I’ve had this little wooden box for years. It was plain and unloved for ages. I kept pencils in it and every time I retrieved them I thought “I should really do something with this” and then I’d leave it.
Then a couple of weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to do some projects with Uni-ball the makers of Posca pens. Before I started on the projects I thought it best to re-familiarise myself with them and have a little practice. The pens work on a range of surfaces, so after I used them on a set of notebooks I thought I’d give them a try by drawing on that plain old wooden box.
First I painted the box to give it an even white background. Then I used my wood anemone sketch as a basis for my hand-drawn box design. I wanted to make it look quite retro so influenced by sixties and seventies floral patterns I gave the flowers a bright blue colour.
What I like about these pens is that you can layer them without them bleeding and apply lighter shades over darker ones which means I could add depth to the flowers with lovely yellow centres and white pollen.You can set the design by simply spraying some varnish over it.
You can set the design on the box by
I don’t know about you but I have been addicted to BBC Two’s Great Interior Design Challenge, I love the whole thing; the architectural history, updating spaces, adding special touches and answering client briefs, the reveal, everything. I’ve watched the show since it started and am always inspired by the ideas that the amateur designers come up with and the advice and insights the experts outline.
This series has seen loads of creative ideas and I was particularly struck by Lucy Tiffney’s Scandinavian Folk bedroom. I love the way that illustration, painting, craft and interior design have crossed over in this project and the sweet, rustic lines and simple motifs, executed in a muted colourway. I couldn’t wait to reconnect with some folky drawing myself.
Freshly inspired, I set about studying Scandinavian patterns. Some of my favourites are pinned on my Pinterest board. What’s lovely about these designs is they are so easy to recreate and then add your own twist to. From simple stem and leaf motifs, lovely lace edges and symmetrical composition, this folky style is great for when you want to achieve an effective looking, intricate decoration without feeling you have to be hugely technical or an amazing drawer.
I had some plain cardboard heart-shaped boxes that were in need of updating. I gave them a lick of light blue paint that really suited traditional Scandinavian design. I then set about drawing my design onto tracing paper. I drew half the design then folded the paper to create a mirror image. Then I simply transferred the designs onto the painted boxes.
I finished the traced design with felt-tip pen. I chose to use black and blue pen for a strong contrasting look with the light blue but I reckon this would also look lovely in traditional red and cream.
Had my motifs been larger I would have painted them on – and I am considering doing something with a piece of furniture for a funky little upcycling project. This kind of thing would look really effective on a bedside cabinet or storage box.
I’m storing ribbons and buttons in these boxes (I have so many of both) but I’m sure you could fill these with pretty tissue paper and treats (chocolates or toiletries) for a thoughtful gift.
These embossed clay jewellery holders are really easy to make and take minutes to create. This simple DIY is great if you’re looking to make a handmade gift as they can be adapted to suit all design tastes.
It’s my new year’s resolution to revamp our bedroom – I’ve gathered a collection of inspiring looks to set the mood for the boudoir and I also want to have homemade elements to make it more personal. Although I do have a jewellery box I’m always dumping my earrings and necklaces at the side of my bed before I go to sleep so I wanted to make something that would at least keep them in one place when I did so.
Making these holders couldn’t be simpler, I rolled out some air-dry clay and then embossed it with my hand-carved rubber stamps. I cut the clay into squares and gently shaped them over some bowls to create wells. After the clay had dried, I coloured the leaves with a light washes of acrylic paint to give them a bit of colour. I’d imagine if you sealed them with a waterproof varnish the would make attractive soap dishes too.