Syrup, String, Bubbles & Cat Food

No – these are not the names of my sisters.  As I have said before, one’s home should be an interesting and personal place.  Anyone can furnish their house with homogenous items from Great Big Shops, but truly interesting houses that contain interesting people have things that are out of the ordinary, that they have made themselves or collected or created from something else.  Let your possessions have a story.

As you know, I am a tremendous scavenger and there are few things I like better than a village fete, a charity shop, a bric-a-brac stall or a jumble sale.  They bring three-fold benefits in that one can find wonderful, cheap treasures, you can use things in unusual and decorative ways and they usually benefit a charity at the same time. 

I wish immediately to give credit for this string dispenser to Diplo, who I know reads this blog. (Have a look at his own eclectically interesting ‘Sweat, Steam & Gasoline’ in my Interesting Blogs list).


String dispenserThoroughly wash an empty golden syrup tin left over from your storecupboard.   Using a bradawl, make a hole in the centre of the lid, then use a slightly larger Phillips screwdriver to widen the hole.  Turn the lid over and place the hole on something hard and just flatten any sharp bits with a hammer.  Thread your string through the hole – it keeps string neat and tidy and looks great.


Cat food boxI found this bread bin for 50p at a jumble sale.  At some point I may go mad and stencil it, but at the moment it is simply an excellent container for dried cat or dog food.  I keep a measuring cup (an old plastic baby cup) inside and the food is kept dry and fresh.


I love to wallow in the bath and I like my bathroom to be a calming place with nice things to look at.

Bubble bathThese three decanters cost me £1 each from charity shops.  They are a common design and turn up all the time so you can collect a set over time.  I fill them with brightly coloured bubble bath – shop’s own brand aromatherapy type at 97p each – and bingo! they look great and smell lovely.

Incidentally, the mirror just visible behind the decanters was found at the local tip with a chunk missing from the frame.  It measures about 48″x36″ and I paid £4 for it.  I built up the frame with plastic wood (available from DIY shops) then sanded it down and bevelled the edge with a chisel.  A couple of coats of white paint and the job was done.  I bet you can’t see where I repaired it.

Plant standI live in a rented house, so I don’t want to attach too many things to the walls.  This little wooden corner unit cost me 10p from a village fete and is so light I just nailed it up.  The plants are artificial and were bought in a sale for £3 each from a company on e-bay and the corals have been in my drawer for about 15 years, but you could use shells or glass things to catch the light.


Filed under Decorative, fashion, General DIY, Household Hints, Re-use Recycle, Storecupboard

4 responses to “Syrup, String, Bubbles & Cat Food

  1. I have a Diplo string dispenser too. Or have you knicked mine?

  2. Love the string dispenser…seem to remember my grandfather having one, but in a treacle tin.

    • wartimehousewife

      A black treacle tin would co-ordinate beautifully with a red themed kitchen. A Bird’s Custard tub could also be used I reckon.

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