Home Repair and Renovating

January 06, 2012

Hanging a curtain rod {made simple}

via missmustardseed.com

Here's a brilliant idea from a decorator who hangs lots of curtains; make a template with pre-drilled holes.  Just flip the template to do the opposite side of the window.  Saves a ton of fussy measuring and speeds up the job by about 600%.

January 05, 2012

Turn your artwork or photo into DIY wallpaper

I love this concept from young entrepreneur Matthew Pullerits.

Choose from millions of high res shots or upload your own image to Ink Shuffle, a Toronto company that will print a custom mural for you.  And it's easy to remove if you want to replace it, unlike most wallpaper I have known.  Plus Ink Shuffle's adhesive won't damage walls.  If you're an artist, you can earn royalties by uploading your images.

Here's how to get your own DIY wallpaper.  Prices start at around $50 - an average wall costs around $250. Every order is custom sized to fit your wall.  (as big as 20x20 feet)

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January 03, 2012

d-i-y leather cabinet pulls (via holton rower) | The Improvised Life

via www.improvisedlife.com

Roofing nails are the secret to these leather pulls.  Freakishly cool.

December 02, 2011

Sugru - Duct Tape for Makers and Gadget Lovers - Forbes

via www.forbes.com

When a Forbes reporter says "This is one of my favorite products," you gotta get some! (I got my first Sugru the day they launched in 2009. They sold out in one day.)

November 28, 2011

Christmas sugru! (A wee holiday offer.)

via sugru.com

The folks at Sugru are running a special; you get a 4th pack when you buy 3. In case you haven't heard of Sugru, it's a fantastic, moldable silicon compound that cures to a semi-flexible toughness and it bonds chemically with so many substances that you will be hard pressed to find anything you can't fix or improve with Sugru.  It's the perfect antidote to the culture of obsolescence!  Sugru comes in black, white, green, orange and blue, and you can blend colours to get a huge range of shades.  I always have some in my purse, in my make-up bag and in my toolbox to mend or append anything made of metal, plastic, stone, leather, ceramic, glass, wood and fabric.  Cures at room temperature to waterproof, dishwasher-proof, freeze-proof ruggedness.   

November 08, 2011

Sneaky leaks and your water bill

1 in 5 toilets is snacking on your water supply while you're not watching. If you don't like the idea of adding as much as $250 to your annual water bill, you can fix a leak for less than $5 in under 5 minutes.

P.S. If you don't have a non-toxic vegetable dye tablet, a few drops of food colouring will do the trick.

P.P.S.  This just in - great tip from a reader for anyone who uses chlorine pucks in their toilet tanks...

Make a note that chlorine pucks put in tank to clean and disinfect toilet cause breakdown of flapper and voids new toilet warranty- i had to change 4 new ones within 2 months because of those damn pucks !!!!
Dr. Carey.  😖😃


Is your toilet leaking silently? (plus how to gross out 8-year-olds)

If you ever need to know how to make a group of 8-year-old boy scouts yell, "Ewwwww!" in unison, try my trick.

HUGE TIP: This tip just came in from a reader - for anyone who uses chlorine pucks in their toilet tanks...

Make a note that chlorine pucks put in tank to clean and disinfect toilet cause breakdown of flapper and voids new toilet warranty- i had to change 4 new ones within 2 months because of those damn pucks !!!!
Dr. Carey.  😖😃


October 11, 2011

My grand experiment; the truth about lawnmowers and fuel consumption

Three mowers1

Which of these would you say uses dramatically more fuel?


A Gassy Experiment Leads to Horsepower Love 

I’ve always objected to ride-on mowers because I’d heard that they consume a gallon of gas faster than a university student can shotgun a beer.  Is it true?

I went searching for specs comparing the fuel efficiencies of different types of mowers.  I couldn’t find a thing online, so I contacted some people I knew at Sears and Husqvarna asking for any research they had. 

They had charts comparing the amount of time that different mowers require to cut the same area of lawn. But they couldn't answer my burning question about how much more gas it takes to do the same job with a bigger mower.

So I proposed to Sears that I borrow a few of their demo models for the summer to do an experiment, cutting the same area of lawn throughout the summer using three very different-sized mowers.

They agreed to the experiment.  A few days later a big truck came up the driveway and dropped off a 190cc Eco Plus mower, a 12-horsepower Smart Rider, and the big daddy, a Craftsman 26-horsepower garden tractor. 

I alternated machines weekly throughout the summer and early fall.  I carefully measured the fuel consumption when refilling the machines, and kept a chart of litres used. 

I was really, really surprised by the results. 


Continue reading "My grand experiment; the truth about lawnmowers and fuel consumption" »

September 28, 2011

15 Unusual Uses for Cheap Vodka

via www.instructables.com

'Scooch' is a revered contributor to the Instructables.com community of makers, hackers and builders, and this article is a classic. 

I've already covered the dry-cleaning talents of vodka, but Scooch offers 14 other great uses, from mouthwash to floral enhancer.

September 26, 2011

How To Remove an Ink Stain with Milk and Vinegar

via www.re-nest.com

I've soiled myself with ink more often than any known human, so this little experiment is going down tonight. Will post results.


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie