Category Archives: decorating

New Year, home makeover

It’s a spanking new year and this year I made a vow to not make any resolutions or “changes” to the way we live. I did however make myself a promise, one to travel more this year and secondly to finally get this house into the home I have always wanted.

I’ve mentioned before how it isn’t in the best place, it isn’t the biggest but it is detached and is modern enough to have nice square rooms with no funny business so pretty much anything goes. We get flooded with light all year long but I have always decorated with what society has expected from a family. Instead I made a vow to decorate just the way I wanted.

In fairness this has been a challenge, fun but hard work finding the furniture from charity shops that is always hit and miss and finding wallpaper or paint that matches my vision. I began boldly with making over the downstairs loo. It is a tricky space as it has pipe work boxed in, it has a tiny sinking the smallest window but i wanted to add a nerdy look but with an expensive feel but with things we already had, I forgot to mention my budget for the whole house is practically zero!

We had some old star trek annuals that I had bought the husband a few christmases previous that had barely seen the light of day and thought these would make a great feature wall…

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I have to say I wasn’t wrong! I love the look, it was a dream to put up, simply with wallpaper paste and it doesn’t look overpowering, it also makes great reading!

I had planned to leave it at that, just a feature wall and the rest staying white but I found a new love for deep strong colours whilst checking out pinterest so I made a little adjustment…

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We had the plum left over from the tv wall in the lounge, the towel rack was an old one that used to be behind the front door for coats, the vintage mirror is about 4 years old and was bought on eBay for £3 and the cute rug was a few quid at tesco a few months back and i couldn’t find the perfect home for it.

I LOVE the space now! It hasn’t become a pram dumping ground again, it doesn’t feel cold and unloved anymore and even though the window is small it just bounces light around its almost magical!

It’s the perfect start to my end goal. What do you think? Would you be so bold in a small space?

Kitchen Bin Up-cycle

So I spent a few hours scouring the inter web along with twitter requests, looking for a funky kitchen bin that came in under than £200. I mean lets face it, who’s gonna pay that for a kitchen bin?

This Wesco beauty is to die for but my budget just couldn’t justify it, how ever beautiful and epic it is!

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So instead of splurging £260 I suddenly had a brain wave, I had some sticky back plastic and our old grey plastic bin, make my own!

You can too so heres how..

Take an old and tired (or new) plastic kitchen bin.

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Ours has seen better days, much like our kitchen, but thats a whole other DIY tutorial!

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I used this cute Orla Keily inspired sticky back plastic I bought from Home Bargains last year for 89p a roll I think it was.

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I laid it out and measured it to size. As the bin tapered I knew I was going to have to become creative with the fit. There are some lumps and bumps to the back piece I couldn’t couldn’t get out but with a little patience you should get a smooth finish.

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I did the front and back panels before tackling the shaped sides.

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I cut two pieces to fit the shape as best as possible and laid them over. This has helped to cover the pulls in the side pieces due to the shape.

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Its not perfect but optically, as you really don’t spend ages staring at your kitchen bin, the pattern melts together and you don’t notice the joins.

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Sadly the lid was to tricky a shape for the stick back plastic to take but it could be spray painted in white to match, turning this once tired out old bin into something pretty.

I actually really love it , it cost me nothing, kept me out of trouble for a half hour and is a great start to our new made over kitchen!

What pattern would you choose if you pimped out your old kitchen bin?

DIY Bedroom Makeover Done in a Day!

After how well my stairs makeover went ( you can find it here ) I seem to have caught the decorating bug and next on my list was our bedroom.
Its not a massive space and often ends up being a dumping ground for bedding I have no storage for or unwanted toys (at least that part never lasts!)
So this makeover is just the first part to transforming our bedroom from glorified closet to master bedroom of joy!
I’m attempting to over haul the whole house on a teeny tiny budget, and this makeover is something we can all do for literally nothing, I have used wallpaper samples collected over a few months from online stores like Farrow and Ball and John Lewis or you can simply pop on down to B and Q or any other store that sells wallpaper and collect some samples of all the paper you like. Don’t worry if there is no theme, if the colours clash or you have mixed bold patterns with muted florals, who cares!
This is all about just going with what you like and the fun is in not having to live with just one pattern or colour until you decorate again and who can afford £55 per roll of paper for something you may stop loving within the year.
I already had the white paint and wallpaper paste. I always use the premixed tubs ( £1.99 from B and M Bargains) so i don’t have to mix up a massive batch to find I don’t need it all.

So here’s how it went..

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The walls where boring old magnolia still from when we moved in, it really has been neglected!
They where pretty dirty now and needed refreshing so I’ve just painted them all white, can’t beat it to lift a room and fill it with natural light.

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Here is my stash of wallpaper samples, scrapbooking paper and those cute papers you sometimes get for free in craft magazines. Anything like this is suitable to use really just be careful when applying to the wall in case you rip the paper.
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So I got itchy feet waiting for the paint to dry so i started papering.
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It progresses quickly and you would be surprised how quickly you can fill a whole wall like this. I didn’t follow a theme or anything but I did find when I was putting them up I had a lot of similar colours so I tried to mix it up as much as possible.
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I stopped at half way for a brew break, this took about an hour and gave the paint on the other walls to dry from they first coat.
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2 hours later and I’d filled the wall and given the walls another coat. I just love it, even more than the one I did in the kitchen last year! I do believe it’s the kids room next!!!
It really is a wallet friendly style statement, I have had so many compliments just from posting to Instagram yesterday and our bedroom finally feels like somewhere I can lay and relax after a long day ( that is if you ignore the pile of boxes in the corner ear marked to live in the loft!)
If you decide to give this a go, do tweet me your gorgeous pics! @immamabetty
Happy Monday folks 😉
L x

DIY stairs make over

When we moved into this house, 4 years ago now, the stair case had been stained in a horrendous red mahogany that did nothing for the small small, it was imposing and frankly it had been done by a blind man!

