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4 new hobbies to do at home this year

The rain is pouring outside, and you’re stuck at home with nothing to do. It’s times like these where thoughts of adopting a new hobby seem particularly appealing, but where to begin? Thankfully, you need not look much further than your bits ‘n bobs drawer, crammed full of crafting pieces that can be used to create something brilliant. To get you started, we’ve compiled a (beginner friendly) list of four new hobbies for you to do at home this year. Wave goodbye to the indoor blues!

Homemade interior design

There’s no better feeling than transforming a house into a home, and what better way to inject some life into your space than taking up a new hobby by designing your own interior? If you’ve already had a read of our previous blog post on the best rope decor ideas to renovate any home, you’ll know that it’s not actually as difficult as you may think. Anyone can purchase furniture items from their local shop, but there’s something about doing it yourself that makes the whole experience a bit more fun. Perhaps you could use twisted jute rope to craft your very own rustic rope vase, full of your favourite florals, or get to work with some cotton rope and create some coasters, photo frames and mason jar lids. 

You need not stop here either. Taking up interior design as a new hobby is a fun way to bring something extra to your space, proving your creative crafting abilities to your family and friends. Using decking for your garden makes for a much more pleasant experience when the neighbors come round for a glass of wine, creating plant displays or garden bridges with manila decking ropes and polyhemp/ hempex ropes.

Passion for plants

Discovering a passion for plants is another productive hobby, used to add an extra pop of colour and much needed freshness to your home. With benefits a plenty, they’ve also been scientifically proven to boost health and mental wellbeing, so if there’s ever a time to begin growing your very own jungle, it’s now. Species such as spider plants, string of hearts and pothos have tumbling leaves that look stunning when cascading from the ceiling, so craft yourself some hanging planters using macrame twine to complete the biophilia aesthetic. This rope has a great deal of other uses too, so take a peek at our blog post on the best macrame cord craft ideas for some more inspiration. 

Making your own clothes

Learning to sew is another hobby you could take up at home this year to not only save money, but to put your new found crafting skills to the test. It doesn’t take a fashion designer to use a sewing machine, so start off slow and take a look at some YouTube tutorials to get yourself started. Once you’ve equipped yourself with needle and thread, select some scrap pieces of fabric or choose an item of clothing you’d like to upcycle. Use decorative braids for added creativity, or have a go at visible stitching to create some fun patches for a totally different look.  

Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is another effective way to reduce anxiety and stress, instead pouring your emotions out onto a piece of paper and documenting your most fond memories. Perhaps you saw the first signs of autumn when out on a walk and enjoyed the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, or maybe you went to the beach and found an unusual shell. Whatever the occasion, there will be either a material or an item that can be stuck into your scrapbook – there are no rules to this hobby, so experiment as much as you can with different colours and textures. Another technique that can be used when scrapbooking is string pull painting; simply snip a piece of yarn or twine to roughly 18 inches, dip into acrylic paint and coat fully (except the tip), lay on a piece of paper as you wish, sandwich a piece of scrap paper on top and lift up the string. And with that, you’ve just created your own unique artwork!

If you’ve finished reading this blog feeling inspired to start some new hobbies, take a look at our vast collection of crafting ropes. If there’s a particular DIY project you’re looking to start and you need some advice on the best rope to use, have a chat with our team of friendly professionals today. 

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New homeowner tips to help make for a smooth transition

How can you take the stress out of moving house? Unfortunately, that may be mission impossible! Whilst we can’t wave a magic wand and make everything plain sailing, we can certainly help make it less chaotic, at least once you’ve got the keys to your new home. So settle in and take note with these new homeowner tips to help make for a smoother transition.

1. Get your home security in order

Make sure all the windows are in good condition and are able to be fully closed and locked properly. You may have missed things on previous visits, so check entryways for any signs of damage, wear and tear, and faults. If there are any, fixing these should take priority. And before you get carried away with redecorating and kitting out your new home with the latest technology and brand-spanking-new appliances, consider a high-quality security system first. With smart security systems out there, you can order one and set it up in no time with no need for wires – jst a Wi-Fi connection is all you need.

