Tail Wags Helmet Covers 728 X 90


DIY - make an old kettle herb garden

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

I love collecting old pots, pans and even kettles. Anything that's vintage AND waterproof is a total bonus. Things that hold other things are just super productive. For what? I'm glad you asked!
 My latest venture had me filling each old kettle that I had with fresh, grown in Canada, herbs. Aren't they pretty? I love the galvanized appearance of these 'planters'. They're so suitable near a kitchen, as well. Pinch as desired and cook away.


Just a bit of potting soil is all it takes. I also like to hide the soil with Spanish Moss. It fills in some gaps as well making potted plants look full and lush.

Other unique planter ideas:
  • cookie tins
  • tea tins 
  • mugs
  • mason jars
  • loaf pans
  • muffin pans
How fun and unique! What unique items have you re-purposed for planters?
Photos are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors. 


Patio furniture... from pallet wood

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

Last summer, I had a nice patio table and chair set out on the deck, however I was always longing for more of a lounge kind of sit.


Ramping it up a notch, a vision of something rustically unique came to mind. And so the pallet outdoor sofa was born.


The frame was built to accommodate a mattress found at the thrift store. From there, reclaimed cedar planks were used for the seat and random pallet boards for the back. To pretty things up, the mattress was covered in a painter’s drop cloth and random thrift store pillows offered all the comfort necessary.


Not only am I totally enjoying my new lounging area outdoors, this project also won a Canada-wide Upcycle 2011 challenge! How cool and unexpected was that?


Have you created any of your own outdoor furniture? What did you use or make?


Photos and design are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors. Full tutorial HERE.


DIY- A headboard from a gate

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

It wasn’t that long ago that I was shopping for a headboard. I wasn’t finding anything to die for so I just hung in there... until an old horse gate from a burn pile was discovered. YES!


The size proved to be perfect for my king-sized bed. The added sawhorse at the foot of the bed completed the rustic look.


Adding hooks to the gate offers loads of fun opportunities for ever-changing decor. Today, it's decked out for Summer. What will I do for Fall... or Christmas? Fun!


Installing the gate to the wall was as simple as screwing it into studs. The "messy bed" look was created by throwing loose linens on top of a quilt. The sleepy cat on the bed fully approves! Other unique headboard ideas could be old doors, fireplace mantels or large vintage signs. If an object is the size of the bed, it can be a headboard!


Do you have a unique headboard?


Photos and design courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors. Full tutorial can be found here.


DIY - make a large number or letter

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

If you’ve been keeping up with Canadian (and beyond) design trends in home decorating, you’ll have noticed by now that numbers are a huge hit. Who knew that numbers would be desireable things to hang up on a wall?
 But they are! The premise is that a number resembles a piece of vintage sign history. They also just look cool, and the good news is, if you make one yourself, you can have it say or look like anything you desire.

Want to make one of your own? Here's an easy and affordable way you can whip one up in an afternoon!


1. Sketch or print out a number or letter in the font of your choice.

2. On a large piece of plywood, sketch your design. I used chalk.


3. Cut out the shape with a jigsaw, and sand the edges well.


4. Paint it up , hang it up and be proud!

Are you a numbers collector? Where do you like to display them?

Photos and design are courtesy of Donna at Funky Junk Interiors. Full tutorial can be found HERE.


A 'crate idea' for a coffee station

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

I love my coffee! There’s nothing like that first jolt, first thing on a fine Canadian a.m. In fact, it’s so important to me, I have a ritual that’s never broken... no food passes my lips without my first cup. (Have you ever noticed that the coffee magic spell breaks after your first bite?).

Today’s coffee drinking comes with its challenges though. With the newfangled, one cup coffee makers that are all the rage these days, all those little, itty bitty coffee pods need a home.

The true blue  junker in me grouped up a  crate and a deep fryer basket (yup!) for a unique little coffee station that is totally productive, takes up little space and looks cool to boot.


Did you notice the creamer? It’s the best kept secret for storing sugar... the lid stays intact. Brilliant, I know. :)

This couldn’t be a simpler combination to put together. Grouping the most unlikely odds and ends can really create some unique uses.

How are you storing all those coffee pods, K Cups and discs?

Photos and ideas courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors.


How to create a wardrobe wall

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

Do you dread rehanging up your clothes in a closet as much as I do? If so, do I ever have a treat for you today! One of my all time passions is working with Canadian-found pallet wood for two reasons. It’s price efficient (aka free!) AND... it’s oh so rustically beautiful. :)


Being that I’m not ‘fond’ of hanging up my clothes (that IS what the bed and floor are for, no?), I desired a wardrobe wall made out of pallet wood. Not only is it a cool feature wall, it’s been truly the answer to my... clothing covered floor. Here’s how I did it!

1. Find your reclaimed lumber of choice.

Old fence boards or  pallets or even new ones, if you so desire! Random boards will do for this design.

