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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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

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My pretty festive table & DIY personalised Christmas crackers

Be warned: Now that it’s December 1st there is no stopping me. I’m going Christmas crazy and you’ll be lucky to find anything non-festive on my blog for the whole of the holiday season! So let’s start how we mean to go on; with a blog post about setting your table for Christmas dinner and making your own DIY crackers!personalised christmas crackers diy project-6 personalised christmas crackers diy project-13 personalised christmas crackers diy project-10Firstly, here’s my Christmas dinner table setting – what do you think? I’m actually rather pleased with how it turned out and I’d love to tell you how I decorated it. This table was set up for a festive dinner with friends last weekend (yes, we had roast turkey, chipolatas, honey-glazed parsnips – the lot!) so I wanted it to look suitably Christmassy to inject a little early festiveness to the proceedings. Here’s how I did it:personalised christmas crackers diy project-8 personalised christmas crackers diy project-9 personalised christmas crackers diy project-14 personalised christmas crackers diy project-12Firstly, I invested in some pretty felt placemats. I’ve seen these in lots of shops, at varying prices, but these are the lowest cost placemats I’ve found and they were from Poundland. I already had 4 round ones from last year, so I added another 4 circle snowflake placemats to my collection. The designs are slightly different this year but the change to the pattern is barely noticeable with a plate on top! I also got some rectangular place mats for the centre of the table so that hot dishes of yummy festive food could be placed on the table. By the way, the drinks coasters are personalised printed coasters that I made last month & shared on the blog – it’s an ice-breaker party game for guests around the table to guess the festive film quote!

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Pretty table-settings for a festive meal ~ & happy thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving Day is the US and I’ve found that it’s quickly becoming a bit of a tradition to celebrate it here in the UK too. Traditionally it’s a special day of relaxation and reflection with all the family and involves a thanksgiving dinner with a roast turkey – similar to our Christmas day celebrations. I’m not sure that all of us in the UK are going the whole hog with a roast dinner etc but some of my pals are celebrating it with a meal with family or friends this weekend. Taking this into consideration, and seeing as some of my lovely blog readers are based in the USA, here are a few ideas for creating pretty place-settings for your thanksgiving table, which you can also use for your festive table settings over Christmas too!

thanksgiving meal place settings for personalised table plan

Get out all your best crockery and cutlery – what’s the point of saving something for ‘best’ if you can’t use it during the holidays! Lay each place setting with care, so that everyone has all the utensils they will need to enjoy their thanksgiving meal – this will stop you having to get up from the table during the meal to fetch an extra spoon for someone!

Use placemats and stack up plates with pretty patterns to create a gorgeous place setting. This will delight your guests and get them excited about the feast you have in store for them – if you’ve taking this much care over the table settings, just imagine how amazing your festive meal will be!

thanksgiving place settings for personalised table plan

Include a little treat or favour on the plate – I’ve added a cheeky rum toffee – and an activity sheet is good for both children and adults alike. Here I have used brown paper torn out of a spiral-notebook and created a ‘gratitude’ sheet so that guests can take time to think about what they are thankful for and make a note of it on the paper. This can be especially handy to focus young minds if you’re planning to go round the table later to share your thanks – think of it as a thanksgiving cheat-sheet!

Personalise each place setting with a name-tag, which can be as simple as writing the names on luggage tags or Christmas gift tags. Here I have layered cardboard over textured ribbon and simply written on the family members’ names and pegged it to their note paper using an old-fashioned wooden clothes peg.

thanksgiving meal place settings

Use glasses and candles to create a table that sparkles and add any cute ornaments that you have around the home to make your festive place settings even more unique – I’ve used these little silver birds that I’ve previously used in my autumn floral display and they reflect the candle light perfectly! I’m also using gold wine glasses and orange tea-light holders to create a warm glow over the table.

I hope you try out a few of these ideas and give your family a thanksgiving or Christmas that they will never forget and check out my autumn floral display blog post for ideas for creating gorgeous thanksgiving displays all around your home.


