DIY Orange Pomander

A pomander? It’s a cross between a pomegranate and a salamander. In some countries maybe. But not this one. In actual fact it is a perfumed orange – from French pomme d’ambre, i.e. apple of amber, is a ball of perfumes. Yay!

They also happen to make wonderful Christmas ornaments, gifts and room fresheners. Organic holiday scent diffusers if you will? You don’t need much to make them and they’re gosh darned simple to create.

You’ll need: Oranges, ribbon, pins and whole cloves.

With the necessaries in hand, proceed to secure the ribbon in place with said pins. Tie a bow on top and proceed to push the cloves into the skin of the orange. Place them sporadically or create a pattern out of the cloves. Tie the ribbon directly on top of the orange or create a loop with the ribbon to allow for it to be hung up on a door handle or on the Christmas tree. The pomanders should produce a scent much like that of the fruit mince used in a mince pie – way to add to a festive atmosphere (and induce mince pie cravings all in one go).

Happy holidays dear readers. May they be filled with much joy and festivity.

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DIY Typographic Pillow

I’ve recently taken to looking at all white surfaces around me as being prospective canvasses. Yes. Everything. White t-shirts, trainers, plates, mugs, candles – you name it. I wanna decorate it. Beginning with this little white scatter cushion I happened upon whilst rummaging through my local linen cupboard.

For this project you’ll need a blank scatter cushion, a permanent laundry marker, some stencils, a pencil and a quote. I chose to use a line from one of my favourite poems – Desiderata. It’s super simple really, plot out the words using your pencil and your stencil. Yeah my poetry rocks. And then! Simply colour the words in with your laundry marker and there you have it! A typographic pillow for your bed, couch or chair. I chose to keep it simple by creating a black and white aesthetic but don’t be afraid to add some colour and additional free-hand designs around the words if you feel they’re too plain.

Yay for comfy crafting!

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DIY Fabric Wreath

It’s holiday time. Carols are ringing, fruit mince is simmering, eyes are glimmering and your wreath needs reviving. Got a few scraps of fabric lying around? A pair of scissors and a wire clothes hanger? Yes? Marvellous!

Let’s make a magical Christmas wreath!

I happened to not have very nice scraps of material lying around, so I purchased myself a few 20cm strips of gold and red fabric from the local fabric shop. Try stick to a holiday appropriate colour scheme – red/pink for Valentines day, brights for Easter, red/blue/white for the Fourth of July, black/orange for Halloween, etc. Also,play around with textured fabrics for a more interesting wreath. I chose a sparkly fabric, a matte fabric, velvet and so on, for mine.

With your strips of fabric at the ready, cut each into smaller strips about 3cm wide and 15-20cm long. Bend your clothes hanger into a circular shape and proceed to tie each strip onto the hanger. Knot the material in the centre and continue until your clothes hanger is no longer visible. Tie the various materials randomly or in a particular order – I placed mine randomly around the wire frame.

Lastly – colour the hook of the hanger to match your wreath’s colour scheme. I used a gold marker to do mine, but paint should work just fine as well.

There you have it! Happy holidays all!

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DIY Nail Art

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You need:
A hammer
A pencil and ruler
Nails
A board (not chipboard – fairly sturdy wood)
Colourful twine/string
An awesome place to hang the final product

Start by marking out the points where each nail needs to go on the board. I chose to create the word ‘art’ but you can pretty much string up any design, word, picture, shape, (whatever floats your boat), (you get the point), that you would like to.
After plotting your design on the board, begin hammering in each nail. It can become a tad noisy after a while but the final product will be worth the headachey-loud-noise. With each nail secured and upright, you can begin the threading process. It’s pretty simple really, tie a knot around a nail on one end of your design and simply twist the twine around the nails to create a woven look. Try keep the thread even so as to keep it looking neat and evenly covered. Try keep it a colour palette of sorts, it’ll make the final product look just that more professional and somewhat less crafty. Once all the nails have had some twine twisted around them tie a final knot to secure the string.

Yay! And that, folks, is how to create a simple (and creative) piece of artwork for your home.

