raori

living handmade


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New bathroom shelf

shelf

The lack of storage in our shower room was driving me nuts, so I grabbed some left-over fabrics in my studio and a piece of wood and made this!

The shelf contains of two fabric bands with a button hole for the screws on each end. Fold them together and balance the plank on a straight line. When you are happy with your shelf you could also nail down a few nails through the fabric underneath the plank for extra security.


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DIY – Candy Cane Carpet

It’s the first time I’m using spaghetti yarn for a crochet or knitting project. I love the way this project is turning out, it’s going to be a bedside carpet for my kids’ room. It’s very soft to walk on and the neon pink is really popping out, it will fit the style of their room very well. The yarn reminds me of Candy Cane Sweets… Anyway, spaghetti yarn was so much easier to work with than what people told me. I have already bought 8 rolls of black and white of which I will make a carpet for our kitchen. Spaghetti yarn is very easy to make by yourself too: get a hold of a couple of old and worn out t-shirts and follow this really easy tutorial on Craft Passion. polkagrismatta polkagrismatta1


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Cardboard TV – why not?

cardboard TV

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We cancelled our TV subscription a few years ago. We we’re just fed up with the constant stream of never-ending advertising and brainless TV-shows, so we stopped. Especially concerning our kids: when a movie is finished you can turn it off and do something else, but on a tv-channel, there are no breaks. Ever. We thought we would miss having a TV, but weirdly enough, we don’t. Instead of watching TV at night, we found ourselves with a lot of free time to do what we love, create. And the kids use their imagination much more.

However, we are still really in to video games and movies, so the TV stayed on for that reason. We always wanted to do something fun and creative to our old TV-set, so last week, my clever husband finally figured out what to do with it. The result is an original TV made out of cardboard, with matching cardboard speakers. I love the way it looks!


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DIY – Dip dyed fireplace basket

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Isn’t this nice? I’m crazy about dip dyed stuff at the moment, so when my fireplace basket needed an update, I bought some spray paint, some masking tape and got to work. Just tape where you want the color to end, put the basket upside down on some newspaper outside and spray away! This could be such a pretty decoration for a wedding, to store gifts or confetti. Or perhaps you could use it in the garden or as a pretty basket to take along to the Farmer’s market. OR imagine how great it could look on one of those beach bags… endless opportunities…

 


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DIY – Polka dot water bottle

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Living eco-friendly and zero-waste, we often buy juice in glas bottles. As we didn’t have a lot of serving carafes and because I love these bottles (they look like old milk bottles!) I figured that I could make something cute with it and use it on the dinner table.

You need: 

-A water pitcher, glas bottle or something similar.

– Ceramic or glass paint (or nail polish! I’ve heard about people using that although it might not stay forever…)

– Small brush.

How to make a Polka dot water carafe:

– If you want your dots to look evenly round, you can use some sort of template. I used the label stickers below, but you can draw by hand or cut out any size of polka dots that you want on plain paper, although you might have to tape them to the bottle. Add your templates on to your bottle, randomly or with a calculated distance, whatever you want.

– Paint inside your template and let dry for 24h. Once dry peal of your stickers or taped templates. You can also strengthen the color by putting your glass bottle on a plate in the oven on medium heat for about 15-30 minutes. The glass / ceramic color will indicate further.

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DIY – Memo board and washi-tape clothes pins

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It was a rainy stay-in-bed Saturday morning, a few years ago. I had just returned from the kitchen, ready to serve my little family breakfast in bed, when I  tripped and managed to tip over, not just the breakfast tray fell to the floor, but also the huge mirror that was leaning against the wall… No! Seven years of misery! Lucky for me, I don’t believe in superstitious nonsense, however a waste of a perfectly good mirror, darn. The frame has been standing since then in our garage, waiting to be fixed. Last week I finally figured out what to do with it!

