Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


5 Comments

DIY Neon sign for parties & weddings

I’ve made my first ever neon sign. It’s going to take pride of place in my office in a few months time but I couldn’t wait for all the decorating to be done before showing you the project. It took just a couple of hours, a can of bright pink spray paint and a length of EL wire to create this unique sign. So simple, but really effective. The full step-by-step guide to making the neon sign can be found in my blog post for Make It Yours. It may look complicated, but it’s actually a really simple process that involves some easy drilling and a spot of hot-gluing. I got my EL wire from Ebay, but it’s also available on Amazon and in craft stores. It came with a battery pack and the glowing neon is powered by a couple of AA batteries. The wire has three settings – flash, quick flash and steady on. And if you’re not a fan of pink don’t worry, it also comes in blue, purple, green, red and yellow, so your sign could be any – or all – of the above colours.In fact, I think it’s such a simple enough process that I could happily knock up a sign like this for any occasion. How about a ‘just married’ sign for weddings, a ‘Ho Ho Ho’ for Christmas, a huge glowing ‘2018’ for New Year’s Eve or a ‘#girlboss’ sign for your office? If you can think up a phrase, you can make it in neon! The sign I made works great as a candy station for a wedding, anniversary party, hen do, birthday party or even for the upcoming Valentine’s day. Give it a try – I bet you’ll impress yourself with your neon-sign-making skills!

I’m kind of addicted to this technique now – I want to make all kinds of signs in neon and I can already imagine my Halloween decor! But this isn’t the only DIY guide I’ve shared on the Make It Yours website – check out my profile and have a look at my other projects including snowy window decorations, a festive chair, how to distress furniture and a vintage bike makeover. There’s plenty more coming over the next few months so keep an eye on the website for more easy, thrifty and colourful projects during the Spring.


4 Comments

How to restore leather furniture + I’m in issue 38 of Reloved magazine!

I have some wonderful news to kick start the new year – I’m in Reloved magazine this month! My “How to restore a leather chair” project has been given a full four-page spread in the magazine AND it even made the front cover; look carefully and you can see it in the thumbnail images at the bottom of the cover! Not only that, but I’m also their Take 10 interview on the last page – wow!reloved-magazine-cassiefairy-feature-homemade-handmade-diy-project-restoring-leather-chair-issue-38-1I said once before that ‘you know you’ve made it when…’ you’re in the same magazine as Max McMurdo and Annie Sloan but this is the second time it’s happened now, so I’m beginning to settle into my role of upcycler/writer. But that doesn’t make it any less exciting to find my work in a magazine on the shelves of our local newsagents! The eagle-eyed of you might have spotted an Instagram snap of me grinning from ear-to-ear holding a copy of Reloved in WH Smith. I’m super-cheesy, I know, but it was an incredibly proud moment for me nonetheless.reloved-magazine-cassiefairy-feature-homemade-handmade-diy-project-restoring-leather-chair-issue-38-2The project I shared in Issue 38 of Reloved was how to repair crumbling cracked leather. My husband bought this chair from the carboot sale but it was in awful condition and needed a lot of TLC to bring it back to life. And that’s exactly what we did – by the end of the makeover the leather was supple and shining once more, the colour was richer than ever and the cracks and splits were gone. I’ve included the full project pages below so that you can read the step-by-step guide yourself, just in case you too have some beyond-help leather furniture that needs fixing up. reloved-magazine-cassiefairy-feature-homemade-handmade-diy-project-restoring-leather-chair-issue-38-3As you can probably tell I’m REALLY chuffed to be featured in my favourite magazine and I’m over the moon that the editor wants me to come up with more projects for the publication in the future. In fact, I’ve already sent over another DIY project for Valentine’s Day and I spotted a photo of it in the preview of the next issue so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to share another project with you again next month too!reloved-magazine-cassiefairy-feature-homemade-handmade-diy-project-restoring-leather-chair-issue-38-4Below are my project pages from inside the magazine but be sure to pick up a copy of Reloved for yourself this month because it’s packed full of sewing, craft, diy and upcycling projects including some step-by-step guides by Max McMurdo, Sewing Bee winner Matt Chapple, printer Joy Jolliffe, ‘salvage sister’ Charis Williams and author Kate Beavis.

