DIY daybed with faux planks

Upcycled DIY headboard {Heather's Handmade Life}

Not only was our basement pull-out couch totally uncomfortable as a guest bed, it managed to be both sharp and lumpy as a couch. Rather than buy a replacement sofa bed, I reasoned, why not build a totally awesome custom daybed?

My husband thought we should just stick it out with the lumpy couch, but my eyes were already glittering with Pin-spiration. Yes! We’re doing it!

The awful couch sold quickly on Kijiji and we put the money toward a brand-new pillow-top double mattress. Having bought ourselves a new mattress for our bedroom last year, we have learned that it pays to splurge on a good one.

For a while, we just had a mattress on the floor of the family room. There were many, many sketches and discussions about the best way to build the daybed since we couldn’t find existing plans for what we wanted. But after some prodding (I may have yelled “Just buy some boards and BUILD SOMETHING! ANYTHING!”), my handy husband built a very solid frame with 2x4s and a couple of sheets of MDF.

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …

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DIY paper mâché robot

There’s nothing like a long — I mean really long — creative project to keep your kids busy and happy. Play-Doh and kinetic sand only hold their interest for so long, and colouring isn’t a “special” activity anymore.

But one Sunday morning I had furniture to paint and I needed the kids to work on something in the same room. I turned to the overflowing recycling bin and got an idea that ended up filling a good chunk of our weekend with peaceful crafting. Hallelujah!

Here’s how to create a fun paper mâché robot — or any creation at all — with your kids:

Raid your recycling bins for small empty boxes (cereal, cracker or granola bar boxes are good sizes). Help your kids use masking tape to build the frame of their robot. Kids love any excuse to use lots and lots of tape.

Continue reading in my monthly parenting column, This DIY House …

60 creative indoor activities for March Break

March Break is a time for day camps, movies, swimming, skating, lunch dates and fun afternoons with friends. But it can also be a week of whining, squabbling, boredom and feeling like you’re on house arrest.

If you’re having trouble filling those longggg hours until school starts again, here are 60 free indoor ideas to keep your kids entertained.

1. Put them in a bubble bath, turn off the lights and dump in some glow sticks. It’s the G-rated version of those foam parties in nightclubs.

2. Don’t have any glow sticks? Google a recipe for homemade bath paints made with cornstarch, shampoo and food colouring.

3. Out of cornstarch or food colouring? Give them a can of shaving cream and let them have fun squirting the walls of the tub and making foamy pictures with it.

4. If all else fails, toss measuring cups, measuring spoons and colanders into the tub with them. If someone pees in the cup, the items become permanent tub toys and you get to buy new ones.

Continue reading my other 56 ideas …