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Become a DIY Expert With These 25 Projects

Become a DIY Expert With These 25 Projects

DIY doesn’t have to be as hard as everyone makes out. Creating wonderful artwork or repurposing old products into something new and useful is something anyone can do with the right inspiration and enough determination to see the project through.

Below I have curated 25 fun, doable and exciting projects that you can get your hands messy with.

1. River Stone Door Mat

Buy yourself a plain door mat with no decoration. Make sure it has holes to let water drain through. Gather a bunch of river stones (wash them before use) and use silicone to attach them to the door mat. Let that dry and you’ll now have a surprisingly good-feeling door mat underneath your feet.

River Stone Door Mat

    2. Unique Plant Hangers

    Simply drill a hole in an old table spoon, bend the spoon to give it the desired curve and nail the spoon to a wall. Using a thick, long spoon will yield better results. If you are unable to bend the spoon, soften it by using a propane torch on it.

    Spoon Hangers

      3. Add a Bit of Luxury to Your Plain Mugs

      You will require a plain white mug, masking tape, a can of matte-finish, fast-drying gold spray paint, and clear sealer.

      Apply the masking tape in your desired pattern. Use the gold spray paint, keeping it 13–18 inches away from the mug. Wait five minutes then apply the clear sealer. Leave it another five minutes and then remove the masking tape. Note, your new mug will not be dishwasher friendly!

      Gold Mug

        4. Shoebox Cable Management

        With so many electronic accessories about in any one household, keeping all those chargers can be a mess. Repurpose a shoebox by cutting holes in the side and fitting metal eyelets around the holes. And there you go: instant cable management.

        DIY Shoe Box

          5. Paper Plate Gift Basket

          This simple and easily made paper plate basket is perfect for family occasions such as weddings. All you will need is a pair of scissors, a paper plate, a decorative ribbon and scotch tape. Follow the instructions below and wow your friends.

          Paper Plate Basket

            6. Crayon Initials

            Simply map out the desired letters on a piece of paper. Break crayons to suit the size of the letter before applying glue to the paper. If your crayons don’t break evenly, use some sandpaper to get the desired length. Lay the crayons on the glue to set, and finish with a decorative frame.

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            Crayon Initials

              7. Decorative Lace Lampshade

              An old trick, but it still works wonders. Blow up a balloon, apply some wallpaper glue to some lace and stick it around the balloon. Once that is done, leave it to dry. Pop the balloon when it’s dry for an elegant-looking lampshade.

              Lace Lamp

                8. Creative Tin Storage

                Why waste those tins by throwing them away? Repurpose them into a decorative holder for cutlery. What you will need: six tins, paint, paint brush, hammer, nails, small wooden slab and a leather handle.

                Creative-Tin-Craft-Projects29

                  9. Tin Can Grill

                  Another fantastic way to repurpose tin cans. Cut down lengthways several times around the side of the tin can. Cover with tin foil, add coals and a grill rack and you’re ready for a BBQ.

                  Tin Can Grill

                    10. A Mason Jar Organizer

                    Declutter your bathroom with these fantastic Mason jars. If you can handle a drill, this shouldn’t be too hard a task. For full details and a step-by-step guide, visit here.

                    mason jars

                      11. Hanging Book Shelf

                      Drill three holes in a slab of wood, thread some rope through and tie a knot at each end. Hang the suspended slab of wood via a hook screwed into a ceiling beam and you’ve got yourself a beautiful alternative to a table.

                      Hanging Book Shelf

                        12. DIY Dyed Shoes

                        I can’t emphasise enough the importance of the Vaseline with this DIY project. The Vaseline will keep the dye off the rim of your shoes, so it only dyes the fabric. Apply the dye and smudge away.

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                        DIY Dyed Shoes

                          13. Self-Watering Flower Pot Arrangement

                          This flower pot arrangement won’t need much maintenance as there is minimal effort on your part when it comes to watering. Simply fill the bowl at the top with water and let gravity do its work as the water runs down through each pot.

                          Flower Pot Arrangement

                            14. Bottle Cap Magnets

                            Collect your favourite bottle caps and repurpose them into fun fridge magnets. Simply apply hot glue to a magnet then stick that onto the inside of a bottle cap.

                            Magnet bottle caps

                              15. Creative DIY Lantern

                              Make use of all those beer and soda cans you throw away by creating a homemade lantern. Use masking tape at the top and bottom for guidance on where to cut. Slice down the can leaving three centimeters between each slice. Squish down slightly and insert a candle. For extra decoration, spray paint the lantern.

                              DIY Lantern

                                16. Simple Paper Mirror Frame

                                All you’ll need is paper, glue and scissors. Shape the paper in such a way that it will create the pattern. Add glue and you’re all set.

                                DIY-Toilet-Paper-Roll-Round-Mirror-Frame for you

                                  17. Picture to Wood Transfer

                                  Simply follow the instructions below to transfer one of your favourite pictures onto a block of wood for a stunning result.

