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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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!

How to Re-pot a House Plant

Taking care of house plants can be more than just making sure they have enough water and sunlight. Eventually, house plants grow and they will need to be re-potted into a larger planter.

Before you start re-potting, you will need to figure out what size planter you will need. If necessary, measure the planter you already have, and choose one that is just a few inches larger. Make sure there is a hole in the bottom for drainage. You will also need a saucer to place under the planter to catch any water.

Next, you will need potting soil. I chose a mix that is specifically for indoor plants. For this project, you might want to lay down some old newspaper or something else you have on hand to catch the potting soil and help with clean-up.

What you will need: potting soil, planter, saucer for planter

Instructions:

  • Start by gently removing the plant from the planter. An easy way to do this is to lightly squeeze or shake the plant to loosen it from the planter. Then, grab the plant at the very base with your fingers and gently pull it from the container. Try to keep the soil and roots together.
  • Next, place the plant in the new planter to figure out how much soil you will need to fill the bottom. If the top of the plant soil is about 4 inches from the top of the new planter, I will need about 4 inches of soil in the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove the plant and fill the bottom of the pot with soil. Make sure to pack the soil down lightly as you go.
  • Place the plant back into the planter.
  • Fill the space surrounding the plant with more potting soil, making sure the pack the soil down as you go.
  • Fill the pot to the top with soil, leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch for watering. Then, thoroughly water the plant.
  • You’re finished! Place the planter in the saucer and find a spot near a window where it will get sunlight.

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.

Easy ways to celebrate Earth Day at home

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Earth Day is a day that is dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of the earth and its environment. This April 22nd, 2020, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day first began in 1970 as a day to educate people about environmental issues.

Earth Day can be celebrated many different ways. Here are just a few simple ways to take part in Earth Day at home.

  1. Re-use plastic bags: Save plastic grocery bags instead of throwing them out. They can be re-used for an endless number of reasons, including small trash bags and lunch bags.
  2. Use re-usable tote bags: In addition to re-using plastic grocery bags, using a re-usable tote cuts down on waste that goes to the landfill.
  3. Spread awareness about Earth Day: Let people know about environmental issues that are important to you. Share with others on social media what you are doing for Earth Day.
  4. Use eco-friendly household products: There are more and more products available at the grocery store that are eco-friendly. Recycled paper products, including paper towels and toilet paper, and household cleaners that are sold in recycled plastic bottles and refill containers are just a few.
  5. Stop using disposable plastics: While it might not always be practical to avoid using plastics, every little bit helps! Re-usable plastic or metal straws, re-usable water bottles, and travel mugs cut down on waste.
  6. Recycle at home: Dedicate and area in your house or garage to organize things to be recycled. Look to see if your city provides pick-up for recycling or if there is a drop-off location. Plastic bottles and cans can be returned to the grocery store.
  7. Look for ways to volunteer: Schools, parks or your local community might offer ways to participate in Earth Day, or just to help the environment any day.
  8. Plant a tree: Not only do trees create clean air and filter pollution, they are a symbol of Earth and the environment.
Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

Back to Blogging

Hello everyone! It’s been some time since my last blog post and I decided it’s about time to get back to blogging! Check back here soon for more posts about easy diy, crafts, recipes and more! While I’m busy getting ideas together, feel free to share any ideas on what you would l

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DIY Key Fob Wristlet

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This Christmas, I wanted to make a small gift for everyone that was not only handmade but useful. These key fob wristlets were the perfect solution. Who isn’t always looking for their keys or a way to keep track of them?

I found the cotton webbing and key fob hardware sold together on Ebay.  I bought each roll of ribbon for $1 and Stitch Witchery at Michael’s. Putting it all together required dusting off the sewing machine and brushing up on some simple sewing, but, it was fairly easy!

The cotton webbing I used was 1.25″ wide so I chose ribbon that was 1″ wide, so there would be a border on both sides of the ribbon. My key fob hardware was also 1.25″ wide. The key fob hardware should be the same width as the cotton webbing.

Materials:                                                                                    IMG_3171

scissors

pliers

sewing machine

thread

ribbon

cotton webbing

Stitch Witchery

key fob hardware

Instructions:

1. Measure and cut the cotton webbing. I measured mine to be 12″, but feel free to make yours as long or short as you would like.

