Thursday, 9 July 2020

Throwing an At Home Festival

Lets face it- 2020 is not going to be the year for outdoor festivals and general mass gatherings, so why not have a festival from home? And even so, having a festival from home is a great way to ensure you've definitely got a ticket, front row seats and you don't have to rough porta loos and camping right?


I was due to go to a couple of festivals and gigs this year which have been cancelled or rescheduled and with Glastonbury being cancelled, I decided to hold my own little festival in the back garden! With Glasto set highlights from previous years being played on the BBC over the weekend, it was the perfect time to hold a festival with guaranteed good music.


I invited our guests- all four of them (which adhered to the current covid guidelines at that time) and to get into the festival of course they needed some tickets! I used Canva to create these and then ordered some festival style wrist bands from eBay.


Having been to many festivals over my time, I had plenty of paraphernalia around that we could use to decorate both ourselves and the garden, starting with my VW tent!


I am obsessed with this tent, having always wanted a VW campervan. Alas this is most likely the closest I'll ever get to owning one! Regardless I love it plus it's perfect for festival camping, being the same dimensions of a camper van and easy to spot in a sea of tents. The flower power design lends itself perfectly for a festi-feel too. If you've got room for a tent in your garden, I'd definitely recommend putting one up for this kind of party as it a) adds to the theme and b) it's extra space for people to stay if needs be or c) if you have kids coming, playing in a tent would be great fun for them!


Next to the camper van, I laid out a suitcase full of festival dress up for my guests to raid and embellish themselves with. As you can see below, my embellished captain's hat (which I have a tutorial on making here) went down rather well with one of my mates! From sequin leggings to, novelty glasses, head wear and general embellishment, there was something for everyone to adorn.





At many a festival there are signs to various stages, yoga areas etc so I thought I'd make my own signage for the garden using some cardboard and printed signs that were themed around the names of my guests. I then added some banners of the festival name around the garden- again designing all of this on Canva before gluing, sticking and tying it all together.


Adding some bunting can also add to the festival feel. I usually have an abundance of it but I couldn't locate it on this occasion so I made do with what I had and made some last minute paper ones. Bunting will always remind me of festivals when it blows in the wind and adds another decorative element. Flags would also look really good to put up if you have some to hand or have time to make any. I also had some white card and strung that up for us to write affirmations and other meaningful thoughts that come to mind when you're drunk haha.


For food we fired up the bbq and served sweet potato wedges, spicy chicken wings, hot dogs and burgers like you'd get at the food vans.


Our "Main Stage" was framed with some straw bales which I was kindly given for free by a local horse owner. I imagine these won't be as easy to source if you're not rural but again they really added to that festival feel. Also at the "Main Stage" we had Glastonbury playing on iPlayer for the entire weekend via an old tv which we covered with a bbq cover between rain showers! This area was the perfect little dance area and helped to section the garden off into "festival" areas.


As the evening drew in, we flicked a disco ball on and gave everyone glow sticks to adorn themselves with whilst we played drinking games with jelly shots and lots of laughs.


We had such a great time with our friends and I really enjoyed putting the weekend together, so much so that I'd love to do this as an annual thing! With a bit more planning, who knows what I could create for upcoming years. Flags will be a definite yes and more weird and wonderful decor. Watch this space...

*DISCLAIMER* We only stood this close together for the photo- the rest of the time we were socially distancing.
All in all I had a brilliant time hosting our at home festival and our friends loved it too.


Did you celebrate Glasthomebury or would you do an at home festival?


Wednesday, 24 June 2020

DIY Diaries: The Kitchen Edit with Frenchic Paint





It's been a while since I did any DIY around the house- partly because at one point we were looking to move but we've since decided to stay put. With COVID happening, I thought decorating would be the perfect thing to keep me busy and then I really got the bug for it when I discovered Frenchic Paint.



Radiator Cover- Amazon

Having discovered a Facebook group where people are raving about this paint and sharing their makeovers, I quickly became engrossed. They weren't just doing your usual makeovers of wooden furniture and what not. Oh no! Front doors, kitchens, leather sofas and more were being made over in this paint and it got me thinking...Could I do our kitchen?


The paint we decided to go with is the Alfresco Range in the shade "Swanky Pants" for the top cabinets and "City Slicker" for the bottom cabinets and "Dazzle Me" for the tiles. This particular range can be used both indoors and outdoors and is self sealing, self priming and is suitable for woods, laminate, UPVC, composites and metals. With COVID going on, we were lucky to place an order online with a stockist in Peterborough called Golden Crown Furniture and collect it. We also purchased the sugar soap to clean everything with as well as the Frenchic detailer brushes and large and small oval brushes.

