Melanie Daniels

Creative Uses for a Used Wood Door

An old wooden door does not have to be thrown away or burnt. With a little imagination and creativity, you can repurpose your used wood door into a spectacular and useful feature. Here are some ideas to help you on your way.

Decorative Ideas for a Wood Used Door

A used wood door can look great as a backdrop to a shelving unit. Fix the door in place to your wall and then use it as a support to simple wooden shelves. You can even fix a vintage mirror to the structure. A distressed wooden door can add a vintage appeal to your home décor and it gives you a place to display your ornaments or books.

Table or Coffee Table

If your used wood door is in reasonable structural condition, why not use it to create a table? You will need to construct a wooden frame support first, but this is a great way of getting a unique and attractive table top that you could not buy in the shops.

A used wood door can make a great coffee table too. Cut the door to the required size for the table top, and use the remaining pieces as a support to the sides. You may need to get an additional piece of wood for the base to strengthen the structure.

Garden Feature

Your used wood door can make a charming garden feature. Add a couple of shelves or a small table and paint it with a distressed finish. You now have a handy feature where you can store little bits and pieces that are useful in the garden.

Bench

A used wood door was built to last so why not use it to create a bench either for your lounge or for your garden? Cut the bench to size, remove the part with the handle, and use half of the door as the seat and the other half as the backrest.

Beverage Cart

If you have ever fancied having your own bar, your used wood table can make a fantastic beverage station or drink cart. Just add a couple of shelves for your drinks and a large one for the workstation and you are good to go. You can display and store bottles and handy utensils such as bottle openers, corkscrews, and an ice bucket. Don’t forget to paint your new unit first to give it a great distressed vintage look.

The important point to remember about used wood doors is that doors were built to last, and although this one may now have had its day as a door, there are still plenty of great uses for it. Giving an old door a new lease of life is a fantastic way to customize your home décor or bring extra interest into your garden.

DIY Foam Swords for Kids

We encourage our kids to play nicely and in a caring sharing way, but doing this can be boring. After all, kids need an outlet for play where they can imagine they are pirates or knights of old having battles and action adventures.

DIY Foam swords for kids are a great way of helping your child harness his or her imagination without anyone getting hurt if the game gets too lively or out of hand. So making a bunch of foam swords is a great way of making sure that everyone has a good time.

How to Make DIY Foam Swords for Kids

DIY foam swords for kids can be as basic or elaborate as you like. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. The only principle to remember is that there should be some sort of handle and that the form that you use will not actually hurt anyone too badly when they are hit with it.

You can make DIY foam swords simply. One way is to use pool noodles – fun swimming pool floating toys that can be purchased during summer months at Walmart or Dollar Tree for under $5 each in a wide variety of colors.

To make your sword, get your pool noodle and cut away some of the foam insulation so that you are left with a rudimentary handle. (You will need around 5 inches for the handle).

You can secure the foam at the handle with Duct tape to prevent it from slipping. You can also ensure that the foam remains in place on the sword end by gluing it. Use foam or simply electric tape to finish off the handle makes it easier to grip.

Make sure that the “sharp end” is well protected and not likely to slip down. Use tape to fix this in place and if necessary protect the end with additional foam. And that’s it. You now have a robust DIY foam sword.

You can also make DIY foam swords out of foam board or cardboard. This way is more time consuming and not as robust, but the finished product can look amazingly realistic.

To do this, you need two sheets of foam board, a glue gun and some silver paint and a pattern.

To make you cut out two sword shapes from the form – two provides added strength when it is taped together.

You also need to cut out the handle shape and any additional embellishments. Fix all the component parts together with glue and decorate with silver paint.

You can find patterns online for iconic sword replicas because this method is often used in cosplay costumes.

However the big question must be whether this type of DIY foam sword will survive an afternoon in the hands of the average kid? In all honesty no, it will not.

So if you are searching for ways to make foam swords for your kids to play with, a trip to your local arts and crafts store or pool shop to pick up some pool noodles is undoubtedly the best option.If you’re an adult in need of a realistic looking foam and fiberglass sword, you can purchase one for all your LARPing needs.

Tips for Redoing Hard Wood Floors

If you like DIY wood projects, you’ll love our six tips for redoing hard wood floors by yourself. Wooden flooring can look fantastic, but can become worn out and scruffy if it is not maintained. Redoing hard wood floors is not always a difficult job. You may find that you can improve the look of your flooring without carrying out resanding. Alternatively, this may be the best option. Check out our tips to find out more!

