There are so many great DIY home projects on the internet, but for those of us who rent? Well, let's just say our options are limited. While some landlords will allow tenants to make changes to rental properties, sometimes even knocking a few bucks off rent for freshly-painted walls and other updates, most want you to leave the property exactly how you found it. Floors made of pennies, fairy-tale bedrooms, and all the other great DIYs we see online would land a lot of us in very hot water. And that security deposit? You might as well kiss it goodbye.
Annabel Vita knows what it's like to be a DIYer with limits. The London-based blogger was living in a rented apartment in 2013 when she came up with one of the most brilliant (and easily reversed) home projects we've ever seen. Not to mention, it's incredibly cheap! Like many great innovations, the idea was born of necessity – her bed faced a window, and while she liked the soft glow of sunlight, she also wanted some privacy. All the solution took was some cornstarch and lace …
First, Annabel painted her windows with a cornstarch paste.
To make the paste, she combined equal parts cornstarch (cornflour would also work) and cold water. Then, she slowly added boiling water from a tea kettle until the mixture became gelatinous. Her exact measurements were: two tablespoons cornstarch, two tablespoons cold water, and one and a half cups boiling water, but you may need less or more depending on the size of your project.
Next, she cut out lace using a template of her windowpane.
Annabel found her lace at IKEA, but you can buy your own wherever craft products are sold. It typically costs only a few dollars per yard.
After pressing the lace to the window, she went back over it with the cornstarch paste.
While the cornstarch paste may have a white tint when first applied, it should dry clear within 12 to 24 hours.
You would never guess that Annabel made a mistake here!
Although she measured a pane incorrectly and was left with a gap, it was easily fixed by cutting a swatch of lace and starch-gluing it in place. I can't even tell where the gap was!
The finished product is beautiful and only took Annabel about an hour to complete.
Lace is incredibly easy to work with, as the holes in the fabric keep you from having to smooth out any annoying air bubbles.
Imagine waking up to this window every morning!
The lace allows sunlight to enter the room and provides some much-needed privacy. It also gives the room a vintage, yet classy look.
While the lace doesn't block everything, it does make figures outside very hard to see.
Above is Annabel waving at the camera – we see you (kind of)!
And what if you get tired of the look?
It scrubs right off! Annabel moved out of her apartment six months after the project, and found the removal process to be just as simple as the installation. First, she sprayed the lace with hot water, which loosened it enough to peel away from the panes. From there, it was just a matter of soap, hot water, and good old-fashioned elbow grease!
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