by Marica Fick
So 2020 has been an unexpected, out-of-control, wild horse of a year thus far. Who would have ever predicted and prepared for a worldwide health crisis that would leave billions of people lockdown in their own homes for safety. Yet here we are. Hello Covid-19. While some countries are entering their 5th week of Coronavirus quarantine, others are only calling for lockdown restrictions now.
Either way, I can imagine that most of you are climbing the walls out of frustration and boredom. All the books have been read and the Nexflix queue is empty. I am just thankful that I can wear my pyjamas (yay elasticated waist!) most of the day because the cycle of binge-watching and snacking has resulted in a bit of jelly-belly.
I see that people cope with the quarantine boredom in various ways – cooking, spring cleaning, running laps in the backyard, and of course… DIY.
If you want to attempt a few quarantine crafts to keep you busy during lockdown, we have put together six of our easiest Decorating Quick Tips from past posts for you to try at home.
Here are our 6 DIY Projects to Banish the Covid Lockdown Boredom:
1. Turn Vintage Tins Into Functional Decorative Accessories:
If your home is anything like mine, you probably have a collection of pretty vintage tins gathering dust on some forgotten shelf. Over the years my mom and gran accumulated a fair assortment of interesting tea, biscuit, and flour tins. It was quite fashionable a few decades ago to put these empty tins on display… on top of kitchen cabinets mostly. Did your home feature a similar vintage tin stockpile or is this a purely Afrikaans phenomenon?
The good news is, vintage tins are once again a desirable commodity. However, instead of just using them for display give them a practical function…
Repurpose pretty and vintage tea and flour tins by using them as gorgeous herb or flower planters. Smaller biscuit or sweet tins can also be converted into beautiful candle holders. One can also give pretty spice, vintage cigarette, or mint tins a second life by turning them into refrigerator magnets. Just slip a strong magnet inside the tin and voilà – stunning fridge storage.
The Cultivated Candle Co. posted a lovely DIY video illustrating how you can make your own set of vintage tin fridge magnets. Watch the video above to see just how easy it is! If you want to try your hand a creating a tea tin candle, you can follow this lovely tutorial shared by Sweet Cayenne. Alternatively, House & Home posted step-by-step instructions on how you can transform your tin collection into pretty herb planters.
[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 2 August 2012 | Quick Tip #16: Practical Pretty Tins ]
2. Brighten Up Your Garden or Patio With Paint-dipped Pots:
Playing with a “paint-dipped” effect is a brilliant way of adding colour and interest to an item without going overboard. The idea is to replicate the look of something that has been partially dunked in paint. Whether you do this by actually dipping part of your chosen item in paint or using tape and a brush to create the effect the result is playful and trendy.
Stick a lovely succulent, fragrant herb, or happy flower in one of these paint-dipped pots, and they would make for excellent Mother’s Day gifts or a sweet way to say thank you to your child’s favourite teacher.
A fun and easy way to add some colour and quirk to your indoor or outdoor potted plants is to paint-dip the pots! All you need is some sturdy (yet cheap) unglazed terracotta or ceramic pots and the paint colour[s] of your choice. For added interest, you can even opt for an angled dipped-effect. These trendy dipped pots would make for a stunning kitchen sill herb garden or add some quirk to your garden patio.
Better Homes & Gardens shared a lovely step-by-step video on how to mimic the paint-dipped look on terracotta pots using a rubber band and acrylic paint. See the video: here.
[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 20 March 2014 | Quick Tip #31: Paint-Dipped Pots ]
3. Organize Your Linen Closet With This Handy Tip:
Before Marie Kondo entered the scene with her KonMari method of organizing, there was only one name associated with do-it-yourself home organizing, entertaining, decorating, and hostess etiquette. She is the ultimate authority on the “homemaker arts”… the Domestic Goddess herself, Martha Stewart.
Martha conferred with various professional organizing consultants and came up with five handy tips for keeping your linen cupboard tidy. This particular tip was so clever and easy it made me jealous that I didn’t think of it first!
