Make These Urban Concrete And Spray Paint Geometric Place Mats

I can never seem to find place mats that I like. I'm not into the cork ones, or the weave ones, and I never like images or patterns on the plastic ones. I would rather have ones made from natural materials like marble or wood, but if you are looking for around 8-10 mats then it becomes pretty expensive for such a basic item.

I was recently reading a copy of Style At Home magazine, and they had an article on making your own planters from concrete. I didn't need any planters, but I thought why not try making place mats out of concrete? (I know, bit random, but that's just how my brain works). Concrete as a material is so cheap, so it was completely worth a try, but in all honestly it took me a lot of attempts to get this right. At first I attempted to make the mats out of your basic standard concrete, which failed as it took ages to set and constantly cracked once fully dry (it was hard not to add too much water to the mixture.) Next, I decided to use rapid setting concrete to speed up the process, but didn't really realise how fast rapid setting concrete set (clue: fast - especially in the heat we've been having). I destroyed a nice cake-mixing bowl trying to mix the concrete before I emptied it into the mould, which just set in the cake bowl instead. Eventually I worked out the best way to make the mats, and once I had that sussed it was pretty easy to make them all.

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Before & After: Turning My Tired Balcony Into My Own Kitsch Rooftop Botanical Bar For Under £250

When we moved into our current home last year, one of the great things about it was a balcony you accessed from the living room. As we live on a hill it has great views (especially on Fireworks night.) It is also a total suntrap, so I want to utilise it this summer.

Yet before it could become my evening wine drinking haven, this balcony needed some proper DIY love. Its decking was worn and faded, the paint on the balcony doors weathered, but the worst problem was something I couldn't do anything about - wood-rot and damage to the neighbours property that was clearly visible. The balcony needed a tart up, and I needed to cover the neighbours wall damage from view....

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DIY Bird Cage Lamp Shade

If you are reading this post, chances are you've googled 'Graham & Green Bird Shade' after your jaw dropped seeing this quirky, brilliant shade in an interiors magazine or online.  Chances are that your jaw dropped even further when you saw the £375 price tag. For those of you who do not know about this shade feast your eyes on the original design here.

Obviously, as soon as I saw this shade, i wanted it BADLY! It's so original, a massive talking point and I'm a huge sucker for anything with birds on.  But £375 was just far too much for me to part with, especially for a 'shade' that doesn't actually have any functional use as it doesn't actually shade anything! I knew there must be a way to DIY this and so after some research I set about creating my own version. I have to say I have had this in my home now for a few years and visitors love it, more importantly, I love it, and it cost me around £40 in total to make...

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Using Spray Paint To Achieve The Luxe, Metallic Trend

The metallics trend within interiors has been really popular for a long while now, and with good reason. Elements of brass, shiny gold and copper add a glamorous feel to your interiors and work especially well against a dark backdrop of inky blues and dark greys, both of which have also been having their renaissance period thanks to designers like Abigail Ahern and the popularity of Farrow and Balls 'Railings' and 'Downpipe' paint. Starting off in lighting (it's my opinion that Tom Dixon's large copper pendants kicked off the metallic trend) metallics have trickled down into multiple products including candle holders, cutlery and decorative objects.

I am a HUGE fan of metallics and I always want to inject them into my home as much as possible without it costing me a lot of money. Luckily, this can easily be done with spray paint which is available at nearly all DIY stores and craft shops. Spray painting is easier than you'd expect and it is quite hard to get it wrong. The result is also more polished than you'd imagine and it can make items look like they were always that colour - not that you'd done a quick DIY job on them!

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