How to make a ladder storage shelf in 9 simple steps

This narrow shelving unit is perfect for storing all of your craft supplies in a small space. It’s also great for the bathroom, playroom, kids room – anywhere where space is limited and storage is needed! Paint it to match your decor or decorate with decoupage to give it some extra personality. you can even adjust the dimensions to suit your available space. So go on, make your own ladder storage shelf this weekend!

This post was originally done for Idees | Ideas Magazine.

You will need:

  • 3x 2.4m Pine PAR 19mmx94mm
  • 1x 1.2m Pine PAR 19mmx94mm
  • 3x 1.8m Pine PAR 19mm x 44mm
  • 1x 2.4m Pine PAR 19mm x 44mm
  • 2m white laminated shelf or laminated pine shelf 19mmx380mm
  • 62x 4mmx32mm wood screws
  • 2x 4mmx75mm wood screws
  • Wood filler
  • Scraper
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • 3mm wood drill bit
  • Paint suitable for wood. We used Prominent Paints Ultrasheen water-based emulsion in white for the frame and the outside of the shelves, and Fired Earth Chalk Paint in Seine Olive for the inside of the shelf boxes.

Cutting list for frame: Use the 19mm x 44mm pine

  • Back legs: 1400m x 2
  • Front legs: 1455mm x 2
  • Horizontal Strut at top: 420mm

Cutting list for the sides of the shelf boxes: Use the 19mm x 94mm pine

  • 2x 120mm
  • 2x 220mm
  • 2 x 320mm
  • 2x 400mm
  • 8x 420mm

Cutting list for the base of the shelf boxes: Use laminated shelf

  • 120mm x 380mm
  • 220mm x 380mm
  • 320mm x 380mm
  • 420mm x 380mm

Step 1:

storage ladder shelf

storage ladder shelf

Cut the top and bottom of the 2 front legs at angles as shown.

 

Step 2:

storage ladder shelf

storage ladder shelf

Use the diagram to drill pilot holes in the pre-cut sides of the shelf boxes. This will prevent the wood from splitting when you assemble it.

 

Step 3:

storage ladder shelf

Assemble the shelf boxes by screw-fixing first the sides, and then the back and front to the laminated shelves.

 

Step 4:

storage ladder shelf

Use matching wood filler and a scraper to fill the holes and cover the screws.

 

Step 5:

storage ladder shelf

Once the filler has dried, use sand paper to smooth it down.

 

Step 6:

storage ladder shelf

Drill pilot holes and then screw-fix the back legs of the frame to the boxes. The biggest box should be 100mm from the floor, with the subsequent boxes spaced at 260mm.

 

Step 7:

Once all the boxes are in place, position the front leg and screw fix that on the boxes. Always remember to drill a pilot hole first.

 

Step 8:

storage ladder shelf

Use a 75mm wood screw to fix the front and back legs together. Then add a horizontal strut at the top to further strengthen the shelf.

 

Step 9:

Paint the shelf, allowing sufficient drying time between coats.

If you used a white laminated shelf base inside the boxes, make sure that the paint you choose is suitable for laminate. Craft paint is great for this.

storage ladder shelf

Now you can use your shelf for whatever you need. It could even work as a plant stand!

Happy making!

 

How to make a trendy copper towel ladder

There seems to be a tremendous amount of holidays at the moment, which is the perfect time for a quick DIY project. Storage ladders are very popular and you can make this one in less than an hour with a few inexpensive goodies picked up from your local hardware store. And best of all, you can use it in pretty much any room in your home! In the bathroom for towels, in the living room for blankets (perfect for the cooler weather setting in!) in the bedroom as a clothes hanger or in the kids’ room to store their multitude of paraphernalia. Here’s how to make your own trendy copper towel ladder.

This post was originally done for Idees | Ideas Magazine.

You will need:

  • 5x wooden broom handles
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Paint (we used WondaSeal Stain & Seal in white) and a soft cloth for application
  • 8x 22mm copper plumbing T-juntions
  • 4x 22mm copper plumbing end caps

Step 1

Cut each of the 5 broom handles to the following lengths: 1x 480mm; 2x 400mm

 

Step 2

If the broom handles are sealed, you will first need to remove the varnish with sandpaper. If they are unsealed, you can skip to step 3.

