I was looking for a first birthday gift idea for my son and decided to reach out to the people of Facebook for some inspiration. Very quickly the responses came in and I was shocked at how much parents raved about the Pikler Triangle, I had personally never heard of it. So I decided to do some research and it soon became clear this was the perfect first birthday gift- A must have in fact.
What is a Pikler Triangle
A Pikler Triangle is a climbing structure for children that they navigate at their own pace. It helps with:
Allowing children to explore their body
Learn about their boundaries
Climb and move through play
Great for motor skills
After doing my research – I was hooked!! The Pikler Triangle was what I wanted to get my little one. Now the hard part was finding the ‘right’ one. This was more of a challenge than I anticipated, I scrolled the internet for what felt like hours and nothing really stood out to me, until I came across one on Etsy- I loved it. I was ready to press that ‘buy now’ button until I realised it was made in Europe, therefore I would be responsible for paying the import tax- not ideal.
Back to the drawing board and after more research I discovered that most Pikler Triangles are produced in Europe. So I realised I only had the options:
Pay the import tax
Get one personally made
Attempt making one myself
As this was a gift for my sons first birthday the latter option seemed the most appealing, an opportunity to personalise and make unique to us. Unfortunately, this particular project was far from my comfort zone. So I took to Facebook and found someone who could make me a Pikler Triangle, but where I could ‘DIY’ and put my own stamp on it.
How I ‘DIY’ my Pikler Triangle
When the Pikler Triangle arrived it looked just the same as the others I had seen- I needed to change this and I couldn’t wait. As soon as I saw the triangle I knew instantly it was the rungs I was going to paint.
The Pikler Triangle has 7 Rungs in total and I chose six fabulous bright colours to make the appearance more attractive. As this was for a one year old I thought different colours seemed like the perfect choice – fun.
All the paints I used were Johnstone’s Matt finish. The six colours I decided to use were:
I decided on these colours and the order based on the rainbow, I used the purple (Blackcurrent Magic) twice for the extra rung and to balance out the colours.
I did three coats for each colour in total, to ensure maximum covered and vibrance. I finally finished the Pikler triangle by applying a clear varnish to protect the paint.
Something simple like painting the rungs made a massive difference and the Pikler Triangle felt more special because I had helped personalise it. I was so happy with the end result!
If you like what you see, why not check out our YouTube channel Upcycle TV for different ‘Upcycles’ and ideas. It amazing what a little ‘DIY’ can do and what you can make from those old things lying around the house.
If you fancy having a go at ‘Upcycling’ and would like to have a chat, Contact Stuart, he would love to hear from you.
It is now September 2020, I’m trying to ignore the madness that is happening in the world and focus my energy on my projects, I am currently building a new workshop for Upcycle TV and I wanted a super cool backdrop for the channel.
I decided to make a reclaimed wood feature wall.
We had loads of scrap wood from all the renovation work that has been undertaken at the property, some of the timber is excess from the new building work but most of it is what was taken out from the previous occupier which was a Chinese takeaway.
How to make a reclaimed wood feature wall – Step by Step
1. I used CLS timber which fixed to wall by drill and screws – How to fix timber to a wall
2. These timber uprights were placed 600mm apart
3. The existing concrete was very unlevel so I used a long length of CLS to set the level at the bottom of the feature wall
4. Some of the wood used was from old pallets so we began splitting the boards
5. The next stage was to sort out all the timber into heights, I wanted each run of wood to be the same height
6. Start fixing the wood to the wall, ensuring that the wood overlays the wood fixed to the wall in a minimum of two points to ensure stability
7. Try to allow a careful balance of the distribution of the various coloured woods, for example; some of the wood was painted blue so this needed to be evenly placed across the wall
8. Working from the ground up all the way to the top of the wall
Video of How to Make a Wood Feature Wall
By Stuart Miles, Upcycle TV
This wall is going to be used for both the backdrop to my upcycle videos but also for professional business videos for https://developbusiness.co.uk so the setting has to be absolutely spot on, I cannot accept anything but top quality finish. There may be a TV that is used to display a logo or other information whilst filming so this also needs to be taken into account.
14th December 2020 – Update
The end wall with the window that you can see in picture two is now covered with OSB and I’m probably going to paint it white.
The next job on my list is to build a super awesome working bench and once complete, I can start making some really great YouTube videos for Upcycle TV, I’m really keen to get going now, it’s been a long time in waiting to get this workshop fully functional.
Most likely I will be putting a few tools on display on the OSB wall, this will double as much needed tool storage but will also look good when making Upcyle videos, however, if I am using the space for a studio for the business development videos, I can hide the tools from the shot. 3-4-The price of one 🙂
I will come back and finish this blog at a later date, hopefully, early January 2021 and I’ll be showing off the new workbench, if possible I will make a video of the design and construction of that.