2. Know your neighbours

You probably already know a little about your neighbourhood because that’s one of the factors you should consider when buying a new home. But at the moment you’ll only have the estate agent’s word, or maybe you did some research. Now that you’ve bagged the house though, it’s time to really get to know your neighbours. They could help with your transition or give you valuable tips and insight about the property or area. It does no harm in trying to make friends with neighbours so you can all share important information, especially when it comes to neighbourhood watch schemes. 

3. Reduce, reuse, recycle

We’ve all heard of this mantra, and it’s especially useful when transitioning to a new home. All those boxes and any packaging can come in handy or be recycled. Upcycling also comes into this, especially if you have a family. Kids love being creative, so get them involved in transforming any old items or boxes into new toys, ornaments or storage units, using natural ropes or twines etc. Make sure you know about your local waste management too, and have the calendar sorted, knowing which days your bins will be emptied so you’re on top of your waste from the get-go. 

4. Notify relevant organisations of change of address

Don’t forget the big task of informing the relevant organisations of your move. In fact, not just organisations, but acquaintances and extended family members you may have forgotten about too. Make a list and check it off. Inform all the utility companies as well as the electoral register, DVLA, and your bank. Don’t forget about any pension or finance accounts. Then work your way through all your shop accounts, updating the billing and delivery address. Once you’ve ticked them all off, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

5. Make a house a home

Then there’s the final exciting part of making the house your own. This can seem daunting at first, but as long as you have a thorough plan to follow, things can go more smoothly. Work from room to room, and start with Pinterest to gather inspiration and ideas. For instance, there are fantastic rope decor ideas to renovate any home out there for you to discover. You may even pick up themes to work into your renovation and decor, like nautical which works brilliantly for bathrooms or gardens. With some decking ropes, a patio, lights, and outdoor furniture, you can create a calm, quirky outdoor area – check out these decking for your garden ideas. Or you may like rustic design ideas for your home – there’s lots of inspiration out there whatever your style! 

And for all your crafting needs or help with decor, browse Rope Source right here. Contact us today for any requests or help.

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5 rustic design ideas for your home​

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home that already has a rustic feel, or you’ve been obsessed with Pinterest boards lately, we’ve got five simple but beautiful rustic design ideas for a bit of DIY inspo. 

1. Driftwood mirror and shelf

We love this old-fashioned looking mirror frame and shelf. Just looking at it transports you back in time. Not many of us would think to incorporate a shelf into a mirror, but look how beautiful it can look with a variety of ornaments, candles and keepsakes. You can get this driftwood mirror ready made, or DIY it with some rustic, old beams of wood. Sand them down and give them a new lease of life, but not too much if you’re going for that rustic feel! 

Jute crafts

There’s so much you can do with twisted jute rope or jute craft twine that makes them a perfect resource for rustic-themed home decor. Here are some worthy ideas inspired by Felt Magnet:

2. Jute-wrapped handles

Simply start by tying an over-under knot to secure the end and tuck the tail back. Wrap the jute rope or twine around the handle and the tail. Trim the tail, if necessary, and continue wrapping to the end, tucking the remaining tail under the loops. Secure with a dab of clear drying glue.

3. Jute mug rugs

This one involves a little creative crochet, but don’t worry, there’s a handy YouTube video showing you exactly what to do. This jute twine material is actually brilliant for hot mugs and dishes because they’re larger and thicker than coasters, so they give great heat protection to surfaces, and they look beautifully rustic! 

4. Jute-wrapped bottles and desk containers

A popular trend in rustic home decor circles is wrapping bottles and containers in jute twine; recycling and upcycling in one! Just loop and tie a knot at the base or glue down and wrap to the top of the neck, glueing down the end twine. Use jute-wrapped bottles as ornaments or vases for beautiful flowers, and jute-wrapped tins/containers for tidying up the desk. Go colourful to suit your home’s colour palette with coloured jute craft twine.

