Decorating mission – sprucing up a dining table and chairs

Decorating part 2

When we moved into our house we needed a dining room table and chairs. We headed to Ikea and picked up wooden table with black metals legs and four chairs to match. Our dining table is used much more for crafting on than eating on, and over the years it was been scratched, marked and faded in places. The chairs also showed signs of wear and tear. The chair seat design was made up of four pieces of wood, placed to form the seat, with gaps in between each piece. This design had often puzzled me as it was really difficult to clean in between the pieces, which meant the gaps were hoarding all sorts of dirt and crumbs.  I was keen to change this if I could.

Dining room table before photos (1) Dining room table before photos (2)

I cleaned the table top and legs with sugarsoap, rinsed them well and left it to dry. For each of the chairs, I unscrewed the four pieces that made up the seat, gave them a really good clean, rinsed them and then left them to dry. When I put the four pieces of wood back to create the seat I pushed them together and screwed them into new holes. This meant no more silly gaps between each piece and they looked really good like that too. I gave the wooden sections a light sand, and used wood filler on a few of the bigger dints on the chairs and table top. Once the wood filler was dry, I lightly sanded them again. When you have finished sanding always give them a wipe with a slightly damp cloth to remove any dust before painting or staining.

I gave the wooden table top and the wooden seats a coat of Teak Oil, applying it with a varnish brush and then buffing it a little with the lint free cloth. I left it to dry as per the instructions on the Teak Oil tin, then gave it another two coats. The difference it made was amazing. The wood had a lovely shine to it, a much smoother finish and looked like new again. I had used the same Teak Oil on the welsh dresser and on a mirror so they all matched perfectly.

dining table after (2) Dining table chairs after (1) Dining table chairs after (3)

I used Colron refined Teak Oil, for 500ml it is around £9 and one tin did our welsh dresser, table, chairs and mirror with a little left over. You don’t need much oil and you need to spread it out as evenly as you can, which is why it’s good to use a brush to spread the varnish out, then the cloth to ensure there is no excess and to give it a good buff.

I have also made a table protector out of fleece and non-slip mat. When I am crafting at the table I can put my table protector down to make sure I don’t mark our new lovely, shiny table!   I had some cushions in my craft room which matched the colour scheme so they were perfect for the chairs.  It cost us less than £20 and the table and chairs look like new.

12 Crafts of Christmas – Pine Cone Christmas fun

Yesterday Hours of Fun published the 3rd craft of Christmas, this time it was crafting fun with pine cones.

The download shows you how to make a glitter Christmas tree from a large pine cone, you can get the free download here.

At Hours of Fun we have been having more fun with pine cones, although not as much fun as I would like as I am still patiently waiting for some of the pine cones I collected a few weeks ago to dry out.


You could try making a pine cone reindeer.

Hours of fun free christmas downloads pine cone crafts (16)

For this you will need  – a drawing pin, a piece of ribbon, a pipe cleaner, 2 googly eyes, a piece of material or paper, a pompom and some glue.

I used the drawing pin to secure the ribbon in place, be gentle when pushing it in to the pine cone (see the picture below).

I shaped the pipe cleaner for the antlers then pushed it into the pine cone.  I rolled the material into a cone shape for the ears and placed them inside the pine cone, with a little glue to secure them in place.  I then stuck on the eyes and the nose to create this super cute reindeer.


Hours of fun free christmas downloads pine cone crafts (7)  Here he is hiding in our tree 🙂


You could also try making a more decorative pine cone, which you could design to match your decorations.  For this you will need a length of ribbon, a drawing pin, a button, a needle and thread.

Hours of fun free christmas downloads pine cone crafts (9)

I cut a piece of ribbon to hang the pine cone and again secured it in place using a drawing pin.

Hours of fun free christmas downloads pine cone crafts (10)

I then tied a bow using another length of ribbon, then placed in position with a button.  To secure the button to the bow and the bow to the hanging ribbon, I used a needle and thread and made a few stitches to hold it all in place.

Check out my Pinterst board for more ideas on pine cone Christmas crafting and dont forget to download our FREE crafts of Christmas download.

As always we would love to ssee pictures of any of your creations, share them on here,  or Facebook or Twitter or drop me an email to

Happy crafting.

12 crafts of Christmas – Santa cardboard Tube

12 Craft of Christmas download number 2 went out on Friday, this time you can download,for free, a quick and easy children’s craft to make a santa from a cardboard tube – super easy and cheap craft using a cardboard tube and some basic craft supplies.

Again I wanted to share some more ideas around this craft for those of you who may want to get creative and make some other cardboard characters.

Visit the Pinterst Board I create with more ideas for those of you wanting to try something else or challange yourself a little more!

Pinterest board – Cardboard tube Christmas crafts

Santa Cardboard Tube free download

Cardboard tube Christmas crafts santa, snowman and penguin


For the penguin I wrapped the tube in black crepe paper, stuck lots of cotton wool on the front for the Penguin’s belly, then cut out 2 wings and a base shaped like feet from black card.  Once these are stuck on you can again full it with some Christmas delights.

