Now that fall is well and truly underway, it isn’t going to be long before we are seeing all things for the holidays popping up in stores and in our neighborhoods. But if you’re looking to have a more frugal holiday season this year, then now is the time to start preparing for it. Some projects can take a while to make. So starting now will mean that they are ready in time for Christmas.
If you’re looking to have a bit more of a homemade holiday season than ever before, then here are some fun things that you can start working on now, or look to make as we get closer to December. Have you got any other suggestions of things that you love to make at this time of year?
Gifts in a Jar
Collect Mason jars or old jam jars over the next few weeks, and you’ll be able to make plenty of cute gifts for friends or neighbors. The thing with gifts in a jar is that they are so versatile, so it works for everyone. In some, you could put all of the ingredients for cookies or brownies. They work well for friends and teachers. In others, you could put in a few little bits for a home manicure, like fingernail polish, a nail file, some nail gems, and cotton balls, for example. Others could have the ingredients to make your own holiday hot chocolate, with marshmallows and chocolate tips as toppings, for instance. The options are endless!
Use Nature To Decorate
If you want to keep this holiday season much less commercialized than you’ve had before, then there is no better place to look, than to nature. Instead of buying artificial wreaths or decor for your home, why not make your own with what you can find outside? This is why now is the time, because you can look for things like holly or seasonal leaves that you want to use. Team with some burlap cloth, dried orange segments, and sticks of cinnamon, and you’ve got some great things to get creative with.
Sew and Knit Your Own Christmas Sweater
I don’t think we are going to get very far without seeing Christmas sweaters all over the place. They are going to be around for many years to come! But why not get one just as you like, by making your own? If you’re an avid knitter, then this could be a nice way for you to enjoy the holiday season. If you’re not, then you might need to look up a knitting and sewing website to get some tips and tricks, as well as supplies. You could make gifts for others using your skills too. How about sewing an apron or making some holiday style bunting with your sewing machine? Again, the options are endless.
To make something extra special for a loved one, then how about photo gifts for them? Getting photos printed out for them, as well as mounted and framed, can be a lovely touch. And with so many of our photos online these days, it will be nice for them to have them printed out, as they might not do that for themselves.
Fun Summer Crafts and DIY’s for Tweens
Summer is a time when most tweens are out of school. This means great family trips, and more time to hang out with friends. However, summer is also the time that the phrases ‘I’m bored’, and ‘There’s nothing to do’ is heard more than normal. Instead of hearing these phrases over and over again, we have rounded up some of the best summer crafts and diy’s for tweens.
1. Fruit Juice Slushies
Slushies are something that kids love. Most of the time they are not that healthy and they can also be expensive. You can easily make your own at home. All you will need is a blender and these ingredients:
1 cup of fruit juice
1 ½ cups of cold water
4 cups of ice.
You just need to place all the ingredients in a blender, and then blend until it is smooth. Pour into four glasses, and serve with straws. The slushies can be frozen and re-blended if they are not going to be drunk before they melt.
2. Make Your Own Lip Balm
Lip balm is something that everyone has in their bag. However, lip balm is not something that is only for winter weather because hot summer days can also dry out your lips. Once you learn how to make lip balm, you can easily make thousands of unique lip balm flavours. Here is how to make your own lip balm.
You will need:
-4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, or other liquid oils like Almond oil, Grapeseed oil, or Olive oil
-3 Tablespoons Beeswax Pellets
-2 Tablespoons Shea Butter
-Essential Oils or Flavor Oils
In a container that is microwave safe, melt the oil, Shea butter, and beeswax. This should be done using 30-second increments and stir after each time. Once the ingredients are melted, stir in the essential oils or the flavored oils that you want. Then you just need to carefully pour the lip balm into pots or tubes. The lip balms should be allowed to cool completely before using. The cooling process can be sped up by placing the pots or tubes in the fridge for a few hours.
3. Bath Bombs
Bath Bombs are a bath product that took off thanks to Lush. There are many recipes online that show how to make your own make bath bombs, and the one below is a basic recipe that you can add your own touch to. These bath bombs take no time at all. There is also the option of turning a kiddie pool into a large bubble bath if you use enough bath bombs. Just make sure to ask before you start putting bath bombs in any pool. Here is how to make your own bath bombs.