 

Step 3

Use the soft cloth to apply paint or wood stain to the wooden pieces. TIP: You can keep them upright when they’re wet by making them stand inside the pockets of a Styrofoam seedling tray!

 

Step 4

Use the plumber’s tape to bulk up the ends of the wooden pieces. You want them to fit very snug inside the copper fittings to prevent the ladder from being shaky once assembled. Make sure that the wood is pushed all the way into the fittings to secure them.

Step 5

Assemble the ladder by placing the 400mm pieces vertically into the copper t-junctions, with the 480mm pieces making up the rungs of the ladder. You are going to be left with one 480mm piece – if you prefer a taller ladder, you can just add another rung with 2 more T-juntions. Secure the end-caps on the top and bottom pieces.

Step 6

Using a carpet knife or craft knife, carefully trim any of the plumber’s tape that may be visible once all the pieces have been assembled.

Now add some towels, blankets or baskets to your beautiful ladder. For some added luxury, place your towel ladder in front of a heating panel to have snugly warm towels all through winter!

Happy making!

How to make your own wall art in your rental home

Knowing how to decorate your home can be hard when you have limitations as a renter. Anything that is done needs to be able to be removed easily, without leaving any marks or holes in the walls. Washi tape is a great solution as it lets you add a little personality to your space, while still remaining easily removable, with absolutely no fuss.

You could use any design you like, but origami works well as it’s made up of straight lines.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

What you need:

Washi tape
Painters tape or masking tape (optional)
Design (Click here to use this design:  Origami Hummingbird - Pure Sweet Joy for Homeology.pdf)
Ruler
Scissors

What to do:

Start by finding your design, measuring out the length of each line and then scaling it up to be the size that you want it to be. The easiest way to scale it is to measure the length or height of your printed out version and then see how much that length needs to be multiplied by to get the final length you want it to be on the wall. That number then becomes your multiplication factor for all the other lines. Look, there is a use for high school math after all!

Example: The total width of the printed hummingbird measures 23cm (seen recorded on the rough sketch). I wanted the final bird to be roughly 70cm, so multiplying by 3 kept it simple, making the final width roughly 69cm. The left-hand line measures 9cm on the printout, making its final washi tape size 27cm (9×3=27).

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Using painter’s tape (or extra washi tape), mark out the rough area where your final design will be. The final dimensions may differ slightly from those you calculated, as it does not take into account the width of the actual washi tape and slight changes in the angles of the lines. Stick your printed design on the wall for easy reference.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Starting sticking your washi tape strips from one corner, and work your way across the picture. Place your washi tape according to the printed picture. For awkward corners, cut the tape a little longer and leave it for now.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

 

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once all the pieces have been stuck to the wall, go around with scissors and neatly cut off the little extra ends left at the corners.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

What other rental decor ideas have you implemented in your space?

How to simplify your life with quick DIY organising hacks

Are you the type of person who has loads of little things lying around with no specific place to put them? I often find that simply giving something a home is the first and most important step to getting organised. It’s not always an easy thing to do though, especially if you have limited storage space. If you need a little inspiration, you can use these simple DIY organizing hacks to get you started!

Easy Cable Organising

Almost every time I need a cable for charging a camera, importing photos or tethering my camera I have to dig through a little pile of electronic cables. So while the cables as a whole have a home, the fact that all of their homes are in the exact same place means it still gets messy. By simply giving each little cable its own home in an empty toilet roll, this problem is solved. Decorate the toilet rolls with a strip of wrapping paper, Washi tape or a little hand-drawn design. Write the name of the cable on its new toilet roll home and you have an organised set of cables. No more scratching through the pile!

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Mini Handbag Storage

Ever find yourself scratching through your bag for that little clip that you just KNOW is in there somewhere? You may find everything else that you didn’t even know was deep in your handbag, but just not that clip! One of the easiest DIY hacks, is to place your clips into a small mint container, like a Tic Tac box. Add a little glamour to the container with a simple strip of gold tape.

