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Oi, Beetroot Face! Homemade, Natural Blusher

29 September, 2014

In my latest experiment for Cosmo I’ve tackled something I’ve wanted to do for a while- Beetroot Rouge! Yep, a quick, easy, natural homemade blusher using my absolute FAVE root vegetable. Homemade Natural Rouge - Beetroot Blusher

It was SO MUCH fun and effective.

You will need:

A small vestibule (I used a vintage tobacco tin, obviously)

A whole, fresh beetroot sliced very thinly

An oven or dehydrator

A coffee grinder or nut/grain mill

No children (for some reason they are intrigued with these little mounds of bright pink dust and think playing with it is just as much fun as I think it is, pah!)

Get the How To and the results right here…diy beetroot blusher

Green things

That time my smelly scalp went viral

14 August, 2014

So, flipping heck.

One minute I am sitting in my kitchen making up new lyrics to I Like Big Butts about my little one year old (“I love you Juno and I can’t deny! No other mother…” Etc) whilst observing out of the corner of my eye my three year old tying an especially long, thin leek around her neck (it wrapped around TWICE! Wiley old leek!) and also thinking about how to encourage them both to consider eating more than just marshmallows for breakfast…

And then… The next minute I have snuck off to use the next door neighbour’s internet and am reading about MY EBOOK IN THE GUARDIAN.

Photo credit: Malcolm Rutherford


Truly, while I was asleep, the internet just went bonkers about No Poo. The Daily Mail, the Telegraph, (that article is the original and actually brilliant), plus a few others, have written about Happy Hair: The definitive guide to giving up shampoo *big toothy marketing smile*

I was warned not to read the comments, but couldn’t resist. Gosh, people are COMICS. And such caricatures of themselves – I.e the Daily Fail & Telegraph tending to be cynical and cruel and Guardian readers all saying “Huh? I haven’t used shampoo for years, of course it works!”

On the smelly thing
Mentioning the stinky stage was probably an urge towards honesty that wasn’t quite necessary – it is really the main thing people have focused on. Especially the Guardian article- it was a shame how much Sali had obviously not read my book and just rested on the old “smelly hippy” stereotype. I sort of wish I didn’t give people the opportunity to drag that tired image up. But then I wanted to be fully transparent about my own experience. I gave up shampoo without knowing anyone else who did it and really without knowing anything about it. I went cold turkey, and didn’t realise there were a billion options for achieving fresh smelling locks during transition. (Loads of tips in the book! *marketing smile*)

It is SO EXCITING that people are buying the ebook (you did buy it, yeah?) and finding it helpful- some of the reviews on Amazon (where it has been a Number 1 bestseller in its category since the beginning of the week arrghhhhhh)

IMG_0929.JPG“This book is your one stop shop for everything NO Poo related, I can’t recommend it highly enough. There is a wealth of info on the internet for those wishing to explore giving up shampoo but a concise, inspiring guide to taking the plunge has been missing and this book is the business! I had already given up shampoo about 3 weeks before reading the book and was committed to giving it a go but now I feel I have the definitive guide to fall back on whenever I need it. Now I know I was using too much bicarb, not brushing enough, and I have an arsenal of conditioning treatments I am planning to try out. Best of all, Lucy explains the science behind how our hair is naturally equipped to clean itself in a way that I can actually remember and wax lyrical to anyone who will listen! And yes, my hair is thicker and shinier than ever.”

“This book is holding my hand through the tough transition to going shampoo free. Shampoo is another side to the Beauty Myth – it’s not good for us yet we have been taught we need it daily!
The book is a total step by step friend taking you through it all, without preaching to the reader. Buy. Read. Go NO POO.”

I’ve been asked loads of questions on Facebook over the last few days- I’m answering them all happily but everyone has been covered in the book. Seriously, I am fairly sure the book says everything anyone might possibly want to know about No Poo. (Hit me with any stones you I think I left unturned!)

