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Craftiness, Thrifty

DIY Jar Lids with Straws – for parties, or just your fun life

9 March, 2015

What on earth do you call these things? Huh? DIY Jars with Lids and Holes that you Drink Milkshake out of with Straws Container Things.DIY Jar Lids with Straws - chalkboard paint makes them a fun party accessory

All I know is that I saw them in the swanky gift shop for actual real money and I thought WHAT? I’ll Just push a screwdriver through my own jar lid, thanks very much! Trends, eh?

So I went home and did just that. Because I’m not going to lie to you, sometimes I do get over run with a deep need to MAKE IT ALL! (I was crying with laughter at this Shake It Off Parody– y’seen it?)

But then I thought I’d go Next Level and make some homemade chalkboard paint with my cool neon colours so that then you can write a message about your cocktail or smoothie, or just your initial so no one else slobbers on your mojito’s straw, and EEK LOOK HA! THEY ARE FU-HUNKKKKY. (Hey, I know people don’t really say funky that much but sometimes, when faced with your homemade neon pink straw and lid on your jar thing, it just pops out.)DIY Jar Lids with Straws - chalkboard paint makes them a fun party accessory

They’d make such a fun party extra, but they are also clearly brilliant for everyday with the kiddos… they stop the berry-smoothie-with-sneaky-kale-goodness slopping all over. Plus, when your life is just one big party, these accessories just seem to fit, y’know?

*massively tired face only parents of small children are really capable of* DIY Jar Lids with Straws - chalkboard paint makes them a fun party accessory


Take a selection of jars and lids – those posh jam ones are nice to look at
Choose a drill bit the same size as your straws
Put your lid on a block of old wood and make a hole
Either leave them gold/ plaid or paint them with homemade chalkboard paint
(I actually didn’t have tile grout so used a spoon of plaster of paris and it works just as well.)
You will need two coats and you need to wait a day for it to be completely set.
Hold a milkshake party.DIY Jar Lids with Straws - chalkboard paint makes them a fun party accessory

Super easy to make, and a fun quick DIY you can bust out when you have the Make It All itch. Those paper straws are a bit of a have though- they go soggy after a while in the drink. Because WHO MAKES STRAWS OUT OF PAPER?! So just use your usual, ideally re-usable straws, but doll them up with a swatch of washi tape.

Lucy, singing loudly, and proudly handing out milkshakes, and also sort of trying to pop and lock at the same time: My milkshakes bring all the kids to the yard! *song fades as the realisation that its probably a bit inappropriate dawns*

Craftiness, Featured, Thrifty

DIY Paint Dipped Utensils (reclaiming Wooden Spoons)

10 October, 2014

I have experimented with painting the handles of cutlery in the past, it was fun, if a little time consuming. When I saw paint-dipped wooden spoons in a fancy shop last week selling for £10 EACH I felt it was time for another batch. This time I thought harder about the pallette I wanted, used large wooden implements instead of cutlery, and, crucially, dipped, instead of brushed.

This idea is ever so slightly old now. But, whatevs, I LOVE IT! Such a cool way of reclaiming those millions of wooden utensils in charity shops and they make a brilliant gift. (Eh, Jo? *stares at sister* Oh, yeah, I didn’t mention that they were second hand spoons eh. I REALLY cleaned them- read on…)Paint Dipped Wooden Spoons

Picking up wooden spoons from a charity shop in order to use them in your own kitchen isn’t just for the brave of heart. There is no need to be cowed by someone else’s bolognaise sauce stains. Let me hold your hand while we deal to someone elses food remnants.

For this you will need:
Old wooden spoons/ spatulas
Fine Sandpaper
Test tube or something a similar size you can dip into.
Pegs and rope for hanging

Start by giving all the spoons a soak and a wash. If only for your state of mind.
When they are dry again giving them a good sanding. You should be able to get down to a fresh layer of wooden. You can also rub out any digs and splinters. After a rub down they will look almost new!

Smear some olive oil over them – this oil will just stain them enough to bring out their natural colours. Don’t they look beauty?!

