The Easiest Wallpaper Installation DIY EVER!

I love wallpaper. It has the ability to completely change the look of a room with fairly little effort. But installation can be quite messy since you need to apply the wallpaper paste to the back of the paper and let it soak for a bit before applying. So, when my Photowall wallpaper arrived and I quickly peeked at the instructions (I don’t HAVE to read it, because I KNOW how to install wallpaper, but I just had to make sure), I was totally blown away by a simple change in application method that made the world of difference! This was by far the easiest wallpaper installation I have ever done!

LockDown Nesting – it’s a real thing!

Like a lot of people, spending day after day in my home during lockdown has made my DIY fingers itch. So far, I have turned the playroom into a home school room, made a new vegetable patch… oh, and revamped the kitchen. But that was a completely unintended DIY. More about that later. Photowall contacted me BC (Before Corona – remember those days??) to ask if I would like to try out their wallpaper, but the lockdown prevented delivery for a couple of months.

So, when the boxes arrived a couple of weeks ago, I was more than excited to get going on a new project. Their range of available papers is truly astounding: there are thousands of prints and murals, ranging from subtle and safe to bold and brave. They even create custom prints from your own photographs. I enlisted the help of my bestie, sister, and my husband, and eventually decided on a busy tropical print in grey, green, and a dusty coral.

Photowall calculates the necessary quantity based on your wall’s dimensions, so I just had to measure the width and height and they did the rest. I also ordered the assembly kit which came in very useful during installation.

Why This is The Easiest Wallpaper Installation Ever

wallpaper installation DIY

So here is the revolutionary change in installation method: You apply the wallpaper paste to the WALL instead of to the PAPER 🤯. I know, it sounds so obvious, but this made a massive difference in installation time. The other thing that really simplifies the process, is that Photowall clearly indicates where you have to cut the paper. This makes getting the pattern repeat correct, a breeze – plus it minimizes wastage.

See below for a full video tutorial of TRADITIONAL wallpaper installation.

How to install Photowall Wallpaper

photowall wallpaper installation kit

Difficulty: mildly challenging

Time: 2 hours – depending on the size of your wall, of course!

You will need:

  • wallpaper from Photowall
  • wallpaper paste (this is included with the wallpaper)
  • wallpaper brush
  • craft knife
  • wet cloth
  • drop sheet
  • straight edge
  • spirit level
  • pencil

* You can get all the tools you need in the very convenient Wallpaper Installation Kit 😉

Step 1:

Make sure that your walls are clean and that any holes have been filled after you’ve removed fixings. Then you’ll need to determine how straight your walls are (most aren’t). Starting with the left side of the wall, use a straight edge (or long ruler) and the spirit level included in the tool kit, and draw a line one wallpaper-width from the edge (45cm in my case). Now measure from this line back to the corner in several places. This will help you see where there are any discrepancies. As long as nowhere is wider than the width of the paper, you’re good to go! If it is, move that line slightly closer to the corner.

Step 2:

Mix the wallpaper paste according to the instructions on the packet.

Step 3:

Paint the wall with the wallpaper paste using the supplied brush, a couple of panel widths at a time.

Step 4:

Cut the panels according to the guide printed on the paper and stick them to the wall.

Step 5:

Smooth out any bubbles with the paper hanging brush.

Step 6:

Smooth out join lines with the little seam roller.

Step 7:

  Trim away the excess paper at the top and bottom using the cutting guide and trimming knife. Repeat step 3 – 7 until all the panels are installed, carefully matching up the pattern as you go.

Step 8:

easiest wallpaper application

Stand back and admire your work!

Top Tip 1:

Start by installing the second panel (all panels are marked) along the right-hand edge of the pencil line. It’s super important to get this first panel completely straight in order to keep it the easiest wallpaper installation on the rest of the wall. Then work your way back to the first panel, cutting away any excess paper in the corner. 

