Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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This cake stand is rubbish…

And I mean literally. I know it might seem a bit manky or downright gross, but I fished this cake stand out of a skip. Yes, I rescued this decorative plate from the bin. I pulled it right out of landfill. Okay maybe that’s going a step too far, but it had been thrown away and was found in a skip. It wasn’t broken, chipped or cracked and the only thing that I can see that might be slightly wrong with it is that the gilded edge is faded in places – but surely that just adds to the charm of a vintage cake stand?

recycled cake stand upcycled from skip

It’s had a long soak and good scrub since being hauled out of the rubbish pile, but here it is, clean as a whistle and looking pretty nice – I even like the blousey floral pattern and will happily add it to my collection of vintage crockery. What I can’t understand is why things like this are going to the tip without being offered to others first? why waste something that still serves its purpose? Even if the pattern is not to your taste, there are plenty of makeover projects for crockery that I’ve pinned on my Pinterest boards, so it’s a great thing to have, even if it’s going to be upcycled!

spring floral cake stand saved from skip

The same thing happens to me when I go to the dump with my recycling: I always see something that I’d be able to make use of in one of the massive bins but unfortunately once something has been thrown into those massive recycling containers, you’re not allowed to take it out – those are the rules. And I’m sure it’s a health and safety issue, but it seems such a waste of resources. I should also point out that you must always ask permission before taking anything out of a skip and luckily for me I’d already asked about taking bits out of this particular skip in the past ad I know that the owner was happy for me to have a rummage. Have you found anything interesting in a skip recently? Have you upcycled something that was destined for landfill? Let me know, I’d be good to know that I’m not the only one being a little bit gross when I pull some goodies out of the bin!


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You’re a star! (says Julien Macdonald)

Oh dear. Here we go again… In case you didn’t already know, and have stayed away from my blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profiles all week, I went to London Fashion Weekend 7 days ago. I may have mentioned it once or twice, I’m not sure. But this will be the last time, honest! And it’s really nothing much to do with LFW at all. It’s more about the accidental purchase I made this week as a result of going to the event.

And here it is. Can you guess why I couldn’t resist splashing out a full £5.25 in a charity shop on this shirt? It’s not my usual kind of top, I’m not all that fond of animal print and I’ve been trying to steer away from black in general. Plus it’s a little too big for me. So why did I buy it in the first place? Because of Julien Macdonald, that’s why.

Charity shop bargain Julien Macdonald top

As you might have noticed I went to see the JM catwalk show and it really was the highlight of my week. In fact, I think I’m a little bit in love with Julien after seeing his gorgeous designs (not to mention that I know he’s a really nice fella, thanks to watching him Strictly last year). Anyway, I was going for my usual rummage around the charity shops in the nearby town when this top jumped out at me. I was actually having a rather half-hearted flick through the clothes and wasn’t really looking at anything in particular – this top was the only one that I’d picked up off the rail – and lo and behold! it was a Star by Julien Macdonald shirt. How could I resist it? I tried it on and decided that the larger-than-my-usual size gave it a funky, floaty, fashion-lecturer look, plus I assumed that it was supposed to be oversized thanks to the dipped back hem. I’m going to wear it with a blazer to give it more shape – if I ever find a suitable place or occasion to wear it.

In reality I bought it not knowing whether I’d ever wear it but just being so happy that I’d got a piece of clothing that would always remind me of the time I was invited to London Fashion Weekend. And I’m sure that Julien would be pleased that I’m recycling one of his pieces for Debenhams. Maybe one day I’ll own one of the catwalk pieces, who knows what the future will bring? But in the meantime I’m happy to know that (thanks to Julien Macdonald) I’m a star!


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Recycle the best fashion trends of the 80s for today

Many children of the 80s were glad to see the decade’s fashion go: all the glitter and harem pants were considered bad taste up until recently. It was just too soon, and all that stuff just looked old fashioned and cringe-worthy. But now, some 20 years on, we’re finally ready to welcome back the good stuff, and forget about the bad (power shoulder pads in particular). Here are some of the best rock’n’roll fashion trends of the 80s that you can recycle and wear right now:

80s michael jackson inspired fashion look

Image source: Michael Jackson | Street Peeper

Michael Jackson was an icon back in the 80s, and he pretty much rocked every jacket he wore. The varsity jacket is still very popular today, and it’s become a unisex trend we often spot on street style blogs. You can still pick them up in high street stores and pictured here, the sporty jacket is worn with high heels, a red dress and a tiny clutch, totally changing its initial purpose.

80s rock and roll fashion trends madonna style

Image source: Madonna  | Style Cab

Showing off your midriff was huge in the 80s. Madonna was clearly a great influence on the decade’s style, with her cross necklace and messy hair! We’re just relieved that the belly button remains hidden these days, with the high waist + crop top combination being most popular and slightly easier to pull off. This street style look above is a classy and modern way to wear a cropped top without looking like you’re trying to emulate your teenage sister!

