Slats falling out of your Ikea bed frame? Here’s the 10 cent fix

File under: DIY, home repair, Ikeahack

Last fall, the slats on my bed frame started giving me trouble. One or two would slip off the lip of the bed frame, causing the mattress to partially fall onto the floor. Naturally, this only ever happened at convenient times when I was definitely alone.

Eventually, I figured out that, if the slats had a little less room to slide around, they wouldn’t fall anymore. The solution? A 10 cent bic pen slipped between the rows of slats (see picture.) I steadied three sets of slats with pens, and haven’t had any trouble since.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cost: 10-30 cents



Fresh Peach Cobbler

File under: dessert; peaches; baking; vegan; ice cream; summer

So about three years ago, I began vegan baking. A person of vegan extraction had entered my life, and so the challenge was on to produce goodies without using animal-derived ingredients. If I could bake successfully with eggs, butter, and milk, I thought, I could bake successfully without eggs, butter, and milk. The logic was perhaps simplistic – but happily I wasn’t wrong. It’s been delicious animal-free treats ever since.

Today, I made vegan Fresh Peach Cobbler (from – lots of great recipes there, you guys! *cough* peanut-butter coffee cake *cough*).














I promised myself I would wait till August to make this cobbler, when Ontario peaches are at their most flavourful, but…well, I’m not known for my self-control, so voilà!

Fresh Peach Cobbler might not win any beauty pageants, but it’s obscene how much I love this dessert. Pair it with (vegan?) French vanilla ice cream. I dare you.

Prep: 20 – 30 minutes + 25 minutes’ baking time


Paper wreath craft project, with foam wreath substitute

File under: DIY, seasonal, repurposed materials

This wreath project, made out of two old books, came to us from the brilliant folks at Living with Lindsay. When Lucy showed us the photos (and video) of their version, we were totally, completely captivated. It had been on Lucy’s wishlist for awhile, so one Sunday afternoon we set out to make our own book wreath.

There’s just one hitch. Foam wreaths are next to impossible to find in downtown Toronto. I mean, apparently there are styrofoam wreaths at the big box craft store at Wilson Stn, but downtown? No dice. After two snooty conversations at local art supply stores, we were pretty bummed. But on a trip to the dollar store, we decided to try something else.

The centre of our wreath is a pool noodle. We found a hollow one, and bent it into a circle, using chopsticks for stability, plus a pile of duct tape to make sure it stayed closed. Because of that, the wreath is kind of enormous, but otherwise, it turns out pool noodles make a pretty good styrofoam wreath substitutes.

Total cost: about $10, mostly in glue gun sticks.

Prep time: about 10 hours of labour. Three of us made this one in a little more than 3 hours.

Full instructions here.


How to sew a tote bag with shoulder straps and lining

File under: anti-corporate, DIY, environmentally friendly, repurposed materials, useful and adorable

This tote is perfect for carrying 8.5×11” spiral notebooks, binders, file folders, personal items or light shopping. It could function easily as either a purse or day bag. The straps are long enough that it can be carried by its handles or worn over your shoulder, whichever is your, um, bag.

In this version of the bag, the exterior fabric was purchased at a flea market and the interior of the bag was repurposed from the back of a men’s dress shirt. Total cost: less than $2.

35” x 13.75” outside material (here blue cotton houndstooth)
30” x 13.5” lining (here pink cotton gingham)
2 strips 36” x 3” handle material (here houndstooth again)
sturdy thread
needle and straight pins

Prep time: 8 hours, if sewing by hand

1. Fold one of the strap fabrics in half (to make a 36 x 1.5 inch strip), fabric fronts facing inward. Use a simple running stitch to sew the long side. Turn the strip inside out. Iron flat, with the seam along one edge. (There’s a pretty good description of how to make this kind of strap here.) Repeat for the second strap.

2. Fold the long side of the pink gingham in half, with fabric fronts facing, to make a 15 inch by 13.5 inch square. Using a back stitch (or any other sturdy stitch), sew the two longer sides shut to form a bag, with one open side. Repeat with the blue houndstooth, leaving the top 2.5 inches (at the open end) unsewn.

3. Turn the blue bag right-side-out, so that the seams are on the inside. Do not reverse the pink lining. Put the pink bag inside the blue bag, tacking the bottom corners so it stays in place. The lining will be shorter than the blue bag.

4. Fold and pin the excess blue fabric into the bag, to form a 1.5 inch lip. If you’re feeling fancy, tuck the edge of the fabric under itself to make a clean hem. Iron the sides and top of the bag to make sure it’s flat. Using a running stitch, sew around the bag a half inch from the top of the bag. Sew a second row an inch below that.

5. Sew one end of one strap to the inside lip of the bag, 3 inches from the seam of the side of the bag. Sew a square with an X through it, using a back stitch or other sturdy stitch. Sew the other strap to the same side of the bag, 3 inches from the opposite seam. Both ends of the handle should be on the same side of the bag. Repeat with the other strap on the other side of the bag.