Top Tip 2:

Carefully cut around any light switches and plug points, and ensure that you smooth down the paper around it afterward. It really is as easy as paint, cut and stick. I did an entire 5m wide by 3m high wall in less than 2 hours, including trimming the paper. By far the fastest revamp I’ve ever done!

easy wallpaper

The installation kit of course helps – the paper cutting guide works a charm, and the brush easily works out any bubbles. My wall was quite big and had a door and some plug points as well, so when the cutting tool lost its sharp edge, I used my good old Stanley knife to finish the job.

super cute wallpaper seam roller

Another handy little tool in the box is the seam roller. I’ve never used one of them before but now I can’t imagine installing wallpaper without it! My wall is completely seamless thanks to this little guy.

Can patterns actually make a room look bigger?

The interesting thing is that my kids walked in and wanted to know how I made the room bigger! It really appears that way. Often we are scared to use busy patterns and darker colours in a space for fear of making it appear smaller. This just goes to show that deep colours and smaller patterns can have quite the opposite effect.

More on that here!

Please remember to use your 25% discount code when you place your order with Photowall (valid until        ).

photowall discount voucher

Happy Lockdown Decorating!        

Make Gigantic Garden Dominoes in 7 Simple Steps 

This latest project for Ideas Magazine is a treat for mom or dad! Capitalise on game-time with garden dominoes! Make more memories with family and friends with a game for all ages.  Get the kids to help make the colourful dots of these fun-size dominoes. So, whether it’s for Mother’s day or Father’s day have fun!

The May/June 2019 issue of Ideas Magazine

Here’s how to make garden dominoes

Difficulty: easy

Time: 2 hours

You will need:

For the Dominoes

  • 2x 69x22x2.4m Pine PAR (cut into 28x 140mm sections)
  • Kid-safe Paint (3-6 different colours) *
  • Clear sealer (we used Armour from Granny B’s) *

For the box

  • 1x 90x22x1.8m Pine PAR
  • 12x 40mm Wood Screws

You will also need:

  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with 3mm wood drill bit
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • Ruler
  • Small Paint Roller
  • Small Circular Sponge (10mm in diameter)

* Granny B supplied the Old Fashioned Chalk paint and Armour Sealer for this project.

STEP 1:

garden dominoes diy

Measure and mark 28 sections of 140mm and one 580mm section on the 69x22x2.4m pine battens. Then measure two 580mm and two 110mm lengths on the 90x22x1.8m pine battens. Cut the wood into these sections then lightly sand the edge s.

STEP 2:

oversized garden dominoes

Finish the garden dominoes first. Measure 70mm and make a pencil line across each 140mm piece. Paint a thin stripe on top of the pencil line. To ensure a straight line, dip a ruler’s edge into the paint and lightly press it onto the measured mark.

STEP 3:

oversized dominoes diy

Mark the domino’s dots with a pencil then make dots with the small circular sponge. Dip the sponge into paint and test your dots on paper before dotting the wood pieces.

STEP 4:

Use a small roller and paint the sides or reverse of a few dominoes in different colours. Set aside to dry and move on to the domino box.

STEP 5:

Measure 10mm from each corner of the 110mm pieces and mark the spot with a pencil dot. Then measure and dot 10mm high and 50mm deep from the left and right edges of the two wider 580mm pieces. Drill pilot holes halfway into the wood where you’ve made dots.  

STEP 6:

oversized garden dominoes step by step

Let the narrow 580mm plank lay flat on your workbench. Then place the two wider 580mm planks (on their sides) on either side of the narrow plank to form a u-shape. Put a line of wood glue on the u-shape edge then cover with a 110mm piece and clamp them together.

Screw in four screws, one for each corner, into small sides of the box first. Then screw in two screws into either side of the box’s length.

STEP 7:

garden dominoes

Use a paint roller to paint the outer edge of the domino box. Once dry, apply a clear sealant to the box and the dominoes. 2-3 coats are ideal for outdoor use.

TIPS for making garden dominoes

  • Save time and have your wood cut at the hardware store.
  • Use scrap wood between the clamp’s feet and the pine to avoid damaging the wood.
  • Use clear water- and heat resistant sealer that is non-yellowing like Armour from Granny B’s Old Fashioned Paint.

Don’t forget to treat your mum with Mother’s day cake!

Happy Making!

