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DIY mid-century hairpin nightstand – for those who cannot DIY

August 10, 2017

DIY midcentury hairpin leg nightstand

My forte is not DIY or building furniture. My forte is eating cake, stroking cats and dogs, and crying about not living in Canada, it is not building furniture; and yet I somehow built two hairpin nightstands.

Honestly, my DIY skills are woeful. I am better suited to providing refreshments, unless you want me to have to reassemble a TV stand three times because I keep putting bits the wrong way round (that happened once).

I fell down a Pinterest hole one day while looking for bedroom inspiration and saw a mid-century hairpin nightstand that I fell in love with. When I did some research I found some beautiful ones on Etsy, but I can't justify well over £100 for someone to stick our phones, books, and TV remote. I skulked back to Pinterest and ended up finding a tutorial for a hairpin nightstand which looked doable even with my poor DIY skills.

Luckily, my Mum was having a clearout and was getting rid of a big piece of wood that she'd used as a desk top. It was in perfect condition and was exactly the right size to make two matching nightstands; winner! I'm so pleased with how they turned out. I had this vision in my head of what they would look like and I didn't really think they would live up to it, but they surpassed it.

If I can make hairpin nightstands, anyone can, trust me. It required a handful of skills and the guidance of my Mum, who I swear can do pretty much anything (I would not be surprised if she told me she was secretly an astronaut).

Old piece of wood from a desk

Waxing the wood

Materials & cost

  • Wood: free (140cm x 57cm, which made two nightstands 45cm wide, 25cm deep, and 15cm tall)
  • Legs: £66 for 2 x sets of 4 black hairpin legs 35.5cm/14inches tall from The Hairpin Leg Co. on eBay (they appear to be more expensive on their own website for some reason.)
  • Wax: Colron medium oak wax - £14.99
  • Corner braces: 16 for £15.34
  • Screws: this will depend on the thickness of your wood and whether or not your legs come with screws. My legs did, but they were a a couple of mm too long for my wood, so I had to buy more screws. I used 32 screws for attaching the legs and 32 screws for attaching the brackets.
  • If you don't already have a saw, sandpaper, and a screwdriver, you will need those too.

All in all, I spent about £120 on the materials and tools for two nightstands. No, that isn't super cheap but it is cheaper than paying over £150 per nightstand. Plus, I have tools for any future DIY endeavors...and the wax will be used again to polish the nightstands. And honestly, the feeling of walking into a room and seeing something you made sitting there is priceless. The biggest cost by far were the legs, which you might be able to save some money if you shop around but I didn't see anything much cheaper.

Two mid-century hairpin nightstands DIY tutorial

Hairpin nightstand tutorial

Hairpin nightstand tutorial

  • Decide how big you want your stands to be and the best way to cut the pieces of wood from the wood you've got. Ours are 45cm wide, 25cm deep and 15cm high, which is perfectly big enough to put things on and for our cat to sleep inside...
  • Mark out your pieces and saw them out.
  • Sand the edges until they're smooth. If you're re-using wood like I was, you might need to sand off any marks or old wax.
  • If you need to remove any old wax use some turpentine in a well-ventilated area; it might smell nice, but y'all don't need to get high off it.
  • Decide which pieces will be top pieces, bottom pieces, and which way you want the side pieces; this probably isn't a big issue if you're using new wood, but it's important if you're re-using wood that might have scratches, holes, or marks on it.
  • Apply whatever wax, varnish or paint you want; or leave it plain.
  • Mark out where you want to place your corner braces; we marked ours 6cm from the front and back edges to make sure the corner brace screws didn't get in the way of the leg screws.
  • Attach the corner braces; if you have a small screwdriver this will be really easy because you'll have no problems attaching the top. If you don't, it is a little trickier, but it is doable.
  • Mark out where you want the legs to go and screw them in.
  • Put your table in your bedroom and drool over how beautiful and Pinterest-worthy it looks.
  • Put the kettle on, have a cup of something hot and eat cake, you've earned it.

