Friday, February 13, 2015

Beer bottle cum flower vase

If after all these glass reuse ideas you still have bottles remaining like me (yeah, we party a lot) why not make a flower vases out of them ?
I was glad I did when my husband came home with flowers that very night :) #spoiledwifey
And coincidentally they were matching with the thread I'd used ! Here's the finished product, looking pretty cool don't you think?

First cut the bottle to a size of your choice, but you have to chop off at least the top narrow part if you want to use it for flowers.
To cut glass all you need is some thread (cotton works fine), some nail polish remover and a matchbox !!
Soak the thread in the nail polish remover then tie it tightly around your bottle and light it. Keep turning the bottle in your hand so the flame spreads evenly around the bottle, and as soon as you see the flame reduce, immediately plunge the bottle in a bucket of cold water, you can even give a gentle tap on the side of the bucket to help it crack. The glass simply reacts to the temperature change by breaking right where you had tied the thread (and heated it with the flame), so it's a piece of cake!
There are numerous glass cutting tutorials available on youtube so you can check out videos there for further detail.

Then just go get coloured thread, buttons, or beads, or anything you want really, from your nearest fancy shop and fevikwik them right on the bottle !! I eventually opted for the minimalist thread-only customization on these but used the beads on others I gifted away, without taking any snaps :/. Again, as per your taste, you could also spray paint them any colour you like.

It can double as a candle holder...
... making your wine-on-the-terrace evenings just a little cozier.. romantic perhaps?

Check out my free earring holder !!

Ladies I don't know how you manage your earrings but mine used to end up all tangled, or I'd find one but not the other etc. It was such a waste of time in the morning that I eventually used to wear  the same pair almost every day!!  how boring :(
Besides, India is full of amazing earrings, a million unique designs, I'm not a jewelry person much but still, it was quite a downer to not indulge in some variety while at a place like this !!

Here's what I did: this is a leftover of a cut table mat which the store gave away.. for FREE !! (sorry the thought of that makes me so happy !! hahaha :D) I just hung it with a metallic wire on my clothes hanger stand next to my mirror.

It's super convenient and I love my little customized dressing corner.. who needs an expensive dressing table ?!!
Just make sure the mat you choose has little holes in it like the one in the picture, so you don't have to actually pierce it every night while putting your jewelry away.

Never throw your glass jars & bottles !

They are so useful !! In fact they're much more useful in their second life than as mere packaging for olives or jam. Personally I reuse them for my spices and pulses, keeps the bugs away ! Works for namkeen and biscuits as well, keeping them fresh & crispy for a long time :)

I also reused liquor bottles for my oil, almost every different liquor has it's own different bottle shape, so after thorough cleaning with vinegar, they make my oils look much better in the kitchen, and I can tell my olive oil apart from the cooking oil in the blink of an eye ;)
Also, trying to do my bit for the planet by just buying refills when I can, instead of buying oil in a plastic bottle each time.

I'm taking this occasion to urge you to visit this amazing website I keep checking it out for infinite ways to reduce waste. So inspiring!! she makes it all look so simple, I'm trying to get there step by step.

Optimising wall space in the kitchen

My kitchen's rather small, I guess they always are as we keep piling on the utensils! I recently purchased a kitchen robot which came with many attachments so I had to make space in my cupboards.
Also, since I'm renting my flat, I avoid making holes in the wall.
After a little trial and error, here's what I came up with:

Doesn't look that great but it's not a sore sight either. And it's hard to discern considering how my mother-in-law failed to realize that it was actually a cloth hanger!

I used some hard wire from an old broken cloth drying stand (the same I used for the lid holder), bent it to a certain angle and fixed the hanger right in. Now my saucepans and kadais are easily accessible and I have more space in the cupboards.  Job done!!

Put a lid on your lid problems ;)

Do you face the lid problem? Do you wish you could 'put a lid' on your lid problems?
My lids used to be such a headache ! Those things don't pile up properly (thanks knobs!!), so they end up taking a way much space in the shelves.
Even when I "kind of" piled them on top of each other they'd eventually slip and eat up more and more shelf surface. They were kind of annoying that way!!

