Making do and mending


Find out more about the campaign here

In January I pledged (along with my daughter) to reuse and make do as much as we can. In the past nine years I renovated a couple of Victorian houses and I have done a lot of work myself, including soft furnishings and revamping junk shop furniture. 

I have written a few articles about this, they are not glamorous makeovers, more budget ones where I did a lot of the work myself, only employing builders and other trades when necessary. 

Here are a few photos of my earliest projects - more recent crafty solutions are in the pipeline, so watch this space. In the meantime, have a look at the below and leave a comment if you wish!

1980s MDF chest of drawers with plastic handles before I transformed it. See the final result and read how I have done it by clicking here.

Avocado bathroom suite and fake-wood panelling, see the transformation by clicking here.

A leanto conservatory I had built bespoke using wood and breeze blocks. I finished off the shell with the help of Mark. Click here to see the final result.

Victorian cast-iron fireplace before I restored it, the article is looking for a home - will post the link as soon as I have found a place to publish it.


Knitting boobies

Breastfeeding support aid or breast prostethic?
This is my March make: a woolly breast. I knitted this in mixed colours so it would be multi-ethnic (unlike the pink ones you see at breastfeeding drop-ins). You can find instructions on how to make this set on the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain's website (www.lcgb.org) and if you feel charitable, you can make some for your hospital or local health clinic, if they need any.

I got the idea for the baby's mouth from Alison Blenkinsop, author of Fit to Bust - a Comic Treasure Chest. For instructions, visit www.linkable.biz and click on the button 'the breastfeeding enabler's toolchest'.

While looking for a pattern I also discovered that woolly boobies are made for cancer sufferers as they are nicer than prosthetic breasts.

Knitted breasts are used to teach mums how to achieve a good latch (hence the baby's mouth made with as lemonade bottle and a scrap of pink fabric secured with an elastic band). I filled it with torn pieces from old babygrows I machine washed beforehand.

I can definitely tick the creative recycling box with this make - the wool comes from odds purchased from my local charity shop.

But here are my favourite woolly breasts, sourced through a google search:
Feel free to add your favourites but keep it clean!

UPDATE: there is a knitting tits challenge here for Breast Cancer Day 2011, click here...