Here is the Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 But WHY?
Chapter 2 How it Works
Chapter 3 Coping with the transitional period
Chapter 4 Natural alternatives to shampoo
Chapter 5 Natural alternatives to conditioner
Chapter 6 Natural alternatives to styling products
Chapter 7 Hair troubles during transition
Chapter 8 Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter 9 Conclusion

That is a lot of information about giving up shampoo, innit?!

The fact that it has just gone so bonkers is bit baffling but don’t you reckon it just says an awful lot about how people are SO READY to embrace a life less dependant on highly packaged hair dreams, jam packed with carcinogens and false promises?

So, thank you, thank you for buying the book and thank you for all being so gunho about giving this No Poo thing a crack with me. It’s not a No Poo movement it’s a No Poo revolution!

Ps You can buy a discounted version here Less than a bottle of swanky shampoo!” *slightly wild eyed smile*Happy Hair No Poo Book


Happy Hair: The definitive guide to giving up shampoo (The Ultimate NoPoo book)

13 August, 2014

ARGH! Here it is! My first book! A comprehensive guide to giving up shampoo and how No Poo will help you ditch the toxins, save money, and release your hair’s natural beauty…New book published on No Poo

I have had this book on my mind for six months – I have always felt there was a great need for a book that pulls all the No Poo information out there together in one easy place-  but it was only at the start of July that I decided to crack on with it. Cue late nights typing furiously and whole afternoon’s spent eyeball-deep in CHEMISTRY of all things. Ugh. I had to, like, figure out science for this thing.

In fact, that is the section I found most fascinating  – the Science of No Poo. Because it isn’t just some hippy poppycock – it is a proper, legitimate process that genuinely works.

This book will help No Pooers get through the transitional stage, find an alternative that works for them (there are over THIRTY alternatives to shampoo, conditioner and styling products) and gives solutions for common problems encountered.

There are several pages answering Frequently Asked Questions covering hair dye, hair straighteners, hair types, exercise, swimming, headlice amongst other glorious things.

And lots of testimonials and funny stories.

In fact, even if you are just curious about No Poo, I think you will find it entertaining. (I have freely thrown down my dignity on the altar of reader’s laughs.)

And so, on to buying this ultimate guide to No Poo. (ARGH, WHY DIDN’T I CALL IT THAT?! That’s a good name that. GAh.) The very best way to get this book is as a simple Ebook from my Estore – of which I will get EVERY penny! It is a PDF so you open it up and read it in your Kindle just as you would normally, or on your phone or Ipad or simply read in on your PC. Add to Cart, yeah?

If you don’t mind paying a bit more, and giving an awful lot of it to Amazon (70%! 70% I tell you!) you can also buy the book on Kindle or in Print, if you like things with a spine. (It is currently Number 1 Bestseller in its category- Wahey!)

And all for less than a bottle of good shampoo.

Perhaps you might even be the first person to review this book?! (Please do!) Head onto Amazon to do that. 

And if you can share the book all about with your mates/ any journos you know I will come and nuzzle my nice smelling, clean No Poo locks into your shoulder in a succulent internet cuddle.

And, feel free to join a whole load of No Pooers on my Facebook Page where we can share stories and answer questions. Please come and join in the fun!

And muchos, muchos gracias for all your support so far, you have all really encouraged me through this whole book thing.
Happy Hair No Poo Book

Green things

Why go No Poo? Save money, ditch the toxins and release your hair’s natural beauty

21 July, 2014

I hereby announce the publication of the Ultimate Guide to No Poo! 13,000 words on how to give up shampoo, over 32 shampoo, conditioner and styling product alternatives, the scientific basis of No Poo and a whole load of stories from my 2.5 years Shampoo Free.

