crafts with trash

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Been off to holidays, scuba diving near Trondheim in Norway. Mmm, the seafood is incredible! But before I brag more (or get my photos from the trip sorted), here’s a little craft project. I’m taking a trash design course at the Aalto University, super fun! 🙂


Oon lomaillut Trondheimin lähellä Norjassa sukellusreissulla. Meren eväitä on pistelty sitä tahtia että heikompia hirvittää! Mutta ennen kun keulin enempi (tai saan kuvat ladattua kamerasta), tässäpä yks projekti jonka tein Aalto Yliopiston roskasta designiksi -kurssilla. Hauskaa miettiä, mitä kaikkea roskaksi päätyvistä materiaaleista voisi askarrella! 🙂

IMG_1208Here’s how the graters I found a while ago ended up. I think they look awesome as candle holders!


Tällaisiksi joku aika sitten löytämäni raastimet päätyivät. Tykkään että ne näyttää hyvältä kynttilälyhtyinä!

1 minute DIY linen cushion covers


hesitate to call this a DIY since it’s so simple! There’s no sewing, no glueing, no nothing really! All you need are some linen pillowcases (mine are from H&M, 50×60 cm) and cushions (f.e. Ikea, 50×50 cm). Slip the cushion inside the pillowcase and fold the excess in (like you would on an old, straight pillowcase)! All done! 🙂

You can secure the ends with safety needles if you feel it’s necessary, but I think they hold well just folded in.


En oikein tiedä kehtaanko kutsua tätä DIY:ksi, kun tää on niin simppeliä. Ei ompelua, ei liimausta, oikeastaan ei tarvii tehdä juuri yhtään mitään! Tarvitset pellavatyynyliinoja (omani ovat H&M:n 50×60 cm) ja tyynyjä (vaikkapa Ikeasta, 50×50 cm). Sujauta tyyny tyynyliinaan ja taita ylimääräinen läppä tyynyliinan sisään aivan kuin laittaisit vanhanaikaisen, suoran tyynyliinan tyynyn päälle. Valmista tuli! 🙂

Päät voi varmistaa hakaneuloilla, jos tuntuu että tyynyt karkaa, mutta mulla nää tuntuu pysyvän nätisti ilmankin.

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I wanted to create a light, airy, white space, but I really like graphic elements and colors, too. This is what my living room looks like right now! But oh my, it’s not easy to create the feeling of space into 41 sqm… It’s a slippery slope from cool stuff and nifty knick-knacks to clutter!


Halusin sisustaa kodistani valoisan, tilavan ja valkean, mutta toisaalta tykkään graafisuudesta ja väreistäkin. Tältä olkkarissa näyttää nyt! Tilan tunnetta ei oo muuten ihan helppoa pitää, kun fyysistä tilaa on vain 41 neliötä. Huomaan kerääväni helposti sitä ja tätä, ja sitten onkin jo ahtaan näköistä!


Like the corner here. I like to sit or read and sip on tea here, so I need a place for my cup. The boxes from Hay are filling that purpose, but they seem too bulky and eat the space up. So I’m fantasizing of a smaller table… If I don’t happen to run into anything suitable used, I might have to splurge on a Hay DLM. 🙂


Niinkun nyt tämä nurkka. Tykkään istuksia tai lukea ja siemailla teetä tai muuta mukavaa tässä, joten tarvitsen paikan kupille. Hayn laatikot nostin tähän siihen tarkoitukseen, mutta ne näyttävätkin syövän kaiken tilan. Haaveilen pienemmästä pöydästä… jos en löydä sopivaa käytettynä, saatan vielä innostua ostamaan Hayn DLM:n. 🙂


On the other side of the chair is a DIY inspired by the Muuto OTO 100. It’s handy for magazines and whatnot, but it tends to get cluttered like crazy! It’s too easy to just stuff it with whatever I have in my hand at any time! Open shelving needs to be curated or it’s no good! 🙂


