In her lat­est se­ries, El­iz­a­beth Har­bour ex­plores dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als to cre­ate a col­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful hand­made dec­o­ra­tive pieces

Country Living (UK) - - Contents - de­signs and projects by el­iz­a­beth har­bour styling by ben kendrick and alaina binks pho­to­graphs by rachel whit­ing

In her lat­est se­ries, El­iz­a­beth Har­bour fo­cuses on dif­fer­ent kinds of ma­te­ri­als to cre­ate dec­o­ra­tive items


Add a pretty, per­son­alised fin­ish to a tabletop with tai­lor­made dec­o­ra­tive mats with a lily mo­tif.


News­pa­per (lay on work­sur­face be­fore start­ing) PVA glue White matt emul­sion Small paint­brush Tester pots of matt emul­sion – El­iz­a­beth used Muted Rose (pink), Pas­ture (green), White Pe­tal (white) and Har­vest Field (yel­low) from Home­base (home­ Ply­wood cir­cles, 17cm in di­am­e­ter, from Hob­by­craft (hob­by­ Scalpel and cut­ting mat Re-po­si­tion­able book cov­er­ing Pen­cil Trac­ing pa­per 2cm-wide cot­ton spool Tea towel Royal & Lang­nickel sten­cil brushes (ar­tuk.roy­al­brush Small dec­o­rat­ing brush Matt acrylic clear var­nish from Hob­by­craft Felt and all-pur­pose glue for un­der­side of mats (op­tional) 1 Make homemade gesso primer by mix­ing 1 part PVA glue to 1 part white emul­sion and prime both sides and edges of each ply­wood cir­cle. Once dry, paint in pink emul­sion. 2 Cut out three cir­cles, us­ing a ply­wood piece as a tem­plate on the pa­per side of the re-po­si­tion­able book cov­er­ing. These will be used to cre­ate the sten­cils. 3 Draw a wa­ter lily de­sign (or visit eliz­a­beth­har­bour. for a tem­plate) on a piece of pa­per and copy onto trac­ing pa­per. Trans­fer the pe­tal part of the de­sign to the pa­per side of one cir­cle, mak­ing sure it is cen­tral, and the flower cen­tre and leaves part onto the sec­ond cir­cle, so the two sten­cils line up. Cut out the petals and the flower cen­tre and leaves with a scalpel on the cut­ting mat. 4 On the third cir­cle, draw a cir­cle 0.4cm in from the cut edge. Draw around a cot­ton spool, with the top edge of the spool touch­ing the drawn cir­cle and re­peat around the cir­cle, then cut to cre­ate a scal­loped edge (this is in­cluded on the tem­plate). You may need to ad­just the de­sign to fit in the last scal­lop. 5 Lay a tea towel on a sur­face, peel off the back from the scal­loped-edge sten­cil and stick onto the ma­te­rial. Peel away from the tea towel and re­peat again. This will make the sten­cils less sticky, so they won’t take off paint from the place­mats. Po­si­tion the scal­loped-edge sten­cil cen­trally on one place­mat and paint an even cov­er­ing of green emul­sion over the edges of the cir­cle, be­ing care­ful not to ap­ply too much paint at once. Leave to dry, then re­move the sten­cil and re­peat on the other mats. 6 Pre­pare the pe­tal sten­cil as be­fore, then stick onto one of the place­mats, again mak­ing sure it is cen­tral. Us­ing a small hog hair paint­brush paint streaky brush­strokes with white emul­sion over each pe­tal, fol­low­ing its shape. Once dry, re­move the sten­cil and re­peat on the other mats. 7 Con­tinue with the last sten­cil (cen­tre of the flower and leaves) pre­par­ing this as be­fore and po­si­tion on one place­mat. Paint the leaves with green emul­sion and stip­ple the cen­tre of the flower with a sten­cil brush in yel­low emul­sion. Al­low to dry and re­peat on the other place­mats. 8 Paint dots in yel­low us­ing a small paint­brush around the edge of the scal­loped de­sign on each place­mat and leave to dry. 9 Once dry, ap­ply three coats of clear var­nish to each mat. 10 Fin­ish by stick­ing smaller cir­cles of felt to the back of each mat with all-pur­pose glue if you wish.


This is a sim­ple and ef­fec­tive print­ing tech­nique that is easy to do and can be used to add pretty de­tail­ing to kitchen linens, cards and fur­ni­ture.


Cot­ton apron News­pa­per and mask­ing tape Oval and pa­per tray doilies from cake dec­o­rat­ing shops or Ama­zon (ama­ Scis­sors Metal ruler and pen­cil Small sponge roller Red speed­ball fab­ric screen­print­ing ink from Hand­printed (hand­ Old plate Half a me­tre of cal­ico or cot­ton Pa­per lace heart doily by Dove­craft from ebay 1 Iron the apron and lay it flat on a news­pa­per-cov­ered sur­face. Tape down the edges you’re go­ing to print, cov­er­ing the sewn hem by 1cm. 2 Un­wrap the doilies and re­move any loose punched pieces. You’ll find that the doilies are at­tached to each other – peel off a cou­ple at once for a stronger sten­cil. 3 Cut the long edges of the tray doilies so they have 3cm of plain pa­per along one edge. For the sides of the apron, match and stick the ends of these to­gether with mask­ing tape to make two long strips. Re­peat to make a strip for the top (neck­line) and an­other for the bot­tom edge. 4 Po­si­tion the doily borders along the top and sides of the apron 0.4cm from the masked edge. Se­cure the pa­per edge with a long strip of mask­ing tape. Dou­ble over small pieces of tape and place un­der solid ar­eas to hold it in place. Cover up any per­fo­ra­tions you don’t want to print with tape. 5 Place an oval doily on the apron’s front cen­tre. Stick down the edges so there is a gen­er­ous bor­der to pre­vent ink print­ing on the apron away from the doily. 6 Dip the sponge roller into the red ink and wheel onto an old plate un­til evenly cov­ered. Start by rolling over the oval doily, be­ing care­ful to ap­ply ink to the cut-out ar­eas only. Roll down and lift the roller, rather than wheel­ing it back and forth as this will move the doily out of place. Prac­tise on a piece of cal­ico or cot­ton first, es­pe­cially if you want to see the printed pat­terns of dif­fer­ent doilies. 7 Con­tinue to print the sides and the neck­line, us­ing the same tech­nique as be­fore, be­ing sure not to move the doilies. Recharge with ink when nec­es­sary. Leave to dry or speed up the process with a hairdryer. 8 When the ink is dry, re­move the doily strips from the sides, top and mid­dle. Mask off the printed lower edges with tape and po­si­tion the bot­tom doily strip 0.4cm from the masked hemmed edge. Run tape along the straight doily edge and print as be­fore. 9 Po­si­tion the lace heart doily in the cen­tre of the printed oval de­sign, mask off the edges with a bor­der of tape and print as be­fore. Al­low the ink to dry, re­move tape and doilies and fol­low the ink-set­ting in­struc­tions.

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