6 Tips for Redoing Hard Wood Floors

Tip 1

Try deep cleaning your hard wood floor. To do this, sweep thoroughly with a soft bristle broom, which won’t damage the wood.  Get out the vacuum cleaner to get in between floor boards and into corners. Finally, use a concentrated cleaning product especially designed for hard wood floors. Clean, with a clean microfiber mop and bucket and allow drying naturally.

Tip 2

Once your wood floor is as clean as possible, you may be able to revive the appearance of the wood with a specialist product such as a laminate floor renewal kit, which you can get from your hardware store.  This is quite messy and time consuming as you have to apply it and then leave it for at least 24 hours to dry and around a week to fully harden. This type of product is not compatible with waxed floors, so make sure you read the directions fully before you buy.

Other products are suitable for waxed flooring or polyurethane finishes and may be enough to revive a tired looking wood floor.

Tip 3

If the damage is too bad you may need to think about redoing your hard wood floor. This is not a difficult job in terms of required skills, but it is going to be messy and time consuming. The good news is that once you have done it, you have what looks like a brand new floor. If DIY wood projects are your thing, then going straight to this option may be your best bet.

Tip 4

First you may need to repair damage such as nicks and gouges. Use wood putty and a flat bladed knife to apply, and make sure you leave it to dry. Follow the directions on the wood putty container. It can take around a week for wood putty to fully harden so you may need to be patient.

Tip 5

Hiring a sander is much easier than carrying out this work by hand with sandpaper. It will save you a lot of time and will result in a more even finish. Make sure that the floor is evenly sanded and that any residue from the filler is cleaned away. Ideally, you will want to seal the wood on the same day to prevent the floor from absorbing moisture.

Tip 6

Choose the type of finish that best suits your needs. This is a crucial step when redoing hard wood floors so you need to think about this in advance. There are three basic types of finish for hardwood floors:

Polyurethane Finish: This type of finish is hard wearing and perfect for busy areas in your house and high moisture areas.

Varnish: This can be either in a gloss or matte finish. Gloss is more durable and it creates a wonderful fresh effect.

Penetrating Sealer: This is the most natural option as it creates a natural finish that brings out the grain in the wood. Once the sealer is applied you can wax the floor for added protection. 

What tips for redoing hard wood floors do you have for our readers?

Lemon Air Freshener DIY Tips Using Essential Oils

An air freshener can make your home smell fresh, as it can mask the odour of unpleasant odours such as bathroom smells, cooking, or pets. The problem for many people is that many air fresheners that you buy do smell artificial and chemically, and they can make your home feel like a public swimming pool. There are health concerns too about breathing in yet more chemicals.

A better way to get some fragrance into your home is to use all-natural essential oils. By making a lemon air freshener DIY, your home will smell natural and fresh without that unpleasant chemical undertone.

How to Create a Lemon Air Freshener DIY

To create a lemon air freshener DIY, you have a couple of options. If you want to diffuse the scent throughout your home, you can use a plug-in aromatherapy diffuser or an oil burner. Simply add a few drops of lemon essential oil to water (to dilute the mixture), and enjoy the pleasant natural aroma of lemons as it wafts through your home.

Alternatively, you can make a fantastic air freshener spray very easily. You need a tablespoon of baking powder, 2 cups of water – distilled is best, and 6 drops of essential lemon oil. Mix the oil and soda in a bowl and then transfer to a spray bottle, topping it up with the water. Shake it until the soda has dissolved, and you are good to go. Use the spray around your home paying special attention to problem areas such as the bathroom and the kitchen.

Where to Find Quality Oils

The key to success in making a lemon air freshener DIY is the quality of the essential oils that you use.

Natural Healthy Concepts provides a wide range of potent natural essential oils of all types, including genuine 100% natural lemon oils. Although synthetic oils may smell nice, they often have added chemicals or inferior ingredients that just do not last as well as the genuine oils. 

When you buy from NHC, you can be confident that all the essential oils they stock are formulated by using only natural methods. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that contain powerful active ingredients. To make genuine essential oils, it requires that the natural ingredients are highly concentrated and distilled. According to the company’s product information, it takes around 200 lbs of natural lavender to make just 1 lb of lavender essential oil, for example. This is a similar method when it comes to lemon oil.

We found two great brands that caught our eye. The first is an NHC-based brand called Plant Therapy, which offers essential oils at a great price without compromising on quality.

Another great brand is Wyndmere Essential Oils, a trusted U.S. company that has been providing essential oils since 1995.   Surprisingly, buying essential oils and making your own lemon air freshener DIY is actually cheaper than buying an artificial air freshener or room spray. And with the natural antiseptic benefits of lemon oil throughout your home, you can be confident that your home will always smell fresh, clean, and welcoming.