2. Sand the wood well, then screw it onto your wall.

Screwing into studs didn't prove to be necessary; it held well. I went for an old style slat and plaster look, so I prepainted the wall white, then purposely left gaps between the slats. Not many boards required cutting when staggered vertically.


3. Screw in a mish mash of things that hook.

For a playful take, don’t overlook random finds such as an upside down hanger. Can you tell I’m not a very serious decorator? :)

 Have fun with it!


4. Go to town and fill up that wall!

This has proven to be a most useful feature in my own bedroom, however it would also totally rock in a kid’s room or even bathroom. How about a front entry? Once you have your own wardrobe wall, you’ll WANT to hang up your clothes just for the fun of it. :)

So... what do you think? Crazy, cool or both? What changes do you think would happen with a wardrobe wall in your own home?

Please use reclaimed lumber at your own risk. Tips on using it safely can be found in my own article HERE.

Photos are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors and the full tutorial can be found HERE.


Why Buying Canadian First is Huge!

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Growing up in Canada

I am the proud owner of two small, itty-bitty, made-in-Canada businesses. Being little is huge! Allow me to explain. I’m Donna, an artsy, single parent of an awesome twelve year old son, residing in Very Small Town, BC. 


One of my businesses is a sign and graphics shop, called Graphic Impact, where I specialize in designing and manufacturing vehicle graphics. Design and decal fabrication are done at home, then I run out and install at my customer’s location while my son is in school. My passionate side fired-up Funky Junk Interiors, a decorating studio where I flip junky relics into unique decorating elements for the home. Thrifted treasures are found and revamped, then my home is used for staging photo shoots. From there, I submit the write-ups to magazines and blogs for features. I'm also a freelance writer and photographer and am so very glad that Buy Canadian First is part of my lineup! FUN!


But what really makes this story profound is the fact that businesses choose to buy Canadian first, by choosing me, this little Canadian small town girl, over much larger international corporations. They don’t have to choose me. There are plenty of others they could use to either make their trucks look pretty or their magazine spreads or blogs shine. But the fact that they did choose me says something about them. They are supporters of ensuring that my son gets a new pair of shoes every so often and that there's fuel in our vehicle. They know where their money is being spent which also means that they care about us.


In return, I attempt to offer something extra-special so that they call again. How about the very best work I can muster, topped with a sprinkling of true blue passion? When you care about what you do, you tend to conduct business a little differently, wouldn’t you agree? I see it when I visit my hairdresser in her beautifully decorated, cozy basement, for that invaluable one-on-one service or at the unique diner down the road that dishes up homemade fare like no one else. The small town folks, and what they offer, are special, and that's what keeps me coming back to buying Canadian first. I love knowing where my hard-earned Canadian dollars are going and I’m just very glad that my customers appear to feel the same way about me!


What keeps you going back to your favourite, small businesses?


Written by, and images courtesy of, Donna at Funky Junk Interiors.


Creative garden shed decorating

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

Sheds are mighty handy outdoors. But, rather than just stop at necessity, why not create an amazingly fun focal point for your Canadian-made backyard at the same time?


This is my little wood shed out back. It’s very funky and junky and is a fair representation of everything I love. It currently provides a new function these days: holding firewood. It used to be a greenhouse. Starting with the beat-up greenhouse framework, the plastic was removed and reclaimed fence boards and old barn windows were simply screwed in place, adding tons of unique character


A found firetruck parts crate was painted out and annuals were added for an easy-to-keep-up flower box.


Old signs and tools were hung for both decoration and to stake up plants and flowers. Pallets were added for mini walkways and a front step. They simply flip upwards to mow the lawn. This little shed truly brings new meaning to a place meant just for storage. Decide on the look that you desire, then start collecting and hanging your favorite things to create your own desired look! 


Do you have a creative storage shed in your yard?


Photos and design are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors. The full four part series of this build can be seen HERE. 


Let’s get organized!

By / Par: Guest bloggers

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

Do you ever tell yourself that in the Spring you're going to do a big cleanup and get all your stuff organized?  Well, I say, let's do it now!  I would much rather do this type of thing in the Winter when it's -20 degrees outside and it's just too cold to do anything, than in the Spring when it's finally warming up and you just want to go out and take advantage of the beautiful new season.

The first thing I like to do is clean out my closets.  You know the drill, take out every pair of shoes and every piece of clothing you have and then analyze them one by one and go by process of elimination.  If you haven't worn it in the last 2 years, than you obviously won't wear it again.  If it's something that you just can't seem to let go of, or if you think it's something that might be useful to you in the future, I recommend storing it in handy storage bins.  Bins are great because you can put a lot of stuff in them, and they are stackable, so they are easy to keep out of the way and it's just as easy to pull them out when you need to get something out of them.  The best way to keep them organized is to label them using simple mailing labels that you probably have on hand or can purchase at Staples all across Canada.  Try to keep everything of the same category in your bins, that way it's easier for you to keep track and stay organized.

