Clever style hacks anyone can do

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  • Cheat your way to stylish home ideas with these crafty top tips

    Looking for ways to update your home on a budget this Spring? Here are some clever hacks that anyone can do!

    Decorate with crates

    Create an instant shelving system that maximises the utilitarian appeal of crates.

    • Fill an alcove or make a feature of a plain wall using vintage bushel boxes
    • Buy them on ebay or pick them up at local salvage yards (or try
    • Simply stack them up and add a few judiciously placed screws to keep them in place and attached to the wall
    • Don’t over fill them or they’ll look too dominant. Alternate between open space, books and ornaments for an eye catching display.

    A solid crate, such as an old wine box, makes a unique side table. Just attach castors to the bottom so it can be moved around, and decorate the inside with old book pages, sheet music or leftover wallpaper or paint. Display a few carefully curated objects in the crate, and use the top as a table.

    Make your own lighting

    Turn a jar into a pendant light

    You will need:

    A vintage style bulb socket and coloured flex

    A large, screw top Mason jar

    A hammer

    A nail

    Heatproof glue

    A maximum 30W light bulb

    Unscrew the blub socket.
    Open a screw-top Mason jar and take out the inner flat lid. Place one half of the bulb socket on top of the flat jar lid and draw around it.

    Use a hammer and a nail to punch holes along the circle you have drawn on the lid. Eventually the inner piece will fall out- the edges will be jagged, so take care.

    Screw up the bulb socket on either side of the flat lid, sandwiching the lid between the two pieces.

    Prevent overheating by hammering several air holes in the lid using a hammer and nail, and fixing in a low-wattage light bulb (30W or less). Screw up the outer lid of the Mason jar.
    Ask an electrician to the flex to your mains lighting.

    Repurpose stepladders

    Create your own inventive open-shelving system using vintage stepladders

    Trawl car-boot sales for wooden stepladders. You’ll need a pair that have rungs at matching heights.
    Check for secure joins and fixtures.

    Position the ladders next to one another and place plywood shelves between the rungs. Drill holes in the shelves and use screws to attach them securely to the rungs.

    Use the shelves to show off your favourite flea-market finds, grouping together glass bottles and vintage books.

    Make a peg rail

    Whether faceted glass or ceramic flowers, cupboard knobs make a lovely display.

    Collect cupboard knobs in a mix of shapes and colours and screw five or six to a painted length of wood.

    Don’t hide your peg rail behind a door- show it off instead. Fix it above a dressing table to display necklaces or on a blank wall to hang up handbags.

    Make a memo board

    Create a pretty display board out of fabric remnant and an old picture frame

    Choose a fabric that compliments your frame, whether it’s opulent Rococo for a gilt frame or simple Nordic for a plainer style.

    Cut foam mount-board to fit snugly in the frame. Wrap your fabric around the board, pulling it tight across the corners and sides so there are no wrinkles on the front.

    Tape the fabric in place, then fit the board into the frame, attaching it with small nails or upholstery tacks.

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