Continue reading “How to restore leather furniture + I’m in issue 38 of Reloved magazine!” »


Leave a comment

DIY Christmas decor – Candy cane chair project

This month I’ve been busier than an elf in Santas workshop – yes, I’ve been DIYing lots of festive projects ready to share with you on the blog this December. And what better way to kick off the celebrations than with the ultimate festive makeover: a candy cane chair.diy-video-youtube-tutorial-christmas-decor-decoration-festive-candy-cane-chair-step-by-step-project-spray-painting-guide-7When I bought this retro chair from a second-hand furniture shop for just £2 I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it. I don’t really have space for another chair, but I knew that it was too much of a bargain to pass up. So I handed over my cash and spent the next five minutes trying to manoeuvre the chair into my teeny tiny car.

Needless to say, the chair sat in my garage for a couple of months before I decided what should be done with it. And during that time we inched closer and closer to Christmas. I began feeling more and more festive, and soon the thought came to me – I was going to make a candy cane chair.

But where do you start when you want to turn an old dining chair into Santa’s favourite seat? Well, with primer of course! A roll of masking tape and couple of coats of red spray paint later, my Christmas chair was complete. Okay, maybe it wasn’t as quick as that but it was easy enough to do – the only thing that took a bit of time was waiting for the paint to dry between coats.

Luckily, I captured the whole process on my camera and I’ve made this little DIY video to show you exactly how to do it for yourself at home. Have a quick watch below or open the video in YouTube to leave me a comment or a thumbs up. And please give me a subscribe while you’re there – I know there’s not many videos on my Cassiefairy channel yet but I promise there will be more crafty DIY videos coming soon, honest!

What do you think of my candy cane chair design? Will you be giving any of your furniture a festive makeover this winter? Let me know if you’ve made any OTT decorations yourself by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me with photos of your xmas décor @Cassiefairy.


Leave a comment

4 ways to make home DIY more enjoyable

Taking on a home DIY project tends to sound like a lot of fun. There’s certainly a level of satisfaction that you can gain by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work around the house. And if you’re the sort of person who enjoys being productive, you’ll get a lot of fun out of it. It’s also true that a lot of DIY projects that start out this way end up being a bit more tedious and difficult than expected. So I thought it might be nice to discuss a few ways to make DIY a little more reliably enjoyable. In a way, this all depends on the specific task at hand, as well as on your general mood and outlook. But the following tips just might help you to maintain enthusiasm for most of your improvement efforts around the home.diy-project-marquee-sign1. Educate yourself on the basics

It doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable thing to do, but getting educated on some basic home repair and DIY concepts will help you to have more fun fixing things up. It’s frustrating to get into these kinds of jobs without knowing what you’re doing, so it pays to teach yourself in advance. As a starting point, this list of simple maintenance tips and ideas covers a lot of common jobs that arise around the house. They’re not the most artistic, craft-geared DIY projects, but they’re things that need doing, and if you know how to handle them you’ll be better equipped for a pleasant experience.home-diy-project-indeas2. Entertain yourself

Just tackling a DIY job with nothing else going on can sometimes get dull. The clear solution is music, but even then things can get complicated. If a job involves water pipes, woodworking, dust, debris, or paint you won’t want your music devices or headphones anywhere near it. Fortunately, there’s a solution specifically for this problem. This page on heavy-duty radios built for construction sites and similar environments reveals that there is some modern audio equipment made for tough conditions. There are plenty of options, but if you can find a strong, durable radio with Bluetooth that can let you play your music, radio stations, or podcasts you’ll be able to stay entertained no matter what kind of job you’re taking on.reclaimed-wood-headboard

3. Learn To Repurpose Materials

Continue reading “4 ways to make home DIY more enjoyable” »


2 Comments

I’ve been nominated in the Interior Blog Awards 2016!

I was SO chuffed when I heard that I’d been nominated as best DIY & Craft Blog in the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2016! I can’t believe that my lovely readers took the time to nominate me for one of the most prestigious awards in the country – I hope that this means you’ve been enjoying my crafts and have been inspired by some of the projects I’ve been DIYing! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be included in the awards this year and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll help me reach the finals by voting for me. Furniture Makeover Project Rust-Oleum paint retro conservatory chair_-24The voting for the awards opened last week (if you’ve been following my Instagram stories you’ll know that I’ve been visit the lovely Kent coast) so this is the first chance I’ve had to share the great news with you! I’ve actually got my own profile page on the Amara Interior Blog Awards website and I’m thrilled to be included alongside hundreds of other fantastic interior design blogs – I’m totally inspired by them all!