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Or, mini stationery storage

Use the exact same method to tidy up your stationery storage for small things like paperclips, thumbtacks or pins.

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Simple Plug Sorting

Tired of being unsure which plug is which? In an effort to not overload our plug points, some of our small appliances get unplugged when not in use. Not only does this mean the plugs get all knotted, but it also means that you can be waiting forever for the kettle to boil before realising that it isn’t even plugged in yet! Using a simple piece of Washi tape, coloured tape or even masking tape allows you to label each appliance close to the plug. This makes it much simpler when figuring out what is what. The same method could be used for all those pesky computer plugs or hair accessories.

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Mini Ribbon Holders

Just like cables, ribbons can also get so easily tangled together. This is especially annoying when you’re trying to wrap a present at the last minute! Once again one, of the simplest little DIY hacks using a mint container can solve the problem. Keep one end of the ribbon poking out the hole to make it easy to quickly pull out however much ribbon you need.

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Organising Kitchen Drawers

While you’re busy organising things a little more, you might as well tackle that kitchen drawer which holds all the odds and ends. Each drawer will need different methods depending on what you end up using it for, but here are 3 easy steps:

  1. Start by taking everything out of the drawer.
  2. Before putting anything back in, throw out or give away the items that you can do without.
  3. Finally add smaller containers to hold like items together, use a cutlery tray for storing the extra cutlery items such as spatulas, salad servers and measuring spoons or even an ice cube tray for very small items.

Enjoy using your newly organised space!

Quick and easy DIY for an inexpensive kitchen makeover

My kitchen had been featured on this blog and a couple of other publications a few times now already, but only because it was the most inexpensive built-in kitchen ever! I bought the kitchen 2nd hand online and then painted it, put on new counter tops and added pretty handles and hey presto! – new kitchen! But now, nearly 5 years later, it had started to look a bit worse for wear and I decided that it was time for a kitchen makeover. I have always been a devout fan of gray in all its hues, but the pale French gray in the kitchen was really getting a bit dull and dated. So here is my easy and inexpensive update, featuring the heroes in the today’s story: deep charcoal and crisp white paint.

kitchen make-over

A quick note on gray: even though you may think it is, gray is not necessarily a neutral colour. Most grays lean toward blue, red, pink and even yellow! So, when you choose a gray, always test it on a small area in the room first, and then live with it for a while so that you can see if the colour changes in different light and at different times of the day. I chose a deep charcoal gray that is specifically neutral and not leaning toward any other colour. These will usually be marked with an “N” in the code. 

kitchen make-over

The doors were originally a very light beech laminate. We primed them with a laminate primer and painted them in a water-based emulsion the last time, so this time, no priming was necessary. I love water-based emulsions: it has all the washable and gloss properties of an enamel, without all the mess. These types of paints also usually have a slight sheen to them, making them really easy to clean as well.

kitchen make-over

A light sanding was all that was needed and then I started to paint the lovely deep charcoal on the lower cabinets, and a crisp white on the upper cabinets. The white required 2 coats with a light sanding in between, while the charcoal needed 3 coats with a bit of sanding between layers.

kitchen make-over

kitchen make-over

By sanding between coats, you get a really nice smooth finish that makes it look factory-finished.

kitchen make-over

Replacing kitchen cabinet hardware is another super easy way to quickly update the look of your kitchen. Handles come in standard sizes, but if you want something that is bigger or smaller than what you currently have, just make sure that you fill the old holes before you paint. These pretty little curved handles compliment the look of the kitchen beautifully. You can find similar ones from Knobs.co. 

kitchen make-over

The charcoal really brings out the warmth of the butcher block counter tops while making the dishwasher less prominent – I didn’t expect that to happen, it was an added bonus!

