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My top tips on how to make a house a home with simple, innovative ideas and a sensible budget.
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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Wardrobe IKEA hack

It's the simple things isn't it? I recently decided my daughter's wardrobe was too boring. I could either update it or I could buy a new one (was thinking of a smaller one from IKEA). But then I thought I'd rather extend the life of this one if I can and save the cash.

So… I thought I'd wallpaper it. It's a bit fiddly and I still haven't done the sides but if you've got a couple of hours or so it's worth doing. Here's the before...

and the after

Oh, and here's the cheap Rast drawers I got from IKEA (£20) which I painted with rustoleum's chalk paint in duck egg blue.  

 And here it is in situ in the room with the wallpaper patchwork behind. :)

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A whole new wall for £4.77

Sorry for the absence. Hoping you'll forgive me as I had my second child 4 months ago. This is a short one as I'm in a bit of a hurry but thought I'd share this as I go... 

Cost: £4.77

Process: 1. Divide your walls into squares the size of a width of wallpaper (beware not all wallpapers are the same width as I learnt the hard way!) I put a boarder in for the alphabet as it didn't quite go. 2. Paint the squares you want painted with paint samples. 3. Cut the wallpaper samples you gather from DIY stores and wallpaper paste them in place. 

Voila!! 😉

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Lighting offers in the UK.

I don't normally do this but as one of my previous posts featured one of the things on offer, I thought I'd let you know about a massive sale on at BHS in their lighting department. I wouldn't have thought of them really, I'd tend toward Laura Ashley or M&S for interior fixtures but for the lighting, I was impressed by their range. 


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Inheritance hooks

OK, I'm a weak woman and I did this ickle bit of DIY… but so light and easy I figured it'd be ok?

So my Nannah gave me some old silver coated spoons when I first set up house. She's moved on to a better place now and I wanted to do something with them that would have them on display. Having checked with my Mum that she would be ok with me bending them I thought I'd use them to hang my favourite implements on. I know the hooks aren't evenly spaced but I wanted them to look a bit rough and homely, I have a tendency to want things evenly spaced, so challenged myself not to on this one.

Here's the solution that I came up with:

  1. Get a short length of wood.
  2. Paint it if you want to, and paint the spoons if they're not lovely old ones like mine.
  3. Drill 6 holes in pairs, about .7cm apart.
  4. Feed the string through, back to front, then front to back and repeat, tie at one end.
  5. Get your spoons and some pliers, bend the spoon about half way along the handle using the edge of the pliers, until there is about a 30 degree angle on it.
  6. Then move the pliers down about 1 cm and repeat.
  7. Bend to double up the spoon with your fingers for the last bit.
  8. Feed the Spoon handles through the loops on the front until it hits where the spoon handle ends and the spoon shape begins.
  9. Tighten the string and tie the other end off.
  10. Position where you want the wood on the wall.
  11. Drill (I used a 3.5mm bit) through the wood at each end and into the wall.
  12. Take the wood off the wall and drill a hole for the raw plug, assuming you're going into plasterboard ( used a 6mm bit for this and light fixture and fitting plastic plasterboard raw plug).
  13. Pop your raw plug in. 
  14. Screw through the wood and into the raw plug with a screw.

Hallway artwork and DIY ban

So being 39 weeks pregnant and the size of a house somewhat inhibits my ability to do any DIY, so I decided to do some computer artwork instead. I designed the below from scratch loosly based on a henna design I found online.

I don't have a fancy design suite package, so I managed to do it in powerpoint using the curve tool and the basic shapes. Took about three hours (on and off - I can't sit that long at the moment!), but very therapeutic. :)

I wanted something to go either side of the Home Sweet Home I have, remembering the two houses my husband and I have lived in. (The pictures above are postcards from Scotland - topical! - which we bought on a holiday to Edinburgh)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Don't spend a *sheet load* on sheets

This is a real simple blog post, but sometime the simple ones are the best so thought I'd write.

My 21 month old loves our duvet. At snuggle time in the morning she'll say "Cover Cas-sarah Mummy" (Please cover Cassandra, Mummy)

I asked her this morning if she would like her own pillow and duvet and she said yes - very excitedly. The thing is, I'm not sure how much longer she'll be in a cot bed - probably a year. I didn't want to buy cot bed duvet covers for her room and then chuck them out after a year. 

I also noticed that although they're smaller, cot bed duvet sets seem more expensive (around £20) than standard singles (often under £10). Go figure.

So, I bought a full sized single duvet cover, turned it inside out and placed the duvet inside, centring at the bottom in the middle of the buttoned opening. Then I used just a single line stitch on the sewing machine and sewed down each side of the duvet (the reverse pattern had stripes so this was dead easy) then sewed across the top of the duvet. (Make sure not to sew the duvet to the cover!)

So now when she moves up to an adult single duvet, I just need to unpick three lines of stitching.


(Duvet and pillowcase was £11 from Tesco and will fit in with her elephant curtains)

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Dining room panelling

Following my recent mega-project in the Lounge, I wanted something similar but (much!) simpler in my dining room. And here it is (excuse the pano shot):

It was dead simple to do, and didn't take more than 5hours in total. The skirting cost about £20 for two lengths, and the strip wood about £13, filler around £4 - so as I had the paint and screws already it all cost just under £37 all in. 

Here's my simple 6-step guide to how I did it:

1. I needed to square of the skirting board as I couldn't be bothered to chisel away the shaped edge. So I bought two lengths of board of the same depth and screwed them onto the existing boarding upside down and the wrong way up. Or to be more specific, I countersunk screws having pre-drilled pilot holes in both the new and existing board to prevent splitting the wood. I used 1" screws.

2.  Then I cut four strips of plained wood (45mmx18mmx1800) in half and screwed them into the wall (no raw plugs as they aren't taking any weight, and I was feeling lazy) 33cms apart (just because that looks about right for the gaps I had). Incidentally, I centred(ish) the middle of one of the 'panel' sections on the corner.

3.  I then added a baton, same dimensions as the rest of it but a little longer - 2400mm as that meant no joins) and added it to the top of the strips on the wall. I had some gaps as I wanted it level, but it worked out really well as the floor is very flat. (I know that sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised).

4.  I then filled in all the gaps including:
  • countersunk holes in the timber
  • behind the new skirting board to fill the gap (took a whole pot of filler!)
  • the small gaps between the wall and the top strip
  • the small gaps between the uprights and the top strip

5. I primed the wood with an all purpose primer and had to wait 24 hours to wait for it to dry - grr.

6.  I added a couple of coats of paint from the bedroom project I'd done upstairs (a lot of mileage out of a £10 pot of paint!) and I was AMAZED how well it matched my dresser! :) RESULT. Remember if I can help you out with advice on a similar project, email me at okidokeyolatoke@gmail.com. And don't forget to check my shop page if you are looking for a truly unique gift for a loved one.