Tag Archives: coat hooks

Finding My Doodle – Doodled Tuna Coat Hangers

26 Feb

I have been reading a lot about cardboard furniture, and fantasizing about industrializing the whole process, without even making the tiniest piece of furniture. Not for the lack of trying – I am collecting boxes from here and there,  and am finding flaws in the boxes which make them unsuitable for what I want to make. It’s a bit frustrating, and I am sure there is an element of procrastination, do to the fact that I am really quite scared of trying and failing with this.

In the meantime, I am tuna canning again.

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I have always been a doodle freak, except in the past few years, when the jewelry took over every available grey cell in my brain, and even my doodles were jewelry oriented.

Parallel to writing this blog, I have started a new sketch book, dedicated to finding my doodle again, and it is coming back slowly but surely.

In addition to that, I am enjoying my tuna can coat hooks, and want to make more of them, both because I could use more elsewhere in the house, and also because they would make nice gifts.

Anyway, it seemed like a good time to combine both these activities and I have started doing a series of doodled tuna cans. I did the initial black with an Artline marker, and was going to color it with acrylics, but discovered its harder than it seems, mainly, since I didn’t have a tiny enough brush. Even though I did give one of my brushes a hair cut, it wasn’t as accurate as I needed it to be, and as you can see, I needed to wear my optivisors, a serious throw back to my jewelry days, to be able to hi the right spot with the brush.

I have since purchased a good one, I hope, but have not put it to use yet, instead, I decided I would try the easy way out, and color in with markers.

Although I do like the results, I realize how limited the markers color palate is, and although it’s hard for me to imagine life getting any better than being able to do my art in bed, I will, at least temporarily abandon the markers in favor of my new brush and acrylic paints.

Any tricks for painting tiny areas accurately?


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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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.


My 2012 2Do List

9 Jan

photo credit creative commons license Vizzzual.com

I have been busy with this blog and the project behind it for about 6 weeks now, and the passion I started out with has turned into confusion. Confusion is not the most accurate word for what I am feeling. Lost is more like it. Things are taking such a long time. Techniques  I though were relatively straightforward, like paper mache, are in fact quite complicated, if you want to get  good results. Learning them properly, through making mistakes and trying different things can be a lengthily process that is not necessarily particularly interesting for the by-stander. The bystander is not the only one with a problem with this. Along with the things that have a long process to them, I would like to be making quick, light, fun stuff – transformation of objects that need less of a technical skill than the ability to see things differently and redesign them to fit their new designation.

I decided to make a list of thing that I need and want around the house, and within the next year, I will try to make as many of them as possible. The list is quite varied, and so will the work be. All the while, in the background, I will continue to investigate techniques that are more painstaking to learn.

 My list (drumrollllll)

1. Hooks and hangers:

 Coat hangers for guest

 Coat hooks for the laundry room (It’s a bit like hold all room)

Towel rack/hooks for the master bathroom

Hooks in the kids play room.

 2. Light fittings for the entire house. That would make it about 20 since we have some        rooms with more than one.

 3.   Shelving for my tiny, tiny studio.

 4.   Refurnish Study.

 5.   Garden furniture.

 6.   Garden gate.

 7.   Coffee table/s.

 8.   Carpet for the living room.

 9.   Carpet for the hall.

 10. Carpet for the kids room.

 11.  Art :-).

 12.   Storage containers/baskets for the studio.

 13.   Storage container/baskets for the living room.

14.    Lost socks contraption/basket.

 15.   Bed for our daughter (I found a fantastic bed, or part of a bed on the pavement   I need to make the rest of it and of course make it ours!)

16.   Make the toddler’s bed into a day couch for the play room.

17.   Stencil wall in master bedroom. ( I know that this isn’t strictly connected, but I  have been looking for an excuse to stencil for a while now).

18.    New dinning table (I would love to upcycle our wooden fence from the back yard, which I hate, into a dining table. Ambitious, I know).

 I will be back to this list, to cross out items that I get done. I would love to finish them all in the coming year, but am not holding my breath.  If nothing else, this will keep me focused.