The roads are clearing up and commute times have become a thing of the past as the country takes to working from home during this mandatory COVID-19 induced self-isolation period.
And with bars, restaurants and gyms also closed, many of us haven’t known what to do with the sudden influx of spare time – that is, everyone except the DIY savvy.
Reportedly flocking to Bunnings in droves, customers were after paint, home improvement and garden products. Clearing shelves, customers had various DIYs on their mind, with Bunnings revealing that articles such as “10 fast growing plants for privacy” and “How much paint do I need?” as generating the most views of late.
But there might be a method to their madness. Managing director of Bunnings, Mike Schneider told News.com.au that they were hearing from customers that DIY projects were offering valuable mental health relief.
“having projects to do … around the home is providing a useful physical and mental distraction to the challenges of extended periods of time at home,” he said.
DIY-ideas for around your home:
Start a veggie patch
It’s one of those things we’re always ‘getting around to’ – but how many of us actually have a functioning veggie patch? While a herb garden is a good start, try to get a bit more creative with the extra time.
Research what will grow well in your area this time of year and map out some garden beds, or if you’re renting, secure some nice pots you’ll be able to pick up and move with you.
HINT: As we approach the colder months, spinach is a yes for most Australian climates this time of year!
Upcycle your TV-unit
Got any outdated furniture? Rather than throwing it out, why not try a lick of paint? Whether it be an old TV unit, your coffee table, bedhead or chest-of-drawers, a DIY restoration can do wonders.
And it doesn’t have to be a lick of paint, either. Plenty of DIYers have success achieving a more modern feel by sanding down timber furniture to remove the 90s varnish and reveal the beautiful woodgrain underneath (with a clear sealant promptly put on top), or by adding decoupage (like wallpaper for furniture) for a more artsy look.
Various Facebook groups exist online to help you through the process, as well as plenty of YouTube resources.
Tulip planting season
Canberra’s famous Floriade has been cancelled this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bask in the beauty of this bulbed gem. Tulip planting season is late April, so it’s best to secure the bulbs now so that you’re ready – then be rewarded with your very own garden show come spring!
To flower, the bulbs require a cold climate. If this isn’t your backyard, be sure to treat the bulbs to a dark spot in your fridge before planting (but check the instructions for your variety).
Paint your outdoor furniture
Unless you live in a climate where you can easily entertain outside 12-months of the year, most of us find that our outdoor furniture is rather neglected – and looking a bit ratty!
If you have some grungy wooden pieces, why not spend a little time bringing them back to life? Simply sand the pieces down and add some primer before finishing with some exterior paint.
And as for colour, white is certainly having a moment right now (and undoubtedly, always will be) but if you’re game, try a subtle green or poppy red to add a spring of life to your furnishing.
Build your very own terrarium
Speaking of things having ‘a moment’ right now, indoor plants are definitely all the rage. Up your indoor plant game and make your very own succulent terrarium.
All you’ll need is a terrarium pot, a little potting mix, some stones and your favourite succulent, and you’ll be entering the hallowed halls of the ultimate home décor in no time.
Related: How to find your plant/life balance
Fix-up your storage problem
Unless you’re a strict minimalist, most of us have at least one designated storage room. Whether that be your guest bedroom, rumpus or garage, I think most of us would agree that if Marie Kondo were to come in, she would be disgusted at the mess.
And while it might not be messy per se, the way you arrange your storage can make all the difference.
Take advantage of the spare time to put together a flatpack shelf, then go through all your items. Throw away whatever you don’t need and keep the rest, putting it in stylish opaque containers you can arrange neatly on the new shelving.
By using containers, the item will still be accessible, yet their neat arrangement will be easier on the eyes, with your guests no longer being made burden to your mismatched collection of extensions leads, wires and no-longer-used DVDs.
In truth, it’s the adult version of hiding everything under the bed – and we’re not apologising!
Make a wooden bath caddy
Ever been in the bath but wished you had a clever place to stash your obligatory glass of wine or latest read?
No longer will you be a slave to bringing in a chair from the ‘other room’, or delicately balancing your things on the toilet seat, after building this DIY bathroom caddy.
Although a little more complicated than some of the other projects, once you’re done, you’ll be able to reward yourself with a nice relaxing bubble bath (without the need to hop half-out every time you want to have a sip of wine).
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Design your own textured wall art
One for the non-artists among us, this simple textured wall art paint project is one that anyone can master. Simply sporadically add some Selleys ‘Spakfilla’ to a sheet of MDF (your canvas). Let it dry (24-hours) then roughly paint over it – this is modern art; you’re going for texture. For a dimensional finish, be sure to apply two similar tones of the same colour – Bunnings recommend white.
Make your own nesting tables
Make yourself a pair of highly Instagram-able nesting tables with this clever DIY. Although it might look complicated, since the tabletops are pre-cut at Bunnings from kitchen benchtop (special orders desk) at its core the project only requires measuring, drilling and cutting (the timber legs) – making it very achievable!
Once finished, seal with a coat of clear satin varnish and these will be ready to take up permanent residence in your living room.
Words by Kathryn Lee
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