Tag Archives: DIY

A little rubbish here and there…

I have become a professional scavenger by now. I know what I want, otherwise I can easily be seen as a hoarder.

I am so excited about my new finds…



Not sure yet what they’ll be…Watch this space…

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DIY – Salvaged chest of drawers

Chest of drawers ~ {Furniture with drawers for keeping clothes}

I love going to the rubbish dump. Last year I got this beauty from the local dump by chance.


Just a skeleton

So I used it as is, without drawers, in our bathroom. About a year ago I did not have the skills to restore it. My training in carpentry has definitely paid off! I have managed to make 3 drawers to fit!

Drawer front

Drawer front


Drawer inside

Front view

Done – Front facade

Side view

Side view


Up close

Up close

I used Saligna wood and decided not to finish it with handles. I wanted a simple look and just made big holes for our fingers to pull it out. I have also decided to not paint the drawers white. I just love it!

Another great up-cycled project that cost me very little!

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DIY: Bed-side table that will turn heads

Many retail shops revamp at least once a year. They regularly throw out very usable items that can serve as storage solutions or furniture pieces. A few months ago, one of our leading pharmaceutical chain-stores got rid of some of their old shop fittings. I got quite a few things, but the two aluminium table frames were my favourite. I also got some supa-wood off-cuts at a local carpenter recently. With it, I made a very cool dual purpose table. It is a side table that can serve as a bed-side table with a lamp fixture.

Bedside table

I love the slats in the supawood


Here is how to do it.

What you need:

Aluminium table base

Wood off-cuts

MDF backing

Lamp holder kit (with wall plug)

Round energy-saver light bulb

Drill and hole- saw


Start off by cutting the off-cuts to size, to fit on the table base. Also use the MDF board and cut to size. This will serve as the back support board. Use screws to secure the off-cuts to the back board.  Also secure the whole wood unit to the table base with screws. Using the hole-saw, cut a hole in the corner for the light fitting to rest in. Make sure it fits snugly. Assemble the lamp and light fitting kit. Fit the bulb, plug it in and switch on!



Perfect table for reading

It has been featured in the Jan/Feb issue of Green Home Magazine, on the shelves now. Once again proof that recycling does not mean you have to compromise on design. I am really proud of this one…it is functional and beautiful at the same time.

Till next time!




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EAT your DIY

I am so excited and happy for my sister, Ame and her husband, Edmund who recently bought their first home. They got married in 2011 and I featured some snippets of their wedding. Read about it here.

We went home last week for another family wedding and I decided to make a gift for her. Something small, but with character, I decided to make her some letters for her kitchen, using off-cut supawood.

What you need:

Wood off-cuts










I decided to give it a country chic look by sanding it down in between the paint layers. Ame loved it at first sight…she actually thought it was store -bought…which I view as a compliment!

Re-use – Recycle – Love

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DIY: Doily up your pantry

Pantry ~ {A small storeroom for storing foods or wines}

The pantry was one of the things that attracted me to this house.  It is functional and also not to bad looking?  It has Louvre doors and the white-washed finish reminds me of a beach house.



That is on the outside.

* Inside looms temptation of all kinds.  Foods, healthy and not-so-healthy.  After the bathroom, this might be the most visited room in the house!

Also, its a bit untidy.

Untidy shelves

Untidy shelves

I have tried numerous times to organise it by categorising, but for some reason it always gets messy!

Time to tackle this food-mountain!

I went to my local fruit and vegetable store and collected some tomato crates for FREE! I love these, they are so handy and sturdy!  Grab some paint and coat only the front panel of the box.  Thus you save time and paint.  This also makes it easy if you want to change colour at a later stage.


Leave it in the sun to dry.


While it is drying, take some small paper doilies.  Mine was a little to big so I cut out the middle section.  Then I joined the two halves using Sellotape.


I wanted to create a blackboard effect so I used matte cardboard and used a white marker to make labels.  Use glue to attach the “labels” to the painted surface.


