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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 February 21, 2019

                                                              Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                                              Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                                              Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                                                              If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                                                              When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                                                              In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                                                              1. Salmon

                                                              Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                                                              It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                                                              Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                                                              Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                                                              Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                                                              Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                                                              2. Blueberries

                                                              Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                                                              Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                                                              Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                                                              Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                                                              Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                                                              3. Turmeric

                                                              Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                                                              Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                                                              Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                                                              Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                                                              Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                                                              • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                                                              • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                                                              • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                                                              • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                                                              4. Coffee

                                                              Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                                                              Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                                                              Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                                                              Coffee can also:

                                                              • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                                                              • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                                                              • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                                                              • Improve your memory.
                                                              • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                                                              5. Broccoli

                                                              What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                                                              Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                                                              Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                                                              Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                                                              Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                                                              6. Bone broth

                                                              Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                                                              Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                                                              Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                                                              Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                                                              Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                                                              With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                                                              Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                                                              7. Walnuts

                                                              Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                                                              Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                                                              Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                                                              Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                                                              8. Eggs

                                                              For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                                                              Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                                                              Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                                                              9. Dark chocolate

                                                              You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                                                              Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                                                              Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                                                              Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                                                              Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                                                              Conclusion

                                                              Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                                                              In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                                                              If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                                                              More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

                                                              [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                                                              [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                                                              [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                                                              [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                                                              [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                                                              [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                                                              [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                                                              [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                                                              [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                                                              [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                                                              [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                                                              [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                                                              [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                                                              [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                                                              [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                                                              [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                                                              [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                                                              [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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