Stuck in self-isolation? Try one of these ‘simple’ but effective DIY property projects

The COVID-19 death toll rises from 475 to 578 overnight, and as the coronavirus crisis continues to ravage the UK, the nation has been forced into self-isolation to prevent the virus from spreading further. So with many people working from home, children not at school and many in self-isolation, a DIY expert has shared her “simple” but effective home improvement tips and DIY project ideas with Express.co.uk.

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Anna Roberts, a blogger and self-proclaimed DIY expert, has shared some ideas to make sure people keep boredom at bay amid the coronavirus lockdown.

She said: “With many people working from home and many in self-isolation it’s important to keep in touch with the outside world and keep yourself entertained.

“Some people may struggle with being on their own for periods of time so it’s important to look after yours and other people’s mental health.

“That’s why I think focusing on DIY projects or simple home improvement is a great way to keep distracted and busy during the lockdown, plus it definitely helps keep boredom at bay.”

The expert shared some of her top DIY ideas for homeowners to try at home while in self-isolation.

“These projects are easy, affordable, and most importantly look fantastic,” Anna added.

– Chalkboard Wall

“One of the easiest DIY projects you can take up is a chalkboard wall. It’s extremely easy to make. This works great for kitchens and kids rooms. All you need is chalkboard paint from your local hardware store, and you can transform any room with minimal effort,” she said.

Supplies: Chalkboard paint, masking tape, paintbrush

Step-by-step guide

1. “Thoroughly clean the wall with sugar soap, making sure to have filled and sanded any imperfections beforehand.”

2. “Tape off the area you wish to paint using quality masking tape. And make sure to protect the floor. This is especially important if you use blackboard paint as the heavy pigment will stain easily.

3. Get Painting: “Use a roller for larger areas and a smoother finish. Cut in first, using a brush for neat edges. If you use a dark colour it may look like one coat is enough, but for the best results you will need two to three.”

The expert added: “Make sure to leave the wall to dry for at least three days before going wild with chalk.”

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– Floating bookshelf

“My absolute favourite DIY project is the floating bookshelves. It’s such an eye-catching illusion and, before the lockdown anyway, it’s so easy to recreate! I would always get appreciative comments from people who visit my home,” said Anna.

She added: “Floating bookshelves can make a room feel imaginative while using wall space effectively. The way these floating bookshelves work is by using a bottom hardcover book to conceal the shelves. The end result looks like the stacked books are floating in midair.”

Supplies: Hardback books, screws, electric drill, wall brackets.

Step-by-step guide

1. “You need to get your hands on one or two metal wall brackets first. Then screw them into your wall so that they’re level with each other. But, make sure they’re close enough together to hold the book you want to put at the bottom of the shelf. If your wall is made of drywall, it might be wise to use drywall anchors with your screws,” she explained.

2. “Now you just have to pick a hardcover book to put on top of it. I would suggest cutting two slits in the book jacket before fitting the book back into place but if you want to avoid cutting holes in your book jacket, you can velcro the back flap to the book’s pages.”

3. “That way, the bracket sits between the internal pages of the book and the back cover. The book is velcroed together so that the back flap doesn’t hang down, and so that the bracket is concealed. And voila! Now your brackets are concealed, and you can start stacking your books.”

But the expert cautioned: “Just make sure not to put too much weight on the bracket!”

– White feather chandelier lampshade

Anna said: “The feather chandelier DIY project requires slightly more skill, as it’s a bit more technical, but it’s still fairly easy to make and it can give your home a unique and exquisite look.”

Supplies: Glue gun/PVA glue, white feather boa or role of white feathers, a round paper lampshade, and scissors.

Step-by-step guide

1. “First, start off by assembling your paper lampshade. I always think it’s easier to start off in the middle, so using the glue gun or PVA glue apply a thick band around the centre of the lampshade (i.e its fattest point).

2. “Then carefully take one feather boa and wrap it around the lampshade sticking it to the glue as you go. Cut off any excess feather boa and keep to one side. Apply another band of glue around the paper lampshade this time a couple of inches above the first band of glue. Then stick another feather boa to this band, cutting off any excess.”

3. “Continue to do so until the whole lampshade is covered in feathers. Using the excess bits of boa you cut off, glue them to the top and bottom of the lampshade where the circumference is smaller.”

She added: “Then there you have it, your very own and unique home decor masterpiece.”

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