How to make coasters

Imagine my grief when the Mr put a cup of tea onto the newly painted drawer tables and it left a perfectly formed ring on the surface. After finishing the new side tables for the living room, my next project was to make some coasters to stop exactly this happening. It seems my crafting was a little too late on this occasion, but I still made these lovely set of four coasters to make sure no more marks will find their way onto my beautiful upcycled pieces of furniture.

I’ve seen these made in various magazines, online and on the TV and with a few quick buys and numerous samples of wallpaper, I got to work on a quiet Saturday afternoon. If you would like to stop partners (or guests) marking your items, these are a great idea. I am rather proud of them, and they match the living room scheme perfectly.

You will need:

Cork coasters – I bought my square ones from Hobbycraft. You can get circular ones if you prefer, or you could try making some sturdier versions from small, old tiles.
PVA glue and some strong glue
Paint brush for the glue
Scissors
As many wallpaper samples as you like
A length of felt – to cover the bottoms once you’ve finished. This will give a nice neat look and ensure the base is smooth and soft against the furniture
A little bit of time

Get all your things together ready to start making

Get all your things together ready to start making

Cut a piece of your chosen wallpaper and leave around 2cm around each edge. Stick the cork coaster in the middle and press

Cut a piece of your chosen wallpaper and leave around 2cm around each edge. Stick the cork coaster in the middle and press

Start folding over each edge neatly, pulling tight to make sure the surface on the front of the coaster is smooth

Start folding over each edge neatly, pulling tight to make sure the surface on the front of the coaster is smooth

If the edges start to lift up (despite lots of holding tight) use a little bit of strong glue to keep it in place

If the edges start to lift up (despite lots of holding tight) use a little bit of strong glue to keep it in place

Cover all your cork templates in your chosen design and paint a layer or two of PVA glue over them. Leave to dry completely. This took 24 hours when I did it

Cover all your cork templates in your chosen design and paint a layer or two of PVA glue over them. Leave to dry completely. This took 24 hours when I did it

All dried, cut a square of felt to the size of each coaster and stick to the back. Leave to dry again

All dried, cut a square of felt to the size of each coaster and stick to the back. Leave to dry again

Stack up your lovely display of new, unique coasters and take pride in your project

Stack up your lovely display of new, unique coasters and take pride in your project

Enjoy a cuppa and bask in the happy thoughts that there will be no more marks on your furniture!

Enjoy a cuppa and bask in the happy thoughts that there will be no more marks on your furniture!

What do you think of these DIY coasters? Will you be trying this craft project out for yourself?

Drawer tables are a thing, right?

Now, I am quite fond of the saying: waste not, want not, so when faced with a couple of redundant drawers, I was eager to come up with a new use for them. Left over from my now made-over sideboard, these two drawers were in line to become wooden planters for the garden, hanging box/shelves things, or – quite brilliantly – side tables. It was actually the Mr who accidentally came up with this idea when we first moved into the house and had nowhere to put a cup of tea when relaxing on an evening, and he turned one of the drawers on its side and rested his hot cuppa on the top. Because the drawers are narrow, they fit perfectly either side of the sofa, something I think we would struggle to achieve with shop-bought side tables.

I quickly came round to the new table idea – so, one rainy Saturday afternoon turned into another upcycling/makeover project and voila, these little gems were born.

A few people have suggested this idea is a bit mad, but I for one am quite proud of this reuse, and they match the rest of the living room (bar the horrible red carpet) beautifully. Who’d want to waste them anyway?

Take two old drawers like this one

Take two old drawers like this one

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Paint grey – this is Warm Pewter matt emulsion by Dulux, which I used for the sideboard

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Mask off stripes and paint two coats of colour. I went for Banana matt emulsion by Habitat and gloss white by Johnstones Paints to bring contrast and to tie the colours to the sideboard further

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Once completely dry, carefully peel away masking tape to reveal the finished design

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This one fits snugly between the sofa and some shelves

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A great place for our side lamp (need a new lampshade – ideas please?!)

What do you think? Is this mad or savvy upcycling? The only thing I would change is to fill the holes left by the drawer pulls.

The boy did good

Now, you may have realised I like a freebie as much as the next person, so imagine my glee when I arrived home to find the mr had bagged us some kitchen gear during a mass clear out at his office.

We are definitely set for the kitchen now after he brought back a box full of trendy coffee cups and saucers, matching plates and some bowls, along with some decorative orange glassware, which will look lovely in the bedroom.

He also managed to get a glass TV stand home – great for the living room.

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I am not sure what to use these glass bowls for yet, but I think they will be nice for my Moroccan-inspired bedroom scheme

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A whole box for of coffee cups and saucers...and another full of plates

A whole box for of coffee cups and saucers…and another full of plates

A free glass TV stand which I am yet to see set up...

A free glass TV stand which I am yet to see set up…

So now we have tackled the furniture clearance and managed to build up some house stuff from an office clearance…whatever next?

Video: Update furniture with decoupage

Following on from my post about different ways to use wallpaper, I came across this great video from Clas Ohlson on using leftover bits of wallpaper to create a unique piece of furniture. I am going to try this idea out for myself as all you need if a couple of paint brushes, wallpaper (or even old wrapping paper or newspaper cuttings), PVA glue and some time – and a piece of furniture of course. I remember seeing an old episode of Kirstie Allsopp’s Kirstie’s Vintage Home where she used cuttings to cover the back of a bedside cabinet and loved the idea then too. What do you think?

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Kirstie Allsopp transformed this bedside cabinet using old scraps of wallpaper (Image: Daily Mail extract of Kirstie’s Vintage Home)

Project #1: Sideboard makeover

You may remember my post about losing out on the best John Lewis bargain sofa ever, but I must tell you that every cloud does indeed have a silver lining. I didn’t walk away from the furniture clearance in Warwick empty handed after all and managed to buy myself a lovely mid-century style sideboard for the neat little price of £15. Filled with the disappointment of losing said sofa, I plucked up the courage to ask the kind seller to give me a fiver off the £20 asking price and he said yes! You might say I am cheap, but you never know if you never ask.

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The sideboard would look great as a storage solution, dressing table or chest of drawers, but after watching Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free last night on Channel 4, I have been inspired to use it as a media unit for the television we have yet to buy.

It needs a good sanding down and lick of paint before we can do anything with it, so the plan is to strip and prime it before the move and add colour when we have definitely decided what we will use it for. I would like to do it up in the style of the lovely Oliver Bonas furniture range that was launched recently and am swaying towards the idea of doing it grey with yellow and darker grey drawers. I may even remove one of the drawers completely and have it as an open shelf.

Mavis Chest, £515, Oliver Bonas

Mavis Chest, £515, Oliver Bonas

As for the handles, they will be coming off too to be replaced with some lovely decorative ones – I love the ones from Anthropologie.

Want to see the finished result? Tell me what you think…