DIY Kitty Castle

I am totally in love with this DIY colab by Astrid of SP4NK blog and Baba Souk ! A little while back I added it to my last weeks links post and threatened to make Sullivan one… Baba Souk saw that tweet and challenged me to it, and oh man I am glad they did. Sullivan LOVES it and it adds abit of quirky fun to our lounge space!

I teamed up with Zana and just love how it turned out…

Here’s what you will need:

1 || Cardboard boxes

2 || A Zana scrap pack

3 || Duct Tape

4 || Hem Tape

5 || A black marker

6 || Craft knife

7 || Timber Dowl

This is just a basic idea of how to assemble your very own Kitty Castle, but the creative direction is totally up to you. Give it a go and tag me on twitter or Instagram, I would love to see your creations- @melissalouisen

Let’s get started-


Using your Zana scrap pack prepare your flag. I used card to stabilise it, and tied it to the stick with gold ribbon.

kitty3Using more of your scrap pack create bunting. Use the hem tape to “glue” the two sides together.




Mark and cut where you want your openings to appear. Sullivan is so curious, he was involved in the entire process… 


I outlined the edges of the openings with black marker to make them more of a feature.


 and there you have it!

Sullivan loves it so much, he plays in it by sticking his paws out the bottom holes and I have lined the inside with his blanket, he likes to takes long snoozes in his castle. 


Design and assembly by me. Photos by Robyn @ Zana , Editing and compilation by Nikki @ Zana.

One desk || Two ways

Don’t your find that trends change faster than your purse can keep up?

Here are two fun looks, you can easily restyle your work space with little to no cost.

First up, is a vintage pastel look. I totally love this blush pink at the moment and you can add touches of gold for a timeless look. Simple accessories can really transform your desk without having to break the bank.

To achieve a simple gallery wall you can tear images from magazines you already have or download your fave prints and add them to your wall with washi tape.

Desk one - Melissa Louise


Next up, we have a monochromatic look, black and white are all the rage right now. This look is gender neutral and is totally modern. You can add pops of colour by using one statement piece or many accessories… Keep this look clean and modern by making use of graphic elements.

Desk two - Melissa Louise

Get this look- CHAIR || YAY BANNER || LAMP || E-MUG


Photos by Zana

Gel candle DIY

This is a post that I have been working on for a little while… I have been prototyping and testing what lasts in gel! I wanted to do something completely different with gel wax, change your mind about it kinda stuff… Needless to say I now have a greater understanding of how difficult gel wax is to work with and why majority of gel candles we see are filled with beach sand and shells or orange peels and cinnamon sticks!

Working with normal wax was so much easier and I had so much more fun doing this DIY over on Zana’s blog!

Well here goes,

Gel Candle DIY by Melissa Louise

What you will need-

1 || Gel candlemaking kit from Candle Deli. Contnts: 500g gel, 2m wick, sustainers and 5 wooden cut-outs (I chose not to use these). 

2 || A glass jar/vase.

3 || A skewer

4 || A pot/something to melt your gel wax down in, preferably something with a spout for easy pouring.

5 || Your decorative element, in my case the gold stickers.

Step one – Stick your gold stickers back to back, this will give you a gold disk, ready to drop into your wax…

Gel Candle DIY by Melissa Louise

Step two – Thread your wick through your sustainer and tie a little knot on the end.

Gel Candle DIY by Melissa Louise

Step three – Secure the wick and sustainer to the bottom of the jar, you may use a little bit of presstick for this. Make sure there is a little tension on the wick, it should not be limp as shown below…

Gel Candle DIY by Melissa LouiseStep four – Melt your gel in a pot or iron kettle, the kettle is recommended as it has a spout and make easy for pouring. I worked with what I had and managed just fine with a pot. Do not spill the wax, not only does it make a mess, its VERY hot and will burn you. I found the gel wax made alot of smoke when heating, not sure if this was because it was too hot?

