Uses for Old Coffee Jars

I’ve been storing up loads of different jars for who knows what reason and decided I needed to use them or recycle them. I’m going to blame my mother for the overwhelming urge to hoard things (especially empty jars) and always feel slightly guilty when I have a purge of the clutter in the house. I do try to keep on top of things – although the charity shop pile has only left the house this weekend after being in the spare room for the last year!

Jars for Food Storage

Back to the jars: smaller ones I keep for the few occasions during the year that I turn my hand to chutney making or mincemeat making at Christmas. A tall, thin passata jar became a vase. And finally all the coffee jars (Douwe Egberts) with fancy glass lids are now being used to store various food stuffs. As you can see from the picture this includes sugar, chopped dates and mini marshmallows! The jars were a bit of a nightmare to clean –  all of them went through the dishwasher, however the sticky gunk from the label never came off. Thus I spent almost a whole afternoon with a green scourer trying to remove it all. I have to confess- some of the jars are still slightly tacky! It was definitely worth it as now my cupboard looks tidier and the food shouldn’t perish as quickly!

DVD Storage Boxes

A few weeks back my husband put up the extra shelf in the front room. Since then, we’ve been looking for storage options for the DVDs and computer games that were to find their home there. We wanted storage that was easy accessible but hid the actual DVDs/ games from view. Basically, it came down to what type of boxes to buy! No other option was really available that would hide the DVDs/ games.

DVD and Computer Game Storage

As luck would have it we were passing Ikea last weekend and popped in for a few things. As I’m sure everyone knows they have loads of boxes in different colours and sizes to choose from. We went for a combination of black and white stripe, white hessian and olive green. Only four of the boxes are filled however, we overestimated the number we needed! Now it’s a case of deciding what to buy to fill the remaining three boxes…..

The Perfect Desk!

Previously, my excuse for not doing that much sewing/ crafting had been that I didn’t have a proper workspace. The sewing machine used to live behind the sofa (gathering dust) and the rare occasions I took it out it would be placed on some storage bins in front of the sofa where I would sit and try to sew. After about half an hour my back would be sore from slumping over the sewing machine and all the bits and pieces that I needed for sewing would be in a mess on the sofa and the floor. Then, I would have to put it all away after not really accomplishing much.

Desk built to fit

Anyway, we decided to fit a desk into the corner of the back room (dining room) so that the sewing machine and laptop could always be out and ready to use. Storage was needed as well so that all the craft bits were within easy reach and there could be no excuses for doing some sewing. After looking at the desks available in places like Argos and Ikea, we decided that nothing was quite right to fit the small space we had. Instead, we made our own desk using mdf, vinyl and legs (really cheap from Ikea). The board was measured to size and cut to fit perfectly with a nice curve. The vinyl was stretched and glued over the surface- pinned underneath using drawing pins! Finally, the legs were screwed on and the desk was dropped into place.

Desk tidy solutions

On the windowsill is a few bits to keep the desk tidy- a toast rack that is now used to file bits of paper, a flower pot doubling as a small bin and my tin can pen pot that I blogged about previously. Now there is no excuse not to sew and craft!

Weekend Checklist

Around the house there is always loads of jobs to do, most of them have been pending for years! This weekend I’ve written a checklist and have already ticked off four jobs. Obviously the list will grow and will take more than one weekend, however hopefully the good start will continue and soon those niggly little jobs will all be done…

Extra shelf

Here’s the current list:

  • Put up extra shelf in front room
  • Buy DVD storage for shelves in front room
  • Dye front room curtains
  • Buy and fit new towel rail in bathroom
  • Buy and fit new shower-head
  • Finish tile grouting around bathroom sink
  • Replace bathroom light
  • Repaint hallway, stairs and landing
  • Put curtain pole up properly in bedroom
  • Finish and paint skirting in kitchen
  • Cover fireplace in kitchen
  • Buy and fit new kitchen light



Flower Hooks

Not the most exciting of titles for a blog post I’ll admit it but coat hooks are so useful and come in so many different styles that they must suit every home.

Heart Hook

I’m afraid so far I only use hooks in the classic ‘back of the door’ context for dressing gowns, bags, and downstairs for coats. However, I do know that they are extremely versatile and can be used for folding chairs, pots and pans, shoes, bags in fact an endless array of things can be hung up. They are particularly useful in utility rooms and kitchens for hanging awkward things that would otherwise be taking up far too much space in a drawer or cupboard.

Pineapple Hook

The pineapple hook is a particular favourite of mine- a charity shop find that was 50p!

Tin can pen pot

Tin can pen pot

I’m always annoyed with pens lying around and have been meaning to get a pen pot. Instead of buying one, I thought I’d use a tin can (this one was from chopped tomatoes in case you’re interested!) I gave it a good clean and then covered it with some cream vinyl that was left over from making our corner desk. Where the material joins isn’t the neatest but for a quick solution I think it’s pretty good! Also in the picture is the toast rack I’m using to keep bits of paper tidy!