The competition is really stiff, with over 30 fantastic blogs included in my category, so I’d be SO grateful for if you’d vote for my little blog here. I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to be a finalist! And please let me know if you do vote by tweeting me @Cassiefairy so that I can say thanks!

Since I was nominated for the Amara Awards I’ve had a look back over the DIY interior projects that I did in my little bungalow. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of those blog posts today, just in case you need any encouragement to believe I’m a thrifty DIYer!kitchen DIY furniture Makeover project bake station - storage cooking baking tutorial-6My mini kitchen makeover + chalkboard wallMy last summer holiday was spent painting my tiny kitchen in a rich duck egg blue colour and I gave it a thrifty DIY makeover with secondhand storage, a repurposed bathroom cabinet and lots of magnetic chalkboard paint! I stitched up a peg bag and a carrier bag dispenser using the same striped fabric as my tiny blackout blind. It was a fun makeover that only took a day to finish but made the kitchen look a whole lot better.diy book pages and sheet music wallpaper to decorate bedroomnatural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-5My bedroom decorating project was probably the cheapest DIY I’ve ever done! At the time, there was a power cut in our home so it was a good excuse to do something practical rather than sitting in front of the TV. I invested a whole £2 in a sachet of wallpaper paste and started slapping book pages on the walls. My feature wall behind the headboard is made up of a Marilyn Monroe biography, a horticultural book about roses and sheet music and a few vintage postcards. It was so simple yet really made a difference to the room, in only about an hour’s worth of decorating.diy painting and installing small shed - duck egg blue beach hut in garden-3 diy painting and installing small shed - duck egg blue beach hut in garden-20I’ve always loved mid-century design and I set about making my own 60s/70s inspired living room. Taking inspiration from some old record boxes, I used orange, olive green and bright blue hues to decorate my living room. I photographed the floral pattern of the boxes and printed it onto fabric in order to make some brightly coloured matching cushions to dress my basic leather sofa. When I needed a desk to do all my blogging from, I found a £5 set of drawers and added a piece of wood (painted in 70s orange, of course) to turn the top shelf into a desktop. An old telephone table got the same spray-paint treatment and is the ideal space to store my pens and thingmebobs.

The bathroom was a big project for us; it needed a new bath so my husband and I watched some YouTube tutorials before attempting to do the work ourselves. Thankfully, everything went well and we continued the project by using pressure-treated wood that we rescued from a skip to make a bath panel, clad the walls and create a storage unit. And to top it all off my little bathroom project has since been featured in Style at Home magazine – so proud!using recycled wood from a skip to make a beach hut bathroom floor and storage-11 DIY bathroom roman blind-1

I hope you can spare a minute to vote for me in the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015 – it really would be a dream come true to be a finalist! My voting page is here and I am eternally grateful for every single vote, thank you!


Leave a comment

I’m Cut Out + Keep’s Crafty Superstar!

Did you spot this news on my Twitter feed earlier this week? I’ve been tweeting and instagraming all week long because I’m just SO excited to be featured on one of my favourite sites. When Cut Out + Keep got in touch to invite me to be their Crafty Superstar, I was literally bouncing around at my desk!crafty superstarI sent over my signed photo as soon as I could and I loved every minute of the interview process – I felt like such a star! I couldn’t wait for ‘my’ week as Crafty Superstar and for my DIY projects to be shared with all their readers. You can check out my interview and see 4 of my crafts on the site right now.diy-pink-tulle-pompom-decorations-party-tutorial-cassiefairy - crafty superstar cut out and keep

