The Perfect Desk!

Previously, my excuse for not doing that much sewing/ crafting had been that I didn’t have a proper workspace. The sewing machine used to live behind the sofa (gathering dust) and the rare occasions I took it out it would be placed on some storage bins in front of the sofa where I would sit and try to sew. After about half an hour my back would be sore from slumping over the sewing machine and all the bits and pieces that I needed for sewing would be in a mess on the sofa and the floor. Then, I would have to put it all away after not really accomplishing much.

Desk built to fit

Anyway, we decided to fit a desk into the corner of the back room (dining room) so that the sewing machine and laptop could always be out and ready to use. Storage was needed as well so that all the craft bits were within easy reach and there could be no excuses for doing some sewing. After looking at the desks available in places like Argos and Ikea, we decided that nothing was quite right to fit the small space we had. Instead, we made our own desk using mdf, vinyl and legs (really cheap from Ikea). The board was measured to size and cut to fit perfectly with a nice curve. The vinyl was stretched and glued over the surface- pinned underneath using drawing pins! Finally, the legs were screwed on and the desk was dropped into place.

Desk tidy solutions

On the windowsill is a few bits to keep the desk tidy- a toast rack that is now used to file bits of paper, a flower pot doubling as a small bin and my tin can pen pot that I blogged about previously. Now there is no excuse not to sew and craft!

Smarten up a Boring Noticeboard

Want a new way of displaying all those cards and postcards that are too pretty to throw away? Need to smarten up your noticeboard so all the bills or reminders for appointments don’t look so depressing? This post will show you how with a bit of paper, some ribbon and pins.

Noticeboard Materials

What you will need: Cork noticeboard (I got this one from a supermarket for £2.75), wrapping paper or wallpaper, ribbon or string (I used elastic ribbon), drawing pins, double sided tape, scissors.

Measuring Noticeboard Paper

I started off by trimming the wrapping paper to the size of the outside edge of the noticeboard (i.e. cork board + outer wooden frame). This meant I had enough paper to fold under to get a sharp edge, and perfect fit. Step two is to fold under the edges of the paper so it is the exact size of the cork board. If you have stiffer paper than I did, just trim to the size of the cork board. Place double sided tape in each corner of the paper and position the paper (the right way up) on the cork board and press the corners down to secure in place.

Noticeboard Ribbon

Now comes the slightly tricky bit – pinning the ribbon. Place a loop in the end of the ribbon to put the pin through. Start off by pinning the ribbon from corner to corner. I pinned one end of the ribbon before pulling it across the board and trimming it to the correct length, ensuring that the ribbon could be pulled tight once pinned down.

Noticeboard Ribbon Final Layout

Next do the other diagonal exactly the same as before to make a cross on the board. Now add more diagonals to make a criss-cross pattern. It’s easiest to mark off pinning points a third of the way along each side of the board. These pinning points will have two pieces of ribbon originating from them, so remember to pin both of these at the same time. As before, make loops in the ribbon and pin one end down, then stretch the ribbon across to the other side of the board.

Finished Noticeboard

Wherever the ribbon crosses itself place a pin. This creates more tension in the ribbons to secure whatever you decide to place on the board. The noticeboard is now finished and ready to fill with pretty postcards or mundane bills!

Tin can pen pot

Tin can pen pot

I’m always annoyed with pens lying around and have been meaning to get a pen pot. Instead of buying one, I thought I’d use a tin can (this one was from chopped tomatoes in case you’re interested!) I gave it a good clean and then covered it with some cream vinyl that was left over from making our corner desk. Where the material joins isn’t the neatest but for a quick solution I think it’s pretty good! Also in the picture is the toast rack I’m using to keep bits of paper tidy!