Wednesday Wants: Back to School

OK, so I’m not *actually* going back to school. BUT, I do have a shiny new studio in our shiny new house to set up and fill with shiny things!

Most things are still in boxes after the move, although my desk is up at least! I have a load of amazing second hand white metal peg boards to put up before I do any serious unpacking though….can’t wait to fill them with stuff!

Anyways, I get all excited at this time of year with all the “back to school” things around… you’ll probably already know, I’m pretty stationery obsessed anyway, so this is a super tempting time for me!

Here are my current lust-after picks…..

I’m super into rose gold, copper and brass at the moment….it’s featuring heavily in our new home decor for sure. And how classy would these babies look on my lush new desk, huh?

Brass Scissors by HAY via Really Well Made, £9.00

Brass Scissors by HAY via Really Well Made, £9.00

I’ve also been crazy about neons for a while now, and well, I’m in love with this clever case by Undercover on Not on the High Street. I’m CONSTANTLY losing all those important strings and things that you need to connect all the gadgets, and I HATE them not having a real home. So, against all the odds, I’ve actually chosen a really *sensible* something for once!

Cables and Wires tidy case by Undercover via Not on the High Street, £34.95

Cables and Wires tidy case by Undercover via Not on the High Street, £34.95

So the third and final thing on the list is basically EVERYTHING at Paperchase. They do it to me every time… collections FILLED with shiny new things I WANT WANT WANT. Here are a few of my particular favourites though…..

Pony Party List Clip Board, £6.00

Pony Party List Clip Board, £6.00

Monster Mashup Stickers, £1.50

Monster Mashup Stickers, £1.50

Pony Party Sticky Tabs, £2.50

Pony Party Sticky Tabs, £2.50

Chips Lunch Bag, £12.00

Chips Lunch Bag, £12.00

Unicorn Pencil Case, £6.00

Unicorn Pencil Case, £6.00

What are your favourites? Do you get to shop for a bunch of “back to school” stuff?
Ems x

Gifts I made for my husband on our first anniversary

DIY first wedding anniversary paper gifts

As you may well have already read on my earlier post, it was my first wedding anniversary on Sunday. I often make gifts for people on birthdays and at Christmas, and this special occasion seemed like a good excuse to get crafting too.

First of all I decided to make a little book for him, a sort of collecting book for anniversaries. I drew a little picture to represent the traditional gift given on all the key anniversaries, then bound them into a little map covered book (maps being a favourite of ours and a theme at our wedding). I was rather pleased with the result, and I look forward to Adam ‘collecting’ anniversaries for a long time to come!

DIY first wedding anniversary paper gifts

DIY first wedding anniversary paper gifts

DIY first wedding anniversary paper gifts

DIY first wedding anniversary paper gifts

We’ve been having a bit of a copper obsession lately (long before it became so trendy, I might add!) and I actually tried to find some copper julep cans for Adam’s Christmas gift. I couldn’t manage to find any that were quite right at the time though, but I persisted and found a great set of quite old ones that needed a spruce up. Several hours of boiling in sea salt and vinegar, and yet more hours scrubbing them with citrus fruits later, and they’re almost perfect! I’m looking forward to tasting cocktails in them soon!

DIY papercut, wedding anniversary book, Moomin card and copper julep cans

Last of all I decided to attempt a paper cut for Adam. Because the traditional first anniversary gift is paper (I opted to go mostly with the US list as it makes more sense than the UK one!) I thought this would be a nice thing to keep, and also to frame in our new home.

I first drew a design on grid paper in pencil (using a hot hair balloon and a Winnie the Pooh quote, both of which were inspirations for our wedding), then transferred it in reverse onto the back of my heavy paper using carbon paper. Then it was a case of carefully cutting out the negative space with a scalpel (I swear by the Swann Norton handle with AA blade)….I found it best to start in the middle and work outwards so that I wasn’t pulling on any of the supporting pieces excessively. I also (despite my preference!) decided it best to cut out the really tricky and small fiddly bits first, as the larger and simpler ones required less effort.

