DIY metal tray noticeboard

This project was inspired by a similar idea in Country Homes & Interiors magazine.  I love it because you can make it truly unique and change the theme when you want a change.

The base for the notice board is an old metal serving tray, I found mine in a local charity shop for 50p!  The colour and pattern don’t matter, just look for a size and shape you like and make sure a magnet will stick to it.  The wallpaper was one of several samples I picked up FREE at a big DIY store.  You can find small magnets easily in craft stores or online.

I painted my tray but you may find a tray that’s already a colour you’re happy with.  If you find one with a bold colour or pattern you want to cover, you might want to use spray primer (I did with mine) to get good coverage with your final paint.

  1. Place the tray upside down on a flat surface and lay a sheet of paper over it (the paper needs to be big enough to cover the whole of the tray base).  Using a soft pencil rub over the indentation to ‘trace’ the shape (this gives you an accurate outline for the inside of the tray).  You may find it helps to stick your paper down with low tack masking tape to avoid the tray moving around.

2. Cut the shape out.

3. Check the size against the inside of the tray and trim if needed.

4. Decide on the placement of the wallpaper pattern and tape the paper template down on the right side of the wallpaper with low tack masking tape.

5. Carefully cut around the template, you might want to keep any wallpaper offcuts for future projects.

6. Check the size of the wallpaper shape against the inside of the tray and trim again if necessary.

7. In a well ventilated space (it was dry enough for me to use the garden) give your tray 2 to 3 light coats of spray paint (you can skimp on the central part and skip painting the back if it won’t be seen).  This is the hardest part of the project – waiting for the paint to dry!  I gave my magnets a light coat of paint at the same time (avoiding the magnetic side).

8. You can adhere the wallpaper to the inside of the tray with wallpaper paste or double sided sticky tape BUT I realised I had enough small magnets so that the wallpaper stayed put once I started adding photos/mementos.  So I didn’t bother sticking mine down.  Lazy?  Maybe… but it also means I can change the background paper as often as the mood takes me – happy days!

9. Enjoy collating images, notes and mementos on your board.  I find it helps to lay it flat when deciding how I want the finished board to look.

That’s it!  Your notice board could be used in the kitchen for recipes and reminders, perhaps you want to remember a special trip, or use it to create a beautiful seasonal display.

I just prop my board up on a drawer unit but f you want to hang the board on the wall, look for hanging solutions such as ‘adhesive hanging strips’ or adhesive plate hangers.

 

DIY decanter stopper trade card display

This is a great way to repurpose decanter stoppers that are missing their bottles and it doesn’t matter if the stoppers aren’t perfect.  These holders aren’t as strong as the DIY craft wire postcard holder but are ideal for displaying small trade cards, paper ephemera or pretty visiting cards.

You can pick up old stoppers cheaply online or from vintage markets.

Look for stoppers which have flat tops so they can stand on their head without falling over.

I find this works better with thinner gauge craft wire, I used 1mm wire for mine.

Take a length of wire (I used approx 40cm) and wrap the middle of the length of wire twice around the tube to create a double loop, put a few twists in the wire close to the tube to secure it.  If you’re not sure, this is the same technique as the DIY craft wire postcard holder

Slide the double loops off the tube and wrap the loose ends around the stem of the decanter, with the double loops positioned so they are peeking out at the top of the stem.

This is what mine looks like from the back, it doesn’t need to be neat as it’s hidden at the back!

 

Choose your trade cards and display on a shelf, in a display cabinet or you could place cards back to back and use them as a table centrepiece.

Instead of decanter stoppers, you could try cupboard doorknobs.

If you don’t have any trade cards you could cut up greetings cards or download vintage graphics and print onto card instead.

Beamish, J.R. Edis Photographer and pea green wallpaper

We spent a wonderful weekend last week in the historic city of Durham and managed to squeeze in a trip to the Beamish Museum where you can step back in time and explore a 1900s Pit village and town.  The museum has aquired original buildings and reconstructed them at Beamish literally brick by brick (you can see the numbered bricks on the outside of the old Village School).

I absolutely love living history museums and tirelessly poke around in every corner to make sure I don’t miss anything!  Which unfortunately meant we spent so long at the Pit village that when we arrived (via a fantastic vintage tram) at the 1900s town, we had to dash around to fit it all in.  Joy turned to heartbreak when I spotted J.R. Edis photographer’s studio because we were too late to get our photograph taken.  The studio even offers to mount photographs on authentic looking cabinet card mounts!  Oh well we will just have to book another trip to the North East in the future.

Find out more about the Beamish Photography studio and J.R. Edis here including why ‘pea green’ was thought the best colour to decorate the studio.

These photos show a view of the recreated J.R. Edis Photography studio at Beamish, the studio when it was situated in Sadler Street, Durham in the 1920s, and a portrait of 2 elegant ladies named Rawes taken by J.R. Edis 1914.

