Archive of ‘DIY’ category

My Jewelry Making Hobby

In the age of Pinterest, idle hands always get inspiration, but inspiration doesn’t always come with the monies to complete what you want to. I got a little crafty one day and found a $2 necklace at the local Goodwill. (One man’s donation, is another man’s cheap project supply.)

Initially it looked like below, which was pretty enough on it’s own.

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Then I dismantled it, and decided that instead of one necklace, I could create multiple matching jewelry sets.

For the earrings I used a head pin, wire hook earrings, and small long nose, (all hand-me-downs from my sister’s forsaken hobby.)

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The concept is pretty simple, put them together, and make it look as polished as possible. Used the same technique to make the pendant, except instead of the hook earings I had the silver loop rings.

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The finished project (one of them) below:

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Fun stuff right? So next time, you decide to get some crafty therapy, instead of running straight to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, try the local thrift shop. You’ll never know what you’ll find.

Furnishing an Apartment on a Budget

I’ve resided in the same apartment going on 2 years now. I rarely ever have visitors so I was not in an immediate hurry to furnish it. My first priority was a bed to sleep in, which I already owned.

I started with chairs from Mom’s old office which made my living room look more like a waiting room, (I wish I had pictures.) But when I first moved in I was working 50 to 60 hour weeks and was barely home, so still, the bed was my only necessity. As work settled, and I got into Pinterest more, I decided to tackle a DIY pallet furniture. Luckily, I had a friend that was willing to help. I posted the chairs I got from Mom on a Facebook group page for selling furniture and got about $70 for all of them. That helped go towards the project. My friend’s initial design was this:

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I told him to lose the back support, and after I got the measurements for my apartment he brought the pallets over to the vacant lot at Mom and Dad’s for me to work on.

First thing about pallet work, you have to power wash them and get rid of any possible insects, wait for the to dry and sand them down to prevent possible splinters.

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I got cheap paint, roller, brush and cloth drop from WalMart and got to work.

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Granted I got lazy and cut corners with the painting, but I figured it wouldn’t really show once the everything was put together. I think the hardest part was loading 4 pallets into the back of my CRV and hauling them up the stairs to my apartment by myself. I was so proud and exhausted.

And my apartment looked like this for a while.

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I did a lot of research on foam. I wanted something comfortable enough to sleep in. I chose to have the pallets 4ft deep so it would be comfortable to lay on. After a lot of asking around, and shopping around, I found an online store that would cut to spec any foam they had in stock. Basically, the foam was made of the same material they use in baby cribs. (I have napped on my sectional many a times now, it really is similar to sleeping like a baby.)

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Now, prior to the pallet project I had already bought new bedding for myself. The older bedding was stored and using space in my laundry room. I freed up that space by deciding to use the sheets as cover for my foam mattress, I used binder clips underneath to keep them snug instead of sewing them. This makes it easier for me to wash the sheets when I need to. I used the pillows, and comforter as backing. Losing the back support from the original design also made the electric outlet on the wall easily accessible.

The finished product:

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BTW, in that same Facebook group page I sold the chairs to I found a dresser drawer with mirror posted for $20. This time my friend helped me pick it up and bring it up to my apartment. I took off the mirror, and the hardware, sanded it a bit, and used left over paint from the pallet project.

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I’m pretty darn proud of myself.

The tally:
Pallets – Free
Drop cloth – $5
Paint – $8
Roller/brush set – $7
Custom Foam – $120
Dresser – $20

DIY Matching Office Supplies

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Everyone has seen this nice catalog picture above, and if you are as in love with office supplies as I am, you think “I want those” and If you have my kind of budget, you think “but I can’t.” So, I decided to do this instead.

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$3 Adhesive Drawer Liner from Target. You can pick other designs, but I heart pink and it’s my supplies so you start dealing with it. Why, drawer liners? Because you can peel them off anytime: if you make a mistake, you change your mind, or change your theme. Duh!

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First, how about an empty tin can. Washed, and make sure to check the edges for anything sharp you might run into in the near future.

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Voila, pen/pencil cup. So cute!

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My work binder had a clear insert in the front so I went lazy and just cut to size and inserted. Why? Because I can. It’s my stuff. You do what you want.

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My journal got the cover too. I am all the way matching.

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And so did my lappy toppy! I swear, this is like when I discovered Mod Podge. (I do not recommend using Mod Podge on your laptop. But since it’s your stuff you can do what you want.)

After all is said and done, I still have much of the drawer liner roll left over. I got a photo album from Goodwill yesterday that I will also be turning pink and white, to use for my Jamberry sets, and I think I’m going to seek out a business card holder and also make it match. I’m going pink and white crazy up in here!

Women’s Fair 2015

*at Century II Expo Hall
*for more information http://www.womensfair.com to check out the website and connect with them via Facebook or Twitter to make sure you don’t miss next year’s event.

Women’s Fair is always a fun time for me. Most year’s I go with my mom. This year I had time to go with a friend and it was just as awesome and fun.

We met at the Lawrence Dumont Stadium where they had a free shuttle to the Expo Hall. I never knew there was a shuttle. Mom and I just always went early and fought for parking.

