Wooden hearts and an Etsy shop!

I’m back in business and it feels so good to finally be spending my time on doing something I enjoy. Although the past three weeks since I finished University I’ve been on holiday and been a full time babysitter of my one year old cousin, this week marks the beginning of hopefully something epic… My Etsy shop! This post is a double whammy, the online shop and a small piece about wooden hearts. Seeing as these are the first items to go up for sale in the shop, it seemed fitting to also write a post about them.

The three tier hanging hearts!

I think wooden hearts are one of the most understated home decorations out there. They can bear a personalised message, name or pattern to make them extra special for the person who it is intended for. The hearts I make are all cut from wood scavenged from no-longer-loved pieces of furniture, knowing they already have a history and up-cycling something that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill somewhere, makes me rather happy! Once they are cut out, they are sanded down by hand to round of the edges and a hole for the twine to go through is drilled into them. Then comes the best bit… the painting! As I said before, the options are endless! The medium hearts I make (8cm at their widest points), usually end up with polka dots on as I have a thing about polka dots! I recently did larger hearts which were perfect for using my vintage-style stamp set, see below for those beauties. Once they are painted, stamped, striped, dotted, the hearts are sealed with Annie Sloan clear wax because it really brings out the paint and the wood. After this step I use a very scientific method of superglue and scissors to insert the twine into the drilled hole. After this, they’re all done!

Hope you enjoyed this double blog post and are looking forward to future ones!

Lauren x

P.S. nearly forgot… my Etsy link! http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LoveOfShabbyChic

Medium blue polka dot heart

Medium blue polka dot heart

Various large wooden hearts

Various large wooden hearts

Medium heart with rose print

Medium heart with rose print

The Re-vamped Rabbit Lamp

The Floral Rabbit Lamp!

The Floral Rabbit Lamp!

This little beauty started out as one of those projects that begins with good intentions, then sits under my bed in a box for months collecting dust. However this little Rabbit Lamp’s luck changed when I was shifting through some lovely fabrics at my local fabric shop and I saw the one. I knew when it when the pastel blue floral fabric caught my eye and decided that it was destined for my forgotten project.

On arrival home I spread my choice of weapons around me in the conservatory and set to work!

I laid down old newspaper so my Mum wouldn’t get all grumpy that I had gotten paint everywhere and began deconstructing the lamp. Once the lampshade had been removed, I used masking tape to protect the electrical wire and the lampshade stand. You will be happy to know I actually took step by step pictures for this project! Not as many as I should have though because I was too excited to get it finished.

I used my favourite paint (which you should all know by now is…) Annie Sloan’s ‘Old White’ and surprisingly, this only took one coat! Because the Rabbit was originally black, I was convinced I would need two coats. Which is a problem for someone as impatient as me! However, after one coat, the Rabbit had been transformed. Whilst this was drying I set to work on the lampshade. It was good quality and very sturdy so I found it easy to measure the size of fabric I needed. Although I did learn a hard lesson on this step… and it is to ALWAYS double check the size of your fabric before you cut it out. I did not do this and went straight ahead with cutting and found that when I went to wrap the fabric around the lampshade, it fell short by around 2cm!

However, I improvised and decided to cover the gap with a piece of white ribbon so all was not lost! Next came the issue of fixing the fabric to the shade and as I am fairly new to this whole thing, I did not have any fabric glue at my house. I quickly disregarded my usual tool (my Grandad’s epic stapler) and raided the garage in search of something I could use. I can only describe what I found as a spray can of glue, primarily designed for attaching wood and metal together. I decided this would do, even though the can looked older than I was!

The spray glue was horrendous and I managed to stick the fabric to my hands and also my dog, who got too close to the project! However, after some not-so-professional techniques of holding the shade between my knees so I could use both hands, I managed to fix all the fabric down!

Luckily for me the glue dried with no marks and it held fast. Next time I will curb my impatience and buy some fabric glue! After scrubbing my hands raw, trying to get the glue off, I waxed the Rabbit in Annie Sloan’s ‘Clear’ wax and let it dry.

It was dry within half an hour and I carefully re-constructed the whole thing. I hope you’ll agree that even though I cut a few corners, the project turned out well! It now sits proudly in my room and looks fab when it’s turned on.

