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An outdoor living room is a great way to take your garden to the next level to make the most of your garden. For many of us, this type of project can seem to be a complicated task and as a result can take second place to designing interior spaces. We have created these 6 easy design steps that needed cost a fortune to help guide through the process, so that everyone can transform their outdoor space and enjoy that bottle of crisp white wine on ice, while entertaining comfortably in their beautiful outdoor living room.

1/ Make your outdoor living room comfy for everyone

Get enough seats for family and friends so you can entertain safely and happily in your outdoor living room. Just because it’s outdoors, it doesn’t mean you cannot be comfortable. These sofas are the perfect base for outside, with weatherproof fabric that can withstand a beautiful British summer shower. Yes, the cushions need to be kept inside long-term, but that’s what garden sheds are for. 

4 Seater Rattan Garden Corner Sofa Set Grey SANO II from Beliani for your outdoor living room
4 Seater Rattan Garden Corner Sofa Set Grey SANO II from Beliani

2/ Add soft layers to your outdoor living room

Cushions and throws make any outdoor space feel like home and will add colour and texture to soften the look. Go for natural fibres, like linen and cotton as they feel right at home in the garden. This blue ombre design we’ve chosen is a beaut. 

Riva Home Seashore Cushion Cover (40x60cm) (Blue) by Pertemba
Riva Home Seashore Cushion Cover (40x60cm) (Blue) by Pertemba

3/ Make it personal

Add your own design touch to a greenhouse or cold frame to help it bed into your scheme. We gave this easy-to-build cold frame a lick of pale green paint and some new brass handles, making it fit perfectly into our outside living design. It is beautiful and practical, helping us to grow seeds for our veg patch. 

Outsunny 2 Shelves Wooden Cold Frame Grow House Greenhouse Outdoor Plant Storage
Outsunny 2 Shelves Wooden Cold Frame Grow House Greenhouse Outdoor Plant Storage by Aosom

4/ Zone it with a rug

Rugs are a great way to define the space as an outdoor ‘room’. This rug is for outdoor use and adds some colour too. Durable and beautiful, no wonder our Dachshund Buckley loves it. 

Outdoor Area Rug 140 x 200 cm Pink AKYAR by Beliani for your outdoor living room
Outdoor Area Rug 140 x 200 cm Pink AKYAR by Beliani

5/ Plant it up

Large planters will add architecture to the outdoor living room you are creating and give more definition and interest. Plant them up with your favourite flowers or plants to continue that houseplant obsession outdoors. We have gone for Brown turkey fig, love the leaf shape, and Hydrangea Paniculata, because it is so beautiful and the white of the giant cone-like flower heads give the look a fresh lift.  

Planter Flower Pot Concrete Design Garden Flower Balcony 26 L | 49 L | 91 L Grey, 26 Liter by Deuba
Planter Flower Pot Concrete Design Garden Flower Balcony 26 L | 49 L | 91 L Grey, 26 Liter by Deuba

6/ Light it up

An outdoor living room is not just for day time- add in some lighting for night time ambience. You needn’t have outdoor plugs or wiring either because there are lots of solar powered options available. These white solar powered ball lights are effortlessly chic and come with a spike so they can slot easily into any border or planter. 

Solar sphere Lago with LED and earth spike by Lights UK for your outdoor living room
Solar sphere Lago with LED and earth spike by Lights UK

Did you enjoy this article from 2LG Studio on how to set up your outdoor living room? Why not read more about garden design or even our guide to selecting the right garden furniture for you!

Are you designing your garden? Share your finished results with us on instagram using the #mymanomanoway and #manomanouk!

A football table will provide you and your children with many hours of entertainment, fun and lots of laughter. In order to make it yourself and with materials that are easy to find, all you have to do is follow this step-by-step tutorial on how to create your very own cardboard football table. If you need extra assistance, you can always ask the little ones to help you make it.

You can create plenty of children’s toys with just a cardboard box and a bit of creativity. This DIY cardboard football table will stimulate your child’s imagination, their manual dexterity and it will also teach them the importance of recycling and reusing materials which can be easily found in our homes.

Tools and materials

materials to make your cardboard football table

Cost, time and difficulty

If you already have all the necessary tools, the cost of materials is about 10€, and it will be even less if you recycle materials that you have lying around the house!