Penguin cardboard tube christmas craft download

For the snowman I wrapped the tube in white printer paper and stuck pompoms on the front for the snowman’s buttons.

I then wrapped a piece of ribbon around for the snowman’s scarf and glued it in place.  Using a pipe cleaner which I cut in half, I bent the ends to look like hands and stuck the pipe cleaners through the sides of the tube (once through the tube, give them a little bend inside to help them stay in position).

Finally I cut out a piece of black card for the base and glued the snowman in position, I then covered the black card with cotton wool to create a snow effect around the snowman’s feet.

Snowman cardboard tube christmas craft download

Happy crafting and don’t forget to share your creations by sending in photos.

Cheap, cheerful and a lot of fun – homemade gifts

Birthday presents don’t have to cost a lot, you can do something handmade and personalised for little or no cost.

For my brothers birthday we made him a CD.  We had a blank CD already in the cupboard – winner!
Some of you will know us for singing happy birthday on audio messages, sometimes normal and sometimes themed.  My brother has been our biggest fan and kept saying we should make an album so here it is!!
We spent 2 hours of a Sunday night making this, crying with laughter with our neighbours probably thinking we had lost the plot!  The CD consists of 13 tracks with out takes and hidden track!  We printed out a front cover, back cover and words then as a finishing touch we autographed the cover for him!
Matthews birthday CD (2)
Matthews birthday CD (3)
Matthews birthday CD (1)
We recorded the songs using voice memos on our iPhone, then transferred them to the computer.  We mixed some of it together using Audacity , then made it into a track list and burnt it to CD.  Super easy to do, a lot of fun and my brother reported back that he loved it!!

Handmade cards – lots of fun to do and much cheaper than heading to the card shop

I haven’t provided an update on homemade cards for a while so I decided it was time to share some pictures of the cards handmade so far this year.  You can make a card for any occasion – birthday, anniversary, good luck, congratulations and much more.  If you like to have a verse in the card but are not very good at coming up with them yourself you can use the internet to search for ideas and verses you can then copy into your card.  If you struggle to get going with ideas for the front of your card again using the internet is a fantastic way to gather some ideas and designs and you can always purchase a card making book which will take you through lots of different designs and techniques you can use.

Below is a gallery of cards I have made using all different techniques – layering, simple pen work, glitter sprinkling (I actually used sugar instead of glitter as it was to celebrate my 6th wedding anniversary and sugar is a representation for that year!), cutting out shapes to create pictures and designs, patterned paper and much more.

Personalised unique photo frames – upcycling fun

Here at Hours of Fun we love to upcycle things and make new, gorgeous items from old, shabby things. Or transform a plain item into a patterned piece or design to match a rooms décor or a person’s passion.
One of my favourite crafts is decopatch or decoupage depending on what paper and technique you are using. They are both crafts involving paper layers, using glue and varnish. Decopatch is a brand of paper designed especially for ripping, gluing and layering. It is stronger than tissue paper but not as thick as printer paper. It rips well and doesn’t tear when applying glue. You can buy specialist glue with varnish in it, or use PVA glue watered down slightly then craft varnish as the final coat.
Decoupage is the original craft involving layering up any type of paper, adding glue and varnish, sanding down each layer, then building it up in the same way, sometimes up to 30 or 40 layers. The aim is to have a finish that looks like a smooth coating rather than individual pieces of paper. You can also distress it using sandpaper or distressed ink to give it an aged, weathered look.
We have been making a lot of photo frames using both of these techniques recently. The decopatch paper comes in a range of gorgeous patterns and designs and is perfect to use if you want a frame to colour co-ordinate with a room or match a favourite colour. We have also started making personalised photo frames using photographs printed onto paper, then glued onto the frame in a mosaic style pattern.

The photographs have been of families through the years, full of memories and they create a gorgeous keepsake. We use photo frames that have a border around the inside of the frame, in between the frame and the space for the picture. This breaks up the design, allowing the frame and the picture to stand out clearly from each other.
We can produce your own personalised photo frame. All we need from you are the pictures you want us to use and we will create a gorgeous keepsake you can keep or give as a gift.


Accessorising your home, matching colour schemes

If you like to colour co-ordinate everything in a room but struggle to find matching colours, you can always use the paint you have put on the walls or the wallpaper to accessorise.

I recently needed two photo frames and wanted them to match the colour scheme, but this was going to be a near impossible task. We had quite a lot of paint left that had been used to paint the feature wall so I decided to use this as it would be the perfect match!

I bought two photo frames from Matalan – they were multi frames in wood colour. They also did them in white plastic but the wood ones are much easier to work with when painting them.

I took all the glass and photo backs out, laid them out on some newspaper and gave them a light sand using a fine sand paper – just enough to get rid of any lumps and bumps and give the paint something to work with, I then wiped them with a slightly damp cloth and left them to dry for an hour.

