Upcycling Archives - Page 4 of 26 - vicky myers creations

Bathroom decor – have thrifty fun styling your small toilet

Bathroom decor – have thrifty fun styling your small toilet

Do you have a small toilet? Ours received a lick of paint six years ago – I’m rather embarrassed to admit the kids had nicknamed it the minging toilet. It really needed a revamp. So I was delighted to be offered some tools by Ryobi – the perfect motivation to tackle the room. It’s small, that’s not going to change, but the feel of it had to go!


Do you have a similar problem? Choose a theme and work with what you have. What resources do you already have? Most people have left over tins of paint in the shed. Pick a colour theme, paint items you already have to create a cohesive look.

For our bathroom the first job was stripping the textured wallpaper and sorting the boxing in (the original was removed for a plumbing repair and just wasn’t going to go back). As the sink and toilet worked fine they stayed. Replacing the boxing in cost £40.


The walls and woodwork were redecorated with paint left over from other projects.

So the fun bit, adding personality by changing the decor touches, on a budget. The curtain was replaced with a blind. I found a curtain at a carboot to make a Roman blind with. It set the colour theme for the room. A few internet searches later I had learnt how to make the blind.

To make your own thrifty blind think about using what you have. I used some bias binding to make an encasing for the rods.


The rods were made from garden canes. I bought the hoops on the back.


As I am never going to pull the blind down I was happy using garden twine to pull it up. Cost £6

With the colour theme set I gathered a few supplies from the garden and shed.


I used left over paint from previous Rustoleum projects (remember the shabby chique mismatched dining room chairs?). I mixed two colours together to gain a shade which tied in with the Roman blind. Using one paint on a variety of objects brings a cohesive touch to your thrifty makeover.


Over the summer we have collected shells, sea glass and pebbles with holes. The bathroom is a perfect showcase. It has become a beach themed room.


You can use an old frame and freshen it up with paint. I used a quilting ruler to measure out a grid format.


A glue gun works well for holding shells and glass to paper. £-

To create a holey pebble art work find a plank of wood. Apply paint with a knife, layering it up and capturing some of the not quite mixed bits of paint to create a textured piece.


On the back add picture fittings before adding nails on the front to hang you holey pebbles.




Tin cans were painted and filled with plants. Keeping the air fresh in a bathroom is always a good thing! I’m hoping the plants will help. The plants cost £6.



Lastly I created a homemade reed diffuser, I followed the direction from this blog post (Moral Fibres). Hopefully the combination of a reed diffuser and plants will help help keep the air fresh.


We are yet to source/make a towel rail, plus I’m secretly coveting a old wooden window to transforming into a mirror. The toilet upgrade has cost less than a £100 and has been referred to as the poshest room in the house!!


Thanks to Ryobi for supplying the tools – new tools were just the motivation my husband and I needed to transform the room. I’m wondering why it took us six years!





The tools were supplied by Ryobi. All opinions are my own.

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How to make a Sashiko Denim Tote Bag

How to make a Sashiko Denim Tote Bag

Do you follow Makery? Are you aware of Portia’s fabulous refashioning competition she hosts each August/September? This year the theme is refashioning denim trousers.  It is all about having fun, trying something new, having a go. I don’t think for a minute I will win but I will have lots fun trying.

Last year the theme was shirts, I made my niece a dress.

Upcycled Toddler Shirt Dress

The standard was extremely high with some amazing transformations – see the pinterest board. Its truly amazing what can be made from shirts.

I have a hunch that a tailored fitted garment will win this year. But I have to play to my strengths – upcycled bags. For a while I have thinking about creating a sashiko denim bag. I have lots of denim trouser off cuts in my stash left over from making this denim quilt.

DIY Denim Rag Quilt

(find the tutorial for the quilt here)

The summer holidays are great but they do limit sewing time, not ideal for sewing never mind lots of hand stitching. Normally I pack knitting when away as it is super easy to fit in my bag. This year we went camping, I took my bag of denim scraps, a pile of embroidery floss from a charity shop and off cuts from the Tilda fabric projects.

I enjoyed being creative in our tent – I’m not sure the kids appreciated the camping table being covered in fabric.

The technique sashiko originates from Japan. Centuries ago, Japanese peasants used a running-stitch technique to patch worn clothes. Cloth and thread were scarce and therefore mending highly valuable.


This post contains affiliate links, click here for my disclosure policy.

Denim Sashiko Bag Tutorial


Variety of denim

Embroidery Thread

Cotton scraps

Cotton fabric for lining

Annies Soft and Stable, two pieces 42 by 46 cm

Heavy weight Interfacing, two pieces 42 by 46 cm


Leather hole punch

Double cap rivets

Sashiko Denim Bag supplies

To make:

Lay out pieces of denim and cotton patched in a design pleasing to the eye. Ensure your patchwork design is slightly bigger than 42 by 46 cm.