Happy Hair: The definitive guide to giving up shampoo.Happy Hair No Book Book Add to Cart

Here is a little preview from the WHY section…


Release your hair’s natural beauty
It was a trip to the hairdressers that confirmed for me that we are all being hoodwinked by the beauty industry! It  was my first visit since giving up shampoo and I was nervous about having to ask her to forgo the products when washing my hair.

I was imagining a dropped comb, a face contorting with repulsion,  and, as the full realization of having massaged the scalp of a head that hasn’t seen a single goop of shampoo for over a year, projectile vomiting into the mirror.

Marvelously, that scene didn’t happen.

In fact, she barely blinked.

(Mind you, this salon is based in particularly wild corner of South London, where one infamous resident has taken to squirting pedestrians with her breastmilk. You’ve really seen everything in Peckham.)

As the hairdresser began cutting my hair she explained that she was “thinning it out”- I guffawed (glamorously) in shock. My WHOLE life hairdressers have been trying to cut my pathetically lank hair in a way that would add volume. I explained conspirationally that I was sure giving up shampoo had actually improved my hair. She looked at me as if I was an idiot “Of course it would! Using shampoo regularly just totally strips your hair out!” I was astonished that a hairdresser would so passionately admit that shampoo may not be bringing out the best in people’s tresses.

Tons of people are finding that giving up shampoo has uncovered a new, better side to their hair.  Dull hair has become glossy, frizzy hair curly, lank hair voluminous. (If you originally had dull AND frizzy AND lank hair your now look like Diana Ross!)

“I stopped using hair products a year and a half ago and curly hair takes to it very well! However the most satisfying thing is loving my hair in its most natural state, without needing products to change or “improve” it.”

Save Money
It isn’t the ticket to becoming a millionaire by age 33 (unless , of course, you write a book about it  *evil billionaire laugh*) but giving up shampoo can relieve a tight budget.

Even if you use the traditional alternative to shampoo – a Bicarbonate of Soda wash once a week  you will only get through one jar every two months. If you throw in a weekly cider vinegar rinse too you’ll probably use up a bottle every three months. Depending on where you shop that is a mere £8-13 a year on hair washing paraphernalia.

Moreover, loads of people manage to wean off using natural alternatives regularly so end up spending far less than that.  Inconceivable!

In our home we were using a bottle of shampoo and conditioner every month at a cost of £5. We now use water and are saving £60 every year. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when we are old fogeys we will be able to go on a luxury £3000 cruise with the savings! Wahey!

“I have to admit my reason for going poo-free was monetary! I have been surprised at the results of using nothing and comments of how wonderful my hair looks! Both my children never shampoo their hair – they are 3 and 6. The 3 year old only ever washes her hair occasionally and it looks beautiful. The 6 year old has her hair washed occasionally by the grandparents and it totally destroys the natural beauty and lustre of her hair. It takes a few weeks for it to come back to normal.”

Eliminate Toxins
I gave up shampoo about a week after reading the research published by Bionsen that revealed the 515 chemicals women put upon their bodies daily. I initially thought “Ha! They didn’t research ME!” but then I looked at the back of my shampoo bottle and realized that in my shampoo alone there were about a billion items I didn’t recognize in the slightest.

In an ideal world I wouldn’t lob imposing names out there like big fat toxic grenades, to scare people into giving up shampoo. I’d really rather talk about the magnificent simplicity of taking a lemon from the fruit bowl and cleaning our hair with it. But we do need to ask some big questions about what we readily pour into our pores. So quick! Take cover!

  • Sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate cause shampoo to be lovely and bubbly but are also skin and eye irritants that come with major warning labels.
  • Cocamide diethanolamine is in over 100 shampoos available on the high street. Cocamide DEA is not only an allergen with high potential as an irritant but it is classed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 2b Carcinogen.[1]
  •  Parabens  have been connected to higher estrogen levels, which wreak havoc with the hormones.
  • Quaternium-15 is a preservative that discharges formaldehyde. It is an allergen that can cause dermititus as well as having been linked to cancer, particularly leukemia.
  • Methylisothiazolinone has been connected with neurological damage and Alzimers, often abbreviated to MIT.
  • 1,4-dioxane has been found in almost a quarter of the products in the Skin Deep Database from the Environmental Working Group. This is cause for concern. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies dioxane as a probable carcinogen.[2]
  • Almost all commercial shampoos involve mineral oil, a byproduct of crude oil being turned into gasoline. It is pretty much the leftover sludge. It is in many shampoos and actually sort of acts like a sludge on your hair. It coats each shaft, indeed adding a glossy sheen, but also preventing any toxins and excess oils ever leaving your hair.

“I’ve been using Bicarbonate of Soda for 8 months now. I had been getting an itchy scalp with regular shampoo but since going poo-free my scalp is itch free and my hair is lighter and more healthy. I think my natural colour is more vibrant too. My husband and son both had eczema but since our whole family of five has gone poo- free they no longer have eczema. Best move ever.”

The book has now been featured in Cosmo, the Daily Mail, the Guardian and The Telegraph. Amazon Reviewers are raving about it, wahey!

Get your beautiful hands on a copy right here, right now for less than a bottle of shampoo… Available in every currency and every country of the world.
Happy Hair No Book Book Add to Cart(That is a link to a discounted Ebook but it is also available on Amazon in Kindle and Print – they just take a huge, enormous 70% tax…)


Just how DO you buy ethically without spending loads of dosh?

4 July, 2014

Every so often on this blog I get to work with companies that I am one hundred million per cent behind*. (Yes, yes one hundred million doesn’t exist, bla de bla *yawn*)

I am well excited to be introducing you to Muddy Carrot. They are the answer to the title’s question! They are a family team -run from their kitchen table- and they work hard to source the most creative and ethical products out there. I love any company that makes ethical shopping easier because, flip, we don’t need any more barriers in the way, that is for sure. I ESPECIALLY love a company that have a range of green AND affordable products.

What a salve it is, in a week where a factory worker stiches a cry for help in the label of a dress, to discover a company where the products stocked have the actual aim of healing the world, rather than destroying it.

Let me point out some of my favourite bits and pieces- please do bookmark this page for your Christmas shopping (ARGH! I JUST SAID CHRISTMAS!) as I reckon you could nip on here and nail your stocking shopping in just a few clicks.

1. Heavenly Hedgerows

The Heavenly Hedgerows range combines my two favourite things- foraging and eating. (I am a frugal glutton, pahahaha.)

“Heavenly Hedgerows was born of a love of foraging for wild food, inspired by a free-range New Zealand childhood and the delights of the West Country’s bountiful seasons. We hand-pick all our key ingredients from local hedgerows and prepare and bottle them in small batches in our farmhouse. We are passionate about good quality, locally produced food. From jellies and jams, West Country Honey, to delicious liqueurs – all our products are made from wild fruits and berries, hand picked by us and made in our farmhouse in Keynsham.”

The Bramble Vodka and Lavender Jelly would make ideal small, quirky gifts. Lavender-Jelly

2. Granny Marmalade
How many different kinds of marmalade are possible, do you think? Muddy Carrot stock three kinds – three-fruit with cinnamon, orange, lemon and ginger, and three-fruit marmalade.

3. The Harrogate Cake Co.
One day, I’d like to receive a cake in the post. That would be the very best day of my life. Each cake here is made in the Harrogate Bakery by hand and every once can be FREELY parcelled up and delivered to your favourite person on a special day. Order a tea loaf for a chum and then turn up that afternoon… “Oooh, what is this? Cake? Oh, I mustn’t. Okay, I will…”ethical cake

4. Cyril’s Soap Shed
A beauty range of handmade goats milk soaps – there is a number for everyone here. Bust out some of this gardeners soap for the weed wacker in your life and they will love you FOREVER. (Money can’t buy you love, eh? Whatever, Beatles!)ethical soap

5. Little Travellers
Little Travellers is the most delightful range of jewellery and homeware made by AIDS victims. I love the large dark bead necklace, teaspoons, and this lush bracelet.ethical teaspoons

Quick! Pretend it’s Christmas and buy cake and jam and then forget that you did it and scoff it all for tea!