5. Expose the stone

Nothing says rustic like exposed stone. Take a look at this quaint stone fireplace feature. If you’ve moved into a house with exposed stone, why not embrace it before thinking of a complete change, as it can be easily incorporated into a rustic theme. Blend it in with neutral tones, antiques and vintage pieces. 

Stone fireplace inspiration

For even more inspiration, check out this rustic home decor Pinterest board filled with tons of ideas. And check out our natural ropes and twines right here for your rustic renovation. 

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The best DIY quick home fixes

We’re so quick to jump out to the shops or browse online when it comes to faulty or worn items, or issues, but there are things we can all do ourselves without having to break the bank. Try out these DIY quick home fixes to surprise yourself on what you can actually do!

Cracked or shabby vases

Forget throwing out a cracked or shabby vase, get creative instead! With natural ropes and a hot glue gun, you can update it in no time, concealing any stains or cracks. Just simply coil the rope around the vase, glueing it down with the hot glue gun, and you’ll have compliments over judgement. If you have a lamp shade looking a bit tired or if it’s been cut, you can do the same.

More storage

By using some leftover planks of wood and rope, you can create some hanging shelves for a rustic storage piece. Sand down your planks, making sure they are all equal in size. Drill holes about 3cm from the edges of the planks, and thread thick rope through the drilled holes, tying knots at the bottom of the bottom shelf. Place the next plank where you want it to sit, then open the rope under it, inserting a dowel or nail through it so that the shelf can rest on it. If the rope is a thin one, you can also rest the plank on a knot in the rope to keep it in place. Attach the hanging ropes to the ceiling using swing hangers. Then, place your items on your shelves for more space.

Securing a loose floorboard

Stepping on a loose floorboard is super annoying. Stop that annoyance with this simple, quick DIY fix. For loose nails, try driving them deeper in with a nail set. If the board is bowed, use stainless steel screws over nails, and cover the heads with wood filler. Before you do this, check for pipes or electric cables underneath! You do not want to hammer or drill into a pipe, especially one that could shoot hot water at you.

Creaky stairs

The next time you hear a creak up the stairs, try sprinkling some talcum powder into the joint of the creaking steps. If it keeps happening, you’ll need to strengthen the joints. You can fit glue blocks between the riser and the tread. Prise away the blocks, and inject wood glue into the joint before refitting the blocks.

DIY coasters

Running low on coasters? Use sisal rope and a hot glue gun to make your own. Simply start by coiling the rope and glueing it in place as you coil it. When you’ve reached the size you want, chop off the end and glue it in place. Just by using a bit of rope, you now have your dinner set complete with a nautical, rustic feel. 

Drawer rope handles

Missing some drawer handles? Maybe they’ve fallen or broken off? Cotton rope can be a handy alternative that will last. Simply drill some holes where the handles were and thread thick rope through, tying a knot on the inside of the drawer to keep it in place. Make sure there’s enough length on the outside to grab and tie a knot at the end. Now you can grab and pull your drawers easily without worrying about any knobs coming loose. 

Funky dresser with rope handles

Stuck sash windows

If you’re painting a sash window, keep moving the panels whilst the paint dries to prevent sticking. If a sash does get stuck, score the edges with a craft knife, then use a filling knife between the beads and sash – easing from both sides. Grasp the meeting rail, and shake the sash to break the paint seal. If you need to replace a sash window cord, look no further than here at Rope Source, we have all colours to suit. 

Rehanging a coat rail

Look out for screws in your coat rails pulling away from the wall. Unscrew the rail to review the fixings, and consider adding another in the middle for more support. If the wall you’re attaching it to is made of bricks that have gone soft or crumbly – making screw holes worn and now too big – use a chisel to fashion a tapered peg from a piece of wood for the screw. Knock the wooden peg into the wall and saw the end off to create a flat surface. 