Another advantage of having done this kitchen facelift was that I was forced to sort out my cabinets. Once the doors were off for a couple of days, I couldn’t stand the crazy mess inside the cupboards any longer and I started to sort out and throw out. My corner cabinet was probably the biggest challenge. There are fantastic hardware options, like the Lazy Susan, that will efficiently utilize the space. Because I also house the hob’s gas bottle in there though, it wasn’t an option. By simply putting all of the appliances that I don’t regularly use in there, I have now been able to maximize the space while not being confronted with the impractical shelving inside on a daily basis. 

kitchen make-over

I completely love my new charcoal and white kitchen, and as I’ve said so many times on this blog, I am always amazed at how a kitchen can be transformed with a bit of paint and new hardware. 

kitchen make-over

Click on the links to learn more about my kitchen island DIY or the tiled splash back.

Happy Painting!

The paint for this post was sponsored by Prominent Paints.

6 steps to make your own beautiful patchwork tiles

Patchwork tiles are very trendy this year, but retiling a bathroom can be an expensive and messy exercise. I really love patchwork tiles and decided to take the plunge and stamp my existing plain shower tiles to create a trendy black and white pattern.

patchwork tiles

This is what my shower looked like: plain, simple and quite uninspiring. The metal content in our water on the farm is very high, so things that come into regular contact with water don’t stay white for very long. I didn’t have very high hopes for the white tiles, and figured I didn’t have much to lose by trying!

YOU WILL NEED

  • 15cmx15xm Tile stamp (you can get yours from Homeology Shop)
  • Tile primer – I used A. Shak Tile Prime
  • Water-based paint, suitable for use in a bathroom – I used Plascon Polvin Matt Acrylic in black
  • Sponge rollers and pans – 1 for the primer and 1 for each paint colour

STEP 1

patchwork tiles

Use the sponge roller to apply primer to clean, dry tiles. For number of coats and curing time, follow the primer manufacturer’s instructions. We applied 3 layers of primer, allowing for each coat to dry before applying the next, and then let it cure for 24 hours.

STEP 2

patchwork tiles

Using undiluted paint, apply a thin layer of paint to the stamp.

STEP 3

patchwork tiles

Always test the print on a piece of paper first to see how much pressure you need to apply to get the desired look. Keep in mind that it is a hand-printing technique, so every print will look different.

TIP: You can use the test paper afterwards for gift wrap or make cards!

STEP 4

patchwork tiles

Once you are happy with the print, you can start to print on the tiles directly.  Use one hand to carefully position the stamp and the other to apply pressure once it’s in place.

STEP 5

patchwork tiles

Carefully apply pressure along all 4 corners, taking care not to move the stamp. If you accidentally smudge the print, you can quickly wipe it off with the clean cloth and allow the tile to dry before re-stamping.

STEP 6

patchwork tiles

When you’re happy with the result, slowly lift the stamp by tilting it onto one of its edges before taking it away from the wall. If the print is too light, you can easily re-stamp it, taking care to get the same position as the first print.

TIP: keep the edges of your stamp clean and free from excess paint to ensure a clean print.

patchwork tiles

Use a piece of clean paper to mask adjacent tiles when you’re printing half tiles.

patchwork tiles

patchwork tiles

weylandts botanical

Black and white is such a classic combination and it works in any room. I have teamed up my black and white bathroom with a deep green accent wall to create a Victorian look. My bathroom is my sanctuary and now I love it even more!

Happy stamping!

This post was originally created for Ideas Magazine. Click here to support their Thundafund campaign!

Trend alert – DIY marble table in 6 easy steps!

I have mentioned the natural trend a few times this month already, and marble is definitely at the top of the natural list. Luxurious, beautiful, durable and timeless, marble is a natural stone product that is still as covetable today as it was in Ancient Greece. Marble can be quite the investment though, so let me show you how to update an old-fashioned second-hand store find to a pretty little focal piece.

This post was originally developed for Ideas Magazine. Support their Thundafund campaign HERE!

YOU WILL NEED

  • Side table with glass top
  • Marble-look adhesive vinyl – we used Patifix
  • Spray Primer and primer in the colour of your choice
  • Paper and tape to protect the glass while spraying – newspaper will do
  • Squeegee
  • Craft knife
  • Needle

STEP 1

easy diy marble table

Lay the table on its top and tape paper the underside of the glass to protect it from the spray paint. Take special care to cover the area around the table legs.

