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    Coral sideboard makeover

    Hello everyone! Not many posts lately as I’ve been busy working on the new house. I thought you wouldn’t mind if I shared a few projects on the blog.

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    I had been admiring mango wood carved sideboards and I really wanted something in a bright colour to make a statement, but couldn’t find the money to treat myself to one (see a few faves 1, 2, 3).

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    So instead I made my own version for under £140! Plus I have glue, paint and primer to spare. I’ve placed it in our recently painted dining room and temporarily decorated it with pretty blooms and a couple of complimentary pictures. Keep reading to learn how my sideboard came together!

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    Since I wasn’t flush with cash, my solution was to scour Facebook Marketplace for something suitable, where I found an IKEA Hemnes sideboard that had been half-heartedly upcycled from white to black, yellow and teal. It was £50 instead of £229… an excellent start!

    For the colour I chose the shade Coral Flair by Dulux but had it mixed as Valspar V700 satin wood at B&Q. It’s that perfect bold orangey pink that feels quite elegant. I only needed 500ml but had to buy 1L for £25.

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    Now the fun part, working out the carved effect! I ordered a 3mm sheet of decorative mdf normally used for radiator covers. It was 1200mm x 620mm and cost £38.90. From that one piece I could cut two panels for the front of my cupboard.

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    Using a piece of greaseproof paper I made a template for the inner rectangle for each door then folded in half in find the centre length. Mapping out the best pattern placement took a couple of goes but the fold line ensured the design was centralised in the door.

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    When ready, I drew round my templates and cut everything out with a jigsaw. This wasn’t the best tool for the job but it was all I had. The nature of the design meant I needed a couple of floating triangles. I cleaned up any wonky cuts with a small hacksaw to get the fit just right.

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    I sanded back the unit using a small mouse sander, then primed the unit with wood primer (£11). Then everything had two coats of coral paint. I did the same number of coats on the mdf. It was a pain in the butt getting into all the grooves of the mdf so I’m pleased I didn’t buy a more intricate design.

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    The mdf was stuck in place with Everbuild Instant Nails (£4.75), but it created lots of gluey bits like those you see in this close up photo. In hindsight I maybe should have mounted the mdf before all the painting as the glue was annoyingly messy. I touched up the paint with a little brush to cover the blobs all up.

    Almond rock diy carved wood sideboard coral flair painted valspar dulux

    To finish off I added 5 gold handles (£6.99 for 6pcs). I know I could have gone for a more flashy style but I wanted the carving to be the star. And I lined the drawers with more of the gold and white contact paper from my drinks cabinet upcycle. The perfect coral sideboard… and it’s one of a kind too! Happy days.

  • Other stuff

    DIY retro winter village wreath

    I’m so inspired by a few bloggers/Instagrammers who are able to live in almost authentic vintage decor. They embody gorgeous retro style in a way I’ve never managed to achieve in my daily life. But to add a little mid-century charm to my home I made this small winter village wreath inspired by this one on the Martha Stewart website.