Toisella puolella tuolia on Muuton OTO 100:n inspiroima DIY. Siinä on hyvä pitää lehtiä ja pikkutavaraa, mutta se täyttyy kyllä uskomattoman nopeasti kaikesta sälästä! Huomaamattaan sitä työntää tavaraa kädestään “piiloon” tuohon hyllyyn, mutta eihän ne mihinkään piiloon mene! Avohyllyjä saa olla sisustamassa jatkuvasti 🙂


It’s helpful to take pictures every now and then. Living here, my eyes tend to glide over unfinished stuff, like the Vee Speers poster and other artwork waiting to be hung, but in pics they jump right at me! 🙂


Kuvien ottaminen auttaa sisustamisessa. Silmä jotenkin oppii päivittäisessä olossa välttämään viimeistelemättömät hommat, kuten nyt tuon Vee Speersin julisteen ja muita ripustamattomia juttuja, mutta kuvista ne hyppäävät silmille heti! 🙂


That wicker basket used to be a wine carafe holder, but I’m planning to add strings to it and make it a hanging planter. It’s just waiting for the right string… 🙂


Rottinkikori oli viinikarahvin pidike, mutta suunnittelen että siitä tulisi kukalle amppeli, kunhan lisään siihen kantonarut. Toistaiseksi se kuitenkin odottelee, että löytäisin oikeanlaiset narut.. 🙂

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Chair Reupholstery Tutorial

OK, so here’s a tutorial on how I reupholstered my office chair. 🙂

First you need to get rid of the old upholstery. I have no pictures of that, sadly, but that’s a different story with each chair anyway. Start by turning the piece around and see how the fabric is attached. The most usual options are either staples or tacks, which are short nails with a wide head. There’s tack pullers and wood staple removers in the stores, but I’ve just used a dull knife to get under the staple or tack and lift it up a bit, and then removed it with pliers.

Make sure to remove the fabric without ripping it (opening the seams is fine), because it’s easiest to use that as a template for the new fabric. I’ve removed all of the padding, although if that’s in good shape, it’s fine to just change the cover fabric with perhaps a new layer of batting to plump it up a bit.


Here’s my chair with the new foam padding in place. Most vendors will cut the pieces for you, so I traced the shape of the cushions to a paper and took those to the store. I attached with super glue. I find that spray glue doesn’t work as well as the regular stuff, but YMMV.


Top off with batting (I used polyester) and cut it to shape.


Here I used the old cover to measure the new fabric and to mark and cut the handle spots. Just remember to leave enough extra on the sides – it’s going to be much easier to work with! 🙂

Now there’s gonna be a ton of pics to show you how to attach the fabric. Please click on them to make them bigger…

So here we go! Any questions? I’ll be happy to help if I can! 🙂

Just as a disclaimer, if you have real antique furniture to upholster or want to get a gorgeous finish with expensive fabric, I strongly recommend you seek out a professional for the job. I’m nowhere near a pro! I’ve pretty much just learned by reverse engineering the furniture I’ve taken apart to reupholster, seeing how it was done and imitating that. I don’t know if this is the correct way to reupholster things, but I’ve done a few regularly used pieces over the years and they seem to be holding up well, and look nice enough for my own use! 🙂

Office Chair Makeover


The Before…


…and the After!

I think it’s from the 50s or 60s. The shape of the chair was around for many decades, I think, but the back rest and seat are a sandwich construction of a wood frame and plywood covers, and somehow that and the metal bits just suggest that era to me. Honestly though, I have no idea. Do share if you have some knowledge of this type of chairs! 🙂

At first I thought to use either a green or grey fabric, but the green fabric is a bit thin and the grey seemed dull when I’d looked at it for a while. I had some durable white canvas left over from the sofa project and figured I’ll just use that for now. I think I’ll sew a slipcover from the green – that way it’s easier to replace if it’s too thin to handle the use.

Here’s a tutorial on how I upholstered this chair! 🙂 Hope you like it!

