B&Q Alphabet Blogger Event: DIY Wooden Letter

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a hands-on B&Q blogger event with Channel 4’s very own Salvage Sister, Charis Williams, at The Proud Archivist near Haggerston in London.

Whilst many people associate B&Q with blokes and builders, the aim of the event was to show crafts-people and interior stylists that B&Q is also a great place to go for one-off DIY projects.

S

With the help of Charis and B&Q’s resident handyman, Pete, we were shown how to make our own wooden letter using planks of wood and a jigsaw. Lucky for us, Charis had already pencilled our letters onto a backboard of MDF, so our first job was to use the jigsaw to cut out our letter.

Using jigsaw

I’m sure poor Pete must have taken one look at me in my smart work clothes and feared the worst, but he turned out to be a fantastic teacher, and I was soon jig-sawing away. The key is to use clamps to secure the wood to the work bench nice and securely, so that there are no reverberations.

Charis and Pete

Straight lines can be done with a hand-held circular saw, whilst corners and curves are best done with a jigsaw. For letters with a hole in the middle, such as ‘A’, you have to use a drill to create a hole in the centre, before using the jigsaw to remove the inner shape – a bit more fiddly, but do-able!

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Once done, we took to our work stations and laid wooden planks over the MDF, marking with a pencil, ruler and protractor where we needed to cut the planks so that they would fit on top. Thankfully, Pete came to my rescue to help me keep up with the rest of the class, as my ‘S’ was proving a bit tricky!

Letter S

Whilst at the event, we had the opportunity to talk to Valspar UK and learn how they can create any paint colour without compromise – now available in B&Q stores. We were also able to take away a few tester pots including the official B&Q orange, and I selected You’re Blushing – a very pale pink.

I still need to finish my letter, but I’m loving how it looks so far, and it will be a great addition to my craft room. Once I’ve tidied up the edges, I’ll use my No More Nails wood adhesive to glue the planks to the MDF, before nailing them with my new Titan nail gun (thanks for that, Pete!) for good measure.

Letter S

All in all, I had a really fantastic time, and it was a pleasure to meet Charis and Pete, as well as some top bloggers in the craft and interior design spheres, namely Sian from Moregeous, Hester from Hester’s Handmade Home, and the fabulous girls from The New Craft Society.

To the awe of everyone on my train, I also came away with a B&Q bag bulging with goodies including hammers, grips, paint brushes, nail guns – you name it! It was quite a conversation starter…

B&Q goody bag

The one down side to the event? I couldn’t get the sawdust off my shoes for weeks!

Unofficial Disclaimer: To Charis’ relief, no bloggers were harmed in the making of these letters =D

Upcycling Christmas Envelopes

Christmas is a busy time of year, and as such, I had to blow a kiss to my former self for having the foresight to upcycle Christmas envelopes back in May, using illustrated paper!

Christmas envelopes

You can buy some wonderful cards on the high-street, but equally, you can knock some up yourself in no time, and even effortlessly upcycle your own envelopes. Check out the full DIY here.

You will need:

Upcycling Envelopes

  • A used envelope (to use as a template), or a downloadable template
  • Paper that you want to turn into an envelope (mine was from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, however you can use pages from magazines or wrapping paper etc.)
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Envelopes in pictures…

Hope you enjoy making Christmas envelopes this winter!

DIY Present Gift Bows – Part III

Back in March I showed you how to make DIY Gift Bows from magazines. When I made the bows, I made a trio of three; here’s the third and final installment – using a Grey Goose vodka ad!

How to Make Paper Gift Bows

You will need: Colourful page from a glossy magazine, pencil, ruler, scissors, glue stick

Instructions – adapted from How About Orange:

  1. For best results pull out a glossy page from a magazine which is colourful on both sides
  2. You can make your bow any size, as long as each series of strips is about an inch shorter than the one before. The longer the strips, the bigger the bow
  3. For a typical magazine, you will be cutting out nine (or ten) strips of paper as follows:
    • 3 strips: 10.5 x 0.75 (inches)
    • 3 strips: 9.5 x 0.75 (inches)
    • 2 (or 3) strips: 8.5 x 0.75 (inches)
    • 1 strip: 3.5 x 0.75 (inches)
  4. Twist each strip to form a loop, and glue in place to create perfect points at both ends
  5. Take the three longest strips and layer them on top of each other, spacing evenly and glue
  6. Repeat this process with the remaining strips, glueing together and spaing at intervals
  7. Glue the final strip into a circle and stick into the centre of the bow – et voila!
  8. Attach the bow to your pressie with a glue dot or double-sided tape

The final collection:

Which one is your favourite?

  1. Lancome advert
  2. Grey Goose advert
  3. The Sunday Times Magazine

Why not give it a go!

DIY Upcycled Envelopes

A few months back, I was primed to sell a family organiser on eBay when I stumbled across an Etsy seller who had created gorgeous envelopes from the book’s beautifully illustrated pages. Immediately I knew that I had to follow in her footsteps and give DIY upcycled envelopes a go!

Upcycled Envelopes

You can download envelope templates of all shapes and sizes from the web, however I used actual (used) envelopes as templates, by carefully opening them up to their nets. Once you’ve found an envelope style you like, and that fits on the page that you want to upcycle, it’s easy peasy!

IMG_0454

You will need:

  • A used envelope (to use as a template), or a downloadable template
  • Paper that you want to turn into an envelope (mine was from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, however you can use pages from magazines or wrapping paper etc.)
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

How to make recyled envelopes:

  1. Start by carefully opening up a used envelope net to use as a template
  2. Make sure your envelope net fits onto the paper you want to turn into an envelope – if it’s too big, you’ll need to find a smaller envelope template, or find a bigger piece of paper
  3. Trace around the envelope with a pencil to mark the outline
  4. With a pair of scissors, cut around the pencil lines to create your new envelope net
  5. Using a ruler, draw on lines where you want your envelope to be folded, and fold neatly, flattening the edge with your nail (I used the side of a steel rule to help me get a straight edge)
  6. Cut some strips of double-sided sticky tape, and adhere to the tabs to stick the sides down
  7. Write your letter / insert your card, et voila! Use a glue dot or further double-sided sticky tape to secure the envelope, pop it in the post, and Bob’s your uncle!

The results:

You may have seen these envelopes featured in my Easter bunny card blog post. The best thing about these being upcycled from a diary, is that I now have envelopes that are fit for all the seasons – nesting birds for spring, flowers for summer, berries for autumn, and robins for Christmas!

I really enjoyed making these little envelopes – I hope you do too!