DIY http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4801/all en-US 17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_gardening_000088044735.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to dress up her garden for cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's spring, and you've had enough of being cooped up indoors. Outdoor living is experiencing a boom, with Americans now spending $60 billion a year sprucing up the space outside their homes, according to Garden Media Group. That's $200 for every American &mdash; even more when you consider all the people who don't have any outdoor space to spend on.</p> <p>So what if you don't have $200 or more, but you still want your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing" target="_blank">yard and garden to look nice</a>? There are lots of ways to brighten things up for free or cheap, especially if you're crafty.</p> <p>A word of advice before we start: If people start stopping by your yard asking how much your lawn ornaments cost, <em>you've gone too far</em>! Being mistaken for a yard sale is never a compliment.</p> <h2>Planters</h2> <p>You can spend anywhere from $20 to hundreds of dollars for pots to put plants in. But almost anything can hold a plant as long as you put drainage holes on the bottom. My uncle, the plumber, used to put his petunias in old toilets and bathtubs. It's not what I would choose, but it represented him.</p> <p>Start with these creative planter ideas, then think about what kind of containers would represent you. If you don't have the items around the house, many can be found free or cheap on Freecycle, at garage sales, or at thrift stores.</p> <h3>1. Give Pricey Planters the Boot</h3> <p>Have you got a single, outgrown child's boot in the back of your closet? <a href="https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/How-to-Make-a-Flower-Pot-out-of-an-Old-Rubber-Boot">Poke some holes in the bottom</a>, weight it with gravel, and you're ready to plant. If it's a plain old brown boot, you could always dress it up by painting on a design.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <h3>2. Tin Pan Garden</h3> <p>Instead of buying terra cotta or plastic bowls for hanging planters, repurpose thrift store metal bowls, cups, or even coffee cans. Macrame straps were the crafty way to hang planters in decades past; for an update, try <a href="http://2knitsters.blogspot.ca/2010/08/my-mom-bought-this-little-gem-on-one-of.html">beaded wire</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <h3>3. Have No Seat</h3> <p>Use an old, broken-down chair to dress up an ordinary planter. These instructions involve <a href="http://gardentherapy.ca/outdoor-chair-planter-project/">removing the seat</a>, if the chair has one, and putting on a fresh coat of paint.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $10&ndash;$20.</p> <h3>4. Barney Rubble Planter</h3> <p>For a rustic look, <a href="http://www.tampahomebody.com/tree-log-planter/">hollow out a fallen tree</a> trunk or limb and put plants inside.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free, if you have tools for the hollowing and drilling drainage holes.</p> <h3>5. Pedal Planter</h3> <p>It's a classic that's perfect for bike enthusiasts or those who want to imagine cycling along the canals of Amsterdam while they sit in the yard: The old <a href="http://www.organizedclutter.net/2013/07/add-bike-to-your-garden-just-for-fun-of.html">bicycle with a basket full of blooms</a>. Organized Clutter explains how she plopped a coconut fiber liner into an existing bike basket to make her planter.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $5&ndash;$10 for the liner, assuming you can find a nonfunctional bike for free.</p> <h2>Lighting</h2> <p>Outdoor lighting can be pricey, but going without reduces the number of hours that you can enjoy your patio &mdash; especially if you live in a region where it's warm during the winter months when daylight is shorter. You're not going to get long lasting, quality fixtures with a shoestring budget, but these ideas can help you enjoy the evenings until you can afford something more permanent.</p> <h3>6. Tuna Can Lanterns</h3> <p>You wouldn't believe it, but you can make an <a href="http://inmyownstyle.com/2011/06/trash-and-thrift-store-treasure-outdoor-candle-lantern.html">elegant outdoor lantern</a> using an old broomstick, a tuna can, and a hurricane shade. A coat of metallic paint has the whole thing gleaming in a jiffy.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $5&ndash;$10 for hurricane shade, spray paint, metal adapter, and candle.</p> <h3>7. Repurposed Holiday Lights</h3> <p>Everyone has a string of old holiday lights in their basement, with only half the lights working, right? Instead of throwing those away, turn them into pretty outdoor orbs by combining them with another forlorn item: A round glass shade, frequently found in thrift stores.</p> <p>Ball up the light string and shove it in the globe. Once plugged in, you have a <a href="http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/landscape-lighting/">mystical glowing ball</a> you can place anywhere in your yard for effect and illumination. Just be sure to use light strings meant for outdoor use.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $1&ndash;$15 for glass shades (cheaper for used, more for new).</p> <h2>Hacks and Crafts</h2> <p>These ideas will appeal to the makers among us &mdash; those who love finding new ways to use familiar materials.</p> <h3>8. Solar Renewal</h3> <p>When solar yard lights get old, the plastic covering their solar cells can cloud over, limiting the amount of energy they receive from the sun. One blogger figured out that you can rejuvenate these with a <a href="https://blog.kriegsman.org/2012/04/19/rejuvenating-solar-garden-lights-with-nail-polish/">coat of clear nail polish</a>, of all things.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $1.</p> <h3>9. Moss Graffiti</h3> <p>Did you know you can gather moss, stick it in the blender with sugar and buttermilk, and <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Moss-Graffiti">paint it onto a wall</a> to create a live, growing mural or sign? I sure didn't!</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $2&ndash;$3.</p> <h3>10. Hacker Couch</h3> <p>The author of <em>The Basement</em> created a <a href="http://kaylasbasement.blogspot.com/2014/07/diy-outdoor-bench-update.html">bench from cinder blocks</a> and two-by-fours in less than an hour.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> About $40; more for optional cushions.</p> <h3>11. Magical Marble Fence</h3> <p>With a drill and a handful of marbles, you can transform a boring backyard fence into a magical fairyland. Just drill holes into a wooden fence and <a href="https://gardendrama.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/garden-art-on-the-cheap-diy-glass-marbles-in-your-fence/">place marbles into the holes</a>; sunshine will provide the dazzle.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $1.</p> <h3>12. Key Chimes</h3> <p>What to do with those mystery keys that have been on your key ring for years? Paint them and hang them with string to make a <a href="http://giving.innerchildfun.com/2013/04/recycled-crafts-for-kids-diy-key-wind-chime.html">DIY wind chime</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <h3>13. Rock Garden Markers</h3> <p>Use stones and paint to make cute <a href="http://craftsbyamanda.com/painted-rock-garden-markers/">labels for each row</a> of the garden instead of using store bought ones.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <h3>14. Mega Mushrooms</h3> <p>Turn a planter upside down and give it a paint job to <a href="http://www.birdsandblooms.com/backyard-projects/diy-garden-projects/diy-garden-%C2%ADmushrooms/">create cheery mushrooms</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $5.</p> <h3>15. Owl You Need</h3> <p>Rolled strips of cardboard can be used to fashion <a href="http://empressofdirt.net/owl-craft-project/">a whole family of owls</a> to watch over your garden in an earth-friendly project.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free.</p> <h3>16. Step Right Up</h3> <p>Get the kids involved in making <a href="http://pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com/2009/08/daddy-camp-cement-stepping-stones.html#.VyvTX_mDFBc">stepping stones</a> by pressing just about anything into wet cement: old toys or costume jewelry, marbles, and beads.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $5.</p> <h3>17. Gnome Home</h3> <p>A tree or even a stump in your yard can be turned into a <a href="https://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-gnome-home/%20">fairy house</a> that kids will love to discover. Twigs can be used to frame windows, and a small piece of wood can be shaped into a door. If your gnomes want their <em>own </em>outdoor living space, use found objects or dollhouse furniture.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <p><em>How are you dressing up your landscape for free or cheap this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home decorating gardening hacks landscaping lighting outdoor living plants Tue, 24 May 2016 09:00:03 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1711684 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Ways to Use Garage Space http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-use-garage-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-ways-to-use-garage-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_happy_tool_shed_000075068057.jpg" alt="Man finding smart ways to use garage space" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband and I spent our spring break this year clearing out and cleaning our garage. It had been filled with remnants from our move (nearly two years ago), random junk, and even&hellip; garbage. Now? The space is nearly empty, all 600 glorious square feet of it. And I'm wondering what we can do with all this added square footage, since we don't necessarily need to shelter our vehicles from the elements year 'round. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-in-your-garage-that-have-serious-re-sale-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things in Your Garage That Have Serious Re-Sale Value</a>)</p> <h2>Mudroom</h2> <p>Don't have much closet space indoors? Try&nbsp;<a href="http://sypsie.com/2015/11/11/one-room-challenge-week-6-garage-reveal/">making a mudroom</a> out of a portion of your garage to keep your stuff organized and tidy. All you really need to finish this project are some hooks for coats and bags, a bench for sitting, and maybe storage cubes for shoes and outdoor accessories. The rest is up to your budget and creativity.</p> <p>We turned a wall in our garage into a mudroom of sorts and decided to highlight the area by painting it an accent color. We then laid a rag rug down to cozy up the floor and protect feet from getting cold while getting shoes out of bins. I'd like to paint the door leading out there a funky color to make it even more fun. This project took us maybe an hour and cost just $50 for all supplies (we used what we had on hand).</p> <h2>Play Space</h2> <p>Or maybe you need more room for your kids and their toys to sprawl out. We've considered dedicating an area of the garage to play, especially since our backyard gets so much sun on hot summer afternoons. This&nbsp;<a href="http://s3-media4.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/5MR-QnUFmhdPVb-_-H9EHA/o.jpg">garage-to-playroom conversion</a> is pretty basic, but it gets the job done.</p> <p>Try installing a few toddler swings to a solid support beam. Place a picnic table or two around for a drawing surface or just eating lunch. Since you're in the garage, you can even experiment with messier toys, like a DIY sandbox or rice sensory bin that won't collect as many bugs as it would outdoors. To soften the concrete flooring, head to your local carpet outlet and purchase a large remnant piece.</p> <h2>Office or Studio</h2> <p>Need a place to work from home? Try converting your garage to a studio or office. This unique&nbsp;<a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2015/04/before-after-a-garage-becomes-a-beautiful-studio-space.html">before and after</a> will get you dreaming up the many possibilities. For example, there's so much paint can do to freshen up a dingy area and make it come alive and inspire. Simple white is a solid choice if you want a neutral backdrop and maximum light.</p> <p>At the same time, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Concrete floors can be as practical as they are easy to maintain. And exposed beams add architectural interest, so don't bother trying to cover them. Once you get the bones looking good, the rest will depend on the kind of work you do. Artists may like keeping the garage door open for extra light during work hours. A sturdy table may work well as a desk and meeting space. It's up to you!</p> <h2>Home Gym</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-kStZFjlQi8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Some friends of mine recently took over one half of their garage to make an&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kStZFjlQi8">at-home gym</a> because they were frustrated with monthly membership rates. Their hard work paid off &mdash; big time. You can get fancy and do flooring and walls, etc. Or you can stick with what matters most: Clear out clutter and replace with weights, mats, and motivation posters.</p> <p>What you stock your gym with depends on the activities you do. To get a good variety of equipment (and mirrors, etc.) on the cheap, consider checking Facebook yard sale groups, Craigslist, and even making a call out to friends. We actually scored a cheap treadmill from our neighbors that had been collecting dust in their basement for a few years. All we had to do was ask.</p> <h2>Hybrid Room</h2> <p>Maybe you have multiple needs. In that case, try planning out your garage to meet them all. Carla at Small + Friendly divided her garage into&nbsp;<a href="http://www.smallfriendly.com/small-friendly/2015/10/epic-garage-transformation.html">four different zones</a>. There's a crafting/sewing station, a play wall, a laundry nook, and then some smart storage/mudroom area. Everyone in the house has someplace to spread out.</p> <p>I like this family's use of vertical storage to maximize how much stuff they could contain in each zone. It's full, but very well organized. Additionally, if your budget doesn't allow for flooring, make use of interlocking foam tiles anywhere kids might be playing on the ground for added comfort. Carla's husband even uses the tiles as a makeshift yoga mat for morning workouts.</p> <h2>Bedroom and Beyond</h2> <p>My jaw dropped when I came across this incredible&nbsp;<a href="http://www.today.com/home/see-dingy-garage-transform-coolest-bedroom-ever-t20836">garage-to-bedroom transformation</a>. For just $900, Brooke Frederick was able to totally clean out the space, give it a nice coat of bright paint, exterminate pests, and then furnish to her specifications. And if you don't have a hefty budget, that's all you really need to do to make a room out of your garage.</p> <p>Of course, this kind of frugal flip won't work for everyone. Moving your sleeping or living quarters to the garage is probably more appealing if your garage has plenty of windows. Also, Frederick notes there's no insulation in her new bedroom, so this idea works best if you live in a more moderate climate.