Tag Archives: how to

DIY: how to make a spring flower crown

20 Mar

How to make a spring flower crown - step by step at Decorator's Notebook

Celebrate spring by making a pretty flower crown - step by step at Decorator's Notebook blog

Flower crown DIY - Decorator's Notebook blog

Make a flower crown with wild flowers - Decorator's Notebook

Wildflower headpiece - tutorial at Decorator's Notebook blog

Simple garden flower crown - DIY - Decorator's Notebook blog

It all started with a Friday afternoon twitter chat. You know the sort: when everyone’s an hour or so away from pouring their first G&T and avoiding the last few tasks they should be finishing for the week.

The conversation turned to having pictures of ourselves on our blogs. If you’ve been reading for a while, you might know that I wrote Decorator’s Notebook anonymously for the first two years, without my name, let alone with a mug shot looking out top right. There was some discussion around how posting a ‘blogger’s selfie’ can feel like a horribly awkward and self-conscious thing to do. But for me, it was actually one of the most important moments for me and my blog. Until I ‘came out’ I didn’t realise how detached I’d felt from the blogging community and how much I’d been holding back for years. The second I posted a photo of myself and wrote a proper ‘about me’ was the moment Decorator’s Notebook actually felt like mine.

One of the blogger profile pictures I like best in all the world is Michelle’s – go and check it out and see how the idea for #primaveracrowns was born! So, here’s my contribution… a simple garland of flowers from my Mum’s garden to celebrate the start of spring. Is anyone joining us? You know what, it doesn’t really matter. Because this is me, wearing my crown, on my blog. And I’m proud and happy to be here.

How to make a spring flower crown from garden flowers - DIY - Decorator's Notebook blog

DIY - how to make a spring flower crown - step by step at Decorator's Notebook blog

HOW TO MAKE A SPRING FLOWER CROWN

1 | Gather your supplies: thick wire (the rubber coated sort used for garden ties works well), some thin beading wire, secateurs and a selection of freshly-cut flowers and foliage. I used rosemary, hellebores, cherry blossom, primroses and grape hyacinths.

2 | Twist the thick wire into a circle just a little larger than you want it to be once it’s on your head – the finished crown will fit a little more snuggly once it’s filled out with flowers.

3 | Start by covering the wire with foliage. Something quite dense that comes in long stems will make this easier. Tuck the end into one of the twists in your wire then gently wrap the stems around, securing it every now and then with beading wire.

4 | This is where you want to end up – an evenly covered base on which to build. Now the fun begins!

5 | Add your flowers, starting with the bigger ones. Hold the stems in place with one hand while you secure them with beading wire with the other. If you want to get all florist-y about it you could use special wire and tape (see how here) but I find my way a lot less faff! How you position the flowers is completely up to you… I went for even spacing all the way around but something asymetric can look wonderful too. Head to my flower crown inspiration board for lots of ideas.

6 | Once your big blooms are spaced as you’d like, add in the smaller ones using the same technique, filling any gappy bits as you go.

An important note: soft-stemmed wild or garden flowers like these don’t like being out of water for long, so you’ll need to make your crown soon before you want to wear it or it will look wilted and sad! For a longer-lasting flower crown, choose blooms with woody stems like roses and eucalyptus – these will last overnight if spritzed with water and stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.

If you’ve made a flower crown with Michelle and I, please post your photos to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #primaveracrowns and add your link below. We can’t wait to see them!


Spring flower crown DIY by Decorator's Notebook blog

{Photographs and tutorial all © Decorator’s Notebook – you are welcome to share but please do not re-post the entire tutorial and always link with love!}

Homemade Christmas wreath with a contemporary twist

18 Dec

Homemade Christmas wreath with eucalyptus DIY

Homemade Christmas door wreath contemporary foliage

{© Decorator’s Notebook}

I absolutely LOVE Christmas – not so much for the day itself but for those leading up to it. The little rituals mean so much to me: choosing the tree, making the cake, planning how I’ll decorate the table and waiting excitedly for everyone to arrive. And now this year I have a pretty homemade wreath on the door to greet them!

On Sunday Lou arranged a tasty lunch and a crafty afternoon for a handful of Westcountry bloggers and kindly invited me along as a newcomer to the group. My little network of blogging friends is one of the few things I do actually miss about London, so it was lovely to meet some kindred spirits in my new/old area. Xanthe from Ivory Flowers supplied us with a beautiful array of foliage and decorations to use and we had spent a relaxing afternoon chatting while binding clumps of earth-scented moss, lush pine, orange slices and dried flowers onto our wreaths. With such a fantastic array of ingredients to choose from it was fun seeing all the finished results… I opted for a bit of contemporary style using eucalyptus, cheerful billy buttons, cotton heads and cinnamon sticks.

Now every time I arrive home I have a reminder of a lovely afternoon and a special welcome for our Christmas visitors!