Cut Out + Keep are sharing my thrifty projects every day this week. My pom-pom DIY has already gone live on Monday, as has my no-sew t-shirt on Tuesday. My distressed chair upcycling project was featured on Wednesday and I’m yet to see what’s going live today – I find it really exciting when I get a notification ping through that another of my projects has been published!diy-fashion-no-sew-floral-pocket-tshirt-for-summer cut out and keep crafty superstarI love visiting Cut Out + Keep for plenty of inspiration for recipes, sewing ideas, craft projects and furniture DIYs. I’ve even been inspired to try to learn to knit (you know, something more technical than just straight rows!) thanks to their knitting and crochet section. It’s like Pinterest but with real crafters. No everyone on the site has a blog or is a pro, it’s just a very welcoming community of enthusiastic makers who want to share their latest projects. Amazing stuff.distresses furniture diy projectI’m SO thrilled to join so many other fantastic crafters in the Crafty Superstars hall of fame and I still can’t really believe that Cut Out + Keep picked me to feature! Please check out my Crafty Superstar page if you get a chance and follow along with all 7 days of my projects as they are published. And do let me know what you think!


Leave a comment

A quick kitchen DIY for National Upcycling Day

Tomorrow is one of the most exciting dates in any thrifty blogger’s calendar – 24th June is National Upcycling Day. If you have any plans to do up a piece of furniture or have been pinning sewing ideas on Pinterest for months, tomorrow is the day to start that task! I’ve always got a handful of DIY projects on the go at any one time so it’s a great excuse for me to crack on with them. Plus, if you get started tomorrow, you’ve got the whole weekend to really get stuck into the project and get it finished. Today I’ve created a really simple step-by-step to give your kitchen utensils an easy makeover and I’ve shared how to create your own compact spray-painting ‘studio’. Read on to see what I did…

I love the way that upcycling can help me save money by simply putting in a bit of time and effort to make something old and unwanted into something I can use and love. I’ve renovated an old display cabinet to use in my little vintage caravan, I turned a chest of drawers into a desk, stitched placemats into cushions and even made my own wallpaper from old books. Yes, my blog is full of DIYs and thrifty upcycling projects so I hope you’ll browse around my DIY Interiors category and get some inspiration for money-saving decorating.national upcycling day diy project makeover renovation step by step tutorial upcycle recycle thrifty thrift craft-10 national upcycling day diy project makeover renovation step by step tutorial upcycle recycle thrifty thrift craft-11For National Upcycling Day I’m sharing possibly the fastest and easiest DIY I’ve ever done. For a while now I’ve been pinning photos of kitchen utensils which have been dipped in paint to give them a splash of colour on the handles. I’ve taken inspiration from these projects and have spray painted the handles of my existing wooden spoon collection. There’s probably little need for step-by-step for this thrifty project but here’s what I did just in case you’d like to recreate these colourful utensils at home.national upcycling day diy project makeover renovation step by step tutorial upcycle recycle thrifty thrift craft-9 national upcycling day diy project makeover renovation step by step tutorial upcycle recycle thrifty thrift craft-2 Continue reading “A quick kitchen DIY for National Upcycling Day” »


Leave a comment

How to style a space-saving side table

If you’re like me, anything and everything that has to do with decoration is fascinating regardless of the price (a girl can dream, right?). As you might have read by now, I’ve recently moved into a new home which is always the chance to start off fresh and combine existing furniture with some new stylish eye-catching pieces. Regardless of whether or not moving house is on the horizon for you, it’s nice to add some changes to your home to give your interior an extra sparkle. After all, we spend a good chunk of each day in our living nests so it’s only logical to create an atmosphere that you’re excited to come home to.diy copper side table styling a beautiful mess

Create a minimalist copper side table with this DIY project from A Beautiful Mess

When people think of redecorating, they often think of it as a complete makeover process, where overspending is the key that guarantees the best outcome. Being a fan of simple yet creative solutions, let me tell you there are ways to make it work without over splurging and draining your bank account. Just pick a few unique furniture items and watch it all fall into place. A good place to start is with side tables.side tables circular and square wood and metal styling inspiration

You can combine different shapes of side tables in one room

Predominantly, living rooms lend themselves to the “gather around the coffee table” set-up, making the coffee table the focal point of the room. If however minimalism resonates with you, you’ll already know that less is more. Consider removing your coffee table and replacing it with a side table. Or maybe two? If you just need somewhere to put down your cuppa, a side table will do the job and you can always pull it into the centre of the room to use as a coffee table when you have guests visiting. Not only will you amp up the room’s stylishness with some minimal pieces, but you’ll also gain some more space in the room. As side tables come in all kinds of shapes and sizes – from tall and sculptural to low and wide – these pieces of furniture can do wonders for your décor and give your interior a drastic change. You can experiment with materials too when you’re investing in such a small piece of furniture so imagine a style and go for it!repurpose old crates for a diy side table idea