</p> <h2>Things to Think About</h2> <ul> <li>If you do intend to use your space year-round, you'll want to insulate and drywall to keep the heat and cold out. Same goes for your garage door.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Adding a few windows can also help provide the area with natural light, but aren't a requirement if you budget doesn't allow.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You may need to enlist an experienced electrician to wire some outlets to your new room to get the power flowing if you plan to use computers, televisions, and other electronics.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>That all being said, major improvements may require a permit. Check with your local municipality for the rules that apply in your area.</li> </ul> <p><em>Do you use your garage for something other than parking cars? Tell us about it!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-use-garage-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent">10 Unexpected Uses for Laundry Detergent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-the-oil-stove">Cleaning the Oil Stove</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home cleaning clutter extra space garage home gym home office remodeling reusing Wed, 04 May 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1699778 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_yard_swings_000079618051.jpg" alt="Learning how to get the best yard in town naturally" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want a gorgeous, lush lawn without all the chemicals and other icky stuff? It's not as hard as you might think. With a little creativity and some elbow grease, you can whip your grass into shape without calling a service or spending much at all. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper?ref=seealso">Secret Lawn Tonic Golf Course Groundskeepers Love</a>)</p> <h2>Amazing Aeration</h2> <p>Before the season even starts, you should&nbsp;<a href="http://www.planetnatural.com/aerate-the-lawn/">aerate your lawn</a> so it can have its best year yet. By letting it breathe, you get rid of nasty compaction issues that can cause bigger problems down the line. To aerate, you'll want the grass to be pretty dry. Insert a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1qjqnlK">garden fork</a> or&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1TMK4yd">sod coring tool</a> every few inches to get the oxygen in. If you have a big lawn, you might consider going in with a neighbor and renting a power lawn aerator for a day or two. After you've finished this process, collect soil plugs with a bagged mower and add them to your compost heap.</p> <h2>Beer Fertilizer</h2> <p>My grandfather is known as a lawn king of sorts in my hometown. He swears by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Easily-getting-rid-of-dead-spots-on-your-lawn-effo">feeding his lawn with beer</a>. The fermented sugars and other nutrients improve the soil and help to get rid of dead spots. All you have to do is pour about eight ounces of regular beer per 10-inch spot that needs love. Beer can be fresh or flat, hot or cold. Wait about a week and if the area is still droopy, repeat the process.</p> <h2>Soothing Salts, Part I</h2> <p>Not into brews? That's okay. You can actually use your favorite bath time soak to nurture your lawn.&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1UW0MMF">Epsom salts</a> help keep your grass green and healthy all year round &mdash; they may even soften grass. You'll want to use about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sfsalt.com/epsom-salt-for-lawns">three pounds of salts</a> per 1,250 square feet of lawn. To apply, use a lawn spreader. If you'd rather add water and spray, use a tank sprayer or a hose with a spray attachment.</p> <h2>Soothing Salts, Part II</h2> <p>The National Gardening Association explains that epsom salts also work wonders in your vegetable and flower gardens by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&amp;id=68">enriching the soil with magnesium</a>. The group conducted a study where gardeners from across the United States sprayed their peppers and roses with the stuff. The results? Four out of six gardeners reported that their pepper plants were more robust. All the rose plants were bushier with greener foliage and more roses. To try this at home, add one tablespoon of epsom salts to a gallon of water, spray plants, and repeat the process every 10 days (peppers) or six weeks (roses).</p> <h2>Kind Killer</h2> <p>This weed killer is kind to the environment and won't cost you much. In fact, you might already be using it for many tasks in your home. Simply spray all those pesky weeds with plain white vinegar. You'll want to do this on a day with no rain in the forecast (can dilute the effects). My mother-in-law says that heartier, more persistent weeds respond better to something stronger like pickling vinegar. Just pour vinegar into a spray bottle and use as liberally as necessary.</p> <h2>Wondrous Water</h2> <p>Whether or not you live someplace where you have a cap on water usage, it's a good idea to conserve this precious resource. Try building&nbsp;<a href="https://1craftylane.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/diy-rain-barrel/">your own rain barrel</a> to collect what falls from the sky. You just need a 32-gallon plastic trash can, brass faucet, flexible downspout, and utility knife. Cut a hole in your can's cover, attach the downspout to your gutter, and then connect the two components. Wait for the rain and then use your faucet to tap into the magic.</p> <h2>Modified Mowing</h2> <p>How often and how short you cut your grass has an impact on its overall health as well. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, unfortunately. Regardless, grass cut too short can be more prone to problems like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/gardening/what-is-the-ideal-height-to-cut-the-grass">weeds, drought, and heat damage</a>. So, if you're experiencing little precipitation, it's a good idea to let grasses grow taller as a defense. For guidelines on how tall or short you should keep your grass in general, call your local extension office, garden center, or seed supplier.</p> <h2>Clover Comeback</h2> <p>So many of our neighbors seem to battle to keep white clover out all season long. We've embraced clover because it's actually a natural way to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.almanac.com/content/clover-comeback">crowd out weeds</a>. Clover also spreads quickly and covers the ground with greenery to blend with your other grasses. It grows well in shadier areas of your lawn and those with poor drainage. Best yet, it's a legume and can convert nitrogen into its own free fertilizer. Learn to love this misunderstood ground cover!</p> <p><em>What are some natural ways you care for&nbsp;</em><em>your lawn?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall">10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living Home eco friendly gardening greener grass landscaping lawn spring summer weeds Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1693274 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Decorate an Apartment Without Losing Your Deposit http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_diy_paint_000050206910.jpg" alt="Woman dressing up apartment without losing her deposit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be a challenge putting your own personal touches on a rental apartment, but with these budget-wise decorating ideas that won't compromise your security deposit, you'll start to feel at home in no time.</p> <h2>1. Use Removable Wallpaper and Decals to Add Personality to a Room</h2> <p>I love the idea of an accent wall featuring wallpaper or some sort of design to give a room more personality. But how can you achieve this look without the permanence or expense of wallpaper? Modern décor has become so DIY these days that you can, in fact, install removable wallpaper &mdash; essentially stick-on paper that you apply in minutes and simply peel off when you want to take it down &mdash; or spot-design using decals. I've done the latter myself. I created a birds-in-flight effect on three accent walls in my house that give my living room a great amount of detail and depth, and it cost me less than $30 total.</p> <p>Alice Choo, an interior designer in San Francisco, adds that <a href="http://amzn.to/23ywowO">washi tape</a> (or Japanese masking tape) is an affordable ways to add color and patterns to your apartment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-things-you-can-decorate-with-washi-tape?ref=seealso">60+ Things You can Decorate with Washi Tape</a>)</p> <p>&quot;With washi tape, you can create your own designs and bring texture to the space. These can be easily removed from the walls,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>2. Swap Out Outdated Hardware for More Modern Updates</h2> <p>I can tell you from personal experience that one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to freshen up a space is to change hardware. For instance, when I moved into my home, I wanted to completely overhaul the bathroom, but I didn't have the budget for it. Instead, I compromised by updating the towel racks, TP holder, light fixture, and other bits with brushed nickel accessories that instantly gave the room a cleaner, fresher look. Same goes for the kitchen. Instead of ripping out the cabinets because I didn't like the style, I changed all the handles and knobs to suit my taste, and it made a major difference.</p> <p>You can do this in your apartment, too, without losing your deposit, by replacing the old hardware before you move out. Just keep the original hardware handy and in a safe place.</p> <h2>3. Add Mirrors to Create the Illusion of More Space</h2> <p>If you live in a small apartment, you know all too well that what once looked like a lot of space when the unit was empty, may very well look (and feel) cramped once your furniture and belongings are all moved in. Well-placed mirrors, however, can seemingly expand the space, providing the illusion of more room.</p> <p>&quot;When dealing with a small space, illusions are your best bet to fool yourself &mdash; and, more importantly, your guests &mdash; that you have more space,&quot; says Adam Busch, head of renter outreach for apartment-finding site RentLingo.</p> <p>He suggests incorporating a mirror into your living room to create more space.</p> <p>&quot;Utilizing the height of your room changes the appearance as well and one of the best ways to do this is to use taller curtains to create a larger height dimension,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>4. Paint an Accent or Feature Wall</h2> <p>If you don't want to (or can't) paint an entire room for fear of losing your deposit, perhaps your landlord will consider an accent wall. Or maybe you don't even have to tell them about it. That's the great thing about an accent wall &mdash; you're not covering a lot of territory, but it can make a world of difference in the overall aesthetic of the room. To take this concept a bit further, consider creating a pattern with the paint instead of applying a single straight color.</p> <p>&quot;The benefit of this feature is that instead of covering an entire wall with paint and the added stress of having to repaint the entire wall before you leave, you make use of a smaller space but add complexity for flair,&quot; Busch says.</p> <h2>5. Use Alternative Adhesives Instead of Nails</h2> <p>Many renters will likely agree that most of the time the reason their security deposit is in jeopardy is due to the state of the walls &mdash; that is, the nail and other holes that have accumulated over the period of your tenure. To avoid this deal-breaker, try using wall putty to hang lighter items, like prints, posters, and small canvases. Stay away from hanging glass items with putty, however, because if the putty fails, you don't want to have that dangerous mess to clean up. <a href="http://amzn.to/1MweO5h">3M's Command line</a> has lots of solutions that help you hang items with heavier-duty adhesives, and you can find these products at any hardware or office supply store, and even more common retailers like Walmart and Target.</p> <h2>6. &quot;Remodel&quot; the Kitchen With Faux Granite or Stainless Steel</h2> <p>Aside from replacing hardware in your kitchen to freshen up the space, another great redesign tactic you can implement is to use faux granite and/or stainless steel to wrap countertops and appliances. The concept is similar to removable wallpaper. Peel and stick the vinyl covering on the smooth surface you're trying to change, and voila; instant makeover without the hassle, cost, or loss of deposit. I'll admit that I hadn't actually heard of this cool trick before I started researching this post, but from what I can tell it definitely seems like a legit way to modernize otherwise out-of-date kitchen focal points without getting in too deep.</p> <h2>7. Rely on Textiles to Make the Space Cozy</h2> <p>And, finally, if you don't want to do anything to the wall, appliances, or hardware in your apartment, remember that you can use textiles to make your space cozy and comfortable.</p> <p>&quot;Pillows and rugs can be affordable and helps dress up a plain apartment; you just need to know where to shop for these items,&quot; Choo explains. &quot;You can get a set of stylish pillows for $25 and under online on sites such as Target.&quot;</p> <p>Expanding on that, area rugs, throws, and interesting upholstered furniture can all add that little something extra to your apartment without costing you any deductions from your deposit on the backend.</p> <p><em>What are some of your budget-wise ways to dress up an apartment without compromising or losing the deposit? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100">How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wonderful-ways-to-use-wallpaper">10 Wonderful Ways to Use Wallpaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Real Estate and Housing apartments decorating rentals security deposit updating wallpaper Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1689030 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_wires_electrocuted_000087920375.jpg" alt="Man trying to keep DIY projects from ruining his life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the face of the current crappy economy, more people are willing to try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less" target="_blank">save money on home improvement projects</a> by doing their own repairs&hellip;at their peril.</p> <p>With time, persistence, and attention to detail, the average non-klutz homeowner can learn to be handy. But how do you determine which projects are worth doing yourself, and which projects require an expert? Consider the following factors before you roll up your sleeves.</p> <h2>Assess the Time Commitment &mdash; And the Cost</h2> <p>While home improvement stores like Home Depot adjust their DIY project schedules according to the level of expertise, those schedules still assume that the project will be completed without a hitch. Whether you are learning a new skill or trying to level up on an existing ability, make sure to pad your time estimate to give yourself enough wiggle room to fix mistakes. Often, an overly optimistic schedule is not only frustrating but costly, too.