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11 ways to DIY your way through winter and turn up the heat

11 ways to DIY your way through winter and turn up the heat

Brrrrrrr! Welcome to freezy winter – the perfect excuse to snuggle up indoors, put on  your DIY pants  and conjure up some magic to keep you and your loved ones warm. Following on from last week’s nifty Daisolutions, this week we’ve been hunting for the best tips for winning at winter with a little DIY knowhow. Keep these 11 tips and tricks up your woolly sleeve to stay snuggly and keep your heating bills low.

#1 ~ Rug up in winter woolies and stay warm on the inside with delicious soups and drinks too 

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Image by @lequirkychaton 

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Winter craft DIY idea by @cherrie.diane.dodson 

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Deck yourself from head to toe in winter woollies – we’re talking beanie, scarf, gloves if it’s convenient, socks and snug house slippers. You can learn to knit your own with DAISO’s needle and yarn supplies, or grab an old jumper and some hot glue (see the links below), but if you’re not so handy then you’ll also find all your woollies pre-made in store! 

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Matcha cookies with white choc chips yum! available at your nearest Daiso. 

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Once you’ve rugged up, heat your belly with comforting liquid treats like hot chocolate, tea and wintry soups. DAISO has the cutest soup stirrers and ladles to colour your cooking with sunshiny vibes, and the mugs and soup bowls are just waiting to add rainbows to  your kitchen. Again, if making ain’t your thang, hit up the soup and noodle aisle for some super easy instant warming winter snacks. Miso miso miso!

LINKS WE LOVE!

How to finger knit an infinity scarf (YouTube)

Find out the WARMEST way to wear a scarf (YouTube)  (see video at 3.42 minutes)

Quick DIY beanie and legwarmers with hot glue (YouTube)

Turn woolly socks into fingerless gloves

Super wintry soups on Pinterest

18 tasty ways to make hot chocolate ~ YUMMO!

Mulled wine, anyone?!

#2 ~ Make your own rice bag warmer and sleep soundly all night 

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5 min hot packs: http://www.raegunramblings.com/2014/05/5-minute-hot-pack-tutorial.html#_a5y_p=2039488

There’s nothing nicer than slipping into warm PJs and getting into a warm cosy bed when it’s cold and raining outside. Aaaaaah! Just heat your warmer in the microwave for half a minute, wrap your PJs around it and place under your covers a few minutes before you head to bed. It’s so easy to make your own rice bag warmer that you’ll wonder why you haven’t done this sooner (and made heaps more for your friends!).

Check out Wellness Mama’s awesome tutorial with bonus alternatives and hand warmer tutorial.

TIP: Make mini ones to place in your shoes just before you put them on. Mmmm, warm toes!

#3 ~ Bake like the apocalypse is coming! Use that oven to heat your home 

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Get your baking essentials from Daiso 

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We are all for the convenience of microwaves, but your oven can be your best friend in winter. Baking will not only yield a scrumptious selection of amazing smelling comfort foods to keep you satisfied, but when you’ve finished baking and you leave your oven’s door open as it cools, you’ll be treated to a most delicious ambient heat. *Skip this tip if you have pets or young children in the house!*

LINKS WE LOVE!

Bakers Corner – wow!

Healthy baking at Taste.com.au – failsafe baking from Australians who know how!

Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop vegan cupcakes recipes with videos! (yes, we’ve tried these fluffy, divine mouthfuls of yumminess  and we totally rate them!)

#4 ~ Keep out icy draughts with velcro, magnets and pool noodles

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Windows and doors are the worst culprits for letting all the cold in and all the heat out of your rooms. So how do you stop this temperature to and fro? Easy. Just get some velcro or magnetic tape to create a temporary seal between the edges of your curtains and your window frame (sides and bottom). If your curtains meet in the middle, you can create a seal along the edges here too. 

For under-door draught gaps, especially in older homes, pick up some pool noodles (or other tube foam), make a single cut along the length of the noodle and slide it to fit along the base of your door. Shut the door and keep that heat in! DAISO also stocks door draught stoppers.

#5 ~ Humidify the house to make the air warmer and go green 

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Image by @yantiranbitan 

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Did you know that dry winter air actually feels colder, dries out your skin and is bad for your sinuses? Increase the humidity in the air by placing well watered plants around the house. A herb garden in the kitchen, some flowering pots by the back door? Your house will look lush and inviting in no time, and you’ll breathe easier.

