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Give your furniture an antiqued or distressed look

Distresse look furniture

A few years ago while in high school I learnt about antiquing, now when I look at this table that has been in the storage room for some time and I need to use it again but the is not budget I thought back to that. This technique is very simple and it gives furniture a character and best of all it can be used on just about anything from frames to tables and cupboards

Antique finish

The trick thought is making the worn effect realistic. To know where exactly to apply the worn effect, except for the edges try handles and areas that are handled regularly and to know what the history of your article is. That is has it been painted over and over before or has is just been painted once.

If your history is continuous painting you will need two different paints it preferred that the top coat be brighter than the top to get the full effect of the distressing and for the painted once effect you will need just one paint and the effect will reveal the bare wood below.


Layered didtressed look

Layered didtressed look

To preserve the genuineness of your colour choice for long, you will need to paint clear polyurethane over the finished project. A water-based polyurethane that won’t yellow over time and is therefore my best choice.

You will need to clean and sand down your chosen furniture before you start painting on it.


Paint the whole piece in the base coat colour you’ve selected then for the bare-wood look: When the base coat is dry, start sanding off areas that would naturally end up distressed do not get carried away with the sanding and sand too much of the paint off then wipe the furniture piece with a cloth.

Layerd detail

Paint the whole piece in the base coat colour you’ve selected, for the two colour look: Rub candle wax on the areas where you’d like to see colour show through. Don’t forget to do the sides and back; you want the entire piece to be finished. Then apply the top coat over the base coat and the wax, cover the entire furniture piece well. After the paint dries, rub the steel wool over the areas you’ve waxed, if you dip it in hot water it will be quicker and easier then wipe off the piece with the cloth.


Apply a finish if desired


DIY mirror frames

Carved mirrors

Its easy to create your own DIY mirrors frames using inexpensive or even free materials to macth your room decor. You can find an intact mirror or an empty frame that could be modified into the theme. Glass companies can cut mirrors to fit many custom sizes. Here are a few simple techniques for customising an empty frame using fabric and other natural materials.

Remove mirror from frame

   DIY Mirror Frame with Fabric

Cut the Fabric to Fit the Frame

Cut the fabric into strips, each a few inches wider and longer than each section of the frame, the shape of the fabric cuts will be determined by the shape of the frame.Lay out one strip of cloth, right side down, and place a section of the frame down over it, also right side down. Wrap the fabric around the frame just like wrapping a package, and staple the fabric into place. To add a fancy touch, the fabric can be ruched before stapling to create a pretty pattern.

Fabric frame

Stapel the fabric back to the frame and replace the mirror to the back of the frame as it was.

For ths option you can also use wool, this is more time consuming though, you loop the wool aroung the frame until the frame is completly covered, you can opt to use one or a number of colours.

Cable knit Frame

This next technique involves using small sticks, twigs, pieces of bark, pine cones, shells or any other thing that interests you.

DIY Mirror with Twigs and shells

The sticks can be any kind you like and the sizes can differ to make a more interesting frame. Cut them either lengthwise to cover the length of the frame or widthwise to cover the width of the frame.

emty frame and


Paint the sticks and let them dry well in time before you you apply them to the frame, it will be less messier and remember to colour your life interesting.

Lay the frame down onto a work surface right side up. Use the hot glue gun to glue the sticks into the desired pattern, you can also usse wood glue or epoxy.

Shelled Mirror

You can use shells and bark be creative and make patterns, you can also use tiles to create a mosaic effect, most buliders supply stores sell these in mats that you can just cut to shape and stick.

Mirror with sticks

art motifs

These can be bought from an art supply store and stuck on the frame very easy, you also have an option of buying decorated cornices and then stiking them on the frame.

you can use decorated cornices for this one

Improve the look of your Vases

Stained vase

As a youngster I did a bit of painting on fabric, glass and other mediums and that is a bit, I went to lessons on weekends for the year and I you can imagine how little I know of paintings but I did pick up a few things that came in handy at times in my life.

The other day I was looking at the vases in the flower shop and seeing the price tags on them, I cringed. I also noticed that the clear undecorated ones where cheaper by up to 75%. I thought back to those high school days and then decided I will take a clear glass and stain it myself.


Vase divided in parts

The top vase is the easiest to do as you just put your vase upside down and pour down the paint and let it drip, you can have the different colours flow at the same time, this creates a spectrum of colours. You can choose the colours you want and those that will give beautiful colours when mixed.



Colour blocking.

This  style is easier  to paint as you can use the separetor wait for it to dry or semi dry out and you can paint the different colours in the blocks.

This vase is painted from the bottom-up while the vase is upside down like the top one with various colours of the glass staining paint, unlike the top one to get the clear separete lines you will need to use fine tip paint brushes and to wait for the different colours to dry out completely befor the next colour can be introduced.


Cracked vase

Tip: to hasten drying place in the sun or at low heat in the microwave.

This vase is one I like the most, it involves deocopage. It has better advantages my limited knowledge, you can take the vase and clean it make sure its dry, take a picture or any drawing you like, transfere it on to a 75-80gsm paper. paint over the areas of the vase in a colour you want and wait till its completely dry. Paint only on the site you will be pasting your picture with the deocopage glue or paper glue. When this is completely dry take step 1 of the cracker and paint the whole surface of vase. Apply with the deocopage cracker step 2  after its dryed out, this is the one that actualy makes the cracks, please note that the are various sizes of cracks that is the cracks comes out with variying sizes from small to large.


Screens to divide and decorate your rooms

Screens are really versatile and can be used to divide a room or to hide what you would not have guests see.  You can also show case your trips and art works or in.  They are really easy to make and relatively in expensive. If you take one of the pictures with to your local supplier they may be able to help with all your requirements.