DIY paper cut quote from Winnie the Pooh

Once I’d finished cutting, I created my backing paper by painting another sheet of heavy paper using gouache, starting with a blue at the top and fading into a green at the bottom. Then it was just a case of framing the paper cut and backing together…and I’m ever so pleased with how it turned out! In fact, Adam loved it so much we got quite emotional (perhaps also because he had an idea of how many hours I’d spent on it!).

DIY paper cut quote from Winnie the Pooh

Perhaps best of all though was Adam’s gift to me….another project to work on together! Rather fittingly, he had found and had sent from the US for me a copy of  ‘Our Adventure Book’ from the Pixar film ‘Up!’. It was made by the people who first made the album for the production team on the movie, and has our little tagline ‘An Adventure Begins’ on the spine.

First wedding anniversary gift: paper 'Our Adventure Book' from Up!

It’s full of gorgeous paper pages for us to fill with photos, notes, sketches and other bits and bobs from our wedding…..I can’t wait to fill it up together and make a real project of it! This may have to wait until after we’ve moved though, as most of our wedding stuff is still boxed up in various places!

Ems x


Tuesday Tutorial: Glitter Name Bunting

Glitter Name Bunting Tutorial by Under a Glass Sky

Yes, you’re right, my last tutorial was about glitter too. But then glitter is worthy of repetition.

A trend has been emerging with my recent crafting projects….glitter. And why the heck not? After all, glitter is the quintessential crafting supply, and everything is better with a good sprinkle of the stuff.

I bought a stash of glitter card ages ago, and did the usual thing of ‘saving it for something special’. And what could be more special than my niece’s first birthday?! Having decided I wanted to make something glittery for her, I thought about what a one year old could best make use of…..she’s mostly pointing at me and laughing right now though, and doesn’t seem to be in need of anything other than whatever food is out of her reach, so I opted for for something to decorate her bedroom. And because (I think it’s fair to say) I’m pretty bunting obsessed, that’s what my first thought ran to!

You don’t need any crazy equipment or mad skills for this DIY, but it does take some precision and patience. The result is pretty rewarding though I think!

Glitter Name Bunting Tutorial by Under a Glass Sky

What you will need:

  • Glitter card
  • Wooden pennants with pre-drilled holes (enough for each letter of the name)
  • Mod Podge or PVA glue
  • Ribbon (enough to go across the width of each pennant, plus about 30cm extra)
  • A plastic spatula
  • Craft knife or scalpel
  • Metal rule
  • A pencil
  • Small scissors

How to make it:

  • Place your first pennant on the back of a piece of glitter card and trace around it with a pencil as close as you can get
  • Cut the glitter card with scalpel and ruler or scissors if you prefer, and check it up against the pennant to see that it fits
  • Now give the pennant a good generous coat of glue….it’s better to have too much on there than too little
  • Carefully place the glitter card onto the pennant, squaring it up quickly before the glue dries to ensure all the edges are aligned
  • Press firmly down on the card so that any excess glue comes out at the sides
  • Use the spatula to remove this excess by sliding the flat edge along the side of the pennant….this will also help to nicely seal the edges
  • Repeat this for all your pennants and then set them aside to dry for a couple of hours
  • Whilst you wait, cut out your letters from the glitter card…..I used the pencil to draw onto the back of the card then cut around that, but remember to draw in reverse
  • Once the newly glittered pennants are dry, arrange them in the order you’d like them and offer up each letter to check that the colours contrast well enough to see them
  • Apply glue to the back of your first letter, again using plenty as you’ll need a good coat to get in between the bumpy glittery surface
  • Carefully place the letter on the pennant, check you’re happy with the positioning, and press down firmly
  • Again, use the spatula to remove any excess, although don’t worry too much as the glue will dry clear
  • Repeat for each pennant and allow to dry well, preferably over night
  • Now you just need to thread the pennants together by cutting through the glitter card to reveal the hole in the wood with the scalpel, and posting the ribbon through each hole of each pennant, then moving on to the next
  • Finally, tie a knot in each end to stop the pennants moving about, and you’re done!

