Cushions & Kitties

Cushions galore. After cutting paper for ages, the urge to run up a few new cushions took hold of me.  See the white rocking chair – this is the one I got from a charity shop recently. Big, sturdy and strong. But it was a dark brown and I wanted a clean, fresh colour and this egg shell off-white was perfect. I’ll take a bigger picture of it when I finish with the red rocking chair….

The strawberries and cream patchwork fabric (it’s a print, not real patchwork) cushion is intended for the red rocker. I made the most fabulous ruffled cushion to go with it but it got snaffled! It got bought! And before I could get a picture of it! It was the donkey’s conkers for being so pretty.  I tried to make another but the colour combination didn’t have the ‘Wow’ ( the green and cream bon-bon cushion above). It’s nice, it’s sweet but just doesn’t quite do it.

The inky blue and white florals are for the white rocker. Good Ikea fabric.

Finally the round one – used up the last of some Ikea fabric I’d had for ages to match one I made a while ago. It’s a very retro, 60s sort of print. Colours all sorts of sour oranges, green olives with pink-gin angostura bitter tones. Delicious. I topped it off with some fat bobble trim in a dark olive green and love it.

You can get a better look at the bon-bon here cushion here. And, while you’re looking, see the bookcase on the left? It’s a manky makeover in progress.

Manky Makeover

It’s not finished, not quite, but nearly. I’ll show you the original:

Since we moved in a couple of years ago we’ve done a lot to get the house sorted. There’s still a way to go with big ticket items like a new boiler, new shower room and some other stuff to save for so everything else we try to do on a shoestring.

It’s actually kind of fun to do it this way though time means that nothing gets done super quick. But it makes us think about ways to repurpose and upcycle stuff we would have just chucked or given to charity. Look at the manky unit in the picture. Jess is giving it a thorough once-over. It is minging. You can see why it had to go.

Originally it was an old MDF built-in ‘wardrobe’. Not my cup of tea so we ripped it out.  Then we thought it could make a useful tool box for down the shed so a box was made. Then I thought, ‘why not make a couple of shelves and turn it into a small bookcase?

And the almost-finished bookcase in the second picture above  is the result so far. It’s been cleaned, smoothed and papered. Where it wasn’t quite square there are some dark lines showing at the corner – this is wall paper paste with some brown colour that’s leached out of the MDF. No bothers – will touch up with some white paint and when that’s dry will Modge it and trim any bits of paper just proud of the frame.

For info, the papering job took about 3 hours and cost €9 for the roll of wallpaper from B & Q. Wallpaper paste was €1.49 from Dealz.

The Modge will bump the price up a bit but it’ll be worth it for a nice little bookcase which we really need. The first bookcase we made over (bookcase) is full and I have piles of books by the bed, the sewing room and my little bedroom office space.

Red Rocker

The red rocking chair got its first makeover a while back. (Rocker) BUT it was nothing more than a paint job. The trouble was that the piece of wood at the top of the chair had been replaced with plywood. It didn’t match and even with the paint, you could see the gritty (shitty) surface of the panel. Hence the throw over it in the shot.

We’ve had a piece made for it and it’s been replaced. Then the whole chair needed painting again to get an even colour but now it’s gorgeous. All I need to do is add a doty little stencil across the panel in cream, fit its strawberry and cream cushion and it’ll be perfect.

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  • joan lenihan
    July 25, 2015 10:02 pm

    Everything looks fantastic, especially the white rocking chair and the shelves which you wallpapered! Could I ask you something…..I have a tiny downstairs toilet that I was thinking of wallpapering with an old mexican newspaper. I looked it up and it said to use a ‘glossy polymer medium’ and optional overcoat it with a ‘glossy water based polyurethane’? Are these available in Ireland, or are they called something else here? Or what would you suggest using?
    I was also thinking of wallpapering walls using a cotton fabric!!!! And online it suggested using ‘liquid starch’, again any advice or tips?

    • webmaster
      July 26, 2015 9:52 pm

      Thank You Joan,
      I love new ideas and your plan to use Mexican newspaper sounds awesome – if you do it, please share the results! Don’t be intimidated and give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen? And you can always take it down again and will have learned all sorts of things just trying something new. My guess is that you’ll actually make a good job of it and surprise yourself – and have a unique look all your own idea. How fabulous is that?!

      I would probably try a cheap PVA glue to stick down the newspaper. Newspaper is fairly absorbent but light weight so I think that would do the trick. I’d probably give it a thin coating of Modge Podge when it was dry.Modge is a brilliant all-round adhesive and sealant and would mean you could give it a gentle wipe down every now and again. I buy it from Art and Hobby shops – a BIG tub costs around €18 so it isn’t cheap but it does go a long way and is the donkey’s conkers for all sorts of things.
      There’s a whole site dedicated to it and it uses:

      You might get it cheaper from – I haven’t looked, yet, but will when I next need it. Shipping used to be the big issue with some suppliers not shipping to Ireland, then Parcel Motel opened up. The item gets shipped to Belfast and Parcel Motel charge (very reasonable) for delivering from Belfast to ROI to their little collection depots.

      More info – Parcel Motel:

      Wallpapering cotton fabrics – this sounds so cool!!! I’ve never done it but it doesn’t sound tooo hard to do – I looked at this site:

      Thanks again for the comment and hope these suggestions help. Good luck and DO share the pics and let me know how it went.

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