Before I started hosting, the days between Christmas and New Year were blissfully quiet. Free from the usual demands of my ‘day job’, and with the housemates on holiday, I could crack on with the more enjoyable home projects normally put on hold. What luxury!
For me, that meant upcycling vintage furniture. I’m a firm believer in ‘make do and mend’, and that has allowed me to furnish my listings in a unique, but inexpensive, way. Plus, it’s so therapeutic. I miss pottering about, paint brush in hand, with newspaper strewn all over the dining table and floor, neither pressed for time nor bothered about the mess.
If you are taking a break from hosting this holiday or find yourself with time on your hands at any time of year, why not get creative? Perhaps you are hanging out with family and friends, but making, baking or painting things together can often be more entertaining than the television, especially if you can get the kids (and pets) to join in.
Painting furniture may not be for you, but there are plenty of other projects, big and small, you could try your hand at. You don’t need to like the vintage look either – just search for ‘Ikea hacks’ on Pinterest and you will see what I mean!
There are far too many potential projects to include in one post, so I’m going to start with the simple picture frame (PS none of the following photos are mine, but I will try to add source credits when I have time). Do you have any old picture frames or mirror frames knocking about where the glass has broken? Or maybe some random ones in different colours and styles that don’t go together or match your interiors? I’m always on the hunt for bargain picture frames because there are so many uses for them.
One of the most popular extra touches in my guest rooms are the ‘welcome’ chalkboards, where I write each guest’s name. If you don’t have one already, consider making one. It’s so easy with an old picture frame, some MDF and blackboard (or magnetic) paint.
With the addition of some backing, e.g. cork, or wadding and a favourite fabric, picture frames can also be turned into pin boards to display useful information, such a tourist leaflets, maps and timetables. You can add brass bulldog clips or a ribbon trellis and go as elaborate as you like or keep it simple – all chic options in my opinion.
Don’t have the time or confidence to make something out of a frame? Simply grouping them together can make a stunning display.
If yours are all mismatched, it doesn’t matter. Just paint them. A trick I’ve learnt is to paint them the same colour as the walls (use the eggshell, satinwood etc. version in the same tone – the smallest pot will do), which looks fab.
Haven’t run out of frames yet? Turn them into shelving. Mounting them onto some cheap shop bought shelves or pieces of MDF etc. turns them into instant designer bookshelves (or shelves for any manner of things - I have something similar in one of my bathrooms).
Et voilà! I hope you’ll never look at that humble picture frame in the same way again 😊
Yes, do have a go. I think that is the simplest project as most shop bought frames already come with a hardboard backing, so you just need to paint that with the blackboard paint and remove the glass (plus paint the frame if you want to change the colour). It's also a good way of using a frame if you've accidentally broken the glass!
@Huma thanks for inspiring everyone with all those cool ideas. I esp. like the shelves with the frame but that one pic of the dark wall and all those fabulous frames and how cool with stacking them -- is very very stunning to me.
You've inspired me before to redo some old bedside tables and they are wonderful (to me) and I lined the inside of the drawers with some bright linen fabric.
all the best and thanks again for keeping us inspired with such beauty.
Happy New Year Huma!
Thanks so much for your always kind words! Great to hear that you re-did your bedside tables. Do you have any photos to share? I've lined drawers with wallpaper before, but not fabric so would love to see how those worked out. Was it tricky to do?
@Huma I have guests now but next week I'll shoot a pic and send you....it was easy as I pressed the fabric/ starched it to be crisp folded my corners to fit perfectly, pressed them .....used alittle hot glue and it looks awesome. And if I want to change it up - its super easy. They just seemed so much nicer with fabric instead of painting them. I've used wallpaper but prefer fabric as its so flexible. I'm all about fabrics, and from years on mission trips I have a huge amount of wonderful african fabrics. I will send you a pic to share some lovely colors and designs - I have shirts and dresses in loads of colors - all cotton fabrics - all batiked or wood block printed - I really was born in the wrong country.
@Clarathat certainly sounds cool and you also make it sound easy, but I'm guessing you're a dab hand with fabric.
That is something I definitely need to get more creative with. The other day I decided to re-upholster a chair for the first time. It's quite a straightforward task but I was immediately scuppered because, despite having a mountain of fabric pieces, none of the ones I wanted to use were quite big enough. So much for make do and mend. I guess I will have to go shopping after all.
@Huma wow, upholstering a chair is work - I can handle the seats or a foot stool, or sewing something but a big chair - that's work, and lots of fabric and time - I'll leave that to the experts. Now I have a sister in law that is brillant with such. Always amazes me how some folks just CAN DO. Enjoy shopping and buy lots of fabric.
I totally love your drapes and how then hang on the floor - all so elegant - and those tall ceilings. Your place is so terrific - and that gold bed....................oh my the shape of it is exquisite.
more later, take care Huma
Thank you @Cathie. I will also need to practise what I preach and get the paint brushes back out. This has been the busiest Christmas so far in terms of hosting and it's not slowing down over the New Year, but once January gets going, I'm hoping to get cracking with more projects.
I'm sure lots of people like you are away at Christmas, or otherwise busy, so perhaps January is really the time to get creative for most of us!
Yes, and the last time I made a new year resolution, it was to stop making new year's resolutions! I think that is the only one I have stuck to (until now).