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Handy Tips

Recycle Water
If you have a dehumidifier, you have a free supply of water that can be used on houseplants. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and create "condensate" that is free from chemicals and minerals found in tap water.  Do not drink this water thou...
How To Protect Sprinkler Heads While Mowing The Lawn
Sprinkler heads in a lawn often need replacing as it’s easy to run over them when mowing.  To solve the problem, stick short lengths of PVC pipe around each head so they stick up about 25mm higher than the sprinkler heads.  Not only will the sp...
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Protect Sprinkler Heads With PVC Pipe
If your sprinkler system heads are surrounded by landscape rocks they need to be protected to keep the rocks from interfering with the water output. Cut PVC pipe into 150mm lengths and push it into the ground around the sprinkler heads so the pip...
How To Remember Where You Have Spread Lawn Seed
When you need to water newly seeded patches throughout your lawn, it can be tough to remember where you’ve spread the seed.  Give yourself a visual reminder by topping the new grass seed with wood shavings. They will keep the newly seeded areas m...
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When you sow new seeds in spring, it’s hard to remember exactly where they’re planted before they sprout. That’s a problem when putting in other seeds and plants and even for watering.  To make rows easy to find, sprinkle a little washed river sa...
Create A Plant Shelf,
Here’s a beautiful idea for sprucing up the fork of a tree. Make yourself a plant shelf by measuring the gap and cutting a piece of shelving to fit.  Cut a notch in each side of the board so that it hugs the tree and sits securely. Set the shelf...
How To Cut High Tree Branches
Need to cut a tree branch that is just a little too high?  To cut tree branches that are just out of reach, extend the range of your lopping shears and gain leverage with this easy trick.  Slip lengths of PVC pipe over the handles, tape them in...
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DIY Garden Dolly
Need to move stones, potted trees or bags of soil? Make your own sturdy garden dolly from a two-wheel hand trolley and plywood.  Make the box in any dimensions you want and then attach it to the trolley with U bolts. It can handle a lot of weight...
How To Pull Out A Fence Post
When removing fence posts sunk in concrete, use screws to secure an offcut of timber about 100mm from the ground.  Use a landscape timber as your fulcrum, and a long spud bar as a lever. Stand on the bar, and the post and footing will usually sli...
How To Pull Out A Fence Post
To protect shrubs and flowers when using a weed killer such as Roundup, take the sprayer head off the spray wand, tape a funnel to the wand and then replace the sprayer head.  The funnel directs the weed killer exactly where you want it to go and...
Use A Box Frame To Create A Toilet Shelf
If your bathroom is very small, try hanging a wide shadow box picture frame around the toilet roll holder.  It provides two convenient little shelves for small items when storage space is tight. Frames like these can be bought cheaply from hard...
Use Bread Tags To Label Cords
Reuse bread tags for The little plastic tags used to close bread bags are handy for identifying a tangle of computer cables.  Just write the name of the device on the tag and slip it around the cable. No more wondering which wire belongs to which d...
Budget-Friendly Cord Storage
Tired of rummaging through drawers and boxes trying to find the right cords and chargers for all your electronic gadgets? Invest in a clear vinyl over-the-door shoe organiser and make labels for each pocket so that every item has its own home. No...
A Clever Idea for Storing Towels In A Cramped Bathroom
Pullout towel rails are typically meant for kitchens, but they’re also perfect for cramped bathrooms.  They keep damp hand towels and washcloths off the vanity so they can dry out of the way.  Pullout rails only cost a few dollars and are simpl...
How To Store Coat Hangers In The Laundry
If you have shelves or cabinets above your washer or dryer, you’ve got the perfect spot to store clothes hangers. Just mount a towel bar to the base of the cabinets.  This puts hangers at your fingertips so you can hang up shirts and pants fresh...
How To Ripen Fruit In The Kitchen
Free up valuable bench space by mounting a simple wire basket for fruit on the end of an upper cabinet near your kitchen sink. The fruits and vegies will ripen nicely and look beautiful too. Wire baskets work well because they allow light and air...
Build A Mini Shelf For Spices
To stop your spices from getting lost in the back of the cupboard, buy shelf supports and cut 90 x 19mm timber to match the existing shelves. Measure the tallest container, add 30mm for the shelf thickness plus clearance, then drill 5mm holes for...
Install A Wire Rack In The Kitchen
Do you like having fresh herbs at your fingertips? Keeping them on a benchtop takes up space and they may not get enough light. Install a wire rack between the upper cabinets flanking your kitchen window. You can set your plants where they’ll get...
Keep Paper Towels Inside The Car Boot
Paper towels are always handy to have around, especially when you DIY on the go.  To keep paper towels on hand at all times, attach a roll to the inside of a car boot with an octopus strap. The towel will be accessible without taking up space.   ...
Use A Clamp As A Paper Towel Holder
Here’s how to keep paper towel on hand in the workshop at all times. Slide a roll of paper towel over a quick-release clamp and attach it to a workbench, car bonnet or stepladder. You’ll never need to wipe your hands on your pants again. Take a...
DIY Rubber Bands
Old rubber gloves can still be useful even once they have become too worn or torn to use.  Chop them up with a pair of scissors, making a series of neat parallel cuts across the hand and finger sections and you will be left with a pile of differe...
How To Keep Track Of Pencils During DIY
It’s hard to keep track of a carpenter’s pencil while at work, especially if you’re not wearing a shirt with pockets. For a simple solution, attach Velcro to your safety glasses and loop it around the pencil, so it’s always easy to find.  Take...
saw handles have square
Before cutting a length of timber you’ll want to mark a square line to guide your saw. Did you know most timber saws are made with a built-in square?  Closer inspection of the handle will reveal 90º and 45º markings, which can be used to make pr...
Colour Code Wrenches
Use coloured vinyl tape on wrenches to identify their type.  Wrap blue tape around the handle of metric wrenches and red tape around the imperial. Don’t tape up the whole handle, just put a strip at one end to avoid covering up the size marking. ...
How To Secure Air Hoses
Make wraps using lengths of bungee cord and synthetic wine corks. Drill two holes in the cork, thread the cord through the holes and tie off the ends.  You can make them as long or as short as you want. They’re lightweight and work well for secur...
How To Extract Old Door Hinges
Removing a door should be as easy as extracting the hinge screws, but if the door is old it may be more difficult.  Use the tip of a pointed tool such as an awl to dig out any layers of old paint. If the screw still won’t budge, tap the end of th...
Replace Grip On Old Tools With Tape
Over time the handles of well-used old tools start to deteriorate, making them more difficult to hold for long periods of time without chafing.  Bind the handles with silicone rubber wrap such as Tommy Tape. It uses no adhesive but fuses to its...
How To Hang Drills In The Workshop
Keeping your tools hung up and on display in the garage or shed makes them quick and easy to find.  Some tools, such as cordless drills, can be bulky and awkward to hang, but there are various ways to do it. Here are three of the best.  MAKE A...
How To Keep Paintbrushes Fresh Between Coats
This is another way to keep your paintbrush fresh while you take a break in the middle of painting.  Snip the base corner of a ziplock bag, then slide the brush in handle first, feeding it through the hole, and zip it closed. The brush won’t dry...
How To Protect Blinds While Painting
When painting around windows, you’d normally expect to have to remove the blinds before you start. But taking them down and putting them back up again can take longer than the actual job of painting.  Instead, wrap the blinds in plastic bags and...

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