    Christmas,vintage,retro,crafting,crafts,puts,Americana,wreath,flocking,diy, almond rock
    The Putz style mini houses take colour inspiration from 50s Americana. The bottle brush trees in teal, gold, silver and white could have been bleached and dyed in the same palette but blend nicely as they were. Glittery details and fristy fake snow make it feel extra festive!
    Christmas,vintage,retro,crafting,crafts,puts,Americana,wreath,flocking,diy, almond rock
    First things first. I bought this 35cm wide fake wreath from eBay, quite the bargain but I should have gone a bit bigger. I flocked it with fake snow by mixing Daz washing powder with a little water so it had a gloopy thick paste-like texture and slopped it over the branches. I popped it in the airing cupboard until the paste set hard and the pink colour crystals had faded away.
    Christmas,vintage,retro,crafting,crafts,puts,Americana,wreath,flocking,diy, almond rock
    The houses were made from cardstock printed at home with this very versatile FREE template from Martha Stewart. I actually had a lot of fun with these by mixing and matching the architectural elements and getting inspired to design my own tweaks to the templates.
    Christmas,vintage,retro,crafting,crafts,puts,Americana,wreath,flocking,diy, almond rock
    I used a scalpel to cut everything out and a pair of scissors for scoring the folds. I mocked a few up first (see above) then I painted each with tester pots of emulsion I had lying around before construction and used pva glue to assemble.
    Christmas,vintage,retro,crafting,crafts,puts,Americana,wreath,flocking,diy, almond rock
    Adding thick pva glue, spread on the roof before sprinkling glitter in place was the messiest part. In a final bit of inspiration I glued baking parchment behind the windows to appear like panes of glass before gluing each building onto its snowy base, made from packing material William Gee had happened to use in a recent parcel sent to me!!
    Christmas,vintage,retro,crafting,crafts,puts,Americana,wreath,flocking,diy, almond rock
    I bought a pack of 46 trees of different sizes and colours and arranged them in pairs, adding some to sit alongside the houses. After testing out the placement of everything I glued everything in place and added a hanging ribbon. A bigger base wreath would have meant a more extravagant finished effect but this suits my hallway nicely. In hindsight these coloured trees might have been cuter? But I love the sparkles of mine and I have plenty more for crafting with next year.Christmas,vintage,retro,crafting,crafts,puts,Americana,wreath,flocking,diy, almond rock

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  • Other stuff

    Refashioning to the max-i

    I call this the Promaballoona project.

    If you don’t know about Oona and her “recent” Promaballoona you’re missing out. I wanted to go but had my own deadlines to work to and couldn’t whip up a dress in time (or sort the minor matter of flights out).

    Watching with jealousy as everyone else got ready, attended and had a kick-ass time made me think of my own “prom” gown. I use air quotes because I’m talking about my graduation ball from University instead.

    I was such a silly girl. I bought a vintage 70s dress that made me feel like a Bond-girl in the casino…

    …problem was my kick ass dress didn’t help me have a kick ass night. There was no James Bond to liven things up!

    I barely had any friends in my year, and the ones I did have weren’t attending. I got some nasty comments on my dress. And I had a pretty lame night overall.

    I cringe when I look back on it.

    Errr and for the record NO, I’m not putting any pictures on here as I’m cringing all over again at the thought! *Shudder*

    It’s all okay though because I gate-crashed my friends’ ball the next year while I was doing my MA and we had an amaaazing time.

    Ahem, anywhoo I still loved the dress and had wild ideas every now and then to chop it up and refashion it.

    I’m not really a maxi dress girl being so tiny. And the huge flouncy sleeves just swamped me really.

    But check out that gorgeous flower detail. That had to stay.

    The dress is pure acrylic, which is partly why I think it photographed so incredibly badly with flash and without. But it looks good in person trust me.

    First I unpicked the sleeves and sewed the arm holes as if the dress was always strapless. A little fiddly since I didn’t unpick the whole back bodice so had to turn the seam allowance inside and topstitch into place.

    Then I removed the skirt and lining completely. The skirt is a lot tighter than my uni days since my derriere is now more pronounced!

    So I made a new skirt pattern that was more gathered and swishy then the maxi column skirt and cut the lining and fabric out.

    I then sewed it all up and made sure I added pockets to the skirt. Because who doesn’t love pockets!

    The zip was a bit tricky. The dress had a lapped centre back zipper.

    Due to my unpicking and altering work I had to upick the whole thing and turn it in to a centre back zipper. It actually came out rather neatly!

    I finished the whole thing in about 7 hours (split over a series of nights) and wore it out on Saturday to a lovely dinner in Harrogate.

    Dinner was for my Mum’s and Brother’s joint birthday celebrations. We went to the amazing William and Victoria Restaurant in Harrogate.

    I still think I made it a touch too long. I wanted it at knee level but it’s just over my knees so still makes me feel a bit titchy! I’m going to take up the hem a couple of inches to raise the va va voom.

    I’m really pleased that I now have a dress I can still wear and can hopefully create some happier memories to associate with the dress.