It took a little to time and practice to discover how to get a smooth finish using chalk paint.
Once you know how to do this, it is fairly easy to do, you can follow my instructions in the video.
Video: How to get a perfect finish using chalk paint
1. Prepare your piece that you are painting – a good wash down with sugar soap first, I like to use the powder version and mix it a little stronger.
2. In most cases, when using a premium brand paint, you’ll only need a light key. If you are using primer and emulsion or a lower cost chalk paint then you might want to be more trigger happy with the sanding. This is why I prefer to use a premium brand paint – see link
3. Run a damp cloth over to remove any remaining dust.
4. Use a mini roller with a Hamilton Prestige felt sleeve.
These beauties are a proper game-changer. – BUY ROLLER SLEEVES
5. Between all coats, use a sanding sponge to polish until happy with the finish of the surface.
Repeat the process.
Not everyone wants a smooth finish
Absolutely, it really depends on the piece in question but yes, sometimes you want to brush marks and imperfection – this video isn’t for you!
If you are wanting to get your paintwork looking like its been sprayed then, without doubt, it is the way to go. I haven’t yet found a better, more efficient way to achieve such a superior paint finish.
If you are a professional or aspiring pro furniture painter then this could be a game-changer for you and your budding business as not only is does it allow a fantastic finish to your work but it is quick and easy.
Hope that the techniques I show here will help you discover how to get a smooth finish with chalk paint.
If youve enjoyed this blog, check our our YouTube channel – UpcycleTV
You can paint Upvc doors and windows and its actually really easy and extremely effective. In this written article, I am going to show you how to paint a Upvc door and what materials and tools you’ll need to do it.
In this video, I painted our back door from white to a lovely blue.
As always, preparation is vital. Here is a list of prep.
1. Wash the door down with hot soapy water, use a decreasing product like sugar soap and an algae remover if required.
2. A very light key with a sanding sponge or fine sandpaper
3. Clean the door with methylated spirit and wait until dry or dry with lint-free cloth.
Now you can paint – How to paint a Upvc door
I highly recommend using a paint such as Frenchic Alfresco or Dulux Weathershield Multisurface
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PAINT YOUR PVCU FRONT DOOR
You can use a mini roller and a paintbrush, I like the finish when using a felt roller ( see how to get a perfect finish using chalk paint ) and I’m a paintbrush snob so something like Purdy – It actually doesnt matter too much, depending on how fussy you are about getting a smooth finish but, this can be achieved by polishing anyway!
Once you’ve applied a coat of paint, polish out any imperfections with sanding sponge/paper before and wipe with a damp cloth before atarting the next coat.
How to paint a Upvc door – Repeat until you are happy with the finish.
I am reliably informed that adding Polyvine to a standard chalk paint will also work but, as of yet, I haven’t tried and tested this so I am not suggesting you do that. If you have any experience of this then please do let me know in the comments.
What Colour Should You Paint Your Front Door?
It really depends on your personal preference, the colour and finish of the building and the general surroundings.
Here is the colour chart for Dulux Weathershield Multisurface paint
Having been painting furniture, upcycling and undertaking many building and rennovation projects for my entire adult life, ive had the pleasure to use a lot powee tools.
I have built a list of the ten best and most useful power tools when upcycling furniture.
I love Makita tools, the jigsaw is absolute quality and I would never swap it out. I prefer to use a corded version as in my opinion, you lose torque on the cordless ones and the batteries don’t last long. The quick-release blade change is an absolute must, if you don’t buy this model, make sure the one you get has that feature. My first choice for Top Ten Power Tools For Upcyclers.
800-2800 strokes per minute
Maximum cut in wood 135 mm; steel 10 mm
Stroke length 26 mm
Built in job light
Variable electronic speed control
Quick release tool-less blade change
For a cost-effective impact driver, the Ryobi is ideal, I have had mine for over 7 years and it is still going strong. Top marks for value for money.
Brushless motor is electronically-controlled to optimize efficiency for up to 40% more run time per charge
Brushless motor runs cooler and last up to 10 times longer than brushed drills
Ryobi offers battery powered or electric tools, excluding accessories and components subject to natural and normal wear and tear
Four pre-set speed and power levels unlocking new applications; 270 Nm of torque for fast screw driving and drilling
Deck drive soft start and AUTO speed reduction for ultimate control
Sound power level [decibel [A]] : 109.5, Sound power level uncertainty [decibel [A]], 3.0, Sound pressure level (decibel (A)) : 98.5, Sound pressure level uncertainty [decibel [A]] : 3.0
A very robust and effective circular saw for those bigger jobs like cutting boards. This saw is able to produce a pretty decent sharp cut but I have to say, having purchased a Festool plunge saw, I very rarely use this tool now, it is good for the “rougher” jobs and I put this in place of the plunge saw because I felt it was more relevant to an upcycled and also, a lot less harsh on the wallet.
