Projects from Big Red Barn this week

I haven’t posted much recently so I thought it was time I shared some of the many projects from Big Red Barn this week!

Last weekend I was at an indoor flea market. It was freezing cold, I was starving hungry and there was rugby on the tv. I wanted to be home, which in my experience, doesn’t usually lead to good shopping.

I forgot to take my camera, and would probably have been too much of a brat to take photos on that particular day anyhow (and you all thought I was Little Miss Sunshine eh?). My only purchase was a guilded frame with a print of Lincoln Cathedral on board. The only upside to my miserable day was that it was a great bargain at just £4! I’m thinking chalk board?

Turn a £4 frame into a stunning chalk board

A couple of days later, and after a good feed, Mark and I went to the Malt House Emporium  near Stroud. Again, I forgot my camera (actually I forgot working batteries for my camera) but I bought a really obscure triangular chest of drawers that have been painted in a very thick coat of dark red gloss. I am hoping to display/store my furniture mouldings in it eventually.

Unusual Ethnic looking drawers

While we were in the area we did a quick tour of the charity shops of Stroud and I picked up a cute little jewellery box. I think I might throw down a blog challenge with this one – either specifically jewellery boxes or a more general charity/thrift store challenge.

Wooden jewellery box

Then Mark found me a chair at auction. It came as part of a job lot so worked out to be very cheap. I’ve already started painting it a dark grey but I keep changing my mind what colour to paint the fabric. I’ve wanted to try this method since I saw it on Pinterest way back last year (or the year before maybe?) so he earned himself some points that day!

How to paint a chair

The final project I am working on is a Chinese style camphor chest that Mark was given – yes, a true freebie! It has been painted in a pure white silk over a matt blue. It doesn’t look the best but it was FREE, and I have an idea of how I want it to look when it’s finished. This should be a quick fix so will probably be the first to be completed. Once it’s done I’m going to try selling it online before we stick it in the shop, as more of an experiment than anything.

Painted chinese chest
Someone else painted this!

I’m sure I’ve more to share with you but that’s enough for now! Check back again soon to see how they all turn out!

Nikki x

Fab Freebie No 1

Last week I promised you a freebie worth waiting for so here you go!

I found this free vintage poster site while looking for old images of the Titanic (I’m very proud to have family that helped build it!). Unfortunately they didn’t have any Titanic Posters but they have hundreds, if not thousands, of really cool vintage posters.

So grab yourself a cup of your favourite brew, get comfy and check out

I just can’t get enough of this great FREE site!

I hope you love it as much as I do? Know any other great sites like this? Please do share 😉

Take care ’till next time,

Nikki x


Book Folding – The Easy Way

This is the easiest way to make master the art of  book folding that you see on Pinterest, in around an hour – with free book folding patterns! I have made a bunch of these for friends and family, and they are always well received.

First off you are going to need to find yourself an old book, hardback works best, and you will have to make sure that you have enough pages for the word you want. For the patterns I’m giving away today I used a book of around 300 pages. So long as you count up properly you can always leave unfolded pages either side of your word, but more of that in a bit.

Choose your word/shape from the patterns below and print it out onto an A4 page. If you don’t see what you want you can email me directly as I have started selling them on eBay!

Just click to download the PDF

Book Folding Template Love
Heart Template For Book Art


folding instructions in pdf form can be found by clicking the link.

Count both the black and white stripes, to get the number of pages you will be using. If your design has spaces between the letters just ignore them. Once you know how many pages you are going to fold you simply deduct this from the number of pages in your book and divide by 2. This is the number of pages in that you need to start folding from. *Remember that you are counting ‘leafs’ and not take the page number to mean anything… and yes I made this mistake first time I tried to figure it out!

The next stage is optional but it does make the finished item look neater so go on, take a minute to do it. Measure from the spine out by about an inch and draw a light pencil line. Do this top and bottom and use this mark to guide where you fold to – this gives a nicer finish than folding right up to the spine.

I fold the top of my paper over the page to get the word at the right height.

This a good stage to grab a cuppa, go for a pee or whatever, because in 5 minutes you are going to be scared to set it down!

Book folding patterns
I changed font after I took this photo

Next is the fun part… for about 10 minutes. Then it gets a bit boring, so stick on your favourite tv show and settle in for a while. Put your pattern behind the page you want to fold (you can actually put it 3 or 4 pages back just to cut down on fiddling with it). Fold from the top of your first black line to your guide line near the spine. Do the same from the bottom of your first black line. You are now officially doing it! If you need to you can tick off the lines as you are doing it but you should be ok to keep going for a while.

Next you do exactly the same using the white line (okay it’s not really a line but you know what I mean). Then the black line, then the white line, then the black line… you get my drift?

Eventually your guide will touch the inside crease of the book so just trim it up so you can keep feeding it in and folding… and folding.

Folded book tutorial

When you pattern calls for a top and bottom – like the ‘o’ in ‘love’ – simply fold one page to make the top, move onto your next line and fold the bottom.

Free book art templates

That’s about it! You have folded your first (or easiest) book. No measuring and minimal maths!

I’d love to see what you did,

Nikki x

Edit to add: You can now buy custom words/patterns to use with this tutorial from my eBay. As ebay won’t let me send electronically you get paper in the mail. OR you can email me directly for the pdf by email and a reduced buying price!

Joined my first link up at Knick of Time

A Gift For You… Free Printable

If you are reading this, then you probably already  know that we specialise in re-finishing furniture, what you might not realise (because we haven’t told you yet!) is that we also make lots of nice little bits and bobs that everyone has space for and find vintage treasures to make your home unique! We will shortly be putting some of these items up on our ‘et cetera’ page.

Today we’d like to thank you for reading by giving you a free printable to use as you like.! It’s full A4 size, which makes it easy to find a frame – we find Ikea and Wilkinsons very reasonable.

So, without further ado, here you go! Just click on the photo to go to the full-sized image, right-click and save as.

Love Many, Trust Few

I would love to see how you use it so please do share your photo’s. If you want to use for commercial purposes then all I ask is that you leave our web site address in situ.

Nikki x