All posts tagged: DIY

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 …

collage of hand painted cotton bags and a child using them

DIY Hand-painted Cotton Bags

Have you gotten used to carrying your own bags for shopping? Be it groceries or clothes, most cashiers will check with you if you’re carrying your own bag. It’s a refreshing change from just handing you a plastic bag. Even paper bags need resources to make and a whole pile of unused ones generate a lot of waste. I have various cloth bags distributed all over the place – a few in my car, a foldable one in my purse, a few next to my main door, and a few ‘fancy totes’ to be used for the upscale flea markets. I had a few plain cotton cloth bags lying around and thought about giving them a makeover. I had never painted on fabric before and was sceptical if they’d last. After having used and washed them over the past year, I was pleasantly surprised. I even tried embellishing some of them with beads and parts of junk jewellery that weren’t getting used, and I was thrilled with the results. All you need are some fabric …

diy bookbinding sketchbook with house plants and fine liner pens

Easy DIY Bookbinding at Home

I have scrolled through hours of arts and crafts tutorials over the last year and have been tempted to try each one of them. Some seemed easy enough; others were a distant dream.  Bookbinding was one such tutorial. The videos look so beautiful—the old-world charm of making something with your hands how people did it hundreds of years ago. I always felt you’d need special tools and skills even to try a basic version.  There are many different book binding types. Some of them need special book binding materials that you wouldn’t necessarily want to invest in. Thankfully, I came across some tutorials that a beginner like me could try with stuff you’d generally have at home. I had a bunch of loose papers from a tear-away sketchpad that was just getting tossed around in my drawer. It was the perfect time to make use of them and try bookbinding at home. Book binding supplies Loose sheets double the size of the book you want. We’ll be folding these sheets in half Sharp pin or …

Homemade shea butter body lotion in a glass jar

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 …

Handmade Paper Tutorial

Making handmade paper from paper scraps is a very satisfying process. It makes use of some of the scrap paper you have lying around and gives you beautiful usable paper. Handmade paper craft is a good rainy day activity for kids as well.
This tutorial shows how to make paper without a blender or any other fancy paper-making tools.

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.

Repurposed Wooden Box

I love getting surprise packages…even the ones I’ve ordered for myself. I don’t like shopping in crowded places and trying out stuff at the malls.  Unfortunately that means I also have a lot of packaging that collects at home. Fortunately, where I live, people are very serious about waste segregation and recycling, so I know they are not ending up in a landfill. I’ve also previously mentioned how I reuse cardboard boxes.  A while ago, I ordered a piece of art that came in a wooden box. The box looked beautiful on its own but I didn’t know what to do with it. I took my time to figure out my options. I could add some legs and tiles to turn it into a coffee table, but it was getting too expensive; I could turn it into a display shelf, but I didn’t want to add more planks to it and it would be a pain to dust; I could turn it into a miniature dollhouse, but that too would require a lot of effort …

Glam it Up!

We collect so many items throughout our lives. Some we keep because of their sentimental value, some we actually like, and some only because they were gifted or expensive.  Home decor tips All home decoration ideas start with a bit of clearing up. I’ve learned to declutter with a heavy heart. A lot of pieces I had collected during travels had outgrown their purpose. I gave them away to people who might appreciate them more. However, there are some decorative pieces that could be given a new lease of life with just a little effort. Repurpose memorial cups into planters, or decorate old boxes to use around the house. A touch of Gold I love gold highlights across the house. It adds a touch of sparkle and shine in unexpected places. This wooden deer was a souvenir from a Kenya trip but the dark wood was eating up all the light. So we turned this into a fun afternoon project and layered it up with some gold acrylic paint. I didn’t feel the need to …

DIY family hand casting

Hand Moulding – Preserving A Lifetime of Memories

By the time I saw all the ads for a baby hand and foot casting kit, my son was way past his tiny baby stage. But I still wanted to hold on to the memory of his tiny hands. When I started looking for ideas, there were just so many, including couple hand moulding and family hand casting ideas. I thought a sculpture with all three of our hands would be perfect. I ordered a hand moulding kit online and quickly tried it out. It was a failure, and it felt worse because these hand casting kits are expensive. The hand moulding process is a tricky one and you need to be quick. You also need to have extra material on hand in case things go wrong. They fail to mention this in the kits. I finally figured out a cheaper way to make my hand cast. It still took us a few tries to get it right but at least the materials were much cheaper. You’ll never waste money on expensive hand casting kits …

Paper Marbling Tutorial – Fun and Easy

Paper marbling is a great activity for children to get involved with. It is also fantastic for encouraging them to learn about colours and how to blend them together beautifully. Arts and crafts is always a fun thing to get involved with as it requires manual skill. What’s better than having a bit of arts and crafts fun at home? If you’re looking for an easy paper marbling tutorial, then you’ve come to the right place. There are plenty of paper marbling tutorial online with many different paper marbling techniques. Some of them seem quite daunting. We found one that’s so simple that my (then) 4-year-old could do it. Paper marbling with shaving cream is the simplest of all, albeit a little messy – but the kids love a bit of mess too. Shaving cream paper marbling needs just a few basic supplies, some you might already have at home. No need to look for specialised paper marbling supplies. You’ll need Shaving foam Liquid food colouring (mixed in some water) Bowl for the colours (cupcake …