How to: Make a canvas storage bag


Mess glorious mess. I’d like to pretend our home is as neat and tidy as our Instagram photos, but we all know that’s a big fat lie. We do however have the amount of stuff shown in this picture and then some. And then some more. This canvas storage bag helps keep it in check and looks pretty good while it’s at it.


To make this approximately 32.5 cm square x 50cm high storage bag, you will need:

Primed artist canvas
Fabric for appliqué
Pinking shears
Sewing machine
Matching thread
Tape measure or ruler
A 15cm bowl or other round object to use as a template

w_bag_flat lay

Measure out and cut a long rectangle 130cm long by 50cm high and a 32.5 by 32.5cm square.

Trace a circle using the bowl or other template on your appliqué fabric and carefully cut out.

Measure along the rectangle about 49cm and 20cm high and make a small pencil mark. This should be roughly the centre of what will be the front of the bag. Pin your circle to the canvas, adjusting the alignment if you need to and sew.

Pin the bottom edge of the rectangle along the edges of square until it meets itself. Pin the ends of the rectangle together.

Stitch down along the ends of the rectangle down to the square to form the side seam, then stitch along the bottom seam.

Trim the side seam with the pinking shears before turning the bag right side out. Roll over the top edge to form a double fold at your preferred height. Fill with stuff.



How to: Make a Driftwood Christmas Garland

Festive christmas styling
Christmas styling

This Driftwood Christmas Garland is a simple, elegant decoration included in my Last Minute Christmas Styling ideas for TasMagazine. Here’s how to put together your own…

You’ll need:
2 Star shaped cookie cutters
2 bundles Copper embroidery thread
1 A3 sheet copper cardboard
Strong beading thread
4 Pine cones with stems (preferably sun bleached like your driftwood)
A mix of gold beads with matt finish and clear deep green shaped beads
A medium sized piece of driftwood
Sage coloured flat knitting thread

Using found objects and everyday cookie cutters
Using found objects and everyday cookie cutters

Cookie cutter decorations
Wind the copper thread around the sides of the cookie cutter, twisting the thread as you go so it unwinds and lays flat against the cutter. Continue until the whole cutter is covered and tie off the thread. Tie beading thread in a length suitable for your hanging. Repeat for the second star.

Before and after
After and before
Wrap the thread around the cookie cutter
Wrap the thread around the cookie cutter
Completely wrap the cookie cutter until it has a new finish
Completely wrap the cookie cutter until it has a new finish

Paper flowers
Cut the copper cardboard into strips 2cm x 29.7cm (the short length of an A3 sheet). Fold the ends of a strip to meet in the middle. Pierce through the 4 layers of card about a cm off the folded end and thread onto the needle. Keep adding the folded pieces of card onto the needle until you have 7 strips of card (all folded) and then pull the thread through and tie in a knot. Cut the thread off, leaving enough attached to the flower so you can hang it. Fan out the folds until you have a looped circle. Repeat for the rest of the paper strips, each flower will have 7 strips.

Fold the paper strip over
Fold the paper strip over
Thread the folds onto the needle
Thread the folds onto the needle
Fan the folded paper out into the flower shape
Fan the folded paper out into the flower shape

Pine cones
Cut a length of beading thread long enough to suit the hanging length. Tie off one end of the beading thread to the stem of the pine cone. Thread on the first bead and loop it back through to hold it in position down close the pine cone steam. I’ve chosen a semi-random pattern to place my bead in, so add the next beads as you like, remembering to loop back through the first bead after the gaps. Repeat for the remaining pine cones.

Wind the sage thread around sections of driftwood. Tie off each section so the knot is hidden to the back of the branch.

You’ll need two hanging points to hang your garland from. Tie 2 lengths of beading thread to each end of your drift wood to suit the distance of the hanging points.

Lay your driftwood on the floor as though it would against the wall. Arrange the decorations in position then tie off to the driftwood, looping the beading thread so the decorations can be repositioned once hung up.

Carefully lift the driftwood with the decorations attached and tie off to your hanging points on the wall. Adjust the positioning of each decoration and when you’re happy with them, tie off and trim the excess thread.

