Playroom Revamp Part 1 : Upcycled Bookcase

I recently did a major revamp of our kids playroom.  It had gotten old and tired looking and there was crap everywhere.  My hands were itching to do something and so, when the good weather hit, I got started.

I showed a lot of my progress on Instagram stories and I got good feedback.  I am going to break my process down in the next few posts, as it would probably take too long, in just one post!

It started with this book cabinet. I originally painted it years ago for the kids with yellow chalk paint.  It was one of those dark mahogany coloured cabinets that everyone’s mother seemed to have back in the day.  It was never prepped or primed and to be honest it showed and with the kids using it, it didn’t last the pace.  So I decided to give it a major over haul.  My before picture is not great, of course I forgot to take a decent one before I started, but you get the gist.

Playroom revamp - part 1: up-cycling an old bookcase with some paint.


Firstly I had to get off the wax, so I used good old methylated spirits.  This stuff is good, but be warned, open your windows and doors, it will give you a headache!  I then sanded it back a bit to give the new paint some key to work with.  I then applied undercoat.  I decided to use Colourtrend satin wood in shades of Beade and Blue Roan, basically two different blues. And here it is ….

Playroom revamp - part 1: up-cycling an old bookcase with some paint.

Really happy with how it turned out.  It took a lot of elbow grease, as they say.  Getting the wax off was a pain, as I was practically high from the fumes, but this stuff works.  (I have since discovered my local hardware shop supplies Krud Kutter and will try this the next time)  It took 2 coats of paint to get  good coverage.  I really like how the blues turned out.  What you think ?

Till next time !


PS, if you wan to read more about my playroom revamp, have a look at these posts – Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Upcycling an old bookcase



Decoupage Plates – An Upcycle Project

Upcycled Plate Chargers using decoupage

I did a guest post on Fizzy Jayne Makes blog back in March for National Craft Month…. here’s the actual post on my blog in case you missed ……

I posted before on decoupage and using it on upcycling projects, you can read about it here. With this project, I had some plate chargers, you know the ones that make an appearance at Christmas.  Well, we had a bunch of these that we never used & I was going to dump, when I thought hmmmm maybe they could be used.  So I decided to try and cover them with some paper and make them seem like they old and vintage looking.

So here’s the plate before – just your regular silver plastic plate charger, nothing fancy with this one.  You can get this in the Euro shop, they are not expensive.

Upcycling - plate chargers to vintage plates

And here’s the after.  I did 4 plates with 4 different looks using napkins on some and scrapbook paper on others.  I wanted the plates to look old and worn, kinda vintage looking.  What do you think?

pcycled Plate Chargers - Tutorial using paper

pcycled Plate Chargers - Tutorial using paper


Upcycling - plate chargers to vintage plates

Upcycled Plate Chargers using Napkins & Scrapbook Paper


What to know how I did it? Well here’s a little quick recap.

Napkin Plates:

The aim was to make the plates look old & worn, vintage looking ……

  • I cleaned and lightly sanded the plate
  • I painted the plate in white. I did two coats to give it a good coverage.
  • I separated the napkins and only used the first layer – see below, it’s important you only use the first printed layer.  I tore  the pieces  I wanted to use and played around with the design. (On the green plate plate I didn’t tear it up I just carefully placed it on the plate and glued it bit by bit & blended it in.)

NapkinLayersNapkin pieces








  • I then used some decoupage glue ( you could use some watered down PVA or mod podge but I find this glue the best with napkins ) and glued the napkin pieces.  They wrinkled in places but I didn’t mind as I think the wrinkles make them look old.

Glue for Decoupage








  • At the edges, I used some bitumen and rubbed it along with my finger.  You could use some dark wax but be careful, a little goes a long way.  I used some on the inner rim as well.
  • Next up I used some rice paper (rice paper is a little bit thicker than napkins and easier to use I find ) I had some with “home sweet home” printed on it. I tore around the print and glued this on top of the napkin and lightly sanded it to blend it in.  I used some bitumen on this as well to age it.
  • On the blue plate, I used some gold leaf around the edges
  • I sealed the plates with some clear varnish and lightly sanded them when they were was dry.  I repeated this process until I was happy with the result.  Be careful here as you don’t want the paper to tear. Just lightly sand it!

scrapbook PLATES:

  1. I cleaned and lightly sanded the plate
  2. I soaked the paper in water and peeled off the back, I did this as the paper was a bit too thick to use and it was easier to use if the paper was a bit thinner.
  3. Using some decoupage glue I glued the paper down to the plate and rubbed it into the plates rim and all around.  Now it did wrinkle a bit here and there, but as i wanted it to look a bit old and worn I didn’t mind this. Wrinkles can be good!
  4. Now the paper didn’t cover the plate fully, there was gaps on each side where the paper didn’t cover.  So I used some regular acrylic paint and blended the paint the colour of the paper.  I sanded and distressed this until I got the look I wanted.
  5. Next up, I used some gold leaf.  I just placed the glue on the parts I wanted the gold leaf to appear, this was in and around the edges of the plate. I wanted the plate to look old and that the paper was peeling and coming away.  I used some bitumen to make the paper look old in places as well.  You could use dark wax or even an old tea bag to stain the paper.
  6. I let it to dry and coated it again with the glue to seal it and I lightly sanded it afterwards, the paper part only.  I did this a couple of times to make sure everything blended in together.

