DIY Fly Screens For Renters – Home Sweet Home

Ugh I’ve been meaning to do this home improvement since we moved in here three and a half years ago. Removable fly screens! We have 3 windows, one of them is floor to ceiling so I can’t do much about that but the smaller ones are just push outs. The building is from the 1920’s and has very little maintenance done so nothing is in very good repair anymore. We rent so I’m limited on what I can do to fix problems like the large number of flies Melbourne has in Summer.

I discovered by accident that our windows are actually very heavy metal which has been painted white so I set about making a screen which I could keep in place with magnets.



You need:

  • Mesh/tulle
  • Lace for the border if you want
  • Magnets

It’s really simple actually which makes me annoyed that it took me so long to get around to doing this.



Cut out a piece of tulle which is larger than the window.



Edge it with lace either by using hot glue or sewing.


Try to get “helpful” dog to stop laying on it.



Attach to window with the magnets in each corner.


Enjoy not having flies inside your house this Summer!!


It catches the light in these photos like crazy but normally you can even tell it’s there because I picked such a light colour.


Do you guys have any tips for what else to do with rental properties?


How To Plant An Awesome Window Box Garden – Home Sweet Home

Well Home Sweet Home continues! Definitely not as fast as it was in the beginning of the year but we completed our next big project: Home Sweet Home garden!


James and I had toyed with the idea of making window boxes and growing flowers and herbs in small pots for a few years but we were always turned off by the cost and the fact that I have a track record of killing everything green I touch. I even made us a fake window box so we could enjoy the idea of flowers without the effort. That window box was awesome and other than being a little bit dirty, it was exactly the same a year later as when I put it out there. Winner!Diy-Window-Box20568

Anyway, off we went to The Reject Shop and Daiso and way over-bought on supplies. We didn’t end up having enough potting mix so we did a second trip and bought a lot more tiny pots too. I can’t say no to cute pots!



Basically all you really need for this project is potting mix, a window box and seeds but James was really into it so we also bought a lot of matching accessories etc too. It was a really fun way to spend an afternoon putting it all together!



We began with a pre packaged strawberry kit.


The basic premise is the same for all of them:

1. Line the bottom of the pots with empty tea bags so dirt doesn’t fall out of the holes. (Not necessary if you don’t live in an apartment.)

2. Fill the pot with potting mix.

3. Add fertiliser. We used Blood and Bone which sounds super gross but is apparently very good for plants. Eww.

4. Mix the fertiliser through the top 5cm and wet the dirt the appropriate amount for the particular seeds. It should say on the back of the packet how wet they need to be.



5. Sprinkle the seeds in and poke them down into the dirt. Seeds need to be under at different depths depending on the plant so refer to your packet again for this.



That particular one was a big strawberry making kit. I don’t suggest growing strawberries, they take FOREVER and are really fussy. Ours still haven’t even sprouted so I’m considering just replacing them with some other pre-grown plants from Bunnings. I did that once when we were living in Brisbane, but they may or may not have died due to neglect… Then James brought them back to life! But then I killed them again. I’m so glad Lottie asks for food and water and doesn’t just sit there and die like a stupid strawberry plant.




Before we started filling  the big window box, James poked holes through the plastic so we could put the hooks in. You can just place the box on the hooks but seeing as we’re very high up I wanted to be extra sure it wasn’t going to fall on someone below.




If you’re going to try this out make sure to buy potting mix not just regular dirt as it apparently is blended for use with potted plants rather than just outside plants.


Lottie wanted to help put the dirt into the big one. I’m just imagining her thinking “OMG our house smells like outside!”.


We picked out the plants to put in the big window box alternating between herbs/food and flowers. The smaller other window boxes are both also flowers and then all of the little pots inside are a mix of all the left over seeds.


Lottie has been really into the garden in general actually, she likes to sit and stare at them at the window. Sometimes there are a few little flies around them which she chases too, it’s so cute.


Then it was just a matter of actually planting them!


And of course giving them the first drink of water.



I used MT Tape and some blank name plates from Daiso to make little signs for each pot.


After that was all done we hung the big boxes off the balcony.


And I put the white fencing back up again.


We left all of the inside pots next to the window so they could get some sun and fresh air easily.





It was just a matter of waiting then… I really hate waiting. During the wait I regretted buying seeds and wished I had just bought actual plants and repotted them >_>

First to sprout was the radish.



Then chives…







And everything else followed soon after!



