DIY #3: Bedside table for verandah

It’s been a long time between DIY posts, hasn’t it? Actually it’s been a long time since I’ve been posting with any regularity, but let’s ignore that (for about the 10th time on this blog) and move along to the good stuff, shall we?

This DIY is a carry-on from number 1, where I found a chair on the side of the road and moved it up onto my verandah.

Having a chair there is great, and now that the weather has warmed up, its lovely to sit out there in the warm evenings after the harsh afternoon sun has passed, and enjoy a drink (or two!).

You know how it’s scary when you realise you’re turning into your mother? Well it’s even scarier when you realise you’re turning into your grandmother. My babushka has a deep love for her vernadah and will happily sit out there for hours watching life go past.

Christmas in the Gong

Clearly she recognises a good thing!

For a while I’ve been wanting to find a bit of furniture to place beside the chair that serves 2 purposes: 1) acting as a table which to rest my drink on, and 2) acting as a shoe storage so I don’t have to sit there staring at my sneakers, and so they don’t get wet every time it rains.

I decided a bedside table with a door opening rather than drawers would be perfect. I’ve kept an eye out on roadsides for close to 6 months now with no luck. I’ve even set up ebay searches and visited a few vintage/2nd hand shops. It seems the items in good condition are too expensive for something that’s just going to sit outside my verandah. The cheaper options are either so old that there are major structural problems or the drawers/door don’t open very easily. I was even willing to buy a brown/badly painted one and attempt painting it myself, but that wasn’t to be.

Till now, my temporary solution has been an Ikea Skubb box I had lying around to house my shoes, and a smaller little plastic table (that I did find on the side of the road) to rest my drink on. Kept the shoes nicely out of the way, but the table was definitely too low.

New bedside table

Deciding I needed a solution for this before the end of summer when it was no longer nice enough to sit outside, I decided I needed to hit Ikea and see what options they had. I ended up walking away with this Musken bedside table, which is exactly what I had in mind design and size-wise. It’s made out of particleboard rather than solid timber, so I have no idea how it’s going to hold up over time, but given that it’s mostly covered, and for $50 I thought it was worth risking.

New bedside table

And now, I’m all set! I even sat there yesterday afternoon and did a bit of study. Will wonders never cease?

New bedside table

DIY #2: Handbag strap extension

So my second “DIY” was pretty much as easy as my first. But hey, it involved going to Bunnings and making a small purchase, so that’s gotta count right?

I bought this awesome green handbag in Spain (sorry for the appalling picture, I only had the patience to take one shot). I have spent at least 2 years looking for a handbag that is oversized enough to house a laptop, a few books and a water bottle comfortably. My requirements: I don’t like too much structure, don’t like bling, must be silver hardware, must be colour other than black…..doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Trust me it is.

DIY #2: Handbag

Before purchasing it I spent an inordinate amount of time dithering over whether the shoulder strap was too short to fit comfortably underneath my arm. For some reason, so many of them seem uncomfortably short. Maybe I have a big glenohumeral – axillary distance?

Anyway, eventually I decided I liked enough about the bag that I could live with the length – surely an inch isn’t that much to squabble over. I secretly really hoped I could find some way to lengthen it, even just an inch or two, however.

Luckily attached to the zipper was a long green tassel (full of bling!), that I promptly took off, cut off a few of the tasselly ends and looped them together to make an extra “ring”. Mission accomplished.

DIY #2: Handbag

Not very pretty, but it did the trick and made the shoulder length perfect. I would have been perfectly content with this solution, however the other day one of the tassels broke, and I started to doubt its stability.

My solution: purchasing a metal clip from Bunnings.

DIY #2: Handbag

It matches the silver hardware perfectly, and adds even a little more length than the tassel did. I think it looks nicer too. If I really wanted to go nuts I could go back and buy another one for the other side too.

And the best bit? Cost = $2.76. DIY victory!!

DIY #1: “New” chair

One of my favourite things in the world, even above scoring a great bargain on ebay or in an op-shop, is finding fab furniture on the side of the street.

Of course it’s great because its free and reduces landfill, but what I really love is the fact that it gives you a chance to try something new; especially if you’re not sure whether it’ll work in your place, for free, with no risks. And if you don’t like it? Put it back out on the street and let someone else have a crack at at.

The other day I found this chair just up the road. It was hidden underneath a load of other detritus, but it looked structurally sound and passed the roadside “wobble” test, so thought I’d drag it down the road and give it a try.

After a good hose down, I moved it up onto my formerly bare verandah.

New chair

It seems to work quite well so far. At least its a nice place to sit while I put on my shoes (and my puppy jumps all over me).

Next thing to keep a lookout for: a little side table, bookcase or crate, so maybe I can sit out here and drink a cup of tea.

Note: this is the first in what I hope to be a series of little things I improve around my house. I know that dragging a chair down the road doesn’t really count as “doing” anything, but hey you’ve gotta start somewhere right?