Storage / Platform Bed


I needed more storage in the apartment, because I hate crowded, poorly organized closets. I like to see my clothes and regularly used stuff at once, and find it very frustrating to have stuff piled high. I also liked the idea of a raised bed, thinking that would create some separation between the “bedroom” and “living room” portions of my one room. The sliding doors are another hack-in-progress, more on them later…

bed plan

So I doodled a bit (drawing’s not my strong suit, as evident above!) and came up with something that I liked. Originally I thought to incorporate some kind of a bookshelf to act as a rail so I wouldn’t fall from the bed, but pretty soon I realised this wasn’t going to be necessary. I haven’t fallen from my bed since I was 4 or something… It also looked nicer without the railing.

Bed underlay top structure

Then I sketched it up with the measurements I knew I would work with. I had already decided to build the base out of Ikea kitchen cabinets and doors. I’ve seen a lot of raised beds in Ikea Hackers and elsewhere in the net, and the cabinet versions seemed to end up looking the nicest. They also played together with my new kitchen, helping to make the small space coherent and calm.


Altogether there’s nine cabinets. Four 80 cm wide ones: 2 in the front and 2 in the back. There’s one 60 cm wide cabinet on the back, since the back wall is 230 cm and 60 cm was the widest that would fit. And then there’s four 40 cm wide cabinets: one in the front and three in the end.



All of the cabinets rest on a simple wooden footing on the floor, but nothing is attached to the floor or the walls. The weight of the unit with the bed on top is plenty enough to keep it in place. I put loads of big felt pads under the footing to keep it from scratching the floor, in case I want to sell the place later. I’m not sure those are necessary, but they’re there now… I even remembered to paint the lumber footing before laying it on the floor, so I didn’t have to paint it in the spot!

The cabinets are attached to the footing and to the adjacent ones. Then I built the inner structure, adding lumber to hold most of the weight of the bed and to rigidify the part with no cabinets. The big pieces of lumber are on 2 corners of the bed and the cabinets and smaller lumber hold the back side of the bed. I also added 15 mm plywood on top of the cabinets to give them a nice finish and to keep with the theme of the kitchen (and to make the top level, where they’re not visible). Only the parts that are visible form under the mattress are treated – yes, I’m lazy. 🙂


My bed is a box spring -type bed (the kinda mattress with a built-in wooden frame, they don’t seem to sell the exact same type at least in the States) from Ikea and I attached it to the cabinets and the plywood with L-brackets. That way I didn’t need to build a “roof” to my storage space: the mattress forms the roof. I just made sure to measure the base so that the mattress covers the opening!

A quick search didn’t come up with a tutorial on how to shorten the cabinets for the steps, so I’m thinking of doing one. But since I didn’t take pics the first time I did these, it might be a while…

Basically, I just sawed the sides of one 40 cm wide cabinet into two and drilled new holes to correspond to the required bits to assemble the cabinets. To someone with a bit of DIY experience it was pretty straightforward and easily figurable just by looking at the parts and how they were supposed to fit together. Of course I needed 2 cabinets for the hack (to have enough top and bottom parts), but I didn’t need to use the sides of the other cabinet. I also got around with just 1 door for these shorter ones!

I left the 80 cm wide middle cabinet open (no backing!) to form a doorway into my storage space. To keep it looking uniform I only used the 40 cm wide doors. Most of the plywood is attached with screws from underneath, but the smallest step was so low that it was easier to glue the cover piece on it. Oh, and then I put some thick cardboard covered with DC Fix (a semi-permanent plastic film/tape) over the end piece on top of the steps, to cover the hole there and make it look nice. That’s just attached with double sided tape and seems to be holding up fine.


And I even have a light under there, to make it easier to rummage for what I need… I think it turned out pretty nifty, and it’s definitely great to have so much storage!  It makes me happy just looking at it – there’s nothing quite like the feeling of a job well done!

Let me know if you find this helpful and please share if you build something similar! I’d love to see your interpretation of the storage bed! 🙂

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Peacock Pillows



The peacock tapestry I thrifted a couple weeks ago turned into pillows! It was super easy, too. The tapestry already had a separate fabric backing, which I cut in half along the middle line. Then I zigzagged 2 seams next to each other on the tapestry side and cut it between them, so that the edges wouldn’t fray. Then I sewed zippers to the cut edges. All done! 🙂