I then painted them with the matt emulsion wall paint, letting them dry overnight then giving them a second coat. To give them a nice finish, make them last longer and deter dust and dirt settling they were given a coat of varnish using clear craft varnish. Left to dry again overnight, then pictures were popped in and the frames were hung on the wall. They look fantastic on display and match the colour scheme perfectly.

We also used the wall paint to paint the blank canvasses so the background matched the room colour scheme. A design was then adding to the canvass using colours in the wallpaper and butterflies which featured on the paper. They looked gorgeous and again matched the colour scheme.

You can use spare wallpaper to decopatch items, cut out pictures from the design and use them in pictures and art. When accessorising your room always take time to think if you can use any of the decorating supplies that are left over to create the look you want.

Chocolate Chip Cookies – delicious, addictive and easy to bake!

The first thing I can recall making that made me fall in love with baking was chocolate chip cookies.  I have memories of baking at home with my mum and making things in home economics at school, however I first made these cookies not long after I left University.  They are so easy to bake and it has always amused me that they can turn out slightly different every time you make them depending on how well they are mixed, how you put them on the baking tray or depending on what ingredients you use.

I have recently made them for a work’s leaving do and a few different charity coffee mornings and they have been a big hit.  I have also been working on getting them to be an even shape as when selling them at a charity coffee morning I felt it was important to have them equal in size and shape.  My trick to this is to use an ice cream scope to put the mixture onto the baking tray, just sprinkle a little flour in the scope to stop the mixture sticking.

I have been asked for this recipe so thought I would add it to my crafts download page and share it will all, to encourage everyone to get baking cookies – its worth it!

Head over to the Hours of Fun crafts and hobbies page and download the recipe.


Any problems with the download let me know.


Happy Baking!

Fathers day ideas

Father’s day is the perfect opportunity to get the kids involved in some crafting. Homemade gifts are perfect for such an occasion and means you don’t need to worry about the cost of anything or getting to the shops in time.

Hours of Fun wanted to share with you some of our favourite ideas for homemade Father’s day gifts.  With a few days to go you have plenty of time to get the messy mat out and get busy.

Make a card

You can make a card which can then be kept as a keepsake.  My favourite ideas is hand print and foot print designs – you can make so many different animals, shapes and designs from using your hands and feet.  Get a blank piece of paper and try lots of things out using different colour paint, then when you are ready get your card blank and create your masterpiece.

Water based paint is perfect for this as it washes of skin easily and also washed off any furniture or carpet that may get splashed during the fun.

Another fantastic idea for a card is to use photographs.  Print off a couple of your favourite photos of you and your dad and use them to decorate a card blank.

Something I need to try is making a card into a shirt as shown in the Pinterest board linked below.  They look amazing and perfect for any dad that works hard at the office.


Make a gift

Head out to the garden and collect some good size stones, clean them up then paint them created the perfect picture or message for your dad.  A lovely, simple gift that any dad can use as a paperweight or decoration.  If you pick out a good sized rock you could go with something like ‘my dad rocks’ as seen on the Pinterest board.

Bookmarks are a fantastic gift for any book loving father.  These can be made from card, paper, felt, foam – pretty much any material you can find and decorated in any design or way.

Try your hand at sewing and make a sock monkey from a pair of your dad’s socks – don’t pick out his favourite but make sure you pick out a pair without holes!   Lots of instructions on the internet on how to make.

Make your own special photo for a gift.  Pinterest shows some gorgeous ideas.  Paint messages on children’s feet or have them hold up signs, print the picture and pop it in a frame and it is a gift your dad can keep forever.

Bake a cake or biscuits and as a cake baker I love this idea!  Say it with food is a perfect way to say I love you to someone special and also to say thank you for them being fantastic.  My favourite idea shown on the Pinterest board is to decorate the cake with pictures and words describing the family, they look really affective and can be a lot of fun to make.  If you decide to bake some biscuits, use shaped cookie cutters to make ties, hearts, cars – any shape you have that reminds you of your dad.


Click here to visit my Pinterest board here for ideas, I will keep adding to throughout the week.


There are many that sadly do not have a father to celebrate with on this special day.  I asked about at work to find out if anyone who sadly did not have their dad with them liked to do anything to remember or honour them.  I wanted to share some of these with you as they were lovely ideas.

Look through old photographs and pick out a new one to pop in a frame, with a bottle of wine and the tissue box.

Speak to my mum and brother for a catch up to remind me of the importance of family.

Get my two nieces crafting for their dad (my brother-in-law) to share the fun and encourage them to make something amazing.

Cook my dad’s favourite meal for our tea in his honour.


Easter craft ideas

With the kids off school for two weeks it can be challenging keeping them entertained every day.  The Easter weekend can be fantastic inspiration for getting crafty, playing games and baking in the kitchen.


Click here to visit the Hours of Fun Pinterest board full of craft ideas.

Why not have a search yourself on Pinterest to get some ideas for your weekend ahead.  Visit some of the websites below that are full to burst with fantastic ideas.


Martha Stewart

Activity Village


Fun Free Easter