Thursday 11 March | Holly Mathieson

For her #100DaysOfGreenNevis project, artistic director Holly Mathieson has been recycling old materials into craft projects.

I really enjoy doing craft projects on lazy Sundays, or after a busy patch of work – it’s great for my mental health, and makes good, practical use of things, rather than throwing them out. I had a big bag of old cotton doilies from a second-hand shop, and decided to give them a second life, with the help of stuff I had in the cupboard.

Christmas decorations – This was a good way to use the most delicate lace doilies, and all I needed was a few embroidery hoops, which you can buy for about £1.50 at any craft shop or online. Then I made a loop to hang them with, using some silver cord I’ve had for nearly 25 years. You could paint the frames and use brighter coloured ribbon, but I think they look nice plain. If you’re into cottage-core, they’d be pretty hanging on a plain, dark wall, but I think I’ll hang mine on the christmas tree in December, with lights behind them. 

Tea-tray – this required a bit more effort. I removed all the tacks and screws from an old, second-hand tray, cleaned and painted the surfaces with a testpot of paint, and cleaned the glass. Once it was dry, I lightly glued one of the doilies on the base before putting the glass back on top, re-screwing the handles, and tacking on the back board.

Cleaning sponges/shower puffs – Not the most attractive looking things, admittedly, but a great eco-alternative to the plastic-laden sponges you buy in the shops, and very easy to make. I used sturdier, thick-cotton doilies, plus some funky coloured shoelaces that I’d kept in my ribbon box.  it required a bit of experimentation to work out the best way to weave the shoelaces through to get the thick puffy shape, but the good thing about this sort of craft project is you can’t really get it wrong!

From 1 February 2021, Nevis is running #100DaysOfGreenNevis, where our musicians, staff and trustees will each take on a task for 100 days linked to Sustainability. We’d love you to join us, either by following the campaign online to get ideas of what you can do, or to show us you own actions for us to share. If you would like to know more, do get in touch at 

Nevis Ensemble’s #GreenNevis campaign in 2019 won the Environmental Sustainability award at the 2020 Scottish Awards for New Music, and was shortlisted for Best Campaign by Julie’s Bicycle.