Ornate wall panelling guide by Daniel Bland

Wall panelling is a really fast and easy way to spruce up a room, small or large. For this home DIY ornate wall panelling project, I transformed my spare room into a home gym (to try and encourage myself to actually use the exercise equipment I bought months ago).

When it comes to ornate wall panelling, there are loads of different styles and materials you can use, however the principles are largely the same so feel free to take these tips and do your own thing… I’ve gone for ornate full length panels with a fun curved corner detail using the ORAC range from Manomano. It was perfect for my project thanks to its lightweight and slightly flexible qualities (my walls are rather wonky) meaning I could simply measure, cut and stick without any fuss.

Materials & tools you need for DIY ornate wall panelling:

The materials you need for your DIY ornate wall panelling

Step 1: Prepare the walls 

Start by checking over the walls and use some wall filler to fix any holes/dents and sand once dry, and because I started with a black room I gave it a coat of cheap white paint so I could actually see my pencil markings next.

Step 2: Plan proportions for the ornate wall panelling

Before you get started, you need to plan out your panel arrangement (this takes a bit of calculating so grab a piece of paper) and measure the width and height of your walls. First decide the number of panels you want on each wall (I went for 3 on each of the long walls and 1 on the back wall) and how big you want the gaps between each panel and the ceiling/floor (I went for a 10cm gap between and above, and 20cm gap at the bottom because of my plug sockets). If, like me, you’re repainting the room afterwards then go ahead and draw on the walls with pencil and see what looks good if you want to!

If you’re having the panels all equal width then you take your wall width, subtract the total sum of the gaps, and divide that by the number of panels.

e.g. 4m wall with 3 panels, 

subtract 4x 10cm gaps = 360cm

Divide by 3 (number of panels) = 120cm (width of each panel

(10cm, 120cm, 10cm, 120cm, 10cm, 120cm, 10cm = 4m)

Side note: I wanted a larger feature panel in the middle, marked out on the wall by eye and measured it to then subtract from the total width e.g. 10cm, 105cm, 10cm, 150cm, 10cm, 105cm, 10cm = 4m.

Step 3: Marking out wall panels

Using a pencil, mark out the placement for the panels on the walls. It’s a good idea to check the height of your walls at both ends of the room because it turns out my ceiling/floor aren’t parallel to each other, which means even if the panels have perfect right angles, they will look wonky to the eye. In order to avoid this I measured and marked my 10cm gap coming down from the ceiling and regular intervals and drew a line to connect them; this will be the top of the panels. Then do the same measuring up from the skirting boards so you have two lines running the length of the walls that mark the top and bottom of the panels. Along those lines you can mark out the spacing for the panels and use your spirit level or laser level to mark the vertical lines for the panels.

If you’re not adding any corner details then you can move on, if you are then you need to mark the wall for where they will go. I held one up to the corner of my drawn out panel and measured the horizontal and vertical until they were equal (in my case 13.5cm) and marked that measurement on all of the panel corners.

Step 4: Measure, cut, glue

Measure the panels you'll stick to the wall

Now you’re ready to start cutting! In an ideal world all the measurements would be nice and symmetrical but I’d recommend measuring your markings on the wall for each piece you cut, just in case. Using a mitre box you then cut each piece with a 45° angle at each end, remembering that the wall marking is the outside edge of the panel and you need to cut each end with opposite 45° angles to each other inorder to make a rectangle (I draw the diagonal line on the moulding before cutting it in case I get muddled up). Before glueing you want to offer it up to the wall to check its the right length and the angles are the right way round (always order a few extra lengths to allow for mistakes)

I like to cut all the pieces for a single panel and then glue them all at once, this way while the glue is still wet you can shimmy the pieces around once on placed on the wall in order to line up the corners as best you can (It’s not a big deal if there are some small gaps because you can fill those later).

Using the caulk gun and your adhesive, run a bead of glue down the entire length of your pieces to ensure good adhesion, and simply press onto the wall. Remove any excess glue that may seep out of the sides, and if you have any wonky walls where it won’t stay in place you can use masking tape to hold it down until the glue starts to set. 

Step 5: Caulk and paint your ornate wall panelling

Paint your wall panelling

Once your panels are all glued in place and dry, swap out the adhesive for decorators caulk and fill any gaps, be generous with it and then use a damp cloth to wipe away the excess. Once the caulk has dried for a couple hours you can go ahead and give it all a coat of paint, and you’re done!

