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Breathe New Life Into Your Home Decor With These Designer DIYs

Updating your home doesn't mean that you need to run out and purchase all new furniture. It can be just as stylish (and more rewarding) to tackle a do-it-yourself project! Tara Ballantyne is here with great DIYs that you can use to give your home a summer update!


Macrame Lawn Chair


  • Old folding lawn chair
  • 400 yards of macrame cord (in as many colours as you like!)
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Optional:
  • Spray paint suitable for metal/plastic
  • 2 x size “Q” crochet hooks

What To Do:

  1. Remove all existing seat material from lawn chair. (Optional: spray paint frame if desired).
  2. Tie cording to front rod of chair in a reef knot.
  3. Pull the cording around the back of the chair support, and up and around the top bar of the chair.
  4. Pull the loose cord tight.
  5. Run the cord down and around the back of the support, and back to the front bar and around.
  6. Make sure the the cord is not twisted.
  7. Repeat this process until all of the vertical cording has been completed.
  8. Tie another reef knot, and snip a 3/4” tail.
  9. Use your lighter to melt the loose knot ends and while hot, press firmly into the cording loops in a discrete area with the metal end of your scissors. Be very careful not to burn yourself!
  10. For the horizontal rows, tie a reef knot at the bottom corner of where you will begin (seat or back).
  11. Weave your cording through the vertical cords according to your pattern.
  12. When completed, tie a reef knot, and finish as noted above.

*for crochet demo, see video!

DIY Backyard Sign


  • One 2’ x 4’ piece of wood
  • 1 inch x 2 inch wood pieces, cut to fit for frame
  • Pencil
  • Paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Outdoor paint in your favourite colours
  • Screws
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Optional:
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Tape

What To Do:

  1. Cut wood frame to fit.
  2. Paint or stain all four wood frame pieces and allow to dry.
  3. If creating a stencil for lettering: Print out letters, or trace from your computer screen.
  4. Using a pencil, colour the back of a piece of paper so that the majority of the surface is covered with pencil lead. This will be used to transfer your outline.
  5. Tape lettering to wood board.
  6. Slide the paper with the pencil backing underneath the letters with the coloured side down on your surface.
  7. Using a pen or sharp object, trace your letters, moving the coloured paper along as you go.
  8. This will create an outline for your lettering.
  9. Paint letters and allow to dry.
  10. Lay frame out on the floor good side down, and align all edges to form the frame.
  11. Place lettered sign up-side-down on top of frame.
  12. When frame is perfectly aligned, drill holes for screws, and screw into place.
  13. Hang.

DIY Planter Stand


  • Flower pot
  • 1 inch x 2 inch wood pieces cut to size
  • Four wooden dowels
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Wood stain
  • Wood glue

What To Do:

  1. Measure your pot to decide how tall you want your stand to be.
  2. Cut four pieces of wood to this height.
  3. Measure the diameter of the pot and cut two more pieces of wood to this length.
  4. These will be the center support braces.
  5. Carefully notch out the center of the two pieces of wood you cut for the center support braces so that they are able to lay flat on top of one another.
  6. Use a saw to do this carefully, or have someone assist you with it.
  7. Measure and mark the height you would like the support braces to rest on your 4 pieces of wood.
  8. In the marked location, drill holes the same diameter as your dowels.
  9. Drill matching holes in the ends of the support braces.
  10. Insert dowels into the holes and assemble your planter stand.
  11. Use wood glue to set into place.
  12. Stain. 

DIY Concrete Planters


  • Sand concrete
  • Measuring cup
  • Bucket for mixing
  • Trowel or large spoon
  • Paper or plastic forms
  • Non stick cooking spray
  • Gloves

What To Do:

  1. Collect moulds for the shapes that you would like to make.
  2. Try searching at garage sales and your recycling bin.
  3. Make concrete: Use a 4 to 1 concrete to water ratio for your project. Be sure to read instructions before you mix your concrete, and make sure you are in a well ventilated area.
  4. If using plastic moulds, spray the surfaces that will come in contact with concrete with a layer of non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Spoon concrete into your mould and use your hands (with gloves) to work it into place.
  6. Allow to set.
  7. Remove from mould.
  8. Allow to cure for time described in instructions.
  9. Plant your plants!

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Thursday July 28, 2016

Coming Up

Wed 22 Actress Malin Akerman cooks sweet potato burgers with Chef Rodney Bowers
Thu 23 Solve My Space! Ramsin Khachi transforms a unique loft space into a family hangout