With a bank holiday weekend coming up, there’s no better way to spend that extra to yourself than to give your home some extra love and attention. While a little bit of DIY can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be. These 7 DIY home hacks will help you to get the biggest results with the least effort. Sounds good to be true? Read on and see for yourself.
DIY Tip 1 – Upcycle Old Drawers Into Stylish Shelves
If you want to save money and save the environment (at least a little bit) then upcycling is the name of the game. If you’ve an old set of drawers that you’re not using any more or simply don’t have the room for them, then you can stick them on the wall for an artsy, make shift shelf.
Shelves with old wood effects would be ideal, but with a little spray paint and vaseline (more on that later) you can create an authentic distressed effect at a fraction of the cost. Alternatively, charity shops can be your best friend for picking up retro furniture that might not be fit for it’s original purpose but is ripe for an upcycling project.
DIY Tip 2 – Artificially Distress Furniture With Vaseline
Distressed furniture used to be something that you’d never want. It was a sign that your furniture was old and beaten, and in desperate need of replacement. But like most home design trends, old is the new new, and having distressed furniture is now very much in vogue.
You could buy an old antique (and expensive) piece of furniture, or buy artificially distressed furniture from your furniture store of choice, but there’s a much cheaper and faster way to get your furniture to have that inauthentic authentic look. There’s a whole bunch of ways to DIY your way to that look, including using steel wool, sandpaper, and candle wax with several different types of paint for coating involved too. But by far, the cheapest, quickest way to get those quality results is with milk paint and vaseline.
You might want to give your furniture a fresh undercoat of paint before you get stuck in, but it’s not necessary. Let’s take the example of a dresser table. apply the undercoat if desired, or if not, simply apply vaseline generously to the areas that would naturally get distressed. For example, the edges of the table, the sides of legs, down near the bottom, anywhere that might get worn away by human hand, moving, or scuffs and scrapes.
Once the vaseline is applied, simply apply the paint colour you desire. We recommend using a cheap brush here, as you don’t want to ruin your good brushes by covering them with petroleum jelly. We also find that the cheap ones with the stiffer bristles are also better for repelling vaseline to avoid it spreading to your paint and other parts of your furniture. Just paint your dresser as if the vaseline isn’t there at all.
Once the paint is dried, simply wipe away the remaining vaseline, and voila! You’ve got brand new old furniture with a fraction of the cost or elbow grease. Relax and have a cuppa.
DIY Tip 3 – Get Creative With Hiding Unsightly Electronics
Many households will now have a couple of routers spread around to cover the increasing internet demands a house full of gadget mad little demons will have. Especially if any of the little ones have discovered Minecraft, or if you have a habit of going a bit crazy with online shopping on your iPad when you’re settled down on the sofa with a cup of tea.
A fake line of books coupled with a wooden box can make a nifty DIY router tidy. Grab a few old books you’re never going to read, or dive into the charity shop bargain bins. Take four or five hardcover books, and cut out the pages at the spine.
Keep the back and front of the two books you want to start and end your faux stack, and glue the spines and covers to the front of a small wooden box, the kind of one you might see at a fresh fruit stall or a garden centre. If you don’t want to use a box, you can glue the spines to a piece of card and simply set the router behind it rather than sticking it into the box. You can glue it all together with a glue gun, stick it together with super glue, or use blu tack or doubled backed tape. Whatever works for you, but a little twenty minute bout of handywork can really tidy up those necessary but ugly black or white boxes.
DIY Tip 4 – Remove Carpet Indentations With Ice Cubes
If you’ve got a mark in your carpet caused by a sofa, TV unit, bed, or even just a groove worn from pacing or from a door opening and closing, here’s a nifty trick. Placing an ice cube on your carpet can sort out any pesky marks. First off, move your furniture out of the way, then simply place an ice cube on the mark. If it’s a long line – like a mark from an opening door or dragging a chair, then place a few ice cubes on the groove.
Leave the cube to melt over night and the water will plump up the fibres. Dry the carpet with a towel, and use a fork to gently fluff up any stray fibres that have stayed flat. You may have to repeat it for persistent dents.
Take care if you’ve got a wood underfloor. The water might do damage to the wood underneath. It might be a good idea to perform a test on an inconspicious spot and pop up the carpet for a look underneath to make sure no damage has been caused, but generally you’ll have spilt a glass of juice or something similar on your carpet at some point in it’s life, and if it can survive this, it’ll be fine with a little ice cube.
Wrong kind of ice cube.
DIY Tip 5 – Use a Picture Frame as a Memo Board
While you’ve probably thought about installing a chalkboard or wipe board in your kitchen to keep track of what groceries are needed and who in the family needs to be picked up, and where from, and what you’re making for dinner… and on and on and on…
These little boards can look a little unsightly and if you’re wanting your whole house to be a domestic paradise, you’ll want something a little more chic than a dull black or whiteboard. Enter this stroke of genius, the glass picture frame as a dry wipe board, a DIY dream.
Frame a pretty scrap of wallpaper or fabric, preferably something light, nothing too busy, and hang it in a high traffic area of your home. Attach the marker to it with a matching ribbon, and suddenly you’ve got a stylish memo board that you’ll struggle to stop people from writing on. Just make sure you buy dry wipe markers and not the permanent variety…
DIY Tip 6 – Use Velcro to Keep Rupert Off The Floor
Okay, he might not be called Rupert, but we’ve all got teddies somewhere around the house, whether they belong to little ones, or they’re a childhood friend that you just can’t let go. Keep them clean and off the floor, and solve your clutter crisis at the same time by sticking them to the wall with a velcro strip.
Not only does this DIY trick keep the room looking tidy, but it’s ideal for a kids room as a fun way for them to display their cuddly friends, and keep the floor clean at the same time. Even if they don’t use it, you’ll have a nifty place to store the teddies when you’re hoovering or cleaning up for a playdate.
Attach the rough side of the velcro to the wall in a strip (to stop scrapes with the rough bit on the teddies) and attach the soft bit to the back of lightweight toys, or even just stick them straight to the velcro. The same trick will work well in an adult’s room to turn a collection of soft toys into a decorate statement rather than something to be hastily hidden under the bed when friends are over.
DIY Tip 7 – Create A Self Draining Boot/Shoe Tray For Your Hallway
Summer may be on its way, but if you’re (un)lucky enough to live in the United Kingdom, you’re still going to experience a range of rainy days. Rather than setting your wet and muddy shoes on the floor and having to clean up a puddle, along with some mud and grass later in the day, why not add this nifty little tray to your hallway? It’ll keep the floor clean and dry, and any mud or water will naturally drain off your shoes into the rocks and evaporate.
All you need is a bag of pebbles like you might find at a pet shop, and a pet litter tray, while you’re at it! A long, flat tray will hold the whole family’s wet shoes, and the unique design will ensure that kids always remember to put their shoes here, and don’t just dump them on the carpet.
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