Tag Archives: homemade

Make It Monday – Paperclip “Chandelier” Project Result

Finally! The paperclip chandelier project is complete:

Colored paperclips and faux multicolored crystals.

The project took about half a day to make. If I had been working from a pattern, it probably wouldn’t have taken as long, but I decided to be brave and go without one. I altered the project by using multicolored paperclips and adding “crystals” – because you can’t have a chandelier without crystals! I eyeballed the size I needed, made the wire hoops, and started linking the paperclips in a triangle/diamond pattern. The hubs came home to a colorful surprise – and he really likes it. Which is good, considering it’s above the desk he uses in the kitchen. Since I already had the steel wire, this project cost me less than $2 in paperclips; well worth the investment.

This is the third and final of the first group of top 3 projects I picked last month. I’m so excited to finish the list and move on to new craft projects! Next Monday, I’ll list my next 3 projects to complete.

What are your top 3 project picks?

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Chelsea

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Make It Monday – Quick and Easy DIY Gift For The Guys

Now that I’ve posted an easy and inexpensive Christmas gift idea for the ladies, let’s focus on the guys. Besides food, (because what guy doesn’t like food?) it can sometimes be hard to come up with a unique gift for the men in your life. There are only so many tools, ties, and gadgets out there, and it can get tiring trying to find something you haven’t already given them. If you’re stuck trying to find a gift for the guy who has everything, think practical. One of the easiest materials in the world to work with is fleece. Choose a blizzard fleece (it won’t fray or pill) in a solid or print – favorite sports teams are a hit – and you can make all kinds of things! A no-sew blanket or scarf, a beanie, bag, the list goes on and on. One of my favorite things to make, though, are hand or foot warmers.

What you need:

Sewing machine and basic sewing skills

Scraps to 1 yd. blizzard fleece (depending on the number of warmers you’re making)

Scissors or pinking shears

Dry rice

Optional – manly essential oils, like sandalwood, citrus, or even lavender or peppermint

How to Make It:

For hand warmers, cut 4 squares from the fleece, approximately the size of a manly palm. Stack two squares together and sew around the edges (get fancy by using zig zag or specialty stitches.) Leave about an inch long gap in the seam to fill the pouch with rice. Fill it so that the pouch is firm, but still flexible and not overly full – you want to be able to sew the gap without rice spilling everywhere! Add a drop or two of essential oil into the pouch, and sew up the gap. Repeat for the other two squares, and you’ve made handwarmers your favorite guy can pop in the microwave for 30 seconds and stick in his pockets before heading out into the cold.

An alternative to the handwarmers is the foot warmer. The idea is the same, but the shape and size is different. Cut a rectangle, approximately 1.5 feet long and 6 inches wide, from your fleece. Sew and fill the pouch like the instructions for the hand warmers above. The warmer can be placed in the microwave for about a minute and a half, and placed under the covers at the foot of the bed, under a blanket, or could even be used on pillows or on top of socks and slippers before putting them on.

To go along with the cold weather theme, you can whip up a quick batch of window defroster (fill a spray bottle with 3 parts white vinegar and 1 part water) and tie it up with a scarf, or with something equally useful, like bungee cord or rope. They’ll appreciate the fact that even the “wrapping” is part of the gift!

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Chelsea

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Make It Monday – DIY Cleaning Products

I may sound like a hippie when I say this, but with the current “green movement” I think it’s appropriate: I haven’t used normal household cleaning products in over a year. “Her house is probably gross!” you say?  It’s not – I just use store-bought ingredients to make my own. It’s not much more time consuming than having to shop the store, and is usually much cheaper. (Plus, many of the ingredients can be used in other ways, like in edible recipes!) All you need to keep your home clean is Borax, washing soda, baking soda, white vinegar, lemons or lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, olive oil, some essentail oils if you like, and bar or liquid castille soap.

Washing Powder 

Combine 1 cup grated castille bar soap (use a cheese grater and a measuring cup, turn on your favorite show or music and it’ll be over in no time), 1/2 cup washing soda (find it on the same aisle you’d find other detergents), and 1/2 cup Borax.

Use 1-2 tablespoons, depending on the size of the load. Of course, you can double the ingredients to last longer, but just a small amount goes a long way! We store ours in a labeled tupperware container with a measuring spoon right above the washer.

Glass Cleaner

In a labeled plastic spray bottle, comine a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add a little essential oil (peppermint works well.) Shake, spray directly onto glass, and wipe with a clean dry cloth. Use a piece of crumpled newspaper to remove any streaks.

Frost-Free Windshield Solution 

Vinegar and water also work to keep your vehicle’s windsheild frost-free. Mix 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water, and clean your windshield the same way you would use the glass cleaner. Pour the remaining liquid into your windshield wiper fluid container under the hood, and use it like any other wiper fluid.

Bathroom Mold Cleaner

Instead of using harsh chemicals like bleach, all you need is a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Spray it on, then wait at least 30 minutes before rinsing.

Deodorizing

Instead of masking smells, get rid of them by sprinkling baking soda or borax in the bottom of garbage cans, and sprinkling baking soda on the carpet before you vacuum. Grind lemon rinds, or add a little lemon juice and baking soda to your garbage disposal and run it. Swab a couple of drops of essential oil, like peppermint, tea tree, or lavender, onto your light bulbs a couple of times a month.

All Purpose Cleaner

Mix 1/8 cup of Borax to 1 quart of hot water (1/2 cup to 1 gallon.) Mix and let Borax dissolve completely. Spray on surfaces to clean and disinfect, then wipe with a clean, dry cloth.

Other Surface Cleaners

Use baking soda and lemon juice or vinegar to clean your sinks and tubs. Sprinkle baking soda, borax, and vinegar or lemon juice in toilet bowls; let sit about 10 minutes, then use the brush to clean. Polish wood with some olive oil and a clean, dry cloth (an unwanted sock works well!)

There are tons of other uses for these products, but that covers the basics you’ll need to keep your stuff clean. What are some of your favorite DIY cleaning tips?

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Chelsea

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