Monday, 5 June 2017

5 IKEA Crafts Under $50 ft. DIY Cushions

Together with Art Friend and Daiso, IKEA is one of the 3 shops that I always go to for my crafting materials every time I have an awesome idea. A trip to these 3 stores always lead to something amazing in my house so I frequently visit them at least once a month! #truestory

I previously shared 22 craft ideas using Daiso materials, which are awesome but if I want to make something of better quality yet still affordable, I head to IKEA.

Here's sharing five of my favourite DIY Craft Projects that I did for my house, made with IKEA products. The best thing? Each craft project costs less than S$50!


[1] Pin Display

I have been collecting pins since I was 18 and have always kept them in tin boxes, hidden away in a drawer somewhere. However, it was such a hassle every time I wanted to look at my collection! Hence, I started to research on ways that I could display pins but couldn't find anything I liked. On one of my regular shopping trips to Daiso, I came across their cork sheets and had a brilliant idea of stacking them in IKEA frames!

Cut two layers of thin cork sheet to fit the frame. Place the cork sheets inside the frame and secure it.
Bringing out my pin collection, which used to be displayed in plastic pockets
Remove the pin backs and stick the into the cork sheet. I'm very OCD so this took the longest time for me *laughs*
My collection of pins completed! You can easily open the lid and add new ones any time =)

If you find the KASSEBY Display Box above too bulky, you can also consider using the MOSSEBO Frame. It's cheaper, lighter and better for safety pin types but requires more effort to add the pins and mount it. It really depends on your needs (and your crafting skill!) =)

My smaller pins in a smaller frame, placed on top of my bigger display box

I love the end result! Now I can show off my collection to our guests and admire them any time I want! =)

IKEA Materials Used: 
Total cost: S$13.90 and S$27.90

[2] Scrapbook Display

No one has a better selection of frames than IKEA in my opinion! You can basically use it to display almost anything!

I've used them for too many projects to name so I'm just going to use my newspaper scrapbooking display as an example (read the full details here). Scrapbooking materials are expensive so I usually source mine from shops like Popular and Art Friend where I can get member discounts. You can also consider Paper Market and even Daiso.

I'm actually a real cheapo when it comes to using scrapbooking materials, which probably explains why I'm not very good at it. I'm far more generous with paint because it is a lot cheaper! *laughs*
The final layout displayed in a black FISKBO frame
Proudly displayed on the wall of our multipurpose room =)

Let's just say when it comes to scrapbooking, the IKEA frame is the cheapest material in my opinion! *laughs*

IKEA Materials Used: 
Total cost: S$30

[3] Wallpapered Side Table

I got the idea to cover my white furniture with wallpaper after realising that they were so yellow and dirty after years of use. I got the wallpaper from Kaison (Malaysia) because they are cheap and good!

I chose a nice light blue to fit the overall blue of the house
Cut up the wallpaper to fit the furniture and slowly smooth it over a piece of furniture with a card. Be careful not to be too rough though otherwise you might rip the wallpaper.

Ta-da! My side table looks as good as new doesn't it? Best solution for white furniture I think! =D

IKEA no longer stocks my bedside table but you can consider using other similar bedside tables:
Total cost: S$18 - S$55

[4] Dollhouse Bookshelf

The moment I set eyes on the FLISAT Doll's House I knew that I had to have it! Instead of putting it together myself, as I always do because I'm the best at DIY in my household, I decided to get my girl involved so that I can train her to be good with her hands as well =)

Helping me to fix up her dollhouse
The finished dollhouse

The design of the dollhouse is really smart! It can either be a doll's house like its name suggests or it can be a pretty bookshelf! I preferred the latter as I got tired of seeing my kids' library books getting tossed untidily on the floor.

All you need are wooden letters from Art Friend costing $1.20 each to make this the perfect storage for books!
A way to encourage our kids to keep reading!
My girl couldn't resist playing with her Barbies in the dollhouse though (it is a dollhouse after all).
We re-used the free IKEA cardboard container for wine glasses to store the books while she plays so that she can easily put them back on the shelves when she was done. My girl is so in love with her dollhouse!

