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

Bug Spray with Citronella Essential Oil

Everyone loves spending time outdoors in the summer. It’s a great time for picnics, gardening, ball games and going to the park. It’s also a great time for pesky mosquitoes.

While store bought bug sprays can be costly and harsh smelling, you can make your own bug spray by using two simple ingredients and citronella essential oil. Citronella essential oil is a natural mosquito repellent. There are many other essential oils are good for using in bug sprays. For this recipe, I have used citronella as my main essential oil, and smaller amounts of lemongrass and eucalyptus essential oils. Adding other essential oils makes a more pleasant smell, and to adds to the strength of the repellent.

Other essential oils for bug sprays:

  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea Tree
  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 15 – 20 drops citronella essential oil
  • 3 – 6 drops your choice of other essential oils (listed above)

Instructions:

  1. Add 1/4 cup distilled water and 1/4 cup witch hazel to the spray bottle.
  2. Next, add 15 – 20 drops citronella essential oil.
  3. Add 3 – 6 drops of other essential oils (listed above).
  4. Replace cap and label the bottle (optional). Your’re done!

Zipper Pulls

If you’ve ever broken the pull tab on a zipper you have probably been faced with finding a way to replace it. Although paperclips and safety pins work for a little while, they are not a permanent fix. That is why I came up with a better solution.

These zipper pulls are easy to make in just a few minutes. All you need is grosgrain ribbon and a lobster claw clasp with a ring attached. I chose grosgrain ribbon because it is known to be durable, and it is available in many colors. The size of the ribbon I used is 3/8 inch. There are different sizes of ribbon. Just keep in mind that you will need to thread the ribbon through the ring in the clasp.

The lobster claw clasp is easy to use and comes with a ring already attached for the ribbon. There are many sizes of lobster claw clasps. This one measures just over 1 inch and is sturdy enough to use for a zipper. Larger clasps can be too bulky, and smaller clasps are too dainty and could break. I have included three different ways to make a zipper pull using the same methods.

What you need:

  • grosgrain ribbon
  • lobster claw clasp with ring attached
  • scissors
  • measuring tape or ruler

Instructions:

  1. First, measure and cut 5 inches or more of ribbon. Keep in mind that shorter ribbon is harder to work with.
  2. Fold the ribbon in half equally and thread it through the ring.

3. Pull the ends of the ribbon through the loop made by folding the ribbon in half.

4. Continue to pull the ends through until it forms a tight knot.

You’re done!

One other way to tie the ribbon is to make a simple loop. Start by measuring about 8 inches or more of ribbon. Pull the ribbon through the loop. While keeping the ends together, tie them in a loose knot. Gently slide the knot towards the end of the ribbon and tighten the knot.

Lastly, and probably the easiest way to make a zipper pull is to use either of the two methods I have mentioned above and tie the ribbon directly to the zipper.

DIY baking soda air fresheners with essential oils

These DIY baking soda and essential oil air fresheners are an easy way to freshen the air without using a spray. Baking soda absorbs odors while the essential oils give off a pleasant scent.

You can use any essential oils you like. I used a combination of lemon, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils for a deodorizing effect.

Deodorizing Essential Oil Blend

  • 8 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 16 drops lemon essential oil
  • 12 drops eucalyptus essential oil

For this recipe, you will need a 4 oz. mason jar and mason jar inserts. I found these decorative galvanized metal inserts on Amazon.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. mason jar
  • mason jar inserts
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • essential oils

Instructions:

  1. Measure 1/2 cup baking soda into a bowl.
  2. Add 30 – 40 drops of your choice of essential oils.
  3. Mix well.
  • 4. Scoop the baking soda mixture into the mason jar.
  • 5. Place the lid back on the jar with the insert. You’re done!

DIY Essential Oil Room Spray

Essential oils have countless uses around the home. Not only are they used for their therapeutic properties such as relieving stress, relaxing, and uplifting, they are deodorizing and smell great!

This is an easy recipe for making your own room spray using essential oils. I used both lavender and vanilla essential oils because it is one of my favorite combinations. There are many essential oils to choose from. Orange and cinnamon are a great combination if you like fall spice. I also like orange and mint to freshen a room.

