Category : Homemade Projects

How to upcycle your Christmas tree and make lasting memories!

I’m always looking for ways to upcycyle anything and I was trying my hardest to figure out what to do with a leftover Christmas tree and here’s what I came up with.

  1. Sink it in a river! (it helps the fish population-read more here!)
  2. (the less-drastic option) Make ornaments from the trunk using just a hacksaw. Place the date on them and voila! You’ve got years of memories ahead of you that you can decorate with each year and you can make plenty of extra an then give them to your kiddos for when they get older and start to celebrate Christmas at their own home.Rustic Modern Christmas Ornament - "Joy To The World".

You can freeze eggs (not just your own!)

Bah! Ha!

Ok, now that I have that ridiculous joke out of the way…..

Save yourself a trip to the store and some money by stocking-up on eggs when you find a good deal like ALDI has this week (only .69 per dozen).

  • Grab an ice cube tray
  • Crack an egg into each compartment
  • Put a tiny pinch of salt in
  • Then just poke the yoke and freeze

This is a great way to prepare for the holiday baking season. You aren’t going to want to thaw one of these out for a sandwich, but they are perfect for baking. Use just as you would a fresh egg, just take out from the freezer and let thaw before use (these are best thawed in the fridge).


Life Hack- How to make scented vinegar for cleaning

Making homemade lemon-scented vinegar

 

I’ve mentioned here before how easy it is to clean with vinegar. And sometimes I get a little creative with my mixes and I make scented vinegar for cleaning (insert ‘ooo’s and ah’s’ now).

This is also really easy (have you noticed how I don’t ‘do’ anything more complicated than ‘very easy?)

Essentially what you are doing is soaking some type of citrus peel in white vinegar for a few weeks and then at the end of 2 weeks-ish you’ll have scented vinegar that you mix with water to make your homemade cleaning solution.

How to Make your own Scented Vinegar

  • Orange or lemon peels-from 1 or more fruits, more peels will make a stronger solution
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Jar with a tight fitting lid
    • Place peels in the jar, cover with vinegar, and let sit for 2-3 weeks.
    • Strain
    • Mix with 3 cups water and you’re done!

This mix can be used anywhere you’re normally spray other cleaning products. Vinegar is usually 3% acidity so this works to clean & disinfect without harmful chemicals.


Life Hack-Carpet Cleaning Solution

We have one of these because we have pets that pretend they don’t have litter boxes or an entire backyard to do their business in.

Instead of buying the ‘special’ cleaner that’s more expensive than it really should be,  I just make my own. {keep in mind that using this instead of what’s recommended in your owner’s manual probably voids any warranty this may have, but I’ve been using this for the last 2 years have haven’t experienced and Def Con 1 troubles} But I would try this mix on an out-of-the way spot to make sure that it won’t harm your carpet-but you knew that already.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon liquid castille soap
  • 3 cups water
  • Shake-you’re done.

I fill the tank on my machine up when I need to use it and that’s it. Works great-plus, it’s not crazy toxic so it won’t hurt your critters.

 

 

 


Easy Garden Hack-How to make Tomato Plant Fertilizer

 I know that nearly all of my food is grown with chemicals but I just can’t justify spraying them in my own backyard. Every year as my tomatoes get bigger I start saving 2 things from my kitchen 1)coffee grounds and 2) egg shells. I have a Folgers coffee canister that I toss everything into and keep it in the back of the fridge. When it’s full I dump the contents in my Ninja blender and make a disgusting slurry of  brown grounds and eggs. Next, I dump that pile of mess into a 5 gallon bucket, fill with water, stir real good and DONE! Tomato fertilizer that won’t kill you or give you cancer.

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Pinterest Project Monday-T-Shirt reusuable tote bag (can be no-sew!)

I have this problem where I have dozens and dozens of boards on Pinterest filled with fantastic ideas….trouble is that I never get around to doing those fantastic projects. That’s about to change. Enter “Pinterest Project Mondays!” Each Monday I’ll be selecting one of my Pins and posting the process in the hopes that you’ll try something that inspires you. Most of my Pins have a focus on reusing & recycling items that most of us have around the house.

This week’s project is for those people who like to sew, but aren’t really into following strict instructions or patterns. It’s a tote bag made from any old t-shirt you can around the house. This is a good answer to how to handle the dozens and dozens of freebie event/work shirt that accumulate and also when you don’t need another t-shirt turned rag. It’s also a neat gift idea!

What you need:

T-shirt of any size-remember though, the bigger the shirt the bigger the bag. Don’t use a 4x shirt to carry groceries or you’ll rip your arms out of the sockets

Sewing Machine-but only if you want to sew this

Instructions:

Get a shirt

Cut off the arms

Cut down the neck area in a U-shape

Turn shirt inside out.

From this point you have 2 options-either sew across the bottom or cut ½ inch fringes along the bottom and then just tie the fringes together to make a no-sew bag.

You are done!