</p> <p>For example, painting your own home is often touted as an excellent beginner DIY project. Yes, painting your own house can save you a lot of money. But when budgeting out the cost of your painting project, make sure to include the external costs. Will you have to pay to keep your furniture in storage while you paint? Will repainting your new apartment delay your move from your old apartment? You can (and should) wear a ventilator mask to avoid huffing paint fumes, but what about your pets? Can your dog go to grandma's house while the paint cures, or will you have to pay kennel costs?</p> <h2>Do You Have What It Takes to Get the Job Done?</h2> <p>No. Not mentally. Do you have the right tools for the job? My neighbor spent over two hours on a wet bathroom floor trying to tighten the leaky connection behind her toilet with a pair of pliers. Damp and tearful, she finally went to the hardware store for advice. Although she was offered no counsel for her plumbing aggravation, the store clerk did send her home with a $6.00 basin wrench. Armed with the proper tool, my neighbor was able to tighten the hard-to-reach nut in less than 10 seconds.</p> <p>Although my neighbor only lost 300 minutes of her life and $6.00 to her broken toilet, many projects require more costly, and high-tech equipment. There is a steep learning curve for many power tools. If you don't know how to use a floor sander, you might permanently damage the hardwood floors you are trying to salvage. Even worse, if you are a newbie to home repair, you might not think to buy ear protection. An expert might be able to repair a bad sanding job, but no one can repair your hearing.</p> <h2>Can You Afford to Make a Mistake?</h2> <p>I bought a well-reviewed tankless water heater that my plumber then nixed because he'd seen that model fail too many customers. Even though I returned the water heater in its factory sealed, unopened box, I was still charged a restocking fee by the store. Custom items like granite countertops are not returnable, so one wrong measurement can be very costly.</p> <h2>Trimming Trees Can May Mean Big Fines</h2> <p>Beyond the obvious extreme height + chainsaw = danger involved in tree trimming, amateur lumberjacking carries huge fines in many municipalities. The average cost of tree removal in Los Angeles is <a href="http://www.treeremoval.com/us/los-angeles/#.VvlZO_krJaR">$779 per tree</a>. That's expensive! But the fine for chopping down an oak tree, even on your own property, starts at $6,000 and can include jail time. Homeowners in other cities who only trim heritage trees such as oaks and sycamores without the proper permits can be charged <a href="http://la.curbed.com/archives/2007/11/a_375000_treetr.php">hundreds of thousands</a> of dollars in fines.</p> <h2>DIY Demolition Disaster</h2> <p>When I remodeled my bathroom, I saved $300 by doing my own demolition. In addition to getting a solid workout by swinging a sledgehammer, knocking out three layers of old tile and lathe was weirdly stress relieving. One of my neighbors also loved doing demolition. That is, he loved doing demolition until he knocked out a load-bearing wall while renovating his kitchen without a permit. His kitchen is now renovated, but not how he envisioned it. He blew his entire renovation budget on a very expensive and hideous support beam to keep his house from collapsing.</p> <p>I should also note that before I began my bathroom demolition, my contractor physically outlined the electrical and plumbing lines on my bathroom walls with a Sharpie before I ever picked up the sledgehammer. Replacing accidentally broken plumbing is one of the least sexy ways to spend money.</p> <h2>Play It Safe With Roof Repair</h2> <p>Reconsider doing your own roof repair for safety reasons alone. Likewise, if your home is over one story tall, consider getting a professional to clean your gutters. Or, at least, use a <a href="http://amzn.to/1Urt0yS">shop vac</a> or <a href="http://rochesterguttercleaning.com/tophat/aboutus.html">gutter vacuum</a> that you can operate from ground level.</p> <h2>Don't Blow Your Budget on Rental Renovations</h2> <p>I always rented places that I could repaint to my liking. Of course, using your own money to spiff up a rented space isn't smart financially. It's not your house. You just live there.</p> <p>If you are like me, then a little money is worth the price of turning another person's house into your home. However, if you are saving up to buy your own home, or just want to sock away more cash for retirement, education, or travel, it's smarter to treat your rented house as a crash pad where you sleep and store your things. Any DIY projects you do to improve your rented space is money and time you will never recover.</p> <h2>Death by DIY Pest Control</h2> <p>As a beekeeper, I am always getting calls from hysterical homeowners about &quot;Angry Killer Bees.&quot; When I arrive at a client's house to do live bee removal, I always ask diagnostic questions so I can assess the safety situation for the client and their neighbors. Here is a sample diagnostic question: &quot;Were the bees angrily chasing you around the backyard before you sprayed their hive with hairspray and then tried to light it on fire with a tiki torch?&quot;</p> <p>Many over-the-counter <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204563304574318231044370704">pesticides for home use</a> are also effective pet and people killers. Before laying down any kind of poison in your home, do some research and follow safety protocols to the letter. Although it seems counter-intuitive, professional exterminators have safer, less toxic methods of pest control at their disposal than consumers.</p> <h2>Leave Utilities to the Professionals</h2> <p>Doing your own gas, water, and power work is a really good way to damage you and your home. Even the smallest gas leak can lead to an explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning. Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed due to electrocution or electrical fires. Leaky plumbing can cause water damage and mold, potentially making your home unlivable and unsellable.</p> <h2>Beware Those Nine Dreaded Words</h2> <p>&quot;While we are at it, we might as well&hellip;&quot;</p> <p><em>Mission creep</em> is the super villain of DIY. Replacing the disgusting, damaged vinyl flooring in my kitchen with new linoleum will take me two days total. I've replaced two kitchen floors already, so I know I can do this job, over a weekend, all by my lonesome. Of course, this two-day schedule does not include moving out all the appliances, transferring my frozen foods to a neighbor's freezer for safe-keeping, or repairing the baseboards. Nor does it include the time and money involved in repainting the kitchen walls &mdash; a project that can only be done with the appliances removed &mdash; that's also on my to-do list.</p> <h2>Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should</h2> <p>I know how to hot wire a 1965 Nova using just a flat head screwdriver. But, just because I know how to rip an old car, does not mean that I should take the Chevy to the levee &mdash; even though the levee is dry &mdash; at every opportunity.</p> <p>According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, there are <a href="http://www.esfi.org/resource/do-it-yourself-diy-electrical-safety-216">37,000 nail gun injuries</a> every year in the United States. If the thought, &quot;Maybe this is beyond my skill level&quot; flickers through your mind even once, you should consider consulting an expert.</p> <h2>Losing Frugal Credibility Has a High Cost</h2> <p>It's 11 p.m. and I am painting my dining room, myself. I am an excellent painter. Martha Stewart would hire me. Painting my own dining room cost me just $100 in supplies.</p> <p>Unfortunately, I have had to work the dining room redo around my actual paying job schedule, so it's taken me six months of intermittently stripping paint, sanding, caulking, priming, painting, painting, and repainting to almost finish my newly spectacular dining room. My ceiling is silver leafed. Guests gasp when they behold the decorative finish on my china cabinets. I am so pleased with my work. My husband, however, could care less how magazine-ready the dining room looks. After months of eating off a drop cloth-covered dining room table, he's tired of painting without ever picking up a brush.</p> <p>So, while I won a frugal remodeling battle by renovating my own dining room, I have lost the frugal war. My husband now doubts that we can scrape, repair, and paint the exterior of our house in one month. He wants to pay a professional painting contractor $17,000 to do this job.</p> <p>The true cost of painting the dining room myself: $16,900.</p> <p>Don't be me.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home">How to Paint the Exterior of Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repaint-your-old-furniture-for-a-budget-d-cor-update">Repaint Your Old Furniture for a Budget Décor Update</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home contractors Do It Yourself fixing home improvements painting renovations Wed, 06 Apr 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Max Wong 1682552 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_easter_000037037264.jpg" alt="Finding smart things to do with leftover Easter goodies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Easter holiday means a house filled with pastel&hellip; everything... cluttering the house. Don't toss all those goodies right away after. Instead, here are some ingenious ways to repurpose your leftovers for immediate use or year-round enjoyment.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Plastic Eggs (Practical)</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://redeemyourground.com/easter-egg-birdseed-ornaments/">birdseed ornaments</a> will liven up your backyard for pennies. Mix together flour, birdseed, water, and corn syrup. Scoop mixture into your plastic eggs, firmly packing to fit. Then close them up to set into your egg shape. Gently open the eggs (it helps to place them in a muffin tin) and let air dry for a few hours. To hang, tie some string or yarn around them. This tutorial makes about 18 small feeders.</p> <h2>2. Plastic Eggs (Pretty)</h2> <p>This sophisticated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.taylormadecreates.com/2011/05/tealight-flight.html">tealight flight</a> is incredibly easy to make. Take your leftover plastic eggs, crack them in half (using the bottoms only), spray on a few coats of spray paint, and attach them to a piece of scrap wood with strong glue. Let everything dry before you place tealights inside to create a beautiful glow.</p> <h2>3. Plastic Eggs (Educational)</h2> <p>I've seen quite a number of ways to repurpose plastic eggs for learning. For my four-year-old daughter, I plan to work on reading skills with these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/word-family-eggs/">word family eggs</a>. Just collect your eggs, and use a permanent marker to write several letters on one half and the rest of the word on the second half of the egg. (For example, b-, c-, m-, s- and -at to make bat, cat, mat, and sat.) Your child can turn the sides of the eggs to create the different words and see how they relate.</p> <h2>4. Egg Dye</h2> <p>You've finished coloring your eggs &mdash; now what? Use leftover dye to get crafty. Try&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gsheller.com/2011/04/fun-with-easter-egg-dyes-and-yarn.html">dying bare yarn</a> in a rainbow of colors for whatever projects you have on your calendar. First, soak the yarn in vinegar and water. Get your dyes ready in different containers and use plastic pipettes for coloring. Apply the dye to the yarn, microwave to set, rinse, squeeze, and hang to dry.</p> <h2>5. Jelly Beans</h2> <p>Teach your kids some&nbsp;<a href="http://lemonlimeadventures.com/engineering-for-kids-building-with-jelly-beans/">engineering basics</a> using colorful jelly beans as your guide. To set up the experiment, you'll just need toothpicks, jelly beans, and some creative minds. Make cubes to start and then move on to more complicated shapes to see how they stabilize and shift. The author of this project said that these simple supplies gave her kids over a month of educational enjoyment.</p> <h2>6. Fake Grass</h2> <p>We typically fill our Easter baskets with fake grass of the paper variety. I then use whatever we have left for wrapping gifts (usually in gift bags) throughout the year. I've also used it as cheap packing material and given handfuls of it to my daughter to add dimension to art projects. Alternatively, you can carefully collect your leftovers and reuse them next year.</p> <h2>7. Hard-Boiled Eggs</h2> <p>Before eating your hard-boiled eggs, make sure they haven't been sitting out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours, haven't been in contact with pesticides or animal waste in an outdoor hunt, and aren't more than a week old. Once you've considered these&nbsp;<a href="http://shelflifeadvice.com/content/are-eggs-dyed-easter-safe-eat">food safety points</a>, you can eat them plain, make deviled eggs, or whip up a delicious egg salad.</p> <h2>8. Candy</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thekitchenmagpie.com/leftover-easter-candy-cookies/">leftover Easter candy cookies</a> will help clear out your pantry shelves for fresh spring produce in no time. You simply mix together the dough base with flour, baking soda, sugars, salt, vanilla, and eggs. Then chop up two cups of whatever candy you have left (assorted chocolates probably work better than jelly beans), fold it into the dough, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.</p> <h2>9. Baskets</h2> <p>Whether they're crazy colored or more neutral, you can always find great uses for baskets around your home. I store my daughter's markers, crayons, and other art supplies in small baskets that I keep in my craft room. When we're ready to do some coloring or art, I grab a basket and it helps keep everything tidy. Use yours to wrangle small toys (cars, blocks, etc.), books, or store it away to use again next year. Don't like your basket's looks? Spray paint it another color to suit your mood or decor.</p> <h2>10. Egg Crates</h2> <p>There are seriously a million ways you can reuse an egg carton in your home. My current favorite? I'm&nbsp;<a href="http://planetforward.ca/blog/my-organic-gardening-part-three-cartons-are-not-just-for-eggs-anymore-sustainable-practice/">organizing my seedlings</a> for the upcoming planting season. Just cut the lid off, poke a small hole in the bottom of each cup, fill each three-quarters full with soil, place your seeds inside, and put it on a plastic tray. Then label so you know what is what. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates?ref=seealso">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a>)</p> <p><em>How are you re-using your Easter stuff? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-easter">10 Ways to Have a Cheaper Easter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-can-do-with-a-credit-card-besides-buy-stuff">15 Things You Can Do With a Credit Card Besides Buy Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living baskets candy Easter eggs Holidays leftovers recycling repurposing Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1678890 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Household Tools Every Frugal Homeowner Should Own http://www.wisebread.com/10-household-tools-every-frugal-homeowner-should-own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-household-tools-every-frugal-homeowner-should-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tools_screwdrivers_000040737522.jpg" alt="Finding household tools every frugal homeowner should own" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have a home, you need a tool kit. It's an essential for any household. But what to put in it?