When my employer set me free (woo hoo!) last year, I celebrated with a little trip to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It was in Lincolnshire that I spotted and bought a little antique desk. It had obviously been much used and was showing its age. But we liked it because it is the same age as our house.
I had a quote to redo the top. The restorer didn't think it needed doing because he liked the "patina". When he quoted £300 I fell in love with the patina as well.
I have cleaned and waxed it and it now looks perfectly acceptable. But it was missing something. We bought a new desk lamp and that helped a lot. Then I had the idea of buying a leather desk mat to go on top. These sell for about £50 on Ebay; so I moved quickly on to Plan B.
I bought a large piece of brown faux leather for about £4. I have already used some to make a door draught excluder that costs £40 on Ebay. So I am now up to £90 of items from a £4 piece of material.
It needed an insert and I puzzled over what to use. Then I remembered something that has been in the bottom of my wardrobe since 2012. That was the year when the Olympic Games were held in London and other UK venues. The atmosphere was so great that year and, quite honestly, hasn't been matched ever since. I was so involved that I even went to the victory parade in London.
I don't usually go to these victory parades. But I have watched them on tv and have seen the crowd holding up placards. Mystery solved. Clever companies give out these boards and ask people to write messages and then hold them up. Free advertising! My placard came from British Airways. I like the Union flags all around the edge. I don't like my soppy message, so that is covered up in the photo by the strategically placed faux leather!
I measured very, very carefully and cut out the leather. I have been watching a recycling tv programme called "Money For Nothing" and copied the idea to hold the leather together with clips rather than pins to avoid holes.
I was worried that my old sewing machine wouldn't be able to cope with 2 layers of faux leather. But it purred along and here is the finished result.
Hubby and I are both really pleased with it. My eventual aim is to move my laptop to the desk and to do my computing work there. Now I will be happy that the top is protected.
I'm glad I kept this placard. It has come in really useful and I still get that warm feeling and happy memories when I look at my new desk mat. Hopefully, it will last for decades. I suppose it will be thrown away one day. But I doubt that it will ever be opened up. My secret insert is preserved for posterity!