Archive for October, 2012

THE craft

I’ve  done it! I have turned my Nan’s ugly old dresser from something that’s been clogging up the garage into a lovely window seat. The total spend was £10.

I used:

  • 4 new door knobs at £1.99 each – total £7.96
  • A charity shop duvet cover at £4.99 – used 2 square metres of the 8 which were there. Total – £1.24
  • Leftover ‘Elephant’s breath’ Farrow and Ball paint.
  • Nan’s old dressing table.
  • A cot mattress from freecycle.
  • TOTAL: £9.20

Even cheaper than Ikea. Score.

Here’s how it happened in nice, time-saving pictures.

In all its garagey glory

Stripped of all trimmings

Aaah… lazy. Didn’t paint the underside.

Right way up.

With door-knobs as feet.

From the front, measuring the cot mattress to cut

Ready to slice

Cut and ready for covering

Covered in the duvet cover.


When the weather is good next (ha!) I’ll take a picture of it, inclusive of window. It looks  really pretty.

Next furniture project? To turn a 90s pine hi-fi unit into some ME-inspired, N7 -coloured nerddom. Woo!


Upcycled top

This weekend, I went to a baby nearly new sale and was amazed that so few things sold. At 25p per baby garment, I thought the place would have been emptied in twenty minutes. Over the course of four hours, I sold just enough to cover the meagre stall fee.

In Bury the following day, I happened to walk past Mothercare and saw people queuing to buy baby clothes for £7-15 an  item.

I just don’t get it. All of this waste – it’s just so pointless. Not just from a ‘this’ll end up as landfil’ perspective, but from a money perspective. Surely your child would appreciate it more if you saved as much as you could on baby clothes so that you could save up to get them a car at 17, or put them through uni without any debt if that’s what they choose to do.

But it got me to thinking about myself. I charity shop/bootsale all the time for household things and clothes or toys for Bub, but they’re never the first place I look when I think of clothes for myself. I have decided this has to change.

I don’t care all that much about clothes and would certainly rather keep my car/get the garden stocked with edible plants/get more computer games/a million other things than have fancy clothes. So, having very few winter things (having got rid of all my clothes when I fell pregnant so that I didn’t feel bad about not fitting them any more) I went charity shopping for me.

This is where being able to sew just a little/being prepared to mess with things really comes into its own. Whilst I found a nice shrug in my size, the other things I liked were far larger so needed taking in along the seams very quickly. The 100% New Zealand lambs wool sweater I got for S- will need dying but for £1.99, who can grumble. Finally, I bought a t-shirt, with modification in mind. Husband called the fancy sleeves ‘armour shoulders’ which totally sold this to my nerdy sensibilities.

Now,I realise this will seem like a tangent, but Husband wore a kilt to our wedding, and kilt socks which you have to buy, rather than rent. They’re fairly ornate. In Denmark, it’s tradition to cut the toes out fo the groom’s socks so that his new wife has something to darn straight away. For a giggle, I was going to darn said socks and post a picture to all the a-holes who said ‘it’d never last’ with the caption “best. wife. ever.” But then I thought, I’d rather have warm arms and so sewed the elaborate socks into the armour t-shirt as sleeves. Ta da!

Crayons – the end result.

Not a craft fail, per se, but not a success either. The crayons are useable and do look good. BUT, the bottoms of them are almost clear from where the sediment settled lower down.

All in a stack – you can see the layers of functioning crayon and opaque, colourless wax.


The lovely, flowery colourful tops.

I really don’t know how I’d go about remedying the separation of the wax – any ideas?

Making crayons

So, having been given a massive margarine tub full of crayon ends, I thought I would do the trendy thing and melt them down into new, moulded crayon shapes. Only, now the house smells like burning, and there is a peculiar scum floating on top of my melts…

Is this another entry into Craft fail? We shall have to wait and see… meanwhile, on with the knitting, lest I become too impatient and submerge the crayon mould into cold water.

I’ve not tried the re-blog function on wordpress yet, but this seems like the perfect chance. For those of you looking to make toys to sell, this is information you need to know.

Crafty Baba

So many crafters make some wonderful things, many of them for children and babies. Unfortunately many fall foul of the law on the testing and sale of toys for children so it’s really important for crafters to spread the word.

If you sell a toy for children in the EU, it must have the CE mark. To get the CE mark, it needs to be tested. There are some exemptions listed here. It includes handmade products that also look like toys even if you have specified they are are for decorative purposes and not suitable for those under the age of 14 years.

If you’re not sure if your products are going to need a CE mark, you need to contact trading standards without delay (especially if you’re selling them already). This is a legal requirement now for any toy which is manufactured and sold in the UK and EU…

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