You can also spray paint it for a different effect if you like. For doll furniture, you can either buy the mini IKEA furniture that goes really well with the dollhouse or if you want to be creative, you can also make the furniture yourself from wood crafts that you can get from Art Friend or even Daiso. There is no end to what you can do! =)

IKEA Materials Used: 
Total cost: S$44.70

[5] Personalised Cushions

And finally, here's a brief tutorial on how you can personalise your own cushions!

The materials that you need are: an apron to protect your kid's clothes, a set of brushescushion covercushion and fabric paint
Close up photo of the materials, especially the fabric paint, which you can get from Art Friend
Draw your design on your cushion cover with a white crayon
My finished Beauty and the Beast design
Then get your kid in the protective apron so that the paint will not get on their clothes. You may also want to put a cardboard inside the cushion so that the paint will not stain the opposite side.
Very happy to be painting her very own cushion!
The brushes are fat and short, perfectly designed for little hands to grip

For those of you who are not comfortable with using a paint brush, you can also consider the fabric paint markers from Art Friend. Although they're more expensive, markers are a lot easier to use. Personally, I still prefer my brushes though =)

Once you're satisfied with your painting, you should allow your masterpiece to dry for at least 48 hours. After 48 hours, you now need to set your fabric paint by either throwing it into the dryer or ironing it (without steam). I haven't got a dryer so I had to work with my iron.

Laying it out, all ready to be ironed
Don't forget to turn it inside out. NEVER iron on the "correct side"!
Do also put a barrier such as a cardboard inside the cushion so that the fabric paint will not stick to the other side of the cushion
Iron without steam for about 3 minutes per area without lingering in any particular section for more than half a minute. This is to ensure even setting of the fabric.

Once the paint is set, you can wash the cushion! =)

I'm working on a second cushion and will probably share at a later date when I'm done.

Beauty and the Beast design part 2
The famous single rose! =)

Really love the end result and I hope you do too!

IKEA Materials Used: 
Total cost: S$12.80 (per cushion) + S$31.80 for brushes, apron and 5 bottles of fabric paint (which you can use for other projects)


Oh and while you're at it, don't forget to grab a RASKOG Trolley! I've made it my craft trolley where all my art materials are stored neatly such that I can get to them easily and craft anywhere in the house!

My favourite craft station!

I hope this post has stimulated your creativity and given you some ideas for your next project! Do share with me your ideas! I would love to be inspired as well! =)

Happy crafting!!


This post is part of my Mad-Made Art series that document our artistic creations!

You can also see my art on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumART before I blog about them!


Disclosure: This post was brought to you in collaboration with IKEA Singapore. We received an IKEA Gift Card for this review but I'll be using it to fund my future IKEA crafts since I paid for most of the above products myself! (*laughs*). No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Our HDB Garden (1): Getting Started

If you've been following me on Instagram, you would know that the hubby and I have been hard at work building our garden from 3 to more than 30 plants!

I thought I'll start a series to share our experiences with you so that you can join us too!

First things first, here're some of our recommended things you'll need to get started.

11 Things You Need to Start Your Own Garden:

[1] Plant Pots & Plates

Different sizes of pots and plates

You'll need the small one for germinating seeds, after which you'll need to repot them as they grow bigger. Do also check if the roots of your plant grow shallow or deep and buy your pots to fit accordingly.

Alternatively, you can also reuse old bottles, tins and any other containers that you can find in your house.

[2] Soil

Our packets of soil
(left is from Far East Flora, right from Aeon Malaysia)

Buying good soil is important for growing healthy plants!

[3] Gardening Tools

Our gardening tools

These tools are useful for repotting your plants and breaking up the soil. Don't forget to loosen the soil every week otherwise it will clump together and prevent water from reaching the roots adequately.