If you find it tricky to get hold of some wooden pennants (I got mine from an online craft shop who sell lots of laser cut MDF shapes) you could always cut them yourself from foamex.

I also made a single pennant with a star shape on it for a friend’s birthday, and of course you could apply any pattern to your bunting, or even just leave it plain in all its glittery glory!

Happy glittering!

Ems x


This year, I will learn to embroider……

OK so I know it’s rather late to be talking about New Year’s Resolutions, but as I’m currently still keeping mine up, I figure it’s acceptable! Having spent the last few years crafting various treasures to sell, I’ve recently been thinking how I’d like to get back to crafting for pleasure and also learning some new skills. I had a bit of a go at cross stitch last year, which I quite enjoyed, but I didn’t feel like I could / wanted to go any further with it. And for years I’ve been meaning to learn to crochet properly, only to drop it again after learning a single new thing. Anyway, last month I decided to subscribe to Mollie Makes to give me a little more inspiration and to help me keep my promise to myself to learn something new this year. I was lucky to get a copy of the 50th anniversary edition, which came with a darling little kit for an embroidered bear plushy. Now I’ve had those kits before (and many of them are sat languishing in the bottom of my sewing box) but the super cute little bear really appealed to me, and I decided I’d make it as a gift to my husband, who loves bears. The kit included a printed piece of fabric, showing guidelines of where to stitch, all the embroidery silks I’d need and instructions of how to do all the various stitches involved. Perfect for a newbee wanting to learn! Dutifully following said instructions, I fixed my fabric into a hoop and began embroidering….. I learned chain stitch, stem stitch, satin stitch, fern stitch, lazy daisy, buttonhole wheel, french knot, arrowhead and straight stitch! Not a bad start! Once the embroidery was complete (this took several nights’ work whilst snuggled up on the sofa watching The West Wing), I pinned the back of the bear onto the fabric still in the hoop, and stitched them together leaving a gap to fill him. I opted to fill my bear with lavender instead of toy stuffing, because a) I had lavender and no toy stuffing at the time, and b) I thought he’d make a nice pomander to go in the car (which can niff a bit of the dogs at times!). Once filled, I used the left over threads from the kit to make a four-way plait, then sewed this onto the back to make a loop to hang from the car’s rear view mirror. And now he’s happily installed in the car! We’ve named him Bear McCreary (after the composer of Battlestar Gallactica, because we named the car Caprica and used some of his music to walk down the aisle last year….don’t judge me!) and he’s a very happy sight indeed! Here, see for yourself….! Embroidered Bear Plushy DIY from Molly Makes Embroidered Bear Plushy DIY from Molly Makes Embroidered Bear Plushy DIY from Molly Makes Embroidered Bear Plushy DIY from Molly Makes Next on my list is to make a hundred (yes, a hundred) donkey pomanders to donate to The Donkey Sanctuary. I’ve recently started volunteering for them, and I thought they were just an adorable little treasure to make. I’ve learned blanket stitch and applique to make the ones I’ve done so far, but I’m hoping to make some fancier ones with some of the stitches I learned from the bear kit, and perhaps some more besides! Donkey Plushy DIY for The Donkey Sanctuary 7 I’ve used my new hobby as an excuse to buy up some exciting supplies too (no surprise)…..I have a load of hoops stashed away to make into pretty embroidered things, plus I hit Hobbycraft last weekend and purchased these lush neon embroidery threads! I can’t wait to use them….perhaps to embroider a cute mini shoulder bag for myself! Neon embroidery threads from Hobbycraft I’ve also started a Pinterest board (because, that’s what you do with a new hobby, right?!) to inspire me to take on new projects and to save some great tutorials for new stitches. Head over and have a look, and do share any advice you have on embroidery too, please! Ems x

