Someday, the altered art you make today will be
old, faded, falling apart, and someone else will salvage the bits and use them
in new altered art.It's the best that any piece of art can hope for

~ anon~

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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

'MUM - Make Something Pretty with it!'

These were my daughters words when she saw the latest Upcycle project sent to me by Lynn for the Altered Element Upcycle Challenge.
'You always use dull colours' she continued - well all I can say is she hasn't been looking at my blog recently as I have made a conscious effort to be more colourful - think maybe she is too obsessed with the Chickens to take much notice!
But anyway, as a dutiful mum I did as she requested and tried my best! I also wanted to do some a bit simpler and elegant rather than my usual 'full of tat' style, but now MiniMe says - 'its a bit bare on top Mum' - never satisfied!

Anyway this is what Lynn sent me.. plus a little bit of wildlife! Ain't she kind lol, I refrained from altering Sidney the Spider and set him free

And this is the outcome.

I started by removing the ring bit in the drawer, it didn't want to come out too easily, so I decided I would line it, and leave the compartments under the lid alone, that was why I decided to use some pink in the project. giving it a quick sand, and then a coat of gesso. I then painted it with Ocean Eco paint, allowed it to dry and then brushed over it a second  coat using Birch Eco paint. I then distressed it by sanding some of the top coat away.
Lynn had sent me some metal in this months 'surfaces' pack, so I used that very simply, by making a template of the lid and passing it through my Wizard, using a cuttlebug folder. I then scribbled in the bare spaces and added a coat of Orchid Eco paint , wiping it away before it dried completely, so the paint stayed only in the crevices. It looked a bit dull, so I added a bit of a shine by using Cosmic Shimmers. The drawer was lined with metal using the same technique.

Hey presto, all done - nice and simple but effective (and pretty I think) 

I have also had a play making a vase - this is true upcycling, using almost nothing but rubbish! This was the alternative project at last weeks Upcycling class that I didn't do on the night. Great fun, easy to do but very effective. Would be great for Kids to do - I'm going to suggest that maybe the kids at school could make one for a Mothers Day Project next year. Perfectly serviceable and waterproof!

All you need it two plastic bottles, one slightly smaller than the other. I used a Coke bottle and a Squash bottle. Cut them down to the height you want your vase to be. Place the smaller one inside the larger one (well you cant do it the other way round can you - duh Nicks) and then all you do is poke stuff down in between the gap. I used some scraps of wool, organza, beads, buttons, copper scouring pad, tin foil, but the world is your lobster! Use lentils, sand, newspaper, junk mail, magazine pages, scraps of paper, material,
string.. anything! if you can poke and stuff it you can use it! what about adding small photos of the children as a gift for grandma? The possibilites are endless.
Stuff it to the top, I used an old chopstick to push everything down. I then sealed the top with airdry clay.

I have had alot of people asking how I use Water Soluble Fabric (as in my wall-hanging a couple of posts down) Lynn has asked if I would a tutorial, so watch this space!


  1. Pretty clever what wonderful things you have made. Have you glitzed up the Hen house?

  2. That's lovely Nicks :-) Sorry about the spider though - never let it be said that I'm not generous!! lol! Lynne x

  3. Gosh thats gorgeous my friend, your work is always gorgeous and i couldnt imagine how you could change this one but you did and in a fabulous way
    hugs June xx

  4. Gorgeous recycling piece! lol Love the colors you used, and the top looks fabulous!

  5. FABBEROOOOONY!!! Love the altered chest, it looks amazing for the vase, what an inspired idea.. love it! x

  6. As always Nicks you've made a masterpiece, I just LOVE the little drawers and as for the vase, it's brilliant. x

  7. Another stunner! On first look I thought it was texture paste through a stencil so glad I read your instructions. Really elegant. As for Sydney, I am sure he would have made an excellent bonus Upcycle project!!
    Great idea with the coke bottle.
    Lynne M x

  8. wow...stunning and so very pretty. Have seen these sort of things selling in boutiques for a fair price.
    The vase is fun and funky too.
    Great work Nicky

  9. What a great altered box and it certainly qualifies for the color challenge at Just For Fun! Thanks for playing along!

  10. WOW this is fabulous! I love altered items like this. Thanks for playing along with JFF this week.

  11. I love this box! I think I have one similar that my Mom bought me. Hmm ideas are flying. Thanks for playing along with JFF this week!

  12. Hope she was pleased because it is pretty. And that vase is just funky! What a brill idea. KT

  13. LOVE the altered chest!! I would have NEVER thought to use these colors on it (and have it look so great!) So glad you played along with us at JFF!!

  14. This is just gorgeous! Would love to see some more piccies. (I thought I had left this comment at the time but it hasn't appeared so I must have done something silly!),

    Lucy x


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