[4] Seeds

Various seeds we bought mostly from Tesco and Aeon Malaysia
Tiny chilli and tomato seedlings

You can either buy seeds or plant whatever seeds that you can find in your kitchen (such as chilli padi, lemon, lime, etc). I'll share more on that in the next post.

[5] Plant Signs

I love chalkboard plant signs and got these lovely ones from Art Friend

If you plant multiple seeds, you'd need plant signs to identify them. Be careful when doing so otherwise you'd end up like us identifying the wrong plants!

[6] Watering Container

These are ours, all from Daiso

Do note that most people tend to kill their plants by over-watering! Water only if the soil looks or feels dry.

[7] Self-Watering Device

This cute one is from Daiso

For the days that you might not be around to water the plants, add a self-watering device such as the one above to ensure the plant still has enough water.

[8] Fertilisers

These are only some of the MANY different fertilisers we use! The liquid one from Daiso is my favourite as it's the easiest to use.

Just as animals and humans need food to grow, plants also need to be 'fed' fertilisers. It's really not enough to just provide water and sunlight; not if you want healthy growing plants!

[9] Insecticide

The insecticides that we use

It is a must to spray your fruit and vegetable plants with insecticide otherwise insects will destroy the fruits of your labour (quite literally)!

Contrary to what most people think, organic does not mean pesticide-free (source). It means that the farmer used pesticides that are made with organic ingredients.

I know that by buying commercial sprays, we are making our vegetables less organic but we really don't have time to make our own. We figured that at least we can control the amount of insecticide that we spray and only use it when necessary.

If you prefer 100% organic, you can make your own homemade white oil insecticide by searching for the recipe on Google. We might probably try that one day, maybe (*laughs*).

[10] Plant Support

Plant supports from Daiso
Inserted into larger pots to support our growing creeper plants such as pumpkins

Besides supporting creeper plants like pumpkin, we use the plant support to determine that the plants grow vertically rather than horizontally. This is to save space and to allow neighbouring plants their space to grow.

[11] Plant Stands

Our plant stands
(Our garden has doubled in size since this picture was taken!)

We started with the wooden plant stand, which was too short so we got the IKEA grey shelving unit. We love the latter so much that we got another one such that we've got enough space to house more than 30 plants! =)


And there you have it, the essentials that you'd need to start your garden. Don't forget that your plants need sufficient sunlight so do read up about your plant and the amount of light that it requires.

Some plants, such as our mint, pandan and pumpkin, require lots of direct sunlight everyday. Others, such as our aloe vera and indoor plants, require very little sunlight. Make sure you provide the right amount of sunlight otherwise your plant will not grow well.

Do let us know how it went for you! We still learning in this journey as urban farmers as well! =)

Continue to >> Our HDB Garden (2): Sustainable Vegetables


This post is part of my series on BC & Mad's HDB Garden and Our First HomeJoin us as we share our journey in becoming urban gardeners in our own HDB home! =)

You can also read about the progress of our garden before I blog about it on Instagram via the hashtag #bcmadgarden! =)

Monday, 15 May 2017

Be Whoever You Want to Be at Kidzania Singapore

We had never been to Kidzania but everyone we knew who had, were always full of high praises for the miniature city. After reading about how awesome Kidzania is, the girl and I were so excited to visit Kidzania Singapore for the first time!

Kidzania Singapore is located at Palawan Kidz City, Sentosa. It's just a 5 minute walk from the Beach Station. You can either drive in or take the Sentosa train.

Kidzania Singapore at Palawan Kidz City

The first thing that will catch your attention is the huge life-size plane that hangs in midair as though the building had caught it before it could take off. What an awesome first impression!

Underneath the belly of the plane

We met up with Gerald, the Marketing AM, who brought us to "check in" and enter the city of Kidzania.

Clockwise from top left: Looks quite like the airport doesn't it?;
Checking in at the Qatar "check-in" counters;
Putting on the trackers;
Each child is tied to a parent. Neither can leave without the other for security reasons.
Excitedly reading the map and telling me which jobs she wanted to try first
Kidzania is a real city so they use "real" money called Kidzos and a debit card to transact. The debit card has to be activated at Maybank before you can store Kidzos.