Unless you plan to repaint, put a thin sheet of card underneath the blade and press the blade with your free hand for a straight cut. Mark the centre of the wooden peg, then drill the rail to fix it in place, but don’t fully tighten the screw. Hammer a peg to the other side, then use a spirit level on the top of the rail. When it’s straight, tap a nail into the other peg to hold it in position, then drill your hole and insert the screw. Tighten all the screws up.

Awkward keys

If you’re finding your key is becoming more awkward to work with, then there are easy things you can try. If the key is new, go back to the locksmith for them to take a look at, it may need some fine-tuning. You can also use lubricating spray to ease it in – avoid oils which can attract dirt and could clog up the mechanism. If all else fails, use a locksmith before you replace the key as it could be a simple fix. 

Wobbly chairs

You don’t need to go out and buy a brand new chair, instead do a DIY home fix to save a wobbly chair. Instead of levelling chair legs by sawing them down, build up a shorter leg by putting the chair on a flat surface, and sliding an off-cut, flat piece of wood underneath until it is stable. Draw around the chair leg and saw off the circle with a fine-toothed saw. Glue and screw the chair leg to the wood to keep it firmly in place. You can also minimise movement by placing sticky-backed gliders on the bottom of the legs. 

Before spending a lot more money, try out your skills for DIY home fixes first. You can train your domestic skills, as well as save some pennies. For any rope, cord, or twine materials, we’ve got you covered here at Rope Source. Contact us today for any length or spool requests. 

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The best rope decor ideas to renovate any home

Feeling like you need a little renovation in the home? You can do so much with something as simple as rope! Here’s our pick of the best rope decor ideas to renovate any home. Get the glue gun out!

Hanging rope mirror frame

For a nautical rope hanging frame, like this from Lily Pad Cottage, you can either glue coiled rope to a large circular mirror or glue a mirror to the centre of some study foam board by cutting a large circular frame to fit around the mirror. For the top, cut a slit in the foam board to slide the rope through to cover unsightly rope ends. Then, wrap and coil the rope around the outer edge of the mirror, cutting the ends and taping them so they don’t fray. Once you have coiled to make a good frame –  four coils is good, but it will depend on your rope’s thickness – glue down with a hot gun. To cover up taped ends, unwind a portion of the rope to get a thinner piece and thread it through the slit you cut earlier and wrap around, repeating until it covers all the ends. Hang the mirror and frame with a length of rope, and for a true nautical style, hang it from a dock cleat.

Basket box

Create a homely box basket using some twisted jute or natural rope. All you need is a cardboard box, your rope of choice, a hot glue gun with glue sticks, and scissors. Begin by cutting the top flaps off the cardboard box with your scissors. Then, start the wrapping process, glueing the rope to the box along the way until you reach the top. Glue the final rope in place and use scissors to cut the end. Glue down any frays. Use some fabric (white muslin fabric is in the picture above) to create a custom-size liner. Now you have a perfect bathroom storage unit!

Rope vase

Add a touch of rustic style to your home with a rope vase like this from Julie Blanner. All you’ll need is a good size vase, twisted jute rope, a glue gun and glue sticks, scissors, and a heavy clip. Grab your twisted jute rope, and add some hot glue to the inside of the rope end and attach it to the base of the vase, then begin to coil it around the base tightly, adding glue every so often to the rope. When you reach the top coil at the end, add an extra dab of glue. Use a heavy clip to clamp the rope so it is secured and let it sit for a few minutes until the glue is all set.Then cut the hanging rope end with scissors and glue down any frays.

Rope coasters

Make your own quirky coasters, like these nautical ones from Making Home Base. Using sisal rope, begin the coil base and use a hot glue gun to adhere it together as you coil. Keep coiling until you get to your desired size. Add more hot glue to stick down the final coil and rope end. From there, you can use a stencil by simply cutting out a shape on some card or vinyl, and place it over the middle of your formed coaster. Then use craft paint to colour in the stencil shape. Leave it to dry before peeling off the vinyl or card and voila.

