Archive for the ‘diy’ Category

Locker clean up

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

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Word cloud decal on a renovated storage locker

Justin picked up an old metal storage locker last week. Initially, it was going to be a case of a quick wash then off to the antiques centre. We then decided it would make a great home for all our cleaning stuff which is scattered around the house in various corners & cupboards. So it became an up-cycling project instead.

partly undercoated green locker

The weather was still gorgeous then – the perfect job for a sunny afternoon in the garden.

detail of partly undercoated green locker

The metal was primed, then painted a warm buttermilk cream colour to match other pieces in the kitchen.

top of repainted locker

We bought some clear, sticky-backed vinyl which can be printed on using a ordinary ink-jet printer. Then designed a little word cloud with appropriate housekeeping terms and ran a couple off (more of that later).

2 cleaning word clouds printed on to clear vinly labels

This was then attached to the door.

detail of word cloud on refurbished locker

The locker is tall enough for mops & brushes which is ideal. There’s space for buckets and also a shelf on which sit polishes & sprays. We have a small section of wall between the window and door to the garden. It’s exactly the width of the locker so it’s found a perfect home.

Completed refurbished cleaning storage locker

We’re very pleased with the results. If you fancy doing something similar, we printed off two copies of the word cloud. We can post the other one off. You could use it on a similar locker, a wooden box – or perhaps an existing cupboard that you have in the house. Anyone interested? Just leave a comment on the post and we’ll pick someone at random in a week or so!

3 Tips for Measuring Kitchen Cabinets

Friday, September 27th, 2013

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vintage electric blue 1960s Geneva metal kitchen cabinets
image credit: Joe Wolf

Starting a kitchen remodel can be an exciting time – it can also quickly become a time you can’t wait to just be over and done with. Many homeowners don’t realise all that is included in a kitchen renovation, but with some additional knowledge, the task can actually turn into something that can be fun!

Here are some tips to follow when starting out in selecting new kitchen cabinets.

Use all the Free Tools Available

Many home improvement and cabinet stores have great cabinet materials that can help you start measuring your cabinetry and see what options are in stock that will fit your needs. This material is typically free and can save you a lot of time in planning. It’s important to keep in mind that unless you’re doing custom cabinetry, you’re fairly limited to the cabinets that are kept in stock.

In addition to brick and mortar stores, many companies have online tools that can be very helpful in laying out a new cabinet design. Often, they will then tell you exactly what cabinets you will need to finish off your new design. It’s almost like having a personal kitchen designer to help you from start to finish.

Use the Measurements from Old Cabinets

If you like the general layout of your current kitchen, but want an updated look or wood, use the measurements from your existing cabinetry to give yourself a starting point for your design.

This can be especially helpful if you’ve lived with the existing cabinetry – you know what drives you nuts about the current layout and what improvements should be made for a better functioning kitchen. Use this knowledge to your advantage!

Another alternative is to simply refinish your existing cabinets with new hardware, stain, etc.

Often times homeowners are shocked that their existing materials can be refinished into beautiful, updated pieces to give their kitchen a whole new look. While this might not be for everyone, it’s definitely an option to consider.

Things to Consider

If you decide to go with in-stock cabinets, keep in mind that some cabinets require an additional cabinet to sit next to it, or a separate trim piece needs to be purchased to make the cabinet have a finished look. Also, this might seem obvious, but most DIY-ers are surprised to find out that cabinets aren’t finished on the top. They are designed to have a counter top placed on top of them to finish them off. This is important to consider if you’re considering in-stock cabinetry for other uses besides traditional kitchen or bathroom use.

Also, have you ever noticed that in typical kitchens the cabinets above the fridge are actually deeper than the rest of the cabinetry? This is done on purpose. Many people learn the hard way that this isn’t just a style preference. The cabinets are designed to be deeper so that they are more easily accessible. Keep this in mind when designing your kitchen layout.

Additionally, you might want to consider adding electricity to your cabinets, especially if you’re adding in an island. This can save you a lot of headaches, and it allows you to use kitchen appliances on your island, adding to your overall available work space.

[disclosure*]

Author biography: Alex Orton is a PR and content marking professional living in Washington DC. He has worked in both the software and non-profit space and enjoys writing, politics, and running around the nation’s capital.  Alex enjoys writing articles for companies like Knotty Alder Cabinets.

Crafty Compendiums

Monday, March 7th, 2011

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Pile of vintage craft booklets

The Homemade Home was the subject of our most recent Bookmarks book review.

 

cover of a vintage craft booklet showing carved wooden animals

It brought to mind this pile of craft booklets we picked up at Huddersfield Fleamarket recently.