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                                  Photo to Wood

                                    18. Cable City Skyline

                                    Wires in a home can easily get in the way and just look plain unattractive. But why not use the wires to your advantage and be creative with them? Use wire clips along the wall and construct a design you’d be happy to view every day. Below is an example of what can be done.

                                    Cable organise city skyline

                                      19. Go Tape Crazy

                                      Give your walls a more interesting look. Apply tape in any design you fancy, paint over and then peel off. Could be a great idea for a kid’s bedroom.

                                      go tape crazy

                                        20. Wired Picture Frame

                                        No need to throw away old picture frames. Repurpose them by taking off the back, adding wire or string across the entire frame and pegging your favourite pictures.

                                        wire picture frame

                                          21. Create Your Own Home Mat

                                          Cover areas of the mat you don’t want to paint with card, and paint the rest. Simple yet effective DIY project.

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                                          home mat

                                            22. Planter Made From Recycled Products

                                            Use old shallow tins (wash before use), and attach plain wooden pegs around the tin. Pop in a plant and you’re done. A perfect little DIY project!

                                            DIY Planter

                                              23. Origami Gift Box

                                              A simple yet fantastic and unique way to give gifts. This origami gift box even has room for a little message to be slipped inside.

                                              blue gift box

                                                24. Geometric Photo Display

                                                A truly unique way to display pictures. Sketch out a design on paper before you start applying pins to the wall. Tie string around each pin to create your design and then use pegs or paper clips to hang the pictures.

                                                geometric photo display

                                                  25. Rustic Step Ladder Shelf

                                                  Repurpose an old and worn wooden step ladder into a fully functional shelf. Sand down the whole ladder to avoid any sharp edges or splinters. Add flat wooden blocks across the steps to create a larger shelving surface.

                                                  Re-purposed Ladder

                                                    By now, you should have enough inspiration to re-create one of these projects or use them as a guide to create something totally unique.

                                                    But if you are still in search of that little spark to help kick start you into ‘DIY project mode,’ why not bookmark these fantastic interior design blogs, or follow these wonderful people on Instagram.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Tools Perspective Hero Image / VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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                                                    Published on November 14, 2018

                                                    Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                                    Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                                    With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                                                    For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                                                    In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                                                    Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                                                    Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                                                    It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                                                    For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                                                    Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                                                    Symptoms of Fatigue

                                                    Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                                                    • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                                                    • mental blocks
                                                    • lack of motivation
                                                    • headache
                                                    • dizziness
                                                    • muscle weakness
                                                    • slowed reflexes and responses
                                                    • impaired decision-making and judgement
                                                    • moodiness, such as irritability
                                                    • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                                                    • reduced immune system function
                                                    • blurry vision
                                                    • short-term memory problems
                                                    • poor concentration
                                                    • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                                                    Causes of Fatigue

                                                    The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                                                    • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                                                    • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                                                    • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                                                    • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                                                    Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                                                    Medical Causes of Fatigue

                                                    If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                                                    Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                                                    Anemia

                                                    Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                                                    Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                                                    There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                                                    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                                                    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                                                    This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                                                    Diabetes

                                                    Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                                                    Sleep Apnea

                                                    Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                                                    Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                                                    Thyroid disease

                                                    An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                                                    Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                                                    • Lack of sleep
                                                    • Too much sleep 
                                                    • Alcohol and drugs 
                                                    • Sleep disturbances 
                                                    • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                                                    • Poor diet 

                                                    Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                                                    • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                                                    • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                                                    • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                                                    • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                                                    Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                                                    Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                                                    • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                                                    • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                                                    • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                                                    How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                                                    Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                                                    1. Tell The Truth

                                                    Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                                                    To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                                                    Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                                                    The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                                                    One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                                                    • How you feel
                                                    • What time of day it is
                                                    • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                                                    • How your mind and body reacts

                                                    This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                                                    2. Reduce Your Commitments

                                                    When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                                                    If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                                                    When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                                                    Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                                                    3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                                                    If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                                                    Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                                                    If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                                                    Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                                                    Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                                                    4. Express More Gratitude

                                                    Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                                                    It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                                                    Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                                                    5. Focus On Yourself

                                                    Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                                                    There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                                                    But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                                                    We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                                                    6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                                                    Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                                                    Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                                                    The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                                                    Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                                                    7. Take a Power Nap

                                                    When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                                                    Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                                                    This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                                                    8. Take More Exercise

                                                    The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                                                    Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                                                    The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                                                    You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                                                    9. Get More Quality Sleep

                                                    To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                                                    Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                                                    My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                                                    10. Improve Your Diet

                                                    Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                                                    Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                                                    On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                                                    To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                                                    Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                                                    Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                                                    11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                                                    Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                                                    When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                                                    Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                                                    My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                                                    12. Get Hydrated

                                                    Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                                                    Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                                                    If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                                                    The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                                                    If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

                                                    [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                                                    [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                                                    [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                                                    [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                                                    [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                                                    [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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