Who’s Your Daddy this Father’s Day?

Father’s Day is this coming Sunday, and what better way to thank your Dad for his awesomeness than with a R1,000 voucher from Builders Warehouse?? Just tell us Who’s Your Daddy: is it DIY Dad, Garden Dad or Braai Dad?

whosyourdaddy

#1: DIY DAD

whosyourdaddy

Does your Dad love to get his hands dirty in the garage? Is he always working on things, building and tinkering with projects around the house? Then he is most likely DIY Dad, that guy that can fix anything and everything with his tools and tool belt.

#2: BRAAI Dad

whosyourdaddy

We all know this guy! Rain or shine, he’ll make any excuse to light a fire and cook his meat the way God intended. He has every possible gadget that he could ever need for his outdoor culinary adventures. And loves to hang around the fire showing off his skill.

#3: GARDEN Dad

whosyourdaddy

You can spot his exquisite garden from the window of an aeroplane. The borders are perfect, the gravel meticulous and he takes pride in his roses and gladiolas. Not to mention the harvest from his kitchen garden!

Now tell us Who’s Your Daddy!

Click here to enter the lucky draw to win a R1,000 voucher from Builders Warehouse for your Dad this Father’s Day.

 

Simple Scandinavian Ladder

I never throw away cut-offs and wood scraps! They have a special place in my small backyard, where they often prove to be little treasure troves of pain, especially when feet find them. But they are treasures nonetheless; throw-away scraps are perfect for odd jobs, and their size and shape largely dictate what you can do with them; which is how this ladder came into the world.

This ladder is not the most original DIY, but it is practical and pretty. Initially, I left it unpainted, but when I saw this West Elm version, I was convinced white paint had to be part of my ladder.

 

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DIY DECORATIVE LADDER

Difficulty: easy

Time: 1 hour without drying between paint coats

 

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 x 35mmx35mmx3.0m timber battens
  • 16 wood screws
  • Cold wood glue like Alcolin, or a strong wood bonding glue
  • white water-based paint
  • Painter’s tape or masking tape

TOOLS FOR THE JOB:

  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • A piece of sandpaper (or electric sander)
  • Screwdriver
  • Paintbrush
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

STEP 1:

rustic decorative adder

Measure and cut battens to 2x 1.5m pieces for the legs and 4x 0.5m pieces for the rungs.

Pro tipUse a carpenter’s square to ensure the pieces are cut perfectly square. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a wonky ladder.

STEP 2:

make a ladder

Sand down the pieces to the desired smoothness. I only sanded the edges, because I wanted a rougher texture.

STEP 3:

vintage ladder

Mark the positions of the rungs on the sides of the legs: I spaced mine 300mm apart. Remember that the rung will sit in the middle of the measurement. Drill two pilot holes for each rung, one a little higher than the other. This will prevent the wood from splitting and will ensure a stronger hold.

STEP 4:

wood ladder

Put a drop of cold glue on the edges of a rung, wait a few seconds, and press it against the inside of the leg where you drilled the pilot holes. Move the wood against each other until you feel the hold securing. Use your carpenter’s square to ensure a 90-degree angle.

STEP 5:

diy storage ladder

Fix the two screws in place for each rung and then allow the cold glue to dry.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each rung until your ladder is complete.

STEP 6:

timber ladder

(If you want a smoother finish, now would be the time to sand!) Use painters tape to demarcate the areas the be painted. I measured 20cm from the outside leg.

STEP 7:

make your own storage ladder

Paint the sectioned area of the ladder. Allow to dry between coats until you’re happy with the finish. Lightly sand in between coats if you want a smooth modern appearance.

Pro tip: Brush away from the painter’s tape, to avoid the paint bleeding. And don’t use too much paint.😉

STEP 8:

Remove masking tape. I love this part – it’s stressful and exciting!

Optional: Apply a clear sealant or treat the exposed wood. Wait to dry…and you’re done!

