Fashion is everywhere

Clones N Clowns by Aimee Wood

Xmas wishlist with Joules

The past few weeks have been dedicated to SHOPPING. Online shopping, offline shopping, Xmas food shopping, Xmas prezzie shopping, Secret Santa shopping… Endless shopping – and no complaints from me as I love buying gifts, cards, treats and decorations! But it just so happens I’ve also received a few requests from Father Xmas himself, asking me what I would like to find in my own Xmas stocking the week after next… So here’s a pretty wishlist from Joules – a brand I love to go to for a dash of colour and a feminine touch. I hope this helps, Santa! As a bonus this list might also give you a few ideas if you’re stuck for what to buy for your friends and fam, too. Enjoy! 1. Stationary 2. Apron 3. Plate 4. Blue scarf 5. Yellow scarf 6. Tins 7. Mug 8. Earrings 9. Slippers 10. Necklace 11. Bath towel xx Aimee PS – Joules are a competition on their Instagram account (@joulesclothing), if you share a picture of your fav item on your own account, and use the tag #MerryWishmas, you have a chance to win that item every week until Christmas! Good luck! PPS – Thank you SO MUCH for all your comments and messages congratulating us on our engagement! It means so much and I can’t wait to let you know all about our ideas to date…

Xmas wishlist with Joules

DIY tile coasters

I told you about a week ago, I try to travel light. However, for some reason it always seems to go OK on the way there but I get carried away shopping wherever I am (excuses such as “can’t get this at home”, “it’s the perfect souvenir” and “because I can’t not” come up on a regular basis) meaning that the way back is usually a teeeeeny bit lot heavier. My trip to Martinique was no exception and after visiting a small pottery village in the South I came out loaded. Oh well, it was worth it, I had a good time and now have new pretty bowls and coasters. This DIY is one of the easiest on the blog and if fact it’s more a tip than a DIY. Miss-matched tiles make the ideal coasters but what a pain when they scratch your surfaces ! No-one wants pretty coasters on a messy table, so before using these cute tiles as coasters I decided to protect my table by adding a layer of faux leather to each coaster. It’s a simple trick but it works wonders. The tiles can still be wiped over with a cloth to keep them clean or in case of spillage, I just wouldn’t put them in the dishwasher if I were you. The four tiles cost me only 8€ – I’m sure you’ll understand why I just couldn’t say no ! Despite the fact they actually come from Mexico and were imported to be sold to tourists like myself. But let’s forget that part ! Supplies :  – Tiles – Faux leather – Pen – Scissors – Strong home DIY glue – A tissue or piece of kitchen roll Step 1 : Draw around your first tile onto the corner of the faux leather (wrong side). Step 2 : Cut out your square of faux leather. Step 3 : Cover it in strong glue. Step 4 : Place the first tile on top of the square of faux leather and make sure the edges meet perfectly. Trim if needed. Step 5 : Wipe away the excess glue if it comes out at the sides and leave to dry. And there you have it, from tile to coaster in 5 easy-peasy steps. I think it’s the perfect way to use pretty tiles instead of walking past them, longing for your own kitchen to redecorate or a massive budget to be able to buy them by the metre. Why not make the most of all things beautiful NOW ?! 🙂 What do you think ? Too easy or useful ? Have you ever made tiles into coasters ? If so, how ?! See you tomorrow ! Aimee-Mexico