If you are going for an impact driver by Ryobi then you should also consider the combi drill to go with it, both are great at what they do and you are covering all bases, the added advantage of going for the ONE+ models is that you can interchange and share the chargers and batteries, it really is a great and cost efficient choice.
If you are doing a lot of sanding then I seriously suggest that you consider buying a decent vacuum for your workshop. The Festool one is absolutely outstanding, it is incredible how effective it is at extracting the dust before you even know there is any, it really makes working a pleasure. There is a downside to this model and that is that it is a very large unit, good because you don’t have to empty it every ten minutes, however, it does take up a lot of space!
On-site extraction for electric Power Tools for minor or brief sanding, routing, sawing and drilling work
Ideal for mobile use in service and installation work and for final cleaning
Suitable for both wet and dry extraction
Achieve ideal results more quickly
This is a difficult call, I have not yet found a perfect system for spraying, I prefer to use a roller, I feel it in many situations, it is actually quicker with a roller because you don’t have as much prep or mess. It really depends on the job in hand but those of you are building a lot of commission work should really consider looking at this model if you decide to buy a sprayer. I would only recommend this model if you have a workshop, it isn’t really something you want to be taking onto site. Please note that this model I have linked is 110v so you will need to buy a transformer for it to work here in the UK, not a difficult task but just wanted to ensure you are fully aware of that. If you read the exceptional ratings that this paint sprayer has to recognise that it is one of the best of the market.
CONTROL PAINT FLOW: Fully adjustable pressure to give you ultimate control of paint flow for any project size; RAC IV Switch Tip allows you to reverse the tip when clogged to keep you spraying
SPRAY PAINT UNTHINNED: Stainless Steel Piston Pump allows you to spray paint unthinned at high pressure. Compatible Tip Size (inch)- 0.009, 0.011, 0.013, 0.015
SPRAY DIRECTLY FROM PAINT BUCKET: Flexible suction tube allows you to spray directly from a 1 or 5 gallon paint bucket
RECOMMENDED USE: Annual use recommendation is up to 50 gallons per year
EASY TO STORE: Extra storage compartments provide space to store the spray gun, extra spray tips, and power cord
FAST AND EASY CLEAN-UP: PowerFlush Adapter connects to a garden hose for fast and easy cleaning
IDEAL FOR HARD TO REACH AREAS: Can support up to 50 ft. of paint hose to reach peaks or second stories without diminishing performance
VOLTAGE: 110 volts; ETL Certified, ETL File #3174859MIN-001
I can highly recommend this chop saw as I’ve had mine over ten years now, it is a solid piece of kit, ideal for those simple mitre tasks or just the speed it adds to a job when you have a lot of straight cuts to make. It is light enough to carry around if needed but still robust enough for some heavier duty cutting, a really good all-rounder.
Pivoting fence provides efficient stock support
Built-in dust collection system
Double insulated. Miter cuts 0° – 45° left and 0° – 52° right; 9 positive stops for the most common miter cuts
Shaft lock for easy blade changes
Performs compound cutting operations
A multitool can be very useful in an upcyclers workshop but I have gone for a lower-cost model for this tool as I feel that if you have to make some savings then you can with a multitool, it isn’t a precision tool, I also like the kit that comes with this one.
POWERFUL & DURABLE：The powerful 260W motor provides 22000 oscillations per minute depending on the needs of the task at hand and making cutting, sawing, trimming, grinding and sanding easy and saving you time
VARIABLE SPEED CONTROL: The speed settings are located on the behind the motor housing.It features 6 settings allowing you to increase or decrease speed from 15000 to 22000 OPM, suitable for removing tile, cutting floor, cutting mental, cutting plastic, plunge cutting, sanding wood, scraping etc
FAST BLADE INSTALLATION: The quick release lever allows for tool-free blade replacement, saving valuable time and effort on the job, keeping your accessories securely in place
COMPACT ALUMINUM HEAD: Built a robust aluminum head, the head of the Oscillating Multi-Tool will get you into a tight hard-to-reach places so you can deal with your tasks with no hurdles on the way
WHAT YOU GET: GALAX PRO GP86225-1 Corded Oscillating Saw, 40pcs Accessories and Carry Bag, 1* User Manual, 1* Warranty Card; 24 Months Warranty
A very useful little tacker for upholstery tasks, I felt it was important to consider those that upholstery in this Top Ten Power Tools For Upcyclers
Full control of the stroke release with the enhanced two stage Push and Release System
Soft grip for improved grip and control of the Bosch PTK 3.6 LI
Tack up to 400 staples with the powerful lithium-ion battery
Easy replenishment of staples strips – no more overfilling of the magazine
Battery status indicatorm, suitable for 8 mm and 10 mm staples (not compatible with larger staples)