How to Reupholster a Mid-Century Modern Sofa

Do you have a run-down and tattered sofa hidden away somewhere? Germarie had one just like it. The sofa stood in her grandfather’s study when she was a little girl, and even then the beautiful lines and asymmetrical design caught her eye. This iconic modern couch simply had to be brought back to life. Luckily, Ideas Magazine asked us to create an interior project for them, which gave us an excuse to restore this piece of history. And in no less than emerald green velvet sofa glory! Read on to learn how to reupholster a mid-century modern sofa!

Ideas Magazine 2019
The latest Ideas Magazine!

Recovering a sofa may seem like a daunting task, but take your time. If you follow our guidelines, you will have a fabulous new sofa to be proud of. Remember, you can adjust the instructions below to suit any couch form.

HERE’S HOW TO REUPHOLSTER A COUCH

Difficulty: medium

Time: 2 days

You will need:

  • Fabric of your choice * (we used Hertex Magical in Emerald)
  • Matching zipper if your sofa has a loose seat pad
  • Foam and batting as required
  • Piping Cord
  • Webbing
  • Cotton Lining fabric
  • Upholstery needle and matching thread

You will also need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Electric Staple Gun with U-shaped and brad staples
  • Electric carving knife
  • Scissors
  • Contact adhesive
  • Flat Head Screw Driver
  • Hammer
  • Pliers

Your furniture item will likely be different to ours. So adjust your material requirements as needed. You will see how to reupholster a mid-century modern sofa, but you can apply the principles to any form. 

STEP 1:

How to Reupholster a Mid-Century Modern Sofa

Carefully remove the legs of the sofa. Then remove all of the existing fabric and foam or batting, keeping the pieces intact to use templates. Make a simple drawing of your sofa and mark the corresponding fabric pieces to help you remember where they go. Take pictures as you go – this will help you to reupholster the sofa.

STEP 2:

How to Reupholster a Mid Century Modern Sofa with Steps

Using the old fabric pieces as templates, cut out the new fabric panels. Use chalk to mark the panels with the corresponding numbers. Make sure that you unfold any seams on the old panels and cut to the same size.

STEP 3:

How to Reupholster a Mid Century Modern Sofa

Use the old templates to measure the amount of piping required. To make the piping, you will need 4cm wide strips of fabric. Join the strips with a diagonal seam to prevent the joins from being bulky. Fold the fabric strips in half, placing a length of piping cord in the fold. Use a zipper foot to stitch the cord in place. Sew the piping to the panels where required.

STEP 4:

How to Reupholster a Mid-Century Modern Sofa with Photos

Repair the webbing where necessary. The webbing has to be installed in a criss-cross fashion to ensure maximum strength. Fix the end of the webbing on one side of the frame and then wrap the other end of the strip around the shaft of a screwdriver to help you get a better grip. Then pull the strip as tight as you can before securing with the staple gun.

STEP 5:

How to Repair a Mid Century Modern Sofa

Using the removed pieces as a guide, replace any foam and batting where necessary. You can have foam pre-cut with a foam supplier, or you can easily cut it with an electric carving knife. Secure the batting with a staple gun. You can use contact adhesive to fix the foam in place (allow to dry before covering with fabric).

STEP 6:

How to Repair a Emerald Green Velvet Sofa

Sew the panels together as required and then start to attach them to the sofa. It is very important to attach in the same sequence as you removed them in, usually ending with the back panel. Use the U-shaped staples to secure the fabric to the underside of the frame, and brad staples where they will be more visible.

STEP 7:

How to Repair a Mid Century Sofa with Photos

Finish any open seams with the upholstery needle and thread. Then attach the legs and admire your work! Well done, you’ve learnt how to reupholster a mid-century modern sofa, and any other style too!

A FEW HELPFUL TIPS:

  • An electric staple gun is a worthwhile investment for a project like this. You will be surprised at the number of staples required!
  • Cardboard tacking strips help to give a clean, straight edge to seams. You can get this from your foam supplier.
  • When using a printed or striped fabric, carefully plan the position of your fabric to ensure that the images or lines are central to the sofa and that they line up.
  • You can use a pair of pliers to get a better grip on the fabric when fixing it to the frame.
  • For larger areas, like the back or front, fix the centre of the fabric to the centre of the frame first, and then work your way out toward the sides.
  • Fabric can be remarkably forgiving, so don’t be afraid to pull things into place to avoid creases.
How to Reupholster a Emerald Green Velvet Sofa with steps

So, if anyone asks “what is an emerald green velvet mid-century modern sofa?” you’ll know the answer: suave luxury in the most comfortable form, an interior-lover’s dream!