So one day I took part of an old, broken stand , priorly used for drying clothes, and placed it under my sink, that's it, that did the trick ! Check it out below.
Just make sure its fixed somehow so it doesn't slip (in my case it's fixed at the top, in the crack between the sink and the cupboard partition).
Here's the thing: I didn't get rid of that broken stand before, it was lying under a bed all along... I guess its only "waste" until I find a better use for it.
As it turns out, old drying stands, even broken, have huge potential :)

Aaah so much better !! And easy to take out/place back in too!
If you don't have one you could do this with small curtain rods for example...

N.B. I cant vouch for letting junk pile up at anyone's home, but many things can be put to great use for various purposes than the one originally intended. Heck, that's what this blog is all about !! I generally try to see if I can give my old, broken/used stuff a second life, making my own easier (& cheaper!) in the process.

Chistmas bells ringing

This post comes a little late but might be useful for next year !
I wanted to share my DIY Christmas decoration and in particular, this zero cost candle holder.

I didn't think much of this when I made it, just wanted a cheap candle holder solution, but when my friends came over they LOVED it, so sharing it here in case you wanna do it too :)

Old wine and beer bottles (use different shapes and sizes for a better effect) tied together in a Christmas-y ribbon and pop your candles in there !
You can also spray paint the bottles with a colour of your choice, probably golden or silver for this occasion, but I liked mine in their original green, it's a Christmas colour already isn't it...!
Usually the candles aren't exactly the perfect size to just sit there, they either fall inside or don't fit in at all. No worries ! Heat the bottom of the candle over a flame until the wax starts to melt and fix it on the bottle, hold it for a few seconds until the wax cools and hardens again. There, your candle stands in place and doesn't move now.
Let the magic begin !! Here's what it looks like after use:

Belated Merry Christmas to all !!

Wine bottles upcycled :)

If you live in India you probably face the water bottle problem: everybody uses plastic water bottles that we fill from the water filter, keep in the fridge, and keep refilling until... they start to STINK !!!

You know that old plastic smell that inevitably comes over time, and ruins the taste of the water?
Well I hate it, and I hate the thought of buying new plastic bottles every now and then until the end of time. Sounds like a waste of money to me ! No to mention all that plastic would eventually pile up God knows where, killing our planet...

So why not reuse old wine bottles instead? I kept ours, which I cleaned with some vinegar, removed the tags and there, I now have ever lasting water bottles :)

They look much better on the dinner table too, and I've been using them for months now, without the slightest problem of odor. 

Call it psychological and it probably is, but I never knew water tasted this good!!. Aaahhh

Get rid of those cables !!

Do you also hate to see your wifi router and cables invade your working space ?

I certainly do, so I had to find something to do with those unsightly little devils!!
I had initially put them in a shoe box which I'd covered in cloth, left that on the table... It helped improve the aesthetics by hiding it all away but didn't solve the space issue.

Then as I was strolling in one of the china bazaar shops near my home (one of my favorite pastimes), I had a eureka moment when I saw the plate stands. Of course this would do!! I'd just have to fix it under the table and throw all the electrical junk in it !
Naturally this isn't the primary purpose of plate stands, but hey, so what?! It serves the purpose - doesn't collect dust, multisockets and chargers would be easily accessible and that wifi monster would stay right where it belongs, out of sight !

So I went to get 4 hook screws at the hardware shop, went home and got to work.
About 10 minutes later the job was done, and VOILA !! (my father-in-law helped with aligning & screwing the hooks under the desk, he's also a hopeless jugaad junkie like me :))

TA-DAH !!! A clean, cable free desk like we love'em :)

As a result, no more cables in my sight, all over the desk, and my leg space is also left untouched  yay ! (if you're a tall person who likes to cross legs under the table like me this is a major plus point !).

BTW, total bill ? 100 rupees for the plate stand (and I probably got ripped off because I'm a firang) + a few rupees for the hooks... That's it !