Category Archives: DIY

DIY – Building your own vintage shelf

Since last summer I have been working on a new shelf for our living room. I love the look of old wooden wine boxes and always wanted to create some sort of furniture out of them. This summer I got some boxes from my grandma and her brother so I finally could start.

wooden wine boxes First of all I had to remove the battens my grandpa once used to close the box. He was a very handy person and always used the stuff he already had. So closing up those wine boxes and isulating them with styrofoam seemed to him a good way to use the boxes as a storage for apples.

After I restored the original form, I sanded the boxes until they were smooth and had no sharp edges anymore. In a next step I used a special glaze to kill any possible woodworms.

glazing the boxesAs the glaze had dried, I painted the boxes with a transparent colour to keep the natural vintage look. On top of that the colour made the boxes even more resistant to any damage.

Although I finished everything back in autumn we never came around to actually put the single boxes together to a new shelf. Last weekend we finally found some time and screwed the boxes together.

wine box shelfI was so excited to see how my project came together in the end. I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself after the shelf stood there in all its glory ;).

wine box shelfSince then I haven’t had one evening not being immensely happy with our new shelf. I love the different looks of the single wine boxes. Every single one could tell a different story and brings some real history into our home.

DIY – gift for travel enthusiasts

One of my best friends recently left for a three month placement in Mexico and I was struggling to find a fitting farewell present. I didn’t just want to buy anything but wanted to give her something she could actually use during her travel and which in the best case would remind her of me. So I remembered that I once sewed a neck cushion for another friend when she was moving to another city. I figured that this could be it, because you can always use a cushion on long distance flights and especially if you will spend some time in coaches exploring the country.

To sew a cushion isn’t really that difficult. All you need is a sewing machine, a square formed peace of basic fabric (double the size you want the cushion to be) and some colourful fabrics for the applications.

cushion– I decided to put “Have a good journey” in German on the cushion –

You start by drawing the letters or figures you want to applicate on your cushion. Then cut the templates out and do a first arrangement on the fabric, so you get a feeling for how the cushion will look later.

letter drawingFor applicating the letters onto the fabric I used some sort of fusible web. It is just easier to sew the letters onto the basic fabric. I guess with some needles and patience you could also do without it.

lettersWhen transferring your figures to the fusible web be careful and turn your templates to the left. If you forget your letters might be back-to-front.

letters arrangingironingAfter arranging the letters you just iron the whole cushion and the fusible web will connect both fabrics. After this, you sew the letters to the fabric. I chose red thread and a broad stitch so it was more a point of decoration than just connecting the letters to the fabric.

sewingI always do a trial run on a small piece of left-over fabric so I get a feeling for the machine and get back into sewing. After you sewed all the letters to the cushion, use a wide stitch to border the fabric, so it doesn’t dissolve later.

After that you turn the fabric up side down and fold the square in the middle so it has the size of your cushion. Then start sewing the sides together leaving a gap on one side for filling.

finalisingfillingBefore filling, of course turn the cushion on the right side. I used normal stuffing material which you can get in a well equipped crafting or sewing shop for the filling. Fill it till you think it has the wished density and then close the gap by hand.

finishFinally enjoy the satisfaction of creating something handmade and look forward to see the surprise in the eyes of your friend. I just love giving people selfmade presents, it is so personal. And of course I get a reason to do some crafting on top of it :).

What are your favourite present ideas? Any ideas for farewell presents?

Sweet and savoury rolls – Perfect Finger Food

There is this tradition in German companies that if you start working somewhere, you have to provide your team with some sort of treat. So because I just began working as a Trainee, I needed to come up with an idea. I remembered that my mum ones made really good savoury pizza rolls at a party and I thought I could do a mixture of savoury and sweet rolls. I always thought that rolls are the perfect finger food.

The savoury option was fixed due to the known recipe but I couldn’t quite decide what to do as a sweet option until I found this recipe of cinnamon rolls. I love cinnamon and so I decided to give it a go.