Feast On Bunny Buns & Nutriseed NuMe Bread: The Guilt-Free Way

Easter has become synonymous with bountiful family feasts, which makes it super tricky to keep track of healthy eating. But, no more! Thanks to Nutriseed we can have decadent chocolate brownies, cake muffins and bread (all low-carb, gluten- and sugar-free)! Recently, I had a chance to try the Nutriseed NuMe bread and bread roll premixes, and I’ll definitely make them again!

I do have a personal interest here, as bread is something I’d like to live and breathe every day, and now, it seems like I can.

Nutriseed-Nume-Bread-Bunny

I’ve adjusted the Nutriseed premixes slightly, to fit into Easter. The bunny-shaped buns are cinnamon-y, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and have a honey-glaze for sweetness – perfect as it is. My version of Nutriseed NuMe bread has a bit festive spice, seeds and hot-cross bun inspired piping on top, to remember what it’s all about.

Here’s how to use Nutriseed NuMe Bread Premixes!

Easter Cross Bread

healthy-hot-cross-bun-bread-nutriseed-nume

INGREDIENTS

  • Nutriseed NuMe Bread premix
  • 150g mixed seeds
  • 5 Eggs
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 20ml oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Flour paste*

* Make a paste by mixing 2 tablespoons flour with water. The consistency should be like runny icing. You’ll also use this paste for the bunny buns.

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 220˚C and grease a bread tin.
  2. Mix together liquid ingredients.
  3. Fold in the bread premix, cinnamon, nutmeg and seeds.
  4. Place the mixture into the bread tin then pipe the flour paste in a cross pattern.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Bunny-shaped Buns

nutriseed-nume-easter-bunnies

INGREDIENTS

  • Bread roll premix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup double thick yogurt or cream cheese
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 raisins, cut in half
  • Honey glaze (1 tbsp honey mixed with 2 tbsp hot water)

METHOD

How to roll Easter bunny bread rolls
  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Beat liquids together.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Section the dough into five equal parts. Then divide each section into three (a large, medium and small section).
  6. Roll the large and medium pieces into balls for the head and body of the bunny, and the smallest piece into a sausage shape.
  7. Use a knife to cut the smallest shape three-quarters in half -length-wise.
  8. Assemble the bunny on the baking tray. Place the raisins where the eyes should be and use the flour paste to pipe the nose and bunny ears.
  9. Glaze the bunny rolls with the honey mixture then bake for 15-20 minutes, and serve warm for the Easter feast.

I was astonished that something so healthy could taste so good. So you know, a little goes a long way. A bite of Nutriseed bread is very filling.

If you’re wondering where to get a Nutriseed premix, here are their stockists: Dischem, Spar, Pick ‘n Pay, Food Lover’s Market, Jackson’s Real Food Market, The Health Food Emporium, Faithful to Nature.

Happy Easter!

How to Make a Faux Kokedama: The Indoor Garden Delight

Kokedama hanging plants are all the rage now, but they can be quite pricey. Luckily, the LivingSpace Mag asked us to create a project for their summer addition. So, we created a hanging kokedama for an indoor or outdoor garden. We’ll show you how you can easily make your own faux kokedama with some plants from your garden!

Grow your indoor garden with this faux kokedama DIY

How-to-make-a-faux-kokedama-with-balloons

Difficulty: easy

Time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • Coir (coconut hair – readily available from nurseries)
  • Twine
  • Balloon
  • Cold Glue
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Small plastic pots and plants from your garden *

STEP 1:

How to make a faux kokedama DIY

Get started on your faux kokedama by blowing up a balloon. Place the balloon in a small pot or bowl to keep it stable, with the knot pointing to the bottom of the bowl.

At least ¾ of the balloon needs to stick out. Use a brush to cover the exposed parts of the balloon in cold glue.

STEP 2:

Faux Kokedama hanging garden

Take wads of the coir and press it onto the cold glue until everything is covered. Press it down softly so that you don’t damage the balloon. Allow to dry.

STEP 3:

faux kokedama binding

Cover the coir-covered balloon with spray adhesive and then slowly tie twine around it all. It is easiest to turn the balloon and keep the twine still!

