Category Archives: Renovations

Frugal DIY Door Stopper

When we first moved into our rental, a number of our door stops were broken. I was able to replace all but the front door with the standard plastic door catchers you can get at Bunnings. The front entry had an old style door stop that proved to be a problem because it was installed quite close to the door edge, and because I didn’t want to drill new holes (a rental no no) if I installed the new plastic door catcher using the existing holes it would completely miss catching the door!

What to do…

Well after thinking about this for a moment I conjured up a lo-fi crafty and nifty solution, I introduce you to the monkey fist door stop –




Ta da!

All up it took me a couple a couple of hours to make it, but that was because I had never made a monkey fist before, now that I’ve made one, I reckon I can knock one up in a matter of minutes. Normally you would wrap the monkey fist with a small round object, like a golf ball or tennis ball, but I had none of those on hand so I simply crumbled up some junk mail catalogues into a ball and used that instead… (another lo-fi solution).

Now you could when looking at this ingenious solution decide that a tennis ball and some stocking could work just as well and you are right, but I love me some rope… I have a knot addiction and my motto has always been ‘you can never have enough rope around the house’. The rope I used was probably about 1 metre long and from memory it was 6mm rope. I bought mine at supercheap auto for 3 dollars and I still have ~9 metres of it left… great value if you ask me.

I followed the following youtube video to learn how to make a monkey fist –

MYO/DIY/PIT Towel Rails for Serial Renters and Nazi Landlords

If you are looking to install some extra towel rails and 3 or more of the following apply to you –

  1. You are a renter.
  2. Your landlord won’t allow holes in the wall.
  3. In fact, your landlord is Hitler reincarnate that will cast their eyes over every inch of the house looking for screw holes to hold your bond to ransom.
  4. Don’t have any power tools.
  5. Don’t mind when function trumps fashion.
  6. Like the idea of ‘efficient use of space’.
  7. Like convenience & simplicity.
  8. Would like to feel productive today.
  9. Prefers simple over complex.
  10. Likes cheap but prefers classy.
  11. Was never taught how to tie a bowline, an easy-release knot or the use of rope as a pulley and would like to learn.
  12. Knows that by learning the above they are learning the often forgotten art of pioneering.
  13. Want to have the option of adding your own personal touch.
  14. Trying to save money.
  15. Hate wasting money.
  16. Knows ingenious when they see it.
  17. Wants towel rails that can be easily put up, removed and reused over and over again.
  18. Wants a towel rail that is multi-functional.
  19. Can spare 5 minutes of your time.

… then I have just the towel rail you are looking for.

Frugalites, I call this the ‘Renters Towel Rail Delight’


I call it the ‘Renters Towel Rail Delight’ because its main selling point is that it doesn’t rely on any permanent fixings and it can be put up, removed and reused over and over and over and over again. Once you’ve installed one, you will likely develop OCD and try to put it up everywhere… so don’t say I didn’t warn you J

All that is required is brickies line (about $5) which you can get at any handyman store and some spacer blocks. I’ve chosen to use some scrap ply that I had lying around, but you could really use whatever it is around you as a spacer. If you wanted a rustic look, you could perhaps use some broken tree branch with the diameter of your liking and cut them up into little blocks. If you don’t know how to saw wood you could just as easily scrunch up some newspaper and use that as a spacer. If you like the touch of fabric, use that. If you wanted to make it look interesting, just go into a thrifty store (e.g. salvos or vinnies) and pick something that’s to your fancy. Really, the sky is the limit with this one.

Once you have the above at your disposal, it’s time to put it together.

Here you will roughly cut to length your brickes line, about 2.5 widths of your door. On one end you will tie a bowline. Why a bowline? See dot point 11 & 12 above. The bowline is one of the most useful knots you will ever learn, the main advantage of a bowline is being able to tie a fixed loop to whatever size you want and that can be easily undone. Once you’ve tied a bowline on one end you simply wrap it around the door to your desired height. Now all you got to do is tie it off. It needs to be tight and you want to tie it off with a knot that can be easily undone.

If you leave the as it is, you can basically use it as a way to hang postcards and sheets of paper – see below.

Before you add the spacer blocks you will need to cut a notch on the side so that it ‘catches’ the line. A hacksaw for this works best and has just the right size kerf to hold the brickies line.

…and voila!… you have your first frugalman towel rail! J

…frugalman towel rail won’t stop your door from closing J

…comes double sided too! J

…did I mention they make great racks for your pot lids as well… J