Succulents are my cup of tea – did I just say that? That is such a mum thing to say, isn’t it? Oh well, I am a mum – arguably one that might need to get out a bit more in order to stop saying things like that. I will work on that.
When we updated our kitchen, we went for solid wood counters. We wanted a very white and neutral look for the kitchen and we knew that the wood would make it feel more welcoming and warm and it totally does. We are totally and utterly in love with our counter tops.
As kitchen counters come on pre-cut lengths, we had to get 2 full lengths for the long stretch along the window leaving us with plenty of wood left to do what we wanted with it. A big chunk of it was used to make a windowsill behind the sink and that left us with some off cuts of wood that would be no good for any other big project so we put the big pieces of wood left in the attic while we come up with projects for it and we left the small bits in the utility room.
After staring at them every time I did laundry or just passed by the utility room, I made a decision. I decided to make a couple of food boards out of them. It made perfect sense: I love food, my friends love food and I am always looking for ways to display the food in ways that looks pretty and it’s practical, and this would be yet another way to do it.
So once I united the boards, chalk paint and brushes I got on with it. Two hours later, a couple of magazines read, plenty of coffee drank and the paint dried, I gave the newly painted boards a rub with linseed oil to protect them and stuck some felt pads at the bottom to protect my counters from being accidentally scratched. Ready for using!
We have been using them a lot whenever we have had friends over. It makes everything look so pretty and yummy!
I have also being using them as a little personal tea station for one.
What do you think? Have you got any wood lying around your house? or are you coming to ours?
When we decided to change our kitchen, we not only wanted a fresher and more modern look, but we also wanted (and needed!) more practical storage. The existing kitchen was designed without any love or considering any practicalities so storage was a must for us.
The thing is, as much as we like storage, we also like displaying some items on our counters. Some people like having their counters clear of everything but that is definitely not us. We like stuff on our counters, not too much, definitely not everywhere and preferably,pretty stuff preferably. An organised chaos, strategically designed and planned before the organic and disorganised chaos settles in.
We had a wine box that used to host a variety of items in our old kitchen so I decided to update it to store our large collection of chopping boards. Out with the old and in with the updated/upcycled/new kind of thing. Although the box had already had a white wash previously, I wanted something a bit more contrasting to our new solid wood counters and I found a lovely d-c-fix paper to use on the box. (For more dc-fix projects see here and here)
A simple process of cutting to size and covering the outside of the box did it. I secured the edges with some staples to make sure it wouldn’t peel anytime soon and then tucked the extra bits under the box, securing it with staples. I then added some felt pads to make sure my lovely, fabulous and amazing new counters (can you tell that I love them?) would not get scratched.
It not only looks pretty but it is also very practical, and that is the main test, isn’t it? Pretty & useful. I love having the chopping boards at hand be for chopping vegetables, to put under a pot or as a serving dish. I only have to stretch my arm.
Have you upcycled anything lately?
Today you are in for a treat my lovely readers. The gorgeous Hayley from A Stitch To Scratch is here today to share the most amazing tips with us!
Hayley often inspires me to think outside the box when it comes to material and clothes and I know she will inspire you all today… so without further adue… I leave you with Hayley
Hello there Chaotic readers!
This is Hayley Margaret, and it’s a great honour to be guest posting over here on Itzi’s fabulous blog. Today I’m going to be sharing with you my favourite ways (personally and gathered from all corners of the internet) of getting that little bit more out of clothing nearing its end-of-life!
It happens to us all, we open our wardrobes, pick out something to wear and think, oh dear, that’s not going to last much longer. Or that won’t fit soon! Or even still have those items hanging around that have gotten a bit holey or too big / small but we can’t throw them away. We could still use them somehow, right?
Right! I’m a big fan repurposing clothes. If something isn’t working in my wardrobe, how can I change it to make it work. Sometimes I go out shopping in charity shops to find very cheap clothes ripe for repurposing! (just for fun!)