Note: these plates are only for decorative purposes, just a wipe of a cloth will keep them clean.

So that’s it, hope you enjoyed the process, if I have left anything out or you need to know more please comment below.

So have you done any upcycling lately?

Till next time!

Enjoy Maura x



#WIP-Work in Progress (a crafty link up!)

When Catherine of Saint Cardigan put the call out for some crafty wips, I was only too delighted to join in.  Well I mean, what crafter doesn’t have numerous projects lying around!  I currently have 4 crochet projects on the go, yes 4.  I am leaving the painting projects on the long finger, as they say, until the weather gets better but I have been working on a small up-cycling project on and off when the mood strikes me, so here’s a look at mine.

No. 1 – This is one of my favourite blankets, that I have worked on so far.  I first posted about it here.  

I am trying to get a few rows done each night …… hmmmm well I am trying! I am using Stylecraft DK yarn and using a combination of colours to give it  a vintage look. Have I succeeded ?  If you want to give it a try, have a look the Happyinred blog, she calls it the Diamond Stitch Blanket

Vintage Rainbow Blanket

Vintage Crochet Rainbow Blanket

No. 2  Next on my list are these cute little Maybelle flowers. I made some back in December for a quick present and decided to try and use the tutorial over on My Rose Valley Blog for squaring them up and then magically joining them to make some cushion covers.  I have gotten this far …. what do you think ?

Maybell Flower Squares

Maybelle Flower Squares

No. 3   Working on some cowls using this stitch.  It’s sometimes referred to as the Camel Stitch or the Knit Stitch.  Loving it, whatever it is, and love using this super chunky yarn.  I am not sticking to a pattern, as such, just working in the round and seeing how it takes. Hope to post more on this project soon.

Crochet - the camel stitch or knit stitch

No. 4  This has been a wip for sooooooo long, I keep looking at it and saying ‘I must finish it now’ then I forget about it.  I am using some t-shirt yarn and I find it hard on my hands, so that’s my excuse!!

Crochet t-shirt rug

No. 5 Last on the list is this little up-cycling project.  I have loads of these plate chargers.  I love messing around with different mediums to create effects. This was the plate before ….

Upcycling - plate chargers to vintage plates

and this is the plate after ………..  I was trying to make it look old and vintage looking.  What do you think ? I used some scrap book paper, acrylic paint, bitumen, and gold leaf.  I started with the paper and worked from there.  I love aging things and this was my first time using gold leaf.  Maybe I was a little heavy handed with it but I love the effect.

Upcycling - plate chargers to vintage plates


So that’s it from me, hope you enjoyed looking at my wips.  I usually post these on Instagram and you can find me here if you want see more. So come over and say hi!

If you want to head over to Catherine’s blog and join in or maybe you just want to look and drool over other people’s work …….. well just click here.

Catherine is a fellow crafter and does weaving and crochet and has fabulous nails!  After seeing shots of her pretty nails, well let’s just say mine are a disgrace.. I especially love this little DIY tutorial she did on making a little terrarium, you can read more about it here.  

Thank you Catherine for letting me join in. X



A Kyle Lane Workshop …. on all things upcycled

A review on Kyle Lane Upcycling WorkShops

I recently attended a workshop given by Joanne of Kyle Lane in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.  Joanne specialises in upcycling furniture “with character and personality”.  She has been operating out of her Clonmel premises since 2010 and is an expert in all things upcycled.  You can find more about Joanne by clicking here.

I originally went along to her Candy Chair Upcycling Workshop back in September and was very impressed.  Joanne supplied the chair and instructed us on how to make the chair into a fabulous one off piece.  Here’s my chair.

Upcycled chairUpcycled Chair

It was a great day and for anyone who is a fan of painting & upcycling projects, it’s a perfect way to spend the day.  She supplied plenty of candy so between the paint and the sugar rush, I was in heaven. You can read more on this workshop here

So getting back to my original post, I attended another one of her workshops, this one was all about the tricks, tips and techniques you can use to enhance your upcycle project.  Joanne supplied the piece again, and in my case, it was a small side table. Here’s the before picture.

Upcycled Table - Before Pic

Throughout the day, she guided us on our piece of furniture, from prepping, priming, sanding – the basics and then onto the good stuff! She then demonstrated how to use different techniques to give your pieces the wow factor.

Gold Leaf Gilding
Using frog tape to create geometric designs

It was all there!  We were treated throughout the day to a supply of goodies from cup cakes, yummy sandwiches, more candy and a constant supply of tea and coffee!  She also supplied each person with a take home goodie box containing little bits to help you get started on your next project and a printed “how to” sheet.


I would recommend anyone with an interest in painting/upcycling to take one of her workshops. Joanne is so helpful and makes the day fun!KyleLane3Along with the Candy Chair Upcycling workshop & her Lampshade workshops, she is currently taking bookings for a Christmas Upcycling Decor Workshop.  For a great day out go and book now!

Here’s my finished result, I went for a geometric design.  Ta Dah!

Upcycled Table - After Pic
Upcycled Workshop - details in the post!


I did a reader review on Kyle Lane’s WorkShop for The HomeMaker Magazine and it was published in their January Edition. Yah!

Reader Review for The Homemaker Magazine