Book review: Creating the Vintage Look

Book review: Creating the Vintage Look

Put weekend afternoons to good use and upcycle odds and ends into useful and pretty decorative accessories. Ellie Laycock shows you how.

Old teapots make fun planters

Ellie Laycock's book Creating the Vintage Look is published by Cico Books at £12.99. She takes you through 35 easy-to-do upcycling projects, from turning teapots into plant holders to making cake stands from old vinyl records...which for any children reading were flat circles of plastic that you put on a turntable to hear music...

The great thing the informal upcycling movement - if that's not too strong a word for it - that's sweeping the world is that it shows just how ingeniously creative (some) people are.

People such as Ellie Laycock, a London artist and photographer who has always been a bit of a collector and who has the vision to see how something can always become something else..which might be just as nice, or even a bit nicer than its original incarnation.

But if you haven't been blessed with this skill, don't think you can't acquire it because upcyclers are a sharing lot who are only too keen to show others how they do things.

Laycock's book Creating The Vintage Look takes you through 35 projects, showing you step-by-step how to make things for your home than will have a use as well as looking good.  The book has great photographs which will inspire you to rummage around in the bottom of your drawers, or in your local second hand shop in search of useful objects to transform. So sewing tin and scissors to the ready everyone... 

Tea towels are great for covering the lower half of windows if you  don't want to be overlooked
A cupboard full of old vinyl records? a passion for baking cakes? combine the two
Paper doilies are perfect for transforming a boring glass column into a lovely vase
This is a fun book, with great ideas and easy to follow instructions
Grater pencil holders
If you come across old packing crates, think bedside table..
If you have some silk scarves you like but don't wear much, make lovely cushion covers from them
Inspired thinking... half a globe becomes a lovely fruit bowl
Dainty birds like to eat from bone china...

Laycock groups her projects into rooms, and offers helpful techniques as well as step-by-step instructions.

She says she's always loved rummaging around for things that may come in handy and likes upcycling because it's a thrifty way of injecting character and novelty into rooms.

Books such as this should soon get more of us in the mentality of looking at an old jelly mould, for example, and instead of thinking oh it's rusty, just sling it, we immediately see how it can become a tealight holder.


Jam jars can become stylish soap and bubble bath dispensers
Decorate plain mats with imagery that interests you

Waste not, want not as they say...

Ellie Laycock is the founder of Hunted & Stuffed, which makes cushions and other accessories from vintage textiles, including Japanese wedding kimonos.

Creating the Vintage Look is published by Cico Books at £12.99.