DIY storage ladder 2

Congratulations! You are now the owner of a self-made Nordic-style ladder ready to hang your towels or blankets! Well done!

Happy DIYing!

 

 

Pressing Flowers: An Easy DIY Gift for Mother’s Day

Mothers Day is around the corner, and every year, we try to come up with An Easy DIY Gift for Mother’s Day – something a little different for mom that doesn’s cost much and that the kids can make as well. This year, we chose simple pressed flowers, arrange in a mandala-shape: it’s pretty and different and great fun to make!

How To Make A Pressed Flower Mandala For Mom This Mother’s Day

You will need:

  • A variety of flowers and leaves (we even used thinly-sliced grapes!)
  • Spray glue
  • Picture frame with two pieces of equally-sized glass*
  • Spray Paint (we used Aerolac Postbox Red and Signal Green)

 

STEP 1:

Carefully place the flowers and leaves on some tissue paper, and then place some heavy books on top to press them. You can leave them for three days or so to ensure that they are nice and flat.

 

STEP 2:

Remove the glass from the frames and spray the frames in the colour of your choice. Apply a second coat if necessary, and allow to dry.

 

STEP 3:

Using the flowers, create your design on one of the panes of glass. Once you are happy with it, you are ready to stick it down!

 

STEP 4:

Clean the glass, and then apply a layer of spray-on glue to one of the panes. Carefully but quickly, recreate your pattern by placing the pressed flowers on the glass. You will most likely not be able to lift up the flowers once you’ve placed them down, so you’ll have to work quickly! If the glue gets too dry, you can just apply some more – it won’t damage the flowers that you’ve already placed down.

 

STEP 5:

When you pattern is done, place the second pane of glass over the first, and carefully place them inside the frame.

 

* I revamped old frames for this project. If you have two frames in the same size, you can use the two pieces of glass with 1 of the frames. Alternatively, have a piece of glass cut to the same size as the glass in the frame.

 

As simple as that! You can really play around with pattern based on what flowers and leaves you have. We hope that you’ll try this project with the kids for mom or granny this year – and send us your artwork, we’d love to see!

 

Happy Mothers Day!

 

Make Your Own Designer Paper Maché Lampshade

I love well-designed, beautiful, and unique products. So, when my friend sent me an image of a gorgeous lampshade and asked me if I could make one for her, I happily agreed! The lampshade was for her nursery, but it took me a few months to collect enough egg cartons, so I totally missed the deadline. Nonetheless, the lampshade was made and my new Thomas Shade, in honour of gorgeous baby Thomas, is proudly hanging in the playroom.

How to make your own designer half-dome paper maché lamp shade

You will need:

  • Egg Cartons – lots and lots of them. I used about 30 large trays, but it all depends on the size of your lampshade.
  • A packet of wallpaper glue powder
  • 1 cup cold glue
  • Yoga Ball
  • Spray paint: I used matt black for the outside and dayglow yellow for the inside.
  • Light cord and bulb

STEP 1:

papier mache lamp shade

Tear the egg cartons into smaller pieces and throw them in a bucket. Then cover them with water and let it soak for 24 hours.

STEP 2:

papier mache lamp shade

Use an electric mixer to beat the mixture to a pulp, roughly the consistency of sloppy oatmeal.

STEP 3:

papier mache lamp shade

This is where it gets awesome! Add the packet of wallpaper glue powder, and use your hands to mix it up. It feels wonderfully gooey! Or you can use a wooden spoon, but hands are much better 😉

STEP 4:

papier mache lamp shade

Let it rest for a while according to the instructions on the wallpaper glue manufacturer’s packaging. In the meantime, blow up the yoga ball and prepare your work surface: it’s going to get messy! I placed my yoga ball inside a flat bowl to prevent it from rolling around.