-2 cups of baking soda
-1 cup of citric acid
-1 cup of corn starch
-3 Teaspoons of almond oil
-2 to 3 drops of essential oils
-8 to 10 drops of food coloring.
– Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir well. Then combine the almond oil and the essential oils. Slowly add the oil to the dry ingredients, you should be sure to mix the ingredients as you go because you do not want the mixture to become lumpy. Add the food coloring when you are mixing in the oils. Then spray the mixture with the rubbing alcohol 5 to 10 times, or until it has the texture of damp sand, so it should stick together. This can take a few tries.
Once you have the right texture, you will need to form your bath bombs. There are many household items that you can use as molds. Simply press the mixture into the mold, and allow it to dry. Most times, this will take 15 minutes, and you can remove the bath bomb from the mold. It is recommended that you let the bath bomb sit overnight to make sure that it is completely dry before throwing it in water.
4. Mermaid Necklace
Summer is the time when most girls want to be a mermaid. There are many mermaid crafts and DIYs to pick from, but these necklaces are easy to make and look similar to the ones that Ariel wears. All you need is seashells, glitter glue, hot glue and hot glue gun, glass gems, hemp cord, glitter, scissors, and a drill. If you do not live by the ocean, you can buy fake seashells at most craft stores.
The first step is to drill holes in seashells. This should be done by an adult because it is easy to break the shells if the drill is going too fast. Once the shells have holes in them, they can be decorated. Each shell should have a glass gem glued to the middle of it. This is best done with hot glue because it will adhere to the gem faster. You should do the gluing very carefully to make sure that you do not burn yourself. You should also avoid gluing the gem over the hole in the shell. When the gem has adhered to the shell, glitter glue and glitter can be used to decorate the shell. You need to allow the decoration to completely dry before threading the hemp cord through the hole. You could also paint the shells before drilling holes in them. To finish the necklace, you just need to tie simple slip knots.
5. DIY Mason jar Tumblers
Tumblers can save you money on both hot and cold drinks, depending on where you are buying your drinks. The issue is that most Mason jar tumblers are over $10, but you can easily make your own. You will just need to find a Mason jar. Most craft stores and even dollar stores have started to stock plain Mason jar tumblers in a variety of sizes. You will also need Modge Podge, painter’s tape, and Spray Paint. Glitter is optional.
The first step is to make sure that the jar is clean, then mark off the area that you want to paint with the painter‘s tape. Next, you spray paint the jar and allow it to dry. Depending on the spray paint, you may need to layer the paint to make it opaque.
Once the paint is dry, you can rub on the vinyl letters, which can be found at craft stores or you can buy them online. Rubbing on the lettering can take some work because the jar could have a bumpy surface. You can seal the paint and the lettering using Modge Podge. If you want glitter on your tumbler, you can mix it with the Modge Podge, and apply it to the cup. You can also use chalk paint on your tumbler to allow you to write on the cup.
6. Custom Luggage Tags
For many families, summer time means traveling, so there is going to be luggage. Custom luggage tags can make it easier to find your luggage. To make your own custom luggage tags, you will need a clear luggage tag (which can be found at most luggage stores, and some dollar stores), scissors, decorative paper, stickers, and other decorative flat items.
You just need to trace the clear luggage tag on the decorative paper. Then cut out the traced tag, which should fit inside of the luggage tag. You may need to trim the paper. Once the paper tag fits inside the clear luggage tag, you can start decorating the tag. When you are done decorating your tag, you should print your information on the back and attach it to your luggage.
Summer time for tweens can be very boring, but it can also be full of activities to do. The crafts described above are just some ideas to help you keep your tweens from being bored.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. For most people, this is a universal gathering place where friends and family come together several times a day. A space that’s both functional and welcoming will draw everyone in and give them a warm place to eat, work, socialize, and share. The right DIY projects can transform your standard kitchen into something really special. Consider these intriguing options.