Cheers to learning how to reupholster a mid-century modern Sofa! If you’re ready for more check out the mid-century modern TV-stand DIY.

Happy Making!

The Trusty Outdoor Storage Bench DIY

When it comes to storage, sometimes we all need a little interior help. Whether it’s kids paraphernalia or patio accessories, at one point they all need somewhere to stay organised and out of sight. So, when LivingSpace asked us to create projects for their January edition, we dove straight into a solution for outside! Use this outdoor storage bench building plan to make clutter disappear, and add superb seating too. Read on for a great weekend project to tackle before the end of the summer!

Get the January edition of the LivingSpace Mag!

Here’s what you need for an Outdoor Wooden Storage Bench

Difficulty: intermediate

Time: 6 – 8 hrs (with drying time)

For the frame

  • 4x 32mmx32mmx450mm pine batten
  • 8x 32mmx32mmx375mm pine batten
  • 4x 32mmx32mmx1700mm pine batten
  • 4x50mm wood screws
  • 8x 6x50mm nail-in anchors

For the cladding

  • 8x 94mmx19mmx450mm pine PAR
  • 4x 94mmx19mmx1800mm pine PAR
  • 4x40mm wood screws

For the Lid

  • 2x 32mmx32mmx1695mm pine batten
  • 4x 32mmx32mmx315mm pine batten
  • 4x 94mmx19mmx1800mm pine PAR
  • 4x40mm wood screws
  • 3x 50mm hinges
  • Outdoor wood varnish or paint to finish the project.

DIAGRAMS:

outdoor storage bench building plans

STEP 1:

Assemble the frame as per the diagram above. Remember to drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from cracking!

STEP 2:

Position the outdoor wooden storage bench against the wall where it is going to be installed. Use a 4mm drill bit to pilot holes 5cm from both the top and bottom of the four back uprights. Gently tap a nail into each hole to mark the position against the wall. Then remove the bench and drill the eight holes into the wall using a 6mm masonry bit.

STEP 3:

Place the plugs into the holes in the wall, and then fix the bench to the wall by nailing the anchors through the wood into the plugged holes at the back. The bench should now be securely fitted.

STEP 4:

Clad the front and sides of the bench with the pine slats. Start with the bottom slat on the front, and then add the slats on the sides making sure that they line up. Ensure that you get the subsequent rows straight by using a slat turned on its side as a guide.

STEP 5:

Assemble the frame of the lid as shown. Then fit the lid to the base frame with the hinges. Then add the four slats to form the seat, again using a slat turned on its side as a guide.

STEP 6:

Finish with two coats of outdoor varnish or paint. Allow drying time between coats and lightly sand before applying the second coat to ensure the best result.

outdoor-wooden-storage-bench-diy

That’s it! Now you can place outdoor cushions on the bench, get ambient lights, lie down and relax! Or, start making your floating drink holders for later!


Happy making!

New Year’s Almond Shortbread Cookies with Edible Flowers

Every day we have the opportunity to try and make something new. So, wy not with a cookie recipe? We love cookies here at Homeology and I’ve been in love with Kourabiedes (Greek almond shortbread cookies) since I could remember.

Traditionally, these cookies are for Christmas, but I just loved the thought of combining them with edible flowers and bubbly to celebrate the New Year. So, in the spirit of all things new, I decided to make my first almond shortbread cookies!

shortbread cookies with edible flowers for new years

I found a Kourabiedes recipe that I liked but modified it slightly. Here is my version of the almond shortbread cookies.

butter shortbread cookies

WHAT YOU NEED FOR MY FLORAL & SNOWY SUMMER KOURABIEDES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 600g flour
  • 300g butter
  • 110g powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 100g blanched almonds (lightly roasted and chopped)*
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 40 ml brandy/bourbon
  • Extra powdered sugar to coat the cookies
  • Pinch of salt

* If you can’t find blanched almonds, buy whole almonds and blanch them yourself. Just follow the instructions here. After I blanched the almonds, I dried their skins in the oven for 2-5 minutes and crushed them to create almond dust. I added this to the cookie dough for extra nuttiness.