STEP 2

easy diy marble table

Prime and spray the table legs, ensuring the paint dries properly between coats. To prevent the paint from running, ensure that you maintain 15 – 20cm distance between the spray nozzle and the legs.

STEP 3

easy diy marble table

Cut the vinyl roughly 3cm bigger than the surface of your table. If the table top is wider than the vinyl, you will have a join line. Place this join line slightly off-centre to make it less obvious. Peel back the paper on a corner of the vinyl and start applying it to the table. Slowly peel back the backing paper and use the squeegee continuously to eliminate any bubbles as you go.

STEP 4

easy diy marble table

When the first piece of vinyl has been applied, carefully line up the second piece to find where the pattern matches. Then remove the backing paper little by little and apply the vinyl in the same way as in step 3.

STEP 5

easy diy marble table

When the vinyl is in place, turn the table over and place it on a protected surface. Using a craft knife, carefully trim the excess around the edges.

STEP 6

easy diy marble table

Use a needle to make small holes in any bubbles that may remain. This will let the trapped air out and give you a smooth surface.

As simple as that! Just remember to use coasters for hot drinks otherwise it might damage the vinyl.

easy diy marble table

Happy making!

DIY Valentines Date Printable – Free download

Every year the question comes up: “What are we going to do for Valentine’s Day?” Maybe you’re the type to plan far in advance or you’re that couple who suddenly realizes that it’s Valentine’s Day TOMORROW and you have no plans. Restaurants get booked out, babysitters can be expensive and, well, maybe you just don’t feel like going out. Your Valentine’s Day can still be great by having a special Valentine’s date night meal at home or packing a little surprise picnic basket. Use the free Valentines date printable available below to add a special touch to your day!

Simply print out this valentines date printable for your own DIY date at home

Simply print out the files and fill them in. You will need two A4 pages to print it all. Use a variety of colours if you’d like to add some more colour to the spread.

Click Here To Download

Valentines Date Printable Menu:

There’s nothing wrong with simply taking your normal meal and packing it up as a picnic in your garden or eating it at your table, but if you’d like some other picnic ideas have a look at the the ones below.

Simply print out this valentines date printable for your own DIY date at home

Starters: Crackers and cheese, mini frittatas, crudités with hummus

Mains: Grilled chicken salad, sushi, quiche and salad, stuffed lettuce wraps

Dessert: Chocolate dipped strawberries, fruit salad, chocolate mousse, mini cheesecakes or even a good cup of coffee with these valentines cookies.

Compliment cards

Included in the pack is a set of seven compliment cards. Too often we don’t tell our loved loves how we feel about them or what we enjoy doing with them. Valentine’s Day (along with any other day) is the perfect opportunity to let them know what you think.

Simply print out this valentines date printable for your own DIY date at home

Valentines Date Printable Card:

Use the simple card to add in your own personalized message for your date.

Valentines Date Printable Wrapper:

Use the wrapper included to help make a box of chocolates, bottle of wine or other small addition fit in with the rest of your date.

Simply print out this valentines date printable for your own DIY date at home

Do you enjoy Valentine’s Day? What is your favourite Valentine’s Day memory?

Happy Valentine’s!

For more creative inspiration, follow my Instagram at @Puresweetjoy or visit me at Pure Sweet Joy.

Trendy DIY Bowl: turn an ordinary bowl into a statement piece

I have for a few years now done trend posts on all things natural – and this year it’s no different. In fact, I believe this trend is really only getting stronger and with collective consciousness finally reaching a point where we understand that mother nature is a bit peeved with us, it really just makes sense. Natural can mean many different things: wood, natural fibers, leaves – as things are in nature.

But I am not going to show you beautiful images of bringing the natural trend into your home. For that, you can look at this post and this post on the wood-trend specifically. I’d like to show you a trendy DIY bowl – a project that’s been in the making since my engagement a decade-and-a-half ago.

The bowl was a gift 15 years ago, and with being abroad for the first 7 years of married life and having all of our belongings in storage, the bowl was one of those items that I wasn’t completely convinced about by the time we set up house back in South Africa. But because of the sentimental value and the fact that it is a rather large bowl that may well at some point prove useful, I kept it.

