Shabby chic catalogue drawers

As my collection of crafting bits and bobs increases I keep looking for ways to store them. On one of my many trips to the local antique centre at Battlesbridge I came across this multi-drawer piece of furniture. The drawers are quite long and deep, so they can store plenty of buttons, beads and other paraphernalia. Perfect!


The unit is made from mdf in the style of these vintage catalogue drawers and although I love these original pieces, they often command a very high price, that is well over my budget. This piece was well within budget and also gave me a blank canvas that I could put my own stamp on.

I painted over the main unit using a home-made chalk paint recipe (a mixture of paint, water and plaster of paris), and dabbed over the wet paint with scrunched up kitchen roll to give it some texture.


I then bought a book of scrapbook papers that had some lovely weathered textures and pattern prints that I thought would look great on the drawers.


I decided the shape of the front of the drawer would be too tricky to cut out of the paper, so I turned the drawers around and used the back as it was a simple rectangle. I then chose five of the paper prints from my scrapbook that were complimentary but provided a contrast.


I measured the drawer fronts and cut out 4 or 5 rectangles from each pattern (I had a total of 24 drawers). I then used a small amount of PVA glue to stick them down and brushed over each one with a mix of PVA and water to give them a protective seal.

Having turned the drawers around meant that I no longer had the little cut outs to open the drawers (obvious once I’d closed some of the drawers!) and I would need to add some handles. I’d bought a set of six drawer knobs from a market (many moons ago) that I’d never used, so they got me started. I’d also seen a selection of ceramic drawer knobs in a local shop that I really liked, and bought some of these. Finally, to keep the cost down, I bought some small and medium-sized wooden handles from a local ironmongers that were very cheap, which I decorated and I completed the set by making a few drawer knobs from polymer clay.


I drilled small holes into the centre of each drawer and attached the handles.

This is the finished piece (before and after)!


Coffee table decoupage

coffee table

My husband rescued this table from a skip a few years ago. Its a very sturdy build and although its not the prettiest of tables we are reluctant to get rid of it and have always found it useful. Since we’ve had it it has gone through a few stages of redecoration, the latest being the addition of the decorative table top.

coffee table top

I’d seen and liked the idea of a clear table top that had space to display different pictures/photos underneath it. I take literally hundreds of photos a year and, with the majority being digital, its easier to keep them on a computer and view them on the screen (on those rare occasions).  This piece enables me to display some of my photos and can be updated easily in the future. The images I chose were inspired by a trip to Turkey and uses photos taken on our honeymoon there. Having selected my favourite photos I then combined them to create a tile pattern.

coffee table pattern

The pattern is very effective and as it is covered with perspex, this makes it very practical too.

Edwardian tiled floor restoration

We live in an Edwardian home and when I pulled up the carpet in the hallway I was really excited to find the original black and white tiles there. I was relieved to find the majority of the floor was in good condition with only a few small patches that had been filled in with concrete.

edwardian floor restoration

The first job was to clean off all the carpet glue and paint splashed. We used patio brick cleaner and a lot of elbow grease.

edwardian floor restoration

The floor came up really well. The next step was to dig out the patches of concrete. This proved to be more challenging and required brute force and unfortunately this loosened considerably more tiles than we expected. The troubled patch doubled in size!

The first job was to clean off all the carpet glue and paint splashed. We used patio brick cleaner and a lot of elbow grease.

The loose tiles were easy to put back in place but I really didn’t want to use reproduction tiles to replace the missing tiles. After a bit of searching online I was fortunate to find someone on Ebay who had just replaced their outdoor Edwardian path and had literally thousands of the tiles for sale. These tiles were extremely dirty, with 100 years of London pollution ground in to them, but they did eventually clean up.

edwardian floor restoration

Once all the tiles had been stuck in place and grouted, I gave them a coat of sealer to finish them off. We’re really pleased with the finished product (and probably saved £100’s by undertaking this ourselves).

edwardian floor restoration