Optional:

  • A handful of edible flowers

almond shortbread cookies fluffy butter

METHOD:

  1. Heat the oven to 160˚C and grease a baking tray.
  2. Mix butter and icing sugar on high in a standing mixer for +/- 20 minutes or until it’s as creamy as beaten cream.
  3. Turn the mixer to low then add the brandy and vanilla essence to the butter mixture.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and almonds then slowly add to the standing mixer.
  5. Press the cookie dough together and place on a clean and dry surface. Either roll out the dough and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, form small balls or shape the dough into a loaf-like form and cut into slices. I tried all the options because I like variety. **
  6. Place the cookies on the baking tray and bake for 12-18 minutes or until just done. They should be pale and not golden. Once done, take them out of the oven and allow cooling.
  7. Coat the cookies in icing sugar, make sure they’re fully covered and sprinkle extra icing on top for serving.
  8. For the cookies with the edible flower tops, simply dip the bottom half of the cookies in icing sugar then they’ll be good to go.

** If you’re adding edible flowers, first press the dough together then roll it out slightly. Place petals and small edible flowers onto the dough and continue to roll it out. Cut the dough with a cookie cutter.

shortbread cookies with edible flowers for new years eve celebration

That’s it! These snowy, yet summery, cookies are a delicious way to usher in 2019.

Happy New Year!

NutriSeed Not-So-Naughty Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Health foodies rejoice, we’ve got great news! Now, a gluten-free Christmas cake can be deliciously decadent and sugar-free too! When NutriSeed asked us to try out their not-so-naughty alternative dessert, I was almost too excited to get started! But I got baking and am happy to report the result was delightful. This cake is also a great option for those who find a fruitcake hard to stomach (myself included!).

nutriseed nume not-so-naughty gluten-free christmas cake

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE GLUTEN-FREE CHRISTMAS CAKE

nume not-so-naughty gluten-free christmas cake
The NutriSeed gift box complete with instruction note!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Nutriseed NuMe Chocolate & Pecan Brownie Mix
  • ½ cup Coconut oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 6 NuSeed Canadian Blueberries and Cranberries*
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence

* You can use 1 cup of any dried fruit and nut packet that you have in your home. Keep a little extra to sprinkle over the finished treat.

OPTIONAL NAUGHTINESS

  • Coconut cream (chilled in the fridge overnight)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar (you can skip this)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut cream

Bakers Note: The tiered cake yields 6-8 portions. Double the recipe if you’re baking for more than 8 people.

nutriseed nume gluten-free christmas cake

METHOD:

I decided to create something that resembles a tiered cake to make it a little more special. But, you don’t have to! Just slice them into brownie slices after their cooled and serve with a dollop of cream and a sprinkle of nuts. If you’re taking my tiered route, consider using a binder like sugar-free strawberry jam or (naughty) icing sugar for between the layers.

FOR THE CAKE

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease a baking pan. (I used a rectangular baking pan and cut out three different sized).
  2. Mix coconut oil, eggs and vanilla essence until well combined.
  3. Blend in the dried fruit, nuts and the brownie mixture.
  4. Pour batter into the baking pan, put it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Once they’re done, remove from the oven and let them cool down completely.
  6. Now, you can either cut the brownies into squares or three circles like I did. One large, medium and small.

FOR THE LAYERS & TOPPING

  1. Combine vanilla essence, powdered sugar and two tablespoons coconut cream until it is a smooth consistency. Then refrigerate.
  2. To whip the coconut cream, scoop out the solidified bit and blend until it looks like whipped cream.
  3. Assemble the tiers by placing the biggest circle onto a dollop of icing sugar (or jam), to keep it from sliding around. Place two to three dollops of icing sugar in the middle of the first tier then place the medium piece of cake on top and press it down lightly until the icing sugar almost oozes out from the sides. Repeat this process for the remaining tiers.
  4. Cover the whole thing in whipped coconut cream, sprinkle with chopped nuts and cherries.
  5. Refrigerate until serving.

nutriseed not-so-naughty gluten-free christmas cake

The result was super satisfying, delightful and truly tasted like Christmas. We’ve also tried the NutriSeed muffins and they are just as tasty and perfect for brunch!