DIY tile coasters

DIY how to make a hanger into a plant hanger

Less is more, so we are told… So for our “minimalist” week, I thought I’d try and make something from “nothing”. We are surrounded by useful objects in our day-to-day life and by simply changing the way you look at something, you can make all sorts of things without stepping foot in a single shop. Change your perspective and old tights become a headband, or a bad bus ride becomes a full skirt… So the bet was a minimalist DIY… I think I did alright, don’t you ? How to make a clothes hanger into a plant hanger, YOU WILL NEED : – One metal clothes hanger – Pliers strong enough to cut through the hanger – Three small plants Step 1 : Undo the hook from the hanger by untwisting the metal around it. Step 2 : Smooth out the hanger to make one straight line. You don’t need to worry about the hook though, we’ll deal with that part later. Step 3 : Find the middle of your hanger and hold your first plant against it. Step 4 : Fold your wire around the plant, trying to make your loop as smooth as possible. It’s not easy, but even if it’s not perfect it will look fine in the end so give it your best ! Step 5 : Wrap the metal to keep the loop in place. Step 6 : Make two more loops in the same way, left and right of the first. Make sure you leave space at the ends for the hooks. Step 7 : Bend the ends of the wire to make hooks on either side. Step 8 : Remove the excess wire. In my case, all that was left to remove was the end of the hook. Now hang your plant holder off a radiator (preferably turned off!), a frame, the back of a chair or anywhere else you can think off and pop your plants in ! There you have it, a practical and trendy recylced plant pot holder. All that’s left for me to do is find pretty plant pots for my cacti… See, I told you, minimalism still leaves you wanting MORE ! See you tomorrow for a little beauty… Aimee of the islands PS – Everything is beautiful and divinely peaceful here in Martinique, I can’t wait to show you my photos starting next week!

DIY how to make a hanger into a plant hanger

DIY Chess Board

Happy New Year !!!!! I hope your holiday was as magical as mine – it feels SO GOOD to take some time off ! At first my brain went numb – detox style ! But after a few good nights’ sleep and a whole load of family time, it started kicking back in with tons of new ideas for the new year… I still have a few days to go before I’m back in London but I can tell you now, 2014 is looking good already ! Meanwhile, here is a peek at a project I had fun with over the break. Thanks to my talented step-dad Robin and his super cool machines for cutting wood, we made a chess board ! It was a gift to my Mr Marcel and since I spent so much time and love on it and the outcome is pretty awesome, I’m hoping it will go down in the family for hundreds of years 😉 A massive thanks to Robin for all his help !!!!! To make our chess board, we used : – Dark and light wood as well as a intermediate colour for the frame. The whole lot cost us circa £3. – Wood glue – Sand paper – A wooden base (we recycled an old shelf) – Wax – Nuts and bolts to make the chess pieces, I bought a whole selection for about £25 – Black spray paint to paint half the pieces The first step was to cut out and sand all the square pieces. Because out wood was long and thin, we simply measured the width and cut the same size long-ways to make squares. Our wood wasn’t all the same thickness but that was OK we simply sanded it all down at the end. We needed 32 squares in each colour. Each square was lightly sanded on all sides to make it neat. The next step was to cut out our base. We started by taking an old shelf and cutting a perfect 90° corner. Then we clamped in two sides of the frame (joined at a 45° angle) and started sticking down the squares… All 8 rows of them ! The most important part was to make sure all the squares were put down with the grain in the same direction. This makes it much easier to sand and the result looks more professional. Don’t get it wrong because the wood glue dries very quickly ! Apparently, if a wooden toy breaks, it is more likely to break in the middle of the wood than where the glue stuck it together – that’s how strong this stuff is ! When all the rows were down we put heavy wood on top of the whole board and clamped it all down to dry. The whole project took just 1:30 hours to dry. Meanwhile, it was time to make our pieces. I messed around with the nuts and bolts for a while, trying to figure out what I wanted them to look like. You can design them however you like but I think the main thing is to vary width and height so that you can really differentiate the pieces. I used everything up except for two bolts – that’s a lot of hardware and it’s nice and heavy, I love the feel. To join all the bits and bobs together, I cut down a long screw. I had never seen anything like it but apparently it’s a common tool ! It was about 1m long and was 8mm thick. I used a metal saw and blimey did it take forever ! That was my Christmas workout sorted ! I cut the pieces over a few days to break down the job. In the end it was definitely worth it as I am so proud I made these myself ! What do you think ? As soon as the glue was dry, we removed the wood from on top of the board and finished the frame. We used the same machine as to cut out the squares but this time with the blade at a 45° angle. As soon as we had stuck down the frame and let it dry, we cut the base into a neat square and CHECKMATE ! The final stage was to sand the whole thing down… I’m so proud of the result and even though the project is a little time-consuming it’s definitely worth it. Thanks again Robin !!! Happy new year to you all again, I hope all your wildest dreams come true ! See you soon on Clones N Clowns for a fantastic year of fun ! xx from peaceful France Aimee