Almost all of them have sprouted now, we’re just waiting on Lemon Balm, Snapdragons, Chilli, Strawberries and Swan River Daisies. All of those ones have much longer germinations times though and the wait is killing me!


The Coriander is the tallest out of everything at the moment, it looks like a mini forest!


My personal favorite is the radish though and it’s the quickest to grow, the entire area is covered now!



We’re waiting for the little pots to grow big enough that they can be put all around the apartment and really brighten things up.


I love waking up and seeing the progress that all of the plants have made! I think it will be really exciting once they get big enough to cook with!


So there you go! We haven’t killed anything yet and it’s definitely providing a lot of entertainment! Have you guys ever grown a garden? What did you grow? What else should we put in ours?

How To Store Hair Accessories- Home Sweet Home

So my mission in life seems to be how to store hair accessories in the best way possible. I’ve written about it before. A lot.  So yeah. The perfect way doesn’t really seem to exist. But that sure doesn’t seem to stop me from trying again and again and again.

The latest thing I’ve been doing is using them for decoration in the form of a big flower bouquet…



It sure beats what I was doing before then… which was keeping them in a pile:



The key to this method is to have pointy sticks which form the bouquet which you can clip the hair ties/bows/whatever to. I made mine out of wire wrapped in yarn and then mixed them in with some fake flowers for good measure.


Start by cutting a length of wire and then hot glue the end of your yarn to it.



Wrap the yarn tightly around the end of the wire and continue to the other end.


When you get to the other end glue in place and cut the excess.



Make a heap of them.


Now begin to arrange your flowers. I bent the ends of the wires so they were curly and interesting and then arranged them between the other sticks, leaves and flowers I had.


Next I began clipping on some of the larger hair flowers and accessories.



I have a lot of them so it took quite a while to fill in all the gaps…



But once it was done it looked pretty cute!



And in the Bathroom it does look huge but it’s a good way to display everything so I won’t forget what I have and can colour match them to my outfits.


The rest of the bathroom is pretty bare because I was giving it a big clean. How cute are the bee tooth brush holders though?? Everything will be spring themed soon!


So I’ve been using it this way for a few months and it seems to be walking the line between pretty and practical very well so far. I’m pretty happy anyway! Let me know what you guys think or if you have any suggestions I can try out! I think I probably need to start whittling down my collection but I’m a sucker for cute accessories and I like having things in a rainbow of colours… you know… just in case I ever want to have a neon yellow outfit… I don’t think I’m fooling anyone. I may just be a hoarder.


How To Crochet A 365 Day Shaggy Loop Rug – Home Sweet Home

So remember almost 9 months ago when I posted the finished Home Sweet Home project? Yeah, me either >_>

Anyway there were many, many, many requests on how to make my white rug, the one from the lounge room:



Well I have written this post like 3 times now but the original photos were lost and bla bla bla other excuses that no one cares about. Anyway I made Lottie a matching mini rug so I could retake the photos and here we are!


You need yarn and a large crochet hook. I’m using some fuzzy chenille yarn and a 5.5mm afgan hook.



Start with a foundation chain which is as long as you want the rug to be.



Chain 2 more.



The basis of this entire rug is a single crochet stitch with an extra long loop hanging out the back. When you have so many loops they form a thick shag pile.

So poke the hook through the 3rd chain.

Wrap the yarn around your left index finger to form a big loop.

Use your hook to pull the tail end of that loop through the chain.

Now you have one large loop at the back of the chain and two regular loops on your needle!



Now wrap the yarn around the hook.



Use the hook to pull the last loop through the other two. Now you have one big loop at the back and one on the hook. Done and ready for next stitch.




So basically you’re just doing a single crochet stitch over and over again but at the beginning you’re wrapping the yarn around your finger so there’s a huge loop hanging out the back. I’m thinking it might be easier to explain this in a video!


Repeat this stitch until you reach the end of the row. It will feel awkward at first but it gets much easier. When you reach the end of the row chain two, turn and go back the other way. This time the loops will be on the wrong side so after each stitch move the big loop to the front and begin the next stitch.

If you want a less thick pile you could always just do a regular single crochet every second row but I love how plush this version is:


After a few rows you’ll get something like this with a flat back and a bobbly front:


And eventually something like this…


Then this…


And like 6 billion years later something like this:



Once you get to this length you’re half way there! This is why we called this the 365 Day Rug!


And that’s really it, I ended up doing mine in two sections because I wasn’t sure how much yarn I would have but it worked out well because even at this size it was completely unruly to work on and a real pain in the butt. I probably wouldn’t make one of these again unless I was going to do it in lots of small sections. It gets far too heavy to work on something this big!