</p> <p>Well, the good news is you can get by with just essential 10 items. You will of course need more tools as time goes by, but this list is a great starting point. (Oh, and you will need a sturdy <a href="http://amzn.to/21DTdyo">toolbox</a> to store them all. You can find used ones for cheap, or even free, on Craigslist. Or try your local thrift store.)</p> <h2>1. Multi-Bit Screwdriver</h2> <p>There are many variations of the <a href="http://amzn.to/1QsbnIF">multi-bit screwdriver</a>. On the cheaper end, the bits come in a separate holder or case. You can also find ones called &quot;<a href="http://amzn.to/21DTPE8">auto-loaders</a>&quot; that contain at least six different varieties of bit. You want one that fits both Phillips head and slot head screws. With this one tool, you have a starter set of screwdrivers that will work for most jobs around the home. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-plumbing-repairs-that-dont-require-a-plumber">10 Easy Plumbing Repairs That Don't Require a Plumber</a>)</p> <h2>2. Power Drill (Go Cordless)</h2> <p>There are so many different jobs around the home that require a power drill, so your frugal tool kit should include one. If you want to save the most money and have something much more handy, go with a <a href="http://amzn.to/21DTVeM">cordless drill</a>. They don't have as much power as an equivalently-priced corded drill, but for everyday needs, they're just fine. Ideally, get a good, refurbished brand rather than a cheap new one. DeWalt or Makita are reliable, and will last you many years. This will definitely be the most expensive tool you buy in this kit, but it's worth it. You will also need a variety of <a href="http://amzn.to/1T8DJNU">drill bits</a>. Luckily, many drills come with a starter selection.</p> <h2>3. Claw Hammer</h2> <p>There are several types of hammer available to the DIY enthusiast. A <a href="http://amzn.to/1QscqbJ">ball peen hammer</a>, a <a href="http://amzn.to/1WVln18">tack hammer</a>, a <a href="http://amzn.to/1QscJ6h">club hammer</a>, and even a <a href="http://amzn.to/21DUXHG">sledgehammer</a>. But for the basic, frugal tool kit, your best bet is a <a href="http://amzn.to/21DVbyy">claw hammer</a>. Its two uses, driving in and removing nails, are ideal. When you get into more specific tasks, other hammers for specific jobs are much better, but for a starter kit, the basic claw hammer is just fine.</p> <h2>4. Adjustable Wrench</h2> <p>The key word here is <em>adjustable</em>. As you're building a frugal tool kit, you want your tools to have as many uses as possible, whenever possible. The <a href="http://amzn.to/21DVsBH">adjustable wrench</a> can fit a wide variety of nuts and bolts, and is therefore perfect for your kit. Buy a wrench that is big enough to cover a large array of sizes, without being so big that it will be cumbersome on smaller nuts and bolts. Anywhere from eight to 12 inches is good.</p> <h2>5. Retractable Tape Measure</h2> <p>You probably know this as the <a href="http://amzn.to/1WVlABj">Stanley Measuring Tape</a>, but they are available from many different manufacturers. However, Stanley has been making these for decades, and they're very good at it. In particular, the PowerLock model is a great tape measure for having around the house. They're available in many different sizes, but for the minimal price difference, go for the 25'x1&quot; model. It's sturdy, long enough to cover most jobs, and very reliable.</p> <h2>6. Needlenose Pliers (AKA Long Nose Pliers)</h2> <p>Again, there are so many different types of pliers available on the market, all doing slightly different jobs. For the frugal starter kit, you are better off going with a pair of sturdy needle-nose pliers. We're looking for tools with more than one function, and these include a wire-stripping tool whilst also having a long reach and the ability to twist small wires and objects. When you start building up your kit, you can add locking and adjustable pliers. But for the basic kit, these will serve you well. Stanley's eight-inch <a href="http://amzn.to/21DWduz">long nose pliers</a> are solid, and usually sell for under $10.</p> <h2>7. Retractable Utility Knife</h2> <p>Just like the tape measure, Stanley has also become synonymous with the <a href="http://amzn.to/21DWuxI">utility knife</a>. In fact, many professionals and amateurs still refer to it as the Stanley Knife. You will need a sharp knife for a countless array of DIY jobs, whether it's cutting carpet or vinyl tile, to wallpaper, wood veneer, or even sharpening a pencil. With a good retractable knife, you have safety as well as versatility, with a variety of different blades on the market available.</p> <h2>8. Hacksaw</h2> <p>There will be more than a few DIY experts screaming &quot;No!&quot; at this next statement, and I would usually concur &mdash; but this is a frugal toolkit, after all. Instead of buying a wood saw and a hacksaw, simply buy the <a href="http://amzn.to/1WVm8Hw">hacksaw</a> and use it for both purposes. There. I said it. If you only have the money for one saw, a hacksaw is at least multi-functional. It cuts through metal and plastic beautifully. It can also cut wood, although it's inefficient, slow, and clogs the small teeth &mdash; <em>but</em>, it will do it. Try cutting metal with a wood saw and see how far you get. There are several different blades available, so if you do need to cut wood, opt for blades with the fewer teeth per inch. For instance, 14 will perform way better than 32.</p> <h2>9. Level (AKA Spirit Level, Bubble Level)</h2> <p>For so many jobs around the house, you will need to make sure something is straight, or level. This is why a <a href="http://amzn.to/21DYtlE">level</a> is an essential part of your toolkit. They come in various sizes, from as small as three inches, all the way up to several feet. For your purposes, anything from nine inches to three feet is a good bet. Make sure your level has three different bubbles inside, for vertical, horizontal, and 45 degrees. If you really don't want to spring for a level, and have a smartphone, you can find an assortment of free level apps. The phone is not as good, but it's better than nothing at all.</p> <h2>10. Rechargeable Flashlight</h2> <p>Finally, the flashlight. When the lights go out, or the fuses blow, you'll need a flashlight. When there's a leak in the corner of the basement, you'll need a flashlight. When there's a wiring issue under the counter, you'll need a flashlight. Basically, without a flashlight, you'll be groping around in the dark, and that's not safe at all. Now, regular flashlights are fine, but most people will tell you &mdash; the batteries die at the worst possible time. So, go with a <a href="http://amzn.to/1T8IuXO">rechargeable one</a>. They stay plugged in, and are ready to go whenever. Plus, they're affordable, starting at around $10.</p> <p><em>What would you include in a basic frugal tool kit?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-household-tools-every-frugal-homeowner-should-own">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-kitchen-splurge-on-this-save-on-that">Your Kitchen: Splurge on This, Save on That</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/85-easy-frugal-halloween-costume-ideas">85 Easy, Frugal Halloween Costume Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Kitchen Gadgets That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Shopping fixing things hammers Households pliers screwdrivers toolkit tools Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:30:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1669559 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Surprisingly Valuable Uses for a Penny http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprisingly-valuable-uses-for-a-penny <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-surprisingly-valuable-uses-for-a-penny" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000047183066_Large.jpg" alt="valuable uses for pennies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here's a quick fact for you: it costs more to make a penny than a penny is actually worth. The Government Accountability Office states that it <a href="http://www.kltv.com/story/30939761/pennies-nickels-cost-more-to-make-than-theyre-worth">costs 1.7 cents</a> to make a one-cent penny. The reason is rising metal prices. This probably means the venerable penny will not be around for much longer, as it is a money pit for the mint. So, while it's still around, here are 15 valuable uses for your humble penny. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-uses-for-safety-pins?ref=seealso">12 Smart Uses for Safety Pins</a>)</p> <h2>1. Decorate Floors and Tables</h2> <p>If you have the time, and patience, pennies can be a decorative and highly durable surface for floors and tables. Do a quick Google search for &quot;penny table top&quot; or &quot;<a href="http://www.usalovelist.com/penny-floor-made-in-usa/">penny flooring</a>&quot; and you'll see some quite ingenious and beautiful designs using the penny. Even better, it's a very affordable option for covering your old tables or floors. All you really need is a huge amount of pennies, some epoxy, and a way to seal the finished surface. And if you're budgeting this in your head, it takes about $3 of pennies per square foot. That's cheaper than most tiles or wooden floors.</p> <h2>2. Check Your Tire Tread Depth</h2> <p>Tire tread depth is important. Worn tires are unsafe, especially in winter conditions or heavy rain, and you should monitor it often. New tires are usually between 10/32&quot; and 11/32,&quot; and depending on the type of tire you have, and the kind of driving you do, this can wear down quickly. To <a href="http://www.bridgestonetire.com/tread-and-trend/drivers-ed/how-to-check-your-tire-tread-penny-test">check the depth with a penny</a>, turn it so that Lincoln's head is pointing down. If the top of his head is covered by tread, you're in good shape. If all of his head is visible, get the tires checked. It's probably time for a new set.</p> <h2>3. Turn the Screws</h2> <p>Often, we'll find ourselves in situations that require a screwdriver. And we might not always have one on hand. In these situations, a penny can come in handy. Of course, it's not exactly ideal (it will only work on slot-head screws), but a penny can be used to turn that screw and get you out of a jam. You can also use pennies to pry open containers.</p> <h2>4. Make a Cold Pack</h2> <p>Every home should have a cold pack in the freezer. They are a very effective way to reduce the swelling on an injury, but they can be expensive. However, you can make your own with just an old sock or cotton sack, and a whole bunch of pennies. Pour them into the sock, tie it up, and pop it in the freezer. The pennies will form around the leg or arm, and they stay cold for a long time.</p> <h2>5. Keep Cut Flowers Fresh for Longer</h2> <p>There are several tricks out there for prolonging the life of your flowers. According to florists, all it takes is a copper penny (dated before 1982) and a cube of sugar. Add both to the vase and fill it with water, then add your cut flowers. The copper from the penny acts as a natural fungicide, which helps keep your flowers free from yeasts and bacteria.</p> <h2>6. Use as Spacers When Laying Tile</h2> <p>As Alton Brown often says, you should try not to buy items that have only one use. Bags of plastic tile spacers are available at every hardware store, but they have just one use. Instead of wasting your money on them, use pennies instead. They give you the width you're looking for, and you can clean them off and use them again, or cash them in.</p> <h2>7. Pay With a Vengeance</h2> <p>Some people say this one is a little petty, but hey, depending on the circumstance it can be a great way to make a statement. If you get a bill that you think was undeserved, or just owe money to someone that you believe deserves to be taught a lesson, pay it back in pennies. They are legal tender, but it can become a nightmare to count them. Just think, even $10 is 1,000 pennies. You may get told you cannot pay in pennies, but this is not the case. Money is money. This is not a check; it's hard currency.</p> <h2>8. Save a Glass of Wine</h2> <p>It's happened to all of us who partake in a glass of wine now and then. You go to sip your delicious glass of merlot or claret, and boom; you're hit with the smell of rotten eggs. This is because volatile sulfur compounds (<a href="http://www.wineanorak.com/mercaptansinwine.htm">mercaptans and thiols</a>) form when the chemicals in the wine react with oxygen. Fortunately, the wine can be saved by a clean copper penny; just make sure it is dated 1982 or earlier (anything after this date is made mostly of zinc). Pop the penny in your glass of wine and give it a stir. The sulfur in the wine will bond with the copper in the penny, creating copper sulfide (which has no smell). Problem solved, wine saved, party on.</p> <h2>9. Make Your Own Washers</h2> <p>If you need a washer, and fast, you can use a penny. Simply secure it in a vice, or clamp it down with woodworking clamps, and drill the appropriate-sized hole in the center. And as you're drilling, think about this: Similar-sized washers cost between 10-15 cents at the hardware store. By using a penny, you are saving 90% on the price of a washer.</p> <h2>10. Create Tap Shoes for Kids</h2> <p>Okay, so they won't be good for actual competitions or professional dance lessons. But, if you want to let the kids experiment with tap dance, you can improvise some pretty cool&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=pennies+tap+shoes&amp;espv=2&amp;biw=1050&amp;bih=1562&amp;site=webhp&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwj55Yzp2N7KAhUT6GMKHVkCCJcQ_AUIBygC&amp;dpr=1">tap shoes using pennies</a>. Just find an old pair of shoes or sneakers that are not being used. Find some good, industrial-strength glue, and affix three to five pennies on the front part of the sole, and two to four on the back. Let the glue dry, and you have a pair of tap shoes that sound great on hard surfaces.</p> <h2>11. Give Your Birdhouse a New Roof</h2> <p>Birdhouses are great, but most of the time the weather takes its toll on them. The roof, in particular, bears the brunt of the wind, rain, hail, sun, and snow. With about $5 worth of pennies, you can create a new roof that is not only great against the elements, but also looks just like an old tiled roof. Here's a great example of a birdhouse that was <a href="http://www.woohome.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Lovely-DIY-Lifehacks-That-Use-A-Penny-9.jpg">given a penny makeover</a>.</p> <h2>12. Add Weight to Curtains</h2> <p>If your curtains are a little lightweight, and don't hang as straight as you'd like, pennies can come to the rescue. Simply make an opening in the hem, and slide pennies into the cavity, at even spaces along the width of the curtain. Use as many as you need to weigh the fabric down without it being cumbersome. Then, simply sew the hem shut.</p> <h2>13. Make Buttons</h2> <p>Pennies can become very cool buttons for coats, jackets, and bags. First, decide if you want the pennies to look worn and dated, or shiny and new. You can get brand new pennies from banks, or shine your own by popping them in a bowl filled with vinegar and a little salt. When you have the pennies ready, drill two small holes side-by-side in the center. Now, sew them onto your garment.