Lay out denim in patchwork design

Hand stitch with running stitch. Be creative. Think about the direction of your stitches. The majority of my stitching runs horizontally however I have emphasised the cotton patches with circular stitching or vertical stitching.

Handstitch pieces together, sashiko bag

Repeat for the second side of the bag.

Sahiko Denim bag in progress, full tutorial on the bog

Don’t be afraid to change your mind about thread colour choice or direction of stitching. If you follow me on Instagram you will see that I changed the colour of the top right hand section.

Sashiko Denim Bag - two sides hand stitched ready to create bag

Once you have completed your two sides use some craft glue spray to adhere the Annies Soft and Stable to the wrong side of each piece.

Adhere Annies Soft and Stable with spray adhesive

Stitch round the sides and the base. Ensure your seam is a centimetre in from the edge of your Soft and Stable to fully secure it in place.

Sticth seam of bag

Box the corners. To do this pull the bottom seam to meet the side seam and pin to hold. Using a quilting ruler mark a stitch line at right angles to your base. I created the base of the bag as 18cm wide, 9 cm either side of the bottom seam.

box corners of bag

Trim this seam.

Trim box corners

This is the main body of the bag finished.

Next you are going to make the lining. Iron the heavy weight interfacing to the back of the lining fabric. Prep two slip pockets, 17 by 16cm. Cut fabric . Turn over twice the top of the pocket and stitch. Fold and press twice the sides and bottom.

Slip pocket

Pin centrally on your lining approximately down from the top of the bag, then stitch.

Insert a magnetic snap, centrally  from the top.

Insert magnetic snap

Follow steps as for main bag – Stitch the side seams and along the bottom. Ensure you leave a gap for turning out along the bottom seam (I forgot and had to unpick!). Box the corners.

Place the lining inside the denim outer bag so the right sides are together. Pin into place and then stitch along the top.

Insert lining, oin along top and then stitch

Turn through. Slip stitch the opening in the base seam of the lining.

Top stitch the top of the bag, this will secure the lining and main bag together and strengthen the opening of the bag.

Cut out leather straps measuring 79 cm by 2.5cm.

Cut leather straps

Place on the bag and hold in place with clover clips. Punch two holes per strap with a hole punch and secure the straps in place with cap rivets.

sashiko denim bag tutorial - leather bag handles secured with cap rivets

For a tutorial on using cap rivets visit U-Handbag here.


I LOVE my new bag, far too time intensive to think of a new range for my Etsy shop but perfect for me:)


If you fancy entering Refashioners 2016 (remember the £1,000 worth of prizes up for grabs!) find more information here. If you do I would love to hear what you make.




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DIY Crush Craft Party

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How to make a tea towel apron

How to make a tea towel apron

I admit to a little skepticism when my Mum asked me to transform her tea towel into an apron. But I was wrong – the tea towel is a good size, measuring 50 by 81 cm. I think it could be lots of fun to transform a pile of vintage tea towels into aprons – I’m thinking cream teas, crickets grounds and lots of fun aprons. Or quirky tea towels transformed as unique gifts? Just check the size, not all tea towels are the same size!!

Tea Towel ready to be converted into an Apron

In the meantime back to Mums “I Climbed Snowdonia” tea towel. It seemed a fitting project to try and understand the vintage sewing machine my daughter owns – I’m unable to support her to use it unless I can thread the machine. Thanks to You Tube and Mum I solved loading the bobbin and threading the machine.

Singer sewing machine

To transform your tea towel you will need 1.8m of webbing for the straps plus bias binding.

Start by marking out your arm holes. Fold the tea towel in half, cutting out both arm holes at the same time to ensure they mirror. Mark in along the top 11 cm, and down the side 15 cm. Draw an ark then cut out (or use an existing apron as a template).

Cut your straps 56 cm long each. Fold in 1/2cm edge, pin with the folded edge on the inside as shown in the picture. My apron ties are 18cm down from the arm hole.

Attach straps

Cut your neck strap 54cm, fold the raw edge in and pin.

Pin the strap on your apron.

Stitch your straps into place.

Next bias bind the armholes. Pin the bias binding to the front of the tea towel. Stitch.

PIn bias binding to front of apron

Fold over and pin in the ditch, turn over and ensure the pins are in the bias binding.

Fold bias binding over and pin

Stitch in the ditch.

Stitch in the ditch

And that’s it in your done! Its super quick. Apologies to my Mum who has waited far too long for such a simple transformation.

Trasform your tea towel into an apron

If you fancy a slightly more eccentric apron check out my crisp packet apron with full tutorial.






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I am inspired by our wonderful world, creation is constant and yet changing. I feel it is important to respect the environment and where possible to upcycle/recycle. Blessed with creativity I try to appreciate it and develop it:) Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, please do sign up to follow my journey:)

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