Peel and Stick Tile Backsplash
Image via Flickr by B*2
Updating your backsplash will instantly add color and interest to your kitchen. Thanks to handy peel and stick tiles, you can add a DIY backsplash with minimal time and effort. Just measure your space and cut the peel and stick tiles to fit. Remove the backing and lay the tiles gently against the wall. Don’t press until you’re sure of the placement, as these forgivable tiles allow you to remove and reposition them twice if needed.
Once your tiles are firmly in place, finish the project by squeezing grout on a float and applying it to the backsplash in a diagonal motion. Push grout into the joints, moving first in one direction then in the opposite diagonal. Wipe the area down with a sponge and you’re finished!
Rolling Bar Cart
Homeowners who love to entertain will adore the idea of a handy rolling bar cart. You can build a bar cart to your personal specifications using lengths of lumber for vertical supports and laminated pine panels for shelves. Easily customizable, you can build your cart to fit in any nook or corner, no matter the size.
A slatted shelf will create grooves that nestle wine bottles. Hardware like hooks, glass holders, and cabinet pulls will help you store everything from wine glasses to dish towels. Rolling casters on the bottom make the cart a movable fixture so you can take the party to the porch, living room, or elsewhere in the house.
Bright and Cheerful Shelving
Shelving is a functional necessity in your kitchen, but it can also make a bold statement about your style. Put your dinnerware on display by replacing solid cabinet doors with glass paneled ones, or removing the doors altogether. Brighten up your shelves by applying wallpaper to the back or the cabinet, painting the interior, or sticking patterned washi tape to the front of the shelves, or any combination of the three.
You can make the items inside your bright cabinet a bit more eye-catching as well. Use porcelain paint to turn mugs and dishes into works of art. Use chalkboard paint or a chalkboard label on snack and spice jars for a charming touch that also boosts your organization. Your everyday items can become a cheerful and homey display with these easy tricks.
The kitchen has a natural allure that draws people in to this gathering place. Whether it’s the promise of good company or the warm spicy smell of a mouth-watering dinner that draws you in, it’s almost impossible to resist the pull. Give your kitchen a fun, festive atmosphere in any season with these attractive updates.
Easy do it yourself cleaning recipes to use in your home. They don’t have any chemicals that will aggravate anyone’s asthma or allergies.
1. All-purpose cleaner
Using cleaning products that don’t have harsh smells is a good start. You can also make your own using a few simple steps and inexpensive ingredients.
3 cups distilled water
1 teaspoon natural dish soap
3 cups white vinegar
A few drops of an essential oil of your choice (tea tree oil, lemon or orange oils are good choices)
Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and use the solution to clean countertops, floors and walls. A word of caution: Do not use vinegar solutions on marble surfaces.
2. Glass cleaner
3 cups distilled water
3 cups white vinegar
A few drops of an essential oil of your choice. I usually use lemon oil or lavender.
Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and use the solution to clean glass surfaces, including mirrors.
3. Furniture polish
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and use the solution to polish wood surfaces.
Baking soda and white vinegar can clean toilets and showers.
If you want some abrasion to remove a stain, try sprinkling some salt on the stain.
After you’ve squeezed a lemon for a recipe, rub the inside of the rind in your kitchen sink. The lemon will clean the sink and keep it smelling fresh.
These glass squirt bottles are good if your using essential oils.
Anyone that has purchased natural dishwashing rinse from somewhere like Whole Foods knows that it’s expensive. It’s about $5 a bottle and depending on your settings it doesn’t last you a long time. I refuse to buy the regular kind with all the chemicals in it that will sit on my plates.
Just to give you an idea what you can avoid, these are the ingredients in the most popular brands rinse aid. Take a look and ask yourself if you want those ingredients on the dishes and glasses you drink and eat out of.
Sodium Cumene Sulfonate Ethanol
This is a very simple way to replace all that.
All you need is
1 gallon of White Vinegar
25 to 30 drops of essential lemon oil
drop the essential oil directly into the vinegar and shake it a little. Mark the bottle and keep it under your sink for refills into your dishwasher. It’s that easy and it saves you money.