Chocolate

DIY sweets

If you love sweets as I do, make sure you read this article because I’ve listed three of my favourite sweets, that you can make from scratch.

I am a great fan of candies since childhood, and I’ve always jumped at the chance to go grocery shopping as I knew I would be able to stock up on chocolates and cakes. But since I have discovered that I can DIY them I rarely go to the store these days. If you want to make your own candy too… read this article.

Lollipops

How can we start a list of candies without mentioning lollipops? With this recipe, making homemade lollipops couldn’t be easier. You’ll need a lollipop mould, or if you don’t have one, use a baking tray (it may not have a nice shape, but it tastes just as good) and a packet of sweets.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and break the sweets into small pieces; they should be almost dusty. I recommend you separate the colours when you crush them.

Put the dust in your mould or just place them in sections on the baking sheets (make sure you keep a space between them), and don’t forget your lollipop sticks. Bake them at 175 degrees Celsius, about 5 minutes for thin candies and about 10 or more for thicker ones. Let them cool completely before removing them from the tin or taking them off the tray.

Chocolate bars

DIY sweets
DIY sweets

Have you ever thought of making your own chocolate bars at home? It’s a real treat because you get lots of chocolate bars, and your kitchen smells so good.

For this recipe, you will need a can of condensed milk, vanilla extract, icing sugar, coconut flakes, toasted almonds, and chocolate (I prefer milk chocolate, but that’s a matter of taste). Prepare a baking dish by lining it with aluminum foil and non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract and condensed milk. Stir in the icing sugar and coconut until everything is well mixed.

Pour the mixture into your baking tin and press together to form an even layer. Before placing the tin in the fridge, press the almonds onto it, making sure they are evenly spaced. Put the tin in the fridge for at least an hour. When the time is up, cut the sweet into several pieces.

Place the chocolate in the microwave. You can add a little butter, but it is not necessary if it is melting chocolate. I recommend taking the chocolate out of the microwave every 30 seconds to see if it is melting, give it a good stir so that you avoid burning it.

Use a fork or toothpick to stick the coconut bar into the chocolate. When the bar is ready, place it on a baking tray and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Peanut butter caramel

File:Vegan Peanut Butter Maple Fudge.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
DIY sweets

Okay, the previous recipe was a bit tricky, but now I’m giving you a recipe that can be made in less than 5 minutes, and you only need 3 ingredients; sound easy? Let’s go. You’ll need unsalted butter, creamy peanut butter, and icing sugar. Line a pan with parchment paper. Use extra paper to hang over the edge and make it easier to remove the fondant. Place the butter and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for one minute, and stir; repeat this process until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the icing sugar and stir until smooth. Transfer the dough to the lined baking tray and press down either with a spoon or with the palms of your hands. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, then cut into pieces with a sharp knife.

With these three recipes, you can save money and enjoy good sweets. Let us know in the comments which one you would like to try…

Tie and Dye

The Complete Guide to Tie-Dyeing for Beginners.

At-home tie-dyeing isn’t a brand-new concept. Tie-dye is a simple and inexpensive DIY activity for adults as for kids. It is so easy that it is almost impossible to go wrong. With the help of our complete guide, you will be able to achieve the perfect tie-dye outfits.

Step 1: Choose Your Fabric.

First, you’ll need to decide what you’re going to tie-dye – sweatshirts, t-shirts, socks, and underwear are all readily available and ideal for at-home wear. Cotton is amazing at absorbing colours and holding them even after several washes, so 100% cotton shirts work best. You may also use a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester, but the end product will be less vivid. Only natural materials, such as cotton, silk, and rayon, are fully compatible with dyes.

Pre-Wash Your Shirt: Before dyeing your clothes, give the garment a good wash in hot water, especially if it isn’t brand new. This process ensures that any oil, dust, or other substances that could resist the colour are thoroughly removed.


Step 2: Choose Your Dye

Dye kits are readily available at craft stores. Everything you need for the process, such as rubber gloves, rubber bands, soda ash, urea, and detailed, easy-to-follow directions, are included. All you need is warm water, as the colours are already in squeeze bottles. If you do not want to buy the kit, you can still purchase single packets of dyes, and then you will have to buy your squeeze bottle separately.
person holding another person waist

Step 3: Choose Your Design

Bulls-eye: Determine the location you want to be the center of your bulls-eye. Pull your item upward from that point until the remainder of the cloth hangs down. Tie one rubber band just below the center point and then a second one a bit farther down.

