Our Garage Makeover: After | AD

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I am so happy to bring you these pictures of our garage after it received a massive overhaul thanks to Prominent Paints. It is proof that a little bit of paint chosen in the right colours and formula can really transform a room! I was honestly ashamed to publish pictures of our garage before the makeover as it just wasn’t the best representation of our taste, I’m sure we aren’t the only ones that felt like that about our garage.

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When I shared the before, I broke down what we had to do in order to transform the garage from a tired (and dirty) room to one that really reflected us and that would be a welcome sight to come home to. I am happy to report that not only have we completed all the tasks, I feel like we have achieved what we set out to do.

Below were all the tasks that we completed:

  • Seal garage door with foam strips.
  • Sort through the garage content and make a trip to the dump site.
  • Defog the garage.
  • Move ladder hooks to the left-hand side of the garage (so that we can comfortably get to the driver side of the car).
  • Create hanging space for garden tools.
  • Paint walls glossy white.
  • Paint back door in grey enamel.
  • Replace sponge on both passenger and driver side of the wall.
  • Clean oil stains on garage floor.
  • Paint garage floor (two coats).
  • Indicate on wall where car needs to stop.

First off we made a trip to the dump yard to get rid of all the stuff we no longer need, including some paints that were past their best. We also took full advantage of all the storage space in the garage roof and made use of alternative storage space for things that didn’t necessarily have to be in the garage.

All of this helped, but obviously the biggest difference was made when we started painting. We used a very glossy white paint on the walls called Select Sheen in a bright white from Prominent Paints. We were really impressed as the first coat nearly gave an opaque finish – unheard of for a white paint over a bright colour! The second coat has made the walls completely smooth to the touch which means it doesn’t trap as much dust as the previous matt paint and it is completely wipeable and washable.

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On the floors we used Stoep Enamel in Pale Grey, a lovely mid-tone grey. I personally don’t like working with oil-based paints, but this one was a breeze. It was thinner than I expected but because of this, it went on completely smooth with barely any brush strokes detectable. We were even able to use a roller, which I usually struggle with when using oil-based paints.

If you remember from the before post, our garage had quite a few oil spills which needed to be cleaned before we could paint it. Although there are a few different ways of cleaning up an oil spill, I just used some dishwashing liquid, a big floor brush and an old rag to soak up all the oil. I had to scrub each stain about 3 – 4 times in order to lift all the oil, but it starts feeling worth it once you can see the floor underneath it.

We gave the garage floors two coats and then decided to paint the back door and cabinets (both wood) in the same Stoep Enamel and again it applied beautifully, with a smooth and glossy finish.

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From the pictures you can see we moved all the hooks to the left of the garage and also hung the garden tools. Then we replaced the tired sponge with these black strips from the hardware store. They were only about R35 each, but can really be a saving grace in a narrow garage where the doors occasionally have to touch the walls. I used some washi tape to mark the place we need to stop the car in order to have enough room in front and behind the vehicle, which is great as it could be moved at any time should we get a new car. This would also be a great sollution for renters as it is easy to remove.

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We’ve used the garage for about a week now and I can honestly say we are so impressed by how big a difference the paint can make to such a tiny room. Now it not only looks and feels cleaner, it’s also brighter and definitely something worth coming home to at the end of the day. Just look at that before and after! If that doesn’t convince you to paint out your garage, nothing will.

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My Top 5 Favourite Products for Reusable Containers

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Lisianthus and ranuncula

The saying that “It’s what’s inside that counts” really rings true when it comes to grocery shopping, but today’s post might just shift your focus to pay a little more attention to the packaging. I’m sharing my top five products to buy in the grocery aisle, not just for their awesome content, but also for its awesome storage potential! The packaging of products we finish often end up on landfils, so upcycling this really is a great way to spare the environment. Plus scoring awesome containers – practically for free – is just the icing on the cake!

Flowers and copper candle on magazines.

 

Mrs Balls Chutney
Such a classic in any South African’s kitchen, we go through this chutney on a monthly basis! I use this mainly as a bud vase for long-stem flowers, but you could store home-made cordials, ice teas or homemade condiments in here. Fair warning though, the labels are tricky to remove!
Nailpolish storage

Ferrero Rocher
I’ve been storing my nail polish and other manicure essentials in these handy lucite containers for years. They are the perfect size for a 2×5 nail polish arrangement and you can use them both with and without the lids. Just another reason to add this delicious treat to your Christmas wish list!
Airtight glass containers

Douwe Egberts Coffee
Now I don’t have nearly enough of these yet, but I am slowly but surely building up a collection. These airtight glass jars are the perfect size for finer grains and things like ground coffee. Investing in glass airtight containers could cost you a fortune, now it will only cost you a caffeine high! I think stick-on chalkboard labels would be a really chic solution for important info like expiration dates.
Bonne Maman preserve

Bonne Maman
Just as versatile as the ever-famous Dipytique candles, Bonne Maman jars are equally Instagrammable. There is just something about that faceted glass and delicate label! I like to use mine for storing canned preserves, but you could just as easily display make-up brushes, candles or posies in it.
Beauty essentials

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This an awesome affordable alternative to other choc-hazelnut spreads that I stock up on at Checkers (for only R23!) The best part is that I never get sad when I finish a pot – partially because I’ll have a back-up ready but also because I love the containers. They are very similar to empty candle jars and are the perfect size for cotton buds and wool pads. You could of course also melt down candles into the empty jars.