Happy Christmas Eating!

The products for this post were sponsored by NutriSeed.

Christmas Breakfast with Colourful Sun Print Napkins

This year we’re trying something different. Instead of big gift ideas, we’re adding small touches to make festive family get-togethers a little more special. DIY sun print napkins make a Christmas breakfast look cheerful, and the guests can take them home with them!

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED FOR COLOURFUL SUN PRINT NAPKINS

Christmas-Breakfast-with-DIY-Sun-print-Napkins

Difficulty: easy

Time: 40-90 minutes including drying time

YOU NEED:

  • White Napkins (one for each guest)
  • Flowers of your choice
  • Sun Colour Paint (We used red)
  • Paintbrush/small roller
  • Water

Summer-Christmas-with-DIY-Sun-print-Napkins

STEP 1:

Soak clean napkins in water then spread them out on a table in the sun. Protect the table with plastic sheets because the paint can stain the surface too.

STEP 2:

Pour a little sun print paint into a roller pan or container, dip in your paintbrush and paint the napkins. Work speedily, because the paint dries quickly.

STEP 3:

Summer-Christmas-with-DIY-Sun-print-NapkinsArrange flowers onto the painted napkins and let the paint try. The sun print takes 30-60 minutes to develop fully.

STEP 4:

The napkins are ready to use once their dry, but it’s best to make sure their colourfast. Put the napkins through one wash and dry cycle then they will be good to go!

Summer-Christmas-Breakfast-with-DIY-Sun-print-Napkins

That’s it! Now you can place them on your festive table for a colourful Christmas breakfast, with a delicious brunch. Alternatively, make a few napkins per family unit, wrap in gift paper and put it underneath the tree, ready for unveiling later. Whichever you choose, remember that the festive season is about spending time with loved ones. So, don’t stress and have a good time!

Have a happy Festive Day!

3 Easy DIY Christmas Gift Ideas for a Stress-Free Season

Mid-December is when shopping mania sets in. Frantic shoppers dash through stores in search of this year’s special gift. But, why put yourself through the trauma? An easy DIY Christmas gift can be even more special than its store-bought counterpart while taking up less time and much less stress. We’ve put together three quick go-to gifts to cater to any skill set. Dazzle your friends and family with homemade cookies, cordials or succulent planters!

Here’s what you need for three easy DIY Christmas Gifts

Difficulty: easy 

Time: between 5 – 30 minutes per item and 1 hour for all three

1)  Mini Succulent Planters – for the Green Thumb

Give a little love the natural way!

succulent box easy diy christmas gift idea

YOU NEED:

  • A wooden box *
  • Potting soil
  • A succulent or two **
  • Broad ribbon

* You can use any container; old teapots, watering can, cookie boxes are just a few that come to mind.
** Pick a few succulents from your garden. Succulents can grow roots from their leaves, so, don’t worry about the plant dying.

STEP 1:

Take a container (or make your own box), make sure it’s dust-free and clean, and fill it up to halfway with potting soil (you can use soil from the garden).

STEP 2:

Nudge the succulents into the soil, softly and roughly in the middle of the container. Then add more soil to 1cm below the top of the container.

STEP 3:

Make a festive bow with the ribbon, tuck it in at the side of the box then you’re done! Yay! Slide your Christmas card in between the ribbon and the box. Or, spike the card into the soil! It’s a gardener’s gift after all.

2) Rainbow Cookies – for the Sweet Tooth

Spread a little festive cheer with sweetness.

hundreds and thousands cookies-easy DIY gift idea

YOU NEED:

  • 100s & 1000s Cookies
  • A box with a lid
  • Tissue paper
  • Festive ribbon

COOKIE INGREDIENTS:

You can use your favourite vanilla cookie recipe, bake the cookies, glaze them with icing/white chocolate and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. Or, use Foodlover’s hundreds and thousands cookie recipe like we did!

If you have cookies, follow the steps, or scroll down to make your cookies first!

hundreds and thousands and white chocolate cookies-easy DIY gift idea

STEP 1:

Line a cookie tin with tissue paper and leave enough paper to cascade over the sides of the tin.

STEP 2:

Place your awesome cookies inside, (you can even add a few sachets of your favourite coffee or tea bags!). Bring the cascading tissue paper to the top of the cookies, and softly twist to cover the baked goodies.