It will dry clear.  I ran out of Modge Podge otherwise I would have used the decoupage technique.

After this is dry…you can start organising your shelves!




The shelf structure works on a bracket system, thus preventing me from putting all the crates side-by-side.  This is an on-going project but I am extremely pleased with the result.

It cost me nothing but about 90 minutes of my time!  Do you have any pictures of your organised pantry?  Please send!

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Clever decorating tricks: Creating areas of interest

Every home should inspire.  After all it is where we wake up in the morning, and recline to at night.

A house becomes a home once you start living in it.  Your house can either fill you with joy or make you depressed.  Bare walls and empty rooms can cast down your demeanor, whereas cheerful, decorated rooms can fill your spirit with peace and joy!

Walking through your house should make you feel happy!

Easy ways to create a happy room is to paint the walls and put up pictures.  Also put personal memorabilia on display and create little reading nooks.

Below are some inspirational pictures of interesting areas created by home-owners.






Now, creating these corners does not have to cost a fortune.  A little imagination and creativity goes a long way.

Here are examples of how I created interesting, inexpensive little corners in my home.

Kitchen wall

Kitchen wall

Read DIY post here.

Reception room and leading to dining area

Reception room and leading to dining area

Read about how to make the funky dining table.



Read DIY post for this cool lampshade:

Reading nook in lounge area

Reading nook in lounge area

Read DIY post for this funky lampshade:

Wall of hearts

Wall of hearts

There you go.  Prove that it style does not have to cost you a lot!  Send me some of your inspirational areas in your home!

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“Why don’t you do it yourself?”

How many times in frustration and sarcasm have you said this? Maybe in a fit of anger at someone who made a comment about your sad attempt of frying an egg!

But I refer specifically to DIY. Do-it-yourself.

We live in an era of empowerment. “Empower yourself”, they say. Who are they…the media and all those other people. They say find your own way in life!  Drill your own holes … do not wait for a man!

Imagine my surprise when I found out, there are men out there who cannot DIY. Do not misunderstand me, these men are successful in their careers and short nothing in terms of material things. But for some strange reason they never got a chance to develop their DIY talents, if any!

However, where there is a woman, there is always a picture to be hung … or curtains!  Aaargh! A nightmare for any DIY dummie!  Take my friend, actor, Solomon Cupido, as an example.  Last week he called in a bit of a panic … he must hang a curtain rail.  This is a newlywed … and the pressure is on!  His wife expects him to hang the curtains, and perhaps she doesn’t even know that he is clueless!  He needs to impress!

So my otherwise quiet Saturday afternoon was recently interrupted when I heard him screaming at the gate … he must learn drill today!  He and his co-actor, comedian, Bradley Olivier, came along for moral support … really?  


Solomon and Bradley

I realized the depth of Solomon’s problem when he asked what a “bit” is. My husband jokingly explained to him step-by-step on how to use the drill. Solomon listened attentively while Bradley chirped background… “I knew that man!” Yah right…!  We know you know everything Brad!

Eventually they leave, equally proud and empowered!  And believe it or not … he gets it right. And just to prove he did it … he sends me a photo:


Solomon shows us he can drill!

The whole debacle made me think. The whole era of self-empowerment has always been focused on the woman. Have we become so empowered that we never let the men do anything for us? It may be part of the problem.  

We are often referred to as the “fatherless generation”. The reality is that a lot of young men grow up without their fathers around to teach them the skill.  But there is hope! Nowadays you can just “Google” your problem and immediately there are thousands of videos and tutorials to show you how.

Why don’t you do it yourself?  Or if all else fails, come around and we’ll show you!

*This post was also written in Afrikaans


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My first Afrikaans post: Hoekom doen jy dit nie self nie?

* Today I surface after more than a week of blogging silence. (slightly embarrassed about it…)  Today I also pay homage to my mother tongue, Afrikaans.  This is my very first post in Afrikaans…somethings are just better said in your native language!  Don’t worry…I will post the English version as well!

