Thursday, 13 December 2018

The First D.I.Y of Christmas - A Wreath For The Front Door

I've made our own wreath for the front door every Yuletide since forever - Before we had a garden I would beg for polybags of hedge clippings from friends and relations, over the years I've adapted my method and love the resulting natural wreath.

Christmas Rustic Wreath - Our Handmade Home

You will need:
  • Rigger Gloves (I eventually found some decent ladies size at a good price - huzzah)
  • An old metal coat hanger, or about 80cm of strong pliable wire
  • Secateurs
  • Green stuff from a garden

How to make a Christmas wreath - Our Handmade Home

STEP 1 - Raid your garden (or ask permission to raid another) for anything that is still green - Ivy and Holly are the best - aim for nice long lengths of 50cm + if possible. This year I found some nice Privet with interesting flowers on, Privet can be nicely bendy too, as is Laurel.
Herbs, such as Rosemary and Lavender, seem like a great idea, but I have found them to wilt quickly once picked.

STEP 2 - Bend an old wire coat hanger into a rough circle - a plastic waste paper bin helps get the shape right if you are finding it tricky.

Basic DIY Wreath Instructions - Our Handmade Home

STEP 3 - Begin weaving round and round with your lengths of greenery. This might take some trial and error, I just keep twisting the twigs round and round the wire until I'm happy with the balance and shape.

Make a Xmas Wreath - Our Handmade Home

STEP 4 - Trim the bits you don't want, add more of what you do. Once the wreath has some structure to it you can poke in extra little bits to fill the bald patches.

STEP 5 - Hang on a door. I've looped string round and over the top of the door, securing it with a drawing pin on the inside.

Natural Christmas Door Wreath - Our Handmade Home

You will see that my style of wreath is very rustic and a bit wild looking - feel free to let your artistic flair be reflected in yours by adding ribbons, lights, sparkly things, teddy bears with wires up their butts.

Total Time = 30 mins
Total Cost = £0
Total Christmassy Rating = 7/10

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Lobby Renovation - Part 5

I've been up to loads of other stuff this month so we've not made much progress in the lobby, just tinkering round the edges.

I've put up hooks, loads of hooks, more hooks than you could shake a... yeah, OK, 12 hooks ... which is 12 more places to hang a coat than we had last month. Woot!

Hooks on a brick wall

We dug out an old picture frame which we bought 14 years ago, for our first flat.... awwww! We spray painted it matt black and I mounted an Ordnance Survey Explorer map in it.

Who doesn't love a good OS map?

Framed OS Explorer Map - Our Handmade Home

We like to walk lots and live in a good location for it, I thought this would be a cute addition to a hallway, though I can't tell you how wrong it felt taking scissors to an OS map.

I still need to decide where it is going and drill into a stone to mount it. I absolutely love how it has turned out, reminds me of a walkers pub somewhere in the highlands.

Then, in a moment of inspired madness I painted the front door yellow.*

yellow door hallway renovation

Its growing on me and certainly brightens up the room.

*Painting the INSIDE of our scabby front door led me to filling, sanding and painting the OUTSIDE of our scabby front door.
Which led me to filling, sanding and painting some tiny little cracks in the masonry around the outside of the front door... the old paint in the tin was not the same colour as the old paint on the wall after fading for 6 years...
Which led to a trip to Homebase, £50 on new paint and a weekend painting the front of the house.
Which explains why I haven't made much progress in the hall.

Sorry, no photos of the front of our house, less we get mobbed by unruly blog fans demanding autographs.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Lobby Renovation - Part 4

Our main problem in the lobby was storage for all those jackets, coats, bags, gloves, scarves, umbrellas. I'm guessing that is the same problem most people have... I don't think I know anyone who has enough storage in their hall...

Our lobby is long and narrow with a door at each end and no cupboard space.

Having dealt (in part) with making the old bookcase more useful and sturdy by modifying it to fit around the fuse box. I concentrated on the opposite wall. Those pipes were going to be a problem, but they could not be altered or moved.

Lobby before

Again we lightly plastered the brick wall (to create that Rushemian look) I set to work on a storage solution that would somehow encompass the pipes. We settled on storage boxes from IKEA. We have some of these in our utility room and they seriously help with the clutter. A whole wall of them ought to do the trick in our lobby.

They are plastic so withstand the mud and the wet, which are common factors in rural Scotland. The boxes are deep enough that they will hide the pipes and they also provide a handy shelf.

Hot water pipes in the lobby - Our Handmade Home

Our woodburner sits on the other side of this wall and heats all our hot water during winter. I removed the scabby insulation and began cutting a box to fit around the pipes. A drill (fitted with a hole saw) and a fine tooth saw was all I needed, the plastic was fairly easy to cut. I gave the pipes about 1cm clearance, you wouldn't want the plastic in contact with hot pipes. Once mounted on the wall I knew this was the right solution for us.

Cutting IKEA trones box - Our Handmade Home

I mounted them with substantial wall plugs and screws - so I know they will stand up to the kids swinging on them....
Kids, if you ever read this... DON'T SWING ON THEM!

Wall of Trones boxes in Lobby - Our Handmade Home

Looking pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

Oh and this was my first time drilling into brick, I nailed it... I mean... I.... never mind...

With 7 on the wall already I have 3 left to mount. They hold LOADS of crap (I'm not showing you inside, cause it's mess in there, but that is kinda the whole point)

The box where the pipes are, I'm thinking will be for wet gloves etc during winter? We will see. I will be putting some insulation back on the pipes before then... lest there be melted plastic.

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