Most people will head first to the bank to activate their cards but we were advised to do that later in the afternoon when there's usually no queue. You can still earn Kidzos in cash. Kidzos are serious business here at Kidzania! Gerald told me that there's a whole department of staff in charge of handling the circulation of the Kidzos!

Left: All ready with our boarding passes!;
Right: Departure! And we're off!

If like us, this is your first time to Kidzania, you should read Bumblebeemum's Beginner's Guide. It has everything you need to know about how Kidzania works so I'm not going to repeat it here.

Little shophouses, like a real city except kid-sized

As advised by our Kidzania guru and fellow blogger Bumblebeemum, we decided to get the B.Kidzanian CitiZen PaZZport before starting any activity. The PaZZport is a rewards programme that allows you to earn more Kidzos for each job. You'll also get a chop for each station, which are accumulated. Once you reach 30 chops, you'll get promoted to the next level where you can earn even more Kidzos. There're other benefits of course but as Kidzos rule in Kidzania, the more the merrier =)

There's a one time administrative fee of $22, which is pricey but you do get a goodie bag and a personalised PaZZport that looks just like the real thing.

Go to the PaZZport Office at Level M2 to get your Kidzania PaZZport
Clockwise from left: Excited to get her PaZZport and goodie bag;
It really looks like the real passport doesn't it?;
Her first chop in her PaZZport. You can get about 10 chops per visit, give or take.

The PaZZport can be used at participating Kidzanias around the world (see the B.Kidzania website for more details). The nearest to us are Kidzania Kuala Lumpur and Kidzania Manila. If you really want to save money, the PaZZport is only MYR 38 in Kuala Lumpur!

There's always a different theme running at Kidzania; it was Kids for a Greener World when we were there. There are signs everywhere reminding kids to save water and recycle.

The Kids for a Greener World booth

There are more than 60 jobs that the kids can role play (see all the activities here) in Kidzania Singapore. Here are those that my girl chose:

Pizza Chef @ Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut's counter where you can buy pizzas with SGD
All food establishments require you to pay Kidzos rather than earn because you'll get a pizza in exchange for your "services"
Clockwise from left: Wearing her hairnet and apron;
Remember to keep your hairnet and reuse it to get 1 Kidzo for each time that you do;
Parents are welcome to join but instead of paying Kidzos, you pay in SGD. Very unfair if you ask me since parents pay entry fees too.
Hand-washing is a must at all food establishments. The sinks and all the counter tops are lowered to cater to the children!
Making their very own pizzas
Proudly showing the pizza she made before proceeding to eat it all except one slice, which she grudgingly gave to me *laughs*

I'd say that this job is a must to fill your stomachs before continuing with the other jobs =)

By the way, because the most popular jobs in Kidzania Singapore are pilot and cabin crew, you'd need to queue to get a queue card. Don't forget to get it early so that you can complete other jobs while waiting for your turn.

Our queue card for the 12 noon Pilot session

We headed to Spritzer as the queue was the shortest while waiting for our pilot session.

Water QC Specialist @ Spritzer

Clockwise from left: Wearing her lab coat and looking just like her daddy, who's a microbiologist/ quality assurance specialist;
Earn extra 2 Kidzos as this job is in line with the Kids for a Greener World theme;
The water that she is supposed to test.
Getting a certificate and a bottle of water for her efforts

My girl said this job was quite boring but well, at least she got a free bottle of water (cheap thrill *laughs*)!

Pilot @ Qatar

Clockwise from left: The stairway up into the cabin;
Proudly sponsored by Qatar Airways;
The area where the kids get dressed for their jobs.

Do note that parents are usually not allowed in the cabin for the pilot session. I was given special permission to take photos for the blog =)

The little pilots getting a briefing from their Captain
Simulation that looks about 60% like the actual cock pit. Super cool!

