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English Version | Lifestyle DIY: you can do this at home

04 Mar 2021
By Sara Andrade

DIY? That is so 20th century. The current times call for a new word for that creativity by our own hand.

DIY? That is so 20th century. The current times call for a new word for that creativity by our own hand.

We have not yet reached a consensus as to what the term DIY (do it yourself) really means in lockdown, but there is nothing that sharpens the imagination more than the distraction of a jobsite, whatever it may be, so it can be that consensus emerge in a burst of creativity while, locked between four walls, we show off our Michelangelo meets Marie Kondo self. Because if we are going to get into (artistic) work, it is for the benefit of organization, savings, sustainability - and time occupation. The examples that follow will not be the next roof of the Sistine Chapel, but they will greatly improve our life, I mean, quarantine. And in the meantime, we remember an alternative title: instead of do it yourself, it becomes do it myself, because if I want something well done at home, it’s better if I do it myself really.

Waxed Cloths 

In the recipes listed on the Maria Granel website, many derive from the need to make the kitchen a place with less waste and less disposables, and these waxed kitchen towels answer this challenge. In addition to waterproofing them, making them ideal for wrapping sandwiches and even gifts, the fact that they gain some structure and solidity allows them to replace the cling film, which is not recyclable and is for single use.


A piece of cotton fabric, of your choice, of the size you want. It is advisable to reuse some disused cloth or even a dated piece of clothing, such as a t-shirt.

A candle or beeswax / vegetable of sustainable origin

Vegetal paper




Place the cloth over a sheet of parchment paper. With the help of the grater, grate the candle or wax on top of the cloth in order to cover it evenly. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use the iron until the wax adheres to the cloth.

Insect-repelling plants

Sometimes doing it yourself means getting others to do it for us. And “moving on to another person and not the same”, in this case, is not about imposing the task on someone else, but rather organizing an army of natural solutions to solve some of the problems at home, while, in the meantime, sharpening your gardening side and the creative sense to apply the following suggestions in the best way. In A Senhora do Monte (€ 16.60, on, the book by Cláudia Costa and Tiago Lucena, which returns to its origins to share the wisdom of other times in homemade solutions, the pair of authors suggests a small aromatic herb garden to chase away insects naturally and without insecticides, since some plants repel the “bugs” with their aroma, as listed by the duo of authors in the publication, of which Vogue chooses half a dozen: 

Rosemary - in pots, with its slight insecticidal effect, repels mosquitoes and mosquitoes;

Lavender - the dry lavender branches repel moths, fleas, flies, mosquitoes and even scorpions;

Citronella - keeps away most insects, hence it is used industrially;

Chrysanthemum - repels cockroaches, ants, Japanese beetles, ticks, moths, lice, fleas, bedbugs and mites;

Laurel - bay leaves, fresh or dried, repel flies; Thyme and lemon thyme - these herbs repel mosquitoes. 

Ant repellent

If you prefer not to leave this task on someone else's stems, you can always create a mixture, also shared by Costa and Lucena. 


150ml of alcohol

50ml of water

5g cloves


Combine all ingredients in a jar, shake well and let it be for 48 hours. It’s a holy remedy. The authors warn that the product is not infallible forever because ants can perceive that the product is harmless, so the ideal is to alternate with other natural solutions. 

Homemade lamp 

It is great that you continue to keep all the glass jars where the grain, peanut butter, coconut oil comes from, and that you reuse them for homemade sweets, dried fruit spreads that you learned to make in the blender, but sooner rather than later they will create their own territory on the kitchen counter. The reason? You are not thinking outside the pantry: with this easy solution, you have a decorative object to place a little throughout the house and create a low light environment. 


1 glass bottle

Glass paint in a shade of your choice (white always works well; darker tones limit the luminous effect more)


Wrap the string at your leisure around the bottle, leaving some areas uncovered. With the paint, cover the glass areas without string and let it dry. Remove the string and place an individual candle or battery-operated tableware inside the jar. The duality between the painted and ink-free zones creates a light effect for a candle-lit evening with a twist.

