Child’s chest of drawers makeover

I am so proud of having done this project by myself as I have been ridiculously practicality-challenged in the past. But this is my year for having a go at new things and I don’t think this is a poor start, if I do say so myself!

We got this chest of drawers from Freecycle four years ago when I was pregnant with Talitha and it’s been her chest of drawers ever since. But my, it’s bugged me. It’s in OK nick but the paint was chipping, the colour dull, the handles broken or falling off and it just did nothing for bringing her room together.

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I’m getting ready to make this a room for two (Ophelia still sleeps with us but she’ll start her night in there and we’re putting her stuff in there) so it seemed as good a time as any to give this chest of drawers some TLC.

I also took part in a blogger challenge over on the Laura Ashley blog (you can see what some of the other bloggers came up with here), where they sent me a pot of decorative furniture paint to re-love something with. It’s a chalk paint, pretty much. I’m so flipping happy with the outcome that I thought I’d share it here too.

First, I gave it a good clean and removed the old handles. Then I smacked on a couple of coats of Laura Ashley’s Decorative Furniture Paint in “Pail Amethyst”. The colour is so pretty and the paint was a breeze to work with.

I did the first coat with the kids awake and nearly lost my mind as Ophelia didn’t want to stay in the sling and Talitha hasn’t quite honed her furniture painting technique yet. Crazy mama.

I then cut out sweets and treats from Laura Ashley’s Ice Lollies PVC Coated Cotton Fabric and stuck them to the drawers with decoupage glue.

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I also added new wooden knobs and lined the insides of the drawers with Laura Ashley wallpaper. I used glue dots to secure the paper. I did consider painting the knobs but, actually, I like them as they are.

The only thing left to do is varnish. I considered not bothering but I think I’ll be too nervous about chips and so on if I don’t. All in all, it’s giving me the smiles and Talitha loves it too.
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Make a random chalk wall – Paternity Leave Activity #2

Circus Queen’s husband reporting here on what we did at birth plus three days:

On a whim back in the summer I picked up some black paint to make a chalk wall somewhere in our house. I am not really a DIY person, but as a designer I would love the place to be super cool, but I’m just a bit lazy. So this can of paint has been the cupboard since the heat wave.

Anyhoo, on another whim I decided that at birth plus four days Talitha and I would finally paint a wall. Her Majesty took photos, then went upstairs for a sleep.

I got Talitha kitted up, Adele reminded me to put paper down, oh yeah we’re using black paint!


It’s just black multi-surface emulsion from Homebase. The chalk goes on fine and seems to wipe down okay with a wet rag. I’m sure there is special chalk board paint, but maybe save your money??


A bit of being careful helps, so I used masking tapes for the skirting boards.


Talitha cracked on with the brush. I did all the edges, I hadn’t briefed her in advance of this, so we had one splodge around the corner of one wall, but after I explained about staying in the middle and Daddy does the edges, we started working as a team.


Talitha insisted I wore an apron.


The nice thing about painting just a small wall, as it only takes about 10 minutes. Which is a great little activity on paternity leave. But Talitha wanted to do another wall – and I had been thinking about going up and over anyway.


And now we can draw, write notes reminding us about picking up more milk, practice letters…


… or we can promote the blog.


Oh and chucked the brushes and the roller away, who has time to clean black paint off brushes on paternity leave?

Decorating a toddler’s room with butterflies

We’ve been doing so much to prepare for the baby recently, directly and indirectly, that it was nice to do something just for Talitha. Bit by bit, we’re decorating her bedroom. This weekend, we added some much needed wall stickers. She’s a bit butterfly obsessed so these Tinyme wall stickers were the natural choice for her.

tinyme stickers

I considered putting them up myself but the bedroom is practically a daddy-daughter project so I restrained myself and enjoyed snapping away while they had their fun, positioning and re-positioning. The stickers are fully removable, which was reassuring for Laurence since he was considering photoshopping it up first.

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It’s really surprised me how well she’s adjusted to having her own room. In fact, the other night when she woke up, I failed to convince her to come back into the family bed (Laurence loves when I call it that, you can imagine!). She just told me point blank “No! Stay my bed!”

Decorate a toddler's room with tinyme wall stickers

Now that she has her butterflies and dragonflies, she loves the room even more. When I turn the light off, she checks that they’re still there and tells them good night.

Tinyme sent us these butterfly wall stickers for the purpose of this review.

Can love make me tidy?

So, I’ve decided to become tidy.

OK, that’s a bit of a grand declaration, probably destined to fail.

I’m going to try to get more organised?

I’m going to try?

I’ve made the confession here before that I’m a housekeeping disaster.

I made it while I was pregnant and explained that I think good mothers probably fold the laundry instead of stuffing the drawers.

I do that now. Mostly.

Talitha’s room is the most organised one in the house due to this “good mothers do” mentality.

And let’s not go down with the feminist thing.

Yes, I call myself a feminist.

Yes, I know vacuuming isn’t gendered.

I’m the one with more time so I consider most of this responsibility mine.

Honestly, I have been on the path to rehabilitation, to enlightenment, if you will, and here’s where I am – completely unrecognisable to teenager me but not enough of an improvement on student me.

I’m probably, um, sixty per cent of the way to where I should be?

That may be a little generous some days.

Now that we live in a house, rather than have more space to give everything its place (even writing that phrase I heard my mother’s voice just then – it’s the middle of the night and a bit spooky), it’s kind of become this sprawling landscape for the mess to spread itself, no longer stifled by the confines of a bedroom.

Instead it’s all free to roam: clothes, books, shoes relocating themselves to exciting destinations.

I like to think of it as a house of surprises.

A hunt for the remote control reveals a month-long-sofa-eaten jumper and BOOM!

It feels like a lazy girl’s shopping spree.
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