Sunday, 12 March 2017

Hello to you all from a rather gloomy Crafty Co HQ.

With the damp weather outside, we are bringing some sunshine inside and doing a spot of up-cycling.

Up-cycling is a wonderful way to revamp or refresh items that you no longer love or are out of date.

You may have items stashed away in your loft or you may want to decorate your house, but simply don't have the spare cash to splash out.

If you don't have anything laying around, charity shops or reclamation yards are a great source for finding items.
The general rule I adopt when searching is, firstly do I like the design or shape and secondly, would I have the expertise to turn it into a piece that I would be happy to have in my home.

I was recently looking for a vase for some silk flowers I had.  To disguise the fact they weren't real, I couldn't have a clear glass one, as the single stem would give my secret away.  I needed a solid colour one, but was not prepared to pay upwards of £30 for one that I would make do with and not one that bowled me over.

I am a huge fan of pearlised stones. so when I saw some in the garden centre, I knew immediately that they would be perfect for the old blue vase I had picked up.

I loved the shape but it looked cheap and uninspiring but at £3.50, I couldn't resist it. This makeover is great as all I needed was some paint, glue and the pebbles.

So with a couple of coats of white paint and some pebbles, a stunning vase was created.

 If you want to up-cyles a vase, make sure you use suitable paint for what you will using the vase for.  Mine was just for silk flowers so it only needed to be wipe clean.

We were lucky enough to be gifted this chair that had been in the family for years and was a childhood memory for hubby. 

This ticked both of my questions as I absolutely loved the shape and as a sewer, I knew it was within my capabilities. I gave it several coats of paint and a wax to protect it, then I removed the old covers and made a template from the pads. Hubby chose the fabric and "voila"...... the chair now takes pride of place in the snug.

There is something about these old bedside tables, that made it impossible for me to get rid of them.
  They are very solid and I love how much room there is in the drawers.

With a thorough sanding down, several coats of paint, a wax and some crystal knobs, I now have two beautiful cabinets that fit in perfectly

We all have them don't we ? - those mahogany effect nest of tables.  
They are so useful, but as we have recently decorated, they simply didn't fit in.

The chair was a purchase online and took me back to my childhood at my nans house

I sanded everything down and glued small mosaic tiles on the top of the tables.  You can pick these up at DIY stores and they come on a square mesh so you can cut them to the size you need.  Once the glue was dry, I grouted the top - I did these with black to go with the colour of the tiles.  Be warned, this is a messy job, but with time and patience, it gives a great effect and is really hard wearing. I then gave the tables several coats of paint and a wax to protect them.  I also stuck felt pads to the bottom of the legs so they didn't scratch the wooden flooring

The chair was very easy to do, a quick fine sanding and two coats of spray paint. 
 Please read the instructions when using spray paint 
as it needs to be done in a well-ventilated space.
 I then re-upholstered the chair seat and made a matching cushion.

I picked up these amazing chairs in a recycled goods centre.  I immediately fell in love with the shape and knew that although I had never tackled something this complex before, I would make sure that I would learn how to. 

All the chair itself needed was a really good clean and polish.  
I carefully unpicked all the cushions and used the fabric as a template. A real bonus was that I was able to re-use all the zips. I bought some on trend check fabric and although this was a challenge and took a fair amount of time, it was well worth the effort and I now have a set of two beautiful armchairs at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them already revamped

These are just a few of the many projects that have been completed here. 
 I hope they have inspired you to have a go and create some gorgeous items to personalised your home. 

Have fun and we would love to see your projects, so make sure you tag us 

The Crafty Co

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Dog Treats - Barking Bites

There's nothing we love more than baking up some sweet goodies. Whether it's cookies, cakes or savoury bites there's always one common thing that is always in our kitchen; a tilting head, sniffy nose, adorable eyed dog watching it all.

Not being able to take the smouldering stares any longer, we have taken over the kitchen to finally bake some treats that are all for the doggies (they are still all human ingredients, though, so hands off!).

With us human's being very fussy about what we put into our bodies, we thought it's good to know exactly what is going into our dogs treats too.

Taken from the book, Three Dog Bakery Cookbook and adapted to our own style, these barking bites are a great treat to cook up something yummy, and healthy for your furry companion (and there's obviously the fun of baking for you to enjoy too!).

The ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour (with naughty treats being the staple in our kitchen we didn't have any whole-wheat, it works just as well with plain!) 
  • 1tbs of baking powder
  • 250g of PB (we only put in half, our pup may be slightly overweight and could do without the extra calories) 
  • 250ml of skimmed milk 


  • Preheat the oven to 160°
  • Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add in the peanut butter and milk and mix it all well
  • Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough (exactly like you would do with normal biscuits)
  • Roll out to 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes (bones are best, but we only had gingerbread men!)
  • Once the shapes are cut place them on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown
  • Cool on a rack (don't give in to the puppy eyes watching you just yet!) and store in a container once a cool temperature

Tip for serving: break into small chunks for your hound. Giving them a whole one makes your time slaving away in the kitchen seem wasted (it doesn't even touch the sides!). 

Let us know what you think of the recipe and we would be happy to upload some more! We would love to the pictures of your doggies enjoying their treats, tag us @thecraftyco :) x