 

 

DIY craft wire postcard holder

A quick and easy video tutorial for making a DIY postcard holder.

Have fun experimenting – try vintage scent bottles, apothecary jars or old cruet sets.

If your bottle has a larger opening you may want to fill it with something to keep the wire from moving around (beads or shells if it’s clear glass, or rice or dried lentils if it’s opaque – you get the idea!)

 

DIY photo corner postcard display

This is a really simple way to display postcards and it’s so easy to switch to another postcard when you fancy a change!

To display a vintage standard sized postcard (13.5 x 8.5 cm) choose a frame that fits at least a 5 x 7 inch photo, I used an Ikea Ribba frame (13 x 18 cm).  You can use any patterned paper but this project works best with thicker quality paper or cardstock.

You can easily find paper photo corners online, they’re inexpensive and come in a variety of colours.

  1. Place your postcard on different patterned papers to find one that gives the look you want.  I really love scrappy vintage florals and decided on this scrapbook paper ‘Ladylike’ from the Oh So Lovely Collection, KAISERCRAFT.
  2. Carefully remove the glass and backing board from your frame, place the backing board face down on your paper and draw around the edges with a pencil.  Cut the paper to this size using scissors or a craft knife and metal ruler.
  3. Check your cut piece of paper against the face of the backing board to check it’s the same size and trim if needed.
  4. Place your postcard on the newly cut out paper so it is roughly in the centre then use the ruler to measure the distance from the edge of the postcard to the edge of the paper on each side, this is going to be your visible patterned border.  Try to make the borders as symmetrical as possible (remember this is art not science so don’t stress about a little squiffyness).  For the Ribba frame my borders each measured  around 2 cm.
  5. When you are happy that your postcard is central on the paper, carefully mark the top 2 corners with pencil.
  6. Remove a photo corner from the adhesive backing and gently stick it down against your marked corner, repeat on the other side.  Don’t press down too firmly at this stage in case they need repositioning.
  7. Check your postcard fits neatly into the top photo corners, if they’re not quite straight, very gently lift the photo corners and reposition.  When you are happy with them press down firmly to create a strong adhesion.
  8. For the bottom corners, I find it easier to gently push the photo corner onto the corner of the postcard then press it down into position on the paper
  9. Give each corner a final press, then step back and admire your creation!
    You can have so much fun experimenting with different backing papers – try wallpaper samples, quality gift wrap or old book pages, and the best thing is you can change the postcard or backing paper for a totally different look when you fancy a change!

Votes for Women 100 years

6 February 2018

Alexandra Carlisle (1886 – 1936) was an English theatre star who made her name in America as an actress and strong supporter of the Suffrage movement.

Alexandra’s father wanted her to follow in his footsteps and become a teacher, but the defiant Carlisle declared she would be anything but! She trained as a stenographer and found work as a typist alongside acting for a provincial English theatre company.

She married American comedian Joseph Coyne and moved to the USA where she found success in straight theatre on Broadway and a passion for speaking out against inequality for women.

This real photo postcard has been overpainted with violets in the suffragette’s colours – Green ‘Give’, White ‘Women’, Violet ‘Votes’. The postcard was sent from Annie to her sister and to me is a clear indication of Annie’s support for the Suffrage cause.

The Representation of the People Act was passed on this day in 1918 and gave women aged over 30 and “of property” the right to vote #vote100

Happy New Year to everyone!

Butterfly girls vintage photos

5 January 2018

I have to admit that once Boxing Day is finished, I can’t wait to take down all the Christmas decorations in readiness for starting another year.  The beginning of January is a time to reflect on the year just past but, more importantly to an optimist like me, it’s a time to focus on the future, make plans and dream of what might be.

Each Christmas my lovely mum buys us each a calendar and we have already started to circle dates with ideas for catching up with distant friends, exploring parts of Scotland as yet unvisited and thinking about how we want to spend precious time off work.

This tinted postcard of a girl in a butterfly dress features one of my favourite Edwardian child models, and isn’t this a great cabinet card? A group of girls all proudly showing off their butterfly and flower fairy costumes.

I think butterflies are a great analogy of how quickly time passes and how we should strive to become the best version of ourselves.  Just like these sweet girls, spread your butterfly wings, take to new unchartered skies and embrace the gift of a new year.

First snow in ages

Cottenham village green December 2017

10 December 2017

We woke this morning to a light blanket of snow and I couldn’t resist heading over to the village green to get some photos. Last winter was bitterly cold but we didn’t get any snow, so I imagine there was much excitement today and it was great to see teenagers having snowball fights in the streets and parents helping little ones build chunky snowmen.

Our village may not have the largest Christmas tree around but I still get a buzz from driving past at night when the lights are on.  Christmas lights are absolutely one of my favourite things about this time of year and I’ll never tire of seeing how they transform quite ordinary buildings into magical fairy kingdoms.

Seeing all the snow covered houses is making me itch to start on some new paper projects, with generous sprinklings of glitter…