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By Clementene Coates, Nov 28 2015 07:00AM

This is the third feature I’ve written for Country Living Magazine. In this ‘simple make’ I show you how to upcycle your old Christmas tree baubles using decoupage paper and glue. It’s a wonderful way of turning cheap baubles into stunning and unique decorations.

Here I use Kirstie Allsopp’s gorgeous vintage papers by ‘Deco Mache’ which you can purchase at Hobbycraft.

You will need

* Baubles

* Sandpaper

* Small paint brush

* Decoupage paper*

* Decoupage glue**

* Wire or string


1. Choose what paper you’re going to decorate your baubles with and tear into small manageable pieces.

2. Roughen the surface of the bauble with a little sandpaper to create a ‘key’ for the glue and paper to stick to.

3. Using a brush, apply a thin coat of glue to the surface of the bauble and stick on your first piece of paper. If necessary, add a little water to the glue to make it easier to work with.

4. Continue to apply the pieces of paper using thin layers of glue and overlapping the paper where required.

5. Once you’ve covered the entire bauble and you’re happy with the design, apply a final layer of glue or varnish all over the bauble to create a lovely sheen.

6. Once the glue or varnish has dried, hang up your beautiful new baubles for everyone to admire.

7. For an extra special touch, replace the wire loop with a pretty ribbon or a rustic piece of string.

* You don’t have to use decoupage paper. Depending upon what you’re covering you can use any thin paper. If you’re decoupaging a big item such as a piece of furniture you can even use wallpaper.

** Whilst I used specific decoupage glue, you can make your own version by watering down PVA glue (also known as white draft glue). Different people suggest mixing different ratios. I suggest you start with 1 part glue and 2 parts water and then play around with the mixture until you get a consistency which works for you.

For more information about me, my other features and my hand painted furniture business visit my website www.clementenecoates.co.uk and get in touch.

By Clementene Coates, Oct 25 2015 07:00AM

This is the second feature I've written for Country Living Magazine. In this 'simple make' I show you how to create a beautiful autumnal pumpkin decoration out of an old secondhand book. This will make a beautiful table centrepiece and a great little addition to Halloween themed decorations.

You will need

* book

* paper

* scissors

* craft knife

* sponge or brush

* orange paint

* glue gun

* green ribbon

* twig or cinnamon stick


1. Draw out the shape of a pumpkin on a piece of paper big enough to fill both sides of your open book and cut the shape out.

2. Remove the front and back covers of the book and open it roughly half way.

3. Place your cut out pumpkin on top and trace the shape onto the pages of the book.

4. Using either a pair of scissors or a craft knife, cut out the shape of the pumpkin, several pages at a time.

5. Dip, brush, or sponge some paint on the edges of the pages of the cut out pumpkin.

6. When the paint is dry, open the book so the first and last pages and the spine are exposed and use a glue gun to carefully fix a cinnamon stick or twig along the spine of the book.

7. Glue the first and last pages together and then sit the pumpkin up straight and allow the glue to dry.

8. Finally, tie a piece of green ribbon to the stem of the stick or twig and place your pretty pumpkin centrepiece on a table for everyone to enjoy.

For more information about me, my other features and my hand painted furniture business visit my website www.clementenecoates.co.uk and get in touch.

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Here's the place to find out what Clementene's been up to. She'll post updates on new projects; features she's written for Country Living Magazine UK; design tips and tricks; and 'how to' guides for ways to paint your own furniture. Clementene's blog is regularly updated so make sure you keep coming back. You can follow Clementene on social media too (check out the links above) and don’t forget to post your comments - Clementene would love to hear from you. And, for those wanting the latest news, sign up for Clementene's Newletter...

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