Gumtree Autocycle Challenge: car accessory to shelving in 6 steps!

I always love a good DIY challenge, so I was really thrilled when I was asked to join the Gumtree Autocycle Challenge. Gumtree asked Karen from Lovilee and I to buy something from the car parts and accessories category on their site, and then we had to upcycle it into a covetable home décor piece. Let me show you how I turned an unwanted car accessory into über cool shelving in 6 quick steps!

gumtree #autocycle

I really racked my brains on this one and scoured the auto parts and accessories section of the site for a couple of weeks… but then these red steel car ramps caught my eye and I immediately knew what I wanted to do! I purchased them from a very nice man in Ottery, and I was ready to get started! To make things super easy, just get Gumtree’s app and then you can lie in bed and search for what you need 😉

Besides the car ramps, I also bought some matte black spray paint and 4 pieces of pine veneer ply. I specifically wanted to get plywood not only because it’s affordable, but also because it has that beautiful plywood line detail on the edges. I also used some clear wood varnish that I had left over from another project.


gumtree #autocycle

The supplier was kind enough to cut the plywood to size, and all I had to do was to sand them with 100 grit sandpaper, taking care to smooth everything down. Always measure twice: the ramps are tapered so each shelf has a different length and width! 


gumtree #autocycle

A quick coat of clear varnish seals the wood and protects it from stains and other damage. Just look at that gorgeous grain!


gumtree autocycle image 18

Next, I sprayed the steel with the black spray paint. I really love the matte colour and surprisingly I only needed a single coating! Check on the spray paint can’s instructions whether it’s necessary to use a metal primer before you spray! And something else to keep in mind when spraying outside: don’t stand down-wind from the object you’re spraying 😉


gumtree #autocycle

In order to secure the shelves to the frame, I drilled 2 small holes through the base of each frame. Now I’m ready to put the whole thing together!


gumtree #autocycle

Slide the bottom shelf in place and secure it to the frame by screw-fixing it from underneath, through the holes that you drilled in the previous step.


gumtree #autocycle

Slide in the rest of the shelves, taking care not to damage the paint work.

gumtree #autocycle gumtree #autocycle  gumtree #autocycle gumtree #autocycle gumtree #autocycle gumtree #autocycle  gumtree #autocycle

gumtree #autocycle

It was really very easy to do and I love the result: it’s clean, simple, and with its industrial elements also a very trendy focal piece! I love thinking outside the box when it comes to making things for my home.

gumtree autocycle challenge

Karen from Lovilee joined me in the challenge and her number plate headboard got the most votes. It is just gorgeous! And now you can purchase both of these item on Gumtree! It is really to post a new ad – mine took me less than a minute to do! Now, we just have to wait for the buyers to contact us!

gumtree upcycle challenge

Why don’t you have a look at Gumtree and see what you can come up with? I’d love to see your projects!

There are also MANY upcycling and out-of-the-box projects in our book – get your copy here now!

Happy upcycling!

Germarie Signature Featherly

DISCLAIMER: this post was sponsored by Gumtree.


5 practical ways to create a powerful navy blue interior

While we’re still in the cold grasp of winter, spring is around the corner and this year, navy blue is making a BIG comeback in interior décor – but in quite an unexpected way. While navy blue is traditionally almost exclusively part of a nautical theme, this year it’s being paired with bright yellow, florals, leaves and lots of bling. Here’s look at 5 practical ways to create a powerful navy blue interior.

Simple and Stylish


Apartment Therapy

Navy makes a really powerful accent colour. Use it as your focal and keep everything else in the room in crisp white, black and natural wood. And don’t be a afraid to mix black and navy either – it can clearly be done very successfully.

Complimentary Touches


Centsational Girl

Create a striking gallery wall with a navy blue background. This room works extremely well because the large blue surface is broken up by the paintings and prints, and also because of the pops of yellow. The yellow in the carpet, painting and light fitting makes just enough of an impact to contrast with the deep blue without dominating it.

Deep Colonial



Tropical prints are very popular this year. This modern colonial setting combines it beautifully with dark wood, traditional black and white flooring and a dark navy wall to offset the bright green. This especially dark hue is also complemented by the profile detail on the wall, adding depth and interest. Make sure that you add some metal finishes to give it a glamorous touch and to break up large surfaces, like with this gold-framed mirror above the bed.

Fun Feature 


Hadley Court

If you are a bit weary of too much dark colour in a small area, combine a single blue surface with light and bright wall colour or wall paper. This door is cleverly painted in navy on the outside, but has a white finish on the interior of the home so if it becomes too heavy, you can simply close the door!

Dark & Dramatic 

haymes bloglovin


Another great way to combine blue with green is to go for a bold green furniture piece. This striking mid-century green velvet sofa sits proudly against the rich blue wall, and the scatter cushions have just enough blue in them to pull the whole look together. A lot of indoor plants further complete this dramatic look. And if you want to find out how to create this look in your own home, have a look at this Get The Look post!

Have fun with navy blue this coming spring – start planning now while we’re waiting for the warmer weather!

Germarie Signature Featherly


Free Printable: Winter Cuddle Weather

Do you love the sound of rain as you fall asleep as much as I do? Like I’ve said before, being warm in a nice comfortable bed or on the couch is just so good. If you can be cuddled up with a duvet, blanket, your significant other, your children or even your pet it is even better! I feel like cool nights should be celebrated (once you are warm that is!). So, in celebration of cuddle weather, why don’t you download this free printable?

