DIY: Fairylights

Clap if you believe in fairylights! Or cost effective beautiful décor for that matter. I’ve recently discovered that fairylights are a vital and utterly versatile element to own as part of one’s collection of vital-versatile-décor-elements. Fairylights can be used in a child’s bedroom to create a dim and comforting atmosphere, no monsters under the bed kinda feel. Those same fairylights can then be wound around some greenery in the evening for an out door cocktail party, or draped on a tree for the festive season, or wrapped in sheer material and laid along a table to create a table centre piece. Numerous strings can be hung together, in a room or on a veranda to create a curtain-like feel. They create the most spectacular atmosphere and cost next to nothing, well I’ll speak for mine in this case.

And if you’re bored with the plain white ones, they’re perfectly easy to spruce using household items. I spruced my set with layered cupcake holders that were also rather inexpensive. Simply slice a tiny slit in the middle of the colder and slide it on to the light. Layer them, cut them into various shapes, use various colours or textures, and when you’re satisfied with your set of spruced up lights, string them up or drape them. Ceilings, headboards, curtain rails and dressing tables make for lovely bedroom spots for them but they can just as easily be used in the bathroom or garden, as well as for entertainment décor purposes.

A little spring time sparkle for you, enjoy!

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DIY: Crystal Garden Chandelier

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I don’t know about you, but every so often I have the urge to crystallize something. A hanging something that can be hung somewhere to spread colour spectra everywhere. So, when such an urge strikes, one has absolutely no other choice but to embrace the crystal calling.

Step 1: Venture out of your humble abode into the widest world. Continue on until you find yourself in a land of crystals where you should proceed to barter with the crystal kingdom king in order to attain a satisfactory quantity of sizable sparkly rocks. With these in hand, head on over to a forest and find some drift wood, twig shaped heart. twig shaped ball or any other natural device that allows for pretties to be hung from it.

Step 2: With the main magical ingredients in hand, you are almost ready to begin the spectra shaping process. Scratch around said humble abode to find some pieces of clear nylon and a little piece of wire.

Step 3: Do a happy dance! You now have everything needed to sprout light rainbows all over your garden. Yay! From here on out it’s pretty darned simple. Simply string your sizable crystals onto your natural device in any arrangement you like. Then wind that little piece of wire and loop it on top of the natural device so that it can be hung.

and then…. Hang it up in the sunlight!

Step 4: Repeat happy dance while enjoying your new garden feature.

If you want to add more sparkle to the feature, string fairy lights through the vine ball to create a light feature of sorts. The fairy lights reflect beautifully against the crystals and tend to induce more happy dancing.

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DIY: Fabric Chandelier

Got a spare hoola hoop and some fabric lying around, asking to be used for reasons other than hip shaking and hip hiding? Yes? Yay! Time to make a fabric chandelier! Why? Because they make for lovely party decorations, bedroom decorations and garden features.

Gather up your bits and bobs; bits being fabric glue and bobs being a hoola hoop and any fabric and ribbon that you have lying around. Perhaps not any fabric; but fabric that isn’t being used, or that you need an excuse to cut up. Yes, that includes the hideous bedspread in the guest room that you’ve been meaning to get rid of since the in laws left. Match up your ribbons and fabric strips so that they tone into a colour scheme of sorts. Say warmer reds and oranges, cooler blues and greens or neutral beiges and creams.I chose maroon and shades of pinks for mine because I will be using mine for an event coloured by a similar palette.

First I cut the fabric up into strips of similar widths and lengths. You can be as precise as you see fit in this process – I went for a bit of variety as I’m a fan of texture and see the imprecision as adding an element of character. Personal taste, that. With fabric in hand, wrap the tip around the hoop and glue in place, in  any order you choose. Leave the material to dry and then add on a ribbon/piece of string/wire to the chandelier – for hanging purposes, yes? Yes. Yay!

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DIY: Cinnamon Candles

By Dale Anne Scogings

Whether you’re eating cinnamon or smelling it, I’d have to say that it’s decidedly one of the smelliest (in a good way) and tastiest spices. If you’re a fan of the spice, or you know of someone else who is, why not try make a scented candle for yourself, or for the afore mentioned ‘someone else.’

Raid your spice cupboard for your cinnamon sticks. Grab a candle or two – make sure it’s a fairly tall and thick candle. Find some craft glue or super glue. Ordinary glue stick won’t do the trick and super glue can get a bit dangerous, what with the chance of gluing your fingers to the candle in the blink of an eye, so I’d suggest plain old craft glue. Grab some twine, rope, ribbon or any other thin, lengthy piece of somethin’ somethin’ – and you’re good to go. And some newspaper, to avoid getting glue all over your work space.
First, wipe down your candle of choice (preferably a neutral colour). Next spread a layer of glue onto an area of the side of the candle, and begin sticking cinnamon sticks, side by side, onto the candle. Do it in bits and allow each section to dry before adding more sticks. You might have to break up your cinnamon sticks if they’re too thick, or if you need a slither or two to fill in some gaps. Place cinnamon sticks around the entire candle and once they have dried in place, tie a piece of ribbon or twine around the candle to complete it.

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Cinnamon is probably the most dynamic spice, so don’t despair if you have some leftover sticks. It works well on top of cappuccinos, use a stick as a swizzle stick in hot chocolate, sprinkle it on pancakes, add it to curry or mashed butternut, or just make another scented candle.

DIY: Beaded Suncatcher

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By Dale Anne Scogings

No, this is not an article about making a technological gadget to capture the sun, the stars, the moon or an astronaut. Instead, this piece explains how to make a contraption (read: pretty ornament) to catch and reflect rays of sunlight. This Florence and the Machine-esque decoration (Spectrum, you know the song yes? Click the link if you don’t.) can be hung in the garden, on the patio, in a sunny spot in the bathroom or bedroom. Pick a spot where you’d like to see some sparkle and colour, that’s where to hang this creation.

You’ll need some nylon, beads, crystal beads, crimps, pliers, mirrors, bells, mosaic tiles and anything else that you could thread/stick onto your suncatcher. I didn’t use little square mirrors or mosaic tiles because they didn’t quite fit the style of my suncatcher. To add them onto your suncatcher all you need to do is glue two back to back, together onto your nylon thread. The rest of the items are simple enough to add to your suncatcher. There’s no exact recipe for these, so feel free to place your beads and bits in the order you like. The only two steps that must be followed are that something weighty needs to be placed at the one end while a loop needs to made on the other end (for hanging). In between the ends is where the fun happens. Thread and stick the various bits as you like. You can thread a full nylon thread full of beads and mirrors or you can leave spaces between clusters of beads (as I did). Place a crimp (a little metal bead) at the end of a section and clamp it down with a pair of pliers. Tying a knot works too but crimps are advised as they look slightly neater than knots do. But, e-knot about that. Suncatchers, like bamboo diffusers, make for great gifts as well as decorations for the home.

Channel your inner magpie and get your creative-shine on by capturing some rays with one of these homely charms.

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