In this day and age we are becoming victims of throw-away-fashion and mass-produced items. This is also the case with furniture and décor in the home. There’s something special about homemade soft furnishings or wall art; it creates a sense of individuality and, in some cases, sustainability. At Preloved we want to share the idea that we can make and repurpose objects, and we have found some really nice ideas for you try.
1. Perhaps one of the first things one thinks of when making something for the home is a quilt. This one grabbed our attention because it is not your traditional square.
2. We all know that ironing board covers are not all that glamorous. If they are on display they never go with the rest of the house. So, why not make a cover in step with it?
3. Similarly, making your own tea towels will ensure they are made of the material you need, and can also be customised.
4. If you have a sweater you no longer use, you can turn it into a pouf ottoman! This particular project entailed taking the sleeves off cutting at a rounded angle starting near the collar. Find a thread that is as close to the colour of the jumper as possible and sew the arm holes shut with the sweater inside out. To make the seam stronger, sew it twice with a zigzag stitch. Close up the hole for the head, this will be the bottom so the stitched lines of the arm holes are not exposed. Make sure you use a thicker thread, such as crochet thread, as it will have to endure some rough and tumble. To make the insert, you will need to round pieces of fabric (the diameter depends on how big the jumper is), sew the edges together and leave an opening. Fil the cavity with the stuffing of your choice. Once you have enough volume, hand stitch the opening; you can do an invisible stitch, although it won’t be seen. Flip the ottoman over and use the same crochet thread to close the top.
5. Why not look into some cross stitch or embroidery? There’s no need to go all out and cover a whole wall, but having something here and there might look nice. You might also find some that are already made and, if you like the design, why not go for it? You just need to source a frame.
6. How about soap? This recipe sounds great for the absolute beginner. Mix 80g of lye into 195g of water until the lye has dissolved. Use a container that can handle the heat, and it is best to do the mixing outside so fumes are not breathed in. While the concoction cools, mix 500g of olive oil with 100g of coconut oil. When the lye has cooled down, gently mix it into the oil mixture. Then you can blend everything with a hand blender, be careful not to spill anything. Keep using the blender until the mixture turns into a mayonnaise; that is called “trace”. Mix in 10g of lavender essential oils. Pour the final product into the soap moulds – silicone or oiled plastic containers work well. Cover and set aside for 24 hours; you might notice it gets warm, it’s normal. If it’s too soft to unmould it after the established period of time, wait a few more hours. Don’t wait until it’s hard as it will be difficult to cut. Once cut, let se for about a month, turning every day or two at first and every week thereafter. The soap will dry out and harden that way.
7. You must have pressed flowers as a child, don’t deny it. There’s not much to it. Pick some flowers or leaves that are unblemished and put them between two sheets of absorbent paper. In turn, put this between a couple of sheets of newspaper and place into a heavy book, typically an encyclopaedia. Then put another couple of heavy books on top and leave it for 4 to 6 weeks. Once they are dry, lay them all out and stick the dried flowers onto some paper or bard with PVA glue when you’re happy with your design. If you want the frame to not have any card and for the flowers to be visible on either side, apply the glue carefully and sparingly so it is barely perceptible when it dries.
8. Just look at those cuties! This is a great way of preserving the surface of your laminate floor.
9. Crocheted coasters can save from many a tipple. They absorb condensation and protect from scratches on glass or wood.
10. Air dry clay. Yes, you read correctly. There’s no need for a kiln here! All you need is some air dry clay, some stamps, an ink pad, a set of small bowls, a rolling pin, a knife and some sandpaper. Knead the clay until it’s soft and roll out the clay to about 5mm thick, soak the stamps in ink and transfer it to the clay. Repeat until you are happy with the overall design. They key is not to press down too hard, as you want to lift the clay afterwards. With the bowl and knife, cut away the excess clay. Place the circle inside the bowl and use your thumbs to press the clay down gently into the bowl. Leave to dry overnight. The following day, the printed side should be hard enough to remove it from the bowl; leave the clay bowl upside down on a baking cooler rack to allow both sides to dry fully. When dried completely, sand down any rough edges. Check out the full tutorial here.
What other handmade items have you got in your home? Show us! We also want to see if you try your hand at any of these ideas!