Bins aren't just for clothes or shoes either; on the contrary, you can store all kinds of different things in various sized bins.  Take buttons, for example. We've all purchased a piece of clothing at one point or another that came with spare buttons. But where do we put those spare buttons?  At first, I just used to throw them in a drawer in my nightstand or in my desk drawer or anywhere else.  But the problem with that is that when you actually need that spare button, trying to track it down can be a pain.  I use little plastic containers now to store them, so now they are all in one place and I'm not searching high and low for them.  I use the basic plastic containers from Dollarama which are not only affordable but Made in Canada!

Plastic lunch container - Dollarama

Another great way to be organized and green all at the same time is to start composting.  You can easily do this in any home whether you live in a house in the country or an apartment in the city.  Lee Valley Tools has made this easier for you to do with their kitchen compost pails, which come in different sizes. Each one includes an activated charcoal filter to absorb odours and will fit nicely on your countertop, inside a cupboard door or in a little corner of your kitchen.

Kitchen Compost Pails $ 18.50 - Lee Valley Tools

If you're like me and like to have everything in your life super organized from the kitchen, to your desk, to your CD's, DVD's, books etc., you might be a fan of lists.  I've been meaning to get my CD's and books organized for years and the time has finally come.  Being keen on making lists, I plan on keeping a notebook and having all my lists in one book.  You can get great notebooks from Hilroy that are not only made in Canada, but also have subject separators built right in, to make it simpler to list everything into categories.  So, now, I'll finally have a list of all my CD's and the books in my bookshelf and be able to avoid getting doubles as well as being able to track the items I lend out.

5-subject notebook - Hilroy

It doesn't take much to be organized, you just need a little bit of time to get started. Once you've got the basics down, it's just a question of keeping at it and staying organized to avoid having chaos and clutter overwhelm you.

How about you, how will you get organized this year?


By Annie Curran


Winter has come, time to get crafty!

By / Par: Andrea Willowcat - St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba

Category / Catégorie: Eating and drinking Canadian

Only 3 days after I boasted that Southern Manitoba had yet to get snow, the snow started to fall Thursday morning and just hasn't stopped. I peeked at the Environment Canada website and the forecast for the rest of the week consists of temperatures at least 10 degrees cooler than last week. Winter in Manitoba has arrived. Tomorrow we will have to leave early, my girls will have more to wear and it will take much more time to walk and inspect their new landscape. They will want to count the snowflakes (at most to 20), taste the snow, admire their footprints, then run around to admire more and giggle in the sheer newness of it all. Despite all my bellyaching, I do not hate winter; in fact winter is one of the best times to start a new project. Once the snow falls, my focus falls to Christmas and the planning and creation of hand-crafted Christmas gifts and winter necessities. It seems early, but when you are creating by hand, time is your best friend.


It wasn't until I moved to the country that I started receiving homemade food items as gifts; canned items like jelly, relish and salsa, a delicious selection of cookies and salty handmade treats. It was the season after my first Christmas here that I followed suit. The quest for the perfect homemade and unique food item has since haunted me. This year I am toying with barks and brittles, savoury crackers with homemade yogurt cheese spread and the relish I canned this summer or my hot chocolate mix with (something I have never tried before) homemade marshmallows . This list is not written in stone; coconut macaroons are one of my favourites, spiced nuts and biscotti are other treats I would like to try. This is why I start now, test the recipes, see what works and what flops, then mass produce the best.



Homemade Hot Chocolate (Pegg, is this your recipe?)

2.5 cups dry milk solids
3/4 -1.5 cups of icing sugar
1 to 2 cups cocoa
pinch of salt
optional (ground cloves, anise, nutmeg, black or red pepper, cinnamon, all spice, or any other spice and any combination)
Sift together. Keep in airtight container. Add mix (to your desired taste) to hot water or, for extra creamy hot chocolate, add to hot milk.

I love mittens and with two little girls (and myself) in the house, we lose a lot of mittens. So this year, the plan is to make extra mittens, so that in the morning rush of ski pants, boots, scarves, hats, screams of discontent and trying to remember lunch, we always have a pair of mittens. My materials are old fleece and old 100% wool sweaters. The fleece you can use as is, but the wool needs to be felted  so that the knit doesn't run. I intend to trace the girls' hands on to card stock and use that as a pattern to create simple, woolly mittens designed to keep our fingers warm during our walks to and from the centre. You can find patterns for fleece and felted wool mittens online for just a few dollars. With a trip to the secondhand store and a little time, we could all have a basket of mittens. Of course, these make great little stocking suffers that can be filled with little toys, goodies or....coal!


Yes I know this is a pretty short list but I have a lot on the go, school, work, kids, house, well.. you know. If I can make all the above and get some cards out before the new year, I am ahead of the game! That would be a first!

Do you make or bake gifts during the holidays? 


photo credits: willowcat, flickr becky_mckimmy and andrea_r