Good Food for Sore Throats

When you have a sore throat, it can be hard to eat and drink, because it’s just too painful. So what good food for sore throats is out there? Is there anything you can eat without making your throat feel worse? The answer is yes, there is but you have to consider the texture of the food and only eat things that are soothing and easy to swallow.

Eat This Good Food for Sore Throats

Good food for sore throats include pasta dishes, cooked soft vegetables, and fruit smoothies – also a good source of vitamin C. Ice cream can help soothe a sore throat and will cool down any burning sensation. Other good foods for sore throats include soups and broths, mashed potatoes, and porridge.

Drinks are important too, and non-acidic fruit juices can hit the spot, such as apple juice or great juice. Making your own drinks, such as a dilution of honey and ginger in hot water can also help soothe throat pain. Hot tea is also super helpful in soothing a sore throat.

When you have a sore throat, you need to avoid anything that is too dry and abrasive, such as bread, crackers, and chips. You should also avoid spicy food and sodas. In addition, citrus fruit may irritate the throat lining, so it is best avoided. Coffee and alcohol may also aggravate the problem. Essentially, good foods for sore throats are anything that comfort and soothe without irritating.

When you are suffering from a sore throat, it is also important to help your body along in its healing process, without causing further damage or side effects. You can do this by gargling with warm salt water, and you can also use a health supplement for added support.

Supplements for Sore Throats

Nature’s Way is a supplement brand based on Native American knowledge and offers a range of natural herbal medicine to support health. This reputable brand provides 500 different health supplements to address all sorts of health issues, offering support and healing in a natural way.

Nature’s Way Slippery Elm is a soothing emollient that will help support your digestive system without aggravating your throat. Harvested from the slippery elm tree in a responsible way, this is a good support to general health and is totally natural. 

Alternatively, a homeopathic supplement may help. BHI is a trusted homeopathic brand that provides natural health solutions for the whole family.

BHI’s Sore Throat Relief Tablets are homeopathic tablets that aim to relieve the irritation and scratchiness of a sore throat. They contain 10 great quality dilutions, including Carbo Vegetabilis, Causticum, and Hyoscyamus Niger and is a formula that is safe for everyone to take.

Obviously, if you have concerns about your health or that of your family, you should seek medical advice. Sometimes a sore throat can be a sign of an underlying health condition such as a virus, or it could be caused by an infection which would need to be treated by antibiotics.

Once you have established that your sore throat is not dangerous to health, looking after yourself by taking natural health supplements and only eating good food for sore throats will soon see you on the way to recovery.

How to Build a Tree Bench

There comes a time in life when everyone needs a tree bench, preferably one with a great view or in a place where you can sit and watch the world go by or supervise the kids from a distance! Luckily, a tree bench is pretty to build, and you don’t need to be a furniture making genius to make one. How to build a tree bench is pretty easy as long as you have the tools and the tree to build around.

Building a Tree Bench in Steps

First up, you need some good quality lumber. Your planks should be straight with no visible flaws such as cracks or decay. Cedar is a good choice, because it is very hardy but any other weather resistant wood will be fine and will save you time on maintenance in the future.

How to build a tree bench will depend upon the size of the tree of course and the sort of plan you are following, but in general it is much easier to build a hexagonal shaped tree bench rather than circular. This is because you can build a hexagonal bench in sections with leg supports spaced out to avoid any tree roots and simply assemble it when it is in place.

First, plan the hexagonal tree bench so that it fits around the tree without impeding any future growth. The six sides of the hexagon mean you have six sections, so first cut the six inner boards. You need to set your miter saw for a 30 degree angle.

Lay two planks parallel to the inner seat board and using the same 30 degree angle, cut these so that these middle and outer seat boards are straight and at the same angle. Because this is a hexagon seat, you need to repeat the process for the six sets.

Join two seat sections together by adding the wooden supports. The supports are made up of two legs each, sandwiched at the top by a cross brace and you need six of these. You fix the seat board section to the supports with bolts.

Once you have fitted two sections together, you can put it against the tree. Fix the other two sets together and also fit them against the tree. Because at this point, the bench is in sections you can make any changes if necessary, such as leveling the ground or moving the sections around so that the leg supports are not over tree roots.

Once the bench is in the correct position, you can screw it together. It is important to leave about a quarter of an inch at least between sections to allow for wood expansion. Finally, treat the wood with a protective sealer so that it will stay looking good all year long.

This is the only way to build a tree bench. We have seen many different ideas and plans, so it is certainly worth looking through plans and ideas so that you can find the best design for you.

