Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Take your rental from dreary to dreamy

Renting can be great, it gives you the freedom to move around and not have to worry about things like fixing a boiler. But rental properties don’t always have the most stylish interiors, with some verging on awful.

Finding a way to improve your space can seem impossible, especially when you don’t have permission to make major changes or hang artwork on the walls. Don’t despair, there are some simple changes that take very little effort and can really help your rental feel more personal. Taking the time to make some of these changes will make your home a much more cosy and happy place to live!

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If your place is unfurnished, you obviously have more freedom to create the look you want. Ikea is your friend, but don’t forget about Gumtree and your local charity shops. Most towns and cities have a charity shop that specialises in furniture, like Help for Humanity. The most tattered looking pieces can easily be spruced up with some paint.

Upcycling homeware cabinet furniture

If furniture is already there, you can always buy a few chairs or a side table to personalise. With chalk paints like Annie Sloan, you don’t have to worry about sanding and waxing – just paint it on, even over varnish. Some landlords don’t even mind if you repaint or upholster their existing furniture (with permission of course). It’s a fun way to get creative!

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There is nothing like some leafy green plants to bring a bit of life into your home. Arrange succulents on shelves and dressers (we love this ladder idea from Fall for DIY!), while large leafy palms can fill a corner in the living room or hallway. There are some great plant pots in H&M and TK Maxx, or you can have fun painting your own.

Diy herb planter

In the kitchen, don’t forget about herbs. Not only will they add some colour and aroma, but they make your meals taste delicious. These chili plants look fab and will encourage you to make more home cooked meals. If you don’t have much shelf space, you can hang plants in baskets from the ceiling.

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Urban Outfitters Rug

Let’s face it, the floors in rentals can be really ugly! An easy way to add colour to a room or detract from a weirdly patterned carpet or wall colour is to scatter some rugs around. Large rugs can be expensive, but you can find some beautiful, small and affordable rugs. Try scattering mismatched rugs through living areas, or a big fluffy sheepskin to bring warmth to cold bedroom floors.

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Cosy Skandi 3 Galley Shade Cluster

An easy way to add personality to your rental is to change the light fittings. You can find some gorgeous shades on made.com, Etsy and even Dunelm that could easily pass for designer pieces (we love this bright cluster trio!). From industrial style pendant shades, candy colours and copper wires, you can really add some style. Pick easy-fit lampshades that click into place, no wiring required. And don’t forget about table lamps to add light to dark corners.

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One thing that takes your home up a level from student accommodation is artwork. Proper prints in frames look so much more sophisticated than posters stuck to a wall. If your landlord isn’t keen on you making holes in the walls, a picture ledge from Ikea can be used to display your favourite prints. Ikea frames are light and hang easily using these three-pronged picture screws. If you have made some holes in the wall, they can be filled with a tube of polyfilla and painted over before you move out. Society6 has a fantastic range of unique prints from independent artists and Etsy and Oliver Bonas are also a great place to look.

Words: Laura Belton

DIY: Autumnal Floral Crown

 The nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping… We’re well and truly into autumn. Let’s face it, autumn is one of the best seasons with the changing colours of the leaves, hearty grub to keep you warm and the excuse to stay in and keep cosy. In celebration of the season, make yourself this Autumnal Floral Crown!

DIY Autumn-flower-crown

You will need:
Scissors, Needle and thread, 1 metre of ribbon, Selection of coloured felt squares and glue

Autumn-flower-crown ingredients

Step 1
To make a heart flower, cut 3 tear shaped petals, 4 heart shaped petals and 3 double petals. Stitch through the bottom of each of the petals starting with the smallest moving up to the bigger petals. Gather them up and twist them around to make the flower and glue it in to place.

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Step 2
To create the pompom flower, first take a strip of felt and fold it in half along the length, then cut lots of small slits along the fold. Starting at one end roll up the length gluing it in place as you roll. Secure the end in place with a stitch for extra strength.

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Step 3
Don’t forget to cut a selection of leaves in different shapes and colours.