DIY hairpin leg nightstand

All in all, it took my Mum and I about six hours to finish two nightstands. The longest part was prepping and waxing the wood; screwing it all together and attaching the legs probably took about an hour. If it's nice outside, you could easily finish this project off in a day and go to bed with a beautiful hairpin nightstand next to your bed the same night. It was seriously easy and it's so satisfying to 1) get to use up something which was going to landfill otherwise and 2) to see something you've made getting put to use in your own home.

Have you ever made any furniture?

Fancy making your own hairpin nightstand? Pin me for later!

DIY hairpin leg nightstand tutorial

Life

Share the love – July 2017

August 3, 2017

Share The Love July 2017 collage

I really missed not writing a Share The Love post at the end of June, but I was jetlagged and unhappy about being back in England so, I’m sure you can forgive me.

July seems to have whizzed by and at times I’m left wondering whether it was only last month that we were chilling by lakes in Canada. I got confirmation that I am now the proud owner of a BSc (Hons) first class in Forensic Science, *does a little happy dance*. I’m pretty proud of myself for that one. A couple of weeks after we got back from Canada, we spent a few days in Edinburgh, searching for places to live and Daz got himself a job!

Last Monday, my friends from work threw me a surprise leaving party, which was so sweet and I really didn’t know what to say. I was lost for words. We had a brilliant night, played Cards Against Humanity, and ate some delicious brownies one of my friends made, and it was wonderful. I truly am going to miss them so much; I think I might leak from the eyes on my last shift, which will be terribly undignified because I ugly cry.

I’ve also finally plucked up the courage to begin editing our photos from Canada and I immediately realised I was not strong enough because I WANNA GO BACK RIGHT NOW. I’m not going to lie, I fall in love with a lot of places I visit (for a while I was seriously going to Sweden to do a masters, but money) but Canada is like nothing else; it felt like home straight away and England doesn’t entirely feel like home now.

 

BLOG – Hopscotch The Globe

This is one of my favourite travel blogs and YouTube channels. Kristen and Siya are an adventuring couple who produce some of the best travel videos and blogs I’ve seen, and what I think makes them even better is how friendly and chilled out they come across. It feels like you’re listening to friends when you watch their videos. 

Last year, they brought an Airstream and started renovating it. I’ve been eagerly following their progress videos and they finally revealed their incredibly beautiful and spacious looking Airstream in July. I challenge you to watch it and tell me you don’t want to live in an Airstream right away, because I do. I want to move to Canada, renovate an Airstream and explore Canada, and wake up to new forests and mountain views whenever I fancy it.

 

LINKS

 

LISTENING TO

July was an amazing month for new music. While Daz is slowly being subjected to a little less Paramore than in June, it’s still popping up in my playlist a lot. Also popping up is new music from:

  • Kesha; damn, can we talk about how amazing Rainbow is going to be? She has released three singles off her upcoming album and they are all incredible. Take a listen to them here: Praying | Woman | Learn To Let Go
  • LIGHTS; Skydiving is so darn catchy.
  • While we’re talking about eagerly anticipating, I couldn’t not mention that SHANIA TWAIN IS RELEASING A NEW ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER. I cannot wait. I grew up on her music and I cannot wait to hear Now.

I also got into two podcasts this month:

  • Estee Lalonde released the pilot episode of her podcast, The Heart Of It. In the pilot, Estee spoke about protests and I absolutely loved it. I’ve watched her videos for years and her tone of voice is really similar to how she is in her blog and videos, only she gets into important topics.
  • I finally got around to watching Anna and Lily’s podcast, At Home With and it was just so easy to sit down and relax to.

 

WATCHING

All I need to say here is that Game of Thrones is back.

 

POPULAR POSTS ON GIRL IN AWE

 

Now I want to hear about your favourite things from July; send me all the links!

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Ethical and sustainable living, Life

Earth Overshoot Day; changing the way we travel

August 2, 2017
Driving down the Icefields Parkway
 

Today is Earth Overshoot Day; the point in the calendar whereby we have used more natural resources than the planet can renew throughout the whole of the year. That’s a pretty sobering thought when there are almost five months left of 2017.

