Category: DIY (page 3 of 5)

Fridge Garden

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Some would say I have too many plants in my home. I say ‘not enough!’. I wanted to make something to cheer the fridge up. Our living / kitchen area is open plan so since we have to see our fridge every day from the living area, we might as well make it nice to look at. Having the plants on the fridge is great if you’re short on space or surfaces and also if you have pets / small children and want to keep your plants out of reach. It’s also a good way to re-use old cans and packaging.

 

You will need

Metal / plastic containers

Spray paint

Plants & potting soil

Ferrite / Refrigerator magnets

Hot glue gun

 

1

Clean your containers, ready for painting. I used a range of metal tins and sturdy plastic containers. In a well ventilated area, spray the containers your chosen colour(s) and leave to dry.

2

Once everything is dry, heat up the glue gun and start sticking magnets to the back of each container. Depending on how large / heavy the containers are and will be with soil / plants inside, you may have to glue more than one magnet to your container. I recommend buying a range of magnet sizes to ensure each container will hold securely to the fridge.

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3

When the glue has dried and the magnets are stuck securely, it’s time to pot the plants and then arrange on the fridge. I’ve chosen a mix of cacti, succulents and ferns but I’m thinking about how good a fridge mini herb garden would be!

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Leather Hanging Shelf

Finishing off our bedroom has been a tricky one. It’s the last room in the flat to complete and it seems to be taking forever. We need lots of storage but also want our things to look nice and not just thrown in a corner or everything piled high on boring shelves. I’ve seen a few decorative shelves around using old belts or leather straps so decided to make this one for our sleepy space.

 

You will need

Leather strap (approx 200cm long for this shelf)

Wooden shelf (ours is 82cm x 17cm)

Screws (I used black but brass look good too)

Scissors or scalpel knife

Ruler / Measuring tape

Drill

Spirit Level

Wall plugs / fixings that are suitable for your wall

 

1

Take your leather strap and either cut in half or cut 2 pieces to your desired length (ours was 200cm x 5cm). You can do this with a ruler and scalpel knife, or scissors if you prefer. Make sure your scissors are sharp as leather is not easy to cut with blunt tools!

3

Using the drill, make a hole at each end of each strap, approximately 2cm away from the ends and centred. I used a scrap piece of wood under the leather to stop me drilling into my table.

2

Quit screwing around! (It’s time to choose your screws). I chose black to compliment the rest of the colours in the room but I really like the way brass screws look with this paler tan leather.

4

Fold each of your straps in half and twist in your screws, lining up your holes. Using your spirit level, and hopefully a friend to help hold and keep balance, it’s time to fix the shelf to your wall. Make sure you use the correct fixings for the type of wall you have. Simply mark out your screw holes on the wall, drill, add wall plugs and screw in place.

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It’s a decorative shelf and we’re not planning on putting too much on it but I’d say this could hold a decent amount of weight. Don’t go sitting on it, or piling your entire book collection on it, but you get the idea. There was a spare bit of leather left over so I also made this tea towel holder for the kitchen using the same drill method as above and a copper hoop. It might just make drying the dishes a bit less tedious. Maybe.

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copper wall hanging

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I came across these copper rings for making dreamcatchers on eBay while I was searching for some craft supplies. I don’t know what you think of dreamcatchers. I love them. Maybe not those ones you see down the market that have a wolf embroidered in the middle of it and a million feathers, but there are some beautiful, modern interpretations out there at the minute and I want all of them.

 

You will need

Copper ring(s) (I got mine here)

Yarn or wool

Scissors

Ruler or straight edge

 

2

Take your yarn and cut lengths of approx. 225cm. You can make your wall hanging as wide or narrow as you like. Cut 10 lengths to begin with and then see if you want to add more. I made mine pretty wide and used 40 lengths. My yarn was also very thick as I wanted a full, textured look. I’d like to try this with some very thin, silky embroidery yarn.

3

Take your hoop and a length of yarn. Fold your length in half and place the hoop on top of the loop. You can do this project with the hoop lying flat on a table but I found it easier to have it hanging up. I hooked it over the handles of my kitchen cabinet!

4

Take the other end of your folded yarn and feed it through the loop.

5

Tighten your knot and repeat.

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Keep going, adding as many more lengths as you like. To make the wall hanging nice and thick, bunch your knots together so they’re very close around the loop, leaving no gaps.

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When you’re finished adding lengths, smooth down your yarn and gently brush through with your fingers to make sure they’re sitting nice and straight. Using a ruler or straight edge as a guide, trim the wall hanging to your desired length. I’ve cut mine in a slightly pointed shape but a straight edge looks great too!

I’ve added a smaller hoop into my display by simply hanging it on the same nail as the wall hanging. Have fun! It’s a really simple project and if you try it, let me know how you get on. I’d love to see your results!

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copper wall light

photo 3

We really needed a mood / reading light for the bedroom and rather than spend money on a new one we thought we’d recycle this KVART lamp we had from IKEA which was only £5.25. The KVART comes with both a clamp and wall fitting. We seem to have lost our wall fitting so I’ve done this DIY without it.

You will need

KVART lamp

copper spray paint

wood (I’ve used birch plywood but any wood / MDF you like will do) My piece measures 18 x 26cm

varnish (optional)

hand saw

drill

screwdriver

screws x 2 (choose the correct length screws depending on the depth of wood you have)

masking tape

ruler

pencil

protection for your work surface

photo 1

Take all fittings off the lamp. Here’s the clamp fitting I mentioned which I haven’t used for this project. Don’t forget to take the bulb out too!

photo 2

With masking tape, cover the flex so you don’t get any paint where you don’t want it. Also tape off the inside of the lamp just in case any spray creeps in. In a well covered and well ventilated area, spray the lamp (and wall fitting if you want to use this) with the copper spray paint and leave to dry for at least an hour and give a second coat if required.

photo(28)

Now it’s time to prepare your wood. I used an old piece of birch plywood and cut it down to size (18 x 26cm) using a hand saw then finished the edges with a fine sandpaper. You can cut your wood by hand or if you prefer, places like B&Q will cut the wood for you. This might incur a small charge or you might have to buy the whole piece of wood you’re cutting from. I gave the wood 1 coat of varnish using Valspar interior matt varnish in organic cotton. Birch is a beautiful pale wood but I wanted it just a touch paler to compliment the copper. Varnishing is totally optional but you may want to paint / stain your wood a bolder colour or just give a clear varnish to protect it.

photo(27)

Next, you need to find your centre point using a ruler and mark it out. If you are using the wall fitting provided with the lamp, use the screw provided to fit the lamp to the wall fitting. Next, place the lamp and fitting onto your centre point and mark out where the screw holes are with a pencil. Using a drill, make pilot holes for the screws. Then, place the lamp with wall fitting back onto the wood and screw into the wood.

If you choose not to use the wall fitting or like us, have lost it you can still fit the lamp onto your wood using the screw provided and screwing it in from the back. To do this you must ensure that the wood you choose is not too thick or the screw won’t go all the way through the wood to the lamp. Using your centre point as a guide, drill a hole through the wood. Then screw in from the back, holding the lamp in place at the front until secure.

This project wasn’t difficult but I think if we had the wall fitting it would have been a bit easier!

To fix to the wall I’d recommend a sawtooth picture hanger available in most hardware / DIY shops or online. The finished project isn’t especially heavy but always choose the correct screws / wall plug / fixings to secure to your type of wall. To fix to the wall in a rented home (or where you don’t want to damage the walls) there are these non-permanent hangers.

photo 5

 

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