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2. Measure the Stitch Witchery and ribbon to be as long as long as the cotton webbing.

3. Follow the directions on the Stitch Witchery to bond the ribbon to the cotton webbing. After ironing the ribbon on to the cotton webbing, allow time for it to cool or dry.

4. With a sewing machine, sew a straight line down both sides of the ribbon for the entire length of the cotton webbing.

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5. Trim any stray threads from the ends of the cotton webbing. Fold the cotton webbing in half so the ends are even. Using the sewing machine, sew the two ends together.

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6. Evenly place the sewn ends of the cotton webbing into the key fob hardware. Use pliers to firmly clamp the hardware onto the cotton webbing. You may choose to use a cloth to cover the hardware when you are using the pliers. This keeps the hardware from being scratched by the pliers.

7. Attach a key ring.

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DIY Crate Pet Bed

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My cat had been sleeping in a cardboard box for years and was due for an update. I came across this DIY crate pet bed on Pinterest from a blog called Meet the B’s. This blog was about The Great Crate Challenge, where several bloggers purchased the same crate from Michael’s and came up with different ideas for repurposing the crate. I decided to give this one a try myself.

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Materials:

wooden crate

wooden pegs (for the legs)

paint brush

wood glue

gray wood stain

Americana Decor chalky finish

permanent marker

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Using a hammer, remove the top two pieces of wood to create the “front” of your pet’s bed. Next, paint the crate with wood stain, let the stain sit for about 10 minutes, and wipe away excess stain with paper towel.

IMG_3022 I also followed the “white wash” technique from this blog. Just mix 1/3 paint with 2/3 water.

Paint the crate with the “white wash” and wipe away excess with paper towel. Don’t forget to use the same techniques on the legs.

Once the paint is dry, glue the legs to the bottom of the crate. Allow time for the glue to dry.

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To get the design on the front of the crate, I chose a font from Microsoft Word and typed the word Kitty (choose anything you would like for your pet) in large letters onto a blank document and printed the document. To get the scroll design, I searched “scroll typography” online, and chose a design I liked from “images”. Print out your image also.

I learned this wonderful transfer technique from the blog as well. First, cut out your words and designs to fit your crate.

1. Using a pencil, scribble on the back of the word and design, covering the entire area the you want on the crate.

2. Place the scribbled side down on the crate, positioning the design where you would like it to be.

3. With a pencil, trace the outside edges of your words and design. This will press the scribbled pencil onto the crate and give you an outline of your design.

4. Lastly, fill in your words and design. I used a black Sharpie, but feel free to use paint as well.

For the finishing touch, place a blanket or pillow in the crate and you’re done!

10 Rainy Day Ideas

Cup of coffee and book pages- black and white

Being stuck inside on a rainy day doesn’t mean you’re staring out the window all day, wishing to be outside. If you’re looking for something to keep you busy, I’ve made a list of things to do to get rid of the boredom.

1. Read a book or magazine – It’s time to dust off those books and magazines you’ve been meaning to read. Catch up on your favorite magazine or spend time with a good book and a cup of coffee or tea.

2. Crafts – While the sun isn’t shining, find something you’ve been wanting to make and put those craft supplies to good use!

3. Photos – Organize photos into a box or album. This is a good time to see what might be of good use for scrapbooking!

4. Cleaning or organizing – Get those indoor chores done while it’s raining! Use this time to get rid of clutter, clean, and organize things that have been on your list.

5. Start a journal – A journal is a good way to practice writing or to get down your thoughts. There are many books out there with journal writing prompts. A few ideas are to write about things that have happened that day or week, different experiences, people and places, and how you are feeling.

6. Pick up a hobby – Try painting, drawing, or anything you would like to try your hand at. You might find things you’re interested in at a book store or craft store. Beginners kits are an easy way to get the materials you need to get started.

7. Movies – Rent a movie or watch an old favorite. Watch movies back-to-back and make it a movie marathon. Pop some popcorn and settle in!

8. Cooking or baking – Open up that cookbook or find a recipe online. Learn to make something new or make something you’ve always loved.

9. Games – Board games or card games are great ways to pass the time and have fun. Grab some friends and share some snacks!

10. Exercise – Get on the treadmill or follow along to a workout DVD. Get moving while indoors!