We got to work prepping the kitchen firstly by cleaning the kitchen cabinets and tiles with sugar soap before lightly sanding them down so that the paint had a better surface to adhere to. We then went ahead removing door handles and taping up the windowed cabinets before painting the ceiling and walls with white paint.


The next step was to start painting the cabinets! In all honesty I was a bit nervous to begin with but shortly after the first few brush strokes I changed my mind as this paint applies like a dream! It's creamy consistency doesn't run or drip and a little bit really does go a long way so I felt reassured that my 750ml tins would cover the entire kitchen. The brushes are also amazing, especially the detailer brushes to get into difficult nooks and crannies and for precision when doing edges too. After the first coat the kitchen already looked brighter and more modern and the best part was you only have to wait two hours for it to dry before applying the second coat! It took two coats to cover the bottom cabinets in City Slicker whereas the top cabinets in Swanky Pants took 3-4 coats to cover. I also found this when painting the tiles in Dazzle Me so I would say that for lighter shades, expect to do 3-4 coats on a project.


It took us a day to paint the kitchen and already we were over the moon with the result!

The day after painting! Excuse the mess lol

Along with painting the cabinets, we also wanted to re-vamp the worktops. A lot of people using Frenchic paint have used DC Fix- an adhesive vinyl material that can cover over many surfaces. I bought the Ribbeck Oak wood effect and again I was initially sceptical as it is a bit of a sod to apply. I was having flashbacks to my school days of covering my school books with sticky back plastic. It's basically doing lots of that but I am so pleased with the final result.



I will however admit a teething problem (even though this kills me, but I'd rather be honest so you don't make the same mistakes we did) I've since had with the DC Fix, but this is our own error. Where one edge finished and another began, we had lined it up beautifully. It was flush, but what we should have done is overlapped it slightly to compensate for shrinkage. We didn't realise there would be residual shrinkage after application so we have noticed some space appear between sheets. It is incredibly minute- we're talking a millimetre and is probably only something notice but it is doing my head in so I wouldn't be surprised if I re-do it at a later date!



Overall, I am over the moon with how the kitchen has turned out. I'm still waiting on a few bits to arrive to finish it off decor wise but I apart from that it's now complete!


I've also written a post on these DIY shelves which you can read here


Bar Stools- Amazon
Blind- Blinds 2go



Kettle- Dunelm
Toaster- Dunelm
Tea, Coffee Sugar Cannister set and matching bread bin- Dunelm
Henry Watson Coffee Canister- Amazon
Wooden coffee scoop- Amazon



We were so impressed with the paint that we then went on to paint the radiator in Frenchic's Blackjack and DC fix the radiator shelf which has made for the perfect little letter area!


What was a dated kitchen now feels really fresh and modern and cost under £200 to decorate as opposed to paying thousands on a new kitchen.


I'd definitely recommend giving this a go if you're looking to revamp your kitchen on a budget and would highly recommend Frenchic Paint for painting projects!




Monday, 15 June 2020

DIY Rustic Scaffold Shelves


This post is one I almost didn't write because it seems almost self explanatory but after recieving comments from family and friends saying "I thought you'd bought them" and "how did you do it", I decided it might be blog post worthy!




Scaffolding shelves and rustic shelving have become a huge trend in recent times and you can buy some amazing pieces but they come with a hefty price tag so Chris and I decided to give it a go oursevles!

Chris picked up these unwanted scaffolding planks for free which were a bit grubby and with cement remnants on them. He then set about chipping off the cement and cleaning them up before having them cut to size.



Our neighbour very kindly offered to cut them for us and being an ex carpenter, he cut them beautifully with his tools. Of course you can do this yourself and we would have done otherwise but as he had all the kit and was keen to do it for us, we jumped at the chance! Length wise we opted for a size that would best fit the space we wanted the shelves to go- another benefit of making them yourself. The depth of the shelves was determined a) by the space and b) the brackets I chose. I opted for these beautiful hand made steel brackets from eBay which were 6 inches.


Next Chris sanded down and smoothed off the wood before staining it. We chose this dark oak colour from Colron which colours and protects the wood in one and ended up only applying one coat to get the desired colour and effect we wanted.







Chris then attached the brackets to the shelves. Again we initially decided where to place the brackets by eye which worked out roughly 5 inches from the edge of the shelf and then he measured this for the following two shelves to ensure they would all match.



Finally Chris hung them on the wall and I style and titivated them! This DIY was basically done by Chris and with the help of our neighbour and I'm so pleased with how they turned out. My contribution was choosing the brackets, stain and styling after!





I'd really recommend giving this DIY a go! The shelves are so simple to make but really add to a space. In total it cost us £46 to make these, £30 on the brackets and £16 for the stain!

Are you into this style of shelving and would you make them yourself?


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