Some essential oils are know to be energizing and uplifting, such as; lemon, sweet orange, peppermint, and lemongrass. Other essential oils are relaxing, such as; lavender, clary sage, vetiver and ylang ylang. And some are refreshing, such as; spearmint, lemon and pine. There are also many essential oil blend recipes to choose from on Pinterest.

For this recipe, I use a 2 oz. cobalt glass spray bottle. Amber glass is also a good choice when using essential oils. The colored glass helps protect essential oils from outside elements such as sunlight so the oils last longer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 30 -40 drops essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Add 1/4 cup distilled water and 1/4 cup witch hazel to the spray bottle.
  2. Add 30 – 40 drops of essential oils.
  3. Replace cap and and shake bottle.
  4. Label the bottle (optional).

DIY Garbage Can Deodorizers

If you’re looking for a way to keep your home smelling a little fresher, these DIY garbage can deodorizers might do the trick! They are easy to make and take just a few household ingredients. Just toss one into the garbage can to keep odors away.

For this recipe, I used lemon essential oil, although you can use whatever essential oil you’d like. I also used silicone baking cups, but you can use disposable baking cups as well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 – 5 drops essential oil (each)
  • baking cups

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix 2 cups baking soda and 1/2 cup water in a bowl.
  3. Spoon 1 -2 Tbsp. each into the baking cups.
  4. Bake the deodorizers for 20 min. on a baking sheet.
  5. Once they are done baking, add 3 – 5 drops essential oil to each baking cup.
  6. Allow the deodorizers to cool and remove them from the baking cups.

DIY Hand Sanitizer Spray with Essential Oils

In an earlier post, DIY Hand Sanitizer, I made hand sanitizer in a plastic squeeze bottle with just three ingredients. Since then, I have found a way to make a hand sanitizer spray with essential oils. This recipe is a little more complex and uses a few more ingredients. I used orange essential oil, but which essential oil you use is up to you. Please see the earlier post, DIY Hand Sanitizer on April 11, 2020 for a list of essential oils and their properties. This recipe also calls for a carrier oil. I used sweet almond oil, although you can also use fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp. Carrier Oil: fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil
  • 2 – 3 drops vitamin E
  • 10 – 15 drops essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable glycerine
  • 2 tsp. Aloe vera gel
  • Isopropyl alcohol 90%+
  • 2 oz. spray bottle

Instructions:

  1. Add 1/2 tsp. carrier oil, 2 – 3 drops vitamin E, 10 – 15 drops essential oil, and 1/2 tsp. vegetable glycerine to the spray bottle.
  2. Next, add 2 tsp. aloe vera gel. This can be a little tricky. If you’re using a funnel, you might want to scoop the aloe vera into the bottle instead.
  3. Fill the rest of the bottle with isopropyl rubbing alcohol 90%+.

Finally, place the spray pump back on the bottle and give it a good shake to mix all of the ingredients. If you’d like, label the bottle with a sticker.

DIY Hand Sanitizer

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with shortages on essentials at the grocery store and a more urgent need to keep things clean, I found an easy way to make your own hand sanitizer using just a few ingredients.

For this recipe, you can use any essential oil you like. Although some are better for their cleaning your hands than others. I used tea tree oil, which has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic therapeutic properties. Below, I have listed other essential oils that are great for keeping your skin clean.

Essential Oils

Chamomile: antibacterial, anti-infectious

Lemon: anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, astringent

Lemongrass: anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent

Lavender: antibacterial, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic

Peppermint: antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antiviral

Sweet Orange: antibacterial, antiseptic

Spearmint: antiseptic

Tea Tree: antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. aloe vera gel
  • 2/3 c. Isopropyl Alcohol 90% (or more)
  • 5 – 10 drops essential oil of choice
  • 2 3oz. plastic bottles

Instructions:

  1. Combine aloe vera gel, isopropyl alcohol, and essential oil in a bowl.
  2. Pour mixture into 2 plastic bottles.

These hand sanitizers are small enough to carry with you in your purse or bag. The bottles shown in the photo are 3 oz. silicone bottles.