18 November 2018Last updated


Upcycling made easy

Update old kids’ toys, coasters and candles, and give those unwanted gifts a new lease of life with these handy home-decorating tips

By Melany Demetillo-Reyes
11 Aug 2015 | 02:32 pm
  • Candles.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM

Candles need never be boring

You’ll need

• Candle

• 250g long cinnamon sticks

• Ruler and pencil

• Hot glue gun

• Scissors

• Twine


1 Measure the height of your candle, and then mark the equivalent height on each cinnamon stick with the pencil.

2 Draw a vertical line of hot glue up the side of your first cinnamon stick, going as far as the pencil mark. Press the stick on to the candle and wait for it to dry.

3 Repeat the process with each cinnamon stick until you’ve covered the whole circumference of the candle.

4 For a rustic flourish, wrap the twine around the outside of the cinnamon circle three times and tie into a bow.

 Jars and toys

Don’t throw used jars and old toys out!

You’ll need

• Empty jar

• Animal toy

• Acrylic paint

• Paint brush

• Hot glue gun

• Hairdryer


1 Stick your chosen toy to the lid of your empty jar using the hot glue gun.

2 Paint the lid and toy in your chosen colour. It may need three coats; waiting five minutes between each one is advised. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process.

3 Fill with your kids’ tiny treasures.


Give that unwanted decor a chance!

“Do you have unwanted old decor items? Spray-paint them in a block colour (we used matte black) for a modern update.”


A new twist to coasters

Domino coaster

You’ll need

• Thin cork board (available at Daiso)

• Domino pieces

• Hot glue gun

• Scissors/scalpel


1 Arrange the dominos on top of the board making a 2x4 grid.

2 Apply hot glue to stick the bottom of the dominos to the cork board.

3 Once the glue has dried, cut away the excess board.

Map coaster

You’ll need

• An old map

• Ruler and pencil

• Thin cork board

• Scissors

• Adhesive spray

• Hot glue gun

• Clear acrylic spray paint (available at Ace)


1 Measure two 9cmx9cm squares on the cork board and cut away.

2 Measure and cut one 12x12cm square from the map. Place it, reverse side up, on a table protected with old newspaper, then apply adhesive spray to the back.

3 Place the first board in the centre of the map. Make a cut from each corner of the map to meet the corner of the board at a 45-degree angle. Fold the sides of the map inwards as if you were wrapping a present, trimming off excess paper.

4 Apply hot glue to the back of the map and place it on top of the second cork board square, to be used as the base of the coaster.

5 Spray clear acrylic paint all over the coaster to protect it from moisture.

Tip Try using Scrabble pieces instead of dominoes.

By Melany Demetillo-Reyes

By Melany Demetillo-Reyes