DIY Mason Jar String Lights

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

This simple DIY craft idea is easy for anyone to make! These DIY Mason Jar String Lights give off a soft light and work well as a decoration. All you need are mason jars and LED Mini Firefly String Lights. I used the Vintage Aqua Blue Ball Mason Jars to add a little more color. Use at least one string of lights per jar, depending on the length of the string. Two strings of lights fills the jar more, and is brighter. The mini LED lights are battery operated, so there is no need to plug them in.


You Will Need:

  • Mason Jars
  • LED Mini Firefly String Lights

Instructions:

  1. Turn on the mini LED string lights.
  2. Unwind the lights (if they are wound up) and put them in the mason jar. Place the on/off switch in the bottom of the jar, so it is less visible.
  3. Remove the center of the mason jar lid and replace only the ring on the jar.

You’re done!


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DIY Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

Why pay high prices for those expensive reed diffusers at the store when you can make one at home? Making a reed diffuser with essential oils is easy and you can make your own favorite scent.

For this project, you will need essential oils, a glass bottle with a long skinny neck, wood diffuser reeds, and a light carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or apricot kernel oil. All of these are fairly inexpensive and can be purchased at a craft stores or online. When buying your glass bottle, make sure that the height of the bottle isn’t taller than the diffuser reeds.

Choose any combination of essential oils that you like. I used an essential oil blend recipe that I found on Pinterest using peppermint oil, rosemary oil and spearmint oil.


You will need:

  • reed diffuser sticks
  • essential oils
  • a light carrier oil such as coconut oil, apricot kernel oil or sweet almond oil
  • a glass bottle with a long skinny neck
  • small plastic funnel (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup carrier oil to the glass bottle, depending on the size of your bottle.

2. Add 25 – 35 drops of essential oils.


3. Place 5 -10 reed diffuser sticks in the bottle.


You’re done!



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DIY Catnip Yarn Balls

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

Balls of yarn have always been toys for cats. Add a little catnip with some glue and a styrofoam ball, and you have an enticing new toy for your cat.

I used 3 inch styrofoam balls and 22 yards of yarn to make the toys, although feel free to use smaller styrofoam balls for smaller cats.

You will be handling the styrofoam balls while they are covered in glue, so you might want to keep paper towels near by.


What you need:

  • styrofoam balls
  • yarn
  • catnip
  • glue
  • paintbrush
  • paper plate or other surface for catnip

Instructions:

  1. Place some catnip in a paper plate.
  2. Coat the styrofoam ball in glue using a paint brush.
  3. Roll the styrofoam ball in the catnip until it is mostly covered.

4. To begin wrapping the styrofoam ball in yarn, hold the end of the yarn against the ball and wrap the yarn around so it holds the first piece in place.

5. Continue to wrap the ball in yarn until it is covered.


6. Tuck the end of the yarn into the yarn wrapped around the ball. Use a dab of glue to keep it in place.

7. You’re done!


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DIY Lined Envelopes

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

Send decorative and unique cards and letters by making your own lined envelopes. These are easy to make using an envelope you already have and some decorative paper.

I used 5 1/4″ x 7 1/4″ invitation envelopes that are a good size for greeting cards and photos. I also used cardstock and scrapbook paper for the liner. Feel free to use any kind of envelope or decorative paper that you like.


What you need:

  • an envelope
  • decorative paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick or quick dry glue
  • a pencil
  • ruler or tape measure


Instructions:

  1. Start by tracing the envelope onto the decorative paper.

2. Measure 1/2″ along the inside of the line you’ve already drawn. Use a pencil to lightly mark along the inside edge of the envelope.


3. Cut out the envelope, following the marks drawn 1/2″ inside the traced envelope.


4. Place the decorative paper into the envelope. Make sure the liner is all the way to the bottom of the inside of the envelope, and that there is enough room on the flap for sealing the envelope.


5. Crease the liner along the same crease of the flap of the envelope.

6. Lightly glue the sides and bottom of the liner flap.


7. Press the glued liner flap to the flap on the envelope. You’re done!


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DIY Envelopes

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

These DIY envelopes add a fun and decorative touch to cards and letters. They are quick and easy to make with just a few items you might already have on hand. I used cardstock and scrapbook paper to make my envelopes because it is sturdier and more opaque than most paper. In this blog post, I will show you two ways to make envelopes.

For the first envelope, I used 8″ x 11″ cardstock because the envelope is smaller. For the second envelope, which is larger, I used 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper.


