Archive: Sep 2014

  1. Blogger challenge… cushion makeover


    For this week’s craft challenge we set our bloggers to work on the Large Navy Linen Cushion, asking them to personalise it however they felt fit. The results prove that there really are no limits to just how creative you can get with one simple cushion. See for yourself!

    Which one gets your vote? Let us know in the comments section below.


    StevenSteven’s cushion

    First up is Steven McVay, a fabric aficionado who creates children’s dresses, quilts, cushions, pictures and bunting at My Happy Accidents. ‘I really wanted to include the ribbon-tail feathered birds I like bringing to life so much, and I love adding words to my work, especially positive and happy ones. I’m so pleased with the finished cushion – it’s ideal for my eclectic home.’

    100% wool felt ironed some bondaweb onto my spotty fabrics before cutting out the letters, then used multi-coloured thread to stitch these securely onto the cover bondaweb and ribbon

    Materials used:

    100% cotton spotty fabric, 100% wool felt, bondaweb, colourful thread, ribbons, buttons, scissors, an iron.

    How I did it:

    ‘I ironed some bondaweb onto my spotty fabrics before cutting out the letters, then used multi-coloured thread to stitch these securely onto the cover,’ says Steven. ‘I positioned the birds in place, sewed on their legs, pinned on their ribbon feathers and, for the finishing touch, added their beaks and eyes.’


    AbigailAbigail’s cushion

    Our second challenger is Abigail Udale, a Buyer’s Assistant on the Bed & Bath team at Sainsbury’s who loves to print. ‘I enjoy fabric printing and decided on a nautical theme, as I have a lot of striped items in my house. It was quite simple, but I’m really pleased with how it looks. I have a vintage wooden-backed armchair it will look perfect on!’


    To make the stencil I drew an anchor on paper and placed some acetate over the top When finished and the paint had dried, I ironed the cushion on high Paper, scissors, acetate, masking tape, fabric paint, sponge, ruler, scrap fabric, an iron

    Materials used:

    Paper, scissors, acetate, masking tape, fabric paint, sponge, ruler, scrap fabric, an iron.

    How I did it:

    ‘To make the stencil I drew an anchor on paper and placed some acetate over the top, then tested it out on some scrap fabric to make sure I was happy,’ says Abigail. ‘Before printing I put a pad of paper inside the cushion so the paint didn’t transfer to the other side. When I’d finished and the paint had dried, I ironed the cushion on high, to set it.’

    Which one do you prefer? How would you customise these cushions? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

    Three key pieces:

    White Fur Cushion, £12 (instore from 1 October); Red Heart Knitted Cushion (instore from 1 October), £10; Natural Texture Cushion, £10.

  2. Blogger challenge… wicker basket makeover


    I love a bit of friendly competition when it comes to home decor! This week our two crafters take on the challenge of customising these little wicker storage baskets.

    We challenged them to a ‘craft-off’ with this set of  dipped Baskets, priced at £6. We’d love to know which style-over you like the most! Is pale pink more your thing or is super stripy the way to go? Let us know which one you prefer in the comments section below.


    Alex’s basket

    Step three: add a potted plant to the basket Step two: tie a ribbon now around the basket Step one: spray the outside with colour spray paint

    ‘I love customising homeware to go with items I already have in my home, and thought this little wicker basket would make a really sweet pot plant holder,’ says Alex. ‘I went for light shades of pink and green to complement the deeper tones of the pot plant I had.’

    Materials used:

    Light pink spray paint, green satin ribbon and a small potted plant.

    How I did it:

    ‘I sprayed the wicker basket outside and let it dry,’ says Alex. ‘Then I wrapped a satin ribbon around the middle of the basket and tied it in a bow. To finish, I popped a pretty pot plant into the basket.’ Alex Willmott coordinates the Tu photo shoots for Sainsbury’s, and loves vibrant colours and textured materials.


    Charlotte’s basket

    Step: sew the lining together Step three: insert it into the basket Step one: Cut a piece of material to line the basket


    ‘I wanted to continue the striped theme of the wicker basket, so I decided to line it with a stripy tea towel!’ says Charlotte. ‘Handily the tea towel already had a neat, finished seam.’

    Materials used:

    A tea towel, tape measure, needle and thread, pins and scissors.

    How I did it:

    ‘I measured the circumference and height of the basket so I knew how much fabric I’d need (factoring in extra material for the fold-over top),’ says Charlotte. ‘I marked out the dimensions on the material, cut it accordingly and sewed the lining together. Then I popped it inside the basket and folded over the top to finish!’ Charlotte Pugh is an Assistant Designer at Sainsbury’s.

    Which makeover do you prefer? How would you customise these wicker baskets? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

    Three easy baskets to style-over

    Set of 2 Dipped Baskets Small Woven Wood Basket Set of 3 Rush Weave Baskets with Handle

    Set of 3 Rush Weave Baskets with Handle, £20; Small Woven Wood Basket, £12 (both available instore from 29th September 2014); Set of 2 Dipped Baskets, £12.

