Category Archives: Crafting & DIY

Handmade // baby gym

This is quite possibly my favourite DIY project ever! Not least because seeing our littlest enjoy playing with it makes me smile, but because we all had a part in making it together as a family, including Arthur who helped Daddy drill the holes.

Many of the baby gyms we have seen online are brightly coloured, whilst they serve good purpose, they are not our taste and would only make our small living room seem much smaller and feel cluttered. What we really wanted was one that, not only provided entertainment for Rupert but one that was made from natural materials that felt like it belonged in our home and fitted with our simple style. Making our own was the perfect solution and it was so easy too.

To make your own baby gym you will need:

4 x 400mm length of wood, the pieces here are 20mm wide
1 x 400mm length of dowel
2-3 packs of wooden beads (we found ours here)
1.5m (approx) of ribbon, we have used hand-dyed silk scraps
Drill (including drill bit to match the dowel + a smaller one)
Saw
Sandpaper
Needle

Method:

Cut the wood to length, the measurements above are approximate but work well. We mitred the bottom edges with a 45 degree angle so it sits flat to the ground when opened out

Using a drill bit the same width as the dowel, drill a hole at the top of each length of wood. Then drill a small hole mid way down each length of wood.

Push the dowel into the holes at the top of the wood (two on each side, this will create the A-frame structure)

Sand any rough edges

Thread some ribbon through the smaller holes on the A-frame, this will stop the frame opening out too far

Thread a series of beads on to ribbon and tie them to the dowel at the top

Over time we planning to add different things to hang down from the bar at the top to keep it interesting. As autumn is upon us we thought fir cones and dried crunchy leaves might be a nice idea for a different texture. Or some bells to add a different sound. But for now, we love it as it is and its really lovely to see Rupert happily explore it with his hands and feet.

For those who may be interested:

Rupert’s romper  // Wilbur the wooden stacking dog* // Wooden rattle // Bear rattle* // Wicker toy basket* // This is not a sponsored post although the products marked with * were sent to us as a gift. 

Natural Beeswax Food Wraps

In a bid to live a little more with good intentions and be a little more mindful of the things I buy and consume I have been looking into natural and homemade things for our home to help make the “everyday” chores and necessities a little more joyful. Reusable, natural beeswax food wraps are the perfect alternative to using clingfilm and tin foil to keep food fresh, not only do they look and feel more beautiful to use they are also a good choice to make when thinking about cutting down on waste and making an intentional decision to do our bit for the environment.

I find making things for our home to be both joyful and satisfying, even more so when the finished result serves a good purpose and is something really useful. These beeswax food wraps are really simple to make, just sprinkle a few natural beeswax pellets onto a piece of clean, natural, unbleached cotton and pop in the oven* on a low heat for five to ten minutes. Once the wax has melted into the cotton it is time to take them out and allow to cool.

The wraps can be used over and over again for months providing they are kept clean between use. Use a little soap, rinse with cold water and leave to air dry. The warmth of your hands is enough to make them malleable enough to wrap.

Here are some great reasons to give them ago:

  • Natural beeswax has antibacterial properties and is safe to use with food.
  • The wraps can be used again and again eliminating waste
  • Eco-friendly
  • The process of making something useful for your home is highly satisfying
  • A beautiful alternative and it won’t get all tangled up like clingfilm tends to do

Do you like to make things for your home that are both beautiful and useful? Please do share your makes with me I would love to hear them.

Laura xxx

*use an old baking tray

 

Linen Cupboard Update With Chalk Paint By Annie Sloan

We have a beautiful old linen cupboard that once belonged to a great uncle, then my aunty, before being passed on to us. I love its shape and it’s the perfect size for our family needs.

It’s a beautiful old cupboard and has sentimental value because it was loving restored by my aunty, but the wood was too dark for my taste as I like our home to feel light and bright. Thanks to Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan I was able to give this little linen cupboard the perfect makeover to freshen up one of the darkest little corners of our home. I love the results so much.

I have painted lots of furniture here at home in the past, in favour of giving old pieces a new lease of life and creating a calm and relaxed vibe by choosing pale colours. Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan are my favourite because they are so easy to use and the variety of techniques available means you can achieve some really beautiful and creative finishes. I have often opted for the simple paint and wax technique which I have always been really pleased with, but this time I wanted to try something a little bit different. I love the rustic french chipped paint look which can be achieved in a couple of different ways using two or three different colours from the range.

I simply gave the cupboard a coat of Old White Chalk Paint first allowing it to dry fully before painting all the edges with Scandinavian Pink. Once the pink was dry I waxed the edges with Annie Sloan Clear Wax, this meant that once a final coat of Old white was added to the whole cupboard I was able to chip back the top layer (with a pallet knife and sandpaper) along the edges revealing the pink beneath it, creating a rustic chipped paint effect. And finally, I waxed the whole cupboard to seal the paint and protect it.

Do you love to upcycle old furniture? I love the words on the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint paint mixer (see the fourth image down) PAINT EVERYTHING! yep! that’s what I like to do here!

Laura x

This post was written in collaboration with Annie Sloan who kindly sent me the pots of Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan brushes to use. Thank you for supporting the brands I love.

A winters Tale #DifferenceMakesUs

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Gather up the season into your favourite basket, red and green, berries and fir, soft leafy twigs and all the things that smell as fresh as a winters morning. Sit a while and twist what you have into a simple wreath to hang on your door. This is one of the ways I love to welcome the festive season ahead.

A couple of weeks ago I got together with my sister to make our Christmas wreath, eat chocolate and listen to Christmas music – it has become a lovely little tradition over the last few years and one I look forward to with great joy. Do you like to make your own Christmas wreath?

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I also wanted to share my new dress with you, it is the most perfect shade of pink, gorgeously floaty and I love it so. Etsy, an online marketplace, asked if I would like to join them with their #DifferenceMakesUs campaign, celebrating our own individual style. I jumped at the chance and went straight to one of my favourite Etsy sellers, Son De Flor, to purchase this dress that I have lusted after for a long long time.

I love this smock dress, handmade from beautiful linen with its loose fit and timeless style. And, I also love what it represents too:

“Son de Flor is about slowing down. Coming back home. Sharing laughs around the dining table. It’s about feeling comfortable in our own skin. About not needing to be better nor faster. Son de Flor is about You, not fashion, not even style. It’s about a modest dress outstanding in the crowd with no need for explanation. No chase of the seasons, no new nor old trends. Time-less. Feminine. Charming. Subtle.” Son De Flor.

Doesn’t that sound perfect? Do pop over here to see their collection of beautiful dresses, you may also like to read their blog too.

Love Laura x