Thursday, 21 April 2011

Daftness explained...

Thanks for all the lovely comments about the makeovers I posted yesterday.  I will now give a few more details, though before I do, a warning! 

Since I made-over the radio, my highly active imagination has gone into over-drive - have I inadvertently turned my radio into a fire hazard?  

If I post these details, will I find myself at the centre of an enormous compensation case when fabric-swathed radios around the country ignite and cause devastating destruction?  
(I told you my imagination was, well, imaginative!)  

So you have been warned!  I have been watching my radio closely, and so far it shows no signs of spontaneous combustion, but you know...At your own risk as they say!

For both the worry-free drawer makeover and the radio I used...

Fabric glue from Hobbycraft - I have found this one very good so far!
Cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler
Water soluble pen
Small paintbrush
Sharp craft knife

And a pair of sharp scissors too.

Then it's simply a case of carefully measuring up the surfaces you want to cover, adding between 1 and 2 centimetres to both length and width to turn over the edges, and cutting out the fabric.  I prefer to use the rotary cutter for speed and accuracy, but you could use scissors.  Whatever method you use, you'll have an easier job and a better finish if you  cut on the straight grain of the fabric.

Next paint the first surface to be covered with glue - make sure to give it a thorough pasting, but not too much!  It will probably look like it's drying before you've finished, but it will still be tacky enough to hold the fabric.

Grab your piece of fabric and centre it on the surface, making sure to get it the right way up if it is directional (I've rather too often put a fabric on and then realised it is upside down!) Gently smooth it onto the surface from the centre outwards, making sure there are no trapped air bubbles.  If it goes a bit wrong, you can generally lift it and reposition it if you're not too slow to notice.

Cut triangles from corners of each overlap, then paint a little glue on the adjacent surface and fold the overlap over, pressing down firmly.

If the surface you're covering has 'bits' to work round, you will need to mark these onto the fabric with your soluble pen (before applying the glue) and cut them partly away, then make little snips to allow the fabric to sit on the glued surface with an overlap onto the 'bit' that can be cut away with the craft knife.  I do the cutting away a short while after gluing the fabric so that the glue has dried a bit.

The front of my radio was way too complicated to try to do as one piece, so I simply patchworked it -top, middle and bottom strips, corner pieces and side strips.

When applying fabric onto an adjacent surface I don't fold the overlap over but press it onto the edge to mark it, then cut it off with sharp scissors.  It then lies over the overlap of the previously covered surface.

I finished off by painting a tiny bit more glue onto any raw edges - belt and braces approach.

Anyway, hope that helps! 

Oh!  And the wax I use on top of the Annie Sloan paint (no, I'm not being paid to promote it...) is Annie Sloan's Clear Wax.  I did try to use the 'Antique Pine' Beeswax I already had, but it turned the colour an unattractive sludgey hue.


  1. I'm glad i'm not the only one who has an over active imagination! I can't imagine that the fabric would make much difference heat wise but hey who knows! I love the radio, I'm wondering what you will be fabricing next!!? can't wait! xx

  2. I am also one of a truly over active imagination so know how you feel. Thanks for all the hints and tips - very useful - what shall I do first.

  3. What a giggle. I once commented that my boaty yachty hubby would cover me in Varnish if he could... and now I'm thinking of you covering everything in sight ( including living objects )in pretty florals !

  4. Am thinking a floral yacht would love rather nice...definitely worth considering!

  5. Fantastic! What an improvement. I once painted the TV white (black is so boring). Like your pussy willow song though I hadn't heard it before however I'll put it in the next post and ask if anyone else remembers it.