Tag Archives: DIY

Old house renovation in progress – laundry

We began renovating our old house about five months ago. The progress is slow, since my husband and I are doing all of the work by ourselves – and actually enjoy it. The place that shows major progress is the laundry, a tiny place in the oldest part of the building, about hundred years old. It was built as pigsty on a countryside farm, owned by a rich landowner from Austria. Later on it was used as a toolshed and small kitchenette. It was in a really bad shape and cried for some attention and love.

We wanted to maintain the farmhouse character of the building in structural elements and internal decor – this is where many of ideas from Pinterest came handy.

The plaster was falling apart, so we removed it completely from one wall and repointed the mortar between bricks. Long hours of work were put in, but now the exposed bricks add character to the place and look great with other walls that were re-plastered in white. We also got rid of old suspended ceiling, exposed the beams and put on the insulation. There is still some plaster work to be done, but it does already look pretty ok.

The furniture and internal decor is all made from renovated or reclaimed materials. Besides building materials we will not add anything new to the place.

A renovated credenza from 60-ties that will be used for storage in the laundry. A desk from reclaimed wood boards will cover laundry and dryer machine and will come handy for folding and ironing. The old sink is put on the simple wooden stand.

The lamp is Pinterest inspired DIY: an old piece of wood and simple fabric covered electrical cord. The main feature is lightbulbs in retro-style that are hanging on three cords of different length.

Still lots to do, I am really looking forward!


Do you have a project that gives you thrills of enthusiasm? What is it that you love about it?

 

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I am back, got some news!

Hi, everybody! I haven’t published anything during last several months. My husband and I are renovating our old house – we are doing almost everything by ourselves – so we were busy all days long. The house is still looking like a building site, but one or two big final pushes and we’ll reach the stage I am really looking forward to – making and buying furniture, decorations, making the porch and so on. From next spring on I hope we’ll have lots of creative projects to share with you.

There is another project that suffered neglect during last months: I opened my Etsy shop (ioKikkaDesign) and only now finally filled it up with some items (I still have lots of work to do, though). I am very curious how it will turn out – the marketplace is huge and lots of shops cannot survive the fierce competition. So, fellow Etsy shop owners and buyers, if you would like to share your experience, give some advice or just let us know about your shop – I would be most grateful and interested to hear from you.

Last but not least, here are some pictures of my little cuties.

And here is my current working space (lots of creative mess on our kitchen table). I am looking forward to have a special “womans cave” at the house once we move in – yey!

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DIY Felted necklaces

Wool can be transformed into felt using needle technique. Here are some ideas how to make necklaces out of wool roving. It may not seem so, but it is really an easy process.

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You will need a special needle, which has small sharp hooks, so when you poke the wool with it, the wool fibres get entangled and slowly get compacted in the desired shape. Besides needle you will need a felting surface, usually a foam pad. The wool is placed on the pad when doing needle felting so there is no danger to poke yourself with very sharp felting needle.

There are many different choices about what kind of wool to use. No worries, just be sure to have the wool that is suitable for needle felting – most of them are. I am using merino wool roving. This is all there is to know to get started.

With some practice and imagination lots of beautiful creations can be done.

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Happy crafting to you all!

Bring kids drawings to life

Many years ago my daughters and I made a fun DIY project. My daughters like to draw and are keen on their drawings, which are on display on our fridge. At the time they also liked dolls so we had the idea to make dolls out of their own drawings. Younger daughter had 3 years and older about 7.

We took two pieces of paper and crayons. The only instruction I gave them was to make a large enough picture, so that it would be possible for me to sew the doll.

The younger drew a humanoid, which seems more like a banana, but I can guarantee you that it is actually a very beautiful princess with long hair and blue eyes. My older daughter drew her own princess, with many more details and colours.

