Category: DIY

October 28th, 2015 by Jessica

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.
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July 29th, 2015 by Jessica

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.

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July 16th, 2015 by Jessica

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.

Continue reading “DIY Luxury Bath Bombs” »

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June 26th, 2015 by Jessica

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!

Continue reading “Sharpie Design Gift Mugs” »

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May 18th, 2015 by Jessica

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” »

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remove labels from glass
April 24th, 2015 by Jessica

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.

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painted bottle flower vase
December 5th, 2014 by Jessica

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!

Continue reading “Rustic Spray-painted Bottle Vases” »

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December 4th, 2014 by Jessica

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.

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October 10th, 2014 by Jessica

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.

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October 7th, 2014 by Jessica

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!

Continue reading “Light Switch Art Makeover” »

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