Repurpose old boxes to create a DIY side table space

The material that a side table is made of is more important than meets the eye. More traditional households might match well with an elegantly crafted small wooden table. My suggestion would be black pine as it gives off a sense of elegance. Wooden designs are a way better option than glass if you have kids, especially toddlers – safety first! Some of my favourite sophisticated home-styles express their individuality with a blend of materials, such as wood with stone or brightly painted metal and glass combinations. An oak and marble duo is both sturdy and sleek and works well with any print – think mixing it up with a nice set of patterned curtains and a rug.funky gold side table

You can be adventurous with the design of your side table

Continue reading “How to style a space-saving side table” »


2 Comments

DIY interiors project – colourful cupboards

Want to inject a bit of colour into your room but don’t want to commit to a complete wall-to-wall makeover? Can I suggest painting the inside of your cupboards instead? It’s interior design on a very ‘interior’ scale – the inner walls of your storage to be exact! It allows you to add splashes of fun colours without changing your entire room scheme and adds a sense of surprise to other rather dull storage solutions.

You can have a perfectly calm and serene neutral palette on all four walls, but when you open up those cupboard doors BAM! You’re hit with a fresh burst of zesty colour. It’s guaranteed to brighten up even the dullest morning (and wake you up!) if you open your workday wardrobe and sunshine yellow or bright sky blue is waiting for you. I’ve spotted examples of bright turquoise paint being used inside kitchen units on A Beautiful Mess blog and architect George Clarke used different citrus colours inside his children’s cupboards on Amazing Spaces.

Colours can define uses – each child having their own colour storage and taking responsibility for it, for example – and cupboard doors can be opened (or removed altogether!) to bring colour into the room and change the ambience of a space. Bright colours surely equal party time, do they not?! As you only need a small tin of paint for decorating cupboard spaces it’s a purse-friendly interior design project (keep an eye out for reduced tins in crazy shades!) and you can be adventurous with your colour choices. It’s definitely a design feature that I want to do lots of in my new home and I tried out the technique inside an old bedroom storage cupboard with a pop of pink…

Continue reading “DIY interiors project – colourful cupboards” »


1 Comment

Weekend DIY project – Welly boot plant pots

Everybody knows wellington boots are an amazing accessory for any wet day, but unfortunately we tend to find ourselves only wearing them a handful of times throughout the year. As a result of this, especially with the little ones, the next time you go to pop them on they’re too small. Well, if you find this to be the case then don’t worry, you can make yourself some welly planters! What better way to not only add a little fun to your garden, but to recycle too! Here’s a guide on how you can make your wellies into fun little plant pots and add a little extra colour to your garden.welly boot DIY project_-9

Make your own DIY planter from recycled wellies!

Before you begin making your welly planters, there’s a few things you’ll need:

  • Wellington Boots
  • A Drill
  • Compost
  • Seeds
  • Watering Can
  • Stones or Pebbles
  • Waterproof labels (if you wish to label your plants)

Now you have everything you need, you can get started. Make sure you wash your wellington boots with warm water and a little soap, just to give them a freshen up. Dry them off with an old tea towel and then you’re good to go. You can use new wellington boots if your current ones still fit, that’s up to you, but I’d recommend going rummaging at the carboot sale to pick up a used pair for pennies! Next, remove any insoles or liners that are inside the wellington boots, as we need as much space as we can get.

Hold the wellington from the bottom, sole facing upwards (and use a clamp on a workbench to hold it in place!) while you drill a few small holes around the edges of the boot and a couple on the sole. This will make sure that when you water your plants, the water drains out evenly and the compost will be able to breathe. Fill the bottom of the wellington with some stones or pebbles, this is to weigh the welly down so that if there are any blustery days, your new planter will be less likely to fall over. Also, having stones at the bottom will make it that little bit easier for the water to drain out, as there will be room between the compost and the holes.

Continue reading “Weekend DIY project – Welly boot plant pots” »

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close