Continue to apply rubber bands to the cloth in short intervals until you reach the bottom. The position of the rubber bands is where white rings will emerge, so you may choose any colours you like for the bulls-eye circles! Each banded part might be a different colour, or it can all be the same colour you choose.

Sailor Strip: Start by pleating your fabric vertically. Attach your pleated fabric with rubber bands uniformly spaced. You may add as many rubber bands as you wish. You may make broad stripes by spacing the rubber bands further apart or narrow strips by placing them closer together. It’s up to you.

You may use as many dye colours as you like with the striped tie-dye design, whether it’s one or six. Have fun with it and try new things; there’s no wrong way to tie-dye! If you wish, you may change the colours or skip portions to leave them white. As you apply the dye to the pleated fabric, rotate it to ensure that the dye is applied to the underside and sides of the piece.

Tie Dye, Fabric, Purple, Pattern, Texture, Background
Sailor Stripe Tie and Dye.

Spiral: Place your wet T-shirt (or fabric) on a covered surface and lay it flat. Locate the middle of the collar and the area immediately under the sleeves for a perfect center spiral. This will be the focal point of your spiral tie-dye! At this stage, pinch the cloth and twist it into a swirl. Continue to tightly twist the fabric until the entire garment has taken on a spiral shape.

To keep your spiralling shirt in place, use three rubber bands and crisscross them to make six wedge shapes. You can use as many or as few dye colours as the wedge forms created with the rubber bands allow.

Tie Dye, T-Shirts, Bright Colors, Hippy
Spiral Tie and Dye.

Step 4: Let It Rest

Allow any extra colour to drop off the fabric once it has dried. We know you’re tempted to have a look at your work, but really, do not unwrap it for now.

Allow 6 to 8 hours or more for the dye to be fully set. Put in a zipper bag or cover with plastic to keep wet while the dye cures for maximum results. Wash once the dye has completely set.

Step 5: Rinse And Wash!

Remove the rubber bands from the shirt and unwrap it. Make sure to use gloves during the whole process. Using cold water, rinse it until the run-off is clear. Then wash it in cold water in the washing machine without putting any other clothes in (to avoid transferring colours). The garment is now dry and ready to wear!

Tell us in the comment which one of the designs mentioned above appeals to you the most.

Driving a Nail

5 Steps to Driving a Nail Like a Pro

5 Steps to Driving a Nail Like a Pro

 Summary

 – Step 1: Adopt the correct postures

 – Step 2: Case 1: Hold the large nails in your hand

 – Step 2: Case 2: Hold small nails without hitting your fingers

 – Step 3: Drive nails to reinforce fasteners

 – Step 4: Don’t splinter the wood when driving your nails

 – Step 5: Conceal the nail head

 – Drive special nails

 Driving a nail (or spike) correctly is not a trivial task. They tend to bend in all directions, and the novice user almost invariably ends up with a bandage on his or her fingertips. However, with a bit of method and a few tricks, you can easily solve the matter!

 Here’s how to get your nails right.

 1. Adopt the correct postures

 Hold the hammer properly.

 Handling the hammer is at least as important as holding the nail. Of course, the hammer is held by the handle. But the hand is not randomly positioned on the handle.

 – To begin, hold the hammer close to the head so that you have the best possible accuracy. Ensure that the tip (the flat part) is perpendicular to the axis of the nail shaft and strike in short bursts.

 – Once the nail holds itself in the holder, release it and move your hand back on the hammer handle to increase leverage and force. Then strike harder, always keeping the tip of the tool perpendicular to the axis of the nail.

 – For small nails that barely fit between your fingers, use the tapered end of the hammer (carpenter’s or electrician’s hammer). Strike gently, then turn the hammer over and strike harder, as explained above.

 The right position

 The ideal position, when possible, is to position yourself so that the eye is level with the head of the nail. This way, the natural striking angle will limit the risk of twisting. With your feet slightly apart and firmly planted on the floor or step ladder, stand back enough so that the hammer handle is parallel to the surface (board or wall) at the end of the stroke.