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing hand carved wooden bull pages from a vintage craft booklet showing hand carved wooden fox

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing hand carved wooden rhino pages from a vintage craft booklet showing hand carved wooden elephant

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing hand carved wooden ram pages from a vintage craft booklet showing hand carved wooden seal

They’re from the Leisure Craft series.

cover of a vintage craft booklet on how to do batik

page from a vintage craft booklet showing batik composition

There seems to be about 40 titles in the set…

page from a vintage craft booklet showing a cartoon type illustration of a person crafting

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing how to do batik

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing how to do batik

…covering a vast array of crafts & hobbies.

cover of a vintage craft booklet on how to decorate glass bottles

page from a vintage craft booklet showing decorated glass jars

pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to decorate glass bottles

…from familiar subjects such as fabric printing, enamel work and collage…

cover of a vintage craft booklet on how to make clay items

pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to make clay candle holders

page from a vintage craft booklet showing handmade pot page from a vintage craft booklet showing handmade teapot

…to more obscure topics such as coconut craft & pipe cleaner figures.

page from a vintage craft booklet showing collection handmade pots

cover of a vintage craft booklet on how to do collage

page from a vintage craft booklet showing felt lions

There’s been quite a resurgence in the upcycled, recycled, reworked & handmade in recent years…

pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to do collage

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing an illustration of a parade of shops

cover of a vintage craft booklet showing how to make hand made jewellery

…but we’re yet to see throngs of people queueing up for the local coconut craft classes!

page from a vintage craft booklet showing crafting tools

pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to make handmade jewellery

The booklets are lovely actually…

pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to make handmade jewellery pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to make handmade jewellery

pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to make handmade jewellery

cover of a vintage craft booklet showing how to use fabrics

…all dating from the late 60s & early 70s.

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing how to do block printing

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing how to do block printing on clothing

page from a vintage craft booklet on showing an illustrated book cover and red lamp with shade

There are lists of materials and clearly illustrated methods & techniques.

cover of a vintage craft booklet 'How to paint with Lacquer

pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to make handmade jewellery pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to make handmade jewellery

page from a vintage craft booklet showing enamelware boat

The photographs of finished results are also fab…

pages from a vintage craft booklet on how to make handmade jewellery

page from a vintage craft booklet showing enamelware jewellery

cover of a vintage craft booklet 'Paper, Scissors and Paste

…with a very distinctive period feel.

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing an alphabet illustration

pages from a vintage craft booklet showing two figures for hanging keys

page from a vintage craft booklet showing peacock and three wise men illustrations

Our particular favourites are the Paper, Scissors & Paste and Batik booklets…

page from a vintage craft booklet showing nativity scene illustrations

page from a vintage craft booklet showing train and countryside scene

…oh, and that gorgeous little fabric booklet with the pram on it has to get a special mention!

page from a vintage craft booklet showing greeting card illustrations

cover of a vintage craft booklet 'Tinfoil Decorations

So, no excuses now… time to get crafty!

page from a vintage craft booklet showing tinfoil starbursts

page from a vintage craft booklet showing tinfoil decorations

P.S. Compendiums… compendia… we looked them up, both versions are usable however our spellchecker doesn’t like the latter!

Garden Helper

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

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vintage "Do it Yourself Gardening Annual 1960"

We wrote a short blog about growing our own recently…

detail of vintage gardening annual from 1960

… or our attempts at least!

detail from vintage 1960s gardening annual

How about this for the perfect companion?

cover from vintage 1960s gardening annual

This fab 1960s garden DIY annual should help. Even looking at the cover makes us want to get out there and dig!

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Growing our own

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

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flat leaf parsley and coriander growing on a windowsill

This year we decided to grow more of our own – and we’ve got no excuse, as Todmorden‘s the home of Incredible Edible.

strawberries growing in a vintage terracotta strawberry pot

We have a variety of crops to look forward to in the coming weeks.

homegrown beetroot in vintage enamel breadbinhomegrown peashoots grown in vintage metal bucket

Most of them are growing in containers as much of our garden is paved with stone cobbles. It also makes protecting them from the ubiquitous slugs & snails much easier.

tomato plants growing in a vintage mini greenhouse

We use lots of the old galvanised metal ‘dolly tubs’, buckets and bins.

courgette flowers in a vintage metal dolly tub

The plants seem to like it!

potato plants overflowing from a vintage metal dolly tub just outside the kitchen doorpink stems of rhubarb growing out of a vintage metal dolly tub

Potatoes, beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, broccoli, courgettes, squash, peashoots, salad leaves, a variety of herbs – and yes, those are figs.

tiny fruits growing on a fig tree

There’s still a little room for some flowers.

lilac coloured osteospermum growing in a vintage metal bucket

pink lupins growing in a vintage dolly tubpink lupins growing in a vintage dolly tub

Perennials like the hostas, astilbes and lupins return each year like old friends. Although this year’s harsh winter saw a few losses.

purple lobelia growing in a vintage metal bucket

red geraniums just about ready to flower

To these we add a few annuals – osteospermums,  lobelia and the like.

hosta leaves

pink fox glove about to flower growing next to a giant ribbed terracotta urnyoung purple shoots of astilbe plants

We’ve enjoyed working in the garden this year. We don’t think self-sufficiency is here just yet – but hopefully we’ll reap some rewards!