</p> <h2>14. Stabilize Wobbly Chairs and Tables</h2> <p>Most of us fix a wobbly table or chair by folding up a piece of paper several times, and jamming it under the short leg. It's a fix, but not a very good one. And sooner or later, the paper will come out. Instead, glue pennies to the bottom of the offending leg. Place pennies in the gap until the table or chair is stabilized, then remove them, glue them together, and let them dry. Then, glue your penny wad to the base of the leg. If you're worried about scratching the floor, glue a small piece of felt to the bottom penny.</p> <h2>15. Create Amazing Art</h2> <p>If you have some artistic ability, pennies can be transformed into incredible works of art. As this site here demonstrates, you can make a <a href="http://www.pennyportrait.com/gallery.html">portrait of Lincoln</a> using a variety of pennies that have different levels of shine. But you can take it even further, and create <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-L_JUEvE8k">any kind of image or portrait</a>.</p> <p><em>What are some other creative uses for pennies? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprisingly-valuable-uses-for-a-penny">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mountain-dew-christmas-tree">Mountain Dew Christmas Tree</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm">Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make for Pennies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ruin-an-antique-how-to-tell-if-you-should-refinish-wooden-furniture">Don&#039;t Ruin an Antique! How to Tell If You Should Refinish Wooden Furniture</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY arts and crafts life hacks lucky penny pennies penny spare change Fri, 26 Feb 2016 11:30:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1659841 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: Our 61 Best Home Improvement Hacks Ever http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-our-61-best-home-improvement-hacks-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-our-61-best-home-improvement-hacks-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_home_improvements_000065753207.jpg" alt="Couple using best home improvements hacks ever" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Home improvements can be fun in theory, but can quickly turn into costly, nightmarish disasters &mdash; especially if you're new to the DIY game. One wrong nail placement or bargain paint color can tarnish the beauty of your sacred space. Luckily, there is a wealth of information available to make rookie DIYers feel like seasoned veterans. And we've got some of the best, money-saving DIY home hacks around.</p> <p>Here's a roundup of the 61 best home improvement hacks we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_diy_blueprints_000037414960.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a> &mdash; There are just some home projects that you cannot or should not do yourself. So when bringing in a pro, you'll need the right info to use as a bargaining tool. These will get you the right price for the job that needs to be done.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a> &mdash; Maybe you're only looking to add a little pizazz to one room, or change the vibe of your home's exterior. These frugal home improvements will give your house a lovely lift without emptying your wallet.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/couple_painting_000023944106.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a> &mdash; Surprisingly, you can make tons of amazing changes to your home with just $50 or less! Put in a little elbow grease and your crisp Ulysses (why is there no cool nickname for a $50 bill?) and you're good to go.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects">Boost Your Home's Value With These 5 Projects</a> &mdash; Not only will these home improvement projects make your house look stellar, but it'll also boost its value. Money well spent, indeed.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot">6 Surprising Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Home Depot</a> &mdash; There are few home improvements you can do without taking a trip to Home Depot. So in order to get the best price for your supplies, here are six savings hacks to keep your overall spending to a minimum.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/home-5336247-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recoup-more-of-your-investment-8-home-improvements-that-add-the-most-value">Recoup More of Your Investment: 8 Home Improvements That Add the Most Value</a> &mdash; These are bigger projects that will probably require the help of home improvement professionals. However, in the end you'll have a home you love living in, and the peace of mind that your home's value just went up.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</a> &mdash; Don't underestimate the aesthetic power of a landscaped backyard. It can completely change the way you unwind on the weekends, the way you see your home, and the overall value of your house. And these backyard projects are ones you can easily do yourself!</p> <p><em>How do you save money on home improvements? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-our-61-best-home-improvement-hacks-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-53-beauty-hacks-you-have-to-try-this-summer">Flashback Friday: 53 Beauty Hacks You Have to Try This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-62-ways-introverts-tend-to-win-at-life">Flashback Friday: 62 Ways Introverts Tend to Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-118-best-beauty-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 118 Best Beauty Hacks of All Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-99-best-fitness-hacks-of-all-time">Flashback Friday: The 99 Best Fitness Hacks of All Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-household-uses-for-rope">10 Smart Household Uses for Rope</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living DIY Home diy projects fbf flashback friday frugal DIY home home improvements Fri, 19 Feb 2016 11:00:11 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1659473 at http://www.wisebread.com Pick Up One of These Frugal Hobbies This Weekend http://www.wisebread.com/pick-up-one-of-these-frugal-hobbies-this-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pick-up-one-of-these-frugal-hobbies-this-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hiking_map_000078571079.jpg" alt="Couple picking up frugal hobby this weekend" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've recently come to the realization that many of my non-essential expenditures are focused on preventing boredom. Whether that's trying out new restaurants, collecting vintage cameras, or buying crafting supplies, hobbies can get surprisingly expensive. Fortunately, there are many hobbies that allow you to occupy your leisure time without racking up huge bills at the end of the month. My goal is to replace my less frugal hobbies with some of these inexpensive alternatives and I encourage you to do the same.</p> <h2>1. Succulent Gardening</h2> <p>Succulents are the perfect plant for a beginner gardener with a black thumb, like me. The only really bad thing you can do is overwater them. And while gardening in general is quite frugal (as long as you start from seeds and don't go crazy at the local nursery), succulent gardening is even more so. You never need to actually <em>buy</em> a succulent. They propagate themselves easily from cuttings begged, borrowed, or stolen (just kidding, NOT stolen!) from friends and family. All you need are some pots with good drainage (look for them at thrift stores to keep costs down) and some soil.</p> <h2>2. Cook Your Way Through a Cuisine or Cookbook</h2> <p>Cooking your way through a cookbook or, alternatively, a cuisine, can be a way to get your creative juices flowing, while avoiding eating out. Instead of becoming a &quot;restaurant foodie,&quot; which can get expensive, become a &quot;home gourmet foodie.&quot;</p> <p>When I first got married, I decided to learn to cook all of the American classics, from chili con carne to classic pot roast. I gave myself a free course in cooking as well as saved us money we would have otherwise spent on restaurants. To keep this hobby frugal, and look for accessible, down-to-earth cookbooks or food blogs.</p> <h2>3. Become a Thrifter</h2> <p>Instead of trolling the aisles of Target and picking up various knick-knacks you don't need, why not start browsing the aisles of your local thrift store instead? The thrill of finding something unique and awesome for $2 is just incomparable. True, it might not be something you <em>need</em>, but if you're going to shop anyway, at least you're only paying a fraction of the price. And if you find some cool stuff, you can always sell it on eBay or Etsy.</p> <h2>4. Play Board Games</h2> <p>An evening with friends playing board games can be surprisingly lively and fun. Start with classics like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IL5XY9K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00IL5XY9K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Y2FJC6NZNYZBMYUW">Scrabble</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CV5PN2W/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00CV5PN2W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=37KK3JKMLQAZRLPI">Monopoly</a>, and graduate to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U26V4VQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00U26V4VQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2EZWYIDHRX6DJFNQ">Settlers of Catan</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JQY6K4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001JQY6K4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NSLUDKC35IBQAMZK">Dominion</a>. The game might set you back $20-$40, but it can give a group of people many hours of entertainment. Warning: This hobby can get expensive if you get obsessive, or greedy for all the games (And expansion packs! And special editions!), and is thus best suited for the casual hobbyist. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a>)</p> <h2>5. Make Origami</h2> <p><iframe width="430" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qzeaw7UXscw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Origami, the art of folding paper into creatures and shapes, is a wonderfully frugal hobby. All you need are some squares of paper, which you can cut from scrap paper, or you can buy a pack of colored origami paper for a very reasonable price. Check out YouTube videos and online tutorials to start learning.</p> <h2>6. Take Up Running</h2> <p>Running is one of the cheapest forms of exercise. You don't need a gym membership or any fancy gear except for a pair of running shoes. Get some friends together to make things more fun. Your health (and your wallet) will thank you.</p> <h2>7. Learn to Knit or Crochet</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00URN9DM6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00URN9DM6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BZ4YNRH7TWYEJ5OT">pack of yarn</a> from your local craft store will only set you back a few dollars and can occupy you productively for several hours. It's therapeutic to have something to show for your hard work, and maybe you can even save money on birthday presents by making knitted or crocheted headbands, hats, and other cute creations for your friends.</p> <h2>8. Explore the Outdoors</h2> <p>Check out the local outdoor hiking trails in your area. Exploring the outdoors can be a great way to get some exercise and entertainment at the same time. Look for local wildlife and learn to recognize local plants, using free resources from the Internet or borrowed books from the library, as well as local nature centers.</p> <h2>9. Try Geocaching</h2> <p>If you need more of a challenge, try <a href="https://www.geocaching.com/play">geocaching</a> &mdash; a kind of global scavenger hunt where you download GPS coordinates and enter them into a GPS device (an app on your smartphone, if you already have one). You then head out into the outdoors to find the cache, where you add your name to the cache's log once you find it (and sometimes find other treasures too).</p> <h2>10. Read a Book</h2> <p>Reading can be free if you have a library card. Many libraries also offer ebooks for free &mdash; you can download and keep it for two or three weeks and then &quot;return&quot; the ebook. If you don't like going to the library (or if it takes you several months to get through a book), many classic novels are available for free on Amazon.</p> <h2>11. Learn a New Language</h2> <p>Language skills will serve you well in the professional world, and it's also a fun pastime that can open the door to new friends and cultural opportunities. There are many free language resources on the Internet, such as Duolingo, LiveMocha, and more.</p> <h2>12. Upcycle</h2> <p>If you enjoy crafting but don't want to spend the money on craft supplies, upcycling might be for you. A simple search on Pinterest reveals a myriad of ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">turn your trash into treasure</a>, from melting down old candles to make new ones, to turning old t-shirts into rugs and tote bags, and sweaters into pillows and mug cozies.</p> <h2>13. Write</h2> <p>Get your thoughts out into a journal or blog. You can write about anything: your daily life, your cat's escapades, your personal poetry, or stories about your life. You could even turn this into a paying side gig &mdash; I started out writing descriptions of my travels and ended up writing for this blog!</p> <p><em>What hobbies do you like doing in your spare time that don't cost anything?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pick-up-one-of-these-frugal-hobbies-this-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-frugal-skills-and-how-to-get-them">20 Great Frugal Skills — and How to Get Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself">The many reasons--besides frugality--to do for yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-self-tanning-lotion-and-5-other-fabulous-diy-tips-from-the-web">Make Your Own Self-tanning Lotion and 5 Other Fabulous DIY Tips from the Web</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living DIY Cooking DIY exercise frugal activities fun projects gardening Fri, 04 Dec 2015 12:00:03 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1618136 at http://www.wisebread.com Almost 50 Unique Housewarming Gifts for Less Than $20 http://www.wisebread.com/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift_giving_holidays_000018620938.jpg" alt="Finding the most unique housewarming gifts under $20" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The perfect way to welcome someone into their new home is with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-mason-jar-gifts-you-can-make">unique, practical housewarming gift</a> &mdash; and we've come up with some of the best ideas that they are sure to love. Best of all, for only $20 or less, these gifts won't break the bank!</p> <h2>1. DIY Baskets</h2> <p>DIY baskets are affordable and fun to make. Some of the best DIY baskets for a new homeowner include:</p> <ul> <li>Cleaning basket: Include things like all-purpose cleaner, sponges, a dustpan, and rags for a gift that will keep their new home in tip-top shape.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tool kit: Make your own by including all the must-haves, or you can simply purchase an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E20HWA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000E20HWA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=T5AIOQU57BN5CMHZ">affordable tool kit</a> instead.