HOME SPUN; Create a cosy cottage look by cutting a few corners.



Byline: HOMES with ANDREA MCLEAN

'm all for a bit of make do and mend around the home. I get a real kick out of sanding down old furniture and covering it with a lick of paint to give it a new lease of life. All it takes is seeing the potential in something.

IAnd, rather than being put off by how tatty it looks, see how beautiful it can become with a bit of TLC.

I even asked for a sewing machine for Christmas and my mum is going to show me how I can start rustling things up for around the home. I just can't wait to get stuck in.

Even if it's just cushion covers to start with, it'll still save me a fortune because I change cushions round every few months or so. In my head, I'm going to build up to making bedspreads for my daughter's room and maybe even some curtains to match but we'll see.

All these handicrafts might happen one day when I've got the time and energy but, in the meantime, I take the short cut by getting my cottage homespun feel straight off the high street Just don't tell anyone!

Ever seen the film The Holiday, where Cameron Diaz arranges a house-swap from her luxurious LA home to a traditional English home? The chocolate box cottage she ends up in is adorable and, even if you can't get Jude Law to come and stay, getting the cosey cute look is definitely achievable.

Bed linen set, throw, cushions, bug magnet board, embroidery rings, small printed suitcase, hand-painted paper mache box, lantern, hanging tealight holders, Ashley Thomas At Home wall art, Victoria double bedframe, all Debenhams If you'd rather get the cosy, home-made look the easy way, then it doesn't get easier than this!

Sustain Cosy cushion, Wilkinson If you have scraps of wool hanging around, this is a good way to use them up. These little granny squares won't take long to crochet and if you get carried away and make loads, sew them together and you've got yourself a bedspread!

Crochet yarn and hooks available from Hobbycraft There are two different thoughts that spring to my mind when I think of 'handcrafted'. The first is something my kids would put together, involving mess, and possibly glitter. The second is something made by a professional, lovingly crafted and presented at great expense.

This gorgeous green bowl proves that something can be beautifully handmade and affordable - and still look a million dollars in your home.

Hand-crafted bowl, Very Sticking to natural products is the key to achieving the homespun look and one of the best places to start is underfoot. I like to walk around barefoot at home, which is fine in summer, but it can be a bit chilly in the cooler months. So a lovely pure wool rug. like this, is bliss.

Lily 100% wood rug, Plantation Rug Company. Bjursta extendable table, Ikea. Gold wooden letters, Posh Graffiti. Similar Bleecker chair, and Kimberly sideboard, both Barker & Stonehouse t littl h This cute little hen would look lovely slung over a cupboard door handle in a rustic kitchen. With its sanded edges, you could probably pass it off as something you've created yourself. I won't tell if you won't.

Spotty hen, Suzanne Lake Another one of those things on my wish list is a sewing room where I can lay out rolls of fabric on a vast table and hang ribbon of various widths from hooks on the wall and keep my reels of cotton in a big wooden box. But I'll start small for now, with a sewing box. If nothing else, it will put an end to that infuriating game of Hunt the Scissors every time I need them Fabric patchwork bundle, ribbon, fabric-covered box, flower pot pin cushion, tape measure, caravan sewing box, all Cath Kidston WHERE TO BUY: amazon.co.uk, barkerandstonehouse.co.uk, berryred.co.uk, boutiqueprovencale.co.uk, cathkidston.co.uk, cloth-ears.co.uk, debenhams.com, dunelm-mill.com, hobbycraft.co.uk, ikea.co.uk, johnlewis.com, plantationrug.co.uk, poshgraffiti.com, sainsburys.com, suzannelake.com, wilko.com, very.co.uk Bird House cushion, polka dot cushion, Ella reversible cushion, decorative ribbons cushion, sundae dishes, ridged votive holder, round glass candle holder in washed pink, Knox glass-top coffee table, Newport small sofa in Linso mushroom, candy rose small ceramic button box, round glass candle holder, clip-top water bottle, all Dunelm. Similar green tumbler, Memory Lane hiball, Sainsbury's

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