Wanting to get stuck in to a DIY project, but not sure where to buy everything you need? Here’s the best hardware, craft shops and paint stores sure to stock it all.
While there’s plenty to do in Hong Kong over a rainy weekend, sometimes staying in just can’t be beat. For those of us who still want to keep ourselves busy, DIY projects are a fantastic way to pass the time while adding refreshing touches to our homes. The projects don’t have to be fancy or challenging (unless you want them to be!), and you can even take the opportunity to host a crafting party for your friends and family. Keep reading to find out where to buy supplies, get inspired by our favourite projects, and stay smart with our DIY tips.
Read more: Best Homeware Stores in Hong Kong
Where to buy everything you need:
Sham Shui Po is a craft-a-holic’s treasure trove. Stalls selling everything you could ever need to make anything you could ever want line the streets of this old but vibrant neighbourhood. Put your bargaining skills to the test on Apliu Street for the best deal on electronics and hardware, then head towards Yu Chau Street for sewing supplies. Round off your crafty shopping trip at the fabric market on Ki Lung Street. No need to feel overwhelmed, this handy guide will show you exactly where some of our favourite stores are.
Tip: The flea markets at Sham Shui Po only take cash, so visit the ATM first! Try and go on a weekday afternoon (if possible!) as it gets pretty crowded.
- Swedish furniture retailer, IKEA needs no further introduction. Not only can its minimalist furniture be “hacked” to your tastes, but it also has a range of essential tools and fittings available for all your maintenance needs.
- AEON Living Plaza (you may remember them as Jusco $10 stores) sell a wide variety of home goods, and you can buy most craft supplies at this chain for just $12. Its flagship in Causeway Bay has a whole aisle dedicated to yarn, and a dizzying array of washi tape. Not only are the prices low, but the quality really isn’t bad either!
Read more: Our Favourite IKEA Hacks
- Man Fung Consumer Household Products has a location just down the road from Sassy HQ in Sheung Wan, and comes highly recommended by our friends in the neighbourhood. Nine out of ten product inquiries come back positively, and if you take the time to browse the aisles in its organised chaos, you are guaranteed to find the DIY tools you need. The prices here are almost unbelievably affordable, and the staff are always ready to help (and happy to teach you a little Cantonese, too!)
- Kanamono Hardware Store is a cozy little shop that redefines hardware. Stocked floor to ceiling with the best trinkets and hardware from around the world, Kanamono is devoted to showcasing the national aesthetics of its products. Each piece of hardware sold here has a story, and is well worth the reasonable price tag. Do-it-yourself… in style!
Man Fung Consumer Household Products, locations across Hong Kong
Kanamono Hardware Store, G/F, 30B Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, Tel:2865 6168, www.kanamono.com.hk
- 513 Paint Shop believes that leading a sustainable lifestyle is a choice we should all make, and that starts with the paint we use. It stocks environmentally-friendly, non-toxic paint from Iceland and Sweden, while colour mixing is done locally. You can also find specialty products here like chalk wall paint, spray paint, and even concrete and metal plasters. Check out its painting workshops and learn the basics before getting the brushes out yourself!
- Yuen Fat Ho Paint Shop is a neighbourhood staple that stocks all your basic painting needs and more. The ever-popular Nippon Paint has a “colour creations centre” here, providing free consultation and colour matching services. Shopkeeper, Fanny speaks excellent English and will get you kitted out with paint, wall filler and those all-important dust sheets.
- Located in the heart of newly minted “hipster” neighbourhood, Sai Ying Pun, Thorn and Burrow is your Pinterest board come alive. Selling funky, eco-friendly art and homeware sourced from artisans all over the world, it’s also the exclusive supplier of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint™ in Hong Kong. Stock up on any colour in the spectrum, attend one of the introductory painting workshops that Thorn and Burrow hosts, and you’ll be well on your way to a lively new home (sans the nauseating new paint smell!)
513 Paint Shop, S513, Block A, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2155 2282, www.513paintshop.com
Yuen Fat Ho Paint Shop, 77 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2546 8931
Thorn and Burrow, 1/F, 30 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 2559 9338, thornandburrow.com
- Hands Art & Craft is hardcore. From wood burners to mini pottery kilns to art glass grinders and wax casting kits, it’s got you covered. No matter how obscure your crafting needs are, you’ll find it on the neat shelves of Hands Art & Craft. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert, it also sells educational books that might give you more information on your next DIY project than Google can.
