25 proven DIY tricks
When it comes to DIY projects, all the responsibility is in your hands, which means you have to endure the mistakes as well as enjoy your successes! But you'll find it easier to overlook any errors when you've made them yourself and your successes will mean so much more to you in the end.
What's great is that there are many ideas out there to help make your job easier. The following tricks will show you ways to master many of the challenges you'll encounter at home without possessing the proper tools. Even if some of these tips seem a little unconventional to a professional, they always seem to get the job done.
1. If you cut up an old pair of rubber gloves, you'll end up with rubber bands in all different sizes — most practical.
2. If you haven't finished your painting job, you can put your wet brush in a sealed freezer bag. This prevents it from drying out while you take breaks. It saves you the hassle of rinsing your paintbrush each and every time.
3. If you want to hang smaller objects with exact holes, photocopy the back and use it as a template. You'll see how accurate your results are.
4. So you don't have to look long and hard for the start of your tape, you can just stick a paper clip to it each time you use it.
5. To avoid hurting your thumbs while hammering, you can use a piece of cardboard as a nail holder. Poke the nail through the cardboard and hammer away! This also protects the surface from getting damaged too.
6. An old CD can help you to drill a vertical hole. The reflection of the drill helps you to recognise any deviations from the right angle.
7. It's even easier to make vertical holes if you craft a guide rail out of two pieces of timber stuck together. With this trick, however, make sure the drill is long enough so that the hole is also deep enough.
8. Before assembling a large IKEA closet, it's worth sorting out the supplied screws in an egg box. This way you'll always have the ones you need at hand.
9. With a magnet in your breast pocket, you'll always have your screws close-by.
10. It's also quite handy to use a magnet when cleaning up screws. Hold the magnet underneath the screw box, turn it upside down and collect all the loose screws. Alternatively, you can put a bag over the magnet and hover it over the screws so they stick to it.
11. An old tennis racket creates additional storage space for your workbench.
12. To prevent screws from slipping away, you can put a button magnet on the side of the bit of your cordless screwdriver. As a result, the bit becomes entirely magnetic.
13. Did you know you can make faint scratches in your floorboards disappear with a walnut? Because walnuts are rich in fat, rubbing it several times over the scratch will work wonders.
14. You can get rid of water stains on wood quite easily with mayonnaise. Sounds strange, but it's most effective. Wipe the wood surface with some of the thick sauce using a soft cloth then wipe away any excess grease.
15. Before you drill holes in tiles, you should cover the spot with masking tape so that the tile does not crack. Start on a low setting and drill the hole as slowly as possible using a stone drill.
16. Once you have finished painting, instead of rinsing the tray, simply peel off the layer of paint sitting on the layer of plastic wrap, which you previously applied to the tray. You can attach the plastic wrap with Scotch tape and remove it easily after letting the paint dry for a while.
17. If you attach a button magnet to the handle of the hammer with hot glue, you'll save yourself the annoying act of clamping nails between your lips. Collecting the nails afterwards is also facilitated this way.
18. If your stubborn screw isn't budging when you try to unscrew it, there is often a nifty attachment at the end of screwdrivers to get support from a wrench.
19. The tabs from your soda cans serve as a neat alternative to broken picture hooks.
20. So as to avoid losing your plug in the wall, mark the right depth on the drill using some Scotch tape so you know when to stop.
21. One of the worst things about drilling a hole in the ceiling is the dust that falls directly down onto you. This problem is easily solved by attaching a see-through cup or plastic bottle to your drill, so you can still see what you are doing.
22. It's not uncommon to leave ugly marks in the wall when pulling out nails. To prevent this from happening, you can lay a dry sponge underneath.
23. We've all been there: screwing and unscrewing a screw into the wall so many times that it no longer holds! Just insert a match into the worn out hole and you'll see how the screw thread grips once again.
24. If you want to give your tiles and grouting a thorough clean, you could attach the head of a dishwashing brush to a set screw using a couple of nuts. This is then attached to the cordless screwdriver.
25. In order to cut straight lines, a guide rail can be clamped at a distance to the cutting line, this measures the space between the saw edge and the stop. If you can't see any pencil marks on the board afterwards, the cutting lines can be drawn on masking tape.
We all know the saying, "If you want something done right, do it yourself!" You'll never feel a greater sense of accomplishment than when you manage to fix up something in your own home — give it a whirl, with these great tricks you can't go wrong!