Posts tagged ‘DIY’

2016, November 4

Fall in a jar

So, last year around Halloween, I bought some pasta. But not just any kind of pasta, Halloween-themed pasta! It is in three different colors and they’re shaped like pumpkins, spiders and bats. So very cute!

I’ve only tried cooking them once, and albeit still cute after done, they are so awful-tasting I had to throw them away.
I kept the left over pasta in the bag though, figuring I might try to use it for some kind of DIY project. And that day has come!

It’s a bit difficult to decorate the apartment with a way-too-curious and mischievous kitty underfoot, so for Christmas two years ago, I made a jar ornament (I’ll write about that one in December.) And it was perfect – no kitty attack whatsoever!
Two days ago, I remembered that little DIY project when rescuing the chestnut and acorn bowl from falling off the shelf due to curious paws, and decided to try the same for a fall-themed decoration. Here’s how I did it.

fall-in-a-jar page-fall-in-a-jar

Fall in a jar

jar with a lid, to your liking in size
Halloween-themed pasta
chestnuts
acorns
tea candle
crafting paper

Wash your jar out well, and remove any labels from its side. Mine was a huge pickle jar which I wrapped in a wet towel to soften the labels, then ran it under the tap and used a kitchen brush to rub the labels and adhesive off.
Let it dry thoroughly.

Add the pasta as a first layer, then place the chestnuts and acorns on top. Place the tea candle in the middle. I love that you can even burn the candle if you want, and then put it out by screwing the lid on.

Screw on the jar’s lid.
Mine wasn’t a single color, so I cut out and glued on a round piece of crafting paper to cover up the pickle brand’s name on the jar lid. It just so happens that it’s a Halloween poem, so it adds even more to the Fall feel of the decoration.

Place your jar on a side table or where ever you like, and enjoy the Fall decor.

PS: of course, you can skip adding pasta or any of the above mentioned and use what ever Fall things you have laying around. The possibilities are endless.

Happy crafting ;)

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2014, April 28

A couple of natural air freshener ideas

Nothing beats being able to open a window in the morning and only close it before going to bed at night. However, that can’t happen every day just yet as the weather’s still a bit sassy. Here are a couple of ideas for natural air fresheners for those days when you’re stuck at home during bad weather.

To freshen the smell in a room we can use an aromatherapy lamp and natural essential oils or simply prepare ourselves a spray by mixing up some water and our favorite essential oil in a spray bottle.

Depending on the mood we want to set we can change the essential oils to benefit from their different properties: for a peaceful sleep we should use a lavender spray, sprayed around the room and even onto the sheets; or if we’re working on a project and we need to concentrate, rosemary will help; and to provide a cheerful disposition we should give citrus essential oils a try.
Another solution is to use cinnamon, cloves, citrus and other aromatic spices to freshen the air as these release their scents quite well if you add hot water.

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One of my very favorites methods is slicing limes in half and sticking cloves into them. They look cute enough, and as a bonus also act as a mosquito repellant.

On the other hand, we mustn’t forget that during Spring-Autumn, fresh flower bouquets, aside from being very beautiful and decorating the room, can smell very good; and we can replace fresh flowers with pine twigs during winter. Another idea is to use small satchels filled with sawdust which you can drip scented oils onto – they will keep the scent fresh for a few weeks.

If we want to remove various unpleasant odors, especially from smaller places, like the pantry or the fridge, a bowl with a little bit of baking soda in it will do the job.

Year-round air purifiers can be found in the form of plants as well. Among the recommended species are the Ivy, Ficus, Philodendron, and Azalea. 

What methods do you use for air fresheners around your house?

2014, February 24

Mason Jar Matchbox

Mainly, I don’t camp out.
Sure, one-day trips with outdoor cooking are fine, but as far as a stay overnight in a tent goes – Estrella doesn’t do that.

Even though a few hours looking at the stars would be romantic, and sitting around a camp fire with friends is fun, I am way too crept out by an array of bugs and spiders, etc., wild animals and such pitch blackness being around me to actually sleep outdoors.

