DIY Antique Style Initial Baubles

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I love window shopping once Christmas decorations are in store. Any other time, no thank you, booorring, but as soon as the magic of Christmas is in the air and inspiration all around, it’s a whole different story. I may be in my twenties but so what, I’m cool with the giddy excitement I get from decorating my house with personalized festive goodness.

One store had these old fashioned baubles with initials on that I fell in love with. £4 each wasn’t that steep for one bauble, but then I would like to buy one for my boyfriend too – I couldn’t just have my own initial on our tree – but it’s also my nephews first Christmas… The thought went on for a while, and you can guess how it ended, so here are my easy antique style initial baubles!


– Wooden discs

– Chosen initial on paper

– Bowl with water and tea or coffee

– Clear drying glue

– Red ribbon

– Twine

– Hot glue gun

– Glitter paint

– Paint brush

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Step one;
Soak one disc in a bowl of water with coffee or tea. I used loose tea leaves, specifically for the next part. Once the disc has turned yellow take it out and rub the tea leaves into the disc, both sides. This will stain the wood. If you want a darker colour there are others steps to take using steel wool and vinegar, but I wanted it quickly and only lightly stained. Wash off the leafs in the bowl of tea and leave in a warm place to dry. Don’t get rid of the liquid yet, you will need it again. I recommend cutting a toilet cardboard tube down one side and laying the disc in it, so it is held by just the edges, and popping it on the radiator.

Step twoIMG_0634 1;
Print out an initial onto normal paper, a little smaller than the size of the disc. I chose fancy ones I liked from Google, but you could always draw your own. Hold the disc behind the paper and hold up to the light, move it round till the initial is in the middle of the disc then tear the paper around the disc. Once you’ve torn it to fit perfectly, tear it more and rough it up so it isn’t a perfect circle. Then tea stain the paper too and wait for it to dry. If neither the paper nor disc are dark enough, you can repeat the staining.

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Step three; IMG_0646 1
Mix some clear drying glue (PVA) with some liquid from the bowl, so it works as another stain. Cover one side of the disc and place the paper onto it, then coat the paper in the glue too, and the back. Leave to dry.

Step four;
Glitter time! Depending on how transparent your glitter paint is, you could completely cover the bauble, or the lettering, or just the edge. Anything. Do what you need to do. I believe in you. Do it.

IMG_0664 1Step five;
All that is left to do is to cut the red ribbon to the desired length and hot glue gun the ends to the back of the bauble – making sure to leave a small gap in the middle. Next you make a little bow out of twine. If you leave the first knot of the bow pretty loose, you can use that part to glue to the bauble. Blob a little bit of glue in the gap you left and pop the bow on.

And here is the finished product!

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Over and out, Emily x


Toddler Christmas Crafting

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Speaking as an aunty, and a lover of crafting, it is a great feeling when the two are brought together. Not a room full of aunties crafting, I mean creating and crafting with the toddler. And throw Christmas in the mix too and it’s pure magic and excitement!

This is the first post of a ‘Toddler Crafting’ series on this blog, and we start with these hanging stars. The little man in my life is only 18 months old, so he isn’t that capable, nor too interested, but is that going to stop me? So of course it’s very simple, and it’s the adults job of creating something from their art.IMG_0574 1 4

The most important part is to let the toddler go to town on the card. Keep encouraging more paint, more paint, more paint! Like a mad scientist. It’s cool, children don’t judge.

And then it comes to a point when the painting is over and done with, off on to the next task for him, and it’s your job of creating it into something for him to admire.

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Next I used my star cutter, but you could easily just cut out shapes yourself. I arranged them out onto a table and sewed them together with gold metallic thread, creating a hoop at the top and a knot at the bottom. The card I used is fairly thick so when it’s hanging the stars stay where they are, but you could use some clear tape over the thread on the back to keep them in place.

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Experiment away with shapes and combinations!

They’re great to hang near a window so the sunlight glints off the glitter. Or near a door so they twirl in the wind. And the enjoyment from the toddler as they twirl or shine tops it all off.

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IMG_0628 2Over and out, Emily x

Storage Without Spending

Jars can be wonderful storage – once cleaned, obviously. I like to use them with everyday items that I have lots of, such as make-up brushes, paint brushes, pens, and nail varnishes, but the list is endless. You could even re-use them to store food, if you’re into making your own jams and stuff, or rice, or sweets. You could make snow globes, candle holders, oh my God you could do ANYTHING!.. I believe in you.. But I won’t be doing ‘anything’, all I need is some storage.

My lids aren’t pretty – I don’t particularly want ‘Dolmio’ to represent my nail varnishes. I like pasta, but not that much. So I took a quick trip to my nearest DIY store and took a few free samples of wallpaper. I wanted bright colours, but I suppose people don’t really want those sorts of colours on their walls :(, but doesn’t matter, seeing as it was free I can’t really complain. This is what I did.



I cut a square in the wallpaper. You can be really particular in deciding how to position it, but I’m a bit more of a free spirit I suppose. I used this decoupage glue to stick the lid to the paper, but I’m sure you could use PVA or even a hot glue gun – the wallpaper is thick and is meant to be covered in glue, so it won’t seep through. There were some ridges on all my lids, so I had to make sure not to push down into them, because very much like wallpapering a wall, it could go uneven and create bubbles.