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Make Your Very Own Step Ladder Shelving Bookcase

DIY Ladder Book Shelf

Instead of buying a flimsy, boring, regular bookcase why not make your own interesting, sturdy, fun one…. using a step ladder.
What you will need:What You Will Need To Make A Ladder BookCase

  •  Wooden step ladder, I used a new 3 step one but you can use one that has seen a bit of diy action, gives it character
  • Random left over pieces of wood lying about the shed
  • Tape measure
  • Pen
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Jig saw
  • Sander

Open the ladder fully and measure the size for a shelf to fit snugly under the first rung and lowest rear support. These 2 should be the same height so you will get a level shelf. If they are not the same height don’t worry, you can always use cabinet shelf supports, these are cheap and easy to work with.
Then measure the space to put a shelf on top of the middle step. On top so that the bottom book shelf is the biggest it can be for those large books.
Use the sander to tidy up your edging and maybe also to clean up the surface of the wood. You can even paint or varnish it if you want but I left mine as is.
Make another smaller shelf to put on the top step, you can put a lamp up there, or even a small bus.

A Ladder Bookcase Looks Great In A Boys Room
Cost: 20 for the ladder because I didn’t have a spare old one lying about
I used screws, glue and pieces of wood left over from previous diy projects so I didn’t have to buy anything else
Time taken: 3 hours

The Cost And Return Of Home Improvements

Where To Improve Your Home To Make The Most Return On Investment
With the housing market stagnant in many areas and buyers harder to come by, it is important to improve your home to make it more sellable. This could mean little projects such as laying new carpets and redecorating or undertaking bigger improvements such as kitchen extensions and adding a conservatory.   Such improvements can increase the value of a property and make for a quicker sale should you decide to sell or re-mortgage.

However, whatever home improvements cost money. So is it best to use your savings, tap into the equity you have by re-mortgaging, take out a home improvement loan or use a 0% credit card?

For instance, a big improvement such as a conservatory can be quite expensive, so it might be best to save up for it or get a low-cost loan.

A smaller improvement such as replacing the kitchen tap could be done using a 0% credit card, but make sure you pay it off during the interest-free period if you can.   Here are some home improvement suggestions with guide prices…

Home improvement return on investment 2

Home improvement return on investment 3

Home improvement return on investment 4

Home improvement return on investment 5

Home improvement return on investment 6

Source: http://www.moneysupermarket.com/loans/

DIY Embellished Chair

You’d think that colourful chairs like this one would only exist somewhere over the rainbow – yeah, they’re just that awesome to sit in. And to look at, for that matter. Remember the rocking chair I whitewashed a while back? Yeah, that old thing. It started out as a boring old pine rocker, okay maybe I’m exaggerating a little but you know what I mean. And then I gave it a facelift, et voila we have a wonderful white chair. But it needed an extra somethin’ somethin’. An whenever something needs an extra somethin’ somethin’ I always seem to gravitate to rainbows. Personal taste that. They’re just so damn happy. Anyhow, sidenote that. So you wanna know how to give a chair an extra bit of pop? Grab a stack of ribbons and knot them onto the top rail. Space them between the spindles to create a flowy style. And don’t just hang one or two. Drape excessively or evenly, not minimally (if that’s even a thing). And pick ribbons according to a colour scheme of sorts. Colour schemes are incredibly useful when decorating or creating. Click here for a little colour inspo. This little ribbon trick works well as a temporary decor idea for entertaining. Have a long table and many a chair in need of some party colours and pizaaz? Here’s your answer.

Happy colour rocking.

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Make Your Own Mosaic Tile Splashback

Seriously if I can do it then anyone can. It is my first mosaic tiling job and… well see for yourself.

Cloakroom basin splashback before and after photos:

splashback MT0006 before  

I made a photo diary of the job so you can see just how simple it is:

Tools and materials I used are:
Tape measure
craft knife
glass mosaic tiles
hacksaw
file
aluminium edging strip
sharp screwdriver
coarse sanding paper
paint scraper
fork
tile adhesive
plank
sponge
tile grout
beer

Measure the outer perimeter and cut the edging strips to size, Mine are 3 sides with the basin at the bottom edge. The top corners are done by cutting 45 degree angles which I marked out using a square card board folded in half to make a triangle. Use a file to finish off the cut edges. I used 8mm edging because the tiles are 8mm thick

Cut the mosaic tile sheets to the correct size. I used glass mosaic tiles. The specs are:
MT0006 Hong Kong autumn mix glass mosaic tiles
8mm thick. 4mm to 8mm are good for wall mosaic tiles
The chip (tile piece) size is 48mm x 15mm. You need to be sure of this size to avoid having to cut a lot of tile pieces
There are 108 tile pieces glued onto a sheet. It is easily cut between the tile pieces using scissors or a craft knife
A sheet is 30cm x 30cm.
I used 2 sheets and made a rectangle 40mm wide x 45mm high to go behind a 40mm wide basin

