Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Simple DIY Tips & Tricks for Handy Mums

We all know that mums are multi-talented multi-taskers who can juggle a multitude of housework all while looking after the bubs. Why not add a bit of home DIY to the list too? These simple tips and tricks have got you covered!

  1. Keep a toolkit with the essentials

You don?t need to run out and buy all the biggest tools and toolboxes (toolboxes are EXPENSIVE!) but keeping a nice, simple kit with all the right tools is important. You?ll want to make sure you have all the following items covered, because there?s nothing worse than needing to do a quick and easy emergency repair and realising you just don?t have the right tool for the job!

Multi-head screwdriver – you?ll thank us for this one. Being able to swap out screwdriver heads on the one tool is so much neater than having to find space for 20 full sized screwdrivers! If you look in the right place, you can get a full set for under $20 too, and that?ll be more than enough for basic DIY projects! 

Tape measure – preferably with a magnetic end. 

Hammer – this is pretty self explanatory, plus when you need one you can never seem to find one.

Multigrip pliers – these are a must if you?re doing home repairs – they allow you to use a single tool on a huge range of items with different shapes and diameters.

Adjustable wrench (also known as a shifter) – for DIY projects and home repairs these are more versatile than having a whole set of spanners. You?ll save space, plus you?ll be able to deal with nuts and bolts in a whole range of sizes. They do still come in multiple sizes, but you can pick up a set of 3 for less than $20 and that?ll have you covered for any project you?ll need to do.

Wax pencil (also known as a chinagraph pencil) – you?d be amazed how many people forget that the pencil is an integral part of a toolkit! Wax pencils are especially useful as you can mark any surface including glass, and you can rub the marks right off.

Hot glue gun – this one is a must for the craft-orientated mum. If you like making and decorating as well as building things or repairing your home, you need one of these babies! 

And for the toolbox itself – repurpose an old biscuit tin or makeup case instead of buying an actual toolbox. It?s cheaper and chances are the hubby will never think to look there if he wants to ?borrow? a tool or two!

2. Wall hanging tips

Did you know there are fixings specially designed for plaster walls? They?re called nylon wallmates or wall anchors and they usually come in a nice little set which includes the anchor and the screw that fits nicely inside it. The best thing about it? You don?t need ANY power tools! That?s right – you can hang up all of those pictures and paintings and now no one can stop you!

The nylon is non-conductive, so if there are nearby wires you?re all good. Just make sure you don?t actually hit one or you could be in trouble.

Also remember to measure and mark your wall beforehand so all of your pictures are evenly spaced.

If you?re in a rental property, there?s a huge range of removable adhesives and adhesive hooks that will allow you to hang things without worrying about damage to the walls.

3. Repurposing materials for decorative shelving

Rustic is IN! And it isn?t leaving any time soon. You can stack old timber boxes from the market and fix them together in interesting configurations to make decorative shelves, or fit them to the wall using our wall hanging tips.

Timber a-frame ladders are also really popular for shelving, and you don?t need to spend hundreds of dollars buying them from a furniture store! Making one yourself is a great weekend project, plus you can customise it to be exactly the right shape and size to suit your needs. All you really need is timber – lengths to form the frame then planks cut to size to use a shelves. The great thing about timber is that you can stain it to any colour so it matches your decor. If you?re more of an op-shopper, you can pick up an existing old timber ladder and upcycle it, adding your shelf planks and paint. 

4. Patching holes

Old fixing holes can be an unsightly mess but they are incredibly easy to patch. All you need is putty / filler, a putty knife and some sand paper. Fill the old hole with the putty using the putty knife, scraping the excess off. Wait until it dries, then sand back. If the colours don?t match, you can also repaint the filled holes. The hole thing (get it, hole!) will cost you less than $20 and you?ll be able to fill literally old fixing hole in your house. Just bear in mind that if you?re trying to fill something really large, it?s better to hire a professional or your wall finish will not match and you could get cracks along the seams.

And on that note, if you?re ever unsure of whether you can get a job done yourself, hire a handyman! It doesn?t cost anything to get a quote, and a good handyman can always take care of the hard things for you and show you how to do the rest yourself.