Which containers do you end up repurposing and what do you use them for? I’d love to know.

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DIY Rose Bath Salts

DSC_3064I’m really lucky to have had one of my lifetime dreams realised with four amazing types of roses in our garden. Although most of them do last quite a while when placed indoors, I’m always looking for ways to reuse them after they’ve wilted. Last year we saved all of them for our wedding confetti so I looked into making rose bath salts. This is a surprisingly easy and very simple DIY, with only three ingredients (maybe four, read more below…)

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You’ll need:

  • 3-4 Fragrant roses
  • 1 kg Epsom salts
  • 50 g Baking Soda

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Steps:

  1. Pick the petals of three roses that have slightly wilted and leave open in a bowl for about two days, so that it can partially dry. If you do use plain cut roses that aren’t as heavily fragranced, you can add a  little bit of essential oils in the next step.
  2. In a larger bowl combine rose petals, salt and baking soda. If you want the petals to be able to drain, place the mixture in a food processor with a blade for finer leaves. I like just fishing mine out of the bath when I’m done, leaving zero possibility of blocking the drain.
  3. Store all the loveliness in an airtight container to treat yourself.
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DIY Octagonal Coasters

DSC_1962We found ourselves constantly needing more coasters as a white coffee table is not the most forgiving. I really struggled to find ones that I liked and started thinking of ways that I could DIY them. These were as much fun to make as you’d imagine, and we’ve been using them all the time. They’d also add the perfect touch to any festivities and they’re fully customizable (shape and colour).

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Tips on planting a succulent in a container without drainage holes

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When Ryno and I just moved into our home a good friend of mine gifted us our first house greenery. And whilst I’m happy to report that the plant has survived the first few months, I can’t say the same of the plant holder. It was time for a change and I had just the thing- this lovely candle holder from @home.

Unfortunately the candle holder doesn’t have any drainage holes and succulents generally don’t like too much moisture. To work around it, I’ve taken a few steps that will hopefully help keep the roots dry and the plant healthy.

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DIY Decorative Tray

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Recently I’ve been loving home accessories that inject a little texture and colour into our (mostly monochrome) home. So instead of painting this wooden tray white, which I would have done before, I tried something slightly different and I’ve been loving it. Whitewashing wood is so easy and it can really transform a piece. I think it looks great on this tray but could work just as well on a wooden box.

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DIY Tassle Garland

DSC_9537textI had been admiring gorgeous tassle garlands on Etsy and Pinterest for quite a while before something clicked and I realised that I can easily recreate it on my own. It took me a while to hunt down the tissue paper colours I wanted (or something relatively close) and I eventually found it at my local grocery store. Although it was quite time-consuming, I wouldn’t describe it as a difficult process and I really like the end result. So I highly recommend you make one for yourself as it is a much more affordable option and you can customize the colours.

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You’ll need:

  • 2,5m plain twine
  • 2 sheets of each colour tissue paper, minimum three colours
  • a pair of scissors
  • clear tape
  • Bostic

Steps:

  1. Start by folding each sheet in three (across the width) and cut along those lines leaving three sheets of approximately 20 cm wide sheets.
  2. Fold each sheet in half (across the length) and start cutting the fringe leaving about 5 cm uncut at the top fold. Repeat this on all the pieces of paper. This is what took me the longest and seeing Martha Stewart’s solution (a simple slicing machine) did not help!
  3. Once I was done with this you’ll have to unfold all the pieces and lay the coloured side of the paper down on your surface. You’ll then start rolling down the centre of your fold. I found it best to pause every now and again just to comb through the fringe and rearrange it otherwise you risk tearing pieces off. Try to roll this as tight as possible, but don’t worry if all the pieces don’t look the same.
  4. Once you’ve finished rolling you can twist that section and fold in half to create a loop. Secure it with a small piece of tape.
  5. I decided to alternate my pieces according to colour and arranged them onto the twine. Lay it out on a table and add a little bit of glue to each tassle so that it stays in place.
  6. Once dry you can hang it anywhere from a party table or wedding car and even above the bed. The possibilities are endless!

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How to ask your bridesmaids

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Once all the hubbub around our engagement started dying down, we immediately started thinking about who we wanted in our wedding party. I knew who I was going to ask, but for me the important thing was how I was going to ask.

I waited until we had already decided on the look and colours of our weddings as I wanted it to tie into that. I then tailor made a gift for both girls, one a close friend and the other my niece including small gifts (not the fragrance, that is only for colour inspiration).

