My husband isn’t a huge fan of chutneys and relishes, but this tomato chutney has become my secret ingredient in various dishes. And when I say secret, I mean I literally have to sneak it into his food, and when I don’t put it in, he complains that I’ve changed something. Men. My mom made a large batch to be bottled, so whenever we visit them I slip one off the shelf. She has yet to notice! Use this tangy, homemade tomato chutney to spice up bolognese, salsas, dips, curries or even roasted chicken and pork.
Continue reading “Tangy Tomato Chutney Recipe” »
One of my favorite parts of Christmas is ripping open my gifts after weeks of anticipation and I still hear the older folks telling me to be careful not to tear the paper and save it. Now I’m all for frugal living, but where’s the fun in that? And then came the gift bags to spoil all the fun just to get recycled time after time. Don’t get me wrong, I love presents, any presents in any form, but hand-wrapped gifts are special because it’s old-fashioned and personal. If you want your gift to stand out, try some of these unique gift wrapping ideas or come up with your own cool way of wrapping.
Brown paper bags come in handy and are easy to prettify. I used regular brown wrapping paper, added a paper doily, some twine and fresh lavender for a rustic looking gift that my recipient took extra care opening.
Here are some of my favorite DIY gift wrapping ideas.
Have you ever been into a LUSH store? I stumbled upon one at the Cape Town Waterfront and I found myself in heaven. The first thing that hits you is the smell and you’ll start getting excited like a little kid at Christmas. It’s the ultimate bath and body shop overflowing with amazing handmade soaps, salts, scrubs and soaks. They have an entire range of bath melts that look edible – YES, I know! Imagine bath bombs that look and smell like cupcakes and chocolate brownies! Needless to say, by the time I finally exited the store, I was bankrupt.
Here’s a whiff of what you’ll find in a LUSH store.
Pinterest is overflowing with DIY Sharpie mugs with cool designs, quotes and doodles, and the idea is here to stay. The great thing about giving a mug as a gift is that it’s something that people might actually use, and a personalized mug is even better. You can fill it with small bonus gifts, or use it as a planter for herbs or succulent plants.
I personalized these mugs with a black Sharpie marker (imagine my surprise finding them in South Africa!) by drawing a monogram of each friend’s name and a picture I thought suits her personality best. Now, I’m not the best doodler, but it was much easier than I thought. I Googled a clip-art version of the picture I wanted to draw, practised a couple of times on paper, and then went for it! This is my tried and tested version of how to make Sharpie mugs, and since Christmas, the ink has stayed put!
This is a tried and tested guide to making your own folded CD covers with scrapbook paper. A “mix tape” makes for an affordable and very cool DIY wedding favour – one that people will actually use. Continue reading “DIY Folded CD Cover” »
Most of our wedding decor was, of course, DIY inspired, which saved some money and made the day more personal. But making your own wedding decor is very time consuming and we spent hours trying to figure out the easiest and most effective way of removing labels from wine bottles. After trial and error (and a lot of whining – yes, pun intended) we finally nailed it. So I give to you my short version and best way to get those sticky labels and glue off of glass bottles.
Once the DIY bug bites you, it gets hard to throw anything that can possibly be upcycled or prettyfied away. Since my wedding, I have been struggling to throw away any pretty glass bottles. So my garage is stacked with boxes of bottles (labels already removed) just gathering dust, waiting to be transformed. I needed to start somewhere, so I grabbed one and made this little vase then added some lavender from my first year lavender bush in my garden. Fresh flowers in the house just oozes summer!
What a simple way to add some jazz to wooden spoons. It looks like the handles were dipped in paint. I made them as part of a gift for a friend’s kitchen tea, along with a great cook book and a bottle of wine. As soon as I saw how they had turned out, I had to paint all my wooden spoons. You can choose any colour, maybe to suit her kitchen or her favourite colour. This gift will please all your foodie friends.
Just look at these tiny toy key chains! I especially love the army men (see below). I can’t even remember when last I saw one, so imagine my excitement when I went shopping for little green plastic army men! They bring back memories of my brother and I playing with his toys – I didn’t like dolls until much later. These make very unique friendship gifts and the colour options are endless! Half the fun is shopping around the kids’ aisles for small toys.
Never search for the light switch again! Turn each light switch plate into a little piece of art and light up your life! They’re very easy to replace once you grow tired of a design. I simply adore mine, and guests do too!
Silhouette pictures are lovely. They just add some mystery because of the lack of detail. You can be creative when it comes to making silhouettes, but this is an easy project that will get you started. I made a silhouette of a cat because, well, I like cats. Hang ’em up, give ’em away or even use ’em as regular serving plates! Guests will be so intrigued! You don’t have to be an artist – nursery school tracing skills are all that’s required! Have fun!
