Home

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.

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.

How to Build Your Own Arts and Crafts Style Mailbox

Your mailbox is important. It is one of the first things that people notice about your home, and it is one of those tiny details that say a lot about you! You might have a tidy garden and a nicely presented front porch or front door, but a tasteless or cliche mailbox may ruin the whole impression. If you want to go one step further in creating a perfect exterior for your home, an arts and crafts style mailbox will provide the perfect finishing touch. Keep reading to learn more.

Why Arts and Crafts Style?

The arts and crafts style was built upon an idea of creating good quality household objects, which are beautiful as well as functional. This movement looked back to the craftsmen of the past who built for durability, and this style has a timeless appeal.

An arts and crafts mailbox can be simple to make if you are a woodworker and results can be stunning.

If you are a proficient woodworker, building your own arts and crafts style mailbox from scratch should not be too difficult. The best type of wood to use is oak because it is so hard wearing, but cherry, ash, or walnut will also work well.

To make an average-sized mailbox, you will need around 3 feet of wood to fully complete the project. The wood should be ¾ inch thick ,which you can probably find ready planed. You will also need the right tools, such as an orbital sander, mitre saw, jig saw, and a router.

The best way to build your own arts and crafts style mailbox is to follow a plan. As with all woodworking projects you will need the right tools – this is not a project for a beginner.

Tips for Building the Arts and Crafts Style Mailbox

Shapes can vary. Choose between a basic conventional long base mailbox, or you could use an upright design. The whole point of the arts and craft movement was to make even humble household objects beautiful. An arts and crafts mailbox is generally made of wood that has been worked into intricate decoration and lettering. Many arts and crafts mailboxes also feature copper decoration.

That said, making a beautiful mailbox is not a difficult task. The design, after all, is fairly simple and you can make a simple mailbox over a weekend. Use pressure treated wood, and if you don’t have a plan, why not follow the dimensions of your existing mailbox?

The important points to remember is that your mailbox must be watertight and be easy for the mailman to use and for you to retrieve your letters. You will need to add hinges to the roof. You will also consider where to fix the mailbox and how.

Painting your mailbox and adding some personal decorations, such as the house number, will also make your mailbox look good. You can spray paint or hand paint the finished mailbox, or if you are pleased with the appearance of the wood, adding water resistant varnish will keep it looking good all season.

If you enjoyed this project, be sure to check out all our other ideas for seasonal DIY wood projects!

What to Include in Kids Wood Crafts Kits

Kids love to make things. Doing this is good for their development too, because it helps boost creativity and practical skills. However, if you are not overly practical yourself, it can be hard to know what to include in kids’ wood crafts kits. It can be hard to know where to start. Keep reading to learn more!

Get These Kids Wood Crafts Kits

The first point to consider is whether your child can actually complete a wood project. If it is too difficult, he or she will be put off for life, and this will do nothing for confidence. So for first attempts, keep any project small and achievable. Once your child gets the wood working bug, he or she can then move onto more advanced projects.

A great place to start is with a bird feeder. One we like comes with pre-cut wooden pieces, nails, and screws that you just fit together. Once the bird feeder is assembled, your child can customize and paint – the paints are included in the kit. With a little help, a child as young as age 5 can do this.

There is a range of kids wood crafts kits on the market for the slightly older age group. The Kraftic Woodworking Building Kit gives your child all the necessary equipment to make his or her own wooden toys. The kit comprises 80 pieces of wood, a child size hammer, nails, sandpaper, glue, and a storage bag. There are instructions and plans provided too.

What Tools Will I Need?

Once your child has got the wood working bug, you may want to buy him or her a set of woodworking tools. Some Kids wood crafts kits provide real tools for smaller hands, so that he or she can help you out in the shed or make his or her own project. One we liked came with a leather carry belt and real tools, including a claw hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, and more.

It is always important to supervise your child when using kids’ wood crafts kits to avoid any accidents and injury. In addition, it is important to consider your child’s general health and resistance whatever they are doing. 

Help Support Kids’ Health

Growing children need to boost their health, especially when they are busy, so health supplements can help strengthen immunity to common ailments such as colds and sore throats. One of the best natural brands is Gaia Herbs, a supplement company that provides a great range of health boosting supplements for all ages.

Kids Defence Support for Immune Health from Gaia Herbs is an alcohol-free dietary supplement in drop form that is designed to support a healthy immune response. Use it at the first sign of any adverse symptoms, such as a sore throat or cough. This liquid supplement will help soothe symptoms and boost your child’s immune system.

Kids Defence Support for Immune Health is specifically designed for children. It tastes very good and it is easy to use. The supplement contains only natural extracts, including echinacea, ginger, cayenne pepper and elderflowers which are all known to improve health and immunity.

How to Fix Wooden Drawers that Stick

A wooden drawer that sticks can be a constant source of annoyance. Luckily, help is at hand. If you want to find how to fix wooden drawers that stick, follow our simple guide to stop this problem.

Try a Lubricant

You might find that simply lubricating the drawers will be enough to get them moving again. Try rubbing paraffin or WD-40 onto the areas where the drawers meet and you may find that this is an effective solution. However, you don’t have to restrict your repair to using these materials because most lubricants will do.

Try Candle Wax

You can try rubbing candle wax, using wax paper rubbed over the area or even hand soap as a temporary repair. All of these can be surprisingly effective and can be carried out using common household materials that you may have lying around. Olive oil, vegetable oil, or even butter may be enough to free up a sticking drawer, although we don’t recommend you do use butter, or you will find it smells once it becomes rancid! Still, we hope you get the idea that practically any lubricant can be used to free up a sticky drawer

Try Drawer Sliding Tape

For a longer-lasting repair, or if the above tip does not work, you can apply drawer sliding tape to the parts of the drawer that rub together. Drawer sliding tape or nylon adhesive tape is on sale from any hardware store and is not expensive.

Your first step to applying the tape is to prepare the area by cleaning it and removing any grease or residue. It is a good idea to sand it down so that your wood can accommodate the tape and that it sticks to it with perfect adhesion. You might want to vacuum clean the drawer tool to remove any dust. As with all DIY projects, good preparation is key to success and these tips on how to fix wooden drawers that stick is a perfect example of this simple rule.

Once you have prepared the area, stick the adhesive tape to the edges of the drawer so that when they meet, the surface is smooth and can slide.

Learning how to fix wooden drawers that stick is basic common sense. However, you do have to take this simple job seriously. If your tape does not stick to the drawer or you fail to cut it to size properly, smear butter on the joints or do any other crazy idea like this, a botched repair will only make the problem worse.  Once you have repaired one wooden drawer, it is surprising how often you may be tempted to fix wooden drawers that stick when you are visiting family or staying in accommodation elsewhere such as motels or guest houses.