DIY Chess Board

DIY Christmas tree decorations : Tulle baubles

So you might have got it by now – my latest obsession is for tulle pompoms ! Who would have thought that one day I’d become a pompom freak ?!! All these crafts are getting to my head 😉 But there’s just something about tulle pompoms… They look like light puffy snow, or balls of light or… Yes I’m going to say it… Fairies ! They do !! They’re perfectly magical for Christmas which is why we decided to cover our whole tree in them. I warned you : I’m obsessed ! It looks beautiful and very elegant – I have always wanted a sophisticated Xmas tree, God knows why considering it’s supposed to be a cosy and homey time of year. I guess I’ve been influenced by the years of reading “home” and “style” magazines… I just love white monochrome Xmas trees ! Anyway, back to the point : I made these tulle pompom baubles in just a few minutes – a DIY tutorial that holds in three easy steps ! Step 1 : Wrap 3cm wide pieces of tulle around one hand… Step 2 : Remove the roll of tulle from your hand and tie a piece of pretty ribbon around it… Stpe 3 : Cut your tulle free and you have yourself an adorable pompom bauble ! If you wish for more details, check out this tutorial on how to make pompoms on your hand. Just stop before the brushing part ! The technique is exactly the same whether you use wool or tulle. Love it – don’t you ?! Get making ! And share any DIY tree decorations you may have posted on your own blogs in the comments – we need more inspiration, I’ll be decorating more trees when I get back to France in a couple of weeks ! Love from the land of fairies, Aimee

DIY Christmas tree decorations : Tulle baubles

DIY Advent Tree !

I’m officially counting the days until Christmas already, aren’t you ?! I just can’t wait for the family time, games and… let’s admit it – gifts (the giving AND the receiving heehee). And given I have NEVER made a homemade advent calendar, I figured now was the right time to give it a whirl ! My advent calendar is actually an advent tree with mini prezzies – one a day until the big day ! I decided to fill mine with samples of make-up, I had so many lying around and saw all the fancy make-up calendars designed by cosmetic brands this year – I thought the usual I can make that ! So here we are ! You will need : To make this homemade advent calendar, I first cut pieces of A4 paper into squares, by simply removing the extra rectangle. I then used number stamps and ink to decorate the paper before folding them into cubes and filling them with make-up samples – but you can hide whatever you like : chocolate, sweets, notes… Finally, I decorated some branches and popped them in a vase before hanging my parcels with wool. Step 1 : Stamp your paper from 1 to 25 – I know a lot of you will say an advent calendar only goes to 24, but I just love having one last surprise on Xmas day too ! I used a star stamp to add extra decoration too – you can make your paper festive however you like or even use pretty giftwrap for an easier option. Step 2 : When the ink is dry, fold your paper into two along the diagonal. Always keep the numbers on the right side out throughout the whole tutorial. Step 3 : Fold your triangle in half again. Step 4 : Open up your square completely and now fold it in half into a rectangle. Step 5 : Fold the rectangle in half to make a square. Step 6 : You now need to use the folds from steps 1 and 2 to make a triangle. Step 7 : Repeat on both sides. Step 8 : Take the outside corner and fold it in towards the top, lining the paper up in the middle. Step 9 : Repeat on all four corners. You will end up with a diamong shape. Step 10 : Fold the two side corners of your diamond inwards, to meet in the middle – not quite touching. Étape 11 : Turn your diamond over and repeat with the other two side corners. Step 12 : On one side of your shape, probably the top, you should be able to peel away the corners again. Find these and carefully slip them inside the corners bellow – as shown. Turn your diamond over and repeat – so you will have tucked away 4 corners in total. Step 13 : Crease the bottom of your shape as shown to prepare for the next step… Step 14 : Now BLOW inside the open end of your shape to blow up the cube ! Fun right ?! Now do that all again, 24 times 😉 It’s not as bad as it sounds at all, put a good film on or get the whole family to join in… Step 15 : Fill each cube with a surprise… My make-up samples worked a treat, but remember you can use whatever you like as long as it fits through that top hole !Step 16 : Now wrap all your prezzies with wool and have fun dotting them around your “tree” ! May the treasure hunt begin ! So – are you going to try it ?! If you are, what will be in your cubes ?! I can’t wait to start opening mine, I can’t even remember what day 1 is so it’s going to be a real surprise ! Love from PARIS ! xx Aimee  