Then I cut around the lid, making sure there was enough room to cover the sides, and cut lots of little slits. After that I painted glue around the sides and carefully flapped the slits one over the other, and as my glue dries clear I painted a very thin coat around the edge, just to keep it in place.


I like to organise them into brands rather than colours or seasons. I decorated them with bits of ribbon and twine I had and made little labels. I have three other jars too – it’s good to like colours.. I tell myself every time I buy another varnish.

Another quick DIY here;


As I was cooking the labels off lots of wine bottles (not all mine!) (not that it matters) I was admiring these two wine bottles – aren’t they stunning! I think these were from Christmas as my uncle had some expensive wine, and they look like they were expensive, don’t they? Even their wine labels were stunning. The glue used for most wine labels never dries (which is why you have to cook it off), so I started to wrap string around it and it stuck, without me adding any more glue. And I think they are very pretty indeed.
I like to change things up around the house, so it may not stay here, it may move, or I may throw them away. But it doesn’t matter when it’s free, that’s the beauty in it. In my opinion anyway.

Over and out, Emily x

My Top Tips For Living in Rented Accommodation

When I moved into my rented house I had high hopes to change everything. I’m one of those whose heart and ideas run ahead of my head, which usually means I learn things the hard way. Luckily I didn’t have the money to do much, so although I may have planned to do things, I couldn’t (phew). You may be old and wise, I on the other hand am young and stupid.. not to put you off reading.. So I am a twenty something year old girl trying to give basic tips to help moving in easier for you.

Tip 1: Some walls are ugly. Really ugly, who decided yellow or cream is good? Who, please? Ask your landlord if you can paint your walls white. If they say no.. too bad.. but usually they don’t mind, as you are doing them a favour! White is a blank canvas. And clean. Always want to appear clean. And how much is a pot of paint? Not much, it’s worth it.

Tip 2: Don’t spend money on the place because it’s not yours! ..other than that pot of paint I mentioned.. Spend it on your belongings, they are yours. How much do you pay for rent every month? On top of that you are giving your landlord that lovely wallpaper you just put up, and that floor you just laid. When you move it cant come with you. Maybe buy a big frame and put a free sample of some quirky, fun wallpaper in it. And when you leave you can grab it and run away with it, laughing and shouting ‘you can’t have it, it’s mine!’ Yeah? Cool.


Tip 3: I’m assuming you have no money like me, we are all poor nowadays, which means we are all rich. Yay win! Create stuff without even knowing you had that stuff! I found a misused frame, an old PJ top, a barbie hat and a teeny tiny hat I knitted when I was teeny tiny. And I created this thing. This only exists because I was going through boxes out of my Nan’s loft and came across these hats. Have a rummage through old stuff, and something new may come of it. Super cute! And all free-ish.


Tip 4: Most of my furniture is second hand. Actually, all of it may be, or there abouts. Either given from friends and family, or bought in a charity shop. My best friend always comments that my house is so nice as all my furniture matches – only because I’ve decorated it that way. My coffee table was from the YMCA for £10.. Young man, there’s no need to feel down.. It was a bedside table, brown and ugly with graffiti on the top about how much Kez luvz Ryan or something. It also had a drawer in, but I measured it before buying it and realised without the drawer in it would fit my big books that wouldn’t fit in my book shelve.

I sanded it down forever, but Kez’ luv for Ryan would not come off. It was really scratched in, she really luved him. Anyway, I painted it with primer, then white paint. (I did the same to the drawer and painted it light brown, and it is now being used like a basket for my Xbox stuff) And Kez’ luv was still visible! True luv. I was going to cover the top with something anyway, I knew this when I bought it. So then on impulse one day this happened, my coffee rings. Then I varnished it and Kez’ luv was never seen again. The end.


Tip 5: Pictures, photos and anything on the wall! Again, it depends if your landlord allows you to hammer a few nails in your walls. When I moved in there were a few nails up already, so I put a few more up. If not you could always use stick on hooks, which I have done also. They aren’t usually strong enough for frames, but you can hang light things like dream catchers on them. Or a fabric banner of your Hogwarts house, as we all know that is a true determination of someone’s personality. More so than star signs.
My best friend has a vinyl wall quote on her wall, which looks really good too. And I believe it isn’t too difficult to remove if your landlord gets angry when you move.

Tip 6: Old toys are now cool! In the last photo you can see a yellow submarine. That was my Dad’s when he was a young boy. My Nan gave it to me a few years ago as it had been sitting unloved in a box forever. She is surprised I still have it, and that it’s on display, but it’s so cool! John, Paul, George and Ringo even pop out if you press a button. So have a look at old toys you still have and maybe display them? (I also have a Pokemon tamagotchi on display that is like 15 years old)


Tip 7: Plant pots look super duper! If you remember to water the plants. Hence the only alive plant is a cactus.


Tip 8: Make over old items! Like my coffee table I showed you, I painted this bathroom storage box. It was donated from my Mum and looked rather tatty. And now it looks a lot better if I do say so myself!

These are just a few simple tips from a girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing, to people who don’t know what they’re doing (I assume this of you, as you wouldn’t keep reading if you knew everything) (sorry if I am wrong). This is all for now.

Over and out, Emily x