Both recipes turned out to be really yummy. They are also perfect as finger food for every party or cake sale. So I thought I’ll share with you those great recipes.

Pizza rollsingredients savoury pizza roll

for roughly 12 rolls you need

1 onion
400g minced meat
150g Sour cream
2 Tbsp tomatoe paste
salt
grounded pepper
100g grated cheese

ready-made pizza dough

This recipe is pretty simple just because I used ready made pizza dough. It’s a fresh dough which is rolled up and can be used instantly without needing time to raise etc.

First of all you need to cut the onions into little pieces and fry them together with the minced meat in a pan. After the meat is cooked add the tomatoe paste and sour cream and season it with salt and pepper.

Straighten the dough to a square and spread the filling on it. Cover all with the cheese and start rolling up the dough with the filling. Cut roughly 2cm thick slices and place them on a backing tray covered with baking sheet. Bake the rolls at 180°Fan for 25 mintues. pizza rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

ingredients cinnamon rolls

for 20-24 pieces you need

for the dough

50g melted butter
300ml warm milk
1 egg1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 sachet vanila-pudding powder
500g flour
7g dried yeast

for the filling

75g butter
100-150g brown sugar
2 tsp. grounded cinnamon
100g chopped wal- or pecan nut

Start by preparing the dough by kneading all the ingredients together to a firm dough. Put it to rest at a warm place for roughly an hour or until the dough has doubled its size.

Roll the dough into a square and spread the butter on it. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle all onto the dough. Spread the nuts as well and roll the whole thing up.

filling and cutting cinnamon rolls
Again, cut roughly 2cm thick slices and put them on a backing tray. Bake the cinnamon rolls at 175°fan for about 15-20 minutes.

cinnamon rolls

Both of the recipes can be done with ready made dough, so if you are in a hurry it doesn’t matter.

All my colleauges enjoyed both versions and I think it goes well on every party buffet or even children’s birthday as the perfect finger food.

What is your favourite finger food? Do you have similar tradition at your workplace?

How to create your own personal gallery

As you could see in my last post I love to visit art museums and galleries. Art has something inspiring to me. I find it very intriguing to think about what the painter thought about his or her picture and what intention they had with it. So every time I visit a bigger art museum I buy a postcard of one of my favourite pictures as a souvenir.

postcards

Up to now they all just were stored away in a drawer but I always had the plan to create my own personal small gallery out of them as soon as I had my own flat. Well, I don’t really have my own flat now, but as I told you I just moved in with my boyfriend which makes me responsible for decorating ;).

After the first weeks of sorting all our stuff out and storing it using the limited space up to the last centimetre, I headed off to the fleamarket last saturday to look for some old frames. I first thought about using one sort of frame for all the cards but decided that different frames would make the whole think more authentic.

frames

I found these three frames very cheap on the fleamarket, cleaned them up and decided which picture would go with which frame.

In addition to the postcards I also recently bought three small pcitures which were shot with a pinhole camera by Przemek Zajfert, an artist from Stuttgart. I loved his small pictures and decided to get three of them for our new flat.

trio

I wanted to frame these little beauties in a special way. For this I bought a bigger white frame at IKEA. I started by cutting out white cardboard in the size of the frame as the background. For the “frames” of the small pictures I cut out three identical squares in the middle of another cardboard. The squares where around 0.5cm bigger than the pictures themselves. After that I clued small cardboard stacks between the two cardboards and arranged the pictures within their little “frames”.

Crafting a frame

first results– I guess now you see waht I meant, right? 😉 –

I like how the pictures immediately look more valuable and just give the illusion of originaly peaces of art (if you ignore the size of them).

My own personal gallery

Just imagine how happy I was when all the pictures where up on the wall. I especially like how the different sorts of frames fit together and make the gallery even more interesting. So now I have my own little Van Gogh in my living room. How great is that!

Of course you can do your own personal gallery with what ever pictures or cards you like. Any ideas?

How do you like to decorate your flat? Any projects coming up?