Tuesday Tutorial: Purple Glitter Jewellery for Willow Foundation

Purple glitter jewellery tutorial

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a friend’s “Purple Party” to help raise funds for Willow Foundation*. Clare is running the London Marathon for the charity this year, and so put together the brilliant themed party to add to her fundraising target. There were purple cocktails, purple food, a purple photo booth and the whole place was decked out in purple, including the guests!

Being a bit low on purple things to wear myself, I decided to make some purple glittery treasures, with extra for Clare to sell on the night. And because I know everyone loves glitter (not to mention with Half Term in full swing!) I thought I’d share a little tutorial for how to make them. The batch I made took a while because there were so many, but one or two would be very quick to make, and super easy too! You can buy everything you need easily and inexpensively at a craft shop or online.

Purple glitter jewellery tutorial

You Will Need:

  • Fine purple glitter (or another colour, if you must)
  • Original Mod Podge
  • A flat ended brush (about 10mm to 15mm wide)
  • A mixing pot (a yogurt pot or take out tub is perfect, especially if it has a lid)
  • An old teaspoon
  • Wooden laser cut shapes (I used 20mm and 30mm hearts, and 40mm stars)
  • Brooch backs and / or stick on pendant bails
  • E6000 glue

Purple glitter jewellery tutorial

How To:

1. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of glitter into your mixing pot (if you’re making a big batch just double this, and keep making fresh batches as you go, so none is wasted)

2. Add about the same amount of Mod Podge and mix them well with the spoon (then wash the spoon!)

3. Choose which side of your wooden shape you want to paint (there are often marks from the laser cutting on one side, so paint onto that as you won’t see it when you’re finished)

4. Paint a thin layer of the glittery glue onto your shape….best not to use too much at a time so that you don’t spill over the edges and it stays neat

5. Wait for that to dry and then paint on another thin coat

Purple glitter jewellery tutorial

6. Keep adding thin coats once the last is dry to build up the coverage….as with most painting projects, it’s better to do lots of thin coats than one or two thick ones (if your mixing pot has a lid you can cover your mixture whilst you wait for drying, so that it stays fresh)

7. I applied four or five coats to mine, and if you decide to make a big batch you can of course apply each coat to all of them, and by the time you’ve done the last, the first one will be dry and ready for the next

8. Once you’re happy with the coverage, leave until completely dry before flipping over ready for the backing

Purple glitter jewellery tutorial

9. If you’re using a brooch back, check it works ok before using it, then blob some E6000 onto the flat side of the brooch back and press it firmly onto the back of your wooden shape

10. If you’re making a pendant, blob the E6000 onto the flat pad of the bail and carefully press it onto the back of your shape….before it dries turn it over to make sure it’s on straight

11. Leave for 24 hours to dry well before adding a chain if you’ve made a pendant, or before proudly pinning your brooch onto your clothes!

Purple glitter jewellery tutorial

These would make great party favours for a Bridal Shower or Hen Party I think, or for children’s parties (although take care with brooch pins!)….or of course you could make some to raise funds for charity too!

Purple glitter jewellery tutorial

Ems x

Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. These Special Days enable them and their families to reconnect and refocus on each other while enjoying an activity of their choosing. A day for them, a day about them and a day that will create memories they will all treasure forever.

Christmas Crafting

Having a bit more time on my hands this year, I managed to get round to some Christmassy crafting for myself! Not nearly as much as I’d hoped still….hopefully I’ll be more organised still next year! I thought I’d share some of my projects though, now that all the gifts have been given and no surprises will be spoiled!…..

