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Last Updated on August 23, 2018

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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                                                              Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                                                              10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                                                              10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                                                              There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                                                              One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                                                              In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                                                              Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                                                              1. Cat Camel Stretch

                                                              Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                                                              Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                                                              Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                                                              Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                                                              2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                                                              This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                                                              Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                                                              The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                                                              Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                                                              Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                                                              3. Jumping Jacks

                                                              Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                                                              Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                                                              4. Abductor Side Lifts

                                                              Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                                                              Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                                                              5. Balancing Table Pose

                                                              This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                                                              Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                                                              ablab

                                                                6. Leg Squats

                                                                Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                                                                Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                                                                The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                                                                7. Push Ups

                                                                You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                                                                An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                                                                Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                                                                This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                                                                8. Bicycle Crunches

                                                                There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                                                                Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                                                                9. Lunges

                                                                Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                                                                Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                                                                This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                                                                10. Bicep Curls

                                                                You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                                                                Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                                                                Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                                                                Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                                                                Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                                                                These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                                                                You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                                                                Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                                                                More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                                                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                                                Reference

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