Cuddle Weather Free Printable

There is one problem with this weather though, and that is getting out of bed in the morning. I am pretty far from being a morning person, even on my best days. I regularly have to set more than one alarm and I will still struggle to actually get up! I’m working on it though, even if the progress is slow…

Do you enjoy cuddle weather too? All you need to do is download the PDF (below), print it out onto a piece of cardboard the size that you want. Pop it into your favourite frame and you’re done! It’s that simple. Prints are such an easy way to add a little extra personality to a room. They can easily be switched out and changed depending on the season, your life stage, a special event or even just your mood. It’s an added bonus if they are free too (like this one)!

Cuddle Weather Free Printable

Click Here To Download

It is available in three separate colours, saved as a PDF (white, pink or blue), so pick the colour that suits your personality or your room best. Got a friend who you know loves cuddles too? Print it out, get them a nice frame and use it as a personalised gift.

Cuddle Weather Winter Printable

What are your cuddle weather essentials? Enjoy the last stretch of cooler nights before they start to warm up. Then again, why not cuddle when it’s warmer too?

Cuddle Weather Free Printable

Here’s a little behind the scenes photo, just for fun.

Cuddle Weather Winter Printable

For more free prints, you can also get this “Say Yes to new adventures” print from Pure Sweet Joy here.

Happy Cuddling!

Deborah Signature Featherly

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

Prominent Paints: A classroom make-over project

Since my little boy started Grade R in January, I have been looking at the colour of his classroom with some scepticism. Interior design sensibilities aside, the room was painted in a luminous green that I felt was not a desirable colour for a group of 5 and 6-year olds. So when I got an email from Prominent Paints asking me if there was a project that I would like to do with them, it didn’t take me long to reply!

Prominent Paints 1

prominent paints project

Teacher Grethe had already chosen her desired colours from another supplier’s colour chart, but the helpful staff at Prominent Paints in Cape Gate were all too happy to match the selection. It was no surprise that she wanted to go for a softer palette of off-white, pale chocolate and moody blue-grey. After everything was mixed and delivered, the work could begin.

Prominent Paints 6

Now as you can see from the before pictures, I wasn’t exaggerating about the green. There is also a large storage cabinet in the back of the classroom that was going to need quite a bit of work to update the chipped blue enamel.

prominent paints project

One of the parents sent a team of guys to sand, prep and prime and proceeded to paint the room.

prominent paints project

The transformation is astounding: from a bright and blinding class to a serene and calming space. Perfect for energetic juniors!

prominent paints project

The walls were done in an off-white with the wood trim and storage cabinet in a blue grey enamel.

prominent paints project

prominent paints project

Teacher’s cabinet got a new coat of paint, and so did the library nook, complete with complimentary floor cushions as well.

prominent paints project

Even the old steel-frame windows got a new lease on life with a metal primer and metal paint. They look fresh and new and ready for a few more years!

I love the transformational power of paint. It really is one of the easiest ways to update space!

Our heartfelt thanks to Prominent Paints for sponsoring the paint for this project and to the parents of Simond for organizing the job. I am certain that Teacher Grethe and the kids are thrilled! Click here to join Prominent Paint’s Facebook page so that you can stay up to date with their inspiring projects and for beautiful paint ideas.

Germarie Signature Featherly

Disclaimer: the paint and primer for this project were kindly sponsored by Prominent Paints.

Indoor Camping – Winter Holiday Fun

We are in the middle of the winter holidays and the kids are getting a bit jumpy some days. And with questions like “what are we doing today?” having the possibility to send shivers down any mom’s spine, our Ideas Jar has been a great help so far.  Last year we went camping in the bush, so this year we decided to do the same – only it’s indoor camping in the playroom! And why not? Little ones have fairly short attention spans, so why drive for 2 days and set up camp in the middle of nowhere when you can do it right in your own home. The novelty will wear off in the same amount of time!

indoor camping kids winter activities

The tent is quite big and pretty much filled the entire room, but they loved the idea. Sleeping bags, mattresses and every pillow in their bedroom were quickly brought in to make it comfy.

indoor camping kids winter activities

And you can’t have a camp without a fire and marshmallows! A big treat that has since been requested daily.

teepee diy

If you don’t have a regular tent, then a teepee will work just as well. I made this teepee for the boys a couple of years ago, and it has been used in many different ways since then: as a reading nook, a play tent and an outdoor swinging tent! Originally I thought that securing it to the ceiling would be better, but I have since learned that anything hanging from the ceiling in my house is automatically classed as a swing. So that didn’t quite work out the way I had expected… But some bamboo secured with thick sash cord works just as well – and significantly reduces the risk of ceiling boards being ripped to pieces.

indoor camping kids winter activities

indoor camping kids winter holiday activities

This teepee swing was a project that I did at the end of last winter. It does require good weather, so put it up when the sun comes out!  There are of course loads of other things to do with the kids as well – have a look at these posts that we’ve put together over the years.

Why not play with Washi tape and make a mural?

Get crafty with some origami.

Make a race car circuit.

Have a tea party!

Make a winter herb garden.

Make rockets for your space cadets!

So now that you have all this inspiration for keeping busy, let the last part of the winter commence!

Germarie Signature Featherly



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