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30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of

30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of

Do you know what’s great about DIY projects? Everything. When you make items yourself, you can choose projects that suit your tastes, create them in your choice of colours/textures, and then use them to your heart’s content.

Whether you’re aiming for efficiency, decoration, fun, or self-sufficiency, there’s a list of 30 awesome DIY projects just waiting for you. Pick a few that you might like to try out:

1. Bird Feeder Wreath

Bundt Bird Feeder

    A circular mold, wide ribbon, some birdseed, and some melted suet are all you need to help feed our feathery friends over the winter months.

    Find out how to make it here!

    2. Upside-Down Tomato Planter

    Upside Down Planter

      Just save your plastic soda bottles, cut the bottoms off, ease in a tomato plant seedling, and pour in some earth. Then hang it up, water it regularly, and watch your tomatoes grow! This also works well for herbs and peppers.)

      Find out how to make it here!

      3. Yogurt Cheese

      Yogurt Cheese

        Place a few layers of cheesecloth in a colander, pour in plain yogurt, and let it drain overnight: you’ll have a creamy cheese when you wake up the next day.

        Find out how to make it here!

        4. Yarn-Wrapped Painted Jars

        Yarn-Wrapped Jars

          Wrap some yarn or twine around a jar, paint it, and peel the yarn away once it’s dry: you’ll be left with a gorgeous luminary for tea lights or candles.

          Find out how to make it here!

          5. Baked Salt Dough Tags

          Salt Dough Tags

            Perfect for Valentine’s gifts, baby/bridal showers, or any other occasion.

            Find out how to make it here!

            6. Leafy Stepping-Stones

            Stepping Stones

              It’s easy to make beautiful stepping-stones for your garden with large leaves (like rhubarb), cement, and a trowel.

              Find out how to make it here!

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              7. Shoe Holder Planter

              Shoe Holder Planter

                Use an old over-the-door shoe holder to grow all kinds of plants. This is great for growing herbs outside your kitchen, or on a balcony wall.

                Find out how to make it here!

                8. Tea or Coffee Cup with a Message

                Sharpie Tea Cups

                  Grab a teacup and a Sharpie marker, write a message on the inside bottom of a cup (or on the side of it), and bake for 30 min at 350 F to make the writing permanent. Great for bridal party gifts!

                  Find out how to make it here!

                  9. Pebble Placemat

                  Pebble Placemat

                    Use a hot glue gun to glue flat beach pebbles to circles of felt or wood. These placemats are perfect to use beneath teapots and warm serving bowls, and they look great at garden parties.

                    Find out how to make it here!

                    10. Needle-Felted Toys

                    Felted Gnome

                      Use a barbed needle and some wool roving to make Waldorf-style toys for kids of all ages.

                      Find out how to make it here!

                      11. Water-less Snow Globe

                      Waterless Snow Globe

                        Grab an empty jar, a dollhouse miniature, some glue, and fake snow, and you’ll have a water-free snow globe decoration.

                        Find out how to make it here!

                        12. Hanging Garden Basket

                        Hanging Lettuce Basket

                          A wire basket, some moss, and some seedlings are all that’s needed to create a gorgeous hanging basket of edibles. Try a mix of lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, or even strawberries!

                          Find out how to make it here!

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                          13. Reusable “Swiffer” Pads

                          DIY Swiffer Cover

                            If you know the basics of knitting or crocheting, you can create your own reusable pad covers for your sweeper.

                            Find out how to make it here!

                            14. Lip Balm

                            Lip Balms

                              Make your own amazing lip balms with carnauba or bee’s wax, a carrier oil (olive, almond, etc.) and your favourite scent/flavour.

                              Find out how to make it here!

                              15. Floor Stencils

                              Stencilled Floor

                                Instead of throw rugs, consider dressing up old wooden or concrete floors with painted stencil designs.

                                Find out how to make it here!

                                16. Laundry Detergent

                                Laundry Detergent

                                  Just in case you run out of laundry soap (or want to make a cost-effective detergent in the scent you like best), make your own with a few household ingredients.

                                  Find out how to make it here!

                                  17. Cake Stands

                                  Cake Stand

                                    Use industrial-strength adhesive to glue thrift shop glassware together to make cake stands and pedestal bowls.