This post was in collaboration with Muddy Carrot- please check out my disclosure for more on that…

*Every so often I drop a link for people I am not completely and utterly behind too – I justify this compromise by telling myself that this is what allows me to mostly stay home with the kiddos and work on things like the Social Justice and Childhood Initiative etc. I will always disclose, never sneak a link in… But I don’t feel perfectly comfortable about it. It would be interesting to hear what you think about that – whether I should remain more idealist than realist in the administration of this here blog!!

Bombaround, Parenting, Thrifty

Yurt Sweet Yurt – Family Life under Canvas

8 April, 2014

Yurt Sweet Yurt – Family Life under Canvas

Waking up with something crawling on my face has pretty much been a lifelong fear of mine. A fear that was finally realised last Wednesday when a tickling sensation on my cheek pulled me from my dream (my dream was probably about sleep – both my day time and night time reveries are basically about getting more sleep…)

I pulled the tickling thing off my face and flung it on to the floor, I hunkered under the duvet and begged my dream to return quickly, quickly, quickly. But it was too late, I was wide awake and needed to know what the Thing was.  I grabbed the torch and peered under the bed.

I was actually relieved to find an enormous Praying Mantis. Far, far better to have a goggle eyed, try hard stick insect having his devout way with my face than his cruel, shiny black scurrying cousin, the Cockroach.

We have a lot of cockroaches and other members of the insect community in our place. ALOT. There isn’t much you can do when the outside is so inside, y’know? Little cracks where the canvas wall meets the floor and gaping holes in the tree house kitchen. There are some serious blurred lines between our home and nature right now. family living in a yurt

If the rest of it wasn’t so darn perfect it would definitely be too much.

family living in a yurt

But fortunately (unfortunately?) we LOVE living here.

We love the yurt which feels like an almost sacred space with it’s circular fluidity. The few things we lugged over from England just fit in it so ideally. The look is retro-yoga-retreat-chic, yeah.Yurt Life

We actually love having nature all up in our grills. We spend 90% of most days outside, which is what life is meant to be like I think. It is still HOT here so we eat our meals on the deck. Both the girls have swings that fly off the deck in a yurt

We have a sort of kitchen cabin off the deck, and through that an old caravan which has become a bit of a play / craft room. We don’t have a bathroom (we smell more than usual) and have a little walk to the composting loo which takes a bit of getting used to.
living in a yurt

We love living cooperatively with the other two families on the farm. It is making us fairly certain that we want this community life for our in a yurt

We are surrounded by these little native owls called Moreporks and they sing us to sleep cooing “morepork! morepork!” There are plenty of nocturnal possums too but they have an unwelcome, evil witch living in a yurt

We love milking the cow (Yep! I am rubbish at it as I have way too much empathy) and collecting the chicken eggs and eating whole meals with 0 food miles. family life yurt

We will have to see how we get on with the winter. It will involve waking in the night to put a log on the pot belly stove and pinning up wooly stuff all over the inside to insulate. It will be cold but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, eh? We will be so jolly hardy by the end of living in a yurt

I just need to be more assertive and get on less intimate terms with the local bugs.

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.

Green things

No Poo, no toxins, no worries (Shampoo free for two years!)

20 February, 2014

“What’s that your cooking up now, Lu?” asks Tim. “Just sugar and lemon.” “For the pancakes?” “Nope, my hair.”

My husband nods his head, like, naturally.

It’s been over TWO YEARS since I gave up shampoo- I reckon that now makes my No Poo journey a long term one, yeah?


