Tag Archives: upcycling

Homemade Candle

Last week-end arts and crafts activities… candle-making!

Candles never burn entirely, except for tea lights, so I kept all left overs and melted them again* to produce this layered homemade candle!

You can buy a wick from any craft shop, I attach it to the bottom of the jar with a little bit of sticky tape and at the top attach to a crayon or pencil which you rest across (so the wick stays nicely upright). Pour in the hot (liquid) wax, wait for it to cool and set then repeat. If you are feeling arty, lean the jar onto one side as you pour the wax, let it set, then lean it onto another side for the next layer, so you get a nice wavy effect. If you’re really creative, you can come up with all sorts of shapes…

Great if you have leftovers from fragranced candles, so each layer of your candle will smell differently as it burns. They usually also come in a very nice shaped jar, which you can keep and reuse for your own candle 🙂

* melting method, put the solid wax in a heat-proof bowl or other recipient, and then put it in a pan of boiling water. Like what you would do to melt chocolate.


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)