For more ideas, visit my fellow bloggers and admire the beautiful wreaths they created too: Lou at Littlegreenshed | Lottie at Oyster & Pearl | Cathy at Bristol Parenting Cafe | Kat at Housewife Confidential | Laura at Circle of Pine Trees | Natalie at Thistle Apples

15-minute make: vintage cigarette card garland

21 Jun

Caroline from Patchwork Harmony came up with this sweet and simple craft idea for the latest Crafty Fox Box and has been kind enough to let me share it for today’s 15-minute make.

vintage cigarette card garland DIY

Cigarette card garland

Vintage cigarette cards (try car boot sales and eBay)

Sewing machine

Thread

pretty floral cigarette cards

stitching cigarette cards to make a garland

1) Sort your cards into the order you want them to be in the finished garland. Take the first one and position it under the foot of the sewing machine so the needle is about 5mm from the top of the card.

2) Stitch across the top of the card. When you reach the end stitch a gap of about 5mm then add the next card.

3) Keep going to create a garland as long or short as you like!

Tip: The finished garlands can tangle easily so it’s better to make several shorter strings than one really long one and store them folded into a concertina.

cigarette card bunting{Project and photographs Caroline Taylor / Patchwork Harmony}

Thanks for sharing Caroline! If you’re antiquing this weekend keep your eyes peeled for bundles of pretty cigarette cards and have a go.

15-minute make: graphic painted tablecloth

7 Jun

If you can paint a straight line, you can paint this tablecloth. Now that’s my kind of DIY!

graphic-pattern-painted-tablec{Photograph and project adapted from Tina Fussell for A Subtle Revelry}

Graphic painted tablecloth

Cotton tablecloth or flat sheet, washed without fabric softener and dried

Black fabric paint (eg: Dylon)

Paintbrush

Iron

1) Iron the tablecloth, lay down on the floor (protect the floor with a waterproof dust sheet) and hold down at the corners with masking tape. You can paint the pattern freehand, but if you feel nervous mark out a grid with masking tape.

2) Paint on the crosses. Make them as big, small, regular or irregular as you like. Arrows or dots would also work well.

3) When the paint is dry, iron the tablecloth on the reverse to fix the paint (or follow the fixing instructions on your fabric paint pack).

4) Top with cakes and admire!

For more step-by-step photographs of see the full project at A Subtle Revelry

Cute and quick homemade thank you cards

28 May

I’ve had it drummed into me since I was little that it’s essential to send thank you cards to relatives who’ve given you presents. In recent years I’ve always tried to make them myself, partly because I think handmade cards are that little bit more special and partly to make up for the fact I usually send them weeks late. Here’s a quick how-to of this year’s design…

homemade thank you card ideas

homemade thank you cards DIY

handmade card ideas how to{all Decorator’s Notebook}

Once you’re on a roll, each handmade card will only take a few minutes and it’s easy to vary the design with different coloured washi tape, twine and snipping the flags and dymo labels into slightly different shapes.

These would made lovely homemade birthday cards or invitations too.

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Print any photo as a polaroid: free template!

25 Apr

When my brother Joe came up with this simple method for turning some favourite digital snaps into perfect Polaroids for the backdrop of our Showcase stand, I knew you’d love to get your hands on the template. So, I’ve invited him to do his first guest post here and share the DIY – over to you bro!

Print any digital photo as a polaroid free template from Decorators Notebook blog

Hi, Joe here!

If you love Polaroid format pictures as much as I do, you’ve generally got two options: buy a bargain Polaroid camera then shed tears over the cost of the film, or shell out almost as much on send-away Instagram printing.

Now, I print my DSLR photographs for the princely sum of 10p each at my local Asda, so the above options just didn’t add up for me. So instead, I decided to have a go at designing a Photoshop template that meant I could print any digital photo I liked as a Polaroid – and it worked!

Print any digital photo as a polaroid free template from Decorators Notebook blog

Turn any digital photo into a Polaroid print

Your photos as jpegs

Photoshop (or if you want almost the same thing for free, I recommend GNU GIMP)

 

1. Download my free Polaroid template PNG image and open in Photoshop or GIMP
2. Drag in your photograph as a layer* and re-order the layers so your photo is behind the Polaroid template
3. Select your photograph layer and use the re-size and move tools so that the desired section of the image appears in the square portion of the Polaroid template. It’s likely that your photo will be huge compared to the template, but just shrink it down to size**
4. Save or export image as a JPEG
5. Put the pictures on a memory stick and take to your local photo processing place or use your home printer
6. Use a guillotine or craft knife to trim the bottom white portion from the photo, leaving a thicker border at the base than the sides

*Need help with layers? Watch this YouTube video for Photoshop or this one for GIMP.

**The template size is 12×8 inches which will automatically be scaled down to 6×4″ by the photo processor but allows the file to be a higher resolution to start with. If you chose to print it in a different ratio, the Polaroid image will no longer be square.

I really hope you like it – I’ll be on hand in the comments section to answer any questions!