Hand stitched personalised Christmas tree ornament gift idea Hand stitched personalised Christmas tree ornament gift idea

First of all, I got my stitch on to make some little embroidered Christmas tree ornaments. It being the year Adam and I got married, I made a little tartan-backed heart which I embroidered with ‘Mr and Mrs McDowall’s First Christmas’….and finding myself rather pleased with it I made another for our friends Claire and Matthew who also got married this year (Claire is Christmas mad like me too!), as well as one for our new niece!

Hand painted salt and pepper shakers with Capybaras

We had some prints made up from the wedding, and the usual doggy calendars for our Mums featuring our own hounds as gifts too. I got a bit more hands on though making some hand painted salt and pepper pots for my Father in Law….annoyingly I forgot to photograph them, but they work on the same principal as the Capybara ones I sell on my Etsy shop, but featuring a gold finch and a green finch as they’re his favourites!

Quick and easy home baked Christmas dog treats; cheese, parsnip and swede stars Quick and easy home baked Christmas dog treats; cheese, parsnip and swede stars

The dogs are never left out in this house, and so I baked some yummy (yes, I tried them myself!) cheese, parsnip and swede star biccies for the six McDowall dogs who live in the UK (I will make it up to Bree in the US I hope one day!). They were super easy to make, so I’ll be making more again soon I’m sure.

Home made Advent calendar idea; a riddle and treasure hunt for each day

I have made some sort of alternative Advent calendar for Adam for a few years now, and this year has been his favourite by far! I wrote out a riddle for each day, giving a clue as to where he could find that day’s treat! He loved working them all out, and searching the house for chocolates and little gifts…his first day’s treat was a pair of tweezers as he’s always pinching mine!

Home made Christmas cards with pet portraits

I also tend to make our Christmas cards too, and this year I painted portraits of our beloved hounds which I turned into cards….I scanned in the paintings, then we had them printed before I attached each to a pretty pastel card with silver photo corners. I was really rather pleased with them actually….not least because I managed to get them out in time for them to be delivered at the start of December this year!

Very easy, home made Christmas crackers in candy stripe

I took to making our own crackers a few years ago, and like to put new and fun things inside each year, as well as changing the way they look. I have been crazy about candy stripes this year, so used that to wrap them (as well as our gifts), then wrote out little jokes to go inside as well as funny stick-on moustaches for everyone to wear in place of hats!

Candy stripe Christmas nail art

Festoon lights Christmas nail art Snowflake Christmas nail art Christmas pudding nail art

I’ve also had more chance to decorate my nails in a festive fashion this year too….not least because they’ve not been covered in glue all the time! I painted tiny festoon lights, little Christmas puddings, pretty snowflakes and of course some candy stripes too….now for a New Year’s Eve design!

Christmas tree at home

I didn’t get round to making a wreath this year as I often do, in part because there wasn’t really anywhere suitable to hang one. I’m rather pleased with our tree though, and the other bits and bobs we’ve decorated with….but mostly I’m looking forward to being in our ‘forever home’ next Christmas so that I can really go to town!

Ems x













Blog Every Day in May: Who Inspires You?

“Who inspire you? Are they close to you? Somebody famous? Or even somebody infamous?”

I get inspiration from all over the place. I love my fashion books and vintage magazines for design inspiration, blogs and old cookery books for recipe ideas, films and fashion trends for event and party planning, and friends for more personal stuff. I’ve never really thought of *people* as being inspirational to me though, at least not celebrity type people….but when I think about it, there are certainly a lot of creative people who inspire me to be more creative myself….

I saw the Tomb of The Unknown Craftsman exhibition at the British Museum about 18 months ago, before which I didn’t know a great deal about Grayson Perry. Not only did I come out of the show feeling like I knew the guy, but also feeling massively inspired, excited to work and full of creativity. I think it shows true inspiration if you can be so creative that you make other people feel creative too….often I come out of amazing exhibitions like that feeling like I’ll never be any good and it’s pointless me even trying…but there’s something about Perry’s ingenuity, originality and confidence that just grabs you and tells you that you can do it too!