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gardening kit: Include affordable essentials like a trowel, rake, shovel, and fork, or just purchase a complete <a href="http://amzn.to/1PhzZ9t">garden tool set</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Coffee kit: Everybody needs coffee, so think about gifting gourmet coffee with a nice new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004SPEU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004SPEU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HZAS46RYVADZ3NOB">electric grinder</a> or mug. You can even create your own personalized coffee mugs with a little paint.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Kitchen set: Include must-haves like utensils, an oven mitt, a peeler, and/or a meat thermometer for a DIY kitchen basket. Add an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0898215153/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0898215153&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W5JHIVMJ6V2LVCY4">inexpensive cookbook</a> and a new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WW3HEC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000WW3HEC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YWMMDDO7FWMH26QH">cookbook holder</a> to complete the gift.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Gifts They Can Eat</h2> <p>What better way to welcome someone into their new home than with something delicious? There are several food gifts you can give that won't cost much, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Home cooked meal: Make a meal for them to enjoy and include the recipe card.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>DIY food basket: Include one of your favorite simple recipes and the ingredients required to make it. You can always add a nice new kitchen accessory as well, like a new wooden spoon.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Beers on you: All you need to do is purchase an affordable cooler and fill it with ice, beers, lemons, limes, and any other drinking accessories you think they'll like.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0073GXDAS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0073GXDAS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RN6KDZZF3OHF4T7O">Indoor herb garden</a>: They'll be able to grow their own fresh herbs indoors to enjoy in about six weeks.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Popcorn kit: Wrap up a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006IUWA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00006IUWA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CPOEP3ETDCECCAS4">popcorn maker</a> with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SQDZX5K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00SQDZX5K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KJRD6XGTPT3W36GY">popcorn and seasoning collection</a> so they can enjoy a movie after a long day of unpacking.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TUYGRU4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00TUYGRU4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MKLK6FXQ4A6PK64G">Mushroom farm</a>: Who doesn't love fresh mushrooms? With this gift, they can grow fresh organic mushrooms right from their new kitchen.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Personalized Items</h2> <p>Embroidered, engraved, and monogrammed items are some of the best personalized gifts you can buy. Take the DIY approach, or purchase them already embroidered or engraved. Some of the best items to personalize include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FDN7I3Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00FDN7I3Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=G67YHFJAOZYOSZS2">Cutting boards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.personalcreations.com/product/2015-family-holiday-ornament-30180303?sk=&amp;ref=REDscltwunkwn&amp;productGroup=PCHRBSL&amp;viewpos=4&amp;ratings=4.2500&amp;reviews=12&amp;trackingpgroup=PCHRBSL">Holiday ornaments</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.personalcreations.com/product/character-charm-key-ring-30024412?sk=&amp;ref=REDscltwunkwn&amp;productgroup=PCHRGG30&amp;viewpos=20&amp;ratings=4.1138&amp;reviews=167&amp;trackingpgroup=PCHRGG30">Keychains</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.personalcreations.com/product/always-kiss-me-goodnight-pillowcases-30132361?sk=&amp;ref=REDscltwunkwn&amp;productgroup=PCHRGG30&amp;viewpos=17&amp;ratings=4.7143&amp;reviews=42&amp;trackingpgroup=PCHRGG30">Pillowcases</a></li> <li><a href="http://griffanie.com/hey-there-doormat/">Welcome mats</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.freutcake.com/favorite-things/diy-polka-dot-napkins/">Napkins</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UXPD1PS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00UXPD1PS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GYS3GTJKEJU6ZNCE">Kitchen signs</a></li> </ul> <h2>4. Things They're Sure to Need</h2> <p>There are certain things that we could all use more of, especially after moving into a new place. Put a unique spin on the essentials to suit your friends' style and personality. All of these items can be found for under $20:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010R5ZRC8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B010R5ZRC8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BSK75IFGPTFD67K2">His and hers glasses</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SRGPELO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00SRGPELO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QOJRRCJ4XUGER7YN">Nessie ladle</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009BLGMLA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009BLGMLA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=P7XNT5XFUWHKGYWM">Utensil holder</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W3CODOC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00W3CODOC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FOV4FHYWJPYHE757">Key holder</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018PFBVY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0018PFBVY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FXXMV3UBFMJTBYHT">Decorative candle holder</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CF9JC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000CF9JC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SLBBEAXLH7KH5IQO">Wooden serving bowls</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/state-slate-cheese-boards">U.S. cheese board</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;fst=as%3Aoff&amp;keywords=scented%20candles&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1446753520&amp;rh=n%3A1055398%2Ck%3Ascented%20candles%2Cp_36%3A1253523011&amp;rnid=386465011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GHJAYYCIMVZNVGE5">Scented candles</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZSNL9IQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ZSNL9IQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=C6O6DYO2PDPX26NG">Hanging planter</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TQ8FC2S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00TQ8FC2S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VWTGLDNHE563IPLE">Display trays</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LYT86O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008LYT86O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IUTXAFQGQDSNKU7O">Vintage bottle opener</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GNIGT1C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GNIGT1C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CF3Y64NENQYSYQGC">Spice rack</a></li> </ul> <h2>5. Wine Essentials</h2> <p>Wine is the perfect gift for almost any special occasion, particularly after a stressful move. If your friends are wine drinkers, gift them handy essentials such as:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/1WrZvOZ">Wine aerator</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009N23UFS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009N23UFS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VT7GXH3LDBNNDGYN">Aerating wine glasses</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AM4KKHM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AM4KKHM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3T7CK7YFL67MDHSH">Corkscrew set</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YFI0O6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003YFI0O6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SAQ57NHXAZUOGTJI">Bottle opener</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QCBY1E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002QCBY1E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PCGS7KCOHQYHOBE4">Cork cage</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KFSNFO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000KFSNFO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5Q6SDZ6QX4XTS3Q6">Wine bottle thermometer</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T236XIE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00T236XIE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NOJ2ULAMQSG2GO6E">Wine chiller</a></li> </ul> <h2>6. Good Luck Charms</h2> <p>Everyone needs a little good luck, especially after a move. Consider a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PSI4T4C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00PSI4T4C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MLMW6FZEYFIWQNGH">sage kit</a> so that they can cleanse their new home and attract good fortune. You can even give them unique garden sets to entice good luck, like a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R19QYCG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00R19QYCG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6YRQDXMX7WYYMWVS">growing wishes seed kit</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002F914G8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002F914G8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HY2KHHLVFVDMCBJR">lucky bamboo plant</a>, or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YSNT66Y/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00YSNT66Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7X7GSVHAW56FX3AF">bonsai tree kit</a>.</p> <h2>7. Relaxation Aids</h2> <p>Everyone loves to relax after a stressful event and there is nothing more stressful than moving. Help your friend pamper themselves with items like unique <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B1DQKEU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00B1DQKEU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BEP5JKT2TYADLDIM">bath salt sets</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0155KFTHS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0155KFTHS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=36RQPOKP67YQMFS7">tea samplers</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L62K8TY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00L62K8TY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=N6ZERHMKJET5LY5X">crackling candles</a>. These and other spa necessities can be combined to form one large relaxation basket.</p> <h2>8. Pet Treats</h2> <p>Giving your friends' pet a new toy or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QNUGFLO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00QNUGFLO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MJKXG5XXWVROD524">gift basket</a> will make you their new favorite guest. Including a pet in the gift-giving festivities usually means a lot to the homeowners as well.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite affordable, unique housewarming gifts? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-wrapping-paper-5-options">Last Minute Wrapping Paper: 5 Options</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stylish-but-cheap-gift-warp-ideas">Stylish but Cheap Gift Wrap Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cool-diy-christmas-gifts-for-the-under-6-crowd">5 Cool DIY Christmas Gifts for the “Under 6” Crowd</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-dreaming-of-a-frugal-christmas-6-things-you-can-make-that-people-on-your-list-will-use-and-w">Dreaming of a Frugal Christmas: 6 Things You Can Make That People on Your List Will Use and Want</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Shopping gifts Homemade housewarming presents Wed, 02 Dec 2015 12:00:26 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1617395 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Festive and Easy DIY Holiday Decorations http://www.wisebread.com/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holiday_decorations_000053976300.jpg" alt="Woman making easy and festive diy holiday decorations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to jazz up your place for the winter season ahead? Making your home feel festive is as easy as grabbing a glue gun. Here are a bunch of simple and inexpensive projects that will warm your heart throughout the holiday season and beyond. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips?ref=seealso">7 Frugal Fall Decorating Tips</a>)</p> <h2>1. Thankful Pumpkins</h2> <p>These <a href="http://eclecticallyvintage.com/2013/11/thanksgiving-traditions-thankful-pumpkins/">thankful pumpkins</a> give everyone in the family a chance to showcase what they're thankful for this year. Coat the pumpkin in a light paint color and then use a Sharpie marker to write anything you wish. They'd make a wonderful centerpiece at your Thanksgiving dinner.</p> <h2>2. Photo Board</h2> <p>With this <a href="http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2013/09/thankful-photo-board.html">thankful board</a>, everyone will know whom you love and cherish this season. You'll need a 1&quot; by 8&quot; pine board to sand and stain. Then, use the free template to print out the word &quot;thankful&quot; on card stock. Stick the letters to the board with bronze nail heads and use super glue to attach a few clips to hold the photos. If you change up the lettering, this project would also make a cool holiday card holder.</p> <h2>3. Dollar Centerpieces</h2> <p>If you're hosting the big dinner this year, try wowing your guests with a <a href="http://www.blesserhouse.com/2014/11/dollar-store-thanksgiving-tablescape.html">Dollar Store tablescape</a>. The author found orange candles, fake pumpkins (that she painted), and poster board for placemats. Accent everything with pine cones and other free nature finds from your backyard.</p> <h2>4. Thrifty Finds</h2> <p>Take a stroll around your local thrift shops to see what holiday decorations are on the shelves. I recently found a deal on a ceramic holiday village &mdash; 10 houses for $5! I've seen anything from limited edition snow globes to porcelain ornaments to vintage tree toppers. Most everything is gently used and offered at a fraction of its original price.</p> <h2>5. Moving Makeover</h2> <p>If you do come across something you like, remember that you can personalize it with paint. That holiday village I bought? I'd love to give it this <a href="http://www.the36thavenue.com/loving-the-dollar-store-christmas-village/">chic makeover</a> using some ivory shades. Make sure your village is clean, then spritz the paint just enough to get a light coating. Do some detail work with watered down acrylics before letting everything dry.