Creative Ways to Use Wooden Buttons for Crafts

Who doesn’t remember visiting grandmother or elderly relatives and being given a box full of buttons to play with? Today this idea has extended to craft and there is a whole bunch of uses for the humble button. Collecting or buying wooden buttons for crafts gives you many possibilities to create beautiful, and useful objects and can be a fulfilling and relaxing hobby as well. Wooden buttons can jazz up furnishings and clothes giving them a cool craft look and a whole new lease of life!

How to Use Wooden Buttons

Wooden buttons can add texture to artwork. How about fixing wooden buttons to signs or boxes? Whether it is grandmother’s garden room or a special treasure box for children, the addition of wooden buttons makes the whole effect more special and real for the recipient.

Wooden buttons for crafts can look fantastic on knitted objects such as handbags or jumpers. Adding some beautiful wooden buttons can transform the most ordinary of knitwear into a designer piece. A cool scarf with some classy wooden buttons not only fixes the scarf in place, it looks good too.

Using wooden buttons to liven up household furnishings such as cushions is simple to do and is surprisingly effective. Just stitch on some large size wooden buttons to your furniture pieces, and you will be amazed at how classy these now look.

You can buy wooden buttons for crafts, and there are a stunning array of designs available. They are so attractive, they can be displayed as an original piece of art. Alternatively wooden buttons can make attractive jewelry pieces, which are fun to make and great to wear. Choose brightly coloured wooden buttons to make your own button bracelet. You can add colors to make a special matching bracelet for an outfit or go for general multi-colored style.

More on Wooden Buttons

Although we tend to think of buttons as being round, you do have a wide range of shapes and styles to choose from. Go wild! We have seen wooden buttons in the shape of the statue of liberty, butterflies, flowers, hearts, and anything else you can think of.

Buttons can be beautiful, and you can use them to create pictures and collages and signs. Because wooden buttons are so varied, creating a mosaic effect from buttons is a great way to create a fabulous piece of artwork without the hassle of cutting tiles. All you need is a support for your artwork, such as a piece of board, a supply of buttons, and a glue gun. Armed with this and your own imagination, you and your friends will be amazed at results.

Wooden buttons for crafts are on sale from any major retailer such as Amazon or specialist hobby shop. You can also use buttons from old clothes or buy button collections from thrift shops. Creating artwork from buttons is an extremely satisfying hobby that does not cost you the Earth to start and requires no special skill either, apart from your imagination.

Unique Antlers Crafts Ideas for Hunters

Most people agree that antlers look best when they are still on the living deer, but if you like hunting and enjoy all that delicious meat, finding something to do with the antlers is not only ecological, because it avoids waste, but it can look great too. There are some inventive examples of antlers crafts that may help to inspire your own creativity.

Try These Antlers Crafts

First up, why not go the whole hog and leave the antlers attached to the head and mount it in your living room? You will need to visit a taxidermist to clean out the head and stuff it and to add some false eyes, but who isn’t going to be impressed by the sight of this magnificent animal? In addition, it is a great conversation starter.

You can also use the antlers to make attractive coat hangers and hat stands. These can look fantastic in a rustic house.  Alternatively, why not use the antlers to make a decorative table lamp stand? You can either place the lamp inside the antlers, creating a great lighting effect, or use them as a stand.

Deer antlers make fantastic supports and door handles. Why not fashion a gun cradle from your deer antlers? This is very appropriate if you enjoy deer hunting and is in the similar spirit that our ancestors used to make weapons and hunting equipment from bones, teeth, and antlers from their prey.

Antlers crafts can be used in numerous ways all around the home, and they can look great. Don’t forget the kitchen. The shape of antlers leads to them being just perfect as pot and utensil holders. They make great handles for cupboards as well.

More Decorative Antlers Crafts

One way where antler crafts really score is when they are just used as decorative objects. You can make great Christmas wreaths for your door (although this may upset Santa and younger children) and maybe add other hunting trophies such as feathers. For a bolder statement, why not use the whole skull as a centrepiece?

Deer antlers also make great dream catchers and hanging mobiles. The bones will chink together in even a light wind, so they can provide a peaceful sound that is not creepy at all.

Using antlers crafts to create household objects and decorations gives you an added dimension to your hunting. These beautiful natural objects can look fantastic in your home, and bring some of the great outdoors inside.

For any keen hunter, it is important to use all the meat and the by-products and when you make objects from deer antlers, you are tapping into an ancient history. Deer antlers have been used for numerous purposes since prehistoric times, so doing this yourself is a great way to connect with our ancestors. 