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Once we got there the first booth as I enter is for the Girl Scout’s and my first spend was for Caramel Delights, because I couldn’t help myself. The second booth was the Wichita Eagle, and they had a $10 Wichita Eagle umbrella. I was trying to be frugal with my money, but I really should have gotten it. Sad face.

Of course, our first target was food so we walked towards the back to the food court, and the line was overwhelming, for an overpriced basic cheeseburger. There was no other choice. I’m glad I ate though, because the rest was tons and tons of magic!

I had free samples of salsas, dips, frozen sangria, cheeses, breads, and other things I’ll probably remember later.

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We also did a “Five minute Make it and Take it” project by Stampin’ Up. That was so much fun. I’m considering doing a class. I usually suck at scrapbooking by this was a lot of fun.

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Then there were the tourism booths, and my friend and I got all sorts of road trip ideas: Haunted Atchison, Wineries in Oklahoma, I got so many maps and brochures in my bag I still have to sort through.

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I also got a great deal on a summer dress. Originally marked $49.99 and it was in the $10 rack. It said “One Size Fits All” which made me weary but for that price I’d have been more than happy to gift it if it didn’t fit. It did. It’s mine!

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And the best part, the Wesley photo booth, I’m glad my friend knew about it and took pictures with me. It was the best memory I think of the day. Great times! I look forward to the next year’s Women’s Fair.

By the way, my friend in the picture is Sheila. Fantastic company! She knew all about the shuttle, where best to park and helped me navigate through the booths. Excellent guide! I highly recommend her.

Sandwich Pizzas For Snacking

Another way to help me use up an entire loaf of sliced bread that I can never finish in time, (even with the freezing method my best friend taught me.) I decided instead of purchasing frozen pizza, that I would feel obligated to finish in a sitting or reheat for later (never as good as fresh,) I would make sandwich snack pizzas. I learned this when we lived in Ohio.

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Basically, you take your sliced bread, spread tomato sauce, add cheese (I use the Kraft Singles because that’s what I have) and then pepperoni. I’m sure you could do other toppings as well.

Toaster oven, or oven, depending on how many you’re making. Toast until cheese is melted.

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It’s fast, easy, yummy and saves money.

Homemade Croutons

Growing up my family wasn’t big on eating sandwiches. I buy bread mainly for toast or french toast for breakfast. With my work schedule, I rarely get to eat breakfast, at least not at home. So, I end up wasting a lot of bread. At my parents’ house, Mom uses her bread to make biscotti to dunk in their morning coffee, but like I mentioned, I’m not usually home in the mornings, so no good for me. What I did find useful is making my own croutons. Also, easily packed for when I decide to bring a salad to work.

Basic ingredients: Bread, olive oil (I use extra virgin), salt, pepper and whatever herbs or cheeses you want to use to flavor it.

I don’t have exact measurements because this is all based off of how much bread I haven’t used.

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I cube my bread, some people tear them, who cares, no one is measuring your croutons individually. I mix everything in a mixing bowl. Try not to overdo the olive oil and make your bread soggy.

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Then I place them evenly on a baking sheet with parchment paper and let the oven do it’s thing while I wander off to other tasks. I do 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. Usually, I use the frozen pizza rule: “or until brown.”

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Then I store. And I make awesome salads with “real” bacon bits, because I’m a starving child who grew up to be a starving adult.

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Bubbling Bath Salts

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Ingredients:

6 Cups Epsom Salt
¾ Cup Lavender Scented Body Wash
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2-3 Drops Lavender Essential Oil (Optional)
Purple Food Coloring (Optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine salt and body wash, and mix until well combined.
Add in your oil, essential oil and food coloring and mix well.
On a lined baking sheet, spread the salt mixture out into a thin layer. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
Once dry, break up any large clumps, and spoon into a sealable jar.

To Use:

Add ¼ Cup of Bubbly Bath Salts under running water.

Of course, minor mishaps. First, I’m no artist but I thought blue and red makes purple. It was green. Might be something in the mix that reacted but next time I’ll just buy purple. Also, I wanted to make all my Epsom salt bubbly so I doubled the ingredients, therefore it took double the time to dry. My kitchen looked like an experiment gone wrong for two days. That bath after though, so worth it.

Candy Cane Vodka

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2x 32 fl oz mason jars

2x 30 mini candy canes (4.2 oz)

1.75L Smirnoff Vodka

 

Instructions:

Pretty simple y’all. I placed each box of mini candy canes in each jar. Of course, washed the jars first and unwrapped the candy canes. (Some people will argue that washing the jars is unnecessary because “alcohol will kill the germs” and I say, “ew!”) I split the whole bottle between the two jars and it was a good split and just enough.

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Infusing vodka can take anywhere from two days to a week, depending on taste and how much flavor you want. It’s not an exact science. With peppermint candy canes though your jar will eventually start to look like the picture below. No fear, I just checked on it daily in the fridge and gave it a shake. The first couple of days I could still hear the candy in the jars.

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The best part about using candy to infuse your vodka is that it dissolves as opposed to fruit which you have to filter. So after enough time I just funneled it back in to the original bottle.

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Be prepared for spillage. I forgot that by adding the dissolved candy canes I added to the volume. (Gah, Science!)

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Good enough to drink straight, and this means a lot since I don’t usually like vodka. For Christmas though, I plan on mixing it with eggnog or some Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

*Drink responsibly.