STEP 4:

How to make a faux kokedama macrama knotting

To make the macramé hanger for the faux kokedama, cut six pieces of twine, roughly 50cm long. Tie them together at the top. Divide them into twos and knot each pair 20cm from the top. Then split the pairs below the knot and tie each leg to the leg of an adjacent pair. This will create a mesh. Then tie all six strings together at the bottom, leaving a tassel underneath.

STEP 5:

How-to-make-a-faux-kokedama

Fill a small pot with potting soil and a plant and place inside the coir bowl. Then place the bowl inside the macramé hanger and hang up your plants.

* When choosing a plant for your faux kokedama, consider where it will hang. If it is going to hang on an enclosed patio where it will get little to no sun, it is best to use an indoor plant.

Happy Gardening!

5 Steps To A Bargain Boost With A Mirror Makeover DIY

We tend to buy new decor when a room starts to feel a tad bland, yet, our homes have more than one or two pieces that can spruce up an interior. You only need your DIY goggles to see their potential, which is how I started my mirror makeover DIY.

Granny B’s sponsored some of the supplies for this mirror makeover DIY, and I am thoroughly impressed with their products. Click on any product link you find in this post to shop, and get 10% off of the total when you use the coupon code HOMEOLOGY123 at the checkout.

Here’s how to get started on a unique patterned mirror makeover DIY

Difficulty: easy

Time: 2 hours

Unique patterned mirror supplies

You need:

  • An old mirror
  • Sandpaper
  • A cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Decorative adhesive transfers *
  • Rub-on metallic foil *
  • Floral stencil *
  • Applicator tool
  • Chalk paint in black and navy *
  • Non-toxic, quick drying sealer *
  • Paintbrush, roller and paint tray

*Granny B supplied us with adhesive transfers and metallic rub-on sheets by Prima, a floral stencil, chalk paint (Black Betty and Midnight Blue) and a clear sealer, Armour.

Step 1:

decorative-mirror-makeover-diy-sanding-frame

For your mirror makeover DIY, start by lightly sanding the mirror’s frame. If you’ve painted the frame before, as I did, make sure that there are no loose flecks of paint.

Step 2:

decorative-mirror-makeover-diy-paint

Paint the frame with black chalk paint by using a paintbrush or roller. It’s easier to use a paint roller for a mirror makeover DIY. Use a small artist’s brush to cover the inner sections of the frame, nearest the mirror. Let the paint dry and apply another coat if necessary.

Step 3:

mirror makeover diy with a stencil pattern

Place the stencil on the glass and adjust its position until your happy with the placement, then secure it with masking tape. Cover the section of the stencil that you don’t want to be painted with paper then also secure it with masking tape.

Use a paint roller to paint over the open stencil sections. I used black chalk paint on the glass and the midnight blue on parts of the frame to add depth for the following metallic transfer layer. Wipe away any paint spills then let the paint to dry before moving on to the transfers.

PRO TIP: Test the painting the stencil on paper first. You’ll notice that too much paint will have a smudgy result.

Step 4:

decorative floral gold leaf patterned mirror makeover diy

To create the unique patterned mirror, you need the adhesive transfer and a metallic sheet. Follow the quick steps with the image above to make it happen:

  1. Cut out a section of the transfer to fit your frame.
  2. Remove the protective sheet.
  3. Place the pattern onto the frame, sticky side facing down. Use the applicator (that comes with the transfer pack) or a flat object to smooth the transfer onto the frame.
  4. Remove the transparent film, to reveal a sticky pattern stuck to the frame.
  5. Roll out the metallic film onto the pattern and smooth it out with the applicator. You will see the pattern through the sheet once it adheres properly.
  6. Slowly peel away the metallic sheet to reveal the pretty unique pattern on the mirror’s frame.

Step 5:

floral-gold-leaf-mirror-makeover-diy-sealer

Protect the painted surfaces by painting a clear sealer on top of the frame of this mirror makeover DIY.

sealing-an-ornate-mirror

Use a small artist’s brush for the pattern on the glass. Remove any smudges or spills with a damp cloth followed by a dry cloth. Once the sealer is dry, you can hang up your new mirror!

decorative-unique-patterned-mirror-diy

With a little paint and a few minutes of productivity, you too can transform a sad piece of furniture or decor into a standout interior booster.

