Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


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My favourite interior trends – Watercolours

After a long summer of days out and time spent outdoors, each September I tend to turn my attention back indoors and start looking at new trends for the home. While it’s been around for a while now, the watercolour trend remains one of my favourites of recent years. We’ve been seeing painterly florals on wallpaper and artist-inspired patterns on soft furnishes emerging over the past few seasons and now I’m totally obsessed with all things watercolour.posterlounge_watercolour_4When I watched The Sorry Girls DIY a watercolour apron and business cards, that’s when I couldn’t hold off any longer. With just a jar of water and a pan of school-grade watercolour paints, almost anything could be covered in washes of pastel colours and that made it an even more attractive trend for me; well, if I can do-it-myself and save some money, it’s a winner in my eyes.the-sorry-girls-diy-watercolour-business-cardsHere are some of my favourite watercolour looks from my Pinterest boards. I love dark moody blues and blotchy inky tones, and I think that the watercolour effect softens it a little. A rather masculine bachelor-pad look becomes a unisex effect with just a hint of a feathered edge or faded hue. The ink splodge design behind this desk is from Milexa and the dark scuffed wall behind the bed is from Murals Wallpaper.dark-blue-watercolours-murals-wallpaper-ideas-interior-design-inspirationI think that flowers, foliage, animals and birds look great when painted in watercolour. It lends a sense of movement and freedom to the images that you don’t get with printed media. Birds are definitely one of my favourite animals to include in home décor (I have little silver sparrows and a glass bird tealight holder that keep me company all day long) so images of common garden birds and delicate feathers are at the top of my framed art-work list. Plus, I think that bright watercolours can make a regular bird look really rather tropical, like in this painting (below.)posterlounge_watercolour_3posterlounge_watercolour_1

Continue reading “My favourite interior trends – Watercolours” »


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My little vintage caravan – Caravan Magazine & soft furnishings

After sharing photos of Sian’s beautiful Daisy caravan with you yesterday (and the fabulous vintage party package giveaway – check it out here!) I felt a strong urge to hang out in my own caravan and enjoy the lovely weather.vintage caravan interior with biscuit cushions-4So when I finished work yesterday, I took brewed up a cuppa and took myself outside for a little alone time in my caravan. With the sun shining, bees buzzing and birds singing, I threw open the windows and properly ‘aired’ my caravan for the first time this season.vintage caravan interior with biscuit cushions and cat-11vintage caravan interior with biscuit cushions and cat-10 Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – Caravan Magazine & soft furnishings” »


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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside! DIY sewing project: towels for the bathroom

Yes, I do know that it’s possible to buy towels and I’m honestly not buying towelling fabric and making my own. But what I have been doing is sewing a little extra trim onto my old towels to make them fit in better with the whole look of the new bathroom. In truth, I had some fabric left over from making the blinds and I wanted to use it up rather than throw it away. I did a couple of sewing projects for the kitchen with it (I’ll share these soon) but I still had a few lengths left and wanted to include them in the bathroom. There’s not much call for soft furnishings in a bathroom, so apart from the blind I was a little stumped about how to use this fabric. Then my eye settled on my old beige towels. The ones we’ve had for years and that I’d earmarked for throwing out to make way for new towels that would match the beach hut theme.

It’s absolutely not like me to throw anything away and of course, these old towels would have probably been turned into kitchen rags or polishing cloths rather than being chucked out, but now I was looking at them with a glint in my eye. Could I make them into something suitable for my new bathroom? The beige colour was starting to look like sand to me, and the leftover lighthouse fabric was just screaming out to be used. So I spent an hour at my ironing board, making a thick bias binding from the lighthouse fabric and I stitched it onto the ends of the old towels. I’d previously learnt how to make bias binding from a tutorial online so here’s how I did it in case you want to stitch a towel makeover for yourself:

Cutting: Cut a length of fabric which is three times the width that you want the finished trim to be and a little longer than the width of your towel. I chose to make a 3 inch trim so I measured 9 inches of fabric and cut out this strip. DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels

Ironing: I then folded it in half with wrong sides facing and ironed a crease into the middle of the strip. Then, to turn it into a bias binding, I turned 1.5 inches over at the top of each side and ironed these edges too.