Or add a few dehumidifiers around the house to refresh every room!

 

TIP: If your glass surfaces start fogging up with condensation then your air is TOO wet, so you might have to give your green babies a day outside in the sun.

LINKS WE LOVE!

15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality

Indoor pot plant Pinspiration

Indoor gardening 101 from Planet Natural

Advanced info about indoor plants and humidity at Indoor Garden HQ

#6 ~ Reflect the heat rays back where they belong with aluminium foil

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Instead of letting the heat escape through nearby glass windows or by rising up the walls, line the wall behind your radiator or wall-mounted heater with aluminium foil and reflect the heat back into the centre of the room. Extra toasty!

#7 ~ Avoid chills – get those light summer frocks out of sight! Don’t even be tempted to take them for a spin! 

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If the sun pokes its head out even for a few hours during the midst of winter, we always seem tempted to strip down to our summer gear only to freeze all day and wish we were wrapped head-to-toe in a doona. NOT THIS WINTER! NOPE! This winter is all about getting those summer threads packed away and out of sight. Pick up some vacuum seal bags from DAISO and make sure you dress sensibly ALL winter! 

 

#8 ~ While we’re sewing … Make your own floor rugs with old sheets, t-shirts and fabric scraps

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Rag rugs are SO IN right now, and most designer stores charge an absolute fortune for them. To that, we say, “Nope!”. We are all about home decorating on a budget. You can pick up all your sewing supplies for $2.80 each at DAISO if you need to stock up (don’t forget your toothbrush! – see the tutorial below), and dig out old sheets and other scrappy fabric at home. This fantastic DIY project makes it so satisfying to curl up on your new rug at the end of a rainy crafternoon indoors!

Check out the tutorial at Rag Rug Cafe!

#9 ~ Try heating your home with tealight candles and terracotta pots

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Surely this is some kind of secret passed down and adapted from ancient times – our ancestors sure did know how to survive the chilly months! Pick up some terracotta pots with holes in the base, and tealight candles at DAISO and you’ll be able to make your small-space heater in no time. Perfect for home offices! See how to make a flower pot heater via Daily Mail's story. Warning: do not use plastic pots! 

#10 ~ Make your own warm insoles for your shoes and boots with insulating products

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Mini Picnic Mats 

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90cm x 180cm reflective mat 

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A wall of rainbow felt 

Toasty tootsies all winter long! Yes! If you haven’t already picked up a pair of insoles from DAISO’s huge range in store, why not have a try at making your own? You can use all kinds of things to line your shoes on the inside, including cardboard, yoga mats and cork sheeting. We also recommend using DAISO’s reflective silver mats, picnic mats, felt squares or insulating bags for your materials. EASY DIY!

See this Wiki-How tutorial for how to make them

#11 ~ Try some DIY tricks to get into a de-frosted car in the morning

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Park with your windscreen facing east. Easy! The rising sun will melt the frost away …  at least in theory!

If you’re worried about ice crystals forming on your windscreen wipers, place knee socks over the wipers at night and take them off again when you’re ready to drive. You can also keep a squeegee wiper in the car to remove any remaining frost (or scrape frost off with your credit card).

If you want to prevent frost on your windows from the beginning, you’ll need to make up a  3:1 vinegar:water mixture and use a spray bottle to apply the mix to your windows. Keep your spray bottle in the car.

You are now armed and ready to take on Old Man Winter like a summer-lovin’ pro. Get to it, you warm-blooded winter warrior. And, while you’re at it, we KNOW you have your own winter secrets to share!

Remember to take part in this month’s competition by sharing your winter secrets on xxxxxxxxxx and tagging them with #mydaisowintersecrets . You could win xxxxxx.

Now go forth and conquer those winter chills, Hot Stuff!

xo

Team DAISO

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Melamine sponges 101: What are they and how do you use them?


These melamine sponges aren’t quite as cute as others you’ve seen at DAISO, but they have cleaning superpowers to champion those scuff marks on your floorboards and marks on your shoe rubber that no other sponge can conquer – AND there’s no need to use harsh synthetic chemical cleaners! All you need is good old-fashioned tap water.  

They’re everything you want in a cleaning product – cheap, easy to use (forget the elbow grease), gentle on your surfaces and eco-friendly.

Warning: Once you start using them, you may want to clean everything!

What are they exactly?