</p> <h2>6. Tricky Sticks</h2> <p>Make <a href="http://www.momendeavors.com/2013/12/diy-giant-popsicle-stick-snowflakes.html">gigantic snowflakes</a> to adorn on your walls with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00380E7RQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00380E7RQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5WSJ4HEM47HW5IEH">popsicle sticks</a>. Grab a big pack of sticks, then attach them together in different patterns using a hot glue gun. Let set a while before hanging. You can also give them a coat of colorful or sparkly spray paint for extra flair.</p> <h2>7. Sweater Trees</h2> <p>Make a set of cozy <a href="http://finditmakeitloveit.com/2013/12/sweater-trees-easy-cheap-free.html">sweater Christmas trees</a>. You'll cut out a sturdy tree template from an empty cardboard box. Then, cut a few pieces of knit fabric out of old sweaters and hot glue them around the tree. Slap a square of burlap on the trunk and you're done!</p> <h2>8. Pinecone Garland</h2> <p>Bring the outdoors in with this <a href="http://blog.freepeople.com/2013/10/diy-fall-garland/">pinecone garland</a>. Collect pinecones of all assorted shapes and sizes. You can paint them different colors or add accent flower, berries, and other items. Just hot glue everything to a piece of twine. You can even use some fine wire for extra support.</p> <h2>9. Woodland Sign</h2> <p>Get a little rustic charm going with this <a href="http://livelaughrowe.com/diy-woodland-sign/">woodland sign</a>. Attach a few boards together (or use a single piece of wood) and then stain and distress. Then use a stencil to paint on whatever saying you like. You may also try free-handing, if you're talented like that. Seal your board and hang with jute.</p> <h2>10. Sparkle Branches</h2> <p>Bring some bling to your living room with these <a href="http://www.momtastic.com/diy/170919-holiday-decorating-making-sparkly-branches/">sparkle branches</a>. Scour your backyard for the best woody specimens. Once you've found them, spray with paint and then adhesive. Sprinkle glitter onto the branch and admire your crafting powers.</p> <h2>11. Snowball Garland</h2> <p>All you need is fishing line and cotton balls to make this classy <a href="http://www.jamiedphoto.com/diy-snow-and-white-trees/">snowball garland</a>. Hot glue the cotton balls to the line and then use it for whatever you think needs some winter spirit. I love the idea to use the garland as a festive backdrop for photos.</p> <h2>12. Sweet Aroma</h2> <p>Not into decorating? You can make your house smell like the holidays with these amazing <a href="http://tipnut.com/fragrant-home-13-simmering-pot-recipes/">simmering potpourri</a> recipes. My favorite combines cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice. Fill a pot with water and simmer the ingredients on low all day long.</p> <h2>13. Frosty Candles</h2> <p>Leave it to Martha Stewart to show us how to make these gorgeous <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/264490/frosty-salted-pillar-candles">salted pillar candles</a>. Fill a rimmed tray with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010813796/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B010813796&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GR3JS45QJUQFOH7X">epsom salts</a>. Coat the outside of your candle with some Mod Podge, and then roll in the salts. Let dry before lighting.</p> <h2>14. Spiffy Lights</h2> <p>Want to keep your Christmas lights up all year? Try <a href="http://www.landeeseelandeedo.com/2014/12/gold-christmas-decor-mantel-details.html">spray painting them</a> to spiff them up. Simply take the bulbs out of the sockets, coat the cord in gold spray paint, and let everything dry before you plug it back in. While you're at it, use the rest of your can of gold paint to make matching accents that will last the whole season.</p> <p><em>What are your clever holiday decoration tricks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-holiday-lighting-hacks">10 Easy Holiday Lighting Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-easy-holiday-crafts-for-kids">30 Easy Holiday Crafts for Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-halloween-costumes-for-your-pets">13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Your Pets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-festive-ways-to-dress-up-your-property-for-the-holidays">13 Festive Ways to Dress Up Your Property for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Christmas crafts decorations Holidays Homemade lights Thanksgiving Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1615577 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Easy Mason Jar Gifts You Can Make http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-mason-jar-gifts-you-can-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-mason-jar-gifts-you-can-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mason_jars_gifts_000046411370.jpg" alt="Creating easy mason jar gifts you can DIY" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A gift in a mason jar is unique, heartfelt, affordable, and easy-to-make. We've found some of the best mason jar gift ideas that will meet all your gift-giving needs this season.</p> <h2>1. Food Mixes</h2> <p>This is the easiest way to gift homemade cookies or other sweet treats. Layer all of the dry ingredients for a recipe inside a mason jar, and simply tie the recipe card to the top. The ingredients will look beautiful stacked up, and the person receiving the gift can just add the necessary wet ingredients when they're ready to enjoy.</p> <p>You can also package completed food items (like cookies) in a decorative mason jar. Get really creative with store-bought goodies, like making snowman and Santa-inspired <a href="http://www.thehappyhomebodies.com/2010/12/secret-santa-cookie-deliveries.html">Oreo and Nutter Butter treats</a>.</p> <p>Some other delicious mason jar treat ideas include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2012/12/diy-gift-guide-gingerbread-in-a-jar/">Cookies</a></li> <li><a href="http://mommyknows.com/how-to-rainbow-cupcakes-in-a-jar/">Cupcakes</a></li> <li><a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/10646/brownie-mix-in-a-jar-ii/">Brownies</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/smores-in-a-jar/">S'mores</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.themuse.com/advice/need-a-lastminute-gift-diy-holiday-mason-jars">Bark mix</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.theknot.com/real-weddings/mason-jar-popcorn-favors-photo">Popcorn</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/puppy-chow#.auN4Z5Qwn">Puppy chow</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2013/11/22/granola-breakfast-in-a-mason-jar-recipe/">Granola</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/honey-orange-butter#.dtJ96wl4o">Flavored butter</a></li> <li><a href="http://bakeat350.blogspot.com/2011/09/diy-vanilla-extract-works-for-me.html">Flavored extract</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/cinnamon-pancake-mix-jar">Pancake mix</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/quick-bread-in-a-bottle">Bread</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a10714/curried-lentil-soup-december-recipes/">Soup</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/salty-caramel-bourbon-sauce#.kw8APnm39">Sauces</a></li> </ul> <h2>2. Drink Mixes</h2> <p>Either make the drink and pour it into a decorative mason jar, or include all of the dry ingredients so the recipient can just add water, milk, or liquor. Wrap a &quot;Drink Me&quot; label around the top for added flare. Some of the best drinks to give in a mason jar include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://taracooks.com/?p=2632">Spiced tea or cider</a></li> <li><a href="http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2011/12/diy-gift-guide-sweetness-in-a-jar/">Hot chocolate</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.inthekitchenwithkp.com/recipes/homemade-peppermint-mocha-mix-jar">Peppermint mocha</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.dominosugar.com/recipe/cappuccino-mix-in-a-jar-680">Cappuccino</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.carbon-footprint-defined.com/mulled-wine-recipe.html">Mulled wine</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/how-to-make-a-chai-tea-kit-to-give-as-a-gift#.kmWK1PGr6">Chai tea</a></li> <li><a href="http://somethingturquoise.com/2015/05/15/mason-jar-bloody-mary-gift-and-spice-recipe/">Bloody Mary mix</a></li> </ul> <h2>3. Canned and Jarred Items</h2> <p>Canning and jarring may be easy, but most people don't want to invest the time or energy. Consider making a big batch of jam, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, mulled cherries, or canned preserves so you can share some with your loved ones.</p> <h2>4. Travel Cups</h2> <p>One of the many uses of a mason jar includes an impromptu travel snack cup or drink mug. You can decorate the jar however you like, and can even personalize it for the person receiving the gift. You can even craft a <a href="http://myfrugaladventures.com/2014/05/how-to-make-diy-mason-jar-cups/">hole for the straw</a> so that you can sip on the go.</p> <h2>5. Decorative Vases</h2> <p>Paint the jar with glitter and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IKES5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001IKES5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4PTZXGLC6AVARUUB">mod podge</a> to <a href="https://www.plaidonline.com/mod-podge-rocks-golden-glitter-keys-mason-jars/5323/project.htm">create unique designs</a>, which can also double as a luminary or pen holder. Add things like twine, wooden labels, ribbon, and buttons for added personality. You can also mod podge things like sheet music or comic books pages around the outside for a truly unique gift. Cover the jar in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RMPLJ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000RMPLJ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DDSO6RNS2G4SIPMS">chalkboard paint</a> instead for some cute vintage flair!</p> <h2>6. Candles or Luminaries</h2> <p>Did you know can make <a href="http://gardentherapy.ca/flower-jar-candles/">candles in a mason jar</a>, which you can scent, color, and decorate in any way you like? If you don't like the idea of pouring hot wax, consider transforming the jar into a glass lantern, <a href="http://www.createcraftlove.com/mason-jar-fall-luminary/">decorative luminary</a>, or <a href="http://iowagirleats.com/2011/11/19/diy-holiday-decor-for-less-than-15/">candle holder</a> instead. Or just fill the jar with a string of small sparkling lights for a unique lighting effect.</p> <h2>7. Terrariums and Snow Globes</h2> <p>Mason jars are spacious enough to fit terrariums and even <a href="http://eatandrelish.com/tag/diy/">snow globes</a>. Create a whole scene, a scrapbook jar, or an ode to a <a href="http://masonjarcraftslove.com/vacation-memory-jar/">family memory</a>. You can even use it to house a gift card, which is cute, affordable, and will show that you took the time to create a unique gift.</p> <h2>8. Soap Dispensers</h2> <p>Turn any mason jar into a soap dispenser or lotion container. Fill it with DIY soap, shampoo, body wash, lotion, or other personal items. You can even make your own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">laundry detergent</a> to use at home or share with your friends.</p> <h2>9. DIY Air Fresheners</h2> <p>Consider making your own DIY air freshener or <a href="http://www.thehappierhomemaker.com/2013/10/the-scent-of-fall-simmering-pot-recipe/#_a5y_p=1021107">simmered potpourri</a>, beautifully housed in a decorated mason jar. You can simmer the potpourri yourself or you can prepare a jar of mulling spices, so the recipient can heat it on their stovetop at home. Some of the best holiday items to simmer include oranges, cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, apples, and vanilla.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite ways to use mason jars? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-mason-jar-gifts-you-can-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-canned-foods-that-beat-store-bought">5 Home Canned Foods That Beat Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-learn-canning-now">8 Good Reasons to Learn Canning Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-fruits-and-veggies-worth-growing-yourself">The Only Fruits and Veggies Worth Growing Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink edible gifts gift ideas mason jars unique gifts Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:15:13 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1613349 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 More Cheap and Easy DIY Toys Kids Will Love http://www.wisebread.com/15-more-cheap-and-easy-diy-toys-kids-will-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-more-cheap-and-easy-diy-toys-kids-will-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/colorful_crayons_000051716822.jpg" alt="Creating cheap and easy DIY toys kids will love" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking for a great birthday or Christmas gift for your child? There are lots of toys you can DIY to give a personal touch. Check out the projects below for some major inspiration. And share your favorite do-it-yourself toy projects in the comments. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy?ref=seealso">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a>)</p> <h2>1. Colorful Crayons</h2> <p>Melt together a bunch of <a href="http://ourbestbites.com/2012/02/how-to-make-muffin-tin-crayons-and-a-printable/">old crayons</a> using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=silicon%20molds&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=LK2BUROPZI6ZG46O">silicone</a> molds or cupcake tins. You'll be giving new life to something that might otherwise be tossed out &mdash; and even young kids can help with this project! Just take all the broken remnants, remove the paper labels, toss them in your molds, and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 20 minutes.</p> <h2>2. Drum Set</h2> <p>Have a bunch of old paint cans you need to recycle? Try assembling this crazy <a href="http://www.floridaysmom.com/paint-can-drum-set/">drum kit</a>. You'll clean your cans and then give them a coat of spray paint. Attach the cans together with bolts and screws. And don't forget to add some fancy stuff like cymbals. Grab a pair of sticks to start jamming.</p> <h2>3. Felt Food</h2> <p>Here's a quiet toy your kids will play with again and again: <a href="http://everydaydishes.com/creative-crafts/diy-felt-play-food/">felt food</a>. Find a stack of felt in assorted colors, print out the free template, and get cutting. Adhere everything together with hot glue and stuff some of the foods (like bread) will <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YZ7G44/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000YZ7G44&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7CMLIPMBEOLX5657">poly-fil</a>. You'll make watermelon, bacon, pizza, and more.</p> <h2>4. Sand Blocks</h2> <p>Got an old Jenga game hanging around? Use the wooden pieces to make these cool <a href="http://adventure-in-a-box.com/make-rainbow-sand-blocks/">rainbow sand blocks</a>. Glue three of your blocks into an open-ended rectangle, then do it again. You'll make the rainbow sand using cornmeal and food coloring. Then, place the sand into a plastic bag and glue the bag in the middle of your blocks. Add two more blocks on top to finish the frame.