All posts filed under: Home and DIY

DIY trinket trays with air dry clay embellished with beads

An Ode to Teachers and a Handmade Thank You Gift for Teachers

Teachers no doubt shape the lives of their students in a multitude of ways. With a word that’s thoughtful or sharp, they can make or break a student. A good teacher is a rare gift that not everyone is lucky to experience. They nurture, educate, and inspire beyond their own classrooms.
Thank you to all teachers who touch the lives of others every day. We don’t always notice teachers’ efforts or impact on our lives, but they do so in many ways, and we are forever grateful.
Here’s an easy and awesome gift idea for a teacher’s day gift or a thank you gift at the end of the school year.

DIY Christmas tree made with cardboard packaging, lit up with a string light and decorated with toys

DIY Christmas Trees that are Eco-friendly and Plastic-free

It’s that time of the year again when we see Christmas decorations start to fill the streets. Most of these decorations sold in your regular stores are made from materials that typically get thrown out and end up in landfills (like plastic). Everywhere you look, it stares back at you in the form of trees, decorations, gifts, and wrapping paper. Here are some ideas that allow you to lead a low-waste lifestyle and conform to the true meaning of Christmas.

Green bedroom walls with mandala painting

How to Update Your Home Decor with These 6 Ideas

Do you set up your home in a way that’s more or less permanent? Or do you get the itch to move things around every few months (if not weeks)? I love to change things around even if it’s something small or not obvious. It is pleasing to see, and because it’s a change for your eye, you actually notice it instead of glaze over it. Living in smaller apartments doesn’t give you a lot of room to play around, but you can keep things fresh by updating your decor once in a while. It doesn’t have to be a big change or an expensive one. I know some people keep a separate cupboard just to store knick-knacks that they rotate throughout the year. If you want to update your home decor and want some ideas, here are six ideas that will help you out. Get movable furniture instead of fixed furniture Fixed furniture ties you down. Apart from main wardrobes and kitchen cabinets, everything else should be movable and replaceable. Fixed bed frames and …

rangoli design of a flower

How to Level Up your Rangoli Skills with Homemade Colours

I love looking at the colourful piles of rangoli colours on carts that line the streets around the time of Diwali. The bright, beautiful hues in a myriad of colours fill my heart with joy and get me in a festive mood. This year, I decided to make rangoli colours at home. It was easy but time-consuming, and I loved the results. I’ve only bought the commercial rangoli colours a few times in my life. I prefer to use chalk and flowers instead of struggling to make delicate patterns with powder.  Making rangoli colours at home couldn’t be simpler, and best of all, it’s natural and eco-friendly. All you need is rice, refined flour, and natural food colours or use stuff from the spice rack. I ground the rice into fine powder. The rice flour from the store is too fine, so I prefer the homemade one, which is slightly granular. It gives a nice texture and flows smoother. I added refined flour with a ratio of 1:1.  Next, I separated this mix into different …

packed boxes piled on top of each other

On the Move: Shifting Homes

How many times have you shifted your home in your lifetime? Even shifting houses in the same city counts. Do you have the numbers of movers and packers on speed dial? I have shifted houses about 22 times in my 41 years – as far as I can remember. This also includes coming back to the same place after a move. The longest I’ve stayed in the same house is six years, and the shortest is about seven months. I’d say this makes me quite an expert in packing and unpacking tasks. I’m very organised. There are times when I wish I had stayed put in one place and developed a group of friends that have known me for a lifetime. On the other hand, the personal growth I’ve experienced because of all the shifting is immeasurable. I also feel it has helped me not get too attached to a single place so that I am free to follow opportunities for growth and happiness. Advantages of Shifting Houses It’s an excellent opportunity to declutter. When …