Ornate wall panelling: finished project

I styled the room with some accessories from ManoMano, including a huge rug that basically covered the entire floor, a towel rail and side table, and even a selection of weights (x2 10kg dumbbells, x2 5kg dumbbells, and a set of 60kg dumbbells and barbell) for me to look at and feel guilty about not using. Et voilà!

Did you enjoy this article on DIY ornate wall panelling by Daniel Bland? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY sliding door or even our wall and ceiling paint buying guide!

Are you working on some ornate wall panelling too too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Furniture upcycling tutorial by @house_on_the_way

Sustainability is incredibly important and an increasing number of people feel a responsibility to become more efficient and less wasteful. This includes reusing furniture upcycling where possible instead of buying new. It’s cost-effective, as well as good for the environment, but it can be daunting to a DIY novice not knowing where to start.

This guide will take you through an easy 5 step process on upcycling your furniture.


For your furniture upcycling project, you’ll need the following items:



Remove any furniture hardware and scuff up the surface of the furniture piece with a medium grit sandpaper (~100 grit). You don’t need to sand the entire top layer off, you just need to key it/take any sheen off in order to ensure paint adherence. 

Once complete, use a wet cloth to wipe off and remove excess dust.

Sand your piece of furniture
Sand your piece of furniture


Prepare to upcycle with some primer

Priming is critical to ensure longevity in your paint job. Use a good quality primer with strong adhesion (I recommend Zinsser 123) and don’t skip this step if you want long term durability (even for paints that say no primer required). The primer will stick to the surface of the furniture piece and act as a base for the paint. Use a roller to apply a layer to the surface and brushes for any hard to reach areas. This doesn’t need to be perfect and a thin patchy layer is just fine. Leave to dry.


Paint over your primer base once the primer is dry and ready for recoat. You will probably need 2-3 coats of paint to get a full even coverage. Ensure you leave adequate drying time between coats as per manufacturer instructions. Do not be tempted to recoat when dry to touch, as this is often much shorter than the recoat time and will lead to a less than perfect finish.


Varnish your upcycled furniture

This step will really depend on the paint you use and how much extra protection it needs in order to prevent chipping. You may find a top coat or wax suitable. 

As chalk paint was used for this dressing table, a soft cloth was used to apply wax to seal the paint.


Upcycling furniture: finishing touches

Replace any hardware, knobs, handles etc using a screwdriver to secure into place. If you are changing hardware and need to move holes as a result, fill any existing holes before the sanding step, then drill new ones in the required position before fixing in place.

Add your finishing touches and enjoy your newly upcycled piece of furniture!

I am Sushma Samonini, of @house_on_the_way. I live with my husband Shaun and 3 year old son, Avery and together we have been renovating our 1930’s semi-detached house in Buckhurst Hill for the last two years. We are fairly new to DIY, but love learning new skills and are quickly gaining the confidence to try new tasks and do more for ourselves, even pregnancy isn’t holding me back!

Kitchen scullery tutorial by My Tiny Estate

The Project 

When we first decided to create a kitchen scullery, what we had in mind was to create a very multifunctional room that could be used as an overflow kitchen. As we are converting the old linen rooms from the servant’s quarters in our derelict Estate, we have several small cupboards/rooms so that makes us very creative with how to make a space functional yet beautiful.

The Inspiration 

We always have a very clear aesthetic to make a space quite neutral – we want it to look as though it could have been there for a long time, whilst adding a subtle contemporary twist. 

Restoring an old Estate, we try to be very considerate with the spaces. The TV Series Downton Abbey provides us with inspiration when it comes to space layouts and props used to stage the spaces.

The Design 

First things first, we gave the space for the kitchen scullery a lot of thought. When working with a small space there is no room for error, every inch counts and by thinking about the space layout and how the room will be used, you can get down to the small details designing the room. Dean designed the layout, it was very important for us to have a centre piece which was going to be an original sink that we found. We also wanted to retain the top shelves that were part of the room.

Building your Furniture

It was our first time building actual furniture, and it just takes time, the right tools, many screws and a lot of glue! We used 18mm MDF and cut it to our specific size based on our requirements. In our case we were going for rectangle shaped cupboards. 