I’ve been a big fan of Tim Walker’s work for a long while, but seeing his exhibition Storyteller at Somerset House earlier this year was still an eye opener. I adore his playfulness, intelligence and silliness, and I suppose because so much of his work speaks to me, I find it terribly inspiring too.

As much as I owe to these awesome creatives though, I can’t forget the inspiration I gain every day from all the creative people around me. I have lots of seriously creative friends, acquaintances and online chums…. whether they be designers, photographers, crafters or writers…. and I count myself lucky to know them and to be part of their world….

These include (but are not limited to…I know I’ll forget some people!)… Vixie of Matin Lapin…. Nevada of Joy Nevada…. Michelle of My: Creative…. Ellen of B Millinery…. Elizabeth of Rosalilium…. Jackie of Oooh Mrs James…. Sharon of Sharon Cooper Photography…. and my very own Adam of Unfamiliar Ceiling….

Ems x

The Hills Are Alive, With the Sound of Music!

After a little inspiration from the Austrian-themed hen do I went to last weekend, I’ve finally listed my new jam jar sculpture….. Inspired by the opening scene from The Sound of Music, this miniature scene features Maria atop a meadowy mountain, with her arms outstretched in song.

I love making these tiny pieces of art, and must get onto making a few more of the scenes I’ve been planning! If you have any ideas or requests, do let me know!

You can now buy this jam jar scene on my Etsy shop for just £35….. I hope you like it!

Unique, hand made Sound of Music scene in a jam jar "The hills are alive with the sound of music"

Unique, hand made Sound of Music scene in a jam jar "The hills are alive with the sound of music"

Unique, hand made Sound of Music scene in a jam jar "The hills are alive with the sound of music"

Wednesday Wants….. Washi washi washi

Right. Before you say ANYTHING, I am allowed to obsess over stationery and packaging, *for professional reasons*. And so what if I did spend an inordinate amount of time last week building a washi tape dispenser in my studio? It was *for professional reasons*.

I mean, I have to ensure the goodies I spend hours making are carefully wrapped up against those brutal Posties, and the goodies also have to be pretties don’t they? And washi tape is just so incredibly versatile too….I mean, what other tape could you make such pretty mini cupcake bunting from?!

Needless to say, I’ve become a little obsessed about washi tape lately, but all the cool people are, and any combination of Japanese kitsch, pretty packaging and super cute stationery is bound to get me over-excited, so I’m going with it. And now you are too….here are my favourites….

mt 2012 Autumn NEW- Japanese Washi Masking Tapes / 6mm Slim Twist Cord A set of 3

Twist Cord A set of 3, from Little Happy Things, £3.39

New-Sanrio My Melody Paper Deco Tape / 15mm (Pink)

Sanrio My Melody Paper Deco Tape, Little Happy Things, £3.73

MT ex 2012 Autumn NEW- Japanese Washi Masking Tape / Map

MT Map Japanese Washi Masking Tape, Little Happy Things, £4.75

Green and White Grids Washi Tape / Masking Tape - Classic, 15m, 1 Roll

Green and White Grids, GoodiMochi , £1.83

Pink Inch Scale Washi Tape / Masking Tape - 10m

Pink Inch Scale, GoodiMochi, £1.83

Fluorescent Color Washi Tape / Masking Tape // Your Choice of Color - Yellow, Pink, Orange, Green // 10m, 1 Roll

Fluorescent Color Washi Tape, GoodiMochi, £1.83

Black and White Chevron Washi Tape / Masking Tape - 10m

(*cough* Twin Peaks) Black and White Chevron, GoodiMochi, £1.83

Heart in the Clouds Washi Tape

Heart in the Clouds Washi Tape, Wishy Washi Tape, £2.03

Washi Tape: On the Road

On the Road, The Sewing Post, £2.03

NEW- Moomin Carriage and Umbrella Series Japanese Washi Masking Tape / Salmon Pink

Moomin Carriage and Umbrella Series in Salmon Pink and White, Little Happy Things, £5.93

Ems x

How To…. Transform a nasty dresser into a nice dresser


You may have heard me going on about the dresser we’ve been transforming for our kitchen, and I’m so pleased with the results that I thought I’d share how we did it here.

