Hester van Overbeek is a brilliant craft blogger, Youtuber and author of several books. She loves to work with DIY home decor materials, such as concrete and wood, and always seems to be busy working on an exciting home improvement project.
With her latest book, Making Concrete Pots, Bowls and Platters, out now, we caught up with Hester to find out what she's up to and to hear a little bit more about the book writing process...
From hair and make-up artist to DIY crafter and author… can you tell us a little bit about your creative journey so far?
I‘ve always been creative as a child, from making outfits for my Barbie dolls to teaching myself how to draw with library books. So it wasn’t a surprise that I ended up in a creative industry, doing hair and makeup on photoshoots all over the world.
When I left London a few years back and moved to the coast I got the chance to do up a house and as the budget for this makeover was non existing I started DIY-ing and making things myself again. My friends found the house makeover so inspiring they urged me to start a blog so I could show others how they could make frugal projects for their homes. The blog (www.hestershandmadehome.com) keeps growing in popularity and I’m now working on my 4th book! Who would have known that, that beach house would be the start of a whole career change. I still work as a makeup artist but my main focus is DIY now.
Your latest book Making Concrete Pots, Bowls and Platters is full of brilliant ideas for crafting with concrete. Do you have a favourite project from the book and why?
I love the concrete table with the copper legs, the concrete is so incredibly smooth on top and combined with a hint of copper it’s a very stylish and on trend item for your living room. I also love the fire bowl, it’s a perfect centre piece when hanging out with friends on my decking. From the small projects my favourite has to be the animal shaped planter. I used a turtle shaped bath toy as a mould and named the planter Theodorus the tortoise :)
In the book’s intro, you talk about having to be patient when crafting with concrete…Did you have some ups and downs when writing this book?
I’m a very fast worker and I like instant results so working with a medium that has to set for 24 hours or more took a little time to get used to. I’ve worked with concrete before but designing 35 new projects took some trial and error. I lot of attempts ended up in the recycling skip! Concrete is a very cheap and widely available building material so transforming this industrial product to stylish home accessories was a lot of fun!
You often experiment with the materials that you use in your projects – from wood to concrete and much more – do you have a favourite medium to work in and why?
I think my old time favourite must be wood. It is so versatile and as my thing is up-cycling timber is a perfect medium. I love going to the reclamation yard and marvel at all the patina of old doors and floor boards, the more chipped the paint the better! Wood can also be easily adjusted, if you change your design half way through or if your build just doesn’t work you can just take it apart and start again. For the same reason I also love working with fabric.
I try and post a new video tutorial every week, I feature big builds I make for my house and small crafts you can make in a few minutes. I will post a video of one of my favourite projects from the concrete book soon and I’m working on some interviews with some amazing crafter makers so stay tuned!
Hester's new book, Making Concrete Pots, Bowls and Platters, is available now.