Tag Archives: DIY

Gardening and PPE

PPE as we know stands for Personal Protective Equipment, and in this instance doesn’t necessarily mean hi-viz jackets, hard hats and steel-toe caps.

Nothing more in fact than a good pair of preferably long gardening gloves. You would wear them of course if you were pulling brambles of nettles, or cutting roses, basically working with anything vegetal having the potential to sting you, cut you, scratch you and so on…

Well I would strongly suggest you wear them all the time, when doing any type of gardening, even if just picking your lettuce, especially – especially – if it is very sunny!

As it turned out, the day after I picked my vegetables, I noticed some red patches on my forearms. Didn’t think much of it as I had been working with nettles, until it started blistering that same evening. And the blisters got worse by the next day, were sore, swollen, more came out… So went to the doctor’s as you do, and I have what’s called strimmer’s disease or phytophotodermatitis (also known as parsnip burn, which is what caused my reaction). Other plants and fruits such as carrots, celery, parsley, wild parsnip, wild carrot, giant hogweed, limes and figs are also known to trigger the reaction.

Mine is quite bad, nothing that a good dose of strong steroid cream will not sort, but still it’s not pleasant!! And very unsightly.

So if you’re going to be in a garden for some time and it’s sunny, forget about your looks and your tan (😳), think about your skin and protect your hands.

In short, wear gloves and maybe even long sleeves.

You learn something new everyday 🙂

Brox x


DIY kitchen compost bin

This is more a “this is what you can do” as opposed to a tutorial. And also, although firstly described as an alternative to an outdoor compost for those who do not have a garden, due to its size I find it better suited as a transitional container that you keep in one place until full, and empty on the compost heap every so often; if I lived in a flat and intended to compost, I would look t build something a bit more appropriate in a wooden crate of plastic box.

DIY Kitchen Compost Bin - Tools
What you need

The list is fairly simple:

  • an empty tub of your favourite freeze dried coffee (if you work in an office they are bound to have one there)
  • glue
  • scissors
  • newspapers
  • screwdriver

All I did was lining the outside, underneath and inside (sides only) with newspapers (use glue). Inside on the bottom I left some loose bits of newspapers, so they can be changed every so often (if they soak up any liquids). I then “drill” a few holes in the lid (simply by driving the screwdriver in).

Note that I use a degradable plastic compost bag in my bin. If you don’t I would probably put more newspapers at the bottom inside and maybe use a carbon filter that you can stick on the inside of the lid if you are worried about smell.

I find this bin fit neatly in my cupboard under the sink, there is a top shelf in there, and this happens to go right where the sink is 🙂

Take care


Denim Coasters

We all had it, this favourite pair of jeans that’s now a bit faded, or the zip’s broken, that you haven’t worn in a year, that you cannot give to charity as a “wearable item”, but you cannot bring yourself to throw away simply because it may well become handy one day.

Well that day has now arrived! let’s face it, you will never wear them again. But, and rightly so, why should you throw them away, when they can be given a new life and purpose as an underrated every day household item: the coaster.


How to upcycle an old pair of jeans – Denim Coasters


– one old/unworn pair of jeans (denim or any colour)
– one particularly stormy, rainy, horrible Saturday afternoon
– scissors
– fabric glue
– a bit of time

Fairly simple, cut the hems alongside your legs. Then use that width to cut the seams and the rest of your jeans (lengthwise). Cut out the pockets, maybe zip, and “belt” for other DIY projects (thinking of a couple).


Denim Coasters – Fabric Cuts


Roll the hems/seams/strips tightly onto themselves, gluing the end of the rolled strip onto the start of the next one, and continuing rolling until the desired size is reached.

As you roll, run your fingers around the edge the ensure a nice, straight edge. Trim any odd bits with the scissors if necessary.

Once the coaster is wrapped, apply a little glue to the end of strip, folding in it if necessary to ensure a nice, clean fold.

Let it dry for a few hours, et voila! One pair of jeans = 6 coasters (of slightly varying sizes…. I hadn’t really measured the width of my strips…). It resulted in perhaps slightly more “waste” than I would have wanted, for reason just mentioned. But they still look rather cool, are really easy to make and a great way to relax on a rainy day!


Denim Coasters – Unused Fabric (top) and Next Project! (bottom)