Sewing: I placed the edge crease 3 inches from the hem of the towel and pinned the binding strip to the towel with wrong side facing up. I straight stitched with a sewing matching along the crease. DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels-5Folding: I then folded the binding strip over the edge of the towel so that the right sides are out and pinned the folded edge crease to the towel before sewing along this edge with straight stitch to seal the binding.

Finishing: At the ends of the strip, I folded the excess under the binding and then hand stitched the opening closed.DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels-8

I repeated these steps for the second towel and after only an hour and a half I had ‘new’ custom-made towels that matched my blind and fitted in with my new seaside bathroom theme perfectly! I am so pleased that these towels were saved from the brink of the bin and have now been upcycled into something that I won’t find anywhere else.

The trouble with doing a makeover in your home is that no sooner than you have fixed one problem – the wall, the floor, the storage – another essential DIY project raises its head. Maybe it just because the whole bathroom is looking so fresh and new that I’m now looking at the other problems with more critical eyes. Whatever the reason, I have noticed how bad my bath actually is and that I could definitely do with a more efficient ventilation solution from Rocburn to remove the damp and steamy air from the room – the existing vent goes into the loft and does nothing! In terms of the bath, I think it’ll have to be a replacement because I don’t think I’ll be able to repair it.

It’s an old steel bath that was already here when we moved in and to be honest it had already seen better days back then; it has cracks in the enamel and some chips are actually rusting through. It’s been a battle of the bleach to keep it clean and no amount of scrubbing has brought those tarnished taps back to life. So I’m going to do some research and see whether it is even possible to get a replacement bath on my tiny budget. To be fair, it’s only a tiny bath too – we have less space than the standard 1700mm bath – so surely that’ll mean a cheaper bath, right? At the very least, I would like to replace the taps because not only are they really badly corroded, but at the moment the paddle-handle means that our cats sometimes turn the tap on by themselves. I don’t know how they do it, but sometimes the tap is mysteriously running after our cats casually saunter out of the bathroom. Plus, we have no shower so we’re currently using the old pound-shop solution of a push-on-the-taps-and-hope-it-doesn’t-leak shower head. And yes, it sprays everywhere! So a mixer tap with shower head attached would be a dream.

I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress and post all about any new projects for my bathroom soon.


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My little vintage caravan project ~ take a seat

I’ve finally started what I was most looking forward to doing with my little vintage caravan project – creating a lovely place to sit. Yes, it’s soft furnishings time! I’ve spent a couple of hours at the sewing machine and I’ve made my own covers for the bench seat pads using an old duvet cover that my in-laws had given to me ages ago and I’d not got round to using the fabric. It is a cotton fabric and it is printed with a patchwork design which is much easier than trying to patchwork a seat cover myself, and it gave me lines to follow while I was sewing it!

Cassiefairys little vintage caravan makeover project diy sewing cushion pads for bench seat with patchwork duvet

Although the old bench seat cushions looked awful and the fabric was shredded (had something been living in there??), the foam underneath was in good condition and, of course, it fitted the bench seats perfectly so I didn’t need any point in replacing it completely. I stripped off the old tatty covers and set to work making a replacement cover for the foam pads. I simply placed a rectangle of the fabric over the foam and pinned the corners in place. I then took the fabric to my sewing machine and stitched the corners before adding a back piece to the fabric and stitching around three sides. I then stretched it over the foam and hand stitched the open side to close it. You can probably guess that theses aren’t removable covers – but I won’t be taking the caravan away on holidays so I doubt I’ll make enough of a mess on them to need to wash them. Nothing that a damp sponge wouldn’t sort out anyway! And if, during the lifetime of the caravan, I do have a big spillage, I will simply unpick the hand-stitching, wash it and stitch it back up. So here are the finished seat covers:

cassiefairys vintage caravan camper project patchwork quilt cushion pads for bench seat

Check out my other vintage caravan articles below to follow my progress of my little makeover project and tweet me @Cassiefairy with photos of your own caravans, campers or workshops – I need all the inspiration I can get and I’d love to know what you think! :)

More caravan articles:


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My little vintage caravan project ~ Fabric inspirations

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a little while will know that a few months ago I bought a caravan! While she may not have been the prettiest looking caravan, it definitely gave me a project to sink my teeth into. I set up a Pinterest board straight away to pin all of my design ideas and inspirations on, as and when I come across things I like.

