Sunday 15 December 2019

Home Made

Retro wallpaper. Photo: Amanda Prior.
Retro wallpaper. Photo: Amanda Prior.
Lobster pot lampshades.
By combining wall art and sturdy hooks, you can display almost anything.
Bring butterflies inside by creating a one-of-a-kind artwork
It doesn’t have to be Christmas to decorate a tree indoors

Update your living space with these clever and quirky DIY ideas


Retro wallpaper gets a new life as a floor-to-ceiling artwork

For flights of fancy, try transforming a plain wall into a whimsical work of art.

What you'll need

Wallpaper 'Tree', made of vintage wallpaper by Inke Heiland (glue and brush included), large roll of butcher's paper, cloth, ladder (if you've selected a large work as pictured), and someone to help you.

On your marks

After cleaning the wall you've chosen to adorn, place a protective layer of butcher's paper on the floor. Lay the wallpaper 'tree' flat – tree-side down – and apply glue all over. Then, starting from the base, roll the 'tree' onto the wall (this is when you'll need your ladder and a helping hand).

Once applied, use a cloth to wipe over the wallpaper to remove bubbles, working from the centre out. Attach the wallpaper leaves using the same method (the branches, trunk and leaves of this wallpaper artwork come laser-cut in separate parts).

Tip The project will take up to half a day. Allow the rest of the day for drying.


Enjoy the dramatic shadowplay that this rattan-and-wire structure will create on your walls

What you'll need

A wire/rattan lobster pot, four 15cm lengths of fishing trace (18kg breaking strain) with built-in hooks, one-metre-long fishing trace (30kg breaking strain), set of aluminium sleeves (pack of 6), pliers, a few metres of brown cloth covered cable, spring toggle cup hook, bakelite-style lamp holder and bulb.

On your marks

To rig up the pot to the ceiling, cut off the swivels from the 15cm long fishing trace wires and clip the other ends onto the four points of the lobster pot's top frame. Thread the heavier gauge trace wire through each of the four lighter trace wire loops and thread the tail through an aluminium sleeve. Form a loop by threading the trace wire back through the same sleeve, leaving a 2cm loop. Crush the sleeve with pliers and trim any excess wire that's protruding.

Mark the position on the ceiling. Use a spring toggle cup hook (for plasterboard) for a ceiling fixing point. Decide how low you want the light to hang and create another loop in the one-metre-long trace wire at the right point, and cut off any excess wire with pliers. Test the loops are strong, then suspend from the ceiling hook.

Next, call in a licensed electrician to replace the existing light flex from the ceiling rose with new flex in the desired drop length. Fix the cable to the cup hook by using a small, clear cable-tie. Fit the bulb and feed it into the lobster pot. Turn the power on.


Branch out and display everything from jugs to jewellery with this functional artwork

By combining wall art and sturdy hooks, you can display almost anything – crockery in the kitchen, jewellery in the bedroom or bags in the hall.

What you'll need

A graphic wall sticker or stencil set, hooks, spray-paint (to colour hooks if the initial finish doesn't suit), a drill and any crucial tools for securing hooks.

On your marks

Paint your hooks the same colour as your wall art. Decide on your wall art placement, ensuring you can reach the highest point. Apply your wall sticker or stencil. Mark the wall where you wish to fix hooks (check you have the right drill bits), then attach them.

Tip When positioning, think about what you'll be hanging – for example, you will need plenty of space below if you are hanging necklaces on hooks.


Bring butterflies inside by creating a one-of-a-kind artwork

Creative thinking comes to play when choosing paper – use different sizes, textures, colours and patterns.

What you'll need

Selection of patterned and plain papers, such as pages from old books, coloured paper, newsprint or even sheets of music. Scissors, double-sided tape and an old picture frame with the back and glass removed.

On your marks

Source varied butterfly shapes either from the internet or copyright-free books, then print or photocopy them as templates. Trace the shapes onto your selection of papers and cut out. Fold each pair of butterfly wings upwards to create a gorgeous floating, 3D effect.

Using double-sided tape, attach the body of the butterflies to the wall and hang the frame around your artistic arrangement.

Tip Thicker papers will help to create the 3D effect.


It doesn't have to be Christmas to decorate a tree indoors

When the leaves fall in winter, choose a knobbly, lichen-licked branch to festoon indoors with these big, bold dahlia-shaped pompoms.

What you'll need

Tissue paper (50 x 70cm), scissors, florist's wire, large branch.

On your marks

Stack 10 sheets of tissue paper. Fold stack repeatedly along the 70cm edge every 4cm, resembling a concertina. Fold sharply until you're left with a thick folded piece, measuring 4 x 50cm. Cut and fold a 45cm length of florist's wire, slipping it over onto the centre of the folded tissue piece. Twist to secure. Trim both ends of your folded tissue piece into sharp points.

Next, begin separating each single layer of tissue on both sides of the wire. Work slowly, being careful to separate each layer as close to the centre as possible. This will create the fullness of your pompom. Attach to your branch with the remaining length of florist's wire.

TIP Experiment with slightly different effects by trimming the tips of your pompoms with a rounded edge or using more or less layers of tissue paper.

  • Taken from '82 Modern Style Ideas'; £12.99 (€15.70), published by Murdoch Books

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