Thursday, 6 October 2011

Dramatic DIY


Coming from a theatrical family, I’ve made stage sets from all sorts in my time. I think little of dressing my entire residence - swathes of cheap fabric to hide recesses fitted with clothes rails instead of wardrobes, sheets of bubble wrap saved from the delivery of a new mattress and glued around the shower fitting instead of tiling. It all comes in handy.

Dream on
When I first moved into our council house, I was given a redecorating grant – ninety quid for five rooms, as I recall. My son had grand designs and after losing our own property, I thought well, why not - we’d lost everything else - why shouldn’t our dreams come true? Inspired by a friend who had turned his toilet into a cave with papier maché and chicken wire, we set to work.  

Child’s play
Hearts set on the Jurassic period, we painted a jungle with dinosaurs and volcano, complete with trees bearing skeleton leaves sprayed green. I found some cheap camouflage nets in an army surplus store, which we tacked around the bedroom and draped over some old rose arches for a den. I drew the outlines, whilst my son sponged in the shading and threw “lava” all over the ceiling.

Create your creditfree
Sample pots are a great ally to your creativity, as is keeping old remnants to blend with whatever you can lay your hands on, when it’s time to refresh your decor. Try not to have a fixed idea in mind and be flexible with your materials. I once sold a whole load of old sheet music to a fellow car booter for wallpapering and there is nothing to stop you using newspaper or magazine pages like this too.


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Image: Salvatore Vuono /

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