When I started my DIY journey the caravan certainly had a lot of work that needed doing both inside and out. When I bought it, the interior was very retro, which although I liked was in such a bad way due to damp that it sadly all needed ripping out. Since then I have slowly been tackling mini (and not so mini) projects with the help of my hubby to get her looking exactly how I want – check out the links below for all of my blog posts about my caravan 🙂

cassiefairys vintage caravan project painting exterior baby sky blue

My dream to turn the caravan into a beautiful workshop and office space for my crafting is slowly coming together, and while it’s nowhere near ready to start using I’m already getting excited about choosing soft furnishing and fabrics for the interior. I have a few ideas of what I want, but came across the Rodgers of York website. They are based in York which is sadly a bit too far away for me to get to, but they stock a fabulous range of well-known soft furnishing brands including Harlequin and iLiv. I had great fun browsing the website and picking out fabrics that I would love to use in the caravan.

One brand which stood out was iLiv, a Northern interior design company who are based in Lancashire. I love a bargain and couldn’t believe it when I read that the ‘v’ in the company name stands for value! iLiv have a gorgeous collection of fabrics and soft furnishings including cushions, I particularly liked the ‘In Bloom’ collection which is a mix of floral prints and vibrant strips which would look fab mix and matched together. You can create a scrapbook on their website and you can see mine below.

  Cassiefairys vintage caravan makeover project fabrics from rodgers of york

Harlequin are another fabulous brand that I discovered on the Rodgers of York website. Their fun and vibrant colour combinations and prints are right up my street and I got carried away with yet more mood boards of inspiration for my caravan interior. The striking and very funky ‘Impasto’ collection had me hooked and I can’t wait to try and incorporate some of the eye-catching fabrics into my final look.

Cassiefairys vintage caravan makeover project fabrics from harlequin


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My little vintage caravan project ~ All the trimmings

Okay this might not be the most interesting subject of a blog post, but it is part of my vintage caravan makeover, so I’ve snapped some photos of the window trim being replaced. Although it’s not exciting, it is essential, because the old brown window trim had cracked and was falling off, and therefore had the potential to let rain into the caravan during the winter. So it needed to be replaced, and fast. So I hopped on Ebay (where else can I find something as unusual as caravan window trim) and I ordered a 10 metre roll of bright white trim.

The trim comes in very specific millimetre-by-millimetre width measurements and for the first time in my life, I actually checked what size I needed before ordering it. I needed to measure the inside space within the trim so I cracked another piece off and carefull measured it. When the trim arrived, I realised why it needs to be so precisely measured – any smaller and it wouldn’t have fit over the edge and would have pinged off, and just one millimetre later would have made it loose and flappy with potential for letting damp in again. I thought replacing the trim would be an easy process – the original brown trim crumbled off pretty easily anyway – but no. It turns out that there are a lot of window fixings to remove before you can start and the fixings were mostly rusty and firmly screwed in place – so this became a job for hubby.

Cassiefairys vintage caravan makeover project - retro window trim

We also had to move the caravan down the garden because we had parked it too close to the fence to be able to open the back window, so we pulled it out of its parking space and got to work on replacing the trims. After a couple of hours of working in the garden on a boiling hot day, we were flaking out and we still had to get the caravan back into position. I now realise that there is a very slight slope n the garden – not enough to notice in everyday life, but certainly noticeable when you’re trying to push a caravan up it! To make a long story short, after a lot of huffing and swearing (and bruising) we got the beast back in its place, and slightly further away from the fence so that we don’t a repeat incident!

Anyway, I’m very happy with the new trims – I’m certain that it even deters creepy crawlies, because I’ve seen non since it was fitted! Just look at that lovely white curve in the photos above – very pleasing! Also, I’ve found that I’m opening my windows a lot more, simply because it is easier to open them now. So, a rather dull window makeover, but definitely one that I’m pleased with, and will help to keep my caravan in good shape for many years to come. Here’s something a bit more exciting – some ideas that I’ve found on Pinterest (check out my Caravan Love board for all the links!) for caravan seat covers – because the next thing I’m working on is soft furnishings yaaay!

Cassiefairys caravan love pinterest board - ideas for vintage caravan makeover project interior soft furnishings

Check out my other vintage caravan articles below to follow my progress of my little makeover project and tweet me @Cassiefairy with photos of your own caravans, campers or workshops – I need all the inspiration I can get and I’d love to know what you think! :)

More caravan articles:

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