Roughen up the wall surface to give the adhesive a better grip. I used a sharp screwdriver and coarse sanding paper. Try not to go out of the area to be tiled, then you wont need to touch-up with paint afterwards

Apply tile adhesive with a ploughed field effect. I used a paint scraping tool to apply the paste and a kitchen fork to make grooves. You could use the proper tool which is cheap from your local hardware store. The grooves aid in laying the tiles evenly

Wear your favorite super hero shirt to get you in the right frame of mind

Place the tile sheets into position with the edging strip tucked in behind. Press gently just so the tiles don’t fall off. Don’t push hard yet, we will get to that part soon.

Use tile spacers between the separate sheets to keep a uniform grid pattern. I used 2mm ones

Ok now you can press the tiles onto the wall. Use a short plank to get them all even. This is what I’ve been keeping that piece of wood for in the shed all these years

Apply fine texture grout with a firm sponge. For anyone that doesn’t know, grout is the filler between the tile spaces. You can get various colours of grout,  I chose white. In fact I used a premixed white 2 in 1 cement grout product. It is practical if you have a small area to tile

Job Done!

my wife is very happy with it too…. big points for me!!!

Total cost: £21.40

Time taken: 3 hours. This is not including adhesive and grout drying time

Calculate How Many Mosaic Tile Sheets You Need For Your Project

Mosaic Tiles Variety 4mm 23x23 with or without glitter

Calculate the number of mosaic tile sheets you will need to complete your DIY project:

First calculate the size of one mosaic tile sheet (eg 30cm x 30cm = 900cm²)

Then calculate the area to be tiled. (eg 90cm x 250cm = 22500cm²)

Then divide the total area to be tiled by the area of one sheet (eg 22500 / 900 = 25 sheets needed)

Useful conversions:

1 m = 100 cm

1 m = 1000 mm

1 m² = 10 000 cm²

2.54cm = 1 inch

1m² = 10.764ft²

Area Calculator For Mosaic Tiles

More about mosaics….
Mosaic tiles come in a variety of sheet sizes so you must make sure you have the correct info, you don’t want to come up short and find out later that the supplier no longer stocks them.

Some sheets of mosaic tiles are a mix of sizes and are not as easily cut into the right size strips as you would be able to cut a sheet of uniform tile pieces

Make sure that you will be able to do your job with the least amount of cutting, and I don’t mean cutting the gauze backing, I mean the tile pieces. For example if you need a 75mm strip it is best to use mosaics that have 23mm chip sizes. 48mm chip sizes will need to be cut and this will be a big challenge

DIY: Crayon Art

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Happen to have one or two blank boards at home? Yes? Awesome! And some white paint? Great! Or maybe you have canvases that are already white and ready to be rainbowed up? That’d be even better! Basically we’re looking for a blank surface that’ll show colour beautifully – like a wooden board that’s been give a coat of white house paint, or a blank canvas.

Yay! Let’s make rainbows! Grab about a bajillion (because that’s a real number) wax crayons, some glue and a hairdryer. Order your crayons as you’d like to see them melt. I kinda went for all the colours in the box and arranged them according to the rainbow – because rainbow is my favourite colour, see. You, however, can pick only the colours you like and arrange them as you see fit. I’d suggest keeping similar hues together, ’cause melting similar hues seems to create a better blend of colour than, say, melting right pink and black. But that’s just my taste.

Anyhow, with your white surface and crayons ordered – time to get sticking. Use craft glue to keep the crayons in place on the canvas. Allow them a little time to dry before going at it with the heat. We don’t want melted crayons slipping all over the show now.

Eeek! Hairdrying time! This can get a tad messy, but is by far the funnest part. Stand your board up (crayons glued to the top) and simply hairdry the crayons. Angle the hairdryer at about 45 degrees to the ground and watch the wax melt and splatter. Start at one end and work your way to the other – spending a minute or two at each point along the way. A strong hairdryer is best because the intense heat and power allow for the crayon to melt quickly and splat quickly. And little hairdryers just kinda create a dribble and well – don’t produce such a splattery style.

Et voila! We have rainbow art! Get the leprechauns, I mean kids, involved. Or anyone with an appreciation for craft and colour. This is a great, easy and inexpensive way to create art works for a bedroom, art room or dull spot in the home.