– Joe

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Print any digital photo as a polaroid free template from Decorators Notebook blog

{Photographs, tutorial and template © Decorator’s Notebook}

15-minute make: nail polish marbled Easter eggs

29 Mar

How fun do these look?! There are loads of Easter egg decorating ideas about but I picked this one from Camille Styles to share because it doesn’t involve anything you won’t already have around the house. Can’t wait to try it this weekend!

how to marble easter eggs with nail polish

Easter eggs marbled with nail polish

Marbled Easter Eggs

Blown eggs (instructions here)

Nail polish (2-3 in a pleasing colour combo)

Plastic tub half-filled with water

Stirring stick

Kitchen towel

Simple drying stand made from card or foam board with drawing pins stuck through

marbled easter eggs DIY step by step

1) Pour a few drops of nail polish into the water.

2) Swirl around with your stirring stick to combine the colours a little – take care not to over-mix.

2) Working carefully but quickly, dip the eggs into the water, twirling them around until they’re covered all over with colour. Set aside on your drying rack.

3) If the nail polish left in the water has become too blended, scoop it off the surface with a plastic spoon and repeat step 1. Carry on until all your eggs are looking pretty.

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decorated easter eggs

{all Camille Styles}

Have a fabulous Easter weekend and thank you soooo much to those of you who came to visit Joe and I at Somerset House last weekend to preview our new venture. I was really touched and we loved meeting you all in person!

15-minute make: porcelain pen plates

22 Feb

Here’s a simple DIY using just two ingredients… a porcelain pen and a plain white plate. You could try out any design you want, but I really love the simplicity of this graphic pattern. It looks great and there’s no particular drawing skill needed to recreate it – just the kind of crafting I like!

white plates decorated with porcelain pen DIY craft idea

Porcelain Pen Decorated Plates

Fire at home porcelain pen

Basic white plates

1) Read the instructions on your porcelain pen – follow those if they differ from mine!

2) Give the pen a good shake and press the nib of the pen down several times on a sheet of scrap paper to get the ink flowing.

3) Start drawing your design on the plate, starting in the centre and turning the plate as you work to avoid smudging.

4) Leave to air dry for 24 hours then bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 150ºC / Gas Mark 2. Once fired the pen should be dishwasher safe but I’d recommend hand washing your masterpiece to be on the safe side.

porcelain pen plate DIY{Project and Photography Mormorsglamour}

Have a great weekend everyone. I’m getting behind the wheel for the first time in over 5 years… wish me luck!

15-minute make: heart shaped paperclips

8 Feb

heart shape paperclips valentines craft ideasWhether you’re planning to send a love letter to a secret admirer, give a little bag of homemade chocolates to your best friend or pop a bookmark in a page of the Kama Sutra, these adorable heart-shaped paperclips will make your message that little bit more loving.

heart paper clips DIY valentines craft{How About Orange}

This must be one of the quickest DIYs ever, so I reckon you could easily heart-ify a whole pack of 25 pink paperclips inside 15 minutes.

Happy crafting my sweethearts… click for more quick craft ideas.

How to hang a display of vintage mirrors

13 Aug

At last, the forest green walls in my bathroom have been transformed into a nice cool grey. Time to finally hang the 1930s mirror collection I’ve had in the cupboard under the stairs for the last five years! Creating a frameless mirror display is harder than it looks so I thought I’d put together a little ‘how to’ with some tips and tricks.

Boring before…

Beautiful after…

How to hang a display of frameless vintage mirrors

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Mirrors
  • Roll of parcel paper or large offcuts of wallpaper
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Heavy duty picture hooks with at least two screw holes
  • Screws and rawlplugs suitable for your wall type
  • Tape measure / ruler
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver

1) Check the fixings on the back of each mirror are secure (frameless mirrors can be very heavy) and tighten them if necessary. I thought my display would look neater if the chains were hidden so I shortened some of them by adjusting the positions of the fixings and clipping off the excess chain with wire cutters.

2) Trace around each mirror on the parcel paper and cut out to make a template. Sketch on the position of any patterns and mark the top/bottom if necessary.

3) Lay all the templates out on the floor and move them around the create an arrangement you like. Take a photo to act as a reference.

4) Use masking tape to fix the templates onto the wall in the same positions, tweaking the arrangement if necessary. I  swapped the bottom right-hand and left-hand mirrors over as I could see that would fit better once I had the templates up on the wall.

5) Start with the mirror that will hang in the bottom centre position. Lay it face down on the floor and loop your hook under the chain. Pull the chain taught and measure how far down the lower screw hole is from the top of the mirror.

6) Place the hook on top of the corresponding paper template, measure the same distance from the top and mark the position of the screw hole on the wall. You should be able mark through the paper with the template still in place. Then mark the position of the other screw hole, using the hook as your guide.

7) Remove the template and drill holes in the marked positions. Tap in rawlplugs and securely screw in the hook. The easiest way to do this is to start the screw off with a manual screwdriver then finish it off tightly with an electric screwdriver if you have one.

8) Repeat for all the mirrors making any small adjustments to the positions as you go along. Stand back and admire your handiwork!

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

I’m really happy with how it’s turned out and my bathroom looks so much lighter and more spacious now.

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