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Next, I drew over the lines and transferred the picture onto a cloth. I put two pieces of cloth and some stuffing in between and sewed main lines of the picture with zig-zag seam on my sewing machine. Finally, we coloured the dolls with crayons and I embroidered details: eyes, mouth, crown…

My kids were so proud to have dolls made out of their own design. They played a lot with these dolls and are still keeping them as memorabilia.

Happy crafting!

 

 

 

DIY Vases with test tubes

Vases made from driftwood

Pieces of branches that have been washed by the sea, treated by the winds and bleached by hot sun have a unique colour and are very light and soft. We found driftwood pieces at the local beach. After washing it thoroughly (you do not want to have any marine bacteria at your home) we simply drew holes and attached the piece to aluminium stand. Finally the wood was treated with wood oil and wax – it gives it a velvety touch and smells divinely. The pieces are quite narrow so we put in the hole glass test tubes. It can become a vase or a candle holder, even pencils or brushes can find a new home. For larger pieces a glass vase or jar could be used instead of test tubes.

Simple vases from plywood

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Two pieces of plywood were cut to shape so they can be put together – one is inserted into another – and in the middle goes the test tube.

Upgrade plywood vases

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For this vase we glued several layers of plywood, cut it into “O” shape and drilled the hole at the top, so the test tube can be inserted into the wooden piece. The piece is put onto aluminium stand and secured with a screw. Finally we put two coatings of lacquer for shiny finish.

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Aluminium piece vase

This is a bit more complex piece. A spare aluminium piece was cut into shape and sanded. Than my husband drilled recesses and holes with his homemade CNC machine. This time it is the stand that is made out of wood – it is an old piece of wood board that was lying around.

 

DIY charging station

We always searched the right charger for the device that was approaching battery death all over the house, so the first step was to label the chargers with device name and kept all chargers in one place. However, more than one device was often charging, so cluttery scenes were often seen near electrical outlets. The chargers basket was no better: a mess of unmistakably entangled electrical wires. Now we have a DIY all-in-one charging station that solves it all.

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Our charging station has two main parts: a crate that contains chargers and wires and the upper part that holds up our devices – two tablets and four mobiles. Every device has its permanent place with the name put on it.

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I bought a small wooden crate and three book holders for few euros at local store. Then I  disassemble them all, saw off excess parts and drilled holes for wires and assembled the parts together. The rest is paint and embellishments.

And here is all the mess that is put safely out of sight.

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We usually keep our chargers in the charging stations. For emergency charging when we are out of home we have a power bank and spare USB cables. Also, the charging station is a storage space for devices when they are not in use, so we do not have them lying all around the house anymore.

Handmade wall clocks

Handmade DIY wall clocks made out of natural or recycled materials.

The wooden farmhouse clock is Pinterest inspired. I found out it was originally designed by AveryStDesignCo – a small business that makes furniture and clocks out of reclaimed wood. I liked it so much that I tried to do one for myself. I used reclaimed wood, cut and sand it and aged it with steel wool and vinegar solution. I painted the outer circle with white chalk paint and finally draw the numbers with black acrylic paint.

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Back side of the clock was treated with vinegar solution as well. My husband cut the recess to hold the clock mechanism.

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This clock is made out of beach stones, that were painted with acrylic paint – green and grey ones. Some stones were covered with gold leaf that was glued on their surface.

Finally I simply hot-glued stones and clock mechanism to the wall, since we do not plan to remove this clock in near future and wanted them to really stick tight. I am not sure if hot-glue will leave any residue to the wall though.

I had an old stack of number stickers that I used to indicate hours. This clock is in the kids room so to make it more playful I used different fonts.

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A really old project. The central part of the clock is made out of an old piece of aluminium. My husband drilled holes in it so the wooden sticks and spheres could be fixed in. On the back side there is a recess for clock mechanism. I painted the wooden parts and pointers on the clock with high gloss paint in different colours.

With some imagination a lot of different natural or recycled materials can be used, making the projects friendly to environment and our pockets.