STEP 5:

papier mache lamp shade

When the mixture is ready, add the cold glue and mix well. Then start creating the lampshade by applying handfuls of the paper maché to the yoga ball. It sticks remarkably easy and really goes quick. You are only going to create 1 layer* so make sure that you are happy with the thickness.

REMEMBER TO LEAVE A SMALL AREA AT THE TOP WHERE THE ELECTRICAL CORD IS GOING TO BE INSTALLED.

STEP 6:

papier mache lamp shade

Allow to dry. This could take anything from 24 hours to 5 days, depending on your atmospheric moisture. My shade took 3 days, and when I took it off it was still wet on the inside and therefore very fragile. I placed it upside down inside a large bowl and left it for another 2 days.

STEP 7:

papier mache lamp shade

Once everything is thoroughly dry, deflate the ball just a little and use your hand to loosen the edges of the lampshade.

Then slowly deflate the ball, ensuring that the lampshade doesn’t stick to it.

STEP 8:

paper mache lamp shade

Use the electrical fitting as a template to ensure that the hole left at the top is large enough.

STEP 9:

Spray the inside and outside in the colours of your choice.

STEP 10:

Attach the electrical light cord, get an electrician to install, and switch on!

Happy Lighting!

* I had to make this lampshade 3 TIMES before it worked. VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE: you can’t add a second layer when the first one is dry. The moisture from the pulp makes the first layer soggy and then the whole thing falls apart.

** Explain to your kids that they cannot play with the yoga ball while mommy is busy with the project. You’d think this is obvious, but in my experience, it isn’t 😉

 

Give A Tired Staircase A Budget-Friendly Refresh

When Ed O’Riley and his wife, Joanne bought their Plumstead just over 2 years ago, they set about renovating the 60-year old property bit by bit. The kitchen and bathroom were first on the list, but the staircase soon became an eyesore they couldn’t live with. Here’s how they gave their old staircase a budget-friendly refresh.

You will need:

  • 19mm shutter ply
  • Wall paint in the colour of your choice
  • Genkem contact adhesive
  • Flexible Wood Sealant (we used Alcolin Flexible Wood Sealant in pine)
  • Foam flooring underlay
  • Wood sealer (we used Woodoc Water-Borne Clear)

 

You Will Also Need:

  • Jigsaw or Bandsaw
  • Router
  • Sander

 

The first task was to lift the tired old carpet. When the carpet fixings were removed, it damaged the cement structure underneath, so Ed repaired the cement and painted it with universal undercoat.

Using paper, he made templates of all the treads and carefully cut the 19mm shutter ply to size. Shutter ply is a compressed wood made up of several layers of pine sheets. It is much more affordable than solid wood and gives a beautiful linear pattern on the edges. 

The edges were routered to a bullnose and then the treads were sealed using Woodoc Water-Borne sealer. It’s a clear sealer that doesn’t affect the colour of the wood too much, so it’s great to use on light wood. Each tread received 3 coats of sealer with a light sanding between coats.

Next, every tread got a piece of foam underlay fixed with contact adhesive. This ensures a soft landing on each step.

The wood pieces are then fixed on top of the underlay with contact adhesive. The gaps between the wood and the walls were filled in with Alcolin flexible wood filler. It’s applied using a caulking gun which gives great control over the amount of filler being dispensed and the exact position. It’s also very important to use a flexible filler to allow for slight movement or expansion/contraction of the wood.

Next, they painted the risers with a soft neutral grey after which Joanne added some patterns in a deeper grey with a stencil. The patterns add a fun personal touch to this neutral and light-filled staircase.

I love that this is such a clever idea that is super cost-effective while looking great. The risers can easily be repainted when they scuff, and the treads can be sanded and refinished if necessary. Here are a few things that Ed learned during this project:

PRO TIPS:

  1. Remember that the wood will need to overlap the front of the stair by at least 15mm. So when you make your templates, add 20mm to the front. This will also allow for the wastage when cutting and routering.
  2. Be prepared for A LOT of dust if you remove a carpet – especially if it’s an older house.
  3. As always with any wood project: MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE!