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My little vintage caravan project ~ Oilcloth table

This week I have made great inroads into using the caravan for its intended purpose as a workshop space – I have made a table. This is my version of a desk until I sort something else out at the ‘other’ end of the caravan, so if I want to start working in my new ‘office’ I needed to fabricate a table, and fast!

There was already a small 2-person table in the caravan when I bought it, and this clips nicely onto the wall fittings at either end of the caravan. However, the table is so small that I can barely use it to write on, let alone start any sewing projects on. It’s more of a cuppa-tea table than a desk. But it is the starting point for my new table, because my table top will have to rest on-top of this mini-table in order to be supported in the middle of the caravan.

cassiefairys little vintage caravan project - covering a table with oilcloth

The table also traditionally doubles up as the base for the bed, so I needed a piece of wood that was exactly the right width to span the gap and sit on the lip-edges of the seat-bases. So a lot of measuring and help from hubby with cutting it, we had a piece that would fit the gap. But it looked terrible; it was just a bit of old plywood from the back of the shed with paint stains on! So I decided to funk it up with a length of spotty aqua oilcloth. My reckoning was that it would be wipe-clean (good for crafts, and my regular tea spillages) and would brighten the place up in an instant.

In reality it involved 2 people trying to use spray adhesive to fold the edges over and glue them down while stretching the fabric in the opposite direction to try to remove the creases. In hindsight, I think I could have done with using a thicker oil-cloth (this was a softer tablecloth oilcloth fabric) which may have minimised the creasing – as you can see from the photos, there’s a few creases along the edges of the table top. But as I’ve used the table this week, these seem to have relaxed a bit and don’t look as bad as they do in these first photos of the table!

cassiefairys little vintage caravan project - covering a table with spotty oilcloth

I asked hubby to screw a baton to the back wall of the caravan for the tabletop to brace against when it is sitting on top of the small table in a kind of counter-levered way. It holds the table up nicely, although I might keep an eye out for a folding leg to make it even more stable in the future. When it’s not in use, the table tucks away on top of one of the seat bases with the seat pad on top.

Importantly, the table spans the gap between the seats and I now have a bed in the caravan! Whoop! I know the weather is getting a but worse, but it’s not been freezing cold yet, so maybe I’ll get a night ‘away’ sleeping in the caravan this month?!

cassiefairys little vintage caravan project - covering a table with oilcloth to make into a double bed

Please check out my other caravan project blog posts below and let me know what you think of my project 🙂 The next plan is to create a bit of privacy with curtains and blinds so watch this space for another blog post later this week! Here’s a reminder of what the inside looked like before I started painting and stitching. It makes me feel good about my progress when I look back on it, even thought it’s taken me 6 weeks to get to this stage, because at least I can sit, work and sleep in my caravan now!

cassiefairys vintage caravan project interior clearing out


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A new table for my retro living room – and it was free!

As you probably already know about me, I’m quite thrifty and I like to get a bargain but this one takes the biscuit – I got this lovely retro table completely free!

I was pretty lucky with this one, as it was sat outside a house nearby (I was just walking past back from the pub – something that I rarely do – honest!) and it had a sign on it ‘free to a good home’. And I don’t think I’m being cheeky when I say that I could definitely give it a good home – it is absolutely perfect for my retro-theme living room that I’m currently working on, it’s just the right size for my tiny home and the fact that the two sides fold down to make it even more space-saving is a bonus!

I love it and if I’d seen it in a shop I may have even paid for it, but to be fair I’m not really in a position to spend a lot on anything and would have had to walk away, so I’m delighted that one of my lovely neighbours offered it to someone who may need it (and would love it!). The way I see it, I’m being helpful clearing out something that someone else no longer wants; its being recycled and won’t end up at the dump – I’ve often been at the household recycling site and seen things in the skips that are perfectly lovely and that I could make use of, but the regulations at the tip say that nothing can be taken out of the waste containers (probably too dangerous) so I’m often saddened to see things being dumped unnecessarily.

I am so happy with it, In fact I’m sat at it now while writing my blog post 🙂 What do you think of it? Would you take something that was being given away? Have you seen anything at the dump that you wish you could have taken & made use of? Leave me a comment below:

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