The few times I went to summer camp, we stayed indoors overnight. I still recall way-too-accurately the time when, flashlight in hand and all senses in overdrive, I ventured out in the middle of the night for a visit to the outhouse.
I couldn’t see anything past the weak light stream of the flashlight, it had rained earlier so the grass was all slippery, three things happened nearly all at once: in the exact moment a raindrop reached my nose from the tree leaves above me, I reacted (like I assume everyone would) by shining my flashlight above my head and spotting a HUGE spider in its web, just as a friend reached out and touched my shoulder.
Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t jump out of my skin then and there! You know, like they do in some cartoons (“Tom & Jerry” comes to mind).

Anyway. My urge to make a mason jar matchbox is only slightly related to camping; it is much more related to the fact that our matches absorb too much humid air whenever we have clothes air dry in the bathroom and/or kitchen, thus not igniting when we need them.
Plus, I also have this fear of fire that keeps me from wanting to strike matches to ignite too many times in a row, for they ignite unpredictably.

Hmm… I’m coming off very scared-bunnyish today, aren’t I? Oh well. Being perfect is overrated ;) Here’s how I decided to fix the problem of not having dry matches.

page mason jar matchbox

Mason Jar Matchbox

Wash one small mason jar, peel off labels and leave aside to dry well.

Once it’s dry, take your strike-on-the-box matches and fill up the mason jar.

Cut off and affix a piece from the side of the matchbox onto the mason jar lid. That way you’ll have a secure surface to light the match.
I only had small boxes around the house, so I cut off a few and used double sided tape to affix them onto the lid, but I’ll buy a larger box next time we need matches, and will cut out a circle from its side and change it. Which is a good thing, as these things do get worn over time, so you can just replace when ever you buy more matches.

Add some embellishments on the jar, if you want to, like a ribbon, tag, label, etc., secure the lid onto the mason jar and you’re done.

Happy crafting! ;)

2013, December 22

Writer’s & Book Lover’s Christmas Tree – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 2013 is close to an end, and I am reading more (have already completed my reading challenge), especially seasonal books. Not sure why I haven’t had as many on hand in past years, but this year I’m going all out!

At the moment, I am reading “A Cup Of Cozy”, a collection of short Christmas mysteries and holiday recipes, and I’m loving every piece of fiction – not to mention the recipes – in it! It is currently free for Kindle (at the time of writing this, 22.12.2013). The price doesn’t even begin to give it value, so I highly recommend you download a copy ASAP!

Speaking of reading and of books…

I think I saw my very first book Christmas tree three years ago (I know that I have shared one in my X-Mas greeting blog post in 2010). Needless to say, I have wanted one of my own ever since!

Today I took a little while and gave it a try. Now finished, I am absolutely in love with my little book Christmas tree and how personalized it is to me! <3

Let me know if you’ve ever built one, and do share pictures if you have any!

book christmas tree-1

Writer’s & Book Lover’s Christmas Tree

As many books as you can find
A string of lights and any other decorations you desire
Your patience; but it’s worth it!

Start by sorting your books depending on size. I found that it helps a lot to know where to look, when needing to even out surfaces.

Then, start stacking your books by creating a larger base and working your way up to its top.

Not sure what other advice to give you except to just start stacking the books and you’ll see as you go how it shapes up, where you might need to re-stack, and what books to add next – our libraries are vastly different.

When you’re happy with how your book tree looks, decorate with lights, tinsel, garlands and any other decoration you desire.

(I topped mine off with a little snowman I received from a friend, and my “Know where you’re @” bookmark.)

Happy book-tree building! ;)

2013, December 21

Upcycled Christmas Tree Ornaments –part 2- #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1Like I said yesterday, when bringing into your home the huge boxes marked “X-Mas” after a year and awaiting them to again become the center of attention, you might be surprised by your findings.

Some of your ornaments might need a fresh look.