I figure when you are dealing with old clothes you have three main options: 1. Change it a little. 2. Change it a lot. 3. Complete function overhaul.
1. CHANGE A LITTLE
Nothing lasts forever, but if we tweak our clothes just a bit, we might be able to make them last a little longer. To eke the last bit of life out with a few small changes you could:
Cut an old Tshirt into a workout / lazyday tank.
This is one of my favourite things to do! When tshirts get a bit worn out (or if it’s a bit boring) I lop off the arms and the neck, tie the back straps together and voila, a chilled out tank top for working (or lazing!) out! If you’re interested, after you’ve read this awesome post, head on over to my blog where I’ll be sharing a picture blowbyblow of my own method!
Turn too short trousers into shorts with a cute cuff
This is a great one for kids, because they grow so fast! I don’t have any (yet), but I know I’ll be remembering this trick! There’s no reason why it also wouldn’t look awesome on an adult too! Jeans are expensive, let’s make the absolute most of them. I love this tutorial that explains exactly how to do this very easily!
Next time I have a pair of jeans on the outs, I’m going to try this!
Add a strip of lace to the bottom of too small shirts
I love this lifehack. I have this amazing female superhero shirt that I haven’t worn in over a year because it’s just too short. I don’t like the way it sits but I love the shirt, what to do?
Easy peasy. Grab yourself a strip of long lace (from any good haberdashery if you’re not weird enough like me to have lace just lying around) position it along inside of the hem stitching around the bottom of your shirt and stitch along the hem again in the same place as the original hem. The stitches will blend in with the original ones and you’ve added a bit of adorable to your shirt.
I did this with my favourite Femme Power tshirt and now it’s one of my top wardrobe items again, plus now it’s even cuter!
2. CHANGE A LOT
If you fancy getting a bit more adventurous, you could try to change your item into another type of clothing. With a bit of jigging around and a needle and thread, your old clothes can have a new lease of life as a totally different garment!
Turn a shirt to a pencil skirt
I found this tutorial online recently about re-purposing a men’s shirt into an awesome pencil skirt. Now I’m just waiting for one of my Boy’s shirts to reach its sell-by (and also scouring charity shops for bargains to transform!) so that I can try this out.
Make a cardigan out of a jumper or shirt
This has to be one of the easier changes in clothes I’ve seen. Your jumper’s getting a bit on the small side you say? I say cut down the centre of it. You can buy wundaweb or other iron-on hemming tapes from numerous shops. Just fold over the cut sides of your jumper to the back, place some hemming web between the layers and iron over according to manufacturer’s instructions. You can stop right there and have a cute little thing to wear open over a shirt on a colder day, or you can sew yourself on some buttons down one side to complete the cardigan effect.For a breakdown of the steps to do this you can visit this great page here.
Jeans become a skirt
If you, like me, have bits of fabric maybe lying around, here’s a great use for them and an old pair of non-fitting jeans.
This blog shares a great idea to open up the inside-seam of a pair of jeans and slip in a contrasting section of fabric, creating a lovely embellished denim skirt. The one featured in this instance is for a child – again a great idea for reusing your kids’ clothes when they inevitably outgrow them – but there’s no reason you can’t do this with an old pair of your jeans too!
3. COMPLETE FUNCTION OVERHAUL
I love this type of re-purposing possibly the best, because you get to exercise complete creativity. I guess it’s just one step down from cutting up my garment and harvesting it for fabric for my stash, but I prefer to have an idea of what it will be before I start hacking up an item of clothing!