STEP 3:

Cover with the lid, add the ribbon and Christmas card and get ready to see happy faces!

For those baking from scratch, here are the ingredients:

hundreds and thousands cookies-easy DIY gift idea

  • 175g butter
  • ⅔ cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g white chocolate, melted
  • ½ cup hundreds and thousands

METHOD:

hundreds and thousands and white chocolate cookies-easy DIY gift idea

  1. Mix the butter, sugar and flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  2. Blend in the egg and vanilla until it forms a dough-like consistency.
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a floured surface, then place in a container, and refrigerate for half an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170°C then roll out the dough between two baking sheets.
  5. Cut out your choice of cookie cutter shapes (a tree or star would be awesome!), then place the raw cookies on a lined baking tray.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, take the cookies out of the oven when they are a light golden colour and let them cool.
  7. Spread the cookie tops with melted white chocolate and dip in or sprinkle with hundreds and thousands and let them set.

3) Rosewater Cordial – for the Life of the Party

A tasty cordial is such a simple gift idea. But, it’s so delicious you might want to keep it for a party yourself. Germarie made a pretty pink cordial, by modifying a tasty Woolworth’s recipe.

rosewater cordial with strawberry easy christmas gift idea

YOU NEED:

  • Homemade rosewater cordial (recipe below)
  • A glass milk jar, or a glass bottle with a screw top *
  • Ribbon
  • Gift box (Optional)

* Pick a bottle with chalk paint square on it, or paint a small square onto the bottle. The chalk will help you to write on the bottle.

ROSEWATER CORDIAL INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 300 g strawberries
  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 1 1/2 cups water

STEP 1:

First, make the cordial. Bring sugar, lemon juice and strawberries to a simmer until the sugar had dissolved. Remove from heat, let it cool then add in the rosewater. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve for a clear cordial.

STEP 2:

Pour the blend into your glass jar. Write “Rosewater Cordial” on the chalk bit, tie it with a pretty ribbon, place in a gift box/bag and it’s ready for mixing. Keep it light with soda and a dash of lemon; mix with bubbly for a version of Kir Royale, or if you want something stronger, spirits and soda!

rosewater cordial with strawberry easy christmas gift idea

That’s it – three gifts within an hour! You can have fun while making gifts for others. I find it way more therapeutic than running in a shopping mall, although I’m often guilty of sprinting through the isles on the 23rd!

Happy festive season, and remember to take it easy!

Home Makeover: From Shoddy to Holiday Destination with Dulux

Every space, big or small, has the potential to be something magical. And when Dulux launched their colour of 2019, Crème Brulee, and asked us to create said magic, we knew a little rondawel on Germarie’s farm was going to makeover heaven very soon. We didn’t grasp how many hours of painting would have to go into this little spherical home, but it was all worth it. Now, the rondawel is a bright and cheerful space that is a joy to stay in!

Here is what went on behind the scenes!

Rondawel Reveal_Home makeover before

The rondawel was in a shoddy, but admittedly colourful, state. However, the interior called for a neutral canvass as the original colours were dated and mismatched. Some of the stone interior walls may look like natural stone (and they are underneath the paint) but is a faux stone paint effect that had to go. Electrical wiring was one of the first to-dos on the list with a proper kitchen unit hot on its heels.

home makeover mood board and paint

We really did receive bucket loads of paint. We received paint in the full complimentary palette: rich Crème Brulee, a gorgeous berry red, charcoal, cool teal, pale grey and a soft, dusty pink. Germarie aimed to keep the walls relatively neutral, except for a Crème Brulee feature wall, with the pops of colour in repurposed furniture and décor.  For the detailed list of colours and Dulux paint codes, click on this link!

Armed with loads of colour, we were ready to get our hands dirty.

1// The Walls & Floor

home makeover upcycled floor

After the electrical was all sorted, we painted the interior walls, ceiling, and window trim in crisp white. It’s strange how oppressive the previous blue and brown wall colours made the room feel. Now that it was all white we could finally take a step back, breathe and see its true potential.

home-makeover-pink-screen

Since the rondawel is spherical and built with river stone, we needed a flat surface for wall décor and to conceal electrical wiring. Germarie decided to add two complementary MDF panels that were painted a dusty pink. We also gave the floor a coat of charcoal epoxy to finish the base of the interior.