Below are the ornaments I upcycled today. They look beyond cute!
I finished eight yesterday, and had four more ornaments to upcycle this morning.
To my luck, I also found some Lace to “dress” a couple of them and after finishing those, wondered what to do with the last two ornaments.

I wanted something interesting, something fitting for a writer!

Thought I’d give decoupage a try this time and made a few writerly ornaments with some calligraphy on them.
What do you think? Every writer’s dream? ;)

decoupage christmas ornament

Writerly Christmas Tree Ornaments

old Christmas ornaments
decoupage paper, rice paper or napkins
scissors
ribbon
other decoration if needed

As a base, cover the whole surface of the ornament with dull hobby paint (or glue) in a few layers.
Cut the desired pattern as accurately as possible.
Separate the calligraphy patterned napkin, only the top layer will be needed the pattern part, the rest of the napkin can be disposed of.
After the primer dull paint coat has dried, brush a coat of adhesive varnish on the entire surface.

Then gently place the cut napkin pattern and smooth out any wrinkles. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth, it gives a more antique look if it’s a bit wrinkly.
Coat the entire surface once more when you are done, so the napkin will be completely covered with adhesive paint.

Happy crafting! ;)

2013, December 20

Upcycled Christmas Tree Ornaments – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 When bringing into your home the huge boxes marked “X-Mas” after a year and awaiting them to again become the center of attention, you might be surprised by your findings.

There might be Christmas ornaments in those boxes which don’t end up on your tree when decorating. They might have outgrown your style, you might not like their color, or you might have gotten bored with them, even though they bring nice memories of Christmases past.

Let’s fix that with only a few easy steps! ;)

I’m sure you have scrap pieces of fabric laying around, maybe lace, old knitted socks or scarves. Working at the curtain shop, I found quite a few fabric scraps I brought home just because. As soon as I saw some of my ornaments, I knew just what I could do to bring them to new life while putting to good use my fabrics.

page fabric ornaments

To my luck, I also found some lace to “dress” a few of these.

lace fabric ornament

Upcycled Christmas Tree Ornaments

old Christmas ornaments
fabric scraps
scissors
ribbon
other decoration if needed

Cut squares of fabric two inches larger than your ornaments.

Wrap gently around the ornaments, pulling the edges towards the top.

Secure with a ribbon and tie bows, add leaves, buttons, dried berries or other decoration if needed.

Happy crafting! ;)

2013, December 19

Button Holiday Cards – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 Today I’ve been crafting like crazy. There are quite a few projects I still need to finish before getting into the cooking and baking part of the pre-holiday season.

This past year, I’ve driven my mother crazy, I’m sure, by turning off the radio whenever it was on. Now, I’m listening to music by choice.
Huh, turns out, I do like music when I don’t *have to* listen to it all freakin’ day long.

Starting yesterday, I listened to lovely carols played by The Piano Guys (and then other music, too) while finishing up the cleaning and crafting everything I could find the supplies for.

Like the following cute little button greeting cards.

These would be the perfect cards to give to just about anyone, let alone to someone who loves to sew every spare second!

page button x-mas cards

Button Holiday Cards

buttons of choice
cardstock
tacky glue
sharpie
scissors
other embellishments if desired

These greeting cards are super easy to make: just cut up your cardstock of choice to the sizes you want. You can fold them in half or leave as is, make them into landscape or portrait layout, what ever you’d like, really.

Arrange the buttons onto your cardstock into the shape you’d like. You can go with shaping a little snowman, a wreath, distance the buttons out and later draw in string and tiny bows so they’ll look like suspended Christmas tree ornaments.

Write a holiday wish or a quote if you want to, it might be a little harder to do once the buttons are glued on.

When happy with your design, glue on buttons and draw in anything else you need to finish your cards – hands, buttons and eyes for the snowman, string and tiny bow for the ornaments, a pine branch they’re hanging from, etc.

Decorate with paper punched snowflakes, hearts, vintage paper scraps, stamps, bows, etc.

I went with simple designs for mine, but you can make these as minimalist or as detailed and layered as you wish!

Happy crafting! ;)

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