Space the shapes out to suit your driftwood
Space the shapes out to suit your driftwood
Hange the shapes at different lengths
Hang the shapes at different lengths
w_driftwood stars pine cone
When you wish upon a star…


Last minute Christmas styling – Featured in TasWeekend Magazine!

Pip's Christmas styling in TasWeekend
Last minute Christmas styling in TasWeekend

I’ve been a little in denial, but it’s well and truly Christmas time. I’m back at my Interior Architecture position, and now with two small children and my own children’s accessory business to manage, Christmas this year has had to be organized on the run.  I love to make sure I’ve selected decor that can be set up the night before and a menu easily prepped ahead of time, leaving me a moment to hang about with Dave and the girls before the excitement of the big day begins. If you missed getting your hands on a copy of TasWeekend Magazine to read about my concepts for last minute Christmas styling in Sally Glaetzer’s article – here’s the low down…

Simple succulents make for an exquisite Christmas centrepiece – Photo by Sam Rosewarne (courtesy of TasMagazine)

Table Styling
Metallics are stunning either as the table feature or accent pieces. I’m especially in love with the metallic paired with soft pastels. For this table setting I’ve brought together classic décor and dinnerware I have at home, with a couple of key feature items.

Classic white damask table cloth layered with a soft grey linen table runner and deep  grey cloth napkins. White dinner plates dressed with a succulent bouquet. Antique silver and bone cutlery and elegant vintage champagne glasses. Keeping it simple but beautiful works for me like including this living wreath as a statement centrepiece. The wreath is created from succulents by Botanical’s Kate Sice and accent table pieces including geometric wire decorations and candles in copper holders from Deb at Grey and Felt.

Christmas Decorations
Found objects and papers are fantastic for creating your own Christmas decorations with. Sparkly metallic papers and card can be used to make simple yet striking ornaments and brighten the soft weathered timbers which add that warmth and texture to any room. This driftwood Christmas wall hanging is an elegant way of using found objects from our local beach with the house hold cookie cutter and some craft supplies. Make your own with the details in my How: to make a driftwood Christmas wall hanging.

Festive christmas styling
Festive christmas styling
Gentle pastels with a hint of metallics make a stunning combination for Christmas decorations Photo by Same Rosewarne (courtesy of TasWeekend)


Another contemporary take on the traditonal decorations is Botanical's artichoke and holly wreath. Photo credit Sam Rosewarne
Another contemporary take on the traditonal decorations is Botanical’s artichoke and holly wreath. Photo credit Sam Rosewarne (courtesy of TasWeekend)

w_christmas styling posters

Living Wreath supplied by:
Botanical | 139 Macquarie St Hobart Tasmania | T: +61 03 6223 4445 |

Copper holders supplied by:
Grey and Felt | 169 Sandy Bay Rd Hobart Tasmania | T: +61 03 6224 9929 |

Christmas Stockings supplied by:
Pipla | | | Instagram piplastudio

How to: Make succulent canvas pot covers

We’re hosting a little luncheon this weekend to welcome Baby Boo to the family.  I’m including some potted succulents as part of the decor and making these canvas pot-covers to tart up the plain terracotta pots.

Canvas pot holder

What you’ll need:

  • Primed artist canvas
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint pallette
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears
  • Dressmakers pins
  • Pencil
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Tape measure
Tools of the trade

First measure your pot. Wrap a tape measure around the widest part of your pot and check the measurement you’re taking will mean the pot will slip in and out easily.

Using your scissors cut out the length of canvas to suit your pots with an extra 6cm on the sides for overhang and 6cm to the overall height.

Paint your design onto the primed surface and leave to dry. I chose to paint gold patterns to fit in with the luncheon’s colour scheme.

Paint your canvas and let it dry

Fold the canvas over in half so the fold is up along one side and pin in place. Mark the canvas where the angles need to go with a light pencil before stitching along the bottom and sides as shown with the dashed line below. Carefully trim the top and stitched side with the pinking shears.

w_canvas folded
Sew along the dashed lines

Turn the canvas inside out and fold over the top edge. Pop in your pot plant and adjust the turned over edge to suit the pot height. Arrange the canvas to suit and you have new sculpture like pots.

w_canvas finished 3
Pop your plants in and voila!