2// The Furniture

Then we moved on to the furniture. I started with smaller pieces first — especially those I could move out of the rondawel to dry, which enabled me to get going on bigger pieces. Our focus was on painting as many items as possible to show that most pre-loved décor and furniture can be made amazing again.

home makeover painted furniture side table

I loved painting these little compressed wood side tables. These tables are inexpensive and sturdy which mean many homes have one, but they tend to end up with a tablecloth of some sort on top of them.

The texture of the compressed wood is not ideal, and I was sceptical about the effect the paint would have. But, I was so thrilled when Dulux’s acrylic paint soaked into the wood and formed a smooth layer on top! The top layer still has a little texture to it, but it’s not rugged. I love it and would definitely use this specific type paint for a similar project again.

home makeover painted furniture

A vintage armchair got a dramatic berry red makeover, finished with newly upholstered cushions with fabric from Hertex. We cannot get enough of this chair, and we love the floral print.

home makeover painted armchair

A family dining table, painted in blue with fish to resemble the ocean, went through a grey transformation to become a sophisticated Scandinavian take on colour.

home makeover upcycled furniture

We added a red chair because we wanted to – and it turned out to add a touch of wabi-sabi.

home-makover-grey-table

3// The Kitchen

The kitchen was in desperate need of a little clarity. So, we took the sturdy kitchen cabinet (there were two) and painted it fiery red. Germarie was able to envision a simpler kitchen area with a customised countertop which the rondawel direly needed.

home makeover painted furniture kitchen

Two floating shelves were installed to hover above the new kitchen counter, and Germarie made the L-brackets entirely out of wood. Now the kitchen is a spacious area that caters to holiday guest or small-home living alike.

kitchen-home-makeover

4// The Roof

The roof was something Germarie or I have never attempted before, and after receiving wisdom from local painters in the area, we decided not to try it ourselves. The roof is super slanted, near 45˚ angle, so we decided to enlist the help from an experience roof painter (he may have been a trapeze artist in a previous life).

5// Final Touches

The final touch was the feature wall. Germarie created a contemporary Crème Brulee effect that adds to the earthiness and laidback sophistication of the interior.

home-makeover-feature-wall-paint

After a couple of tough weeks the rondawel is now move-in ready and a happy sight indeed!

home-makeover-journey-into-holiday-destination

Additional items we needed come from Mr Price Home’s botanical-inspired catalogue.

home-makeover-turn-your-home-into-a-holiday-destination

But the rest of the items were repurposed or made, like the portable clothing rack, bedside tables and platter.

home-makeover-from-shoddy-to-holiday-destination

Always add fresh flowers or pot plants to interiors – they tie everything together beautifully.

from-shoddy-to-holiday-destination-with-dulux-home-makeover.

 kitchen-home-makeover-with-red-paint

home-makeover-details

home-makeover-front-door

home-makeover-pretty-in-pink

This project was the second largest renovation project Germarie completed on the farm; the other is Providence Cottage, another lovely Airbnb destination.

I hope this has inspired you to get started on your home project. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Happy Homemaking!

Homemade Satay Sauce with Grilled Flatbread & Chicken Skewers

Sticky, sweet, salty, tasty goodness is all I ask for in a braai. And today, I had it all! I decided to treat myself and my partner (to his distress) to a braai. And even though my fire-making skills are close to nought, it had to be done. Just so you know, this meal is perfect for sharing and it ticks all the flavour boxes. Soft flatbread, sticky chicken and spicy homemade satay sauce can make anyone happy. After a day of braaing, remember the dessert and treat yourself to an easy treat – you deserve it!

Spicy Homemade Satay with Grilled Flatbread and Crispy Chicken Skewers

spicy homemade satay sauce with chicken and flatbread

 

You Will Need

A griddle pan or a good old-fashioned fire braai.

Ingredients:

For the Homemade Satay Sauce

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder

Optional extras*

  • ½ tsp fish sauce
  • 2 chillies chopped
  • 3 cardamom pips crushed

* The sauce will still be super tasty if you don’t add these, but the extras add a lovely depth of flavour and heat for those who want some spice.