Keep your linen closet neat and organized by tucking sheet sets inside their matching pillowcases. Then stack the “pillowcase packets” according to size (twin, double, queen, king) or by the room you use the sheets in (master bedroom, guest room.) No more messy shelves or time wasted searching for matching linen.
Of course, it is not merely a matter of cramming your sheets into a pillowcase and shoving it into the closet – there is a trick to it. Martha shared the video above to demonstrate the correct way to fold your linen bundle for minimum clutter and maximum efficiency.
[ This tip was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 17 February 2012 | Quick Tip #12: Organizing That Linen Closet ]
4. Use A Clothes Hanger To Create Your Own Necklace Organizer:
Ladies, if like me your necklaces and other accessories are in tangled mess, this DIY is just for you! In under an hour, you can transform an old wooden coat hanger into a portable jewellery organizer. It is dead easy!
Keep your necklaces organized and untangled by upcyling an old wooden clothes hanger into a nifty jewellery organizer. Simply drill holes into the bottom of your coat hanger and screw in a dozen or so cup hooks. You can paint or decorate your hanger to compliment your room décor. Now you have a no-fuss, movable and attractive way to store and display you beautiful necklaces.
Homeedit posted a cool step-by-step video tutorial illustrating what you will need to make your own hanger organizer. As an added bonus they also share how you can use an embroidery hoop to make a clever earring holder. See the video: here.
[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 2 December 2015 | Quick Tip #43: Coat Hanger Jewellery Organizer ]
5. Make Your Own Organic Wood Stain With Coffee:
A good few folk are using this lockdown period to update and refresh some old or otherwise crusty-looking furniture pieces. I have spotted various before and after furniture projects on social media already. If you are hesitant to use commercial wood stains or do not currently have any at hand, you might have to look no further than the pantry cupboard.
Did you know you can stain your wooden furniture with coffee?! Yup, just make a pot of instant coffee and apply it with a brush to your sanded timber item. Leave your item to dry and add more coats of your coffee stain if necessary, then finish off with your choice of wood sealer. Stronger coffee equals a darker stain and weaker coffee a lighter tone. It’s quick, easy and all-natural.
Unlike commercial wood stains, the coffee coats rather than deeply penetrates the wood. The result is subtle and natural-looking. Using this method is not only safe for the environment but also fume-free – even the kiddos can help you paint.
See the step-by-step coffee wood stain tutorial: here
[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 4 August 2011 | Quick Tip #2: Stain Your Wood With Coffee ]
6. Age & Weather Your Wood With Vinegar:
While we are on the subject of wood painting and techniqueing, here is a great alternative to the coffee wood stain. It’s easy, affordable and eco-friendly… but it might be a little smelly. A mixture of vinegar, steel wool and tea causes a chemical reaction which aids the natural oxidation of the timber, the result – weathered wood! Science meets décor!
An easy way to age or distress sanded / unvarnished wood is to use a combination of vinegar, steel wool & tea. Tear up some fine-grade steel wool and throw it in a glass jar, fill the jar 3/4 way with apple cider vinegar. Close the jar and let the mixture mellow for a minimum of 24 hours (the longer it sits the darker the stain). Next, brew a pot of tea and add brush the tea unto your well-sanded wood. When the tea has dried, paint one coat the vinegar mixture onto the wood. The wood will turn greyer and darken as the vinegar mixture dries. Add another coat of vinegar if you want an even deeper tone of grey.
Sausha of Milk Paint / Sweet Pickins used this vinegar method weather her pine worktable. She wrote an article detailing the step-by-step process on her blog: here
[ This DIY idea was first posted on The Design Tabloid, 27 June 2012 | Quick Tip #15: Age Wood With Vinegar ]
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO KEEP THE LOCKDOWN BOREDOM AT BAY? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ADD ANY OF THESE QUICK PROJECTS TO YOUR DIY TO-DO LIST…
REMEMBER… #STAYSAFE #STAYHOME