Over the years our family has been through some pretty tough times. From living in a two bedroomed flat with three children, to some fairly dramatic financial struggles, that took an epic battle on all fronts to eventually defeat. What has this got to do with DIY I hear you ask? Well, you don't get through those sorts of problems in one piece without two things. Firstly, a huge dose of solidarity and team spirit. Whatever you are in, you are in it together, that is the joy of families. You all pitch in, you all get out. And secondly masses and masses of creativity and imagination. To make things fit, to cheer things up, to make things better. That's what gets you through. So there follows some of my favourite examples of The Husband's handiwork. A man who has suffered for ten years from a wife who has all the ideas in the world, but no practical skills what-so-ever. I draw it, he builds it.
Oh yes, something else you should know about The Husband. He keeps everything! Every piece of wood, every half-spent light bulb, every teeny-tiny piece of wire, everything! It drives me crazy!! This is what has come to be known as the spaghetti drawer. It contains an astonishing array of chargers, leads and other electrical paraphenalia that may, one day, be useful. It is but one example of the epic level of hoarding that takes place around here. It's like... a weird Womble world, but it works. Running repairs of our furniture, impromptu shelves, all created from pretty much nothing.
This corner shelf was a necessity when we lived in our tiny flat. As I'm sure you can imagine, with three children, they wasn't an awful lot of shelf space to be had. Having recently had a baby though, cash was also scarce, so this was one of Hub's most thrifty builds. The shelf part was created from some off cuts of skirting, and the brackets came from a skip. We think they were originally part of a cabin bed, as the indents were already there, suggesting they may have been runners for a drawer or something. Anyway, it's stood the test of time, as that was over eight years ago and we even brought it with us when we moved!
This CD stand used to be a blanket box. You know the kind; cheap, manufactured, boring. Made of, probably, MDF or some such pseudo-wood, but look at it now! Doing a cracking job of keeping our DVDs in check. Totally homemade at no cost what-so-ever.
I think this is one of The Husband's most creative ideas. This was a little bucket that was part of a Gardening Gift Set I received. I really liked it, but couldn't think what I'd ever use it for. A metal hook, fashioned with pliers from a tent peg and a few holes drilled in the bottom, and it's a fantastic peg basket!
The slats from an old bed were used to create extra shelving in the airing cupboard. As you can see, we really needed it! That old bed served us well, which leads me neatly onto the reason for this post. Below is my favourite example of my husband's epic, creative DIY. I was very lucky and won a Tassimo machine last year, but we've been really struggling with what to do with all the pods. Our kitchen is not huge so we had been trying to think of a space-saving solution for a while. There were a few examples of pod holders available, but very few wall-mounted, space saving ones. So, I challenged Hubs to come up with something and this is the result! Created out of the rest of the wood from the old bed frame, it's a pretty impressive design, I'm sure you'll agree.
The clever design meant it was relatively easy to assemble. The slats were already the right width, so it was just a case of sawing three pieces the same length, and using two more slats to create a frame to nail the shelves to. He then nailed the side piece on, and attached the whole unit to the wall. The beauty of homemade shelving is that you can create it to fit any space. If we had managed to buy a wall mounted shelf like this, it would probably have been too big, With only one side, which is all it needs, this fits perfectly in the only wall space that was available and holds an ample 12 boxes perfectly. I would never tell him this, but his invention, imagination and skill still impress me, even after all these years. Better not tell him though, he might decide to retire while he's still winning!