In addition, you will be able to finish this DIY project in just a couple of hours and the level of difficulty is easy. It is an ideal project to do with your children. The’ll enjoy the process and will be able to let their imagination run wild when customising the football players. 🙂

How to make a cardboard football table step by step

Table football is a classic table game that both children and adults can enjoy and have lots of fun with. Luckily you can easily make one with the following step by step guide.

1. Make the players

In order to create the table football players we will use clothes pegs and wooden balls. You can also use buttons instead of the wooden balls.

First we fix a ball to the base of a clothes peg with the glue gun. We will repeat this step with 10 clothes pegs, in order to have 5 players per team.

Next we paint the top half of the clothes pegs with acrylic paint and a brush. We recommend that you use two contrasting colours in order to make both teams easy to tell apart.

Lastly, draw the eyes of the players with the permanent marker.

make your table football players

2. Build the field

In order to make the football field we have used a cardboard tray. You can use cardboard shoe boxes or even packing boxes, supermarket fruit boxes, etc. In order to customise it, follow these steps:

  1. Cut the shorter sides of the box with the scissors, leaving a gap measuring 8 x 5 cm. This will be the goal posts.
  2. Make 4 holes in each of the longer sides of the box. For this tutorial, we have made the holes at a height of 5.5 cm from the base and with a distance of 6.5 cm in-between.
  3. Cut a green coloured card the size of the box base, which will represent your football field.
  4. Draw the field lines on the green card using the white chalk, as per the images below.
  5. Place the card on the bottom of the box. We recommend that you use double sided tape in order to fix it to the box.
how to make your table football field out of cardboard

3. Build the football table

The last step is to build your cardboard football table! First, insert the players into the wooden skewers and slide them into the holes on the side of the box.

Glue pierced wooden balls to the ends of the skewers to make sure they stay in place. You can also glue the players to the skewers to prevent them from moving.

Lastly, use double sided tape to fix netting or mesh around the goal post. For this tutorial we have used the mesh bag from garlic bought in the supermarket!

Finishing touches on your cardboard football table

And last but not least, after following all the steps in this tutorial, all that is left for you to do is throw the wooden ball that we will use as the ball into the football table and start playing. Enjoy! 🙂

enjoy the game!

This is a table game for the whole family. Both kids and adults will love it. You can even set up your own league, and have hours and hours of fun!

player to player passing

Did you enjoy making this homemade cardboard football table? If you are looking for more toys that are easy to make with your children, don’t miss this post about Montessori toys that you can create in a few hours.

Visit manomano.co.uk for all your DIY, home & gardening needs or for advice on your projects!

Kids love sleeping in tents, tipis and cabins of all kinds – and now yours can sleep tight under the stars from the comfort of their own room. This minimalist tipi tent bed frame is not only super cute, it can also be decorated in a million different ways. Better yet, it’s a whole lot easier than setting up a tent in the middle of a field: all you need is a saw and a few screws for this fun bed frame.

To make your tipi tent bed frame, you’ll need:

Please note: our frame is for a mattress measuring 60 x 120 cm, but it can easily be adapted to fit any child-sized mattress, such as 70 x 140 or 90 x 190. You can even build it on top of an existing bed frame for a tent bed with a bed base.

Choosing the right paint for a child’s bedroom

When it comes to painting children’s rooms or furniture, it’s important to read the ingredients carefully to avoid chemicals that could be dangerous to children.

– Ban the use of oil-based paints: they contain too many VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and formaldehyde, substances that are very harmful to human health and the environment.
– Water-based acrylic paints are less dangerous, but may also contain some harmful substances. Check the ingredients and avoid paints containing glycol ethers.
– Whenever possible, opt for paint that is specifically made for children’s rooms or environmentally-friendly or natural paints.
– No matter what paint you choose, make sure to air out the room for several hours after application.

For more information, see our guide, “How to paint a room”.

How to make a tipi tent bed frame for your children

Step 1: take the correct measurements

Create a unique tent bed frame for your children

Lay a wooden strip next to the mattress lengthwise and use a pencil to mark off the length you need for the frame (here it’s 120 cm). Next, measure the width you’ll need making sure to factor in the width of the strips (here it’s 60 cm + 2 x 2.8 cm = 65.6 cm).

Step 2: cut the wood and build the base frame

Cut the wood panel & build the base frame

Cut the wood strips with a jigsaw and then lightly sand the ends (you may also want to sand the edges if you’re using unfinished wood).