Remember to get your paint supplies and accessories at a 10% discount when you use the coupon code (HOMEOLOGY123) at the checkout on Granny B!

Happy reusing!

How to Make a Lightweight Picnic Blanket with a Gingham Check

This month has been filled with warm weather, floating drinks and many happy picnic days. A comfy resting spot is a must for me, even when I go for a hike. So, naturally, a compact, fuss-free and lightweight picnic blanket is the ultimate outdoor must-have!

The pretty little picnic blanket that we made for LivingSpace Mag can be sewn together quickly and easily. By using washcloths, there is no need to hem any of the squares. Plus, it’s super absorbent, which means you can use it as an oversized beach towel too!

LivingSpace Magazine_January 2019
Get the LivingSpace Mag for some serious interior inspiration!

When shopping for your washcloths, remember that not all washcloths are created equal, and stick to cotton for its durability and absorbency. How big a picnic blanket should be, depends on how many people you want to seat. For two to four people 1,5m x 1,5m is sufficient. Luckily, if you need the increase the dimensions of the picnic blanket, add another row of washcloths.

Here’s how to make a lightweight picnic blanket

washcloth-picnic-blanket-for-outdoor-lounging

Difficulty: easy

Time: 15 minutes with a sewing machine

You need:

  • 6 white washcloths
  • 13 light coloured washcloths (we used teal)
  • 6 dark coloured washcloths (we used navy)
  • Sewing machine and thread (you can use matching thread or a contrasting one for a fun twist!)

PRO TIP: Wash all of the washcloths before you sew them together to make sure they are colourfast.

STEP 1:

lightweight-washcloth-picnic-blanket-and-cucumber-sandwiches

Arrange the washcloths on a large flat surface to create the gingham pattern. Start with the first row of alternating the light- and dark-coloured washcloths. Add a second row of alternating white and light-coloured washcloths. Repeat until you’re happy with the pattern of the lightweight picnic blanket.

STEP 2:

diy-picnic-blanket-idea

Sew the washcloths together one row at a time. Don’t overlap the edges, place them side-by-side and use a small zigzag stitch.

STEP 3:

 sewing-washcloths-for-a-picnic-blanket

Once you have completed the five rows, sew their long edges together taking care to line up the corners correctly. Washcloths are very forgiving so manipulate the sides while sewing to make them line up.

lightweight picnic blanket made from washcloths

It’s that simple! Now you can cheers to sunshine, blue skies and more picnics!

Happy making!

Blissful Baked Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Love

This post was originally published in March 2018.

This baked chocolate cheesecake topped my list of cheesecakes this year. I’ve had a bit of an experiment going recently… I’ve tried a couple of no-bake ones: the first was a no-bake lemon/granadilla one that was easy and delicious, the second was a strawberry-infused one that was OK, but I made the mistake of adding (what I thought was) a little bit of powder colouring to get “just the right” shade of pretty pink I had in mind.  It turned out SUPER pink – I won’t make that mistake again!

So for this month’s post, I’m sharing with you my favourite out of my recent bakes: a deliciously decadent baked chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo biscuit base.

Baked Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

YOU WILL NEED

Equipment: An electric mixer/food processor, whisk, 22cm springform pan, small saucepan, small heat-proof bowl

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • 24 (1½ packs) Oreo cookies – finely crushed
  • 57g butter or margarine

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 920g (4 tubs) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 270g caster sugar
  • 45ml cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 280g dark chocolate – finely chopped

For the chocolate topping:

  • 100ml cream*
  • 160g dark chocolate – finely chopped
  • 15ml granulated sugar

For the decoration:

A little extra whipped cream as well as fruit, edible flowers or other decorations of your choice – I’ve used granadilla, kiwi, and figs as well as gold-dusted speckled eggs!

METHOD

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/175ºC/350ºF

Prepare your springform pan by cutting a circle of baking paper for the bottom, as well as cutting strips for the sides.

Instructions for the oreo crust:

  • Finely crush the cookies in a food processor, then add melted butter and blend until well combined.
  • Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool while making the filling.

Instructions for the baked chocolate cheesecake filling:

  • Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.
  • Using your electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Mix in the cocoa powder.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed and taking care not to overbeat the mixture.

  • Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 1hr to 1hr 10mins. At this time, the centre of the cheesecake will still be a little bit wobbly, but the surface will feel firm to the touch with a bit of give when pressed lightly.  If your finger sinks into the cake or comes away with batter on it, the cake needs more time in the oven. Bake it for another 5 minutes before rechecking it.

  • Cool on a wire rack until cool enough to place in the refrigerator (uncovered) to set completely – this needs to be at least 8 hours, but ideally overnight.

Instructions for the topping:

  • In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it boils (be careful not to let it boil over!).
  • Place the chopped chocolate in the heat-proof bowl and pour the hot cream over it.
  • Allow to stand for 5 – 10 mins to allow the hot cream to melt the chocolate and to allow the overall temperature to reduce a little.

  • Now for the whisking: start slowly, then increase your speed, whisking the mixture in one direction until smooth and creamy. This may take a little while, the ingredients may initially look like they don’t want to mix, but just carry on whisking until you get that lovely thick, rich texture everyone loves about ganache.
  • Set the ganache aside to cool a little, then pour over the cheesecake and allow to cool completely.
  • When the topping is set and cooled, gently remove the cheesecake from its springform pan and place on your plate of choice.

  • Decorate with whipped cream, fruit or whatever other decorations take your fancy – this can quite easily be tailored to any theme or occasion!

Cook’s notes:

* The chocolate and cream quantities used in this recipe make for a lovely glossy ganache that sets quite firmly, but not so much so that it cracks when you cut it.  Make yours runnier or firmer by adding more or less cream, to suit your preference.

* This baked chocolate cheesecake can be prepared 2-3 days in advance – simply store (covered) in the refrigerator until needed, then decorate as required.

* This can be an expensive bake, as the recipe calls for 4 tubs of cream cheese which can be quite pricey, but a baking-loving friend recently suggested freezing cream cheese, so that’s exactly what I’ve done.  I came across some reduced price tubs recently and bought a whole lot.  Defrosting them overnight worked wonderfully!

* For the gold-dusted speckled eggs, dampen the surface of the egg with a little water and a clean, soft paintbrush, then dip the egg in edible gold dust.

Happy Easter!

This DIY Floating Tray Is Floatin’ Fabulous

Keep your favourite treats afloat while you enjoy the last bit of warm weather in the water. This adorable DIY floating tray is super handy when you’re bobbing around the pool! Plus, it’s a lovely addition to the rest of the pool float family.

We made this fun floating platter for the LivingSpace Mag and were very thankful that we did. Gone are the days when we needed to scurry out of the water for refreshments.

LivingSpace Magazine_January 2019
Get the LivingSpace Mag for more tips!

So, what is a DIY floating tray?

A DIY floating tray refers to a tray that has a buoyant material, like foam, fixed to its base to keep snacks and refreshments afloat in water.

How to make a DIY floating tray

what you need for a DIY floating tray with a pool noodle

Difficulty: easy

Time: 20 minutes

You need:

  • 1x pool noodle
  • 1x 30cm round melamine or plastic tray
  • Painter’s tape
  • Spray paint
  • Craft knife
  • Hot glue gun

STEP 1

Start the floating drink DIY by cutting the pool noodle length-wise. The incision must reach into the hollow in the middle of the noodle, and no further!

The pool noodle will certainly keep the DIY floating tray drifting and doubles as a barrier that ensures no snack goes overboard.

STEP 2

How-to-make-a-DIY-floating-tray-with-a-pool-noodle

Apply the painter’s tape in strips around the pool noodle at random intervals to create a stripe pattern.

STEP 3

Make-a-DIY-floating-tray-with-a-pool-noodle

Spray with a contrasting colour and allow to dry. Then remove the tape to reveal the pattern.

STEP 4

DIY-floating-tray-for-the-pool

Apply a thin line of hot glue around the edge of the tray. Press the glued edges of the tray into the cut in the pool noodle. The tray will fit snuggly inside. Finally, cut away any excess and seal the ends of the pool noodle with some more hot glue.