DIY Advent Tree !

Paper heart chain tutorial

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I have been subtly introducing the Xmas season… It still feels a little early and yet I bet you can’t help planning a few bits and bobs in the back of your mind already ! I know I have already been discussing dates with friends for a good ol’ Xmas dinner and have also started to think about what gifts to buy my loved ones… As well OF COURSE as planning awesome projects for Clones N Clowns ! Bring it on, Santa ! But because I know it can feel like Father Christmas keeps turning up earlier and earlier each year, I have decided to kick off with a few projects that either can be or don’t have to be Christmassy – it’s entirely up to you ! For as far as I can remember, paper chains have been a big part of our Winter. In fact, I believe one of my very first memories is making colourful paper chains at home in front of the fire, I used to love it when we got silver and gold kits as well as the usual bold shades. And then there were kits with pretty prints like snowflakes… Paper chains can be ever such a sophisticated and stylish activity 😉 Realising I had forgotten to make paper chains over the past few years, I thought I’d better get sticking to avoid losing the tradition. Instead of going for the ones you lick like stamps I decided to make my very own by cutting up pieces of paper of around 20cm X 3cm and stapling them together… Of course in the process I couldn’t help messing around and quickly the heart paper chain was born. These chains look cute over the holiday season but also just hanging around your home any time of the year if you’re a softie like me ! Here’s the tutorial : Step 1 : Take a strip of paper (20cm x 3cm) Step 2 : Fold it in half so that the colour is on the inside (if you wish for it to show on the outside of your hearts, if not, vis versa!). Stable on the fold. Step 3 : Pull both ends of the paper back to form a cute little heart. Hold in place before you staple at the end of the next step. Step 4 : Take another strip of paper folded in half and slide your heart into the V shape. Stable all of the paper together at the very bottom. And here is my brand new no-staples stapler ! It’s incredible, it just does a small hole and cleverly nips the paper together. What a genius idea ! Step 5 : Continue as before to make more hearts, making your chain as long as you want it. Warning : it’s addictive, your house will end up covered in hearts.  Easy, right ?! Now you know what to do with those old magazines lying around ! <3333333 from London ! xx Aimee

