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Thursday, 23 June 2011

New Week, New Crafty Skills

This past week has been all about me learning some new skills! Some crafty skills and some DIY skills.......throw them into a mix and what do you get? Well you get this..........
For a while now I have been admiring people upcycling and making old furniture a bit more jazzy. Moving house is the PERFECT opportunity to start dabbling in all sorts of crafts so when we went to go and buy our kitchen table and chairs I knew I wanted to treat them to a lick of paint. In fact you could say I have gone a bit nuts for spraypaint!
I have been spending so much time in B&Q lately choosing wall paint, choosing wood paint and spray paint but I still feel like a bit of a novice. No better way to learn that just to dive straight in!

Project one was this standing lamp that I bought at a furniture charity shop! I knew I wanted to duck egg blue it up and luckily I found the perfect colour. I didn't quite realise until I began painting with it that it was an oil based paint. This meant that it was a bit gloopy, it was smelly and it would take a while to dry. Oh well lets soldier on!
First task was to get all the lamp sanded down. Its a bit tricky with all those nooks and crannies! Then time to prime it and finally get the colour on!

Sanded down lamp
The duck egg blue lamp!
Voila! Didn't buy a big enough lamp shade though.....oppps


For my first chair I decided to use spraypaint.
Rustoleum Painter's Touch. It comes in such a range of colours but I fell in love with this French Lilac colour.
First job was to sand down the chair to "key" it, basically for the paint to stick to something. I also decided to spray on a coat of primer. Primer acts in the same way it provides a surface for the paint to adhere to.
The spraypaint dries quite quickly with a 20 minute drying time which comes in handy when the Aberdeen weather decides to go from sunny to pouring with rain.


David helping me sand
The primed chair with its first spray of Lilac!

Next stage once the primer was dry was to apply the French Lilac colour. I find spray painting a bit addictive. You begin your project and you come to love the results and just want to keep on going. It is so easy and easy to get to all the hard to reach bits too! All you need is a bit of newspaper on the ground and voila!





Doesn't it look nice? I was in two minds whether or not to distress it a bit but to be honest i love the solid a colour! The lovely cushions are courtesy of my mum they go so nicely!

Chair number 2 is currently in progress so will feature very soon, a nice Guava Green it will be too.

Alongside spraypainting furniture I also had a go at soap making for the first time with the girls from my knitting group. I couldn't believe how simple it was! Simple = good = I want to do more. As I am writing this I am planning a trip to Hobbycraft to see what supplies they have. Soap is a very pretty, quick gift. Just find a box get some fancy paper and you can make it look really brill. This could be a good contender for Xmas 2011 presents. You have been warned!

How to Make Soap

Firstly you need to cut up the soap blocks and melt them. You can do this in an old pan or in the microwave. We did ours in the microwave. We had two types of soap opaque and clear.
Make sure you keep stirring the melted soap, you don't want a skin to form and it starts to harden quite quickly. It is a good idea to have all your materials ready before hand.

You can put whatever you like in soap. We had special scents and colours that we got from a soap making suppliers. Whilst you are stirring your melted soap add in your chosen colour and scent and keep stirring!
We had a choice of Honey, Sea Breeze, Lavender and Rose scents to choose from.There was also a lot of glitter flying around the table.

Once it is all mixed up nicely (like a cake) you can pour it into moulds. We had silicone soap making moulds but you could also use cupcake cases (we started using these once we run out of moulds!) However if you use the cupcake moulds you won't get such a defined finished shape.

I decided to add some buttons into my soap, not exactly practical but pretty! I was going for the more decorative soap that sat in a bathroom. However I suppose you could use it and as the soap wore down you got some buttons to donate to your next craft project! You can also add dried flowers such as lavender, rose buds, poppy seeds etc.

Once you have poured your soap into the mould and everything is added in you need to leave it alone to harden. We were a bit impatient and took them out earlier than recommended! But keep an eye on it and you will see how long it takes. The recommended time to leave them is 4 hours.

 Not quite 4 hours later this is what we had......

My clear button and glitter soap before its ready......

...And once it has hardened!

This was the opaque soap with some buttons inserted

And buttons added on the top

Fancy giving it a go? Go for it! It is so easy and the results and well worth it!

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