So last year I made a start on doing them over, I painted all the sides white and the banister and painted the spindles a variety of colours just to add something new to the space, I LOVED it and we then replaced the tatty cream carpet with a lovely Berber, however, the cat took an instant dislike to it and over several months scratched out nearly all the loops he could get his swanky little paws on, I wasn’t best pleased but this spurred me to take the giant step id been pinning over since I started painting them and that was to pull up the carpet and paint the stairs completely.
I lost many an hr over several months looking for inspiration, trouble was I had to much and I basically couldn’t choose a style I loved most so in the name of frugality i had a rummage in my wallpaper storage ( read the loft!) and found something i thought would work.
Id picked up this paper at home base about 2 yrs previous for £1 for 2 rolls in their massive end of season sale.
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Basically this is what i started with, bare boards. The house being only 8 yrs old and not being build by the most capable of builders is a little rough around the edges but this really gives you the perfect opportunity to work with something you wouldn’t normally attempt because basically, it couldn’t get any worse!
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The bottom step had already been painted after the cat ruined the carpet so this was the first coat of gloss paint, I used satin so it wouldn’t be as shiny.
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3 coats in and I didn’t really feel like i was making much progress in all honesty.
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Approx 7 coats of paint, 48 hrs and a coat of varnish and they look the shizzle, here is the paper in all its glory. surprisingly it only took about 2 and a half hours to cut and paper all the steps, I still hate wallpapering!
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And… drum roll please…. The finished article! I seriously couldn’t be happier, and totally on a budget, it didn’t cost a penny! I used everything we already had around the house. Finally I have a stairway to be proud of!!
If you where making over your stairs, how would you do it? I’d love to hear your ideas.
L x

My handmade home

The blog has been neglected this last few months in favour of decorating and crafting and its been a lovely break, however i have ‘lost’ several hundred hrs of my life ill never get back on browsing pinterest for inspiration. Yet i say that like its a bad thing! lol

Here’s a few quick and easy Saturdays makes we can all spare the time for to bring some personality into your home with little to no outlay.

Halloween was creeping up on me and i was seriously unorganised this year, i mean who doesn’t manage to get a pumpkin on Halloween?? Yeah that’s right, ME!! So to make up for my lacking as the Halloween Queen i whipped up these little bats for the girls. I got the pattern and tutorial from Pinterest which was free and i simply used whatever fabric scraps i had lying around and some old buttons.
The girls LOVE them and they are super snugly as i used fleece for the back, would your little monsters like a ‘scary’ pet too??

But of course you always get one that doesn’t want what your making so with my thinking cap on i found a tutorial and pattern for a fabric doll but i couldn’t let the little lady be naked, and Emma didn’t approve so i whizzed up some clothes too from some fabric scraps.

As I’ve been decorating where i can between Christmas crafting and the sort I’ve been making some bits for the house from what we already had that wasn’t being used.
The french doors in the dining room being a major headache for me as i need to get out a few times a day to tend to the chickens but i also wanted them to look pretty and possibly cosy when needed.
So after much pondering i had a route through my vintage fabrics and found two table cloths that where the perfect size to make into curtains.
i simply hemmed the top on both to be big enough to slip the rod through, i moved it from the outside to the inside of the window as i thought it looked nicer.
then i needed some tie backs to keep them back for easy access to the back so i dug out some large doilies and cut them in half and zig zag stitched the raw edge.

Then i decided to make a new lampshade and after some careful consideration i decided to try my hand at making a doily one. There are loads of tutorials on Pinterest for them and being low cost i thought id give it a go.
I blew a balloon as big as i could get it, i would suggest trying to find the really big ones or like an inflatable beach ball you don’t mind sacrificing for a more round shape but either way i love mine.
I simply laid on the doilies and painted over with wallpaper paste.

Then left to dry for 24 hours, i then popped the balloon, some times they will pop themselves once they are fully dry and contract against the doilies.
i cut out the top, carefully, to slip the bulb through and voila! new lampshade!!! i made a full one so had to use string to tie the shade to the fitting but i am currently making an open end one for the lounge so i wont have to tie that one on.

I love how it throws the light out and casts beautiful shapes all through the dining room and into the hall.

I then decided to up cycle a large, and damaged photo frame to home some James bond post cards my hubby brought home. They are all retro prints so i could resist putting them up.
It was a purple plastic so i simply repainted with a few coats of grey left over emulsion which took great and inserted the prints. it now has pride of place in the lounge.

 I also made a dream catcher after seeing a gorgeous tutorial on pinterest for one. i got the large hoops from a local haberdashery for £1.50 for two which turned out to be much cheaper than eBay but i would like to get some really big ones and make another.
I simply wrapped a doily around the frame and hand stitched into place then hung charms and feathers etc from the bottom and hung in our bedroom.
its to cute, i need to make millions!!

Next time id like the bottom to be fuller.

Our stairs window, which i hate as its huge and slightly pointless needed a loving touch so with a lace vintage table cloth that had seen better days i whipped up into a pair of curtains that subtly frame the window making it less imposing on the stairs.
i used a little ribbon and some lace edging to make little tie backs and it took all of 20 mins to hem the top and edges and hang them

And finally, an already repainted table needed a make over from red to something more subtle ready for decorating the lounge next year so i painted it a gorgeous cream tone that i picked a tester pot up of for 20p in our local homebase. it was just and i mean just enough to cover it and i customised it with some pacman star wars images.

A little PVA glue and it looks like a completely new table. it now homes the games consoles again and everyone is happy.

This just proves that with a few pounds, a little imagination and a whole lot of patience you can turn your house into the home you want.

 L xx