We bought a very orangey-varnished dresser for the kitchen from a local-pick-up Ebay seller last year, and although it’s a nice shape and size, it looked very dated in its finish. So, we decided we’d give it a make over, to make it brighter and fresher, and here’s how…..

What you will need:

  • Your dresser or other piece of furniture
  • Fine grade sand paper (an orbital or palm sander makes it easier if you can get one!)
  • Lots of scrap paper or newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Wide and narrow brushes
  • White (or any colour for that matter) DURABLE kitchen-friendly paint (we used Wilkinsons Durable emulsion)
  • Tester pots in contrasting shades for handles (we used Wilkinsons emulsion tester pots in pastel shades)
  • Satin finish durable varnish
  • A piece of dowel for stirring the paint and varnish
  • Sugar soap
  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective goggles and mask (wear these all the time you’re sanding and preferably when you’re painting too!)
  • A clean cleaning cloth

How to do it:

  1. Prepare the area you’re going to work in by ensuring you have good ventilation, your piece of furniture is free from any obstacles, and any other furniture or belongings are covered in newspaper to protect them from saw dust and paint. Also remove any handles etc. and take off the doors and drawers to make them easier to paint separately.
  2. Decide which areas of the furniture you want to paint and which you want to leave as exposed wood, and put on your goggles and mask.
  3. Sand the entire piece, just roughly all over, so that the first layer of old varnish or paint is roughened. This level of sanding will suffice for all the areas you want to paint.
  4. For the bits you want to leave as exposed wood, continue sanding until all the old varnish or paint has gone, and you are left with a nice smooth surface and a more natural colour.
  5. Now mask off these areas you want to keep un-painted with newspaper, sticking this down carefully to the edges with masking tape so that none of the not-to-be-painted surface is exposed, but all of the areas to be painted are exposed.
  6. Wearing your rubber gloves, pour a little sugar soap onto the cloth and clean away the dust from the sanding, so that your to-be-painted surfaces are nice and clean. You’ll need to wipe over a few times with water too, in order to get rid of the soapiness.
  7. Now you can finally start to paint! Don’t forget to stir the paint pot well before starting!
  8. It’s better to paint three or four very thin coats as opposed to one or two thicker ones, as you’ll get a better finish and the paint job will be less prone to chipping. Use a narrower brush to get into all the nooks and crannies and corners, then a bigger brush to fill the larger areas.
  9. Let the paint dry THOROUGHLY in between each coat….it’s hard to be patient but the finish will be much better if you are!
  10. Keep painting thin coats all over the piece until you have a good coverage, then leave it to VERY THOROUGHLY dry before carefully removing the masking tape and newspaper.
  11. Now you can clean the un-painted surfaces with the sugar soap, and get on with the little details.
  12. Lightly sand the handles and clean them with sugar soap.
  13. Then paint each one in your chosen colour, again in several thin coats, waiting for each coat to dry in between.
  14. Once those are dry, stir your pot of varnish well, then take a small brush and thinly coat each handle with the varnish. Again, you’re likely to need around three thin coats.
  15. Once the varnish is dry, replace the handles and doors and drawers, then fill up your dresser with pretties, sit back and admire your hand work!

All in, our dresser cost less than £100, including the piece itself and all the painting things. A bit of a bargain I think and well worth the effort! So much so in fact, that we’ve already done our kitchen table to match (with exposed wood top and white legs) and we’re planning on painting the chairs in the pretty pastel shades of the dresser handles!

Hope this is useful and you enjoy your project!

Ems x