My No Poo journey has been two years of mixing up concoctions, hair looking terrible, then amazing, terrible again, and then fine. Two years of people hearing about my No Poo experiment and then grabbing my ears, taking a big whiff of my scalp. (Not really, but a few people HAVE asked to smell it!)

I have had long, long hair and a very short crop. Just now it is a weird in between stage as I grow it long again. And I have tried just about every single thing out there as a natural alternative to shampoo, conditioner and styling products.

Here are a few reflections on giving up shampoo….

If you stick at it, it DOES work. But sticking at it is really hard. Realistically, you will go through a least a couple of months of unhappy hair. You need quite a lot of motivation to get through that first bit.

It works with long hair and short hair, although the short hair takes a lot less maintenance. I use to have to brush my long locks a lot but now I only use a brush to back comb my quiff…

Long hair takes a lot more STUFF too – coconut oil as a conditioner, more regular washing. I do this massage thing to distribute the oils away from my scalp and it is MUCH easier doing this with short hair.

In the past I have loved bicarbonate of soda, eggs, and soap nuts as my preferred natural shampoo alternatives. Now? Now I just use water.

There are people all over the world doing this- just quietly getting on with it. While we were in Spain, at the eco community, it was completely normal to be No Poo. Here I am, blogging all the ups and downs and there they were, just not washing their hair because of the chemical – free policy on site. No biggie.

If I want to style it I use a mixture of sugar and lemon as a nice crispy hairspray. For a wax I use beeswax and coconut oil, and for a gel I break off a bit of my Aloe Vera plant and use the gel inside. And if I want to use a hair clip I break off one of our Venus Fly Trap leaves and for a toothbrush I use a thistle. (Pahaha, totally just kiddingly about those last two… Although my life does increasingly resemble the Flinstones, just with less bones.)

When I first began this there were lots of baffled responses but the one that stuck with me the most was the person that said “Oh, I know lots of people who have done that. But they all eventually go back to shampoo.” I guess this filled me with the most doubt about my experiment – am I going to go through this whole thing, just to give up?

Two years later I can say, for sure, that there is NO going back to shampoo. Not in a million years. I can see no reason to. My hair cleans itself. I spend ZILCH on shampoo – not even on natural alternatives now I have short hair. I just use water. It is enormously thrifty and enormously green. My hair is strong, healthy and shiny. No Poo 4 EVA!

I need to write more on No Poo!l, eh? haven’t blogged nearly enough about it, considering I am such a devotee. What kind of stuff would you like to read about it?



*UPDATE* I wrote a book on giving up shampoo! It is the ultimate guide to No Poo covering everything you need to know about No Poo. It covers the science of it as well as providing loads of practical advice for doing it. Buy a discounted version here or find it on Amazon in print.Happy Hair No Poo Book


How To Make Recycled Flooring

3 February, 2014

Last week I completed a DIY project that I think is my favourite make in my life so far. Not because it is superbly pretty, was fantastically quick or perfectly used my skill set. In fact, there are one or two ugly mistakes on it, it took WAY longer than I thought it would and anyone on the planet could do it! Pfft.

I loved it so much because it feels like a complete and utter DIY HACK. IMG_7488

Everyone needs a floor. But carpet takes skill to lay, good tiling is expensive and vinyl is often ugly. Making a recycled floor out of stuff you’d usually trash is just such a GENIUS way around this. (I’m allowed to say that as I didn’t invent it, yeah?)

We picked up our big bus, Bert, two weeks ago today. One of the first things we did was rip up the carpet. It was the rankest thing I’d ever seen. Thick with grime, an awful brown, and smelly too. We were left with a sticky MDF floor. We searched solidly for an entire week for some retro vinyl in the secondhand shops and went into carpet shops to try and find an inexpensive eco option but had no luck. A bit of late night googling for “recycled floor ideas” turned up a few blogs such as this beaut and as I read my heart began to beat faster and I knew we had to give this a bash.

