Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Household DIY: How to fix cracked concrete on a budget

When it comes to the aesthetic appearance of your home often the smallest chip or crack can look unsightly and stand out a mile if the rest of your home is in a good state of repair. The trouble is that repairing concrete can be a difficult and problematic process. But it is possible to DIY it yourself.Of course, the restoration of historic buildings, commercial buildings or any major work on your home should be left to expert contractors of concrete repairs to get the job done – and avoid causing any irreparable damage. But, that being said, if you find a small amount of cracked concrete in your back garden patio or in an exterior wall – and you’re comfortable with DIY – then it IS possible to fix cracked concrete yourself. To top it all off, it can be done on a budget!

What you will need:

  • Cleaning equipment
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Injection ports
  • Crack sealer
  • Putty knife
  • LCR cartridge
  • Caulk gun

It’s easier than you might think to do this repair yourself and, with a little time spent planning, the results you can achieve are every bit as good as if had paid a professional – but at a fraction of the cost. Continue reading “Household DIY: How to fix cracked concrete on a budget” »


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4 ways with windows to create a bright & airy home

One of the things that I’m trying to achieve in my home is a feeling of brightness and airiness. I’ve been painting dark walls in fresh white paint, and have positioned mirrors at suitable points around the house to reflect the light. But I’m sure that there’s more I can do to achieve a home filled with bright natural daylight. And I’m sure I’m not the only person to want this kind of effect in my home. Today I’m sharing my ideas for increasing light levels in the home, without resorting to daylight bulbs..!

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1. Goodbye Curtains

Firstly, let’s look at the ways to maximise the amount of light coming in through your existing windows. If you’ve got heavy curtains hanging at your windows, lets take them down. Either replace them with floaty-light voiles or consider whether you can go without curtains altogether. If the window isn’t overlooked, or is already frosted, maybe those curtains aren’t necessary. This will ensure that the maximum amount of light possible enters through these windows.

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2. Hello blinds

If you do need to cover the windows for privacy or at night, a practical option is to install blinds inside the window recess. Go for blinds that fold or roll right away, such as venetian blinds or roller blinds. I chose vertical blinds for my living room and they open from the centre so can be pulled back to expose the entire window. Any of these types of blinds will allow loads of light into the room but still allow you to maintain your privacy at night. And you’re able to control the amount of light coming in through the window by angling the slats to direct the daylight away from your laptop screen.

Continue reading “4 ways with windows to create a bright & airy home” »


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How does your garden grow? My new dining room…

Last week I showed you some plans for the garden and how we needed to move the caravan into a new position to make the design work. Well, the eagle-eyed of you will have spotted a patio area on those plans and that’s exactly what we’ve done – oh boy, was it a lot of work! First we measured out the space according to the number of patio slabs we had then set to work digging!

Hubby had already bought the slabs a year ago when someone was selling their old patio locally on Gumtree. The slabs were used but still in good condition and it meant that we could measure the patio to fit the slabs, rather than the other way around. I also liked the fact that the patio would look weathered as soon as it was laid rather than taking months to blend into the garden. We needed to dig out the top of the sloping garden so that the patio would sit flush with the concrete path around the house, and we used this excess soil to fill in the bottom of the slope so that it would all sit at the same level. Hubby actually built a retaining ‘wall’ using pressure-treated timber so that we could back-fill against it. He actually built it as a long planter and any of the spare topsoil we had left over from digging went into it = retaining wall, compost bin and potential herb garden in one!

From there, we laid weed-proof membrane and levelled the ground even more with a ton of sand on top. We spent ages pushing a plank back and forth to pat the sand flat and get the levels right. I took a brief break to make some lunch and by the time it was ready, hubby had already laid all of the patio slabs! Mr Muscle or what?! I couldn’t believe how quickly it went down. Okay, it know it had taken hours of preparation to get to that point, but it was very satisfying that I could see the result so quickly. We actually moved our garden bench onto the patio that very day and ate our dinner outside! Now all I need is a set of patio doors so that I can step straight out onto the patio and really use it as part of the house as an indoor/outdoor dining area!

Because we’d built the patio up it was now sitting at a higher level than the rest of the garden, so hubby added two steps which we filled with gravel. We now have a patio ‘terrace’ and it’s a lovely sun-trap. My cats Cookie & Muffin certainly like the way that the slabs retain the warmth of the sun anyway! I’m looking forward to eating al fresco more often now that we have a useable outside space – we just need to find a cheap or second-hand garden table now so please let me know if you hear of one 🙂


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How to create the illusion of space in your home

Whether you have a large or a small home, it’s likely that at some point, you’ll bemoan your property’s lack of space. The size of your home matters to some degree, but it’s what you choose to do with the space available that really makes a difference. If you’ve lived in your home for many years, you will have had the opportunity to amass plenty of possessions and pieces of furniture, and the more cluttered your home is, the smaller it will feel. There are plenty of ways to create the illusion of space in your home with minimal expense, so don’t hesitate to try out these simple tips.

create the illusion of space with fgc-2

Optical Illusions

Certain patterns and materials will fool the eye into seeing a room as larger than it really is. A striped floor will make any room seem much wider and it’s a good idea to opt for pale colours. Glass doors that open out onto a patio, the garden or an adjoining room are wonderful for opening up your home and making it seem lighter and more airy. Glass doors can be purchased from a variety of retailers including Frameless Glass Curtains. Try glass-topped tables to trick the eye into perceiving a larger amount of space in a room, and enhance the effect with a large mirror. You can place decorative mirrors in any room in the house, and they will always make the space appear larger.

Continue reading “How to create the illusion of space in your home” »

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