AusFinance Gazette

The most satisfying DIY projects to take on before lockdown officially ends

There's still time to tackle a project before those social engagements start to pile up

Not only did this Monday mark the beginning of a new month, it also kicked off the second phase of NSW’s reopening plan. If things keep going the way they are, it won’t be long until all remaining restrictions are lifted and we’re well and truly out of excuses not to leave the house.

Whilst a return to pre-corona reality is undeniably good news, it also means that now might be your last chance to finish (or, let’s be real, start) that DIY project you’ve been lagging on all iso. If you haven’t got much to show for the last few months in lockdown, consider taking on one of these DIY projects before your window of opportunity slams shut for good.

First, let’s address the elephant in the kitchen—the humble homebaked sourdough loaf. By day 2 of lockdown, it seemed like almost everyone had already fed, kneaded, baked, and photographed their own bread. By now it probably seems like the sourdough ship has well and truly sailed, but Sydney’s legendary Bourke St Bakery thinks otherwise. Every Tuesday and Friday, you can buy a piece of their famous 23-year-old sourdough starter named George. From George, all good things rise, and you can order him (under ‘retail goodies’) here.

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Once you realise how much money you can save by making your own bread, you’re going to want to start growing your own produce, too. Depending on how much space you’ve got to work with outside, now is the perfect time to channel your inner Costa and plant a herb garden or veggie patch. Lockdown has turned most of us into proud homegrown chefs, and the next logical step is using homegrown ingredients, too. Fresh produce isn’t just good for your health, it’s also good for the planet and your wallet. Before you get started, this is a great resource to help you plan and plant your new backyard grocery shop.

If you’ve noticed your outdoor furniture could do with a bit of TLC and you want to embark on a real DIY adventure (or disaster, depending on how good you are with a circular saw), why not build a modern Adirondack chair from scratch? It might sound a bit random, but this tutorial has been doing the rounds with rave results. Apparently it’ll only take about an hour to build—though YouTuber Greyghost680 wants you to know it only took him 15 minutes—but you’ll be able to boast about your handiwork for years to come. Plus, you can use your offcuts to build a miniature picnic table for a squirrel, just like this guy did. If you’re looking for some DIY woodwork inspo, check out Brisbane timber tamer Damion Fauser or Californian crafter Jory Brigham.

If building a piece of furniture from scratch is too big of a task to take on right now, consider restoring that wooden dining table, coffee table or desk in your place that’s really starting to show its age. Yep, that one you just guiltily glanced over at in shame. It’s pretty amazing to see how a quick stripping, sanding and staining can totally transform a piece of furniture, and it’s a pretty simple DIY project once you’ve got all the gear.

Finally, if you’ve got kids and want to make something fun together, all you need is a glue gun, some cardboard, a bunch of rubber bands, and the patience of a saint. Remember those first few Christmases and Birthdays when you spent a small fortune on their toys only to have them play endlessly with the box it came in? Channel all that fibred fury into making this incredible cardboard pinball machine or basketball arcade game whilst casually reminding them of how much money they’ve cost you over the years.

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