Take What You Have DIY Pillows

repurposed pillow cases diy

You know how it is, money’s running low, but creativity’s running high. Here are some of my pillows made from re-purposed material.

The chair fabric is from my first try at re-upholstering this chair and the lace curtain is a left-over piece from my diy mosquito lace screen.

diy pillows 1

This striped pillow is made from vintage fabric and yarn scrap tassels.

diy pillows 2

The white pillow is made from old jeans and the round one from an old dress. Bonus: The bedset pillow cases in the back are also DIY:ed from repurposed fabric!

diy pillows 3

And here are some cool re-purposed pillows I found on the interwebs

diy repurposed pillow cases

Repurposed Shirt Pillow CoverOn Sutton place || Throw Pillows from Old SweatersRadical Possibility

No-Sew Outdoor PillowHome Coming || Repurpose Goodwill PillowsOur Homemade Life

DIY Sequin PillowMy Sister’s Suitcase || Burlap Heart Pillow with DoiliesVintage News Junkie

Btw, I have a hot tip for you. I’m not sure if batting/filling for pillows is expensive where you live, but here in my town in Sweden I have yet to find some at the crafts stores that will not make my wallet bleed. However, at IKEA’s as-is section there are very often sofa cushions (new ones, not some that have been out in the store) for sale. They are very cheap and have the best filling ever. You can make a lot of pillows from one cushion! Just awesome.

DIY Storage Ottoman

diy storage ottoman

How long has it been since my last real DIY post? July? I think so. I’ve been so busy with the apartment and work, but I’m slowly getting things sorted and I can actually focus on smaller projects now.

One of those small projects I’ve been dying to do is this storage ottoman/pouf. When I first moved in I wanted to get a table for my sofa. I was unable to find one that I liked and soon I realised maybe a table wasn’t such a good idea after all. The door table I made last week already takes up a substantial amount of the room and having yet another table so close to it would just look weird. Plus, my sofa sort of requires having somewhere to put your feet up if you want to be 100% comfortable. So, enter the DIY Storage Ottoman!

It took me a while to figure out what I could use as a base that was sturdy enough to hold both stuff and a person sitting on it, but then I found these large buckets made for mixing grout/plaster in the hardware store. The bucket I bought is supposed to hold 50 kg, more than enough. It’s also perfect in size, wide enough to double as as a table and low enough to have legs.

supplies for ottoman diy

I also had to get two pieces of wood for the bottom and the top/lid. I don’t have any photos of this, but I sawed out two circles a big as the bottom and the top of the bucket.

For the filling I used one layer (about 1, 5 cm) of foam around the bucket and two layers of the same foam on the lid.

I used a staple gun to fasten the two layers of fabric I used. For the first layer over the foam I chose a white cotton fabric. The outer layer is white faux leather/vinyl.

Using a good, heavy duty staple gun is a MUST!

I started out by wrapping the foam around my bucket.

wrap foam 1

I sewed it together at the side.

wrap foam 1

As I wanted my ottoman to have legs, I drilled four holes in the bottom through the bucket and bottom wood plate.

drill holes for pegs

I added the screws before I started to add any fabric.


I cut the edges of the lid’s two foam layers to give them a rounded shape.

top foam

Stapled on the first layer of fabric.

staple cotton 1

Added the fabric to the bucket.

staple cotton 2

Sewed it together.

staple cotton 3

And then everything looked like this.

staple cotton 4

This was the most critical step of making my ottoman. The seam on the bucket. On the first layer of fabric I could do a half-assed job, but not on the outer layer! I pinned it carefully and then used double button thread to sew it.

staple faux leather 1

staple faux leather 2

Initially the fabric got a bit wrinkly, but I was able to smooth it out. Now, as I write this a few days later, it has smoothened out itself.

staple faux leather 3

I decided to just leave the excess fabric inside the bucket. Nobody’s going to see that anyway.

staple faux leather 4

I made the legs from a uhm… yeah. I have no idea what it’s called in English. Google translate says it’s “bead” but I have no idea if that’s correct or not. Anyway I bought a 1 meter “bead”-stick-thing, cut out four pieces for legs and drilled a hole in each of them.


