Easter DIY ideas: eight tried-and-tested projects to do over the Bank Holiday weekend

It’s as inevitable as rain and Easter Parade on TV. But, Alice Jakubiak spent the past two decades learning how to DIY. Alice’s journey began at the age of 19 when she bought an ex-council flat in Battersea. She then renovated it herself, learning new skills along the way. Five months ago she finally bought her “dream home” – a three bedroom mock Tudor semi in South Ealing.Alice works in contract compliance but spends her evenings and weekends transforming the house, charting her progress on Instagram (@diy_alice_adventures).When she bought the property its bathroom was in a sorry state. Alice said that the bathroom was in a terrible state when she bought it. To avoid brush strokes on the cabinet veneer, she used a foam roller. Alice also purchased bronze-coloured door handles on Amazon and changed the chrome faucet in the basin for a bronze one. Farrow & Ball’s cardroom green is her favorite, but she decided to save money and use a Dulux version for the walls. She also built a flat-pack cupboard to hide the radiator and provide additional storage. Skill level: Moderate. Although this project requires some planning and design, it is very easy to complete. Prices can vary widely. B&Q will sell the top-of-the-range Karcher K7 for GBP479 B&Q will sell the top-of-the-range Karcher K7 for GBP479 at a cost of GBP50. InstagramSkill level: Rock bottom, plus you will feel like Luke Skywalker brandishing his lightsaber.What’s the catch: If you put the pressure up too high a jet washer is capable of stripping paint off walls and furniture, and you should wear safety goggles as stones and debris can get thrown up in your face. You’ll be soaked and muddy by the end of the job. She said that the fridge was about six to seven years old and had been beaten up for a while. It was a bit sad that the handles were peeling and it was a little depressing. “Jenny, 45, who gave up a career in graphic design to set up a furniture upcycling business (www.glasshousegirl.co.uk), decided that rather than spend thousands of pounds replacing a perfectly serviceable fridge she would give it a facelift.Step one was to clean it thoroughly – either with a degreasing solution or washing up liquid and elbow grease. To improve paint adhesion, she lightly sanded it. Jenny, who lives in Barnet, then applied two coats of Ultra Grip primer (www.fusionmineralpaint.uk) then three coats of chalkboard paint. The handles of her fridge were also repaired with a copper-coloured eggshell paint. Jenny chose to hand paint the fridge because she didn’t have the hassle of moving it outside to spray it. A new set of covers can be expensive. Tottenham based artist and homeware designer Leila Vibert-Stokes (www.leila-vibert-stokes.com) makes cushions (amongst other things) for a living and says making a simple slip cover is a piece of cake, even if you don’t own a sewing machine.Artist and homeware designer Leila Vibert-Stokes / HandoutThe first step is to buy some upholstery fabric, which should be relatively thick. Leila, 35, said that the fabric should be strong enough to withstand being sat upon repeatedly. Leila, 35, recommends Etsy.com and www.myfabrics.co.uk as they offer a unique combination of style and value. For a standard 40×40 cm cushion pad, you should allow for approximately half a meter. Leila prefers feather-filled pads for optimum squishy comfort and likes the range at www.cushionwarehouse.co.uk.Start off by cutting a square of fabric slightly bigger than your cushion pad (43 x 43cm) which will form the front of your cushion. Cut two rectangles measuring 43cm by 30cm. Then, cut two rectangles measuring 43cm wide by 30cm long. Lay the rectangles on top, slightly overlapping, so that they align with the square. Then, hand stitch along the edges of each rectangle, about 1.5 cm from the edge. Turn the cover so that the printed side faces outward. It is important to measure the door accurately and keep your stitches neat and small. You will need to remove all door furniture or cover it with tape. Mask any glass panels. Give the old paintwork a thorough sanding, first with medium grade and then fine-grade paper. Finally, fill any cracks with wood filler. To make sure the surface is clean, wash it with sugar soap. Next, paint the door in your preferred colour with two to three coats each of gloss (shiny), eggshell (matte), or both. Painting the woodwork the same colour at the same time will make your door look bigger and grander.Finishing touches: If you want to get rid of your old door furniture and invest in something a bit more stylish Jim Lawrence (www.jim-lawrence.co.uk) has a comprehensive range of traditional brass pieces. Cox & Cox (www.coxandcox.co.uk) has a more whimsical approach with door knockers shaped like dragonflies, bumblebees, and shells.Repurpose plantersKit: Old filing cabinet, drill, bricks, polystyrene, soil and compost, plants and bulbs.How to: Kendall Platt, founder of The Mindful Gardening Club, has come up with a smart and stylish way to repurpose unwanted office furniture in the garden of her home in Theale, Berkshire. She said that she wanted a huge planter. However, they are expensive and I don’t have the money to buy them. “I began to think about other options and realized that a filing cabinet with the drawers removed could make a great plant container. “Kendall, 35 years old, searched Facebook Marketplace for someone who was giving away an old Bisley steel cupboard. She snapped it up. She had to take out the drawers and drill drainage holes in it. Then she set it up on some old bricks to allow water to drain through. She explained that she decided to cover the base with polystyrene because it was too expensive and heavy to fill the entire thing with soil. After adding a mixture of soil and compost, she began planting. Kendall will plant spring bulbs in November to give a spectacular show in spring. She will then replace them by long-flowering plants like cosmos with ornamental grasses or herbs. Spray adhesive and quilt batting. Spray adhesive and quiltbatting. How to: Sofas have taken a lot of abuse during the pandemic. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them looking a little worn and wrinkled. Spray water on the sofa and let it dry. You can also use an iron to steam the sofa, but be careful and put a cloth between your sofa and the iron to prevent any singeing. You can remove the foam wedge from most seat cushions by unzipping their covers. Wrap a roll of quiltbatting around the foam at least three to four times. Spray adhesive will hold the batting in place. Then, wrap the batting around the foam three to four times. It will take a few hands and patience. You will first need to remove the old grout. Next, you will need to carefully rake up and down between tiles using a grout rake. You should not be reckless here as you could crack or chip the tiles. This will open up a whole new world for DIY headaches. To make sure your grout lines are clean, sponge them. You have two options: a ready-made paste or a powdered grout. It is cheaper to use a sponge to ensure that the grout lines are smooth. The excess grout can be wiped off with a sponge. After the tiles are dry, polish them with a dry cloth. You will need to allow grout to dry for a few weeks if you are grouting a power shower or wet room. Skill level: Medium. Although it is not difficult, you will need to take your time and work carefully. Use a toothbrush to rub it in. Spray vinegar on the joints of the tiles and let it bubble up. Give it a second scrub and rinse.