How to Upcycle Shutters – A blogger event with Joe Blogs and Hillary’s

upcycling-shutters-joe-blogs-bristol-1upcycling-shutters-joe-blogs-bristol-4upcycling-shutters-joe-blogs-bristol-5Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Joe Blogs upcycle event in Bristol. As a new blogger, it was a great opportunity to meet other local bloggers, plus a great excuse to visit Bristol for the day and spend an afternoon painting, screwing (with screw drivers…tut tut I know what you were thinking!) and for once being with a group of people who weren’t going to get bored of stopping every 5 minutes to take photos, or tell me off for spending the whole time on instagram and twitter!


The afternoon was held in At Bristol which brought back a lot of happy childhood memories for me, running around trying out all the exhibitions (I haven’t been in years but I remember especially loving the giant hamster wheel and being inside the pregnant ladies tummy…I know I’ve made it just sound like the weirdest place in the world!).

The event was sponsored by Hillary’s, whom I only ever associated with blinds – it turns out they also have a fab range of made to measure curtains as well as a whole load of beautiful shutters too! We were focusing on these, and with the help of Becky Clarke, transformed them into beautiful multipurpose features with handy kilner jars attached to store anything from stationary, makeup, herbs or flowers.

After a quick Blue Peter demonstration from Becky, we carefully selected our shutter and set about painting, waxing, drilling, screwing and fixing our shutters into beautiful masterpieces. I spent a while deliberating which Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to use as the colour of my shutter, really wanting to go for the English Yellow, but also knowing that it wouldn’t really fit in with any of our other colour schemes and I could still go for a bright Provence Blue without making the room resemble a jar of hellmans. I loved the original designs Becky had mocked up and so stuck to the three kilner layout with a piece of rope to top it off.


Whilst we were waiting for our paint to dry, there was plenty of opportunity to get chatting whilst admiring other people’s creativity – painting inside their jars, mixing colours and using alternate layouts. As the group was reasonably small it was great that you could get around and speak to everyone, in between taking photos, being interviewed for Joe Blogs and touching up smudged paint. I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon and there’s nothing better than doing some DIY on a Sunday afternoon – plus I won a bottle of Prosecco for “best instagram of the day” – kerching!


As it was my first event and I didn’t really know what to expect, I admit that was a little nervous walking in, plus it didn’t help that I was only the second person to arrive. Still, nothing like having a shared hobby to spark a conversation and we were soon all munching on delicious sarnies and swapping blog stories. I had perhaps wrongly assumed that it would be quite cliquey and a lot of people would brag about their thousands of followers (especially as being a newbie, I’m yet to reach that first 100!) but it turned out to be quite the opposite – everyone was friendly and interesting, each with a different take on our blogs which helped a lot!

Joe Blogs were fab, organising everything to a T and giving us great goodie bags filled with crafty bits (*hint* more south west blogger events please!), Hillary’s got stuck in and made their own shutters, plus providing all the others for us to use and Becky was really fantastic, going through everything Blue Peter style, being on hand to sort rogue screws, dole out platters of paint and blobs of wax and generally get enthusiastic about our attempts to make our shutters as neat and beautiful as hers!

If you’re interested in seeing Hillary’s write up of the event, click here.