Found where the screws where and stuck them through the fabric.

legs 2

Attached the legs.

legs 3

Added the outer fabric to the lid.

staple top 1

And my ottoman was done!

staple top 2

ottoman at night

The day after I finished it I decided it needed something more, so I added handles to the sides. It’s really easy to move around now!

pouf ottoman with handles

And I just have to include this close-up of the seam on the side. I’m so glad I didn’t screw this part up…haha.

seam detail

And hey, how gorgeous is this black tray with gold handles from IKEA’s Ryssby line? I love it! And it goes perfectly with the pouf!

diy ottoman bucket storage

I think I will keep candles and stuff in it. :D

Here are some other bucket ottoman tutorials I like:

diy bucket ottoman pouf tutorials

Mini OttomanBrit + Co

Utility Bucket OttomanDesign Sponge || Bucket PoufPretty Little Lady Design

How cute isn’t that furry one from Pretty Little Lady Designs?!


Door Table

door table trestle legs

I would lie If I didn’t say that this apartment has burnt a hole in my wallet. It’s not like I have that much money either. It’s kind of ironic really, before I bought the apartment I was poor because I had to save money to be able to buy it, and now I’m poor because I bought it!
But, at least I was able to fix myself a craft table without spending too much money. I just bought two trestle legs and used one of the doors from the wardrobe I tore out as a table top.

The trestles were too wide for the door, so I had to saw them off a bit.

tresle legs too wide

The table is sturdy, just the right size and can hold my sewing machine + fabric and scissors without any problems. It’s also nice to finally have somewhere to put down my plate while I eat. Haha.

tresle legs cut off

The Kitchen

kitchen after

I couldn’t do much with this room, except clean it, tear out all unnecessary things and paint it. I think it turned out pretty good, definitely an improvement!

So this is how it looked when I moved in. Enjoy this blurry before photo:

kitchen before

A lot of weird/dated stuff in there. I took out the loose laminate floor on the first day. The panelled ceiling is such a mystery to me. I get it that they put it up to hide the damages from the original kitchen demolition, but they just ended up destroying the ceiling even more! The apartment have a slightly higher ceiling height (2.60 m) than usual, which makes it quite airy, so why you would ever want to lower it is beyond me. The only reason I can think of would be that maybe it was trendy and super-hip to have panels back in 1989 when the apartment was renovated, but I’m not sure…

I did manage to get the support beams that held up the panels down in the end, but my god, did it take time. I almost gave up somewhere in the middle of it.

I decided to paint the walls in a light mint green shade. Coincidently I discovered that the first layer of paint on the kitchen walls were in almost the exact same shade!

mint green walls

This 1970’s brown lamp works great with the walls.

retro seventies brown metal lamp

The cabinets are in a pretty good condition. But they’re super low. And small. Another big WHY. You could easily get twice as much storage if you had them up to the ceiling.

I want to do a total kitchen renovation at some point in the future. I’m eyeing Kvänum’s retro fifities kitchens. I don’t even want to know what a kitchen like this would cost to put in, but one can dream, right?

kvanum baner wood

I’m not a huge fan of the slanted/tilted cabinets (and they probably wouldn’t work in my small space), but love the color of these.

kvanum baner green fifties retro kitchen

These plain cabinets in light green would be cool though.

kvanum baner retro

1950’s kitchens are somewhat of a special interest of mine. Back in my university days I even wrote a few papers on them.

Back in the 1940’s Sweden was in dire need of cheap, fast and functional living solutions. Hemmets Forskningsinstitut (should be translated as something like The Household Research Institute) was formed in 1944 to modernize the living situation and make the household more effective.
The institute analysed just about everything in the home, from washing dishes to space needed to store the average family’s towels and linens.
hemmets forskningsinstitut

The standardisations created by the institute lead to every apartment in Sweden built in the fifties and sixties (and that’s probably half, if not more, of all apartments in Sweden) to have very similar kitchens. Even to this day the original cabinets can still be found in many apartments. And the standardisation, although tweaked  a little bit over the years, are still in use.

There’s always IKEA for kitchens, but I’m not sure, I feel many of the kitchens from IKEA are just TOO modern. I want something timeless, something that will not feel dated within a few years.