Paper heart chain tutorial

9 ideas for organizing your books

Hello everyone, I’m here to talk about DIY home decorating today but I won’t be posting one of my own tutorials, instead I’d like to share 9 ideas from other bloggers. There are so many talented people out there, I like it when Clones N Clowns is a place to promote other people’s good work too ! Hopefully you will discover other projects of interest on their blogs too – have a good nose around, there are some terrific ideas out there. BOOKS. That’s what’s going on today. Because books can look like clutter in a small space… Don’t get me wrong. I love books ! I read books a lot although I haven’t finished a novel in years. I’m more of a theory bookworm. I read how to books and most of all cookbooks. I am a massive fan of any type of cookbook, from the dreamy baking guide to the old, dusty, grandma books you can find in thrift stores. I’d say I read pages of cookbooks on a daily basis – I’m truly passionate about the techniques, recipes and food photography. But then I leave them lying around… And they pile up… And so I stuff them all back on the bookshelf… And it just doesn’t look great. Because books of all sizes and shapes and colours and widths are like visual pollution ! So for a bit of extra organisation in your home, especially if you are renting and can’t allow yourself to paint walls or hammer in nails, here are 9 ideas of how you could use your books as decoration or simply make sure they don’t look so much like mess ! From left to right, top to bottom : 1 : Organise your books by colour ! Let’s start with a tip that has almost been over-used. Some people love it, other people hate it. I think it’s nice but wouldn’t organise my books in a rainbow style, I’d colour block and mix it all up. Source. 2 : Brick bookends : Store your books upright, in unsual places like at the end of a table or on a chest of drawers. You can use bricks to keep them in place and you can even paint your bricks to match your home. Source. 3 : Books on books on books… I love this idea. Use piled books to hold vertical books in place. Source. 4 : Plants : Whether you make your own cute plantpot bookends or just use heavy terracota pots, using plants as bookeneds is a nice touch and will definitely make your books look like decoration. Just make sure your plants are heavy enough or you’ll end up with soil all over the floor… ! Source. 5 : Boxes : Another well-known technique but such a handy one. You don’t need to buy expensive shelves or even make any, just pile up as many boxes as you need and store books and other bits and bobs for trendy organisation. Go for wooden boxes for a rustic look and try to keep the heaviest things at the bottom (i.e. your books !) to balance out the weight correctly. Source. 6 : A phone bookend : A retro and fun DIY to keep your books in place with style. Source. 7 : Windowsill : Why not simply stack books up on your windowsill, against the wall ? You can also use a vase of flowers or any other heavy ornament to make sure they stay put. You might actually recognize this photo from a project I did a few weeks ago… Source. 8 : Cover your books : Or simply cover their spine ! This is an easy way to make sure everything looks harmonious – a tip for the most organised and the esthetic-freaks (in a good way) out there ! Source. 9 : Ladder them : Oh how I love ladders… They’re amazing when you can attatch them to your wall but when you can’t they’re just as cool stood in a corner. I bought mine from ebay and it was originally a painter’s ladder so it’s naturally splattered with duck blue paint… LOVE IT ! Source unknown – sorrrrrry ! Right then – get tidying ! Which one will you go for ? I’m loving styles 3 and 9, I’ll show you my version on Instagram later on today ! xx Aimee PS – If you like the idea of decorating your space without damaging the walls etc, check out my list of 35 ways to decorate a rented home !

9 ideas for organizing your books

DIY HARD printable – redecorating final part

It’s no secret blogging opens doors and I have met some wonderful people since the beginning of this adventure. Today, let me introduce you to the talented Anne-Laure from Bonjour Darling (love that blog name, don’t you ?!). Anne-Laure is not only a crafty blogger but also an amazing illustrator and so I was so pleased when she accepted to take part in my Redecorating My Home challenge ! We got on straight away and ideas bounced in all directions… I knew the final touch to my new video space (the space I will be soon filming videos in for Clones N Clowns) would be a cute and crafty picture and thought it would be fun to play with the DIE HARD poster, turning it into DIY HARD and replacing the gun with a glue gun… Anne-Laure thought the idea was fun too and got to work in a flash – her own weapon of choice being a simple ball point pen. Impressive ! I love this picture so much I want to print and re-print it one million times ! I’d like to make a proper poster-sized version of it too 🙂 It’s really impressive when you see how the picture was drawn, Anne-Laure has posted a video of it on her blog – Be sure to check it out ! And because Anne-Laure and I wanted you to be able to have fun with this poster too, we thought you’d like to print it out at home (Download here and print in B&W on A4 paper), or use it as wallpaper on your phone and / or computer (download files on Anne-Laure’s blog). Enjoy ! I put my print in a simple black frame because I didn’t want to add more colour to the corner and also wanted Bruce to be the number one star ! I hope you have enjoyed this special week of re-decorating – it sure has been fun and I thank you so very much for all stopping by to see how the project was going ! I can’t wait to film videos in this special little space – I have lots planned so make sure you stay tuned ! Below I have put final pictures of before and after the Redecorating My Home project – see, even when you’re renting there is lots you can do with just a little bit of creativity and a small budget ! Before : After : DIY cushion cover and curtain : Tutorial here DIY geometric heart cushion / pillow : Tutorial here  DIY baroque print cushion / pillow  : Tutorial here DIY 3D chevron vase : Tutorial here A massive MERCI to our artist Anne-Laure l’artiste and a happy weekend to everyone ! xx from my home and see you soon for more exciting adventures ! Aimee