Melamine sponges are made of melamine foam, which is made up of formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. For non-scientists, this means that while the sponges feel like normal sponges, they actually work like super-super-fine sandpaper, getting into tiny grooves of the object you’re cleaning.

Are these the “magic erasers” that cleaning experts talk about?

Yes! Sort of. Just a different brand.

But while you can pick them up in supermarkets for AU$4.40 for a pack of 8 mini-blocks, at DAISO you’ll pay just AU$2.80 for so many more!

What can you clean?

So many things! The sponges are gentle enough to use on glass ceramic, stainless steel, aluminium, ceramic, melamine (Formica), tiles, wood, chrome and fiberglass.

Here are just a few ideas, but you can clean just about any hard surface.*

  • walls, doors, skirting boards and floorboards – remove crayon, marker and scuff marks
  • ceilings and cornices – remove mould and smoke stains
  • light shades and fittings - remove cooking grease buildup on your kitchen lights
  • whitegoods and appliances –remove dirty fingerprints, grease and food splashes, and gunk inside your microwave, dishwasher, oven and refrigerator
  • pots and pans with a metal surface – remove food buildup and burn marks

  • cups and mugs – remove coffee and tea stains

  • jars - remove sticky residue from labels
  • grills and stovetops – remove food and grease buildup
  • kitchen benchtops – remove tea and coffee rings, food splashes and grease
  • kitchen bins - remove marks, food splashes and grime (wipe over afterwards with an antibacterial agent like white vinegar)
  • bathroom surfaces – remove hair dye, stains, dirt, soap scum, mould and lime buildup around taps and between tiles, and in the bath and shower. Wipe over with an antibacterial like white vinegar to prevent mould.

  • Vinyl furniture - remove dust and dirt
  • wooden furniture – remove water rings and other stains (test a spot first and rub very gently in the direction of the wood grain)
  • toilets – remove toilet rings by letting a mini-cube sit in the toilet overnight, and wipe away stains from under the toilet seat
  • sportswear – remove grass stains, dirt and scuff marks from hard plastic and rubber surfaces (great for shin guards)
  • shoes and sneakers - remove grass stains, dirt and scuff marks, even on patent leather (test a small area first)

  • car interiors and rims – dashboards and vinyl seats (but not the outside of your car - except car door indents)
  • car door handle indents – remove fingernail marks - see a YouTube demonstration
  • shed and garden tools - remove dirt and grease
  • metal and other surfaces - remove rust
  • cement – remove green algae from bird baths, steps and ponds
  • camping gear - remove mildew and mould from tents, vinyl canopies, awnings, fiberglass items, etc.
  • computers - remove grime from your mouse and keyboard (unplug first and then make sure the sponge if fully wrung out to avoid water damage) (also test a small area first and clean lightly)
  • photocopiers and printers – remove inky fingerprints and grime from buttons
  • power outlets and light switches – remove dirty fingerprints and grime (use dry sponge or with minimal water).

*For surfaces that are easily scratched, these sponges can leave a dullness to the surface. Test the eraser on a small, unnoticeable, part of the surface you need to clean before you clean the rest.

How do you use a melamine sponge?

  1. Put away your cleaning products - there’s no need to use any.
  2. Wet the sponge with water.
  3. Wring it out.
  4. Rub it gently over surfaces to clean away dirt and grime.

*~Ta-da! Clean!~*

The sponge will gradually wear down over time like a pencil eraser (or you can cut sponges to size for single use).

A pack of these is a fantastic investment for only AU$2.80 !

DAISO sells them in various shapes and sizes, including packs of

  • 30 mini-blocks
  • 16 standard blocks
  • Lengths to cut to your own size.

Where can you find them?

Head straight to DAISO’s cleaning aisle to see the range.

Find your nearest DAISO

Need more motivation?

Check out more before and after shots using melamine sponges.

We hope these magic wonders are as life-changing for you as they have been for our other happy customers who use them. May your house always sparkle!

Happy cleaning!

xo

Team DAISO

We’d love to see your before and after photos using DAISO melamine sponges, so please share them with us on our Facebook page, or on your favourite social media with #mydaiso.

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With 3,500 stores worldwide Daiso is a retail powerhouse and a household name throughout much of Asia. Daiso Industries (Australia) is the official subsidiary of the Japanese owned brand and has opened 16 stores across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland with many more due to open over the coming year. Daiso’s Australian Head Office is located in Melbourne.  

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