 

How I made it:

After several years in a humid garage, I decided to roughly paint it white, to cover the humidity stains. I added metal string between two screws at the top back for hanging. I added some metal string that I attached between evenly divided nails vertically and finally hung it up. It’s really great as a board in our bedroom and with the washi tape clothes pins I made to match the frame, I can pin/hang some jewellery, pretty pictures and my favourite art, drawings made by my daughter. The picture hanging there at the moment is a portrait of me and my man. I love how realistic she made his messy wild hair! The fab broken mirror earrings are made by my friend JustineJustine. I thought it fitted the occasion 😉

 

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DIY – Dip dyed curtains

 

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We just moved. Although it was a pretty stressful move, with me being very, VERY pregnant, it’s always inspiring with a new home: all the things you can take the chance to get rid of to live free from old clutter, all the new rooms to decorate, new ways to present art on the walls and new studios to decorate however we want! The best part of the house is the garden I think, it’s in full sun from morning to night and for a growing vegetable freak like me, this is heaven! But I’ll get back to that in a later post. Now, let’s talk about curtains! Dip dyed curtains 🙂

I’ve seen this pin of a soft dip dyed pink curtain circulating on Pinterest for a while and as I was decorating the kids’s room last week, I knew that was exactly what was missing from their Cherry Blossom inspired room. So I decided to make them curtains to match the pink paper umbrellas I put up as lamp shades (to cover a naked lamp socket on the wall) and I’m very happy with the result. What do you think? Here is a tutorial on how to dip dye things…

 

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What you will need:

 

– Curtains in white natural fibre fabric (linen, cotton, viscose or with a small percentage of synthetics, but natural is best!)

– Dylon Fabric Dye (1 sachet is good for about 250 grams of fabric, I used 2 sachets for these curtains). I got the sachet for hand dying, not the big pack for machine dye. You can find it on Amazon.

– Big bucket for the dye (a baby tub will work fine)

– Big pot for carrying hot water

– Litre measurement

– Wooden spatula, spoon or stick, something you don’t care much about, to stir the dye with.

– Normal household/kitchen salt

– Tablespoon measurement

– Rubber gloves will be handy, but not necessary.

– A small towel or kitchen paper

– A bigger towel or beach towel (again, one that you don’t care much about)

– Chair, clothes pins and some string.

 

 

How to do it:

 

The instructions for dying fabric are on the Dylon package, but dip dying is slightly different… The preparations are just the same though.

 

1. Before you start mixing the dye, make sure your curtains are folded nicely together and that you know how far up on them you will dip dye! Make a little marking with a pencil or a pin maybe? It’s important if you want “the dip” to be on the same level for both curtains. Just lay them together edge to edge, fold them lengthwise until the curtain package is in a good width to fit into the bucket. Hang them on a chair like the picture, attach them with safety pins and string until the dye is ready to be used.

 

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2. To make the dye: Mix one sachet in 500 ml warm water (about 40°C). That’s what you use the litter measurement for. I added both sachets in 1 litre of 40°C water and stirred until dissolved. Put aside.

 

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3. Fill the big bucket with 6 litres of 40°C warm water for one sachet (that makes it 12 litres for both sachets). Add 5 tablespoons salt per sachet (so, 10 tablespoons for this batch). Pour in the dye mix and stir with your stick, spoon or spatula. Make sure the mixture is well-mixed.

 

4. Move your chair just next to the bath and carefully lay the folded curtains in there. Stir and press on top of the fabric under the dyed water, to make sure that the dye will penetrate all layers of fabric. Be careful not to splash on anything else. Leave for about 20-30 min.

 

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5. To make the dye gradient, I pulled out half on the dip dyed fabric after 20 min and left the bottom remains to dye even darker. But as you can see, the contrast between white and pink is still pretty strong, so if you want that first gradient to be lighter, you could experiment and maybe pull out the fabric after 10 min already. In my case, I left the last dip for another 20-30 min before pulling it out.

To pull out the dyed fabric without touching anything else, I took off the clothes pins and string from the chair, pulled very carefully upwards and re-pinned the clothes pins and strings straight away.

 

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6. The next step (drying) is the hardest and you might need a few extra hands to do it: Start by laying out a huge piece of bath towel or (clean) scrap fabric. Using your rubber gloves, open up your folded curtains if necessary and lay down on towel to do a quick first drying from wet to damp.

 

7. Once damp, get those extra hands back to help you and carry the fabric away to a door or a laundry drying rack for a final dry.

 

That’s it! In my case, my fabric was now finished and I could sew my curtains from it, but if you dip dye ready made curtains, you could now go and hang them up! This dip dying technique is so easy and fun: you could do it on t-shirts , towels, table cloths and dresses… It’s good to plan a little in advance as one big batch of dye like this can be used for some many different items. It’s a bit of a waste to just throw it away…