Happy DIY-ing!

 

Providence Cottage: From Garage to Guest Accommodation on a Budget

At long last, the cottage on the farm is done! I have been working with a team of builders, contractors, handymen (and not-so-handy men) and a throng of other people over the winter to get this tired old cottage ready for the summer tourist season in the Franschhoek Valley. Here’s how I turned a garage into a guest accommodation on a budget.

providence cottage

This is what it looked like before we started. The 50sqm extra-length double garage had been hastily converted to a garden cottage about 7 years ago. Since then, not much was done to the place. The bathroom was atrocious, the kitchen rotten, and the rest was in dire need of paint and repairs. But as always, I see opportunity where others see despair!

Here’s What We Did!

1// The Bathroom

providence cottage

spectacular bathroom makeover

 

The bathroom was the first project on our list. It was a transformation of epic proportions and the results are just gorgeous! Click here for the full post!

2// The Kitchen

providence cottage

tiny kitchen

tiny kitchen

Next up, was the kitchen. We really only built in a small kitchenette as the restaurant offering in the valley is outstanding and we doubt people will come here to cook their own food. None the less, it is equipped with enough to prepare a meal. Click here for the full post.

3// The Windows

providence cottage

The windows offered another challenge: the views around the cottage are very pretty, but the light can be very bright and in summer, the heat needs to be blocked out as well. Click here to see how we resolved that.

4// The Living Room

We bought the coffee table and side table from a discount furniture store; the sofa was a second-hand one with a loose cover one that we had redyed; all the accessories we bought at the end-of-season sales. The animal hide rug is on loan until we have made enough money to invest a bit more!

providence cottage

This Ikea Chair was an online second-hand find.

We kept the colour scheme really simple and neutral, with lots of textures.

providence cottage

I just love this little bench – also a treasure from a hunt around the used furniture store.

providence cottage

5// The Dining Room

providence cottage

The dining is definitely my favourite part of the project. I bought the used chairs online for R150 each. The table was new and the console table came from our local second hand furniture store. I indulged in the cost of the table lamp but saved the money when I made the glass jar chandelier and round studded mirror.

round studded mirror DIY

6// The Bedroom

providence cottage

The room is very small, so I chose to have a floating shelf with a hanging bar for clothes for short-term guests instead of a wardrobe. The luggage stand below provides an additional storage surface.

providence cottage

We have a huge affinity for proteas on the farm, so when I saw this cushion, I knew it had to be incorporated! I found that mirror for R250 at Sheet Street – what a bargain!

providence cottage

We made little glass jar night lights for the bedroom as well. It’s a really simple and inexpensive way to add light and save space over a nightstand!

The whole project cost R88,135 (including sponsors) and when you keep in mind that we started with an empty shell, I am quite pleased! That works out to a complete overhaul (including all building materials, labour, electrical and plumbing work, furniture, all kitchen equipment and utensils, bed linen, towels and cable TV) at R1,763 per sqm. I hope that this project has inspired you to do something about unused space that you can turn into an income-generating asset for you and your family. I’d love to get your feedback on this renovation – let me know what you think!

Happy Renovating!

This project was supported by Tile Africa and Builder’s Warehouse, Consol Glass, and Finishing Touches – and for that, I am so super grateful! Now, it’s up to Airbnb to get it occupied!

 

 

Super Easy Round Studded Mirror DIY

For our Cottage Renovation project, I wanted to have a round mirror to hang above the console table in the dining room. Our budget was seriously pushing red though, so I had to choose between buying a table lamp or a mirror. Knowing I could make a cool mirror, I bought the lamp, a pre-cut round mirror, and got to work! If you have a little spot that could do with something über trendy, then this round studded mirror DIY is for you!