Gel Candle DIY by Melissa Louise

This is when the DIY started going pear shaped…. the house filled with smoke, we coughed and poured the hot gel wax into the glass vase…. at first it was fine, then the stickers started to “boil” / “foam up”…. It looked pretty with the gold discs floating in the gel mixture…. and then they sunk! Then after letting it settle the clear gel turned yellow (obviously from the gold discs) and it started to look abit like someone took a wee in my vase… (puts head in hands and giggles)

Gel Candle DIY by Melissa Louise Gel Candle DIY by Melissa Louise

It’s not often that when I do a DIY that doesn’t end up looking lovely … but this is one of them and while editing these photos and enjoying the candle light from my very first gel candle, I have warmed up to it… Although its not what I imagined it to be in the end it’s not so bad…

Thank you to my bestie, Nikita, for your help on this DIY.

If you find this photo tutorial difficult to follow, try watching Angeliques youtube video tutorial. A big thank you to Candle Makers Deli for the tips on candle making.

Safety precautions-

– Never heat wax on an open flame, if you have a gas stove like me be VERY careful.

– Do not heat wax in a microwave.

– Do not heat wax unattended whilst heating.

– In case of fire, turn heat off. DO NOT extinguish with water. Pour sand on the flames.

– Do not pour hot gel wax down the sink or toilet.



All photos taken by Melissa Louise. Hand Model- Nikita da Silva.

Doll up your succulent – DIY

When I am not busy over “here”, I am busy over “there”. As some of you may know I am the Interior and all round designer at Zana, I also contribute to their blog… Things have been amazingly busy for us, and I have never been happier with what I am doing!

For valentines day this year I did a super cute little DIY over at Zana, truth is this DIY can be a gift for someone special any time of the year or just a little something to spruce up your desk at work!

DIY - Melissa Louise

What you will need:

– A small succulent or plant. Keep it small enough for your loved one to keep on his/her desk at work.

– Off cuts of fabric. If you dont have or know where to get this you could use fabric from our scrap packs, purchase them here.

– String

– An elastic band

– A ruler

– And a pair of scissors

Step 1. Measure your pot, remember to leave an extra piece for the fold over at the top.

Step 2. Cut your fabric to size. You could also use pinking shears if you have them, this would avoid the fabric from fraying.

DIY - Melissa Louise

Step 3. Fold and flatten the fabric, we allowed for a +- 1cm fold over. This may vary depending on the size of your pot, try keep it in proportion.

DIY - Melissa Louise

Step 4. Wrap your piece of fabric around the pot. If you are doing this alone, use a piece of sticky tape or press stick to secure the fabric to the pot until you have got the elastic band around the base of the pot.

DIY - Melissa Louise

Step 5. Secure the fabric to the pot with an elastic band, the elastic band will also help keep the fabric wrapped around the pot. This is a no sew DIY so the elastic band is essential.

DIY - Melissa Louise

Step 6. Add the string for decoration. This finishes it off nicely.

DIY - Melissa Louise

DIY - Melissa Louise

 Happy mid week! 


Photographs by Robyn Britz @ Zana, Edits by me. 


Last weeks discovered links #7

This past week has been so much fun for us Zana girls, we attended the Kamers Vol Geskenke showcase in JHB, read about it here. We had such a good time, and it was so lovely to meet some of my readers in person… So now that we are back and rested I can get back into the swing of things, starting with Last weeks discovered links.

Since I started this Monday feature I have got nothing but great reviews, just last week Le’Chelle from Taylor Made Blog included me in her top ten local blogger round up because of this last weeks discovered links series. YAY! Thank you to Le’ Chelle and all my other readers.

Here we go last weeks discovered links #7, and just because I have been away for so long, I have included more then just my top 5 discovered links…

Last weeks discovered links #7

1. How incredible is this Deserted wallpaper by Room Thirteen?

2. MR&MRS, one of my favourite stores at Kamers JHB 2014. I bought my beautiful rose quartz ring there…

3. Some great tips to market your blog using Pinterest found here.

4.  I just love it when design aesthetic and practically comes together- hi5 Hoi P’loy

5. Embroidered spot knit with free delivery by Trenery at Woolies

6. DIY pin board

7. Love the pops of colour in this 70’s style home in France

8. Day dreaming about travels to Phuket,Thailand

9. Must have these porcelain platters

10. How to style your mantle by Emily Henderson.



Images listed by various links.