Here goes…


Hoeveel keer uit frustrasie en sarkasme het jy al dit gese?  Miskien in ‘n bui van woede omdat iemand ‘n opmerking gemaak het oor jou treurige probeerslag van ‘n gebakte eier!  In my geval meesal vir my suster en broers (toe ons nog jonger was) en miskien my man tot onlangs.  Maar ek verwys spesifiek na DIY.  Do-it-yourself.

Ons lewe in ‘n era van self-doen.  “Empower yourself”, sê hulle.  Wie is hulle?   Die media en daai ander mense.  Hulle sê…”Bemagtig jouself, magtig!”  Bepaal jou eie koers in die lewe!  Boor jou eie gate…moenie vir ‘n man wag nie!

Verbeel jou tot my verrassing toe ek uitvind, daar is mans daarbuite wat nie kan self-doen nie.  Moet my nie verkeerd verstaan nie, diè mans is suksesvol in hul loopbane en kort niks in terme van materiele dinge nie.  Maar vir een of ander snaakse rede het hulle nog nooit kans gekry om hulle self-doen talente (indien enige) the ontwikkel nie.  

Nietemin, waar daar ‘n vrou is, is daar altyd ‘n foto wat gehang moet word…of gordyne!   Aaargh!  ‘n Nagmerrie vir enige dom self-doener!  Neem my vriend, akteur, Solomon Cupido, as voorbeeld. Verlede week bel hy in ‘n bietjie van ‘n paniek…hy moet ‘n gordyn reling ophang.  Diè is ‘n nuutgetroude man…en die druk is aan!  Sy vrou’tjie verwag die gordyne moet hang, en dalk weet sy nie eers dat hy eintlik “clueless” is nie!  

So my andersins rustige Saterdag middag was onlangs onderbreek toe ek Solomon hoor skree by die hek…hy moet vandag leer boor!  Hy en sy mede-akteur, grapjas, Bradley Olivier, kom saam vir morele ondersteuning…regtig?  


Solomon en Bradley

Ek besef toe die diepte van Solomon se probleem toe hy vra wat is ‘n “bit”.  My man reageer toe met ‘n grapperige opmerking en verduidelik vir hom stap- vir- stap hoe om die boor te gebruik.  Solomon in ruil luister aandagtig terwyl Bradley heeltyd tjirp in die agtergrond.  “Ek weet al die goed man!”, snuiter hy.  Ja jong…ons weet jy weet alles!

Uiteindelik loop hulle, ewe trots en bemagtig!  En glo dit of nie…hy kry dit toe reg.  En net om te bewys hy het dit gedoen…stuur hy my ‘n foto:


Solomon wys hoe hy kan boor!

Die hele debakel het my laat dink…die hele era van self-bemagtiging was heeltyd gefokus op die vrou.  Het ons so bemagtig geraak dat ons glad nie eers die manne kans gee om vir ons iets te doen nie?  Is dit dalk deel van die probleem dat sommige mans nie kans gekry het om hulle op te skerp in hierdie area nie.  

Ons word dikwels verwys na die “vaderlose generasie”.  Die ander realiteit is ook dat baie meer seuns en mans sonder hulle pa’s grootword wat gewoonlik hierdie vaardigheid oordra.  Maar daar is hoop!  Deesdae kan jy net jou probleem “Google” en onmiddelik is daar derduisende video’s en self-leer programme om jou touwys te maak.  

Hoekom probeer jy nie dit self nie?  As jy nou rerig nie kan nie…kom kuier, ons sal jou wys hoe!

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DIY: Hairstation

Hello there! *Another hi from a scarce blogger. I have been in hiding for quite a while now. My absence from Cyberspace these past few months is a culmination of the year drawing to an end and life just being busy.

I have however had time for a very quick DIY project that will make my life a whole lot easier…a hair-station.

I had to cut my hair short recently so now it requires more styling. Thus I use my appliances a lot more lately, but the mess that goes along with all the wires irritated me.