What you need:

  • cardstock or scrapbook paper
  • envelope (for tracing)
  • scissors
  • glue stick or quick dry glue
  • pencil

DIY Envelope #1

Instructions:

  1. First, choose the kind of envelope you would like to make. For my example, I used an invitation envelope.
  2. Next, carefully peel the envelope apart at the seams so it lays flat.


3. Place the envelope on the cardstock and trace around the edges.


4. Cut the traced envelope out of the cardstock.


5. Fold the cardstock envelope, using the first envelope as a guide.


6. Glue the flaps of the envelope. Make sure not to glue the top flap.


7. Wipe off any excess glue.

You’re done!


DIY Envelope #2


Instructions:

  1. First, choose the cardstock or scrapbook paper you would like to use. For this envelope, I used 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper.

2. With the decorative side facing down, fold the bottom corner up to meet the opposite side, making a square.

3. Cut off any extra paper at the top.


4. Next, fold a crease in the paper that crosses the first crease, making an “x”. These creases will be used as a guide.


5. Turn the paper so that one corner faces up. Fold in the other three corners to the middle, using the “x” crease as a guide.


6. Fold the bottom half of the paper up, leaving the top corner as a flap.


7. Lightly glue the bottom and sides of the envelope. Wipe away excess glue.


You’re done! When you’re ready to mail your envelope, seal it with tape or a decorative sticker.


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DIY Water Bottle Name Tags

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

Have you ever gotten your water bottle confused with someone else’s water bottle? Well, these DIY water bottle name tags should solve the problem. These are quick and easy to make, using only some elastic cord and plastic beads.

For my water bottle name tag, I used plastic beads in several colors and letter beads for my initials. Feel free to use any kind of plastic beads you like. Another idea is to use other stand-out beads that you like such as different animals, plants or flowers, hobbies or symbols to mark your water bottle.

What you need:

  • water bottle
  • letter or other stand-out beads
  • other decorative beads
  • elastic cord
  • scissors
  • measuring tape (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Start by wrapping the elastic cord around the water bottle to determine how much you will need to cut. Leave about 4 – 5 inches extra on both ends for tying knots. Keep in mind you will want to stretch the cord so that it fits the water bottle a little snug.

2. If the hole in the beads you are using is too big for a knot, tie a stopper bead at the end. Simply tie the cord through and around the bead and secure it with a knot. This will hold the beads on the cord as you string them.


3. Begin by stringing your decorative beads on the cord. String several inches (about halfway) of beads.


4. Next, string you initials, name, or other stand out beads.

5. Continue with stringing the decorative beads until you have enough to wrap around the water bottle.


6. When enough beads are strung, tie the two ends together in a knot. If necessary, wrap the beaded cord around the bottle before tying, to make sure it fits tight enough. You want the name tag to be tight enough so that it doesn’t fall off the bottle.

7. Trim the ends of the cord and cut the stopper bead off, if necessary.


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DIY Braided Sock Dog Toy

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

In an earlier blog post (July 12, 2020), I showed three simple ways to make dog toys out of old socks. The braided sock dog toy, shown above, takes only a few more steps to make. This toy is still uses old socks and is very easy to make.

One thing to keep in mind while making the braided sock dog toy is to use longer socks. You will need several extra inches to braid and tie the socks.


You Will Need:

  • 2 old socks
  • sharp scissors


Instructions:

  1. Begin by cutting the socks open so they lay flat.

2. Cut each sock into three strips, about 2 or 3 inches wide. You will need a total of 6 strips.

3. Gather all 6 strips and tie them together in a tight knot.

4. Pair 2 strips together each to make the 3 pieces needed to make a braid.

5. Begin to braid the sock strips. Pull the strips to tighten the braid as you go.


6. Braid several inches if the sock strips, making sure to leave enough length at the end to tie another knot.


7. Trim the strips to make both sides even. You’re done!


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DIY Pom Pom Cat Toys

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

These pom poms made of yarn may have many uses when it comes to making crafts, but they also make great cat toys. They are simple to make using yarn and a few household items. I have included three ways to make pom poms, each makes a different size.

There are just a couple of things to keep in mind while making your pom poms. First, when tying the pom poms with a separate piece of yarn, be sure to tie very tightly. This is what holds the pom pom together. Second, make sure you hold the pom pom securely in your hand or on a flat surface while cutting the pom pom. This is so pieces of yarn don’t fall out before your’re finished. Third, the more yarn you wrap, the bigger and fuller the pom pom.