80s fashion inspired by tom cruise

Image source: Tom Cruise | Street Gazing

The 1980s meant a big high for Ray Ban sunglasses: their Wayfarers and Clubmasters were popularized in such movies as Risky Business (starring Tom Cruise above) and quickly became a cult item. The brand had a downfall afterwards, but they’re now the most popular sunglasses in the world. Every celebrity and every person you know owns or wants a pair and I bet you’ve got a pair of this style of sunglasses at the back of your accessories drawer! Dig them out for summer 2014 and not only will you look awesome but you’ll be saving all those wrinkle-lines from squinting in the sun – just check their UV rating which might be below standard if they are really old-school.

80s rock fashion looks cindy crawford

Image source: Supermodels | Golestaneh

The most rock’n’roll thing in the 80s to wear must have been leather pants. Tight, and with a mid or high waist, those bad boys were hot as can be on supermodels Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. These days, they’ve become a bit more casual, but we’re happy to say they’ve also become more comfortable, due to technological advancements. How about raiding your big sister’s wardrobe or rummaging through Oxfam Fashion online to find a genuine 80s or 90s pair?

80s rock and roll fashion for men Axl Rose
Image source: Axl Rose | Stylogasm

Just when you thought everyone stitched their jeans back together, they’re back, and bigger than ever! In the 80s, they were the prerogative of rock fans, but now torn jeans have become a staple in every woman’s (and some mens) wardrobe. If you’re brave enough, you could tear up your own jeans but don’t go ruining a favourite pair! If you’re not sure whether this trend is for you, maybe you could pick up a reasonably priced pair of jeans from a charity shop and have a go at customising them yourself.

I hope you too can take inspiration from some of the 80s trends that have made their way back into fashion again for 2014 and let me know if you try out any of these celebrity-inspired looks. Perhaps you already have some torn jeans or cropped tops at the back of your wardrobe from the first time round? Don’t be afraid to wear them again to create an authentic 80s or 90s look without spending a penny! And when people ask where you got your new outfit, you don’t have to tell them that they are your teenage cast-offs, you can simply say “it’s vintage” and impress everyone!


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Make a TINY chair for the Borrowers…

Here’s a photo of my latest attempt to turn a piece of rubbish into something special – a champagne cork cage twisted into a tiny chair. I particularly love this one because the cap had an orange pattern on it ~ ideal for my retro living room!

DIY craft tutorial tiny champagne cork chair placeholder

I have previously shared instructions on how to do this kind of thing – check out my blog post on making a DIY champagne chair and if you make them, these tiny chairs have many uses – such as place settings for weddings or dinner parties, a cute addition to a dolls house or memo holding. It’s a better idea than just chucking it in the bin anyway :)

More quick & easy craft tutorials from Cassiefairy:


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DIY Furniture Project – Blanket Cupboard

Happy Saturday! I hope you are having a great weekend, we had some more snow here yesterday so its chilly again – it’s supposed to have been the coldest night of the year here so we wrapped up warm with lots of extra blankets and duvets and were nice and toasty!

blue blanket cabinet makeover diy furniture project paint wallapaper floral cassiefairy

I thought that today I would share with you a quick Do-It-Yourself project that I’ve done, making over an old storage unit into my funky vintage blanket cupboard. This cabinet was on its way to the household waste recycling centre when I took a second look at it and realised that, although the varnish was peeling and there were scratches and marks all over the unit, it was a perfectly sturdy piece of furniture and could be re-vamped into something much more pretty with very little effort.

blanket cabinet blue painted furniture makeover diy project

My hubby and I gave the whole unit a light sanding over, taking off any loose bits of varnish as we went, and then wiped down the cupboard inside and out. I then painted the whole unit with two coats of paint to refresh it. I chose blue wood paint because we had a spare pot in the shed but this kind of unit could be painted in any shade to coordinate or contrast with the decor of the room that it will be living in. After the paint had dried, we cut a piece of blue floral wallpaper to the size of the shelves and pasted it on with normal wallpaper paste and left it to dry. Again, we had some left over paper from our decorating, but you could even use a sample piece from the DIY store, depending on the size of your shelves, or buy an end-of-line discounted roll for only a couple of quid. If you fancy lining your drawers, you could also use the same wallpaper for this too!

blue cabinet makeover project painted furniture diy blog post

This now provides valuable extra storage space for all those blankets that only come out in the winter or when guests come to stay, and it would even be good in a child’s nursery with all the space for toys below and clothes in the drawers above. I hope that you’ll be able to see some potential any worn-out furniture you come across, and have a go at your own renovation project! Check out some of my other DIY upcycling projects below :D

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