DIY-floating-tray-with-a-pool-noodle

That’s it! Once you’ve had enough of drifting in the water, let your DIY floating tray dry then stow it in your outdoor storage until next time!

Happy Floating!

7 Useful DIY Ideas to Make Summer Last

Before you say sayonara to sunshine and beach days, make the most of your remaining summer energy with our useful DIY ideas. Whether you want to make your home a plant paradise, pack in as many pool sessions as possible or win the battle against flies, you’ll find a top DIY project for your home right here. 

Why we should make the most of summer has a lot to do with the sun. We need 10 minutes of health-boosting sunrays each day to reach our daily intake of Vitamin D. Here are the benefits of the golden vitamin:

  • Assists Calcium to maintain healthy bones and teeth
  • Supports the immune system
  • Regulates insulin levels
  • Aids cardiovascular healthy
  • Assists in cancer prevention

Here are our top useful DIY ideas for summer

1. Swimmer’s Hook & Towel Baskets

Say goodbye to damp swimming towels with a useful DIY idea! Create an outdoor towel rack to make life at home a little easier. Simply install hooks on a wall nearest the swimming pool. For a quirky towel wall, use inexpensive outdoor tap fittings painted in different colours.

Useful DIY project ideas for your home Summer

Don’t’ forget about the fresh towels! Update an old basket with a colour-dip and add clean towels and plop it next to the swimmer’s hook.

2. Squirt Gun Art

Useful DIY ideas for your children in Summer

Image by Wonderful DIY

Entertain yourself, your guest or your kids with an uplifting art session! Fill up squirt guns with different liquid watercolours and stick a few pieces of paper to a wall, tree or large easel (preferably a surface outside that can just be hosed down). Now let your kids or your peers discover their inner artist.

BTW, this is a fun summer project idea for adults too!

3. Hanging Planters

diy ideas and projects for adults in summer

Grow your indoor garden and make an indoor planter. This summer project idea is ideal for the plant-loving adult, and it is the ultimate low-effort decor.

Skip the exotic and alien plants in favour of indigenous greenery! Our native flora is adapted to the South African climate and can handle less water. Plants with needle-like leaves and those with a hairy surface retain moisture better than plants with large, smooth leaves. You also have the option of starting a spectacular succulent garden!

4. Feature Wall Shutters

diy ideas and projects for adults

Transform a blank wall into a beautifully beachy feature wall within an hour!  You’ll need reclaimed shutters, chalk paint and 30 minutes. Once your paint is dry, measure and install wall anchors at your preferred height, hang up the shutters and decorate them with air plants. A top DIY project for your home, this feature wall tutorial will add a lovely touch to your exterior.   

5. Floating Drink Holders

Useful DIY ideas for the pool in Summer

Spend the last sizzling moments cooling down in the pool, with floating drinks all around. Update a pool noodle with glue gun, a craft knife and a bit of paint for polka-dots. You’ll thank yourself once your drink is floating beside you.

6. Lovely Lanterns

Useful DIY ideas for your home in Summer

Make nights spent outside magical and wind-resistant with glass jar candle holders. Make frosty garden lanterns with salt or, grab all your empty jam jars and paint the bottom third of each. Tip them upside down and allow the paint to take its runny course. Drill 3 holes into each lid and paint in a different colour. After everything is dry, pop in some tea lights and you’re good to go!

7. Rope Coasters

Useful DIY ideas for Summer

Image by Lovilee

Say no to watermarks this summer with a useful DIY coaster idea. Natural rope coasters are swoon-worthy, and you only need a hot glue gun and rope to make them. Get the complete rope coaster tutorial on the Lovilee blog. 

Our three top tips for a summer home

Some of these projects featues in the LivingSpace Mag, but these are our favourite tips to live by this summer!

LivingSpace Magazine_January 2019
Get the LivingSpace Mag for more tips!

Perfect your Braai

Heat matters. Amateurs and masters of the braai know that coals have to reach the perfect temperature for foodie perfection. So, how do you really know when it’s just right?

According to local braai legend, Jan Braai, it’s all in the hands: hold your hand 10cm above the coals and start counting.