Clockwise from left: My girl looking very serious as she attempted to steer the plane;
I have to say, flying a plane is probably not my girl's forte;
I found it really cool to look out of the same plane that we saw when we entered!

I thought it was nice that most of the jobs were wheelchair accessible. The Aviation Academy was no exception.

Left: Elevator for those who need it;
Right: One of the pilot seats can be removed to accommodate a wheelchair!

The girl had so much fun! She enjoyed it so much that she asked to join the cabin crew. Usually kids are only allowed to choose either pilot or cabin crew to role play (not both). This is so that more kids can have a chance to experience being in the aircraft. However, we were allowed to experience both and document them on the blog so that you/ your child can make an informed choice on which job you'd prefer =)

Cabin Crew @ Qatar

Left: our queue card for the 12.40pm Cabin Crew session;
Right: The queue to get the card starts in front of Lifebuoy.

As usual, parents are not allowed onboard when the kids are doing their job. However, for the cabin crew, parents get to board the plane to act as passengers!

Clockwise from left: Saying "Kai" the Kidzania greeting to all the passengers;
The chairs look just those on an actual plane;
The "meal" that I was served.

I was very proud when my girl got to take turns making the inflight announcements! She really looked the part!

All the girls taking a group photo. Well done!

Overall, I think both jobs are fun though my girl looked like she preferred being a cabin crew =)

Dentist @ Sunstar

Learning to be a dentist and basic dental hygiene at Sunstar Dental Clinic
I have no idea what they're doing but it seems like it's really serious business. My girl told me later that they were afraid that the man was real and that they will hurt him by pulling out his tooth! Haha!
Left: Queuing up to choose a free gift to take home after watching the video;
Right: You can choose between a toothbrush or toothpaste! The girl chose a toothpaste because she uses an electric toothbrush.

I was very keen for my girl to do this job, not just because it came with a free gift (I'm a sucker for free stuff *laughs*), but because I secretly hope my girl will become a dentist one day. Not a doctor, they don't have much of a work-life balance as compared to dentists. My orthodontist told me dentists don't have to work OT and can sit around all day (the joker was trying to get me to join dentistry *laughs*). In my opinion, there's always good money to be earned from extracting wisdom tooth and/or braces! I seriously hope my girl will consider this! *laughs*

Nursery Doctor & Surgeon @ Mount Elizabeth Hospital

Clockwise from left: Waiting for her turn to be a nursery doctor;
There's a lift that can cater to kids in wheelchairs;
A peek of my girl taking care of newborn "babies".
A glimpse of the operating room where the kids were hard at work as surgeons

There was a long queue for the surgeon job so the girl was asked to be a baby doctor first while waiting for her turn in the operating theatre. As both occurred at the second level where parents are not allowed to follow, I visited the neighbouring establishments to check out other jobs that my girl did not wantget to role play.

Clockwise from left: Help others find the perfect eye wear as an optician;
There's a Kidzania Stadium for kids role-play as athletes;
The only establishment that is not available in other Kidzanias: a Peranankan Museum!

When my girl was done with her job, I asked her what she did because I couldn't watch her. She said she changed a baby's diaper as a baby doctor and she did a kidney transplant as a surgeon (evidently surgeons still have more street cred even in the kiddy world of Kidzania!). She looked like she thoroughly enjoyed it!

ER Doctor Mount Elizabeth Hospital

Clockwise from left: The Emergency wing of the hospital was located on the ground floor. Her coat had the words doctor on it. Really cool!;
Learning basic first aid and how to measure someone's blood pressure;
Looking so professional in her doctor's outfit, complete with a stethoscope. So cute!

The kids needed a patient to practise on and that patient happened to be none other than yours truly!

They put on blusher on my arm to make it look like it was swollen from a burn

The kids were delighted that they got to bandage me and all. It was really fun!

Banking @ Maybank
At around 2.50pm, we finally went to bank to deposit all the cash that my girl earned (she couldn't use her debit card as it was not activated yet). As expected, there was no one in sight.

