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The Anti-Tutorial – Washi Tape Storage

Firstly thanks to everyone who voted for the colour of my candle sconces.  The result is (drum roll optional!)…Silver Grey to match the galvanised sign and baskets.

Now I just have to find the right paint for the job (as if I need an excuse to spend hours staring at paint charts, be honest you don’t either!).

Secondly, be warned, this is the antithesis of a tutorial.  Seriously this one nearly killed me! Such a simple idea but sooo much hassle.  Of course it didn’t help that I have been fighting a really bad spate of migraines for the last week and a half but even so you’d think I might get a break?


So this is the opposite of a tutorial, it is an anti-tutorial.  As in “don’t go near this project if you value your sanity!”

It all started innocently when I saw this fabulous idea on Pinterest for storing Washi tape in a simple yet (I think) still stylish way, courtesy of “Silly Old Suitcase”.

Washi Hooks-2

We are in the throes of trying to make our shared office/craft room a workable space (as anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram will know it’s quite a task!) and I thought that having my Washi tape and rolls of ribbon on display might be quite a cheerful thing to lift the space (which I intend to eventually paint white).  But what to hang it from?

When we made the Up-cycled door trellis I was left with the old wooden door knobs, what do you know funky hangers for my hangers!

I tried to use the same technique that I used (successfully) for my “French-Style Door Finger Plates” (Spraying a base colour, using stickers to mask an area and then spraying a top coat).

It was a series of disasters that saw me:

  • Sanding back the paint three times.
  • Having to spray paint in a dark garage because the weather closed in suddenly.
  • The stickers inexplicably peeling the paint off (same brand, same details).
  • When I put the rawl plugs in to hang the “hooks” they wouldn’t go in despite the drill being the correct depth.
  • Desperately trying to get photos before daylight faded.
  • And finally whilst putting up the hangers one of them slipped out of my hands, bounced across the room and buried itself somewhere and could I find it? No I could not, it was really cute too, with yellow writing that said “Washi”.

So basically you have one hot, bothered and very hacked off Magpie!

I still like the idea and I think it could work but am I glutton for punishment enough to go back to it? Time with tell 😉

Washi Hooks-1

Catching Bright Sparks – An Ash Catcher For A Brazier

We have a brazier that provides some nice warmth on chilly evenings but that gives us one problem

Brazier Ash Catcher-9

I call it “scorched earth”.  Basically the hot ash falls out of the bottom and kills the grass.

Whilst browsing in TK Maxx the other day I spotted this large metal drinks tray,

Brazier Ash Catcher-1

On an unrelated note; I LOVE that shop it has some of the best, quirky stuff.  You have to look (and try on if it’s clothing) but you can get some really original stuff.

Anyway having paid the grand sum of £2.00 for the tray I set about it with some heat proof spray paint (so it matched the brazier).

Brazier Ash Catcher-2

I started with the base and then did the top, making sure that each side was thoroughly dry before adding the next coat.

Brazier Ash Catcher-3

(You may remember my impromptu “spray booth” from my DIY French Style Fingerplates).

And voilà, no more bald patches;

Brazier Ash Catcher-7

Brazier Ash Catcher-4

On a completely different note you may see on my table there my current pride and joy.  We were lucky enough to find a flea market in France and these are one of my purchases.

Brazier Ash Catcher-6

It is the most fantastic set of eight glasses and a jug in their own wire carrier that we think dates form around the 1950’s.  Each glass has a map of France in a colour and a saying printed on it such as “A home without a woman is a home without love”.  They just make me all happy and warm on the inside and one of my greatest pleasures at the moment is to use them in the garden.  Remind me again which country I’m living in because it doesn’t feel like Britain at the moment!

Brazier Ash Catcher-5

What are your tricks for a happy summer evening in the garden?

“Make do May” – Week 3 – Tin Can Garden Lanterns


As summer approaches and we are soon to be hosting a barbecue for a visiting friend from Australia.  I dropped everything this weekend to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and made something to cast a warm glow on the festivities, and all it cost was the goodwill of some good friends and a couple of hours of my time!

What I think marks out my version of these lanterns is the terribly efficient hanger shape (dreamed up by Boffin in one of his finest moments!)

Lantern 4


As with a lot of families that visit Ikea we have a LOT of night light candles. Having seen variations on these lanterns via Pinterest (the link will take you to my garden idea board where I have a couple of tutorials pinned).

What do you need to do this?:
  1. Empty tins
  2. Wire coat hangers
  3. Wire snips
  4. Pliers
  5. A nail
  6. A Hammer
  7. Some type of vice or work mate to hold the tins
  8. Goggles
  9. A freezer (not pictured!)
  10. A tea towel


Step One:

We removed the labels and scrubbed the tins.  The we filled them with water and put them in the freezer for 24 hours.

Step Two:

I clamped the can in the vice (as the vice had wooden jaws it didn’t mark the can) and used the tip of the nail to draw a pattern shape into the frost. I actually found it a lot easier to be sat down to do this part.  My hand was much steadier.

Lantern 5

Step Three:

Wearing  goggles (as much in case of flying ice chips as flying metal). Use the nail to punch holes around the edge of the shape.  It is MUCH easier than you think it is going to be!

Lantern 7

Have fun, play with patterns and shapes, experiment!


Step Four:

Don’t forget to put holes into the base so that any rain water drains out.

Lantern 8

 Step Five:

Punch one hole opposite each other on either side of the top of the can for the handle.

Lantern 9

 Step Six:

Using wire cutters or tin snips cut away the bulk of the hanger so that you are left with the hook and two “arms” about 10-15 cm long.

Lantern 9a

 Step Seven:

Thread each of the “arms” through one of the holes at the top.

Lantern 11

 Step Eight:

Using pliers bend the ends up onto themselves to hold them in place.


 Step Nine:

Hang the lanterns up somewhere that allows the ice to melt away (or leave them on the ground).


Step Ten:

Put in a night light candle, light and enjoy! (Warning the cans can get hot to the touch when lit for a while).


Here’s to many warm nights and relaxed evenings with friends to enjoy them…

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