Tag Archives: home projects

Cutting my brain some slack…

Three kids is so hardcore. Guys – it really is. It’s so wonderful and so beautiful and so ‘whole’ and SO LOUD and messy and chaotic and brain-freezing.

Brain-freezing. My brain has deteriorated a million fold since having these gorgeous terrors. On a day to day basis, I have had to stop in my tracks and roll through the possibilities the day might demand: fitkids t-shirt, fruit for school, some fee I’ve missed, some craft I need, some dress up, sport, show and tell, playdate… it felt like an evil minefield. I need to limit my in-the-moment thinking. And so I got to the point where scrolling through Pinterest looking at ‘life organizers’ became a blissful pleasure. I felt organised just looking at them, a bit like standing in the gym feeling like you’re losing weight. So despite my radical lack of spare time and baby-not-on-me-ness, I thought I’d take up the challenge and get creative. Also, secretly, I wanted selfish, creative alone time – the kind my darling DIY hubby always has when he’s building something.

So I decided to make (a version of) THIS:

So, I popped on over to my in-laws (who have everything you might ever need, ever), and found an old, crusty, dirty, spider-web-covered window frame. I scraped it down, pulled the broken glass from it, chipped off the dried putty, and cleaned it up (rustic-style).

I then went on the hunt for metal sheeting (I wanted to do magnets instead of the chalkboard – my OCD wouldn’t cope with half-clean chalkboard smudges). So I phoned around and got quotes and “SCREEEEEECH”. My DIY project came to a dramatic halt when I was quoted R600 for 10 pieces of the thinnest, cheapest metal I could find.

… (bleugh)

The frame sat clean and lonely with all the other DIY leftovers, like those old toys in Toy Story.

Until my darling hubby went on a hunt to find metal and unknowingly help me finish it for my bday. So this bday – I got the heaviest present I’ve ever received. 10 sheets of rustic worn metal, perfectly sized to fit in my neglected yet patient frame. (Along with some other ‘prettier’ pressies, don’t worry).

Together we fitted the metal and mounted it on the wall, and I used old scrabble tile magnets I’d made (which had lost their appeal) and laminated signs and stuck adhesive magnets on the back, and voil la! DONE!

Quite cool huh?

Instantly gratifying DIY – Magnetic Letters

So… nursing, changing, bouncing, rocking, and cuddling a newborn is great, but it’s also tiring. And peppered in between is the never ending list of washing, desperately searching for breast pads, rushed toilet breaks, reheating coffee, handing baby to hubby so you can give your other kids some attention, trying to sneak in a quick shower, Disney Junior (DSTV channel 309), and throwing a real quick 5-food group/eat-your-rainbow dinner together.

After actually birthing, one needs some other instant gratification in this new life of blurry nights and debating with hubby who was up longer the night before.

A while back I found this OLD box of Scrabble. In my true minimalist style I almost threw it straight in the ‘donate’ pile (we have another, much newer Scrabble set) until my light bulb moment. Two birds, one stone: a holiday activity with my 4year old and a way to learn letters and words.

Brace yourselves: this one is a doozy. Are you ready? MAGNETIC SCRABBLE LETTERS. Have I blown your mind? I thought so.

Here’s what you need: 


  • Old scrabble tiles.
  • A4 adhesive magnetic sheet (found at PNA for R39 – maternity leave budget friendly).
  • Scissors.
  • Your handy helper.

Method: Again, brace yourselves, it’s complicated. Cut the adhesive magnet sheet into squares and stick them onto the back of the scrabble tiles. Did you get that or should I explain it again? Not to worry – I’ve got step-by-step pictures for you all…





Is that not the easiest, simplest and quite profoundly gratifying DIY project, with years of benefit (as long as you don’t lose all the vowels?)

Ta daaaaa.