Repurposing Garage Sale Items to Create Home Décor

We love garage sales. And when it comes to creating a unique home space, you can’t go far wrong with repurposing garage sale items for your décor. You have such a wide choice of items available when you start looking through second hand items, and although most of it may be rubbish, most people have a couple of gems hidden away. If you want to create some original and quirky home décor, your local garage sales should be your first choice. Keep reading to learn more!

Why Try Repurposing Garage Sale Items?

Interesting quirky items from a bygone age can look great in your home, especially if you add your own designs and flair. Old style furniture may look worn out and tatty when you buy it, but repurposing garage sale items like these can look fantastic once you have finished with them.

For old wooden drawers and wardrobes, simply rubbing down and repainting will instantly give them a new lease of life. Reupholstering old chairs with some cool modern material will not only save you money, it will look unique and stylish as well.

The important thing to remember about old furniture is that in many cases it was built to last. You can find some real bargains out there, such as book shelves and occasional tables, dining room tables, and more. Re-painting, or sanding down, and re-varnishing is often enough to bring vintage furniture back to life.

More Items to Repurpose

Quirky items such as vintage birdcages and coat stands can create a wonderful modern Victorian appeal. Ornaments too can have their unique charm especially if you have a theme in mind such as vintage, nautical, or animals.

Old records and old record sleeves can make wonderful household ornaments, especially if you are musical. Old instruments, such as guitars or native drums can provide a musical ambiance – and you never know, you might pick up a vintage Les Paul or other great bargain hidden amongst the packing cases and general junk.

Plant pots and old fashioned kitchen utensils can add a homely appeal to your kitchen or even your garden. Old fashioned tins and containers can be made into interesting arrangements for your living space. An orange box makes a cool bookshelf or umbrella stand. Big glass jars that you fill with colored stones or crystals will liven up any dark corners in your home.

Storage space is always important. Old style cases and valises can be repurposed as storage spaces and even used as occasional tables if you stick them all together.  

The important thing to remember about garage sales is that you will never know exactly what you might find. And for the keen home decorator an eye for style will enable you to see the true possibilities of any object that other browsers may just consider as junk.

Upcycling and repurposing garage sale items is fashionable right now. We live in such a manufactured mass produced world that stepping outside the chain stores and into the garage sale is not only good for the planet; it can provide a fantastic décor to any home.

How to Make a Chalkboard Desk

Have you ever considered a chalkboard desk? It’s a table that you can actually write on that is hard wearing, easy to clean, and stylish. Keep reading to learn more!

Why Create a Chalkboard Desk?

Chalkboard desks are becoming popular right now in the home and are also beginning to be seen in cool coffee shops, offices, schools, and everywhere else. After all, what is more satisfying than writing on your table as you eat or sip a coffee? It is a great way to jot down ideas or to have an instant game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Even better, making your own chalkboard desk is very easy and inexpensive and can make a unique and stylish addition to your home.

What You Need:

To start making your own chalkboard desk, you’ll need a piece of board for the chalkboard in the size of table you want. A 3′ x 5′ x 3/4″ board is a good choice, but this is up to you.

You will also need the chalk paint to paint the board. This is available in a choice of colors, so you don’t just have to stick to traditional white or black. We have found this on sale in a range of great colors, including shocking pink, blue, grey, or purple, so check out your local hardware store. 

You will also need a couple of trestles to support the table (we found a couple of black ones from IKEA). You will also need two pieces of wood glued to the reverse of the table to hold the trestles in place. For the size mentioned here, 2 x 3 feet sections of 1 x 2 feet will work perfectly. Finally, you will need some aluminum extrusions to fit on the side of your table as chalk holders.

You will also need a power drill and screws to fix it all together and brushes to paint on the chalk paint. You should ensure that you have some plastic sheeting to cover the floor while you are painting.

Directions:

First, glue your two pieces of wood to the reverse of the wood and leave to dry. You should weigh this down in order for it to stick correctly. Follow the instructions on the bottle.

Then, paint the board with the chalk paint and leave it to dry. You will probably need two coats.

Cut your aluminum extrusions so that they are the same length as your table edge. It is easy to cut with a small hacksaw. Make evenly spaced holes in the extrusions with a drill, and line up the holes with the table edge making holes in the table. Screw the aluminum extrusions to the table edge using woodscrews.

Your chalkboard desk is now ready to use. All you need now are some chalk to put in the chalk holder and an eraser, so that you can wipe the table clean when required.

Whether you want your chalkboard desk as your dining table, a creative space or both, this simple idea will provide loads of fun, and it looks pretty stylish too.