Clockwise from left: The signboard looks just like the real thing!;
Exterior of the bank;
Miniature ATM machines that you can use to withdraw Kidzos! So cool!
Kids doing their own banking because adults were not allowed to go in. The counter is right at a kid's height!

Do note that the debit card can only be used in Kidzania Singapore. If you want to use your Kidzos at other Kidzanias, you'd need to withdraw it in cash.

Fire-fighter @ SCDF

Another very cool establishment, the SCDF!
Clockwise from left: She was super lucky to slip in as the 8th and last person in the queue!;
Listening to the briefing while waiting for the rest to get dressed in their firefighter outfits;
They also got to watch a short film on fire safety.
I love that the SCDF lent their logo to authenticate the experience for the kids!
The kids boarded their Fire Truck and were off to save a burning hotel located at the opposite end of Kidzania

The firefighters arrived to put out the fire while the police ensured that no one goes near the burning building. Very cute!

I'd say this job is a must because come on, the outfit is so cute!

Window Cleaner @ Cleaning Master

She also got to be a window cleaner where she learnt how to give the windows a good wipe down!
The kids were given instructions to go to the convenience store located at the other end of Kidzania to clean their windows. They had to do it without assistance once again.

Chef @ Soup Spoon

As with all the F&B establishments, you can buy food from Soup Spoon with the usual SGD. Being a Soup Spoon lover myself, I found this to be such an interesting concept!

The queue for this activity was always full every time we walked passed. We finally decided to wait for about 30 minutes till the next session just to guarantee that she'll be able to participate.

Left: Washing of hands is a must;
Right: Learning how to make pastries.
Hard at work
She proudly showed off her finished meal!

She became a new Soup Spoon fan after tasting the soup, declaring it to be her favourite job of the day. I suppose any job that comes with food is a good job (although technically it's not a job because she paid Kidzos and did not earn anything).

Ice Cream Maker @ Paddle Pop
The girl really wanted to go to Paddle Pop and again, she was super lucky to be the last person of the last session before closing!

Left: Paddle Pop Ice Cream Factory;
Right: Wearing her Paddle Pop apron.
Learning how ice cream is made and getting to bring home her own ice cream!

And with that, we ran out of time to complete any other job. We'd just have to come back again! =)

It's not just the F&B establishments that require you to pay Kidzos. The above jobs of scaling a wall, doing a ropes course and driving also require you to shell out Kidzos.
Other jobs that my girl didn't manage to try include Lim Chee Guan, Singapore Police Force officer, theatre actress and Kiss92 DJ.

There is only one thing that I did not like about Kidzania, and one thing only: the hefty price tag of $38 that parents pay to be their kid's bodyguard/ photographer. I found it rather unfair that kids could get pizzas and soup using Kidzos while parents had to pay even more money for food. There should at least be a free lunch coupon or something is what I think.

Anyway, the best way that you can maximise your money, since there's so little benefit for parents, is for a high parent to child ratio of at least 1:3. That way, there are more kids to get more pizzas/ soup/ chicken to make your money's worth! Also, don't bother bringing your kids if they're younger than 4 years old. There's only a small play area also known as the Kindergarten for them, which to me is so not worth the toddler + adult entry fee of $63 ($25+$38). There are so many indoor playgrounds in Singapore that offer younger kids so much more at one third the price.

Alternatively, you can also look out for special promotions at Kidzania Singapore's website. While you're there, you can also check out the special event that Kidzania holds on certain Friday nights where adults can go to Kidzania and role play like the kids do! You'd get to earn Kidzos too! =)

Overall, the girl and I had an awesome time and we both became Kidzania superfans overnight! This will definitely not be our last visit to Kidzania! =)


This post is part of my MadPsychMum Fun in Singapore Guide to all things exciting for kids! 
Check out other fun playgrounds and attractions in Singapore! =)

You can also follow us on Instagram or join us by using our hashtag #mpmfuninsg


Disclosure: Complimentary entry was received from Kidzania Singapore for the purposes of this review (we purchased the PaZZport). No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.
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