Build the base frame

Put the strips together to form a rectangle.

put the strips together to form a rectangle

One each side, pre-drill holes in the strips using one of the shorter wood drill bits. Then screw the 50 mm screws into the four corners.

Tip: For a professional look, use a countersink to form a small cavity in the wood before screwing. That will stop the head of your screw from sticking out.

Step 3: make the ends of the tipi tent

make the end of the tent bed frame

Put two wooden strips together to form a triangle, where the base is the head and foot of your frame, and check to see which height that would be best for your child’s bed. On one strip, use a pencil to mark the top of the tent frame and the point where the two strips will intersect. Use the same dimension to mark the other three strips with your pencil.

make the end of the tent bed frame

Cut the strips with a jigsaw and drill them at the point where they intersect. Use a bit that’s wider than your screws, as the latter will need to move around in the holes you’ve made. Sand everything until it’s smooth and splinter-free.

make the end of the tent bed frame

Screw the top ends together and attach the strips to the frame at the bottom after pre-drilling (it’s normal if they aren’t perfectly symmetrical).
This step is easier with the help of another person.

Step 4: attach the tent frame crossbar

Attach the cross bar to the tent bed frame

Once the sides are attached to the frame, measure the length you need for the central bar, which will reinforce your frame. To do this, place the uncut strip at the top of the ends (as seen here) and mark the inside of the strip with the pencil.

Attach the cross bar to the tent bed frame

Pre-drill the end of the crossbar in the middle, taking care not to split the wood, and attach the crossbar with the larger screw, drilling it into the end braces beforehand (as seen here).

Step 5: paint your tipi tent bed frame

paint your tipi tent bed frame

For the finishing touch, we decided to paint only the top of the frame. If you want the same effect, protect the strips with some masking tape at the desired height and then paint the top of the ends and the crossbar.

your children's very own tipi tent bed frame

Are your kids ready for more at home adventures? Make them a Montessori tangram puzzle and other toys, DIY connect 4 or even a Lego table with one of our tutorials.

Why not visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & garden project needs?

Does your child love playing with Barbies, swear by Sylvanian families or enjoy playing house with other favourite figurines? Perhaps you’d like to get them a big wooden dollhouse for a Christmas or birthday present, but you’re put off by the hefty price tag.

We’ve got a solution with this simple hack: repurpose a bookcase where each cube can be turned into a dollhouse room. So put the credit card away and spend a little time instead – even one hour should do the job. However, we can’t estimate the time you’ll need to decorate it, should you find yourself enticed by the results!

Materials to make your life size dollhouse

  • a bookcase with cubes: ideally upcycle it or choose the size that suits your project and your home (here we’ve chosen a model with 6 cubes for a dollhouse that measures around 1.5 metres, ideal for children aged 5 to 8),
  • two plywood sheets about 1 cm thick, the same width as your bookcase (the length may vary depending on your bookcase; for a unit with 6 cubes, we’ve used 600 mm boards),
  • two angled brackets,
  • a square wood strip measuring around 40 mm long,
  • large rigid cardboard and/or 3 mm MDF board for the back of the dollhouse (factor in both the back of the unit and height of roof you want to add),
  • a pack of 25 mm screws,
  • two small nuts and 10 mm bolts (the diameter must fit your angled brackets),
  • wide flat-headed nails,
  • balsa wood boards and rolls of adhesive vinyl (which will serve as floors),
  • patterned sheets of paper or wallpaper samples (to cover the walls),
  • white glue and wood glue
  • drill driver
  • 2 or 3 mm wood drill bit 

What material can I use to make miniature furniture for my dollhouse?
Balsa wood! This material is made from the wood of the tree of the same name. Extremely lightweight, it’s often used for making models. By choosing a rather thin model (here we used 3 mm-thick balsa boards for furniture), you can cut it with a box cutter.

How to make your DIY dollhouse

Follow the steps in the tutorial by referring to the photos – it’s a snap!

Step 1: make the dollhouse roof

make your dollhouse roof

Cut a piece of your wood strip the width of the roof and attach the two plywood sheets at right angles to the strip. Add two screws on each side to keep the sheets on the strip.

Step 2: attach the roof to the bookcase

attach the roof to the bookcase

Place the roof on the bookcase, make sure it’s centred and use the angled brackets to secure it to the sides of the case on the back of the dollhouse. If the boards you’re using for the roof are especially thin, we suggest pre-drilling them using a wood drill bit with a small diameter (2/3 mm).

attach the roof to the bookcase using angled brackets

Locate the bracket holes on the roof and drill a hole using a bit that’s wide enough to fit your bolt through. Put the bolt through the wood and bracket and then tighten the nut.

