Sunday, 13 April 2014

Billy bookcase improvements

2 posts in one day! What the...?

Since moving into the new house, we seem to have accumulated a large number of Ikea Billy bookcases in various sizes. They're just so goddamn useful! We're only actually using 2 of our 5 Billy's for books. The others house our growing DVD collection or are re-purposed as shoe racks.

As much as I love the Billy, it's always annoyed me that the holes are so visible, so I decided to fill them! This is only really worth doing if you're sure you're not going to re-arrange the shelves. I figured they were staying put as we have them so got about filling them... [plus the boyfriend isn't a Billy fan - or even an Ikea fan for that matter! - so we'll probably replace them before ever needing to rearrange the shelves]



Here's what I used:

Decorators interior filler (£3ish from Homebase)
Filling knife or scraper [I just used a stiff piece of card]
Sandpaper

Step 1 - fill holes
Step 2 - smooth over
Step 3 - sand down when dry
Step 4 - admire your handiwork

before 


after


It's not perfect, but it'll do!

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Propagating succulents and cacti

This is purely an experiment. I've never done this before, only seen it on blogs and Pinterest. Some of my plants were looking a bit 'leggy' where they'd been reaching for sunlight, so I took that as a sign to trim them back. This gave me the opportunity to try propagating some more little succulents from leaves taken from the trimmed plant...

Method:

1. If pruning a plant that's grown tall, cut the top flower/rosette just below leaving a bit of stem and set aside. Remove lower leaves making sure they come away from the stem intact [if you leave the base of the leaf attached it won't root - apparently!]. Leave the stem in the pot to continue growing.

2. Put the leaves and rosette to one side for a couple of days [or longer] until the ends have dried and calloused over.

3. Place the leaves on top of some fast draining cactus soil and put the stem of the rosette in the soil. I used a little bit of hormone rooting powder too just for luck, but I don't think it's essential.

I also experimented a bit with cacti and aloe plants. I have no idea if these will work...! For the cacti I cut a stem away from the bigger plant and let it callus, then planted it in the soil. For the aloe I wasn't sure of the best approach so I've cut a few leaves and lay a few on the soil and a couple standing upright. We'll have to see which are most successful...

I forgot to take some progress shots, so here's a few pics of what I have on the go at the moment:



As you can see, where I cut the cacti stem from is already growing little roots [it's only been 2 days!], so I'm hoping that the cut bit will grow some too! I'll be back with an update in a couple of weeks to see how things are progressing... Eeek!

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