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How to: Tart up a shadow box

We’re looking forward to the day we can move Baby Boo into sharing with Bubby in her room. I’ll admit that it’s mostly so we can selfishly reclaim the study/guestroom and not have to sneak in while Boo’s asleep to grab the bottle of wine we’d forgotten to get out earlier. But we’re not there yet so in the meantime I’ve been slowly setting Bubby’s room up to suit both girls.

I remember having to share a room growing up with Lex and how my bed on the bottom bunk was the only space that felt like it was my own and wanted to create something special for Bubby to claim as hers. Like most little kids, the concept of sharing is often begrudging and whilst at the moment Bubby can pretty much play with whatever she pleases, it’s not always going to be the case. So I’m using these little shadow boxes to install a place above her bed that Bubby can display some of her pride and joy belongings – and away from Baby Boo’s curious little hands.

box doll

What you’ll need:

  • Plywood shadowboxes
  • Stain & Varnish
  • Paintbrush or rag
  • Fabric
  • Heat’n’Bond adhesive
  • Stiff cardboard
  • Metal ruler
  • Rotary blade & cutting mat
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Felt balls
  • Braided beading thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Nails/hooks suitable for your wall lining

House Shadow Boxes


I purchased my shadow boxes pre-assembled from the lovely Kate at Little Dwellings. The natural ply finish they come in is great, but wasn’t suitable with the existing décor in Bubby’s room and I wanted to personalise them by changing their colour and adding a fabric finish to the back face of the boxes.

I chose a Wattyl combined stain and varnish in ‘Walnut’ to co-ordinate with the darkish timber frame of a large artwork and Bubby’s bedside table, a vintage Coogans shelving unit that I’d stripped off, stained and painted some years ago for our old kitchen.

First up, read the instructions on the back of your chosen tin of stain. I used a brush to apply the stain/varnish, but had a few bubbles on the inside face of the boxes so rubbed the stain in with a rag, then brushed the top coat on. I used two coats in total to stop the colour of the light ply from coming through the darker tint and left to dry for about an hour in between.

To make a template for the fabric backing, trace around the shadow boxes on a piece of butchers paper then draw on the thickness of shadow box edge. Using the metal ruler and rotary blade, cut out the shape on the inside of the double lines then see how it fits inside the box. Trim the template to fit snugly inside the box.

Use the template to cut the shapes for the cardboard and Heat’n’Bond. Lay the Heat’n’Bond rough face down on the cardboard and use a warm iron to adhere it to the cardboard for a couple of seconds. Be careful not to overheat the adhesive as it can loose its ‘stick’. Peel the backing off the adhesive and lay the fabric over the top. I chose to use a delicate Japanese gold lamé fabric to give a bit of shimmer against the dark timber, but the lame fabric is quite thin and the adhesive can come through onto the iron and then spread over the fabric so I laid a sheet of baking paper over the fabric before ironing for 4-6 seconds. Make sure all the fabric is stuck down right to the edges, but again move quickly to avoid overheating. With fabric face down, use the rotary cutter and ruler to trim the fabric against the edge of the cardboard shape. Insert into the shadow boxes. I’ve left mine so I can take them out if I change my mind later, but if they don’t stand up use a bit of double sided tape to keep them in place.

Felt Garland

balls front

I came across these felt balls amongst some art supplies my mum gave me, but if you feel so inclined you can follow my sparkle blog’s very easy step by step instruction on making them from scratch. These are also the instructions I used to make my garland. I used braided bead thread on a thin needle to string together the balls and to secure the ends, I double backed the thread through the last balls and tied in a small knot.

Whilst I can and like to use a hammer, getting the three boxes hung up in a row and evenly spread isn’t my specialty so Builder Dave came to the rescue and quickly did a nice tidy job for me. But artfully draping the garland was definitely all me.

boxes installed 1balls top

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