 2. Case 1: Hand-holding large nails

Driving a Nail

 Large carpenter’s nails are easy to hold because of their length. The most precise gesture is to hold them an almost full hand, thumb, and little finger from underneath. With practice, the gesture will become perfectly natural.

 It is advisable to wear protective gloves, as the power of the stroke required to drive the hammer can be dangerous if you slip.

 Good to know: the longer the point, the more likely it is to bend under the hammering. If it starts to twist in one direction, orient your hammer so that you hit the head in the opposite direction of the deformation.

 2. Case 2: Hold small nails without hitting your fingers

 Shorter nails require more precision. They are held between the thumb and forefinger, with the other three fingers spread wide apart to not interfere with the striking.

 To avoid hitting your fingers when driving tiny nails, especially with upholsterer’s seeds or headless pins that are difficult to hold, use small flat-nosed pliers or drive the nail into a strip of corrugated cardboard in advance. Then present the nail to the chosen location and push it in safely. Once the pin is sufficiently driven in, tear off the cardboard and finish driving it in.

 Caution: it is common to see users at work with the nails between their lips (or even in their mouths for seeds and small nails). It is imperative to use a cup within reach, a tool belt, or even a magnetic bracelet, as rustproofing products and metal particles are indeed harmful compounds!

 3. Plant spikes to reinforce fasteners

 A spike planted straight, perpendicular to the support, ensures an average fastener that will not resist pulling out. Giving it a bit of an angle will make it stronger.

 Drive the nail at an angle of at least 20 degrees (up to 45°) upwards in the case of a suspension, in a wall, or a wooden partition.

 In the case of a multi-piece assembly:

 – Always consider fastening the thinner piece to the thicker one to increase embedment depth and improve anchorage in the more massive one.

 – Always choose a point with a length slightly less than the thickness of the two pieces to be joined (- 1 cm), possibly considering the additional driving depth if you conceal the head.

 – Whenever possible, cross the points in an “X” shape or alternate the direction of driving to obtain better resistance in all directions.

 4. Don’t split the wood when driving your nails

 Especially above 3 or 4 mm, nails tend to spread the wood grain and cause it to splinter. Even more so near the ends. There are several ways to drive your nails without splitting the wood:

 – If you must align several nails on the same piece of wood, position them in a staggered pattern. This staggering will prevent the nails from splitting the wood by spreading the wire.

 – Alternatively, use a small wood bit to drill a pilot hole through the entire thickness of the piece.

 – When drilling is impossible, dull the nail. To do this, turn the nail over on a hard surface (anvil, vice, stone, sledgehammer, etc.) and strike the tip with a sharp hammer. This will blunt the nail and shear the fibers instead of pulling them apart.

 5. Conceal the nail head

 A visible nail head can be very unsightly, especially in woodworking. It can also become an obstacle, for example, when laying a floor on joists, as you must perfectly drive each nail in to allow the installation of the next board.

 – With round-headed nails, minimal diameter, the simplest method is to make them disappear in the wood with a nail punch. One to two millimeters is more than enough. Soft and fibrous woods will almost certainly close up and hide the joint. If not, a little wood filler will do the trick.

 – To hide a significant point or flathead, the method is to lift a small chip of wood with a small (8 to 10 mm wide), very sharp chisel. Push the point into the groove and finish with a punch as before. Finally, replace the chip with a clamp after dripping a drop of wood glue. Wipe off any drips before drying with a damp cloth.

 Drive special nails

 Some nail designs require particular installation or precautions.

 – Spikes (or carpenter rider nails) are generally used to fasten wire or wire mesh to fence posts or other vertical pieces. To avoid bouncing the support, press a sledgehammer back with your other hand after starting to drive as with a normal spike. The heavy tool will absorb the shock and prevent the post from moving.

 – Hardened spikes (for concrete spikes) are highly brittle due to their heat treatment. Be sure to protect your eyes with safety glasses.

 – Decorative nails, especially round-headed upholstery nails, are extremely fragile. It is best to use a hammer with a hard plastic head (auto bodywork hammer). Be especially careful not to bend the shank or the head. Strike gently from end to end. The same goes for special nails used to fasten corrugated sheets or bitumen shingles.