                                    Find out how to make it here!

                                    18. Nail Polish Key Identification

                                    Nailpolish Keys

                                      Use different colours of nail polish on your keys so you can easily tell them apart. Just remember which colour you used for each door!

                                      Find out how to make it here!

                                      19. Cassette Tape Wallet

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                                      Cassette Wallet

                                        You might have never played a cassette tape, but chances are you’ve seen them lying around. Transform one into a wallet for a bit of retro fabulousness.

                                        Find out how to make it here!

                                        20. Painted Garden Stones

                                        Painted Garden Stones

                                          Keep track of what you’ve planted where by painting large stones for your garden.

                                          Find out how to make it here!

                                          21. Wood-Burning Camp Stove

                                          Camp Stove

                                            All you need is a large tin can, a few metal tent pegs/stakes, and a drill to make this camp stove.

                                            Find out how to make it here!

                                            22. “Fairy” Garden

                                            Fairy Garden

                                              Great for small spaces or as a project with your kids: grab an old bucket, drawer, or bowl, add some earth and small plants. Then tuck in some miniatures, and you have a tiny, perfect garden.

                                              Find out how to make it here!

                                              23. String Lanterns

                                              DIY String Lanterns

                                                It’s amazing how easy it is to make these elegant string-globe lanterns! All you need is twine, corn starch, glue, balloons, and spray paint. Easy peasy.

                                                Find out how to make it here!

                                                24. Suitcase Dog Bed

                                                Suitcase Dog Bed

                                                  A vintage suitcase transforms into a dog bed with a little TLC and some fluffy pillows.

                                                  Find out how to make it here!

                                                  25. Jar Garden Mini Terrarium

                                                  Jar Garden

                                                    Fill empty jars with pebbles, soil, moss, and small plants for mini gardens you can place around your home. Feel free to add in some miniatures for extra impact!

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                                                    Find out how to make it here!

                                                    26. Wallpaper Dresser

                                                    Wallpaper Dresser

                                                      Furniture gets an updated look with a fresh coat of paint and some strips of wallpaper in complementary hues.

                                                      Find out how to make it here!

                                                      27. Clothes Hanger Jewellery Storage

                                                      Jewellery Hanger

                                                        Add a few eyelet screws to a wooden coat hanger and voila: instant jewellery organization.

                                                        Find out how to make it here!

                                                        28. Bath Salts

                                                        Bath Salts

                                                          Epsom salts or coarse sea salt is mixed with your favourite essential oils and a few drops of food colouring to make luxurious bath treats.

                                                          Find out how to make it here!

                                                          29. Paint Swatch Wall

                                                          Paint Swatch Wall

                                                            Can’t decide what colour to paint your wall? Why not choose “all of them”? This decor was created from free paint colour swatches (available at any home reno store), pinned to the wall with straight pins.

                                                            Find out how to make it here!

                                                            30. Recycled Leather and Wood Shelves

                                                            Wood and Leather Shelves

                                                              We could all do with more storage space, and you can create some pretty fabulous shelves with some recycled wood, a couple of thrift shop belts, and a few nails.

                                                              Find out how to make it here!

                                                              Hopefully some of these will inspire some creativity at your end, and if you find yourself in a hardcore DIY headspace, a great place to find more projects is on Pinterest: either do a search for your craft of choice, or just type DIY into the search field to see what piques your interest.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                                                              Catherine Winter

                                                              Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                                                              Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                                                              How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                                              How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                                              Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                                                              To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                                                              Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                                                              1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                                                              Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                                                              Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                                                              To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                                                              2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                                                              Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                                                              If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                                                              Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                                                              3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                                                              Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                                                              Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                                                              4. Feed Your Brain

                                                              Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                                                              This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                                                              Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                                                              Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                                                              5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                                                              According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                                                              Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                                                              Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                                                              6. Write it Down

                                                              If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                                                              It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                                                              You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                                                              7. Listen to Music

                                                              Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                                                              8. Visual Concepts

                                                              In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                                                              Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                                                              Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                                                              9. Teach Someone Else

                                                              Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                                                              Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                                                              10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                                                              Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                                                              So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                                                              Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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                                                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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