We always swear by 3 tools which are super versatile and we use ALL THE TIME:

 – Electric Drill

 – Guide rail with Circular Saw

 – Good quality sander

Kitchen scullery: DIY in 8 easy steps

Step 1: Creating the shell of the cupboards

Once the four pieces of the cupboards were cut to the sizes that we needed, we put them together and with a pencil we marked a line where the glue and screws would have to be located to join the cupboards together. Once we made the shell, we let it dry and added the backing.

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DIY kitchen cupboards

Step 2: Put the cupboards in place

We made three of these units which we placed in the scullery and we used them to support the very old sink on top.

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Step 3: Tiling the splashback for the kitchen scullery

Once we built up to it, we started tiling the splashback. We had this crazy idea where we wanted to use leftover marble tiles that we had from our bathroom makeover, to recreate paneling with marble! I know it sounds a bit odd, but it just worked so well in our minds!

We have a wet tile cutter, which is a must – we have never broken a tile and as we normally use fairly expensive tiles, it’s definitely worth having and super easy to use. There are a lot of wet tile cutters, we have an affordable one which is perfect for what we need. We have had it for 2 years and it’s still going strong!

DIY tiling for the kitchen splashback

When tiling, our advice is always get the first tile level. Start from the center point and work your way outwards, the next tiles shouldn’t be as difficult. We do always use a tile leveller which is a game changer for DIYers. You can find the ones that we use here.

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Step 4: Grouting

We left the tiles drying for 24 hours and the absolute best feeling is when you remove the tile levellers and are able to grout, as suddenly it feels like the space is starting to come together! Talking from experience, when grouting it is worth having a grouting sponge, they do not cost much and the work gets done much faster and we think, looks better.

DIY kitchen scullery by My Tiny Estate

Step 5: Add the kitchen scullery worktop

One thing that we didn’t do ourselves was to make the worktop, as we were using quartz and as our space is not square, we needed to have professionals cutting it. However, if you use a different material like wood, you can definitely do it yourselves, just remember to measure twice to cut once.

Step 6: Time for the cupboard doors

To complete the space, we made three cute little doors for the cupboards, and used the exact same method as before; measure, cut to size, glue and screw and then fill in and sand! Here is where a good sander gets put to use and makes the whole process come together. I love sanding – said no one ever! Personally, one of our most dreadful jobs. We have sanded a lot of wood work and the dust… oh my goodness the dust was EVERYWHERE, so much so that by the time that we finished for the day we were finding dust in every orifice possible, bits everywhere! Just not fun and so tedious! 

All of this was until we discovered the Mirker sander with the vacuum. Dust? What is that?! Absolute game changer, so much so that we don’t mind sanding whatsoever, and the finish is so good.

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Step 7: Let’s paint!

Once everything is well filled and sanded, we just prime and paint.

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Step 8: Kitchen scullery final touches

And finally, the last bits adding hardware, giving everything a good clean and styling it.

Finishing touches to the kitchen scullery
Kitchen scullery inspiration

We are so proud to know that we have built this space! It’s functional, it’s beautiful and it’s exactly what we designed from the start!

As self-confessed extreme DIYers, we always say that good tools make a difference to making a job easier, and ManoMano is very handy for finding any tool that we require for any project that we want to tackle. 

Did you enjoy this article on a DIY kitchen scullery? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY sliding door or even our kitchen splashback buying guide!

Are you working on a kitchen scullery too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

It’s getting darker earlier each evening and we’re reaching for the scarves and gloves. This can only mean one thing… The Christmas countdown is on! To start gently preparing for the season’s festivities, we wanted to give you a special idea in the form of a personalised DIY advent calendar. It is an easy DIY project which can be done with the help of the kids, and can be upcycled after for tool storage, once Christmas is over. Made from an organisational wall panel, it will delight young and old alike who will have their resolution for the new year all figured out: in 2022, I’m going to finally get around to organising my tools!

Materials needed to make a DIY Advent Calendar

For this DIY advent calendar you will need:

How to make your advent calendar

Step 1: Paint time

Paint to the panel
Paint the panel

Simply apply two coats of paint (using the colour of your choice) with a roller.

Step 2: Fix the panel

DIY advent calendar

Locate the desired position for the panel and mark the locations of the fixings: at the 4 corners and in the middle of the longest length.

Drill holes to fit the correct fixings to your wall.

Fix by inserting the dividers between the wall and the panel and adding a washer between the screw head and the panel.