Love, Lauren x

The bench I should have kept.

This weeks blog project is the bench that only took me two and a half hours to re-vamp! How good is that?

The much loved bench seat.

Me and my good friend were hunting around charity shops one Saturday afternoon and were having no luck what so ever! We had found a few bits and pieces but nothing special. Then, in the very last charity shop, we came across a what I can only describe as a bench seat. Normally I wouldn’t have chosen a project like this as I am still getting to grips with upholstering and this was a large piece! However, after some confidence boosting from my friend, I bought the bench for a mere £10. What also caught my eye was the condition… It was immaculate! Even the hideous brown velvet seat covering was in great condition.

After some logistical problems of getting the bench home in my teeny VW Polo, the bench arrived in my garage! I knew immediately that I would have to upholster this project in fabric that would completely clash with my room, or I would definitely keep it! So I chose some large pink floral print material that would compliment the Annie Sloan ‘Old White’ paint I planned to use on the legs.

Luckily for me the following day was a sunny Sunday afternoon and perfect for painting furniture on the garden. I began by putting masking tape around the edges of the legs that touched the fabric underneath and used two coats of the Annie Sloan paint to give them the shabby chic look that I love. This took no more than half an hour due to the unusually warm English sun! Once they were dry I sealed the paint with the Annie Sloan clear wax and distressed the legs with some sandpaper. Due to the dark vanish of the legs underneath, the distressing really looked fab on this piece and I don’t think the pictures do it justice!

Now, on this project, I am afraid to admit that my impatience and enthusiasm definitely got the better of me! Due to the great condition of the existing fabric and my lack of tools to remove the existing staples (I did try!), I simply upholstered the new fabric on top the old one. Luckily for me, it really turned out well. After cutting out the correct size of fabric needed, I simply fixed it to the underneath with my Grandad’s epic staple gun and the project was finished!

The bench was released onto the world of eBay and sold to a lovely lady and her daughter who loved it like I did. I hope I come across something similar one day soon so I can keep it for myself, as the space at the end of my bed is crying out for something like this!

Unfortunately at the time of this project, I hadn’t started this blog and only took a few photos for eBay. For future projects I solemnly promise to take more, better, before and after photos for you all.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you did then please subscribe via email!

Lauren x

The chair that was destined for the skip.

 

The chair in all it’s glory!

This project was probably my favourite of my Summer projects because I did so much work on it!

My uncle rang me randomly one day and said ‘There’s a present in your garage for you’ so I ran to inspect what had been left for me with all sorts of ideas running through my head. As I opened the garage door I was greeted with disappointment at first because in front of me was a broken, dirty skeleton of a dining chair. However, my creativity and determination soon kicked in and I got to work.

I sadly didn’t take a picture of the chair in it’s original state as I was too eager to get started and forgot! (Hopefully I will remember to keep calm and think of my blog in future projects!)

I began by sanding the chair in places, something which I don’t normally do, but the chair was covered in dirt and grime. Then I did a little research on fixing the join of the seat which had come completely away. I used some screws to fix that securely back in to place (and yes, I can use powertools!).

Then came the beloved Annie Sloan paint, which took two coats and was complete within two and a half hours! I also should add that this is the same can used on the previous Chest of drawers and Bedside table, which is great as it keeps my costs down! A coat of the Annie Sloan clear wax brought out the wood fantastically and some distressing with a bit of sandpaper really finished it off nicely.

Then came the most exciting part of the project for me… upholstering the seat! I have never done anything like this before so chose my plan of attack very carefully. I removed the seat by tapping it a few times with a hammer and it just popped out thankfully. I then removed the existing staples which held the old fabric on and cut my fabric to shape. I chose a simple but contrasting pattern to the Old White paint finish on the chair itself and cut it to size. I borrowed my Grandad’s amazing staple gun to fix the fabric into place, in his words it could ‘staple steel if you wanted to!’ so it seemed like it would do the job. I also added some more padding to the seat as the stuff already inside was looking a little worse for wear.

After refitting the seat, my chair was finished! I really loved this chair and would have certainly kept it if my bedroom was big enough! Although this project showed me how easy it would be to create another and I really enjoyed the work I put into it.

I think you will agree thats its a lovely piece and I hope the lady who bought it is very happy with it!

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Much love, Lauren x

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