Hanging rope shelf

Create a rustic hanging shelf for your kitchen with the use of wooden planks and thick natural ropes. Sand down some planks that are all equal parts. Drill holes into each corner, about 3cm from the edges, and thread the ropes through, creating knots at the underside of the bottom shelf. Thread the rope through the next shelf, holding it in place of where you want it to be. Open the rope under the shelf and insert a dowel or nail through the rope so that the shelf can rest on it. If the rope is thin, you could also rest the plank on a knot in the rope. To attach the rope to the ceiling, use swing hangers.

Sisal lamp shade

Create a DIY sisal lamp shade by coiling around sisal rope to a lamp shade, starting from the bottom and using a hot glue gun to stick the coils in place. Make sure the bottom seam is not showing under the rope. Continue coiling and using hot glue as you go until you get the rinal top row and glue down the end. And there you have your sisal lamp shade!

Rope pouffe

Use natural ropes to create your very own rope pouffe. Find an old rubber tyre, attach some strong card to the top, and use a hot glue gun to adhere the rope from the centre, coiling around until you get to the outer edge. Keep using the hot glue to keep it firmly in place. Then take more rope, and coil it around the edges, again using hot glue as you go until it’s fully covered. 

Have your creative juices begun to flow yet? Let Rope Source help with all your crafting needs. We have twines, ropes, cords, and lines all in one place! Contact us for any requests for spool sizes and lengths, or for any questions you have. 

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Eco-friendly ways to do household chores

Chores can be the bane of our lives, but making them more efficient and less harmful to the environment can turn them into motivating tasks. Get the gloves on, turn up the music and follow our tips on how to do common household chores in an eco-friendly and fun way.

Reducing water usage

Install water-efficient appliances around the house if you can and turn the tap off when it isn’t needed. Only use what you need and get into the habit of doing just that. If you have a shower and a bath, mix up your routine every now and then. When bathing, fill up with hot water first below the halfway point, and then add in cold water so you can create the right temperature more efficiently. You may find you need less hot water than your first go. 

Green laundering

The most efficient way to do your laundry is to wash with full loads to use less water and energy. But, if you find that you have a small load or just a few tea towels and clothing items that you could do with cleaning and using, don’t forget good old-fashioned handwashing. Wash with cold water first and use low temperatures for the washing machine. 

Hanging washing out to dry

When clothes are washed, instead of using more energy with a dryer, hang them out on a washing line rope, clothes airer or ceiling airer. Better yet, when hanging laundry on a clothes line, use an organic, natural cotton clothes line or a jute clothes line.

Composting and food waste

Nowadays, we’re more apt at recycling and some local councils provide households with food caddies and green bins for our food waste. Make sure you’re always on top of the stock of your biodegradable food bin liners and that you’re using them! Food waste is also brilliant for composting, so you can help your garden as well as the environment. 

Being more methodical with your car journeys

You may be the household taxi driver, dropping off everybody to their clubs, parties, schools and workplaces. On top of that, you need to do shopping trips and any other errands. Have you thought about your fuel wastage here and carbon footprint? Often, people get a bit complacent and end up heading out a few times in a short space of time to end up covering more mileage when they could have got a few errands done in one trip. Taking the time to plan out your journeys better, thinking about grocery shops and other trips that could be done on that same outing can help you save on fuel and money.

Using the same bags for your groceries

The constant increase in the prices of plastic shopping bags drills into us how important it is to minimise our plastic bag usage, so we mustn’t forget our own reusable shopping bags. You can get bags for life and fashionable or plain shopping bags that you can use time and again. You can even get shopping bags that come in small easy-to-carry-and-store bags. Use a rucksack to help carry loads on your back, and keep those reusable bags in the car ready.

Gardening for green waste

When you need to do the lovely chore of weeding, or clearing up garden waste, remember your green bins. All the green waste collected (which includes compostable food waste) gets transported to a composting facility in the UK, where the compost created gets used in farming, landscaping, horticulture, and as a soil improver.