You will need:

round studded mirror DIY

  • Mirror (buy one pre-cut or have one cut at your local glass shop)
  • Chipboard circle, cut to 10mm bigger than the mirror.
  • 4mm Hardboard, cut to 50mm strips that are long enough to go around the chipboard circle.
  • Chipboard screws
  • Matt black spray paint
  • Double-sided foam tape
  • Brass upholstery tacks
  • Metal to metal adhesive
  • Brass chain or leather strap – I was going to use the chain and then I remembered that I have an old belt laying around, begging to be used!

Method:

//STEP 1

round studded mirror DIY

Use the chipboard screws to fix the hardboard strips around the perimeter of the chipboard.

//STEP 2

round studded mirror DIY

Spray with the matt black spray paint (always spray in a well-ventilated area or outside).

//STEP 3

round studded mirror DIY

Fix the upholstery tacks around the perimeter, equally spaced. To cover the chipboard screws, cut the pin from the tack and fix over the screw with metal to metal adhesive.

//STEP 4

round studded mirror DIY

Fix the leather strap to the frame with the brass tacks.

//STEP 5

round studded mirror DIY

Fix the mirror to the frame using the double-sided tape. I used 2 layers to create some added depth.

Now, look at yourself in the mirror and smile!

Happy making!

 

Chandelier DIY with Consol Glass – and a massive sale!

As part of the cottage renovation that we’ve been working on for the last 2 months, Consol glass asked me to create something exciting using their glass products. Glass is such an amazing product to work with: it is free from harmful contaminants, it’s reusable and recyclable giving it a great green thumbs up, and it is inherently beautiful. Glass is something we literally use every single day and something that we might sometimes take for granted. While glass jars are great for storage and more recently, for serving trendy drinks in, we were in need of an impressive light fixture above the dining room table more than anything else. And so I set out to create a fun and contemporary light fixture with some electrical cord and Consol jars. Here are the step-by-step instructions for my chandelier DIY with Consol Glass – and remember that Consol has their REDHOTSALE from 28 Aug to 09 Sep so you can get these jars for a steal!

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT IT IS ESSENTIAL TO GET A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN TO DO THE WIRING ON THIS PROJECT.

You will need:

consol glass chandelier

  • 8x 500ml Consol Jars with screw lids
  • 8x 1.1m 2.5 cabtyre electrical cord in black *SEE PRO TIP
  • Matt black spray paint
  • 8x black light fittings
  • 8x golf ball lamps
  • Electrical series connectors
  • Large ceiling bolt with plug
  • Hook with nut (length to match the height of your little bucket)
  • Small metal bucket to use as a ceiling cup
  • Hole saw to match the diameter of your light fittings

* PRO TIP: The light should hang around 80cm above the table, so in this specific dining room, the total length of the chandelier will be 1m. Add 10cm to each cord to give you some room to play with.

Instructions:

STEP 1 //

consol glass chandelier

Carefully mark out the center of each lid and drill a hole using the hole saw. Use pliers to press down any rough edges and to slightly adjust the size of the hole if necessary – it has to fit the light fitting snugly.

STEP 2 //

consol glass chandelier

Spray the lids and allow to dry.

STEP 3 //

consol glass chandelier

Wire a piece of cord to each light fitting.

STEP 4 //

consol glass chandelier

Make 8 equally spaced markings on the bottom of the little bucket and drill holes for the cords to go through.

STEP 5 //

consol glass chandelier

Drill a single hole in the center of the bucket and attach the metal eye, securing the nut underneath.

STEP 6 //

consol glass chandelier

Spray the bucket and allow to dry.

STEP 7 //

consol glass chandelier

Thread the cords through the holes and get the electrician to connect them to each other so that you end up with a single cord to connect to the power point in the ceiling.

consol glass chandelier

consol glass chandelier

STEP 8 //

consol glass chandelier

Attach the hook to the ceiling, connect and hook your chandelier in place.

Switch on and admire your work!

Happy lighting!

 

 

 

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!

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