Label: DIY

First Birthday Decor

Judah, our second, has just turned one, and many of you will have seen the photo that we will have posted with him in his cute ‘J’ top next to his one sign.

This sign is my version of the many you can find on the internet with a quick search, We (Kiri) wanted a sign that would be extra special and ‘just for him’. Since he is the second, there are a lot of things that he doesn’t get to have first hand, as most of the time Nathanael is there with him or the day / occasion has to be tailored more toward the toddler end rather than the baby end. As we all know that an unhappy toddler is an unhappy Mummy and a grumpy Daddy.

So this sign would be one of those ‘ just for Judah’ moments where he could enjoy looking at himself in a picture covered ONE SIGN.

This is what I came up with. See below for how it was made.

Firstly it was to find a piece of wood that I have stored in the garage for, just a time as this – I’m not a hoarder but when it comes to DIY you never know when that piece of wood, or bolt or hook might come in handy and as it turns out I had just a piece of wood required for this task.

The piece was cut 46cm wide and 100cm high, this meant that I could have a thick centre column of the 1 to get enough ‘big’ photo’s on it, the vertical column measured 22cm and I kept the same width for the bottom bar and the top diagonal section.

Then it needed a stand so I used the off cuts to make the stand so that it didn’t fall over or needed to be leaned against a wall or otherwise. The piece of wood was already painted white but I gave it a quick sand down and the edges a coat of white spray paint just so it would look neat if there was some white space between the photos – it turns out that we had too many photos — which probably was always going to be the case as when it’s your baby; every photo is the cutest.

Then it came to epic collage making, in all honesty I left Kiri to choose the photos and print them out on glossy paper for me. I opted to use double-sided sticky tape to stick them down. I did buy some foam sticky pads from a cheap discount store but they were useless so Kiri came to rescue for the sticky tape and I came to my senses…. note to self – always listen to wife’s instructions…

In the end Kiri was very happy with it and I actually finished it over a week before his birthday. It was getting close and Kiri was getting nervous, and gave me some “gentle encouragement” to start it.

He had a great birthday and here is the ‘Instagram worthy’ shot of the little fella.

Happy First Birthday Judah – you are a joy! We love you!

LS

 

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How to Build a Safety Gate Mount for the Bottom of the Stairs

Probably the longest title in the world, but following on from my post about the best ways to child proof your home, I had a few comments about the mount for the bottom of the stairs, essentially making it a DIY Safety Gate ‘project’.

This mount will mean that you will not need to drill holes in your wall or leave marks on wall paper or paint as the mount will take all of the pressure rather than the banister or the wall.

The back story to this mount is that we now in our home have a toddler who uses the toilet and last time around with baby proofing we just put the gates to block off the lounge and dining room (now play room) as the stair gate idea just wasn’t working after going through a number of options.

This is how I built it and how it works with a safety gate, the gate I’m using with it is the Lindam MK0018-000 as it states ‘one hand’ opening which is pretty true and it doesn’t auto close like some of the other gates we have.

1. I measured the thickness of the banister and then headed to my local DIY store for an appropriate piece of wood that was at least 6cm in width and 4cm in depth. I drew up ‘very official’ plans (on a sticky note) to show Kiri what the heck I was on about.

2. Using some spare would that I had in the garage I built a frame to go around the banister rather than fixing the batten to it – removing the need for drilling holes in places that will annoy you once you remove the gate in a couple of years.

3. Fixed it all together for a trail run – to see if it actually works and was strong enough to take the pressure points of the gate (and also to get the wife’s approval!!!!)

4. Sanded and painted to match the banister so that it was less combasome and fit in with the rest of the hall way. I also added felt pads to the inside so that it wouldn’t mark the banister over the period of time it was up and because no drilling was required there ‘should’ be no decorating needed once it’s taken down in a few years.

The reason for framing the banister was that I’ve seen similar done with tie-wraps but think that this looks more aesthetically pleasing and should be stronger as it is a connected frame.

Happy baby proofing.

LS

 

 

 

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Garden Renovation

This is the story of our front garden from back in December 2013 when we bought the house until now. Our front garden is only small and had a lot of bushes and shrubs around the bay windows and border. The ones around the windows had gone ‘a little’ wide due to their lack of attention from the previous owners and I was fighting a losing battle to try to get them into some sort of aesthetically pleasing shape. I would look out at the gardens opposite with envy.

So last spring I decided to take extreme measures. One set of bushes were really bad for Kiri’s hay fever so I started hacking at those first – I originally thought there was just 2 bushes that set her hay fever off, but after hacking for about an hour or so it came clear that there were far more than originally thought – 6. Overall there were over 20 bushes that I had to cut out in a 3 by 1 metre radius – a bit much.

This was the garden when we moved in, it did get slightly worse than this before starting (but I forgot to take an official ‘before’ photo).

With the big shrubs taken out, what I planted instead were much smaller shrubs that would make the front garden feel bigger and try to limit the amount of snails, slugs and rubbish that collected in the big bushes.

I also dug up all the grass and laid new grass seed – while I was digging up the grass I found an inspection chamber for the water hidden under the grass (not sure that was meant to be like that). I also moved some bushes from the side of house to the front to finish off the original border that was only on one side of the garden. This is what Nathanael is watering just before Judah was born last September.

That was the progress made last summer. It is now time to start phase 2 – which is basically carry on from where I left off.

This is how it looks currently.

The bushes I transplanted from the other side of house have taken well and are ‘leafing’ – my gardeners knowledge is showing here, but they are budding and growing so they have recently been pruned to help them grow. The grass seed sown last September has grown reasonable well, but there are some patches, but I bought plenty of seed so intend to sow some more this September.

That will mean that this side of the front is finish and will fall into the general maintenance category. The other side of the garden needs some of the old grass removing in order to lay new seed.

I will keep you updated with my progress. Hopefully it will be the finished front garden on the next update.

LS

 

 

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