Eco refills

There are many refillable cleaning products out there now. Many brands are creating pouches or big tubs of cleaning products like washing up liquid and hand wash for you to refill at home. Once the containers or pouches you have used to refill bottles at home are empty, you just simply send them back to the company.

Zero-waste shops

There are brilliant zero-waste shops on the rise, where you can go in and only top up what you need, therefore reducing packaging, whether it’s cereal, pasta, oils, toiletries etc. Some even offer eco-friendly cleaning products, like reusable bamboo towels, biodegradable coconut kitchen scourers, eco cleaning brushes, and biodegradable dishwasher tablets. So, from topping up fridges and cupboards to household cleaning, you can do it all in a significantly more eco-friendly way with zero-waste shops.

Sweep over vacuuming

Stick to sweeping where you can, especially on harder floors. We may turn to the vacuum out of habit, but you’ll be using more energy each time, when you may only need to sweep. Plus, when your household cleaning soundtrack is motivating you, sweeping won’t drown it out like a vacuum will, and a sweeping brush makes a great home concert microphone stand. 

There’s also the mechanical carpet sweeper that doesn’t use power, but uses brushrolls to lift dirt – they’re also great for spot cleaning. And if you do use the vacuum, you can get energy-saving models; just remember to empty them out regularly so that they’re always working efficiently. If the vacuum is full or near to, it will have to work harder, using more energy.

Declutter and donate

Next time you’re doing a clear-out, think about donating or even upcycling. Fabrics and clothes work great for arts and crafts or house DIY projects. Decluttering is not only brilliant for the whole household to make more space and to improve organisation, but it works wonders on the mind and can be very therapeutic. Sorting and decluttering can create order in our lives and helps us organise our own minds. And you may be surprised what you find or forget what treasures you had stored away.

Eco-friendly cleaning

With vinegar, water and baking soda, you can get a whole lot of cleaning done without having to stock up constantly on fancy cleaning products, building up plastic in the house. Some examples are with:

Oven cleaning: 

  1. Mix a half a cup of baking soda with a little water to make a paste
  2. Apply the paste on the inside of the oven, staying away from heating elements (gloves recommended)
  3. Allow the paste to sit for half a day
  4. Use a damp cloth to clean out the dried paste
  5. Spray some vinegar on any baking soda residue
  6. Wipe the oven clean with a damp rag
  7. Enjoy a sparkly looking oven again!

Cleaning the fridge:

  1. Create a solution of vinegar and water, using equal parts
  2. Empty the fridge’s contents
  3. Removes drawers and shelves
  4. Spray down the fridge with the vinegar-water solution
  5. Let it sit whilst you clean the drawers and shelves
  6. Then, scrub and wipe down the fridge
  7. Before putting back the contents and food items, make sure they are all clean on the outside

Condiments:

Again, using a vinegar and water solution, simply wipe down condiment bottles to erase germs and grub from those greasy hands that have passed them around.

Recycle pet bedding

Double check with your local council and recycling, but in general, pet bedding can go in your green food and garden recycling bins. So that’s hay, straw, chipped wood, sawdust and wood shavings that can all go in the green bin. 

Microfibre cloths

Sponges can get the job done, but they often are disposable because of the germs they harbour and plastic deterioration. Paper towels aren’t always effective and you have to go through rolls and rolls. With microfibre cloths, you get high-quality cleaning because of the technology of the fibres designed to pick up and wipe away germs and dirt effectively. They’re also reusable and machine washable, so they’re more hygienic than sponges and retain fewer germs.

Now that you’ve got some inspiration in how to make your household chores more eco-friendly, it’s time to put that playlist on and get started! Then after, why not unwind with some relaxing candles – saving on electricity. 

For natural and organic ropes, washing lines, airers, cords and twines for DIY or crafts, we’ve got it all here at Rope Source! Contact us for any more info on our products, or simply browse our site.