Now mix up your colours and fill a test tube with your paint. (I used one of those thin plastic tubes that an orchid stem came in.) Dip your handle in then peg it on a line to dry. Once it is mostly dry dip again. I did three dips and was really happy with it.

The dipping makes a massive difference compared to just brushing the paint on as I did last time. I didn’t want to dip as I felt it was a waste of paint and as you know, I’m a cheapskate. But by the time I had poured the paint back into their pots after dipping, I’d only used a small bit.  *high fives all the penny pinchers out there*

Extra Tip: I got tiny pots of paint from the hardware shop that had been marked down to £1 each, just odds and ends. Rummaging through them, although it looked like a weird selection of colours altogether, actually revealed some wicked combinations. This paint was so cheap and so vibrant. And I am just all about the grey, bright yellow and mustard combo. (Remember the DIY floor of our bus? Same palette! What a bore… )

Taping the cut off point: You can also add tape around where you want your paint to stop. I did this on some, but be really careful about taking your tape off. The paint will be so thick that it might peel off a little bit with your paint. I kind of like the diagonal edge of not using tape.

Yeah, so anyway, family and friends. You’ll be getting some spoons for Christmas. Oh yeah!

Secondhand wooden utensils craft

Craftiness, Green things, Thrifty

DIY Eco and Thrifty Resuseable Snack Packs/ Cling Film

11 March, 2014

You know what I hate? Cling Film. I partly hate it because it hates me – cling film started it when it refused to ever stick to itself so all my sandwiches look as if they are wrapped in scraggly, flappy bits of plastic. Oh wait! That *is* what cling film is!

It is the stuff that our great – great – great – great – great- grandchildren will discover on their archeological digs and think, with baffled expressions on their faces, scanning the barren, scorched land around them, “THIS was the reason for the demise of our beautiful earth! My great – great- great- great- great- Nana was a total plonker!” They will write articles in the National Geographic about how we used up the world’s most precious resource on wrapping up old bits of cheese.

Crumbs, didn’t know I was such a hater. Feel much better for that.

You’ll be pleased (because I was sounding like it was giving me high blood pressure, eh?) to know I discovered an alternative to Cling Film. It is an eco, recycled, reuseable version made with bees wax and fabric. Eco Alternative cling film

All you need is some scraps of fabric and bees wax.  I did six different sizes ranging from 30cm x 30cm to 15cm x 15 cm. I wanted some large enough to go over baking dishes to then go in the fridge and I wanted some I could sew into little snack packs.

Cut your fabric (ideally with pinking shears so it doesn’t fray)

Shave on a small amount of bees wax – sprinkle this as evenly as possible over the whole thing. Work sparingly as a little goes a long way.DIY resuable food wrap

Place on to some tin foil in a hot oven for 3 or so minutes, until wax has melted.

Bring it out and look at it in the light. You should be able to see any patches without wax on- sprinkle a bit on those areas and pop back in oven.

TADA! Done! You can use this in replace of cling film and you can wash and dry it and use it again!

I took two of my sheets and folded them in half and sewed a seam down the side. I left one side open so snacks could be popped in. It can then be folded over and secured with a band or a clip. PERFECT.

I am in love with this easy, peasy alternative to cling film and will never again wrangle with that nasty stuff and the great-grandkids won’t be calling ME the plonker.


Transforming Old Cutlery- Painted Wooden Handles

20 January, 2014

We’ve spent the last few days in a place called Thames- we think this could be a nice spot to settle eventually so we thought we’d check it out. We are working on Bert the bus- getting it ship shape for proper living, trying to do it all using second hand shops and MAN ALIVE we are having fun diving in amongst all the retro kiwi jumble.

We found a cool cutlery set- wooden handles, just like the ones my Nana had.


But I thought they could do with a bit of funning up so whipped out the paint to do a Pinterest job on them- you know the one.


Gosh, if only I wasn’t so slapdash and cheapskate. Instead of dipping the handles in the bottles for a nice thick, smooth finish, I just bought the primary colours and mixed my own so had to apply three layers with a sponge. (Well boring.) I lacquered them once I was all done with some lacquer I found in a rusty tin at the back of a junk store and it sort of took one of the layers of paint off with it.
Oh well, it looks alright and is at least a bit shiny.