A screen can be any size, although for this project we’ve used three 16mm thick MDF panels cut to 1800 x 450mm. Have them cut professionally by the supplier to make the job even easier. I usually buy mine from Builders warehouse and they cut it for me at no extra cost, you have to have your measurements ready though. The back of each panel is painted and the fronts  can be covered with padding  (cut 2m x 1.5m into three pieces) and 2m of 1.5m wide fabric, you can also use your family pictures to give this a more personal and sentimental feel. Use upholstery fabric, heavy cotton drill or denim, you can also use mirrors to create an impression of more space and increase the rooms lighting. Uses more interesting hinges and match the upholstery nails to make them a feature, you can also use interesting handles to improve the look.


Shoji screen


1 Prepare the panels

Paint the back of each panel with sealer/primer, followed by two coats of acrylic paint of your choice, you can also use wood strainers.

2 Attach the padding

Cut strips of padding slightly larger than the panels. Lay it on the unpainted face of each panel and fix with a staple gun. Trim away any excess.

3 Attach the fabric

Fold the edge of the fabric under by 8-10mm, lay it over the padding and staple to the narrow edge of the panel. Tension the fabric across the panel and staple the fabric to the other three edges. Fold the edges under.


Screen used for decorative purposes


4 Tidy the edges

Fix a strip of upholstery tape to the narrow edges of the panel to cover the fabric edges and staples. Use decorative upholstery nails at 50mm intervals.

5 Join the panels

Lay two panels face down and align the bottom edges. Attach a pair of hinges 400mm from the top and bottom of the panels. Turn the joined panels painted side up, butt the remaining panel against them and attach the remaining hinges

Toddlers to Pre-teens Bedrooms

Sport Theme

Butterfly theme

Decorating kiddies and pre-teens bedroom is a lot easier than that of new kids but its not fuelled by that great anticipation and the nesting phase has long left you. This is because you already know who you will be decorating for and their likes and dislikes, favourite colours, cartoons, movies and stars.

Boys bedding

Bat man

This will give you an idea of how to decorate their rooms. For bedding most retailers have a variety of character sets, mats, pillows and other accessories. You could also get the letters and flowers or stencils from your local scrapbooking or craft stores.

Racing cars

toddler bedroom decorating ideas

Pink love

Decorating Kids Bedrooms

Froggy theme

Finding out that you are pregnant and the whole pregnancy period is very exciting. I remember how excited I was and the planning that followed. I had a specific look for the baby room and knew exactly where to get everything but the bedding; I had a tailor make them for me.

Below are a few looks you may like. Baby boutiques here in south Africa a very expensive and for particular themes you will have to go the tailor route as they may not carry them. Look around in major retailers as well as hardware stores, you still have time If its still early in your Pregnancy to shop around for the individual items and please do not despair as this is the most enjoyable time.

I enjoyed this putting together of the room and the joy of seeing it all come together as I brought each new item home.

The above theme is my favorite and the one I chose for my daughter, I even had frog sidelambs(from Builders warehouse). and covering slips for the chest of drawers( whichI got from PEPs- they have a few varied themes). I opted out of the wall paper(most baby botiques carry) and dought a border from Game stores.

The following website will help with where to find stuff and inspiration;

if you need extra help you can leave a comment with your email address and I will get back to you.

Making your own headboard – Part 2

White tufted headboard with rectangular button pattern

Making your own head board or updating your old upholstered one can be moderately difficult to do but very rewarding. I will show you almost step by step directions you will need to pull it off. The steps are the same for all the headboard style just the size of the boards used will be different.

You will need:

Boards cut to size

Material cut at to size (leave at least 7cm extra on the sides)

Staple gun and staples

Betting cut to size

Foam cut to size

Nails (will depend on the option you choose)

Buttons (optional according to your choice of headboard)

Any home improvement store or building supplies store will be able to help you cut all the boards according to your needs, free of charge. The same applies to the fabric/haberdashery store.

Before you start you’ll need to know a few things about your bed:

1.            Width of your bed: The headboard should be slightly wider than your mattress. Don’t forget – the padding and foam will add slightly to the width also (usually less than 2.5cm).


2.            Height of your headboard: This is up to you; first you’ll want to figure out the purpose of your headboard. Are you creating it only for décor purposes, or is it also for functional purposes such as for resting against it to read a book or watch TV? If it’s for function, be sure you make it tall enough so you can comfortably lean against it without your head hitting the wall!

You can choose to do a few small blocks  or one large one, below is the options of the small blocks

Red squares headboard

This is the patch work look


This is the layering that you should follow

how to layer the items


  1. 1.       Have enough fabric to generously cover the front of your headboard and the back side about 25 cm extra. Wrap the fabric over the top edge of headboard and secure with a staple in the centre, about 7cmfrom the edge.

2. On the opposite edge, pull fabric taut and staple to secure. Repeat on remaining two sides, then staple all around the edges, pulling cloth tight.


3. Fold the fabric at one corner into a neat finish by tucking the excess underneath and smoothing the top down. Secure with three or four staples, keeping the folds flat and even. Repeat for each corner.

4. If you would like to add buttons you should have extra 60cm of fabric from the edge as the button pattern requires more fabric, there are special button that can be bought from your local haberdashery- they should also be able to show you how to cover them with your fabric of choice.

5. Saw your buttons on to the fabric and betting before you staple it on to the board. Take a tailor’s chalk and draw on the diamond pattern on the fabric and saw the buttons on at the crossing point.


When done you can hang on your wall

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