What you need (for all three pom poms):

  • yarn
  • fork
  • cardboard
  • jar or can (for tracing)
  • quarter (for tracing)
  • scissors
  • two empty toilet paper rolls or one empty paper towel roll


Small Fork Pom Poms

What you need:

  • yarn
  • fork
  • scissors

Instructions:

  1. Start by wrapping yarn around the fork until the yarn is about an inch thick.
  2. Cut a separate piece of yarn about 12 inches long.
  3. Wrap the piece of yarn around the yarn on the fork through the middle tines. Tie the yarn very tight.
  4. Slide the yarn off the fork and tie the separate piece of yarn tightly again.
  5. Slide the scissors through the loops of the yarn and begin to cut them until they are all cut.
  6. Fluff the pom pom and trim any stray pieces.

Cardboard Circle Pom Poms

What you need:

  • yarn
  • cardboard
  • jar or can (for tracing)
  • quarter (for tracing)
  • pen or pencil
  • scissors

Instructions:

  1. First, trace a jar or can on the cardboard twice.
  2. Then, trace a quarter in the middle of each circle. (shown above)
  3. Cut out both circles with a small space in each one to make the letter “C”.
  4. Put both circles together to make one circle.
  5. Wrap the yarn around the circle until you have reached desired thickness (about 1 inch).
  6. Slide the scissors between the two circles to cut the yarn. Make sure to hold the yarn in place while cutting.
  7. Cut a separate piece of yarn, about 12 inches long.
  8. Place the piece of yarn between the two circles, wrapping the pom pom, and tie tightly. Repeat (optional).
  9. Remove the two cardboard circles.
  10. Fluff and trim the pom pom.

Large Cardboard Roll Pom Poms

What you need:

  • yarn
  • two empty toilet paper rolls or one empty paper towel roll (cut in half)
  • scissors


Instructions:

  1. Begin by wrapping the yarn around both cardboard rolls until you have reached desired thickness.
  2. Cut a separate piece of yarn, about 12 inches long.
  3. Slide the piece of yarn between the two cardboard rolls and tie tightly. Repeat (optional).
  4. Slide the yarn off of the cardboard rolls and tie the yarn tightly again.
  5. Cut the loops of yarn until all of the loops are cut.
  6. Fluff and trim the pom pom.

These pom poms are instant fun for you feline friend! Kitty (a.k.a Ginger, shown above) is curious about her new toys!

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DIY Sock Dog Toys

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

Give those old worn out socks a new life by upcycling them to make dog toys. All it takes is a few old pairs of socks and some other common household items.

These sock toys take very little time and your dog will love them! You will need to tie a knot in the sock to make the toys, so, make sure you choose socks that are long enough.

You will need:

  1. An empty water bottle
  2. A tennis ball
  3. Old socks

Basic Knotted Sock Toy

  1. Hold the sock in both hands and stretch the sock while tying a knot in the middle. Make sure to tie the knot tight so it doesn’t come undone.

Water Bottle Sock Toy

  1. Rinse out an old water bottle and remove the label.
  2. Fit the water bottle into the sock until it reaches the toe.
  3. Tie a tight knot at the top of the bottle.

Tennis Ball Sock Toy

  1. Fit the tennis ball into the sock until it reaches the toe.
  2. Tie a tight knot just above the tennis ball.

You’re done! These DIY sock toys will give your dog endless hours of fun!

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4th of July Fairy Lights

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

Whether you’re throwing a party or just want fun decorations, fairy lights can liven up any decor. They are inexpensive and easy to use. Fairy lights use batteries, and because of this they can be used many different and creative ways.

Because it’s the 4th of July, I decided to use red, white and blue striped ribbon. The same idea could be used for other holidays and festivities by changing the color of the ribbon. For example, use red and green for Christmas, or orange and black for Halloween. How many ribbons you tie on the lights is up to you. Be creative!

What you need:

  • 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon
  • string of fairy lights
  • scissors

Instructions:

  1. Begin by measuring and cutting several lengths of ribbon. For the photo above, I cut 4 inch pieces of ribbon.

2. To make the ties, start by folding the ribbon in half underneath the fairy lights.

3. Fold the two loose ends down over the fairy lights and through the loop made my folding the ribbon in half.

4. Hold the fairy lights taught while pulling the ribbon into a knot.

5. Repeat this as many times as you want, until you have reached the end of the strand. For the fairy lights pictured above, there is one ribbon tied between each light on the strand.

Another option is to ties bows instead of knots with the ribbon. I used 8 inch pieces of ribbon to make the bows. The trick is to tie the bow directly onto the fairy lights. After the bow is tied tight, then position the ribbon to make the bow look the way you want.

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

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