DIY HARD printable – redecorating final part

DIY 3D chevron vase – Recorating part 5

Flowers… Something my re-decorating had to include. I just love fresh flowers. Having a bunch of flowers in my home feels like luxury, I don’t care who sends them, in fact I love buying myself flowers it’s like the ultimate indulgence. Later on in life, I hope to have a bunch of fresh flowers delivered to my home every Monday morning. A seasonal surprise to kick start the new week ! Meanwhile, I had to include a few fresh flowers in my video area and for that I needed just one thing : a vase. When I get asked what the number one tools to buy for DIYing are, the glue gun always gets a good place in my ranking. It’s just so useful, and you know I’m a sucker for a quick project… Glue guns just stick things like magic ! Most things, in fact. And you can even use a glue gun in the most surprising of ways – like for giving a 3D design to a vase. Or jug. Or both ! Sitcks of glue for my glue gun. We have had this jug hanging around for a while now and even though I often like terra cota, this just look manky and has obviously seen previous redecorating sessions because it was splattered with paint. Not in a nice way ! I knew it was the perfect pick (or pichet, rather !) for my new space and also had no trouble choosing a colour. White came naturally to mind as I had already gone full blast on colours on the last three projects, and also didn’t want anything to dark in front of the window. So after just a few minutes gluing and painting and a few hours drying, my pretty space had a new accessory. To make a 3D chevron vase, YOU WILL NEED : – A vase to decorate – A glue gun – Sticks of glue (I used 5 but it all depends on your design and vase) – A can of spray paint (I used enamel white) – Newspaper to protect the ground Step 1 : Wash and dry your vase and heat your glue gun. Draw lines of glue from top to bottom of your vase. Make sure you get them straight and remember the gaps will be wider where the vase is fatter. If you feel more comfortable, pencil before you glue. Step 2 : Working section by section, add diagonal lines in between the vertical glue lines, joining them at the sides to form chevrons. Step 3 : Cover the whole vase and leave to dry 15min. Step 4 : Take your vase outdoors and place it on newspaper, ready to be sprayed. Step 5 : Shake your can (it’s actually better to do this with the lid on !!) Step 6 : Hold your can 30cm from the vase and spray a first coat of paint over the whole vase. Leave it to dry for one hour. Step 7 : Come back and spray another layer of paint over the whole vase until it looks perfect. Leave to dry all afternoon or even all night. You might want to move it indoors to avoid humidity. Also avoid doing this on a windy day so that the paint doesn’t blow on you and leaves and dust don’t get stuck in your fresh paint. When the paint is dry, your project is finished ! It’s as easy as that ! My vase has definitely brought a touch of sophistication and romance to my special corner – it also helps to store books. The two I’m enjoying at the moment are Plenty de Yotam and a book about healthy cooking for large numbers by a French blogger named Cléa. (not that I have kids or anything, but I have a lot of friends!) Et voilà, mon vase sert à la fois à apporter une touche de vert et de romantisme ainsi qu’à tenir les deux livres que je dévore actuellement : Ottolenghi et Recevoir en Bio de Cléa ! Of course you don’t have to draw chevrons on your vase – in fact you can use this technique on many other things than vases too ! Have fun and be creative 🙂 See you tomorrow for our final day of Redecorating My Home – I hope you like the final touch, it’s a super special one 😉 Aimee

DIY 3D chevron vase – Recorating part 5