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Step 4
To make a rose style flower, cut a circle of felt then cut a scalloped spiral into the middle. Starting at the centre twist the spiral so the petals curl up around the centre. It helps to catch it in place with a few stitches here and there as you twist it around.

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Step 5
To make a succulent flower, cut 6 pointed tear drop petals then 12 larger pointed petals and a small disc of felt to attach them to. Glue 6 of the larger petals around the edge of the felt disc, then a little closer in – glue the next 6 so they sit in between the first 6. Then interleaving the smaller petals glue them into the centre.

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Step 6
To make a thistle flower, cut two lengths of coordinating felt and along the length of one cut v shapes into it to create a grass type look. Then like the pompom flower take the other piece and cut small slits along the length. Start with the second piece and start rolling it up, gluing it in place as you roll. Then when you reach the end, start to roll the grass layer around the outside. Again gluing it in place and securing with a small stitch.

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Step 7
To make a tropical bloom flower, simply cut 8 spiky petals and stitch them together at the base, pulling them together tightly and securing with a few extra stitches.

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Step 8
To assemble your flower crown take a length of felt approximately 25cm long by 5cm wide and round off the top corners. Take the length of ribbon and glue it in place matching up the centre of the ribbon to the centre of the felt strip.

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Step 9
Start by laying out all the flowers you have made in a nice arrangement above the headband. Then begin gluing the leaves you have cut to the headband, before gluing the rest of your felt blooms in place starting at the outside edges and working your way to the middle.

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Step 10
We highly recommend using a specialist fabric glue, but a glue gun would also work. If you don’t have any glue you can always sew the felt leaves and flowers to the headband. Once the glue has fully dried you can place the crown on your head and tie the ribbon in place at the base of your hairline.

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Words and Photography  Liveitloveitmakeit

DIY: Pyramid Bookends

Every true book lover will proudly display their reading collection for all to see, but there’s nothing worse than having to constantly stand them all upright after they’ve toppled over. Luckily for you, we can show you these cute bookends that are not only easy to make but will brighten up any bookshelf!

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You Will Need:
2 pieces of material measuring 13″ x 9″
Cotton
Needle or sewing machine
Rice
Toy stuffing

How to Make:
Step 1. Fold the material, with right sides together, lengthwise. So the two 9″ edges are together. Sew together with a sewing machine, or by hand.

Step 2. Turn the fabric the right way round. Fold the edges of one side of the opening inwards (about 1cm) so they make a nice neat edge. Sew together.

Step 3. Fill the pouch about 1/3 full with rice to weigh it down and then top up with toy stuffing to give it some shape.

Step 4. Pull the opening together so the seam is perpendicular to the previous one (this will give it it’s pyramid shape). Fold the edges in like you did on the last seam and pin together. Sew shut.  Now all you have to do is make another one!

Words and photography: Trends with Benefits

Budget Beauty

Want an inexpensive way of achieving a youthful base without the need for makeup trickery? Then look no further than our avocado and honey face mask.

After being told as children not to play with our food, it felt somewhat unnatural plastering our faces with avocado in the name of beauty but it really does work. Avocados aren’t just there for your side order of guacamole – they are packed with vitamin A, which clears off any dead skin cells and cleanses your skin and vitamin E, which improves your skin’s health and gives you that ‘my skin is always like this’ glow. The added honey helps for an extra dose of hydration and to lock down moisture.

Avocado Face Mask Ingredients

You will need
1/2 ripe avocado
Generous dollop of runny honey

Here’s how…

1  Avocado in hand – carefully halve and de-pip.
2 Carve out one half of the avocado into a bowl.

Avocado Face Mask Step 2

3 Mash with a fork.
4 Add a dollop of honey – don’t be shy!
5 Whisk a little more. Try to get a smooth consistency as lumps can be harder to apply onto your face. The honey will stop the mask slipping off.
6 Scoop into a container so you can keep hold of any extra.

Avocado Face Mask step 6

7 Slather generously onto your face and leave to ‘set’ for 10 minutes.
8 Remove with a warm, damp cloth and see the results for yourself!

Words And Photography by Emily Smith