Once you feel a burning sensation, stop counting. Two to three seconds are ideal for steaks and rashers. Three to four seconds are for chicken wings and fish. Five to eight seconds are when the wors, chicken breast and potjies go up. After nine seconds you need more wood and remember to remove your hand!

Keep Flies at Bay

Take one large clear glass jar, fill it with water, drop in a few coins or small pieces of foil and close the lid. Place the container in the kitchen or somewhere on the patio where sunlight or artificial light can reach it. Entomologists suggest that the refracted light is a problem for complex fly eyes as it interferes with their sense of direction.

A Home Refresher

Sometimes your home needs a little boost to conquer the oppressive heat. So, make a refreshing rosemary and basil room spray! Dissolve 1 tsp baking soda into 1 cup warm water and add 4 sprigs of rosemary. Once it’s cooled add in a handful of basil leaves and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. If you don’t have baking soda use, 2 tbsp of vodka instead!

diy ideas and projects for adults summer

Happy DIYing!

The Lavishly Rich Walnut Rosewater Cake Your Valentine Needs

This wildly wonderful walnut rosewater cake is so packed full of flavour that it will bring tears of your joy to your loved one’s eyes! This tasty cake easy to make, although a little bit labour intensive. But it will be well worth the effort! Try it for tea or serve as a decadent dessert.

Adapted from an original recipe in Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh.

HOW TO MAKE A WALNUT ROSEWATER CAKE

Walnut Rosewater Cake with Crystallised Rose petals

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cardamom pods, bruised, seeds reserved, pods discarded
  • 1 cup (150g) walnuts, plus extra chopped
    walnuts to serve (* the original recipe uses pistachios, but I prefer walnuts so I ended using those)
  • 1 cup (100g) almond flour
  • 170g rye flour (*originally, this is a semolina-based cake. But being wheat intolerant, I opted to use rye flour. It provided the perfect accompaniment to the nuttiness!)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 300g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs rosewater
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

ROSEWATER CREAM

  • 200g Double cream plain yoghurt
  • 200g creme fraiche
  • 1 tbs icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbs rosewater

SYRUP

  • 100ml lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) rosewater
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar

CRYSTALLISED ROSE PETALS (OPTIONAL)

  • 1 eggwhite
  • 10g (about 40) edible red or dark pink rose petals (from gourmet food shops)
  • 25g caster sugar
Walnut Rosewater Cake with Crystallised Rose petals

METHOD

  1. First, preheat oven to 80°C. Grease a baking tray and line with baking paper. Grease a 23cm springform cake pan and line with baking paper
  2. For the crystallised rose petals, if using, whisk egg white until frothy. In 2 batches, use a small pastry brush to very lightly paint over both sides of each petal with egg white, then sprinkle with sugar. Shake off excess sugar and arrange petals on the prepared tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until petals are dry and crunchy, then set aside to cool.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 180°C.
  4. To make the walnut rosewater cake, place cardamom seeds and walnuts in a food processor and whiz until walnuts are finely ground. Transfer walnut mixture to a bowl and add almond meal, rye flour, baking powder and 1/4 tsp fine salt. Stir to combine.
  5. Place butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until well combined (be careful not to overwork – you don’t want a lot of air in the mixture). With the motor running, slowly add egg, beating well. Fold through the wallnut mixture, then fold through lemon zest and juice, rosewater and vanilla until just combined. Spread batter into prepared pan and use a palette knife to smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean but a little oily.
  6. Meanwhile, for the rosewater cream, place all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk to medium peaks. Cover and chill until needed.
  7. Start with the syrup in the final 10 minutes of cake cooking. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, drizzle with hot syrup (it looks like a lot of syrup; the hot cake will absorb it). Then sprinkle with extra wallnuts and set cake aside in the pan to cool to room temperature.
  8. Finally, remove walnut rosewater cake from the pan and scatter with crystallised rose petals, if using, breaking some into pieces. Serve with rosewater cream for even more deliciousness.
Walnut Rosewater Cake with Crystallised Rose petals

This walnut rosewater cake is the cherry on top of a relaxing weekend outdoors or a romantic evening spent underneath flower fairy lights. Let us know if you enjoy this walnut and rosewater cake as much as we did!

Happy Baking this Valentine’s Day!

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