Then I had an idea:

I could make a hair station using a plumbing y-junction. So I took a walk to the local plumbing supply shop and it costs around R 80.00

You would need:

Spray paint





Although it doesn’t look fancy, it is already adding a lot of value to my life. The appliances are easy to reach and easy to pack away.  Go ahead and try it!

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DIY: Flower mirror made with plastic spoons.

* Spring has sprung!

What lovely weather we are having in Jozi!

Is there a better way to celebrate spring…than with flowers?

Our national flower

If you haven’t received any lately…why not make your own?

Protea mirror

Here’s how to:

I found it a bit difficult to paint after gluing the spoon ends down.  I would suggest painting them before-hand!  Enjoy!

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DIY: Warning…this is one hot lampshade!

I got the idea to make this lampshade in Winter 2011.  Talk about procrastination…

Anyway, I have always being interested in the orange safety net used by Municipal workers alongside the road.  I love it so much…was thinking of making a bedspread out of it! 🙂

Just joking! On a serious note…the colour immediately warms me up and what better way to warm up a room than with an extra-cool (excuse the pun) hot lampshade:

The nice thing about my DIY art is that it almost always cost nothing or very little money.  That is why it is so easy to change after I get bored of it.  Check this one I made last year for the girls’ room when we still stayed in Naturena.

Well we moved twice since and I grew tired of it.  Time for change:

Material needed:

Old lampshade frame

Safety net (available from hardware store for about R12,00 per meter)

Hot-glue gun

Pliable wire



1. Remove old lining and expose wire frame

3. Cut a piece of safety net to cover the frame.

4. Glue it to the frame with a hot-glue gun.

For extra hotness, use a red light-bulb and flick the switch!

Enough hotness to warm up any winter!

Also featured in the June issue of the 4ChangeMag.  (not yet updated)

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I heart you…

Clearly this is wedding season for me as I mentioned in my previous post.  My dear friend, Carmen, met her husband, Ray and almost immediately they decided they are meant for each other.

So about 140 days after they met, they tied the knot on 30 October 2011.  Isn’t love just inspirational and romantic?  She wanted a rustic, romantic feel for her wedding and decided on a friend’s backyard as the perfect wedding venue.

Initial wedding venue

So the plan was to roll-on-grass under the tree.  However, after a spate of bad weather these past weeks in the Cape Province we had to think of a plan B.  The weather bureau predicted rain for her big day so on Friday, 28 October, 2 days before their wedding, my friends adventurously changed their venue to De Reuck Winefarm in Paarl.

Marquee tent

The interior was rustic just like she wanted it…

Interior of tent

I came across this idea a few weeks ago to make paper hearts for her wedding.  I will just post the pictures to give you an idea on how to make it.

Paper heart

Cut 2 sets of paper in different size strips

Staple the strips together from long to short, short to long

Start folding the insides and complete the trio

We also made toilet-paper roll flowers to add to the theme.  We had to jazz up the tent in a matter of 2 hours.  Remember I had two other weddings to attend before. And we still changed the venue two days before.  Sjoe, seems like 2 is the perfect number! So we started at 08h00 the morning of the wedding and had to rush to be ready for the wedding that would start at 10h30.

Ashley, Allen and the guys hanging the hearts & flowers

Rustic, romantic tent

Together with her Wedding Planner, Grazelda, we managed to achieve the above in 2 hours. Doesn’t look like a lot but the draping took quite some time. We also used coffee cans and filled them with daisies. We hung them on the wrought-iron chairs and on the drapery.

You will see the right-hand side of the tent has a open space. Carmen asked each guest to bring their own camp chair to add to the relaxed atmosphere.  People really enjoyed the afternoon as it drizzled outside.

Carmen & Ray

It was a roller-coaster adventure and I enjoyed every minute of it!  Thanks guys for making me part of your special day!

PS: My next DIY post will be on my sister’s wedding.

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