  3. Blogger challenge… photo frame makeover


    I love sifting through treasured photos and sourcing frames to match them. But, had I ever considered customising my own photo frame? Not until I was challenged to go up against crafter Laura Gould this week, as part of our ‘blogger challenge’ series!

    For this ‘craft-off’ we each customised a Metallic Wood Frame from Sainsbury’s, priced at £6. Checkout what we came up with and make sure you tell us which style-over you prefer! Pretty pastels or gold butterflies? The competition is on! Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


    My makeover

    Step two: add picture to the picture frame Step three: hang picture on the wall Step one: cut out picture

    Helenka BednarI went for pastel shades with this makeover, so there was enough contrast between the frame and the black and white picture I chose of my mum, posing in a 1960s photo booth!

    Materials used:

    Turquoise satin ribbon, light blue ribbon with gold trim, satin ribbon roses, acrylic spray paint in duck egg blue, lilac card, a craft knife, scissors, ruler and pencil.

    How I did it:

    I spray-painted the frame outside and left it to dry. Then I cut the lilac card border to size using the photograph as a guide. I glued the turquoise ribbon to the back of the frame, and decorated it with a ribbon bow and satin roses.


    Laura’s makeover

    Step three: turn on the light to create the desired picture frame effect Step two: cover with butterfly decorations Step one: wrap tree light around the picture frame

    Laura‘I was inspired by the colours of summer when it came to picking a colour scheme for this frame’, says Laura. ‘I’ve used shades of sunflower, yellow and gold, alongside a butterfly theme as they feature heavily in my work.’

    Materials used:

    Different shades of yellow paper, gold paper, small set of fairy lights, glue gun, butterfly paper punch, glue stick applicator, scissors.

    How Laura did it:

    ‘I glued the fairly lights to the frame and secured the battery pack at the back’, says Laura. ‘Then I punched out a pile of butterflies and glued them to the frame. I finished the whole piece off with a photo from my incredible trip to India earlier this year.’ Laura is the founder of Lolly & Pearl, and creates bespoke photo frames and beautiful, personalised homeware pieces.

    What do you think of this craft-off?! Which makeover do you prefer? If you gave this frame a style-over, how would you do it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


    Three easy frames to style-over:

    Ribbed Grey Frame 4x6 Black Double Mount 3-aperture Frame, Oak Effect Double Mount Frame 8x10

    Oak Effect Double Mount Frame 8×10, £8; Black Double Mount 3-aperture Frame, £12; Ribbed Grey Frame 4×6, £8.

  4. Be inspired… take a peek at our autumn/winter soft furnishings


    I work on the design team at Sainsbury’s and it’s so exciting to see a range we’ve created about to launch instore! We start developing a new range 18 months before it hits the shelves, so getting the press shots is really thrilling – it’s often the first time we’ve seen the entire collection together. Here are my highlights for the coming autumn/winter 2014 collection:Folk Tales Cushion

    Relaxed style is big this year

    We were heavily inspired by a more casual approach to decorating the home this season. Lots of natural materials are featured across the collection and we’ve used a ‘mix & match’ approach, offsetting different patterns against each other. I think the bedding from our Indigo range demonstrates this really beautifully (pictured above).

    We’ve mixed global trends

    Our design team travel all over the world to research new trends. We always head to Paris for Maison & Objet, a popular home trade show, and this year our Folk Tales range (pictured right) has been inspired by a clash of global cultures. I love its bohemian feel, drawing on handicrafts with a cosmopolitan but rustic edge.

    Dreamscape bedroom range at Sainsbury'sPretty pinks get our vote

    We noticed that pink was a key colour emerging on the catwalk, and it was one of the colour highlights to come out of a recent trip our team made to New York. We used a varied palette of pinks across our new Dreamscape range (pictured left). It’s really feminine and glamorous, and I’m a big fan of the subtle geometrics and warm metallics featured across the different pieces.

    Tip of the week

    It’s all about the blues this season! Big inspirations for us were the bleached denims and inky patterns we saw emerging with Japanese textiles. You’ll see this colour trend appear in our new Indigo range (pictured above, top).

    Main image: Indigo Cushion 35×50, £16; Navy Marl Knitted Cushion, £18; Small Leaf Print Bedlinen, from £30; Navy Damask Print Bedlinen, from £20; Navy Knitted Textured Throw, £30. Look out for these items arriving instore over the next few weeks.

    Three key pieces

    KeyPiece1_200x210 KeyPiece2_200x210 KeyPiece3_200x210

    Mustard Yellow Crewelwork Cushion 30×50, £15; Lilac Woven Throw, £15; Indigo Cushion 35×50, £16. Look out for these items arriving instore over the next few weeks.