Projects so far

Sunday, 31 July 2011

31st project announcement

Welcome to the announcement of the 31st project in the challenge. Yet again I have raided the household's rubbish and found......

A selection of plastic bottles.

Join me on Saturday as usual to discover what I make out of them!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

30th project completed - a pair of simple flower earrings

Good evening all,

I think you will like this project, it is so simple yet very 'cool'. this week I have made a pair of cute flower earrings from the leaflets, some craft foam and some earring backs I had in my jewellery making kit!

Modelled here by my beautiful daughter!

Materials needed

  • Coloured junk mail leaflets
  • Hole punch
  • PVA Glue
  • Multi use adhesive such as UHU
  • Earring backs
  • Scrap of craft foam
  • Pair of very sharp small scissors

1. Using the hole punch cut some tiny circles out from coloured areas of your leaflets

2. Glue them onto your scrap of craft foam using PVA glue to make small flower shapes and leave to dry

3. Once dry, cover with a thick layer of PVA glue to protect them and leave them to dry completely.

4. Once dry, cut out your shapes and glue on an earring back with the multi use adhesive. There we have it some cute flower earrings.

Monday, 25 July 2011

30th Project announcement

Firstly I must apologise that this post is late. I had a lovely weekend playing with the steam engine at Netley Marsh steam rally. But unfortunately I got very sunburnt and by the time I got home last night I felt dreadful and fell into bed feeling very sorry for myself!

Anyway I feel fine this morning so I beg your forgiveness, and I must get on to this week's materials.

Junk mail!

I hate junk mail and we seem to get so much of it, why these companies waste their money sending me this stuff I will never understand. It always seems to go straight in the bin but seeing as they have paid for it I might as well use it!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

29th project completed - a couple of revamped lamp shades


Well number 29 was really quite fun! As promised I have recycled two lampshades using simple decorative techniques,

one to fit the lamp-base I made last week ....

and one for the top of my stairs which was originally looking really grotty and about to go to the bin....

Materials needed.

Lampshade 1

  • Old lampshade
  • Some left over heavy thread to compliment the colour scheme of the room
  • Fabric paint
  • Large eyed sharp needle
Lampshade 2

  • Old paper shade
  • Some left over silk and wool fibres
  • Glue (PVA will do)
  • Some dried leaves and petals
Instructions - Lampshade 1

1. Using fabric paint colour your lampshade to match the colour scheme of your room this is particularly good if, like mine, the shade is rather faded.

2. Using a large eyed needle and some embroidery thread, stitch long stitches down the length of the shade taking a short stitch inside the shade to move along.

3. Keep going until the shade is completely covered. 

There we have it an easy new look for an old shade.

Lampshade 2

1. Firstly remove all dust from the shade. Then apply a wet mixture of PVA and water with a large soft brush to a section of the shade and start laying down some fibres onto it. Pay particular to any ripped areas.

2. Smooth down the fibres with the brush or your hands.

3. Continue in this way until the whole shade is covered. Leave to dry completely before re-hanging.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

29th project announcement

Well Sunday evening again. Just a short hello tonight, as I've still got loads to do before I finally give up for the night.
This week I am going to recycle some old lampshades into usable and fashionable new ones. One for the lampbase I made last week and one for the top of the stairs as that one is in a bit of a sorry state!
Join me on Saturday to see how they turn out.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

28th Project completed - A pleated Cardboard Lamp base

I can't believe it is Saturday again, the weeks seem to be flying by! This week I have been tidying the living room and trying to brighten it up a bit. I spent a small amount the Ikea sale and brought a coffee table and a side table to replace the existing ones and had a good tidy up. 

The side table looks great but is missing a lamp. So over this week and next, I thought I would make a lamp to go with the d├ęcor of the room. Using Paul's offcuts and other bits and pieces I have hanging about in the loft.

This week I made the lamp base and here it is.

Materials required

  • Concertinaed cardboard strips taken from offcuts of an organ book (If not strips of cardboard folded lengthways)
  • A short section of industrial cardboard tube
  • Hot glue gun or strong multi-purpose glue
  • Heavy cardboard for base and top
  • Lamp bulb holder kit - the type you would use to convert bottles into lamps. Available from good hardware shops or eBay.