Step 3: add a back to the bookcase

add a back to the bookcase

For the back, use MDF, grey cardboard or any other hard cardboard. Just nail it directly onto the wood.

Tip: If you want white walls in the dollhouse, it’s easier to paint the back beforehand.

Step 4: add the attic wall

add a back to the roof on your bookcase

First, use a pencil to draw the shape of the roof on your wood board or rigid cardboard. Cut it out.

cut the backing off the back of your roof wall

Cover with wallpaper or paint before nailing it to the strip at the top of the roof.

Step 5: decorate your wooden dollhouse!

decorate your wooden dollhouse

This step is definitely the most fun. First, lay the floors. Use 3 mm balsa boards for parquet, patterned adhesive for vinyl floors or even mosaic for a tiled effect.

For walls, opt for paint or stick on some wallpaper or patterned paper.

If you are champion when it comes to finishes, you can also cut strips of balsa to make baseboards.

Now that everything is ready, you only need to furnish your wooden dollhouse!

Inside your wooden dollhouse

Did you enjoy building your own wooden dollhouse? Are you looking for other easy DIY ideas to surprise your kids? Make them a tent bed, DIY Connect 4, create light from a potato or build a Lego table with our tutorials.

Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & garden project needs!

Tired of stepping on small bricks every morning and picking them up every night after the kids are tucked in? Have you had enough of seeing them in tears when one of their incredible masterpieces has toppled in a heap on the floor? Now it’s your turn to get creative! We’re not joking… Start by stealing 4 large base plates and get to work laying the groundwork for your kids very own Lego® table, which should take no longer than 20 minutes to make. Your kids will be so thrilled they won’t miss the stolen pieces! 🙂

Things you’ll need:

  • a coffee table (we used 55 x 55 cm, the perfect dimensions)
  • large Lego® base plates (for us, 4 plates each measuring 25 x 25 cm)
  • joists (2.5 cm wide on one side and at least 220 cm long)
  • suitable glue (we used “All Purpose Adhesive”, which can be used for both the corner strips and Lego® plates)
  • tape measure
  • sandpaper
  • wood saw and a mitre box (or mitre saw if you have one)
  • pencil

How to make your Lego® table

The Lego® table is made up of base plates and a wooden frame. The latter is made from wood corner strips to make an edge that’s comfy for little arms and aesthetically pleasing as well.
Before you start to panic, don’t worry: making the frame is child’s play!

Step 1: Measure and calculate the length of the frame

For this first step, we must return to primary school because it requires a bit of maths.
Measure the table width and add the thickness of your wood corner strip + 1 mm. Our table (seen here) measured 55 cm and our wood corner strip, 3 mm. That gave us 55 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 55.4 mm.

Measure and calculate the length of the frame

Step 2: Cut bevelled edges for your frame

Use the mitre box to cut the ends of your strip at 45° angles. The measurements, which we calculated in step 1, correspond to the outer edge of the strip (where the angle is) so the inner edge will be smaller.

Cut wood for your frame

Step 3: Sand the strips for your frame

Sand the corners of your strips with sandpaper so that they are smooth and splinter-free.

Sand the strips of wood to create your DIY Lego table

Step 4: Glue the strips on the edge of your table

Add a line of adhesive along the edge of the table and glue each strip on top. Adjust the ends of each strip so that the connection fits together as tightly as possible.

Glue the strips on the edge of your Lego table

Tips: 

  • You can use a clamp, which is a great way of keeping your strips in place while the glue dries.
  • If your connection doesn’t fit together perfectly, add some matching wood filler.

Step 5: Glue the Lego® base plates onto your table

Glue the base plates together edge-to-edge. Add glue beads at all four angles of each plate and one in the centre. Leave the whole thing to dry and place a weight on each plate.

Glue the Lego plates onto your table

Presto: your table is finished, and the fun can now begin! Unless you want to turn the project into an art class too, in which case you can paint it in your little one’s favourite colour.

Create your very own DIY Lego table - tutorial DIY

Level up!
Want to keep playing? Take your skills to the next level with more tutorials! Check out our fun articles for children for lots of inspiring ideas!

Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home and garden project needs.