The blogs I read used brown paper bags and their results are brilliant and classy. We wanted something a bit more fun and a bit brighter – so I began trawling Pinterest for geometric shape inspiration.

We took a trip first thing in the morning to the hardware store for some PVA glue, some eco, waterbased Polyurethane and a few tubes of artists acrylic. One of the local second hand stores had a big roll of old wallpaper -BINGO.

We hurried back and began the work.  HOW TO MAKE A(6)

Let me give you more detail…

1- Mix PVA glue to water- half glue and half water. Mix really well. I imagine you can use any paper but we used wallpaper, with the back facing up. This was because my practice stencils didn’t stick to the shiny side of the wall paper. So check how your paint fixes, if you are going to decorate it.

You can use any size strips of paper but we prefered the look of the larger bits. Ours were approximately one square foot. The finished result of this is almost like tiles. The more you scrunch the more texture your “tiles” will have. I preferred less scrunch, aesthetically. But  scrunch to break the straightness of the sheet of paper.

You have got three layers to nail this bit, so don’t worry too much about the first/ second!

Dunk it in your glue mix, swipe off the excess and smooth over your floor.

Move on to the next bit.

Leave each layer overnight to dry. Do make sure it is really dry inbetween layers. We did this on a hot day so ours dried really well.

We were happy with three layers.

2- Once it is completely dry you can start decorating it. I used simple artist’s acrylic and mixed my own colours.

I just freestyled triangles with masking tape. I want to encourage you to practice. I spent about a day simply perfecting my paint consistency and shapes! I tried making a stamp first but couldn’t get the clean effect I wanted.

I chose grey, mustard and yellow because it is the actual best colour combo in the world.

I did three layers so the triangles were very deeply coloured.

3- Once dry do your first layer of waterbased polyurethane – we used an eco brand. Waterbased takes much less time to dry and is much less toxic. Work quickly, don’t re-go over bits. Pick any fluff off as you go. Most of the bubbles and streaks will fade as it dries but do try and avoid it! We did three layers of polyurethane but we are going to do a couple more as we want this floor to be super robust seeing as it is the only floor in our house!


Give yourselves at least 3 days from start to finish. You aren’t working this whole time (only actually about 4 hours of work for my tiny space and most of that was the shapes!) but it all involves a lot of drying.recycled flooring DIY
Do make your floor as even as possible before you begin. Shave down bumps, clean it well. We didn’t and it is, um, quite textured!

Sweep well before every stage.

Do a little practice patch.

If doing in a bathroom/ kitchen do add silicon around the edges to make it totally sealed.

Don’t skimp on the PVA. I did because I found it was sticking well with less PVA but when we added the second layer of polyurethane these little patches went dark and our lovely floor ended up slightly blotchy.  See picture below, on the left? Learn from me, friends. This floor is cheap enough already- don’t be a cheapskate!geometric floor pattern DIY

I have already swept, washed it down, spilt crap on it, walked tar onto it and it is holding up perfectly. And the other blogs tell me it has many years life in it yet!

You can probably tell, but I am completely stoked with our lovely floor. It cost about £20. We will almost certainly be doing this if we end up living in a proper house one day.

*skips about singing* My floor, my recycled floor, how I do adore!

(Ramona has begun singing everything. “Oh the cloud is sad in the sky while I eat my carrot” What a crack up. I do not know WHERE she gets it from.)

If you consider doing this I really recommend checking out some of the original bloggers as their posts are EXHAUSTIVE…
An Oregon Cottage (the Original Genius)
Ooh, I could totally do that! (Most excellent blog name!)
Lovely crafty home (Comp.Re.Hen.Sive)
Domestic Imperfection(Hilarious)

I am off to sit in the bus and rub my feet all over my shiny new creation.

(Thanks, lovely sheepskin for £5 from a car boot sale, for hiding the bits I messed up.)


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!