Anyway I’m glad this tutorial is out of the way finally, let me know if you try it out or have any questions!

Crochet Spiral Pillow Tutorial – Home Sweet Home

I’m going to be honest, I thought I had already posted this spiral pillow tutorial from Home Sweet Home. It wasn’t until someone emailed me and asked where it was *_* My bad!!

So I made this pillow quite some time ago for the Home Sweet Home project, it’s one of my favorites of the pillows I made because spiral crochet is really fun to do. I would actually like to do another version of this where the spirals are 2-3 rows wide so they look really huge!




Especially because some random puppy claimed it as hers the minute I finished it!!!



You need two colours of yarn, I used pink and white.


I doubled the yarn over and reballed it for a thicker look. Is it weird that I find reballing yarn to be one of the most relaxing things ever?



The yarn I used is 8ply and the hook size is 5.5mm.

They way that this spiral is worked is that you will be working with both colours at once and going around the edge of the piece one at a time.

Start by casting on the pink.



Do 5 chains.



Single crochet into the first chain so it makes the start of the spiral.




Now we need to add in the next colour. To do this, single crochet into the same stitch that you just single crocheted the pink into. Do one more single stitch into that hole with the white and then do the next SC (single crochet) into the pink stitch after that. You should have 3 white stitches now and the pink and white should cross over and form kind of like a yin-yang symbol.



Continue the line of white by SC into the top of the pink row. Continue until you only have one pink stitch left. Every 3 stitches, do two stitches into the same hole, this will make sure the spiral stays flat rather than being a big weird ice cream cone shape in the end!




After you’ve gone as far as you can with the white, pick up the pink yarn again and continue SC, this time you should be going into the top of the white stitches. Every 3 stitches, do two in the same hole so it stays nice and flat. Continue until you’ve got one white stitch left.



Now pick up the white and continue the pattern of SC on top of the pink, and 2 in one hole every 3. Once it gets a little bigger, you won’t need to double up every 3 stitches so change to every 5. The further out you get the less often you will need to double up, so use your judgement as to what you need to do to keep the shape.

And that’s it, just keep alternating between stitching the white and the pink around.



Eventually you will get something like this! Finish the circle by tying off the white and continuing the pink around past the end of the white so it has a few stitches into the previous row of pink.



Now make a back piece which is the same size as the first circle.




Here they are front and back!


Next you will need to join them together. Pick one of the colours which you want the side to be (I went with pink) and SC a row around the edge of the spiral. Spiral-Crochet-Cushion-Pattern765

To give it a ring around the edge and make the side stick up, crochet into the inner loop of the stitches rather than the outer.




I decided to make it 5 stitches wide, you can do whatever suits you.



Now stitch the back piece on. You can either sew it on or crochet it on. I went with crochet and I did it by doing another pink row and crocheting directly into the white holes.



Leave a little gap and don’t tie it off yet because we need to stuff it!



Once it’s stuffed just finish up the hole.






It can be pretty hard to finish crochet when you have a very mischievous puppy!


I can’t believe how little Lottie looks here *_*



When you finally finish the pillow and put it down for the last photograph you’ll notice that the second you turn to get the camera it’s been usurped by the puppy.



Then when you tell her to get off she’ll make this face at you… -_-


I decided to put a stitch through the middle of mine to make the shape more interesting.


At least all of that hard work was appreciated!


Hope you enjoyed and let me know if you give it a try!


New Kitchen Backsplash Stickers

You guys will probably remember that as part of the Home Sweet Home Project I made a new kitchen backsplash out of contact and wrapping paper. I couldn’t find a pattern that I wanted so I ordered some purpose made kitchen sticker covering.

The new version and the old!


I bought the sticker from ebay. They no longer ship here unfortunately but you can easily find similar products by searching for “kitchen stickers”. It arrived around 2 weeks later and came from Korea. It cost around $35 for a 2 meter length. I had quite a bit left over and I’m going to be using it in the laundry.Kitchen-Stickers-Back-Splash57


I also bought some stickers for the fridge but I haven’t taken proper photos yet.



It comes in a roll and passes the puppy sniff test.



It was quite easy to stick together. After cutting to the right size I just peeled the back off and lined it up.



Lining it up was a bit of a problem because the designs themselves didn’t actually line up as they weren’t printed completely straight>_<



Worth the effort though because I love this patten and I think it goes with my Spring theme much more than the older version.


While it was more expensive it’s probably a bit more durable and I definitely love the pattern!

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