So, some tips from all of this:

If you can afford it, make up small bottles of the colours you want so you can just dip the handle in.
Use tape to cover up the bit you don’t want painted- this crisp finish looks brilliant.
Use proper polyurethane to give a final finish over the whole thing.
Choose the colours you actually want, yeah? (I just sort of rolled with it and really regret that ice cream pink – ugh.)
Use pegs to dry them.


Who knows how long they will last- should be a little while because of the varnish, but we’ll see. Meanwhile they are looking TERRIFIC sitting amongst all these other crazy bits and bobs slowly filling up the bus.

Here he is again, this time with the awning out. We’re hoping that soon his inners will look as charming as his outers.


Linking up with the wonders over at Magpie Monday and Opshop Show off!


DIY glitter figure decorations

18 December, 2013

Quick! It’s Christmas! COVER EVERYTHING IN GLITTER.Glitter Figures Tutorial

I am always picking up small plastic figures from charity shops and car boots sales- sometimes whole plastic bags of them for 50p. I rummage through it saying to Ramona “One for you, one for me” until they are all dished out. She plays quite imaginatively with them and I craft them up. (These Cowboy and Indian pots were probably my favourite. Until now.)

I also like putting glitter on stuff. Really, who doesn’t? Anything goes. (See: shoes)

Glitter on tiny plastic toys is a WINNER!


Grab some glue- a nice toxic shoe glue is a goody, something that dries quickly but is really strong.

Grab some glitter.

Apply glue to your figure in centimetre patches, dabbing it in the glitter before you do the next centimetre.

Don’t get your fingers involved. (I was Goldfinger for about 3 days.)

Apply a string to hang on the tree or a name tag for a placeholder.


Merry glittery Christmas everybody.

(HARHAHAHAHA *evil laugh* Your guests will have glitter in all their nooks and crannies for MONTHS.)

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Craftiness, Thrifty

Vintage Giveaway- Have a bit of our home

14 July, 2013

Yesterday we flung the doors of our home open, sold a mountain of stuff and discovered that I have been in the WRONG job this whole time. I’m not a campaigner! I’m a wheeler dealer, a genuine, bonafide, sell a parachute to a sparrow saleswoman. I even got a fiver for our rubbish bin. (Hey, it was an awesome bin, rescued from a back alley in Soho.)

I thought I’d be sad all day, seeing our much loved treasures flying out the door. But nope, it was exciting! I was just so stoked to see people’s eyes light up at the sight of a stack of old suitcases and a collection of teapots. These were my kind! People who relish digging around a stranger’s home on the hottest day of the year all in the name of thrift.

Some were friends, some were blog readers (*extra special wave*) but most has either wandered in or heard about it somehow. Everyone left with a bursting bag and some hardcores had to come back in a van.

We are one massive step closer to our European Bombaround. Eeep…

For those of you who couldn’t swing by for a slice of the action yesterday I have a little giveaway. This bundle hopefully captures a bit of my love for vintage and craftiness and I wish the winner many cups of tea with milk lovingly poured from this jug while whipping up some magnificent doily numbers!


A vintage scrabble set- you can play it sure, but (*does creepy Little Red Riding Hood wolf voice*) far better to craft with. (I put Scrabble letters on EVERYTHING. Even a lamp.)
Three doilies again, put your cuppa on them if you like, but you also could make a million things like those stunning doily bowls.
Three vintage sewing patterns. I have to say If you are clever enough to make these then you really should do it because, my word, they are wicked- one is like a 1980’s flapper style dress -HELLO. I tend to use my sewing patterns for crafting and wrapping gifts in the coolest way.
And finally, this vintage china jug from one of the sets I collect, Keeling and Co’s Claremont. Oh. It’s so bloody beautiful. You can have it, go on, really. You have it.


Simply leave a comment to enter!

For a second entry please share on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram using the hash tag #lulasticgiveaway and let me know in the comments.

Winner will be drawn at random on our very last day in the house, Wednesday 24th July at 9pm.


Thanks my friends and mucho good luck!