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Boredom busting toddler Ikea hack

Boredom busting toddler Ikea hack

by Clare Mansell

Alice is now approaching 17 months old and for most of her life so far (bar those sleepy newborn days) she’s been quite hard to keep entertained. Though nursery tell me she plays well on her own, at home she gets frustrated and wants constant stimulation. I mentioned this to a mum friend a few months ago and she told me she’d bought a second hand Fun Pod for her toddler and it had revolutionized their lives. Fun Pods also known as Learning Towers are elevated enclosed plastforms that toddlers can stand in to see what is happening at kitchen counter height. They are about £100 to buy new, but occasionally they pop up on eBay. I actually found a second hand one being sold, but chickened out of bidding at the last moment, because I worried it was going to be just another unnecessary “toy” to clutter up the house.

Of course I instantly regretted not trying to buy it, but then I discovered an Ikea hack which is arguably better than the Fun Pod, customisable and cheaper, so we decide to try making it.

This hack is based on the Ikea Bekvam step stool which costs £13 and there are loads of tutorials online which show different approaches to customising it, but we based our hack on this DIY at Happy Grey Lucky and made a few modifications.

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Spare room makeover – A sneak preview of the progress

There was a point about a week ago when I was ready to give up on trying to make our spare room makeover work and we even discussed changing round the rooms to put the bed in the study next door where there was more space, but I struggled on and having hit that low point, almost immediately everything started to slot into place.

The pine bed is now painted and a load of new bedding has been purchased for bargain prices taking advantage of Tesco clubcard points and Wayfair discounts in exchange for reviews. (I’ll share the full details on this when I do the room reveal) I found a couple of cushions in our local charity shop for £3 each which I’m recovering with fabric I already had and I talked Jim into allowing us to try out frosted glass film on part of the windows to hide the awful view and amazingly we both loved the result!

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DIY paint tester pot doormat

DIY paint tester pot doormat

by Clare Mansell

Those of you who follow me on Facebook might remember that I shared a photo of a multi-coloured duckboard door mat a few weeks ago and said what a great use of our left over tester pots it would be. Well in the end I decided the duckboard probably wouldn’t stand up to all the toing and froing in our house and so instead decided to try the same treatment on a £6 coir mat

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Transforming a £6 charity shop bedside table

Transforming a £6 charity shop bedside table

by Clare Mansell

A few weeks ago a charity shop opened around the corner from my house in a newly built unit. There was a bit of uproar in the village as the developers had promised local people a convenience store and instead signed the shop lease over to a local hospice, but quietly I was a little excited by the news and when it opened I was not disappointed.

It’s proved to be a treasure trove of bargain finds from designer wellies to vintage jewellery, children’s clothes and furniture and I’ve somewhere local to donate my own stuff to a charity who need to raise £20,000 a day to keep going.

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Dip dye high chair makeover

Dip dye high chair makeover

by Clare Mansell

I don’t know what it is with me and varnish this week, but it’s almost like I’m wandering round the house looking for wooden things to cover in paint! This week’s second makeover is my childhood high chair which has been in the family for many years and is currently used by Theo.

He has been asking for it to be painted red since he was old enough to speak, so I thought I’d finally grant him his wish, except that as soon as I said I’d spray it red he added another condition. He now wanted it red and pink!

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