For the Spicy Chicken Skewers

  • 400g chicken**
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp chilli sauce/chutney
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • wooden skewers

** I used chicken wings for the extra crispy bits, but chicken breasts also work really well with the dipping sauce. Multiply the marinade by 4 to marinade a whole spatchcock chicken.

For the Flatbread

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp peanut/olive/coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Extra flour and water to use while kneading

Method:

If you’re making your own chicken skewers start with the marinade first.

For the Chicken

homemade chicken skewers with spice satay sauce

  1. Start by soaking the wood skewers in water (soak them until they’re needed).
  2. Mix honey, zest, water, soy sauce and chilli sauce and place in a shallow dish or Tupperware.
  3. Add the chicken (chicken breasts need to be diced to 3cmx3cm pieces) to the marinade.
  4. Cover and cool the chicken in the fridge for 1-24 hours.
  5. Once the chicken is ready, skewer the pieces onto the wooden skewers.
  6. Cook the chicken on a hot griddle pan or the braai.*

* Hold your hand just above the braai grill and start counting. If you can count to 3-4 seconds before you start burning it’s ideal for chicken wings and chicken breasts.

FOR THE SATAY SAUCE

homemade chicken satay sauce

  1. Heat oil in a pan and then add the ginger, garlic and chillies.
  2. Mix the peanut butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, water, curry powder, fish sauce and cardamom before adding to the hot pan.
  3. Bring the sauce to the boil and stir the mixture until it’s smooth and has the consistency of thick yoghurt.
  4. Set aside until serving.

FOR THE FLATBREAD

chicken satay homemade flatbread

  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl, then make a well in the middle.
  2. Pour the yoghurt and oil into the well then incorporate the flour mixture bit by bit with a spoon.
  3. Now, use your hand to knead the dough, just lightly so that you can form a dough ball (it’ll still be sticky).
  4. Leave the dough to rest for 30 min – 2 hours in a warm spot.
  5. Once the dough has rested, prepare the kneading surface by placing a medium layer of flour onto the surface and flour your hands.
  6. Tear off a golf ball-sized piece of dough, then roll the piece into a ball. Start pulling the dough to resemble a saucer (or plate). This will help make rolling the dough easier.
  7. Sprinkle both sides of the piece of dough with flour and roll it out.
  8. Once you’re happy with it, brush with olive oil or herb butter and place aside. Continue this process until the dough is finished.
  9. Braai the flatbreads one-by-one on a griddle pan, 3 minutes per side. *

* Hold your hand above the braai grill and count. If you can count to 5-8 seconds before you start burning, you can braai your flatbreads.

homemade chicken satay sauce with chicken braai

Serve everything together with something chilled and good company. Remember to dip the flatbread and chicken in that tasty sauce!

Happy Eating!

A Summer Spray Paint Upcycle with Rust-Oleum

Shake things up with a spray paint upcycle! When it comes to giving pre-loved items new life, paint is one of our go-tos and spray cans are DIY heaven. So, when Rust-Oleum sent us a goodie bag, we were super thrilled! We received lacquer, paint & primer and ultra-cover spray paint cans and immediately decided to try them all. Germarie has a lot of frames, so we decided to give them new life with a little colour. As it turns out, one coat of spray paint is plenty, which means we have enough Rust-Oleum goodness left for future projects!

Here’s what you need to upcycle practically anything

rustoleum-spray-paint-project-picture-frame-upcycle

Difficulty: easy

Time: 30 minutes (with drying time)

YOU NEED:

  • Old picture frames (or anything that needs a little colour-makeover)
  • Sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Any Rust-Oleum spray paint *

* Rust-Oleum spray paints are awesome because they come in a variety of lovely finishes. You can choose from lacquer, gloss or matte in practically any colour you can think of. We loved the Painter’s Touch+ range because it is a paint and primer combined, so they really do stick to anything. We even painted a metal vase with the coral paint.

 

STEP 1:

rustoleum-spray-paint-project-upcycling-ideas

Remove the glass and artwork from the frames.

STEP 2:

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Dust of the picture frames and lightly sand off any flaking paint. Check out Rust-Oleums nifty spray paint tips for the best result.

STEP 3:

picture-frame-upcycle-decorating-ideas

Place the frames on a paintable surface and spray away! Spray from approximately 30 cm from the picture frames. Let the paint dry. It’s always best to spray outside – safety first!