 Tip: Metal detectors are available for a few dozen dollars. They will allow you to detect metal structures, rebar, piping, and live electrical cables in the walls before driving a nail into them.

Read more here:

4 Important Tips for DIY Beginners

DIY

4 Important Tips for DIY Beginners

4 Important Tips for DIY Beginners

Do you have to do small jobs that do not require the services of a professional? For instance, hanging a shelf, assembling and disassembling furniture from a kit, and more…

You may be hesitant to try some do-it-yourself tricks, but thanks to the easy DIY tips in this post, you will be able to complete small projects at home. So let’s begin without any delay!

1. Unscrewing a rusty screw

When moisture gets between the threads of a screw and the threads of its nut, it doesn’t take long for rust to appear, welding the contact between the two pieces.

The screw is so rusty that the screwdriver won’t turn. You are now stopped in your DIY session. How to unblock this screw without having a specific product at hand?

There are three possibilities:

– Pour a few drops of kerosene on the screw. If, however, it is still impossible to remove, make a mixture of machine oil/nail polish remover, leave it to act for 15 minutes, and remove the screw with a screwdriver.

– Use white vinegar and pour it on the head of the screw, leave it for 15 minutes and remove the screw with your screwdriver.

– Insert the screwdriver into the rusty screw, adjust the wrench to hold the screwdriver, turn the wrench while pressing the screwdriver. 

Good to know: do not reassemble a rusty screw or one whose impression is starting to be damaged.

2. Drive a thin nail easily

DIY
Fred Stewart begins the process of reshoeing a horse named Dag, after moving to the shade. Fred began by putting on a new shoe on the left rear hoof. Later in the session, he began work on the left front foot. The right hooves will wait for another day.

Driving a nail seems simple and within reach of any DIY enthusiast. However, driving fine nails requires a minimum of technique. Here are a few tips that will allow you to hammer them in one after the other without ever hitting your fingers:

– Position the nail in the desired location, keeping it straight. Then give the nail small taps, always holding it with the other hand. When your fingers become too thick to hold the nail still, remove them, then finish by tapping with the hammer.

– Pinch the nail with a clothespin and hit it with a hammer without risking injury.

– Take a sheet of cardboard, stick your nail in it; the cardboard will hold the nail straight; you will just have to tear it when you have driven the nail into the wood.

Good to know: don’t forget to grip your hammer firmly by the bottom of the handle; your gesture will be more precise.

3. Driving a screw in a hard-to-reach place

DIY

Sometimes you’ll need to screw in a place where you can’t hold the screw with your fingers, for example, in a place that’s too narrow to fit your hand. How do you manage to do this without getting upset? You have several solutions:

– Put a sticky substance, such as fixing paste, double-sided adhesive, between the screwdriver and the screw, it is the screwdriver that will put the screw in the right place, and you can then screw without problems.

– Slide the screw between the teeth of a small comb that will act as a “third hand” and suitable for screws of different sizes.

– Push in a piece of plastic or rubber tube at the end of the screwdriver to hold the screw head.

– Attach a paper clip to the end of the screwdriver with a rubber band or adhesive tape and wedge the screw between its legs.

– Magnetize the screw by placing it on a magnet for a few minutes.

4. Use a toolbox

If you’re tinkering on the weekends or in the evenings, it’s always maddening to have to stop in the middle of a task to buy the right size screw, nail, or dowel.

Therefore, plan a toolbox that will be very useful:

– a collection of screws, nails, hooks, and dowels in the most commonly used sizes;

– a set of drill bits of different diameters for your drill, for the most common materials, concrete, brick, metal, wood.

You will also need to bring:

– a wooden pencil;

– a large ruler or tape measure;

– a spirit level.

This will prevent you from stopping a DIY project due to a lack of suitable materials.

Note: to find suitable materials quickly, it is best to store them carefully in small boxes or transparent plastic bags.

And, that’s it 🙂 We are now done with those quick and easy tips. How did you find this post? If you have a good foundation for repairs and minor maintenance at home, please share your tips in the section below!

 

Read more here:

4 Easy Tips Every DIY Enthusiast Should Know!