1. Cut a section of cardboard tube to the same length of your concertinaed cardboard.

2. Cut a top and base the same diameter as the cardboard tube.

3. Cut a hole to fit the lamp bulb holder kit in the top piece.

4. Using a glue gun, stick your concertinaed cardboard to the outside of the tube, allow to set. Use some elastic bands to help hold it all together.

5. Put a few pebbles in the base for ballast and using the glue gun attach the top and base to the tube

6. You can now paint or varnish your lamp base to taste! To finish, push the lamp bulb holder into place securely as per the instructions.

That's it, now all I need is to make a shade to match with the decor of the room!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

28th Project announcement - something a bit special

Good evening,

I have had a really busy day today at Hollycombe , what with helping to remove a fallen tree from the Narrow Gauge railway track this morning. Helping to organise the first 'friend's' raffle and cleaning out our engine's boiler this afternoon, I have had quite enough to keep me occupied!

So now, tired but happy with the days work I am now going to let you all in on what I will be using for this week's project....

A a fellow volunteer at Hollycombe, Paul McCarthy , builds fairground organs and supplies the folding cardboard music books that make the organs play. He had lots of off-cuts from the edges of the books with him today and they were about to go on the fire of one of the engines when I grabbed a few for this week's project.

He has challenged me to come up with something - so here goes!

To see more about his organs CLICK HERE

Saturday, 9 July 2011

27th project completed - Polystyrene printing blocks

Hi all, well I have had a great time playing with the polystyrene block and made a lovely mess in the studio! What did I make?

Some polystyrene printing blocks of course! Polystyrene is so easy to cut and shape with just ordinary knives etc. It doesn't absorb paint and has a lovely smooth surface with a slight texture so is ideal for this kind of project.

I started with a design comprising of simple shapes and a few colours, so I didn't end up with anything too complicated as the polystyrene is prone to snapping if you attempt to fine a line.

Materials needed:

  • Block of polystyrene packaging
  • Sharp knife
  • Bread knife
  • Pen

1. Using the bread knife cut the block down to a suitable size for your block, mine were about 21/2" square by 1".

2. Draw out your design and lay it on the first block. You will need one block for each colour minus the background. Draw around the design with the pen - leaving an indent on the block. Please remember to reverse the design if needed as the image produced by the block will obviously be reversed when printing.

3. Draw in the lines on your block following the indentations, With a sharp knife carve out the design leaving the areas you want each block to print.

4. Print away!!!!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

27th project announcement

Hi all! I have to admit that I have been struggling today to find something to use as I seem to have used most of the things I have in the rubbish pile this week before! However it was my Daughter's birthday last week and she was lucky enough to get a new telly. I was breaking down the box and found this.

Some polystyrene packaging.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

26th Project Completed - A bubble wrap cosmetics bag!


I have now completed the 26th project in the challenge and here it is - a cosmetics bag made from the large bubbled bubble wrap I saved from the bin last weekend.


  • Large bubbled bubble wrap about 50cm
  • Coloured carrier bag
  • Scraps of fleece, silk fibres or threads and fabric
  • Reclaimed Zip
  • Clear sandwich type bag
  • Iron
  • parchment paper / Teflon sheet
  • Sharp small scissors


1. Taking half your bubble wrap, carefully slit open the bubbles from the reverse and start stuffing with small amounts of your threads / fibres. Use a pen or similar to help.

2. Once all the bubbles are stuffed layer up layers as follows on top of a piece of parchment paper: 

Bottom layer = The other half of bubble wrap
Layer 2 = Coloured carrier bag
Layer 3 = More threads / fibres
Layer 4 = Your stuffed bubble wrap
Layer 5 = Sandwich bag

Cover with another piece of parchment paper and press with the iron so layers fuse together. Cut two rectangles out of your fabric

3. Insert the zip between the two sections then stitch all the way around the bag.

4. Open out the bag and voila!