Cook Book Holder

Hi guys! Here’s a quick idea on how to help you in the kitchen whilst cooking.

When using a cookbook the the frustrating part is that it usually takes up most of the space on the counter so why not do this simple trick that will free up some space and keep your cookbooks clean.

Simple solution? Do it the tight arse way and use a pants coat hanger. Just hook it on to your kitchen cupboard and there you have it, you freed up some space to help cook your delicious meal and you saved $20 from buying a cookbook holder.

Enjoy!

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Floating Tea Light Tree

I’d like to finally announce a Dave original creation, my Floating Tea Light Tree!

After months of trying to figure out the best possible way of creating this I couldn’t believe how easy and cheap it was.

Firstly you require a tree branch, how big you want is up to you but I used one that was roughly a metre long.

Next you need some clear fishing wire which u can purchase from any fishing retailer but I chose to buy it from Kmart and it only cost me $10.

Next you require the ornaments. I picked up these ornaments during Xmas clearance and managed to pick up a pack of 2 for only $4. I later discovered these can also be bought from various $2 stores so you don’t need to wait till Xmas for them. I used about 5 of the ornaments for this project.

Lastly some clear 3M hooks will hang your tree branch in mid air. Depending on the weight of the branch you need hooks that will hold the particular weight.

Align the hooks in a row and tie the fishing wire around the strongest parts of the branch. Tie a knot at the end of the wire to hook directly onto the hooks. Make sure to have someone help you with this as its hard to do on your own.

Once the branch is suspended make a double knot again on the wire for each ornament making sure they are secure.

Your finishing touch will be the tea light candles placed in the ornaments and there you have it! You very own floating tea light tree. It makes a great decorative centre piece over the dining table and also is an energy efficient lighting source.

Dave’s price: $25

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Budget Japanese Zen Garden

Hi guys! I’m gonna show you how to create your own Japanese zen garden at a budget cost. Generally Japanese garden are very expensive to create costing you thousands! I say forget that! Lets do it the tightass way!

Firstly you need a decide where you want to create this. I chose to take a space from my existing lawn 2m x 2m which gives you enough space to plant a tree and decorate with some surroundings.

Dig up the grass and to scale and make sure to get a piece of wood at the size you require (mine was 2m) so that you have a barrier to separate the grass from the garden.

Next you need to buy some weed matting which you can buy from Masters or Bunnings. Depending on the size you need this will roughly cost about $5. Thus by laying this down you will eliminate the grass and weeds to shoot through once u put your rocks down.

Next you need to pick out what plants and rocks you require. If you’re not fussed about the size of the tree then you can buy it smaller as you will save some money. I chose to use a Robinia tree which grows quite fast and has a beautiful green look to it which I love. I purchased one for $30 at a local nursery. Chris & Marie’s plant farm is a great place to start as they buy in bulk and sell at great prices. Feel free to do your research on what trees look great. Japanese maple is the most Japanese you can get for your garden but they can be expensive so it’s up to you on how much you want to pay.

Next you require rocks which symbolise the earth. Most people pay for big rocks. Seriously it’s stupid to pay so the tightass way to do it is find new housing developments being built as there is always construction materials like rocks and discarded wood lying around that will be thrown out anyway.

You need some smaller plants to surround the rocks. The ones I chose are Arcadia which u can find at Bunnings for $11 each and scelanthus which is a moss crawling plant and they were $2.50 each.

After you laid down the weed mat, cut out a hole large enough to plant your tree, rocks and other plants.

Once completed you need rocks to finish it off. It took me ages to find the ones I needed as I wanted rocks small enough to be able to make patterns with (as per traditional zen gardens)
I found a great nursery in Hoppers Crossing that sold them for $56 per cubic meter, but you won’t require that much so only get half of that. The rock size I used is 7mm.

Top it off with a nice decorative Japanese statue to give it that final touch. I got my ceramic statue from Bunnings for $10 as opposed to $185 from most nurseries.

Like I said a garden like this usually costs over $1000, Dave’s price just under $150.

Enjoy!

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Home made Blackboard

Here’s a great idea on how to make your own blackboard. Sent by Maria Blampied
Buy a round edged piece of wood board and two letters from spotlight but you can buy any style shape of board or can use stars etc instead of letters.

Get some gold paint for the letters from spotlight for less that $5 and blackboard paint from riot art for about $16. Chalk and duster from any $2 shop.

Do two coats of blackboard paint on the board, with two hours drying time for each coat. Same deal for painting the letters. Use a low heat craft glue gun to stick the letters on, you can buy that from any craft store. There’s still practically the whole bottle of blackboard paint left, it goes a long way. Also have a bit of fun with jars that you can buy for $2 from ikea/cheap shops.

Use tape to line around where u want the blackboard label to be and when the drying time is over take the tape off carefully.

Very fun and they make great gifts!

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Light up LED tree

I was in Sydney over the holidays and I discovered a Japanese themed store and I was intrigued over these cherry blossom trees that light up that they had in the store and they were selling them for roughly $150.

So I gave myself the challenge to make a cheaper one.

All you need is a branch off a tree (something not too flimsy) I used one from my front yard.

Can of white spray paint from Bunnings at $6. I like to get a white satin finish. You don’t need to spray paint it but it looks a lot nicer in my option. Spray paint 2 coats evenly and let dry for 20mins before a second coat.

You need a small narrow vase, I used one from ikea which was 0.99 cents (see image below)

Lastly you need some led light that are battery operated. The best time to buy Xmas lights is after Xmas when they are on clearance. I chose ones from ikea that were discounted to $2. (See image below)

Lightly place the lights over the branches while trying not to break them. If your having trouble with the vase staying up then use some blu tack.

And there you have it, your own Japanese style led blossom.

Japanese store price: $150

Dave’s price: $12

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Home-made Solar Sun Jars

Here is an idea on how to make your own sun jars. Courtesy of Maria Blampied! She was nice enough to share here cool design on my website and its definitely worth making.

You can buy a sun jar for $30 or more in the shops or online. I’ve seen them as high as $60 online not including shipping.

You can use the small $2 “essentials” solar garden lights which are sold separately from target, buy $2 jars with flip lids from the reject shop and Ikea. Lids need to be big enough to fit the solar light underneath.

Can of frosting paint cost about $10 from bunnings but can be used to frost 4 or 5 jars. Best to frost the outside instead of inside as it dries better, looks prettier and is more even. Frost 2-3 coats. But don’t frost the lid bc it needs to remain clear for the solar panel to work effectively! Take apart the solar lights from the stake. You can screw off the panel, battery and wires from the aluminum housing but keeping it is also fine if it fits to the lid.

Gaffer taped the solar panel and guts to the inside of the lid or you can super glue it if you prefer, either way is fine as long as the glue doesnt touch the panel. Wipe any paint residue from the top of the lid just to be sure and keep it in the sun indoors on a window sill.

You’ve got yourself a snazzy sun jar on the cheap and easy! Makes a great gift and a nice decorative element to the backyard.

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