Sleeves of a jumper into fingerless mitten gloves
The next thing I’m going to do with an old jumper is turn the sleeves into fingerless mittens for this abominable winter, a la this tutorial from The Renegade Seamstress
Jeans pockets into unique bunting
This is something I’ve recently done with a bunch of jeans backpockets I’ve been collecting (it does sound strange when you say it like that). I love recycling denim for projects so anytime we get an old pair of jeans need chucking, I harvest them for all possible reusable parts! The big chunks of denim go in my stash to be used for lovely little bits like the ears on my stuffed elephant mascot and the pockets go in a little drawer waiting until I had enough to do something awesome like this with them!I’ve sewn a little tunnel into the top of each of them to thread with string and hang like bunting. I think they’re a great little decoration (and pretty handy for storing things in!)
Old shirt to a headband
This last one is so easy that I’m itching to try it. This ehow tutorial shows you how to cut up your shirts and tie them into a celtic knot to make a cool headband. I am all about the headwear. I just need a nicecoloured top to try it with. If you don’t want to / can’t glue the ends together like the tutorial features, you can also sew them!
I hope I’ve managed to inspire you to think a little about throwing out or donating your old clothing the minute it becomes unwearable in it’s current format. Not only is changing it up a bit thrifty and sensible, but also really fun!
Thank you, Itzi, for letting me share some of my love for clothes alterations and re-purposing with you and your readers!
Thank you so much, Hayley, for the inspiration and the ideas! Love them!
It’s funny to see how different things are in every family. What is normal in one household might be something totally alien to another. You really get to appreciate all these differences when you start living with people, be friends, partners… everyone brings something different and new to the mix.
Where am I going with this? In my parent’s house in Spain, there has always been (or at least as far as I can remember) a painting brush in the kitchen. This “bug standard” painting brush was not for painting… oh no! it was to clean out the breadcrumbs left after cutting the bread. So, we would have the bread board, the bread knife and the bread brush. Perfectly normal. Or so I thought. Mr B always found it amusing. Useful, but amusing.
This got me thinking about what other uses I have around the house for painting brushes that were not, well, painting that are totally normal to me but other people may not know?
1. GETTING RID OF BREADCRUMBS
Brushing the breadcrumbs will make it easier to clean them as they will remain dry, not scatter around the place and won’t get stuck to the cloth making it all yucky. Also, you’ll be able to get the breadcrumbs that tend to hide in the corner…. the little feckers that make you stick your tong out when you are cleaning… those ones! They will be brushed away with your dignity intact!
2. CLEANING KEYBOARDS
For those moments after haven shaken your keyboard upside down and you realize how filthy it is, clean between the keys with the paintbrush to get out the hard to get dirt bits of stuff (or whatever they are!). Easy!
3. CLEAN THE VENTS IN YOUR CAR
By using a brush to clean the vents, you not only will you dust them but also you will push out any bit of dirt that might have got into them.
How cool is that? and how simple?
But I hear you (or maybe it’s just me!): Do I really want a manky old brush around my house in plain sight? Of course not!!! And that is why someone invented washi tape – to make everything prettier. By covering the silver part of the brush with washi tape and adding a pretty ribbon at the end, you have transformed a plain boring painting brush into something useful and pretty that you don’t mind displaying in your kitchen or your office.
So next time you are in a hardware store, get some brushes for home, give them some love and they will love you right back. As simple as that.
What do you think? Would you give it a go?
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Once upon a time, we had some very crappy table nests in the house. They were bought when we were very young, foolish (somethings never change) and we didn’t have much money. We needed little tables around the house so the nest was bought.
The years passed by and the tables survived few moves and many different uses before the legs broke. Despite having no emotional attachment whatsoever to these not-so-nice set of tables, I decided to keep the top of 2 of the tables as they were made of solid wood and I knew (ok, I thought? I hoped!) they could be up-cycled at some stage and become a whole new product. 6 years later, I feel vindicated.
I always liked old signs. Whenever I see an old sign in a second-hand shop I have to stop myself from buying it because, as much as I like old signs, I don’t want a sign that says nothing about my family in my house. I feel like I need to have some sort of personal connection with it, something that reminds us of something but as that was looking very hard to find, I decided to make one myself.
I knew exactly where I wanted to place it : crowning the gallery wall (does it sound posh or what!?!).