The important thing is to give them as much information about your wedding as possible to help them make an informed decision. I decided that I want each of them to get a unique dress within my colour palette so I collected a few colour swatches from my local hardware store to include in the gift pack.

I also gave them a budget for dresses, a ball-park for wedding dates and in which region it would be. I think it is also important for them to know with whom they’ll be sharing the responsibility and fun and what extras I would pay for them or expect them to pay for. This is particularly important if your wedding party needs accommodation.

I made sure to finish it with a nice card asking her to be part of our special day and explaining why. Pretty wrapping also helps!

How did you ask your bridesmaids? Maybe you can steal a few ideas?

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DIY Sequin Tote

DIY Sequin Chanel ToteHello everyone! I recently realized that I had this gaping hole in my life that only a massive canvas tote could fill.  Unfortunately it proved quite impossible to find one with a zip so I decided to make one. If you’ve got access to a sewing machine (or consider yourself one), this is really easy and very affordable. You can even customize it!

DIY Sequin Chanel ToteWhat you need:

  • 1/2 m thick cotton like canvas in cream/white
  • measure tape
  • scissors
  • 35 cm zip
  • 1 m stringed sequins
  • Fabric or Bostic Glue
  • pencil

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Steps:

  1. The first step is to measure and cut out all the pieces. I like using a pencil and measure tape for this. Measure out a 1 m by 38 cm piece for the bag’s body and cut. Check weather your fabric frays as you might have to zig-zag it to keep it from unraveling.
  2. Down the length of your fabric cut two pieces for straps. I wanted mine quite thick and long so I cut two pieces about 80 cm long and 12 cm wide.
  3. As I wanted a pocket on the inside, I used a contrasting stripy fabric swatch of about 20 x 10 cm.
  4. Start by folding over what will be the opening of the bag and sew neatly in place.
  5. If you want to create a side pocket in the bag as I did, you’d have to sew a small piece of fabric (20 x 10 cm) about 8 cm below one of the fold. This will be the back of your bag as the sewing will be slightly visible, but if you carefully match your thread to your fabric this will be barely noticeable. I chose to sew mine simply down the sides and below and then again in the middle, creating two smaller pockets.
  6. The next step is to sew the sides of the bag together. Once this is done, you can flip the top over once more (about 5 cm) and sew about 2,5 cm in leaving a small flap on the inside. This is where you’ll sew in the zip.
  7. I also wanted to box out the bottom of my bag, which was way easier than I imagined even though it is the hardest thing to describe! I struggled to follow others tips as I had used one large piece of fabric instead of two pieces for the body. The simplest way is to flip the bag inside out and draw a pencil line where the bottom of the bag’s fold is. Then take the corners between your fingers and flip them open aligning the side seam with the pencil line on the bottom of the bag, creating a triangle. I hope this kinda makes sense! See here for a pictorial guide. Then you’ll sew the triangle in place and do the same on the other side, taking care to make the two triangles the same size.
  8. The next step is to take your straps, fold them in three and sew it in place. Next you’ll attach it to the bag. Take care to only sew it onto the 2,5 cm you left above the zip. I chose to sew it on the outside and used a square with a cross in it. This is a pretty secure way to sew the strap on so that it can take heavy loads.
  9. BAG done! Phew! Take a breather and decide on which words you want to write on your bag. I liked playing with it and draping a few words onto it to get a rough idea of how it would look and whether it would fit. I finally decided on Chanel, but cities like Paris and Rome and French Words like Merci or even Meow could also have worked.
  10. Once you’ve chosen your word, write it in pencil and then place glue over it and press the sequins in place. I cut a few pieces to avoid having to go over the same line twice, which made it easier to read.
  11. Voila! You’re completely done! If you had any trouble following my steps, please ask and I will clarify. :)
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DIY Book Sleeves

 

DSC_0168textI love collecting all the classic novels from Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and Charles Dickens but have found that hard covers are ridiculously overpriced. So instead I’ve been buying paperbacks which often feature some less than appealing cover art. Instead of replacing replacing them I decided to give them so love by creating these paper sleeves for some of my favourite novels. It makes my bookcase look so pretty and I love matching a design to each novel or author.

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Supplies:

  • Good quality paper (I used some off cut wallpapers, but very thick gift wrap or card stock could also work)
  • Scissors
  • Books

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Steps:

  1. Start by cutting the paper to size. About 4-5 cm  larger than the book.
  2. It is easiest to start by folding the paper in half and then placing the edge of the spine on that half before continuing to fold the other edge for the spine and then wrapping it around the cover and back.
  3. Re-position your book so that the paper is even on the top and bottom and then lightly press over the edges to create a line to fold.
  4. Remove the book, open the paper and fold along the pressed lines. Now fold the cover and back flaps into place.
  5. Place spine of book in the cover and wrap around like a sleeve.

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