And finally it dawned on what I should do with it – PAINT! I can’t believe that it took me so long to come up with this very straight-forward solution – but that just shows you that creativity eludes us all sometimes.

I used painter’s tape to mask off the top third of the bowl, protecting the wood with a few layers of paper.

I then took my trusty Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®  and using a brush, I covered the lower 2/3’s with paint. The advantage to using Annie Sloan is of course that you don’t have to prime or prep – which is ideal if you want a no-fuss paint solution.

After removing the tape, I saw that the line wasn’t quite as straight as I had hoped – the bowl’s slanted sides threw me off it seems. So I added another layer of thinned paint over the first, creating a 2-tone effect. I did this free-hand and ended up creating a very soft and almost wavy border.

trendy DIY bowl

Now this bowl is a centerpiece on my dining room table. It is regularly being mistaken for a designer-original, which of course it is: I’m a designer and it’s an original! But apart from that, it’s beautiful, made from natural materials and has a trendy twist. I totally love it!

Happy making!

How to paint an old carpet in trendy blue and yellow

Sometimes, you just have to go with a crazy idea and see how it works out! I have had this wool dhurrie in my kids’ playroom for 4 years, and for 4 years, it’s been bothering me. We got it as a gift to sweeten the deal on another rug that we bought in Rajasthan a few years ago – but the colours have faded and the olive, brick and mustard really didn’t go anywhere in my house. So I took the plunge and decided to update it. Let me show you how to paint an old carpet!

DIY painted carpet

You can tell by the paint splashes that it’s been in the playroom for a while!

DIY painted carpet

I tested my palette on paper first, just to make sure that I was happy with the combination. At first, I wanted to throw in some turquoise as well, but in the end, decided against it. Sometimes what looks great in the pot, is not as great on paper! Besides, blue and yellow is a very trendy combination this year, so I reckoned I couldn’t go wrong.

DIY painted carpet

TO PAINT A CARPET, YOU WILL NEED

  • An old cotton or wool rug (this technique is for a woven rug, not a cut- or twist-pile rug)
  • Paint in the colour of your choice (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in French Linen with Original, Napoleonic Blue and English Yellow on top)
  • Small bucket and wooden spoon for mixing
  • Foam rollers and pans
  • Blue painter’s tape (available from your nearest hardware store)
  • Measuring tape
  • Annie Sloan Clear Chalk Paint® Wax
  • Soft cloth

DIY painted carpet

(If you don’t want to change the background colour of your rug, skip to step 3).

Dilute the base colour by pouring equal parts water and paint into a small bucket and thoroughly mixing with a wooden spoon. The first coat tends to soak into the carpet quite a bit, so dilute enough paint with water to cover the entire area. A 210 x 308cm rug used 1.5 litres of paint mixed with 1.5 litres of water.

DIY painted carpet

Cover the rug with the base coat, using a sponge roller. If you need to mix more paint, make sure that you mix it to the exact same ratio to ensure that you have a consistent colour on the rug.

DIY painted carpet

Measure the total length of the rug and divide it by the number of bands you want to create. I made 14 equal horizontal bands of 22cm on the rug. Use the blue painter’s tape and a ruler or tape measure to create the bands, making sure that everything is straight.

DIY painted carpet

Now, create a random geometric pattern by applying the tape diagonally between the bands, making parallelograms, trapezoids and triangles.

DIY painted carpet

Apply the paint to the shapes that you had created, taking care not to go over the tape. Remember that you still want to have a hand-finished look, so don’t worry if there is a little bit of bleeding.

DIY painted carpet

Leave the paint to dry overnight, and then remove the tape. Finish off the carpet by applying a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Chalk Paint® Wax which will improve its durability.

DIY painted carpet

DIY painted carpet

DIY painted carpet

Now that I’ve done it, I can’t believe it took me so long! I hope that I’ve inspired you to update some of your old rugs as well. If you are still a bit skeptical, test it on a small rug or doormat first.

DIY painted carpet

Happy rug-painting!

These gorgeous process shots were taken by Ed O’Riley – thanks Ed!

 

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