I wanted the sign to feel like an extension of the gallery wall but a tad bit different. Same but different, very clear, right?
For the “same” part, I decided to paint the background of the sign, aka the top of my table, with the same colors as my gallery wall: grey and white. I painted the stripes with Autentico Chalk Paint (Soft Grey and Casa Blanca) and then I distressed it by sanding it with fine grit sandpaper to make it feel old. Lastly, I gave it a coat of clear wax to seal the paint and to make it smoother. I love it!
I just wanted a simple but meaningful sign, a number and a letter. I got the 4 because there are 4 of us and the letter B because all our surnames start with B. It doesn’t get any more personal and simple than that, right?
I also painted the letters with Chalk Paint. First with the grey and then some pink (Antique Rose) so when I distressed the edges by lightly sanding them you can see the grey underneath ever so slightly. To give it a more romantic tone, I added some floral washi tape to the letters. That’s just me, a romantic at heart…
I then only had to glue the letters to the sign. It was a tough decision though… 4B or B4… I ended up going for 4B thus avoiding having to explain that the sign did not say “before”… which of course was going to happen…
I totally love the contrast between the rough grey and white background, and the vintagy (totally a word!!) and romantic feel of the letters.
So there it is, my very own, personalized, hand-made and full of meaning sign.
How easy was that? very!
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Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live and I think this should be one of our main aims in life, not only for us, but also for our children and the generations to come.
Recycling protects the environment by conserving raw materials and protecting natural habitats for the future. It also saves energy and can save you money. Recycling just one plastic bottle will save enough energy to power a 60 watt light bulb for three hours! Yes, you read right, three whole hours! Is that amazing or what!
I have recently come across an amazing company : Cotopaxi, an outdoor company that funds sustainable poverty alleviation, moves people to do good, and inspires adventure through innovative outdoor products and experiences.
I love that their main focus is to alleviate global poverty by building sustainable solutions working with local communities.
They make some amazing bags (check them out here!) made fully completely from re-purposed fabrics. They are practical, handmade and since they are all made from scrap material, no two bags are alike!
Very inspirational stuff, isn’t it?
I am delighted and chuffed to say that these amazing people are offering Organising Chaos readers
15% discount for their shop
using STICKERME code
Check them out. You will get an amazing product made with love and care by people for people, communities and the environment.
Last Sunday (November 15th) was AMERICA RECYCLE DAY. In Europe we have different recycling days (European Battery Recycling Day, European Week for Waste Reduction… ) but we should aim for everyday been Recycling day. Are you with me?
I have been working on putting together a gallery wall for my stairs.
I guess that when planning a gallery wall, the main considerations are the frames and the prints, or at least they were for me. I had good few frames lying around. They were different styles and sizes, which is good, but also different colors, which is not so good for me. I like the idea of totally different frames in some gallery walls but not for this one. I was looking for some bit of uniformity.
Deciding on what color to use in the frames has been the biggest delay in getting this infamous gallery wall started. I might have mentioned before that I am a bit
anal complicated when it comes to colors. I knew I didn’t want anything dark. I wanted to keep the stairs light and airy so I needed a light color. I also knew I wanted something neutral enough so the frames would not clash or take away from the prints.
After much deliberation (first world problem, right?), I decided to paint the frames light grey with Autentico Chalk Paint and complement the grey with some coral and light blue decorations and prints. I love the grey, coral, white and blue combination. It is light and fresh, calm and uplifting.
I have used chalk paint before (here, here and here) and you have probably figured out that I pretty much love it. There is no need for sanding and it covers any surface with very little effort, perfect! I decided to leave some frames grey, to lightly distress others and to mix the grey with some white in others to keep it lively and playful. A bit of variety within the uniformity. I like that.
I now have to plan how I am going to organize the frames on the wall. I like the random factor with some sort of order. You know what I mean, don’t you? I am hoping to share the final wall very soon.