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4 Great DIY Home Decor and Design Projects for the Summer

4 Great DIY Home Decor and Design Projects for the Summer

In about three months, summer will kick off, which means more free time to do something meaningful and fulfilling. One thing I am really enthusiastic about is DIY projects, or more precisely, DIY decorations. Of course, there’s never enough time to craft everything you set your mind to, but making a few stylish decorations can fill you with a tremendous sense of achievement. Below, I will give instructions for some projects I plan on tackling this year, but I’ll also leave certain links to the pages I draw my inspiration from.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to find something you like and embark on a crafting adventure of your own. If you have never tried DIY decorations, I strongly recommend you give these ideas a shot. They are relatively easy to pull off. If you’re looking for more daunting and complex tasks, there’ll be a plethora of them in the links provided.

1. Paintings and framed decorations

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    If you’ve no idea where to start with DIY, you can try a project called “Quotes on Canvas.” These pieces are easy to make, you don’t have to know how to paint, and the name is more or less self-explanatory. The only thing you’ll have to decide on is which quote you’re going to use.

    You’ll need a can of white paint, painters tape, a bunch of old newspapers and magazines, spray adhesive, vinyl letters, and either canvas or an old painting you no longer need.

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    Step 1: Cut the newspaper pages or rip them apart. It doesn’t matter, since the pieces do not need to be small. All you need to do is glue random pages and pictures to the canvas.

    Step 2:  When the canvas is completely covered in newspaper or magazines, place your letters so that they spell out the quote you want (make sure the spelling is right, because there’s no going back!).

    Step 3: Use the sponge brush to apply the white paint all over the canvas and letters. Let it dry.

    Step 4: Remove the letters and you’ll have your quote-on-canvas masterpiece.

    Here’s the link to the entire project, just in case you want to follow along with the pictures.

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    2. Glassware projects

    image02

      I recently found a very creative and useful way to cut glass bottles using a string, acetone, and fire. Basically, you submerge a thread of string in acetone, tie it around the part of bottle you want to cut, set the sting on fire, and start spinning the bottle. Once the string has burned out, dip the bottle in some cold water and the piece will fall off. This method opens up a world of possibilities for wine bottle crafts, so even though I can’t decide on what specific decorations I’m going to make, rest assured that a lot of bottles will be cut this summer.

      You can cut out miniature holes in the middle of the bottle, put a candle in it, and make a lantern-like decoration. You can use the bottles to create miniature gardens, or even vessels for serving food. Honestly, there are so many possibilities. Here’s a link that explains how to cut glass in more detail.

      3. Clothes and pillow crafts

      image03

        These kinds of decorations are not really my cup of tea. However, I managed to find something useful and easy to make — Award Ribbons. These are great if you have kids, since they can be used as positive reinforcement for successfully accomplished tasks.

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        You will need some light cardboard, some fabric you are no longer using, glue, and some ribbons. Cut the cardboard into either a square or rectangle frame, and then cut an additional piece in the same shape, only a bit smaller. The next thing you should do is apply glue to the frame and wrap the fabric around it. Cut a piece of paper so that it can fit onto a smaller piece of cardboard and write the name of the achievement on it (Chess Champion, for example). Glue the paper on the smaller piece and then glue that piece to the frame. Finally, glue the ribbons on the back of the cardboard. That’s it!

        You can find more fabric crafts here, and if you want to see the project I described, follow this link.

        4. Furniture projects

        image04

          Here’s something a bit more challenging, yet still pretty simple to build. It’s called a suitcase side table. You’ll need a suitcase you no longer plan on using — but don’t use one that is all torn up! This is a table we’re talking about here and it needs to look nice. You’ll also need four wooden table legs, four wooden square blocks, a drill, some nails, and 16 post screws.

          First, get your four table legs from the same table. If you have a table you are no longer using, just unscrew the legs and reuse them. In order to create good balance, cut 4 blocks of wood (square-shaped and as identical as possible). Glue the wooden legs onto the blocks and use nails to reinforce the bond.

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          You will then need to place your new wooden legs at the back of the suitcase, so make sure you measure the distance between them correctly. Drill four holes through the wooden leg base and through the suitcase at the same time. This way, the holes will align perfectly. Next, use screws from the inside of the suitcase so they go through the holes drilled on the wooden base. Finally, use your post screws to seal everything and you’ll have your suitcase table.

          Here’s a link for the suitcase table, so that you can see how it should look as you go. And as promised, here’s a link to some other DIY summer decorations that you can use for inspiration.

          These projects are quite easy to tackle and shouldn’t be too time-consuming. There is enough room for the whole trial and error process if you are a novice craftsman. Have an interesting summer this year, and I hope you’ll be pleased with your finished decorations!

          Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamcityuniversity/ via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on August 15, 2018

          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

          Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

          Video Summary

          Why is it important to train up our core strength?

          There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

          This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

          Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

          In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

          One Exercise, multiple benefits

          There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

          By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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          When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

          Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

          In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

          What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

          What will happen when you start doing planks every day

            1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

            Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

            • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
            • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
            • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
            • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

            2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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              Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

              Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

              3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                  Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                  A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                  A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                  On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                  5. You’ll improve overall balance

                    Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                    6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                      Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                      7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                        Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                        How to hold a plank position

                        1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                        2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                        3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                        4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                        5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                        6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                        7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                        Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                        Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                          How to improve your plank time gradually

                          1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                          2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                          3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                          Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                          Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                          You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                          • Prolapse
                          • After prolapse surgery
                          • Pelvic pain conditions
                          • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                          • Previous childbirth
                          • Overweight

                          Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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