Step 3: Prepare your advent calendar doors

DIY advent calendar

Design a template for each door; an example of the template used for this article can be seen above. You can use paper, card, cardboard – whatever takes your fancy! Then glue the back and sides of the door so it creates an envelope to put the surprises in.

Step 4: Decoration station

You can draw, create winter motifs or paint: it’s up to you! For the envelope of the door, you can add little treats to them – or alternatively, you could write jokes, riddles, or even start a treasure hunt to find the surprise somewhere around the house. 

DIY advent calendar template for the doors

Step 5: Insert the doors

Insert the hooks on your panel and fix the doors with a clip. You can either arrange them in a regular pattern or arrange them randomly as in our black model. 

DIY advent calendar
DIY advent calendar

Did you enjoy this DIY advent calendar tutorial? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY Christmas snowman game or even our Christmas tree buying guide

Are you creating your own DIY advent calendar? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

A combination of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian warmth, the Japandi style blends the best of both cultures. The sleek lines of Japandi design create interiors that are perfect for relaxing. There’s also a focus on functionality, comfort and the beauty of natural materials—with all their imperfections. For this DIY Japandi coffee table project, we’ve opted for unfinished wood which has visible traces of the original tree. For this DIY rustic piece, we recommend using light wood—we’ve used ash for the top and acacia for the legs. You can also choose from the wide range of wood types available on our website, including pine, oak and poplar.

And if you’re new to making wooden furniture before, don’t panic—we’ve designed this tutorial for beginners. Although this project may require a bit more material than usual, it’ll teach you how to assemble wood using cam lock fittings, which are commonly used in flat-pack furniture assembly.

What you’ll need to make DIY Japandi coffee table

To make this Japandi inspired coffee table, you’ll need the following materials:

DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial
DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial

DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial

Step 1: Glue the tabletop

DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial: glue the wood
Glue the wood together

If you’d like your table to have asymmetrical edges—as pictured here, not planed on one side, but smooth on the other—use the circular saw to cut the entire length of one of the two planks you will be joining together for your tabletop.

Assemble the two planks together before gluing them to check the joint is flush. If this is not the case, you will have to plane the meeting edges before gluing them.

Next, put the glue on the edges of the planks, join them together and fit three clamps on them tightly. Allow your tabletop assembly to dry completely, waiting a minimum of 24 hours.

Step 2: Sand away

Sand the DIY japandi coffee table

Using your circular saw, cut the edges of the table at right angles. Here, we’ve cut our table to measure approximately 110 cm x 60 cm.
Next, sand the planks smooth, making sure you remove any traces of glue at the joint.
Finally, set your sander at 45° and use it to sand all right angles. This will produce a slightly rounded bevel, known as a chamfer, on the edges of your table for comfort and practicality.

Step 3: Put some legs into it

To make the legs for your coffee table, take the last plank and cut two pieces measuring 30 cm wide. Sand them until smooth.

To join the legs to the tabletop, prepare four cam locks and fix the dowel combinations.
This is a common technique for assembling flat-pack furniture with T-joints. It can be done without glue and makes it easier to dismantle and reassemble the legs in the future.

Cam lock and fixing dowel combinations look a lot like nuts and bolts.

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On one side of the coffee table leg, mark the location of the cam lock/nut (we’ve placed them 7 cm from the sides). First, drill a blind hole—a hole that does not go through to the other side—to the correct diameter with a milling cutter style drill to insert the cam lock. Next, use a conventional drill bit to drill a hole into this cavity (as pictured). The dimensions for the depth and diameter of the drill bits you must use are determined by the fittings’ manufacturer.

Drill legs into the coffee table

On the tabletop, mark the four assembly points and pre-drill the holes where you will fit the dowels.

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Screw the fitting dowels into the tabletop.

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The last step involves assembling the legs by inserting the dowels into the holes you’ve created. They should fit easily and you should see the head of the dowel protruding through the blind hole (the larger holes you first drilled). Just like with flat pack furniture assembly, turn the cam lock/nut gently using a screwdriver so that it grips the fitting dowel/bolt.

And voilà! You’ve finished the DIY Japandi coffee table tutorial. Check out our article about the Japandi trend to add the finishing touches to your living space.

Japandi interior design

Did you enjoy this tutorial on a DIY Japandi coffee table? Why not read our article on shelfie styling tips or our room divider buying guide!

Are you going to make your own Japandi style coffee table? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!