DIY Wall Hangings

My wife and I were decorating our new apartment this month and we wanted a large picture as a focus point on the living room wall. I wasn’t too keen on getting one of those generic photos from IKEA or Banta so we decided to use one of my own photos.

I had two options, either get a framed canvas print or get it printed on foam-core and then make the frame myself. I’m always on the lookout for DIY projects so the latter sounded more interesting to me. I found this neat tutorial online on how to make one of these large sized pictures and mount it on a wooden frame. If you’re interested in doing something similar I’ve listed the steps on how to go about it;

1. Choose an original file. You can use a photograph you’ve taken yourself or any other source but its important that you use the original file in maximum resolution and at least 300 dpi, this will reduce the amount of pixelation in the final print. I was blowing up a picture (taken on my 5 year old Nikon D60) to 90×60 cms and and I was happy to see that there wasn’t much degradation in quality.

2. Once you’ve got the file for printing you can select between Canvas prints or Foam-core backed prints. I was already getting some prints from Artech so I preferred to let them do all the print work since I’ve dealt with them before.

frame 01

3. According to the tutorial in the link you can use wood strips to give the foam-core extra strength and rigidity. I didn’t want my frame to protrude too much from the wall so I went with a thinner wooden frame. I bought all the supplies from ACE Hardware; wood rafters/strips, sandpaper and caulk.

frame 02

4. Measure, cut and sand the wood frame to the size of your foam-core. I know a V-joint looks prettier than a simple butt-joint but it would not be visible anyway so I chose the latter method. Apply a layer of caulk to the strips and press them into place on the frame. They should set in about 30 minutes. Once the frame had bonded with the foam, I applied double-sided tape to 8 points on the frame and fixed it to the wall. I didn’t use nails or screws since the entire thing is very lightweight and I didn’t want to mess up the wall with more holes than necessary.

Including materials, this picture cost me less than 8 KD so this I guess this is a fun and cheap way to decorate your home with your very own artwork.


RTC Electronics – Geeks Paradise

RTC page

This weekend I need to get some work done on setting up my home entertainment systems and this involved extending some cables across the room. I asked some friends about places to get electronics supplies and one friend pointed me towards RTC in Hawally.

The shop is marked in Google maps so it wasn’t too difficult to locate it. The shop entrance isn’t too impressive when you walk in but the surprise is when you walk down the stairs to the lower level. This place is every electronic geeks wet dream as you’ll find almost anything you’re looking for.

I was mainly looking for speaker wires, connectors and cable ducts. I bought all this and more during my shopping trip there. While my bill was being prepared I took a walk around the shop and noted that they’ve got everything from DJ lighting equipment, circuit boards, hobby kits, cables etc to all the tools you’d ever want to do you own DIY projects. The only thing I didn’t get though was a flexible cable sleeve that could accomodate the thick bundle of wires that exit my entertainment cabinet. I ended up using the IKEA RABALDER that I had left from previous cleanups.

RTC is the place to go if you’re looking for electronics supplies and I’ll surely be making a few more trips there in the next few days.

RTC home page [link]

RTC Electronics Corp.
Othman St. – Al-Trayji bldg – Magazine No. 5 – 6

Care Care Kiosk

carcarekiosk page

Last week I lost power in all the 12 Volt outlets in my car and guessed that it must have been a blown fuse in my dash. I was looking in online forums for DIY solutions and found this neat website called ‘Car Care Kiosk‘ with a bunch of instructional videos.

fuse change

After watching [the video], it took me less than 5 mins to remove the panel, identify the fuse, test it with another good one and then power back up again. There’s a lot more videos for my car and I’ll be using it as reference for future problems.

 Car Care Kiosk Website [link]

Waxing your car

Carnuba Car Wax

I decided to make use of the long weekend to get a nice coat of Carnauba wax on my car. Exposure to hot weather, dust and improper washing methods can mean the loss of the glossy finish on your paint job and  a regular wax job is a good way to protect your paint. I used a generic tub of Carnuba Wax which I bought from a hardware store. Applying the wax is not that difficult but buffing and polishing a whole car is quite a workout and took me a couple of hours to finish the job.

waxing in progress
Waxing completed

Watch the video for some quick tips on waxing your car. Youtube [link]

Fixing your rearview mirror

This summer I noticed a few people had trouble with the rear-view mirror on their windshields coming off coz of the extreme temperatures. My dad was one of them and I found out that fixing the mirror back was surprisingly easy. I asked the mechanic at our neighborhood garage what kind of glue I needed and he informed me that any brand of super-glue will work just fine. So the next few steps is what I learned from him.

Step 1: Clean the contact surfaces of the mirror mount and windshield and remove the previous layer of glue completely. You can use a key or a screwdriver to chip it off.

Step2: Apply a thin layer of glue along the edge of the contact patch and also a little spot in the middle. Now carefully align it to the middle of the patch on the windshield and press down. Hold your hand on the mirror to support its weight for a minute or so.

Step 3: Leave the glue to cure and you can stick some scotch tape across the mirror mount so that its weight does not stress the glued points. The glue should be completely hardened in a few minutes.