Moms are the best. The wonderful thing about a mother is that you can give her any gift, big or small, bought or handmade and she’ll make a fuss to let you feel like it’s the best gift ever! So treat her this Mother’s Day or on her birthday by making something especially for her that she will cherish and remember forever. Here are 7 of the best DIY gifts for moms that I’ve come across which I can’t wait to try!
Posted in DIY, Gifts, Upcycle Tagged with: bookmarks, Chalk, Chalk paint, coasters, DIY, diy gifts, garden, gift basket, gifts, handmade, herbs, housewarming, keyholder, kitchen, mom, mother, mothers day, painted stones, sugar scrubs, wooden spoons
How do you get your windows to look super shiny? Forget about all those expensive shop-bought window and glass cleaners. Your windows, shower and mirrors can get a professional shine for next to nothing. The alcohol in this formula helps prevent streaking.
Flavored oils are a must in the kitchen. Not only do they look really pretty standing next to the stove, but they add some extra zest to any dish when you feel like your palette just isn’t feelin’ it. Great as a salad dressing or drizzling over pizza and pasta. Decide which herbs and flavours you want to use and go from there. You can make a collection of three different flavors and give it as housewarming gifts to your foodie friends and family. Suggestions include thyme, rosemary, sage, basil and oregano.
I simply refuse to buy Valentine’s day merchandise. I don’t like giving nor receiving red teddy bears, chocolates, cards, roses and “I love you” good-for-nothings for Valentine’s day. I think they’re a complete waste of money and take up space in my already “cozy” home until I eventually decide to throw the stuff away. The day of romance and love should be a reason to give your significant other something thoughtful yet simple. Here are a couple of different ideas that are un-valentine’s-like yet still romantic.
If your cat feels like mine does about water – that bathing is a simple no-no – this dry shampoo should relieve them from some stress (as they already have enough to stress about). This easy homemade cat shampoo will leave your cat’s fur soft, clean and glossy. As an added bonus, you’ll have some extra pocket change as it’s made from common pantry staples. Continue reading “Homemade Dry Cat Shampoo” »
Yes, the distressed look is in, but some items should remain rust-free. Use vinegar as an easy rust remover for old hinges, screws and metal garden furniture exposed to humidity.
Download and print these free labels to decorate your homemade sugar scrubs.
The best way to show love and appreciation is by spoiling someone with something that’s homemade. I made these flavoured sugar body scrubs to give away as holiday favours to friends and aunts. They’re ideal as budget-friendly Christmas gifts, party favours or bridesmaid gifts. Give them a try – you’ll feel so proud – and remember to keep one for yourself!
This is the ultimate gift for any university student! I made up a “university survival kit” for a friend who’s just finished school and going off to varsity. I tried remembering all the little things that I needed at some stage in my broke but very happy days of being a student. Basically I just bought a bunch of random stuff, threw it in a big mason jar and squeezed in some things I already had around the house. She absolutely loved it!
Here are a few suggestions for accommodation near some wedding venues in Pretoria East, like Riverside Castle, L’Aquila, Gecko Ridge, Casa-Lee Country Lodge, Casablanca Manor, Chez Charlene, Merops, Boskapel and more! Our own wedding guests were very pleased with their stay at some of the following guest houses and lodges in the Shere area of Pretoria East. If you decide to book any of the following options, please do so online via these links! It’s safe, easy and will contribute to building my website at no extra cost to you!
Enjoy your stay!
Ren & Jess
I repainted this frame using the distressing technique. It was much easier than I thought, using spray paint and sand paper – it looks brilliant!
We had this awkward wooden table that had absolutely no use, but we didn’t quite want to get rid of it either because of sentiment, and an old pinewood bookshelf (if you could call it that) and decided to convert the two pieces into a one-piece bookshelf table unit that could stand against a wall out of the way, and actually have some storage use. I’m impressed with how it turned out! Pop into a used goods store, see what you can pick up for a good price and give it a try!
I came across this funky DIY magazine bowl in an old arts & crafts book and simply had to try it for myself. Make sure you have enough free time on your hands and a lot of patience. A perfect way to keep the kids busy during the holidays!
We’ve had these pots around our house since I was a kid. When my mom finally grew tired of them, I jumped at the chance to repaint them for my own home. They’re quite expensive to buy, so grab them if you find some for a bargain or lying around someone’s house. It’s truly amazing what some paint and beautiful flowers can do – they look brand new! Continue reading “How to Paint Concrete or Cement Pots” »