Does your décor need a little something? Maybe some accessories to take it from bland to wow? Perhaps a few conversation pieces created out of organic, reclaimed, easy-to-find and inexpensive hardware and accessories?
REW.ca went to three artisans appearing at this year’s Got Craft spring exhibition, happening May 2 and 3 at Vancouver's Maritime Labour Centre, to inspire you with some unique design ideas you can make yourself.
1) Dan Emery, East Van Light
Emery designs and builds vintage industrial lamps with a modern twist.
If you have some nice scraps of birch or other indigenous or reclaimed wood and a nice antique reproduction Edison light bulb kicking around at home, you too can create your own vintage industrial lamps.
“There’s a real resurgence for the antique yellow Edison bulbs … you see them in many homes and restaurants,” Emery says.
- Find salvaged wood at lumber yards and purchase Edison lights at many home décor, hardware or antique stores or Craigslist.
- Check out Pinterest for hundreds of ideas.
“I like producing clean, minimal designs that allow each component of the lamp to be showcased and enjoyed,” adds Emery. “By combining premium local reclaimed wood bases and high-quality reproduction hardware, each lamp delivers a warm functional light, and a refined old-world aesthetic that inspires the work, repose, curiosity and conversation of those around it.”
2) Garet Robinson, The Uncommon Good
Robinson makes furniture and home accessories from as much reclaimed material as possible.
Mirrors from old window frames: Clean out all the old, broken glass and glazing from the frame. Then measure each pane and order mirrors to size from a local glass company. Put a heavy-duty hanger on the back and you have a beautiful mirror.
Tip: Old window frames can be found on Craigslist, at antique malls and stores like Stepback in Kits, or places like ReStore (Habitat for Humanity). When you see an old heritage home being slated for demolition, being renovated or de-constructed, chat with the foreman on site and ask what they are doing with any old windows/doors.
- If you find old windows and doors that don't have that rustic look you are looking for, they typically have several layers of coloured paint from decades of home renovations. If you sand the frame down, you will start to reveal the old colors of paint, creating a very cool rustic, distressed look. Tip: Make sure to always use the proper rated face mask when sanding old paint, as there will be lead in it.
Bookshelf from old crate: Old crates can be found in antique stores, garage sales and sites like Craigslist. You can attach the crate to the wall with four screws and all of your cookbooks are now nicely organized and out of the way. Crates could also be used for shelving in bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
Tip: Make sure you put the screws into studs or drywall plugs are used if you are putting a lot of weight on the shelf.
Reclaimed Wood Art: Robinson made his first Stag piece out of old cedar fencing. The second piece came from old painted boards found in the dumpster at the site of a heritage home renovation. The boards were attached together by screwing two strips of wood on the back. The frame can be made using a miter box with hand saw or a miter saw. A table saw also comes in very handy for pieces like this.
Tip: You can buy stencil designs or you could freehand your own designs.
3) Stephanie McRae, G&T Design
This artist creates pillows, wine bags, tea towels, napkins and more out of 100 per cent linen, which she screenprints with various motifs and animal prints.
- Linen is a plant, like cotton, and creates fabric that is highly renewable, breathable, eco-friendly and naturally antibacterial.
- Working with linen does take patience. Prior to cutting or sewing linen, you must wash it at least twice to soften it and then iron it.
- There are various ways to screenprint your linen. You’ll need to purchase a screenprinting frame – they come in a number of sizes and meshes – as well as sponges and screenprinting ink.
- Let your computer be your friend – there are many websites dedicated to teaching how to screen print on linen
- Tip: “Don’t throw away your linen scraps, they are perfect to wash floors and bathrooms,” says McRae.
Mark Your Calendars
Vancouver's largest indie craft fair, which saw 1,800 attendees last spring, the 2015 Spring Got Craft exhibition will be bigger than ever and feature a wide range of free sessions and food carts.
“We are excited to welcome 37 per cent more new vendors and two brand new DIY workshops: Brush Lettering Level 2 with Big Top Sign Arts and Block Printing on Textiles with Craft Lab Studio,” says Andrea Tong-Tucker, one half of the husband-wife production team.
The show features the works of 75 local vendors, and there will be swag bags for the first 50 people through the doors each day.
Spool of Thread will be back with a free drop-in workshop for people of all ages and Orphan Animal Pics, a group of talented volunteer photographers, will be raising funds for animal rescue groups in Vancouver.
The show runs Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, from 10am to 5pm at the Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver. Tickets are $3 at the door and children under 10 are free.
For more information, visit www.gotcraft.com.