The Earth Overshoot Day website goes into more detail about what August 2nd represents and some of the things we can do to push that date back. It even allows you to calculate your global footprint. While it isn’t 100% perfect as it doesn’t include many countries on it, you can pick the one closest to you and it gives you some indication of what you could do to reduce your global footprint. According to my results, we would need 4.9 planets to support a world living the same way I do. That was a pretty surprising result as I thought I lived fairly greenly.

A couple of days ago, the UK government announced that it plans to cease sale of petrol and diesel cars (though not hybrid cars) by 2040. In comparison, India wants the same by 2030, and Norway only wants zero emission cars on their roads by 2025. Last month, Volvo announced that they will only introduce electric or hybrid vehicles after 2019. While it requires more work and money for a country to support that kind of change than for a company to stop producing a specific type of car, why is our government planning to fall 21 years behind Volvo, 15 years behind Norway, and 10 years behind India?

No, it’s not as simple as us replacing petrol and diesel cars with electric or hybrid versions, it will require culture shifts and a lot of investment in energy and public transport, but why are we aiming to fall behind?

The government estimate that air pollution is linked to 40,000 premature deaths per year, though it is hard to verify that figure. We know that air quality in some areas is poor, it can make existing conditions worse, and no one really wants to breath in dirty air, period. We know something needs to be done, but are our government doing enough, fast enough? These are just some of the issues that need to be tackled to change the way we think about travel.

Green energy

It’s all well and good harping on about how green electric cars are, but how green are the energy sources charging that car? If an electric car is charged using electric from fossil fuels, it isn’t truly emission free; albeit, the emissions are being emitted from a power station, not the car directly.The UK government is woefully behind other European countries in terms of green energy. A few times a year, stories pop up about the likes of Germany or Sweden generating enough green energy to power the entire country for a day or two. It’s not perfect, but they’re on the right path and we need to follow suit.

The problems with UK public transport

If you’ve traveled to Europe, you will know how inadequate and expensive the British public transport system is in comparison. The UK rail networks are in need of upgrading but that isn’t a priority for the government, who recently scrapped plans to electrify key lines. It seems the only public transport system the government are interested in is HS2, which will tear up parts of the British countryside, will cost £55.7 billion (way above the £32.7bn originally estimated), and will probably be the rail equivalent of the M6 toll; that is, barely used.

We are moving to Edinburgh soon and our friends and family have been doing some research into the easiest and cheapest way to get to Edinburgh, which is about 270 miles from where we currently live. In my car (a 0.9l Renault Clio), it costs less than £30 in fuel one way. The train? Costs over £100. Where is the incentive for people to take public transport instead of their cars when it is so expensive? What’s worse is you could fit five people in the average car, which would drop the cost to £6 each in fuel, but everyone would still be paying £100 on the train.

On top of that, our networks need to expand their reach to encourage more people to take public transport. It takes me just under 20 minutes to drive 7.5 miles to work, but what if I wanted to take public transport? I can’t, safely. I would have to walk a couple of miles down an unlit country lane with no footpath, and it’s doubtful buses would be running when I finish at 1am.

That leads us nicely to cycling. To a lot of motorists, cyclists are considered to be a pain because UK roads aren’t quite wide enough to safely pass. This is even more problematic in rural areas. The Netherlands is a country we really need to learn from because it has been estimated that up to 70% of journeys in Amsterdam and The Hague are made on cycles.

Changing how we travel

Helping our environment does not just require a change in how our government thinks and our infrastructure works, it requires us to change our mindsets. We need to change the way we think about travel. While that does go hand in hand with improved public transport, we need to start walking or cycling more.

I include myself in that category. When we’re living outside Edinburgh, we probably won’t need the car much at all but it seems hard to give up that sense of freedom that comes with owning a car. Conversely, if public transport was better and cheaper, it wouldn’t be as hard.

It isn’t going to be completely pain free and easy, but we haven’t done our fair share in terms of protecting the world we live in for long enough and it’s time we step up and take responsibility.

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Life

7 ways we can be more eco-friendly in the bathroom

February 10, 2016

How to be more eco-friendly in the bathroom

One of my goals this year is to be more eco-friendly; which means buying products that are less harmful to the environment, and buying products with less packaging. By far the area I find it hardest to be more environmentally conscious is the bathroom.