- Down the road from Hands Art & Craft is the eclectic Craft Supplies Store. It’s quite unassuming from the outside, so unless you go in for a browse you’d never know that in addition to regular craft supplies, it has dollhouse kits, sewing machines, and sometimes even discounted fabrics. It’s also happy to arrange delivery options for you if you’ve stuffed your shopping bags to their limits, and service is always with a smile.
- We didn’t know there was such an extensive range of paper until we visited Paper Art in Central. Since 1994 it has been promoting the appreciation of sustainable paper-related crafting and the art of rubber stamping. For those of us who are into modern calligraphy, it also carries a collection of calligraphy and embossing pens. You can even cut your new paper collection into fun shapes with specialty dyes with help from the lovely staff.
Hands Art & Craft, 1A, Po Wah Commercial Center, 226 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2893 9721, www.hands1986.com
Craft Supplies Store, G/F, Sun Hey Mansion, 68-76 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2520 0234 & G/F, 173 Sai Yee Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2392 0969, www.craftsupplies.hk
Paper Art, 1/F, Hung Tak Building, 106-108 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 2545 8985, www.hkpaperart.com
Looking for some inspiration?
Don’t know where to start and need some inspiration? We’ve collated our favourite projects for every part of the house, all of which won’t take you more than a weekend to finish.
– A chalkboard wall is perfect for a home office, or if you just need a handy surface to jot down a grocery list. Don’t want to do the whole wall? Use the chalkboard paint on the back of an old picture frame, and hang it up anywhere.
– Looking to refresh a room? Paint an accent wall! This tutorial has helpful tips and easy-to-follow instructions. Looking to update the furniture? Why not try dip-dyeing a chair, or changing out the drawer pulls for a little homemade flair?
– Your presence can light up a room, but so can turning on this neon letter light. Your wishes will come true with this wire and lace lampshade, and you can even make a few smaller ones to turn into lantern string lights. If you prefer the dark side, find solace by drawing these easy no-sew curtains closed.
– Your jewellery box still overflowing after an accessory clear out? Display your favourites with a gilded frame display, or some faux ceramic ring cones. You can figure out which to wear for the day while sitting on this faux fur vanity stool made from the iconic IKEA sheepskin rug and a stool.
– Throw your keys into a cute geometric paper bowl, grab a book from the mid-century honeycomb shelves and unwind after work on a hand-stitched floor cushion. Rest your eyes by looking at greenery, held inside adorable recycled coconut shell hanging planters.
Read more: 7 Ways to Make the Most of a Small Space
Top tips for DIY projects:
- Wrap brushes and rollers with cling film when in between coats so they stay moist
- Get paint residue off your skin easily with baby oil
- Hang items inside a cardboard box to spray paint with ease
- Use masking tape to create stencils while painting, or just to cover up space that doesn’t need paint
- Put a paper plate under your paint can to catch drips
- Soak crusty old paint brushes in hot vinegar for 30 minutes then wash them in hot, soapy water. Rinse, let dry, and they’ll be as good as new!
- Spray hairspray on anything you’re trying to thread through your needle, it’ll harden and make your job much easier
- To cut straight through cotton or linen, tease a thread out from the fabric until it bunches and cut along the line it creates.
- Spilled paint on carpet? Mix 1 1/2 tsps vinegar, 1 1/2 tsps detergent, and two cups water in a spray bottle. Spray onto stain then rinse by dabbing with warm water. Vacuum when dry.
- Cover scratches on wood with shoe polish, or make a paste with strong coffee grounds and mineral oil.
- Stick a magnet on the bottom of a hammer to keep nails out of your mouth
- To prevent screws from coming loose, put a drop or two of clear nail polish into the hole before you finish tightening the screw.
- Use a comb to hold a nail in place, it’ll protect your fingers
- Freshen up old tape by microwaving for 10 seconds. Heat softens the adhesive for easy release.
- Wipe scissors with baby wipe for easy cutting of duct tape.
- Keep glue sticks in the freezer to prevent long string bands when gluing.
While we’re all independent ladies who don’t mind getting our hands dirty, the most important tip we can give is to remember that yes, you can do it yourself, or you can get the tried and tested experts to do it for you!