STEP 4:

That’s it! Hang the colourful frames as they are or embrace summer with prints of your favourite seasonal fruit.

Rustoluem Spray paint Picture Frame Painted

With these beautiful colours, the frames can be stunning features even without pictures!

Rustoluem Spray paint Picture Frame ideas

You can really transform anything with a little paint. We’d love to hear about your DIY decor and spray paint upcycles, so please tell us in the comments below!

 

Happy Painting!

The Ultimate Portable Wardrobe Rail DIY

Anywhere you stay, from a rental to a permanent home; your clothes will need a mini home too. Some places don’t have built-in cupboards but do not fret, we’ve got an easy clothing rack solution! We were looking for a portable wardrobe rail for the Airbnb project we’re busy with when Germarie decided to make a Scandinavian-inspired one instead!

How to make your own Portable Clothing Rail

DIY_Scandi_Hanging_Rail__Portable_Wardrobe

Difficulty: easy 

Time: 2 hours

YOU NEED:

  • 4 x 22mmx44mmx1.8m Pine PAR
  • 2m Sash Cord
  • 1 x 19mm Dowel
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • 1x ready-made pine racking (1mx40mm)*
  • White paint
  • Small roller sponge
  • Tape measure
  • Painter’s tape
  • 19mm spade drill bit

* Keep your eyes peeled for ready-made pine racking at the hardware store, they are often cheaper than making something similar yourself.

OPTIONAL:

  • 1 x 22mmx44mmx1.8m Pine PAR for a strengthening base frame

A base frame isn’t essential, but if you’re making the wardrobe rail for daily use, it’s best to make it sturdy.

 

STEP 1:

Scandi_Hanging_Rail__Portable_Wardrobe_DIY

Start with the large top holes first. Measure 50mm from the top edges of the pine batons and mark the centre spots where the drill bit should fit.

Place a piece of sacrificial wood below the pine baton, and clamp the wood to the workbench. Now place the tip of the spade bit on the marked spot and drill right through. Sand any rough areas.

STEP 2:

Scandi_Hanging_Rail_Portable_Wardrobe_Rail_DIY

Use a wood drill bit to make the sash cord holes. The size of the drill bit depends on the cord thickness. Measure and mark the centre spots 200mm from the bottom edges of the pine batons. Clamp the wood to the workbench and drill the holes in each baton. Sand rough areas.

STEP 3:

Scandi_Hanging_Rail_Portable_Wardrobe_DIY

Wrap painter’s tape around each pine baton to ensure a straight paint edge. The size of the painted area depends on personal preference. We wanted to cover roughly a quarter of the wood’s surface for our wardrobe rail.

STEP 4:

Small_Scandi_Hanging_Rail_Portable_Wardrobe_DIY

Use a small paint roller or brush and paint the top sections white. We also painted the pre-made pine racking white. Let it dry and apply a second coat if necessary.

STEP 5:

Scandi_Hanging_Rail__Portable_Wardrobe_Rail_DIY

Assemble the wardrobe rail by sliding two pine batons on each side of the dowel.

Cut the sash cord into two 1m pieces and tie a knot on one end of each. Slip the untied part of the cord through the bottom hole of one pine baton and then through the hole on the adjacent baton. Loosely tie the ends of the sash cord.

Pull the legs of the wardrobe rail a little apart to fit the pre-made racking and adjust the sash cord to suspend the shelf. Then secure the sash knots.

Scandi_Hanging_Rail_Portable_Wardrobe_DIY

Pro Tip: To get the angle of the feet right, place a piece of off-cut wood next to the wardrobe legs and use a pencil to draw a line on the pine batons parallel to the floor. Saw off the angled bits for increased stability and neatness.

STEP 6:

Scandi_Hanging_Rail_Portable_Wardrobe_Rack

To add a base frame, measure the outer most width and depth of the bottom of the wardrobe rail. Cut four pieces accordingly.

Secure the short piece to the outer sides of the legs and the other two pieces to the inside of the front and back of the legs.

DIY_Scandi_Hanging_Rail_Portable_Wardrobe_Clothing_Rack

That’s it! Hang up clothes, sling bags, scarves or use the DIY rail as a coat hanger in the entryway!

Scandi_Hanging_Rail_Portable_Wardrobe_RackScandi_Hanging_Rail_Portable_Wardrobe_Rack

Happy Making!