Napperon lamp 

Oh, and that list of crochet specimens that you inherited from your grandmother? If you're like me, you put them all to use in bread baskets, on the living room table, over a pitcher of water, in short, you love it. But if you kept them in a drawer waiting for a great idea to give them new life, here it is: a structure that serves as a shade. 


Selection of napperons

1 balloon

Wallpaper glue



Fill the balloon to the size that you imagined your lampshade to be and hang it at a height suitable for working. Brush the napperons abundantly with glue to gain rigidity (don't forget to work in a protected area with newsprint, for example, as this will not be a task without some collateral damage) and arrange them around the balloon. Repeat the process until the balloon is completely covered (you will probably have to overlap the pieces), except for a slight opening at the top to be able to insert a lamp. Hang the balloon to allow the structure to dry completely. When the glue is completely absorbed (ideally, let the project rest overnight) and the napperons are very solid, pop the balloon. With the help of the wire, attach the crochet structure to the lamp frame for a ceiling lamp with history.

Pineapple plant

Pineapple-pen? No. Pineapple top. It may not garner millions of views on YouTube, but it will surely earn some acclaim on your balcony: it may not be as famous as the cousin “avocado core”, but planting the top of a pineapple is very easy and, therefore, worthwhile.


1 pineapple

Glass jar



The next time you are going to delight yourself with a pineapple, twist the crown of the fruit to remove it from the edible body (or cut with the knife, ensuring that it “cleans” any traces of fruit). Then, remove some of the leaves from the base and let the crown dry for a day or two. With the help of some toothpicks, balance the pineapple crown in the jar with water, in order to keep the base without submerged leaves. Change the water every two days and watch the roots grow. When they reach about seven centimeters, you can plant in a pot with soil, in a corner with good light. In spring and summer, you can place it outside the home, on a balcony or backyard. Water only when the soil is dry.

Pebble base

Stones on my way? I take them all. One day, I make a base for pans, teapots and trays. Today is the day.


Pebbles q.s. (choose the most rounded and approximate in size, different shades or not, as you prefer)

A “sheet” of felt large enough to create a base with a diameter of 15 centimeters

Hot glue 


Draw and cut a 15 cm diameter circle on the felt sheet. Arrange the pebbles on the form until you have a uniform base and feel satisfied with the final layout. With the help of a hot glue gun, glue the pebbles to the base without destroying the arrangement. Let it dry. Test with a relaxing tea. You deserve it after this hard work.

Renovated frames 

What about those paintings, with no commercial value, that you love to buy at fairs and antique markets? We also think that they look beautiful against the storeroom, behind the rusty treadmill, but perhaps a new life would free up that space to put the fixed bicycle that you don’t use either. With this option, you can modernize these articles for a final result that is both kitsch and minimal. The idea is that the paintings are half painted in one color and that, in the remaining space, the original piece stands out.


Paints of different shades of your choice and in the quantity you want

Frames in need of an update 


Dip the frames in the paint until it covers half of the piece and let it dry: Voilà!

PS: if by any chance the logistics of the dive is not ideal due to cost and size of the pictures, you can always paint with the help of a roller (to avoid the brush marks), marking the line with a paper tape that separates the original from his intervention. 

Pineapple “flowers”

Making bread is so quarantine'2020. This lockdown’21 calls for decorated cupcakes capable of rivaling New York Magnolia Bakery. The easiest - and healthiest - way to do it? With pineapple.


1 small pineapple


Thinly slice the pineapple and place on a tray lined with silicone or with a sheet of parchment paper. Take it to the oven previously heated to 110C and let it dry slowly for 30 minutes. Take a look to see if they have turned a golden color and, if necessary, leave a little more - maybe for another 30 minutes. When they have a dehydrated air, place, while cooling, in a cupcake mold, so that they are slightly curved. Finally, icing on the cake, overlay a cupcake over a layer of whipped cream, for example.

Sara Andrade By Sara Andrade



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