to make a few more of them and test several finishes out, till I find one that wins me over enough for me to hang a fitting with that finish over my dinning room table.
To be continued.

8 fantastic recycled design projects in less than one minute each

29 Dec

Every now and then, maybe once a week, maybe less, I will be posting some of the inspiration I find in all sorts of corners on line.I This video had me smiling the whole way through, so I thought I would share it with you.

it would probably take more than 1 minute to make each but who’s counting?
via craftzine