I think a lot of people share the same goals, but it can feel really baffling and confusing and it’s hard to know where to start. I’m absolutely no expert on these things, but I thought I would share tips and advice from people who do know what they’re on about, and the advice I’ve been following for the past few weeks, and things I want to try out.

If you have anything to add to this list, please let me know in the comment section.

Without further ado, here are 7 ways we can be more environmentally friendly in the bathroom.


 

Make your own face scrubbies – Craftaholics Anonymous

Do away with the cotton pads, and make your own washable face pads. What I really like about this idea is that you can make them really pretty and colourful, now that’s something you don’t get with your normal cotton pads. I had a go at this a couple of days ago (it’s that purple misshapen thing on the sink) and it’s fairly easy – by that I mean it was fairly easy for me to make something vaguely circular that didn’t look much like the photos, but if you’ve done a couple of crochet projects before, you should be fine.

If you don’t fancy making your own scrubbies, you could buy or make your own reusable cotton rounds. 

 

Toothpaste

I think this is one of the areas that people will feel most daunted and unconvinced by because using commercial toothpaste is one of those things we just do from a young age, and don’t even think to question it. You don’t question the horrible chemicals in it, or whether there are safer alternatives.

For the past year, I have been using cruelty free fluoride free tooth paste, but do really like the idea of making my own once I’ve used my current tube up. There are plenty of DIY toothpaste recipes on Pinterest, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs.

 

Sanitary products

Recently, I was shocked to learn that 60% of tampon users in the UK flushed tampons down the toilet, which causes blockages in sewers, and can cause them to end up in rivers and oceans. I’m pretty sure no one agrees that any of those things are a good idea.

The biggest problem seems to be when it comes to public toilets, where there might not always be a bin in each cubicle and it’s less embarrassing to flush sanitary products rather than feel embarrassed about using the bin by the sinks. We all know it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but I live in Britain and we would apologise for breathing if it wouldn’t take up so much of our time that we could put to better use talking about what shade of grey the sky is today. In short, we do not like bodily functions.

FabLittleBagFabLittleBag

FabLittleBag* have a great idea to try and reduce some of the embarrassment and encourage people to dispose of their sanitary products correctly while out and about. Their oxo-biodegradable bags are easy to open and seal with one hand, which makes disposal easier and more discreet. While their website focuses on using their bags to dispose of tampons, I’ve tested it with pads (that’s what’s in the bag in the photo) and you can fit those in there too.

While we’re on sanitary products, there are alternatives to tampons and pads, which can be full of horrible chemicals and are pretty wasteful. It’s a very person (and kinda daunting) choice, but you might find it worth researching cloth pads (some of them have really pretty patterns) or menstrual cups.

 

Makeup / beauty products

If your Pinterest profile is anything like mine, you won’t have to scroll too far through your homepage to find a recipe for a DIY makeup / beauty product. To me, this seems like the least daunting place to start because there are just so many options out there.

Last year, I made my own skin scrub and food soak (this is the recipe I used) and I really enjoyed it both making it and using it.

You don’t have to denounce ever going into a beauty store again though, because there are a lot of companies that products eco-friendly and cruelty free products.

 

Buy eco-friendly / sustainable products

You can’t always make everything yourself, unless you’re going to take up whittling to make yourself toothbrushes for example.

Here are a few searches to get you started off:

 

Make your own cleaning products

Let’s be honest, few people actually like cleaning products. The stench lingers in the back of your throat for hours and they’re full of horrible chemicals. You don’t actually need chemicals with hazardous signs plastered all over them to keep your bathroom fresh and clean.

If you live in the UK, you might well remember Kim & Aggie’s How Clean Is Your House and their obsession with baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice and that’s because it just works.

A quick search on Pinterest for DIY bathroom cleaners will give you plenty of inspiration and recipes.

 

Use less water and energy

Most new toilets are low-flow. You can also install low-flow showerheads, cut down on the time spent in the shower, turn the tap off when your not using it, switch to LED lightbulbs, and fix any drips.

 

Have you got any tips for being more eco friendly in the bathroom?

*PR sample – this does not affect or sway my opinion because I cannot be bought!