art installation at the Louvre paris of a woman with a large pile of clothes

What a Waste: How to be a Conscious Consumer

Do you think twice about the stuff you buy? I’m not just talking about the price factor, but also the value of the product in how it will enrich your life and the product’s life cycle. Do the resources utilised in the making then disposing of it justify its use? Conscious consumerism in India and the world is on the rise. As festive sales are being heavily advertised, it’s a good time to reflect on how you can be a more conscious consumer. Conscious Consumption Definition What is conscious consumerism? As the name suggests, any consumer of products who, along with price and quality, also considers these products’ social and environmental impact. A product’s life cycle, from production to disposal, is as strong an influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions as to its need. The Rise of Conscious Consumerism The consumer model is slowly shifting. Many customers want to focus on conscious consumerism—a buying practice driven by a commitment to making purchasing decisions with a positive environmental, economic, and social impact.  More people want to buy …

kids bedroom with red walls

How to update your kids bedroom as they grow

The beauty of any room is in its functionality. When form follows function, you automatically feel more comfortable in that space and use it more, filling it with your energy. When it comes to planning a child’s bedroom, the function keeps changing as they grow.  Kids rooms ideas As kids grow and change, so do their needs. We cannot, of course, keep completely renovating their rooms every year. Kids rooms do have a few things in common even as they age. Once we identify the key aspects of what we need from the space, kids room makeover becomes more manageable as they transition from one stage to the next. Kids bedroom ideas for small rooms If you have larger spaces at your disposal, then you can do much with it. You can segregate different areas for different activities for the kids without overwhelming the entire house. However, kids bedroom ideas for small rooms need a little more thought and planning. Here’s how we transitioned from a nursery to a ‘big boy’ room. When our son …

collage of 4 hand-painted terracotta planters with plants

DIY Painted Planters

Once I figured that I could paint pretty much any surface, it was hard to control myself. In one of my previous posts, I’ve talked about painting some decor items. Next, I wanted to revamp my balcony garden. The boring old brown and black plastic pots are a thing of the past. Welcome to the terracotta age. These pots look gorgeous even if you don’t decorate them. They are also a much better option for growing healthy plants. The terracotta wicks away the extra water, and since it’s a breathable material, the plants stay happy. I got my set of pots from The Handcraftian. The set of four came wrapped in a newspaper without a single crack. No unnecessary plastic or thermocol. These are sturdy pots with a large drainage hole at the bottom so you can be sure your plant roots will not rot if you overwater them by accident. I had purchased some clay pots from local nurseries, but I found them to be thinner and developed cracks quickly.  I wanted to try …

Homemade shea butter body lotion in a glass jar

Best Remedy for Dry Skin: Homemade Shea Butter Lotion

I have struggled with dry skin for a long time. Apart from my laziness, the availability of good body creams in India has not been of any help. I’ve tried everything from store-bought creams to coconut oil, to no avail. Dealing with Dry Skin In the temperate climates of India, the weather is humid most of the year, but towards the end of the year, it gets dehydrated. Within an hour of slathering on lotion, my skin feels stretched and dry again.  We were in Vegas a few years ago during the winter months and had applied coconut oil every morning. Even then, I noticed my son’s skin had become very dry. On our return, our paediatrician said water-based lotions get absorbed by the skin, and the oil-based ones only protect the outer layer. So with our skin that’s predisposed to dryness, we need a combination of both. That’s a lot of effort for someone who hardly uses any cosmetics. Shea Butter Body Cream Last year during the lockdown, when our supply of body lotion …

Home Organising Tips: DIY Necklace Storage

It’s fairly easy to organise earrings and finger rings. But, if you’ve tried storing necklaces and chains in drawers without getting them all tangled up then you are made of magic. I am not, so I had to think of a makeshift arrangement I could use without any damage to the rental house we were in. Here’s what I needed: MDF Board Pushpins that can hold a necklace (I used wooden ones because they look awesome and you can colour them if you want) Decorative paper Hammer Glue 3M Command Strips How to: Cover the board with decorative paper. Hammer in the pushpins. You might have to flatten in the pins at the back of the board if they’re jutting out too much.  Use command strips to hang them wherever you want. Easy peasy! Note: Some of the links are part of an affiliate program, which means that if you click on a link and buy something, I might receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.