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Pinterest Project Monday- Trashy Tote Bag

I have this problem where I have dozens and dozens of boards on Pinterest filled with fantastic ideas….trouble is that I never get around to doing those fantastic projects. That’s about to change. Enter “Pinterest Project Mondays!” Each Monday I’ll be selecting one of my Pins and posting the process in the hopes that you’ll try something that inspires you. Most of my Pins have a focus on reusing & recycling items that most of us have around the house.

This week’s project is for those people who like to sew, but aren’t really into following strict instructions or patterns. It’s a tote bag made from a plastic dog food bag (you can also use cat food, bird seed, or cat litter too).  The bag you’re using is made from woven plastic and not paper so it’s heavier duty than regular packaging.

What you need:

Plastic packaging that pet food, cat litter, or bird seed came in

Sewing Machine

Instructions:

  • Flip the bag inside out first and wash with soap and water
  • Flip bag right-side out
  • Determine how tall you want your bag to be and then add 2 inches to that measurement (I know I said there’d be no measuring but this is it, I promise)
  • Now fold down the bag using those 2 inches to set the height to where you’d like it
  • Now sew around the bag so you’ve got a hem
  • That’s done.
  • Now use the pieces of the bag you cut off to make yourself some handles. (this picture shows long handles, but after trying to use it with long handles as a shoulder bag  I highly recommend making them much shorter. The plastic material is so stiff that it gets unruly on your shoulder).
  • No need to hem these. Just measure the length you want, pick a width, double that width so you can fold the strap over unto itself, and then sew a strip.
  • Now sew your handles where you want them, reinforcing them a few times so you can handle heavy things.

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Cleaning with vinegar on Substitute Saturdays!

This is my go-to for cleaning just about everything-kitchen sink, toilet, litter box, wood floors, bathroom floors. I’ve long ago stopped caring that it might smell like vinegar for a while after I’m done cleaning. I’d rather smell like a Salt & Vinegar potato chip than breathe chemicals that can burn your eyes! Plus, if you’ve got kids or pets they will ingest whatever you clean the floor with either by crawling on it or licking their paws. This is a really easy substitution, and next week I’ll talk about how to make scented vinegar if you really can’t stand them smell of the regular ol’ white distilled stuff.

What you’ll need:

Spray bottle (since you’re putting vinegar in here make sure that you don’t reuse a bottle that had noxious chemicals in it. Head on down to the Dollar Tree and buy a new one for $1.00-I’ve had mine for 7 years. it was worth the investment)

½ white distilled vinegar

2 cups water

And you’re done.

 

Since vinegar is 3% acidity it works to kill and disinfect all over the house. I spray it on, wait a few minutes, and then just wipe it off. Done and done. And it’s crazy cheap.


Pinterest Project Mondays-Peppermint Mocha Coffee creamer

I  l-o-v-e Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer. And I run through a bottle of it in about a week, which is not good for my waist or my wallet. Plus, it has weird ingredients in it like partially hydrogenated oil and something to make it white and creamy, because it’s not cream that’s making it white. This isn’t to say that I don’t still down it by the bottleful,  I just thought it couldn’t be that hard to make my own, so I gave it a try.

Here’s the thing about this recipe – if  you appreciate that it’s got 1/10th of the calories and is more  natural than the store-bought kind then  it’s for you, but it isn’t nearly as creamy as the stuff in the bottle. If you’re OK with that, then give this a try.

Homemade Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer

  • 1 tsp Peppermint Extract
  • 1.5 cups Coconut Coffee Creamer (this is creamier than the refrigerated type of creamer)
  • 3 T. Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup Sugar-Free

Mix everything together and voila! It’s done. Super-easy and about 12 calories per tablespoon as opposed to 35 calories of the store-bought stuff.

3 ingredients are all you need to make your own flavored coffee creamer
3 ingredients are all you need to make your own flavored coffee creamer

Pinterest Project Monday-Never buy Swiffer pads again!

These work even better than the original pads, are reusable and that means you can never run out of them. Necessity is the mother of invention and one day I looked at a pair of holey, yet cozy, chenille-type socks I bought at the Dollar Tree a few years ago. They were passed being saved, but that fabric is too weird to be reused as a rag. And then I looked at just how dusty the bottoms of those socks were and I got an idea. If just by wearing those socks on my wood floors they got filthy, then what about if I purposefully used them clean my floors?

It worked. And I didn’t even need to sew anything. I mean you can, if that’s the kind of person you are. But I like to act first and then think about things later. And honestly I just didn’t want to haul out the sewing machine and try to find a pattern for floor clothes. So I cut the socks down the front part and then stuck them onto the stick and it works like a charm. You can even flip them over before you wash them to get 2 uses out of each ‘sock.’

So buy a few pairs of these socks at Dollar Tree and you’ll end up saving at least $50/year, since the last time I priced out a box of the name-brand clothes they were $4.50 for 20! For $4.00 I can have an endless supply.

 

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