</p> <h2>5. Nature Blocks</h2> <p>For kids who would rather be outdoors than anywhere else, you can make <a href="http://adventure-in-a-box.com/how-to-make-waldorf-inspired-nature-blocks-creative-challenge/">nature blocks</a>. These blocks are inspired by the Waldorf toys and are simple to make if you have access to a hand saw. Go into your yard and find branches of different diameters. Then, let them dry someplace for a few weeks. To finish, just cut them into sections.</p> <h2>6. Kinetic Sand</h2> <p>Stop spending all that money on store-bought play sand. Try making your own with this <a href="http://gimmiefreebies.com/make-your-own-kinetic-sand/">kinetic sand</a> tutorial. You'll need plain sand, corn starch, dish soap, and water. Mix everything together and consider adding some tea tree oil to the mix to keep it fresh.</p> <h2>7. Magnetic Fishing Set</h2> <p>If you have a sewing machine, you can whip up these <a href="http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2014/09/diy-toy-fishing-pole-that-reels-in-and-magnetic-fabric-fish.html">DIY magnetic fish</a>. Buy some round magnets, cut out fish shapes using scrap fabric and batting, and then sew the magnet into the fish. Make a quick pole using wooden dowels, spools, and rope. Don't forget the magnet at the end of the line so you can catch the fish!</p> <h2>8. Fruit Stand</h2> <p>Forget the play kitchen &mdash; try making a <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pernfors88/4212633525/">fruit stand</a>. The maker of this project used an Ikea Rast table as the base. The rest is a creative mix of scrap wood, shelf supports, fabric, and little bins. Your finished product might not look exactly like the original, but the idea is to have plenty of places to stash play fruits and veggies.</p> <h2>9. Car Mat</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.ragamuffin-baby.com/2012/09/vans-car-playmat.html">car mat</a> is absolutely adorable. The only problem is that it took the author over 20 hours to cut, sew, and embroider everything together. You can make something similar by picking up some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O7312OO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00O7312OO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QLAJSUJV67RORM44">duck cloth</a> (or other thick, sturdy fabric) at the hardware store, cutting it to size, and painting on a roadway, houses, and other cool spots with craft paints.</p> <h2>10. Hideaway Tent</h2> <p>Give your children a hideaway with this simple <a href="http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2014/07/collapsible-fabric-play-tent-for-kids.html">play tent</a>. Create a foldable A-frame using 1&quot; x 2&quot; boards and dowels. Then use five yards of fabric to sew the cover that will tie onto the frame. This project takes around three hours from start to finish.</p> <h2>11. Painted Treasures</h2> <p>Don't feel like making a toy from scratch? Try finding something old and making it new again using spray paint. This <a href="http://www.justalittlecreativity.com/2011/09/pimp-that-cozy-ride-little-tikes-car.html">Little Tikes car project</a> is amazing and only took a couple cans of paint. Clean the toy well before disassembling and painting. You can try this makeover with play cars, houses, and anything else that needs freshening up.</p> <h2>12. Play Road</h2> <p>Before you toss out your old jeans, try using them in this <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/easy-diy-road-for-toy-cars-made-out-of-your-old-jeans/">DIY road project</a>. After you trace a pattern for both curved and straight pieces, cut out your fabric from the old jeans. Then use glue and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IKES5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001IKES5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Z4K4CH2V7TPJ75D5">Mod Podge</a> to fix everything together. Paint on some yellow lines and let the races begin!</p> <h2>13. Lego Table</h2> <p>Your kid will go crazy for this <a href="http://www.chaosandlove.com/targets-toy-emporium/">DIY Lego table</a>. You'll need an old table (a square works wonderfully) and some of those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K5W9TLY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00K5W9TLY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VDJG4GHI7R2K4CI2">Lego bases</a>. Use glue to adhere the base plates to the table and give them some extra support with a few Lego bricks on the edges. Let the glue dry, and this project is done in around 20 minutes.</p> <h2>14. American Boy</h2> <p>Boys deserve dolls too! So, when I saw this <a href="http://ginadwagner.com/how-i-created-an-american-boy-doll-for-my-son/">American Boy</a> doll in my Facebook feed, my jaw dropped. The mom took a standard girl doll (new or used would be fine), cut its hair, washed off its makeup, and dressed it in some clothes she found on Etsy. You can also sew your own for a personal touch.</p> <h2>15. Doll House</h2> <p>Make a super <a href="http://turkeyfeathers.typepad.com/turkey_feathers/2006/06/in_an_old_house.html">doll house</a> using an old dresser. You'll need a relatively tall dresser as your base, and I recommended checking places like the Salvation Army and garage sales before buying new. Leave the bottom drawers on for storage. Then take the upper drawers out to make space for your rooms. Paint and fill with doll furniture to complete the project.</p> <p><em>What are your kid's favorite DIY playthings?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-more-cheap-and-easy-diy-toys-kids-will-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm">Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY children crafts gifts kids playing projects toys Mon, 16 Nov 2015 11:15:18 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1612421 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Fun, Cheap Projects to Try This Weekend http://www.wisebread.com/19-fun-cheap-projects-to-try-this-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-fun-cheap-projects-to-try-this-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_gardening_000053678990.jpg" alt="Couple doing fun, cheap weekend projects at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>By Wednesday, we're grateful to be over the weekday hump. On Thursday, we can sense the impending joy of Casual Friday. And then, it finally arrives: the weekend! Two blissful days free from work. Sure, there are some chores and errands to be done &mdash; but what about &quot;me&quot; time, or &quot;we&quot; time? Here are 19 fun, cheap weekend project ideas.</p> <h2>1. Create a Pallet Headboard</h2> <p>Wooden pallets have become incredibly popular for building all kinds of stuff. My personal favorite is the pallet headboard, which really shows off the rustic look of the pallet wood. This <a href="http://www.thinkingcloset.com/2014/02/24/so-you-want-to-build-a-pallet-headboard/">The Thinking Closet</a> has excellent instructions for selecting, building, and even lighting your headboard.</p> <h2>2. Anything Involving Washi Tape</h2> <p>Have you seen this stuff? Basically, it's a Japanese <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007Y85NY4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B007Y85NY4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XEYEMV4XUHVHSMYD">decorative masking tape</a>, although maybe it's a little sturdier. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-things-you-can-decorate-with-washi-tape">Washi tape decorating and project</a> possibilities are pretty much endless: Decorate the keys of your computer keyboard, cover the outside of your notebooks, use it to beautify the inside and outside of your lampshades, make your own gift wrap, label your power cords, make your own cute coasters, etc. I am currently obsessed with covering clean, empty tuna cans and making cute containers for paper clips, and loose change.</p> <h2>3. Start Your Own Podcast</h2> <p>Have something to share or teach? Why not <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-money-podcasts">make your own podcasts</a>? Apple makes it easy to get started with their <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podcasts/id525463029?mt=8">app</a>, and here is a great <a href="http://www.howtopodcasttutorial.com/seven-reasons-to-create-your-own-podcast.htm">tutorial for making it your own</a>. It's time to share your wisdom with the world.</p> <h2>4. Make Mosaic Tiles</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZWO8zlSZ1rw" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Have old dishes around that you hate to part with? How about bits of jewelry? If you want to &quot;upcycle&quot; them, consider making mosaic tiles for your garden. First, learn to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ro93O0oUsg">smash plates</a> properly. Then, watch this video to learn more about <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ4JleHCKMk">what materials work well</a>. Finally, this lady will show you <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWO8zlSZ1rw">how to make the stepping/paving stone</a>. My husband and daughter made two and they are a great addition to the garden.</p> <h2>5. Whip Up Some Wine Jelly</h2> <p>You needn't be an experienced canner to make <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9492/wine-jelly/">wine jelly</a>. It is very simple and can easily be made in an afternoon. If you don't eat it all yourself, it makes a great hostess gift.</p> <h2>6. Make Energy Bars</h2> <p>Like a snack with your mid-morning coffee? Whip up a batch of these <a href="http://www.hawaiianelectric.com/heco/_hidden_Hidden/Recipes/Energy-Bars">energy bars</a> and you will be set for the week. Hint: Wrap them individually in waxed paper and twist the ends. They will stay crispy and chewy.</p> <h2>7. Learn Meditation</h2> <p>I had one heck of a time learning how to meditate (I usually just fell asleep), until I took a <a href="http://www.chopra.com/ccl/video/oprah-deepaks-21-day-meditation-experience-desire-and-destiny">meditation class</a>. There are many other classes available online, too. It will help with your stress levels and it may also help you learn to focus. I find that I feel refreshed afterward, but not groggy like after a nap.</p> <h2>8. Make Lip Balm</h2> <p>Make sure to round up the ingredients for this project during the week so that on the weekend, you can focus on actually making the lip balm. You'll need <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006WBEGNI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B006WBEGNI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZGVI44MOQIYBIES5">tubes</a>, labels, the ingredients, and <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/7055/homemade-lip-chap-recipe/">these handy instructions</a>. Any you don't use can be given as gifts.</p> <h2>9. Learn to Crochet</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BCDA44Sijx4" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>I have given up on knitting &mdash; it's just not in the cards for me. But as it turns out, crochet is very easy to learn and you can actually make a scarf in one weekend. Here's a video to get you started with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCDA44Sijx4">single crochet</a>, and once you've mastered that, move on to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kpC_z8Oc3A">double crochet</a> for the scarf.</p> <h2>10. Build a Terrarium</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Oy6hX0jR8bA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>If you have a desk job, a terrarium is a good way to bring some nature and tranquility inside. They are an inexpensive craft, especially if you find your container at a second-hand store or use something you have around the house. Since you will probably end up buying bags of pebbles, charcoal, and moss, make several terrariums and ask with your kids or friends to help. Here are some easy <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-a-terrarium-139860">instructions </a>and a list of materials you will need. This video shows an <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy6hX0jR8bA">easy way to build terrariums</a> using paper plates. Chopsticks are also helpful for moving things around.</p> <h2>11. Knot Up Some Macrame Plant Holders</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jDtnNYKZexk" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>These aren't your mom's tacky yarn plant holders. These macrame plant holders use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IFD5OH8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00IFD5OH8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6INTZIJXD3TAMD3J">jute string</a>, and are really rustic and beautiful. They are also incredibly inexpensive.</p> <h2>12. Bake Bread</h2> <p>Even if you own a breadmaker, there is just something about the process of mixing, kneading, and baking your own bread that gives you such a feeling of accomplishment. Taking a bite of warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread with butter is a great incentive. I like this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/6773/simple-whole-wheat-bread/">recipe for whole-wheat bread</a> because it is very uncomplicated and makes three loaves. And there's no need to be flummoxed by the kneading process &mdash; here is a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySOj0fFWo1U">video</a> showing how easy it is.</p> <h2>13. Make a Lamp</h2> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FbSFtoKhxIE" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Real talk: I have some weird items kicking around that I probably should have tossed, but I want to make lamps out of them. And as DIY Debbie explains in this video, you can <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbSFtoKhxIE">make a lamp</a> out of just about anything.</p> <h2>14. Try a Rag Rug</h2> <p>Have any old sheets around? If not, don't despair. You can buy them at a thrift store and make one of these <a href="http://www.craftpassion.com/2010/03/recycle-tutorial-braided-rag-rug.html">neat rugs</a>.</p> <h2>15. Construct a Fire Pit</h2> <p>One of our favorite things to do on a starry night is to have a fire in the backyard. It's relaxing for two or for a group. As a precaution, check first with local authorities to make sure you can have a fire pit in your yard. (We are allowed to under the classification of &quot;cooking fires.&quot;) You also need to make sure that your pit is located away from other structures. Here are some <a href="http://www.lowes.com/projects/gardening-and-outdoor/build-a-fire-pit/project">step-by-step instructions from Lowe's</a>, using pavers.</p> <h2>16. Create Homemade Fruit Liqueurs</h2> <p>Oh, these <a href="http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/preserving-fruit-flavors-in-alcohol-homemade-liqueurs/">homemade fruit liqueurs</a> are fun. Right now we have cherry, strawberry, peach and apple. After extensive taste-testing (don't judge), we found that we preferred using vodka over the brandy, and vanilla bean over cinnamon. If you want to give them as gifts, pour them into cute <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B80TJWQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00B80TJWQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2BQT6NBG2SRSMOJR">mason jars</a>.</p> <h2>17. Make Your Own Soap</h2> <p>I am afraid to work with lye, so I was pretty excited to find that there are no-lye soap recipes out there! <a href="http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/how-to-make-soap-how-to-make-homemade-soap/">This one looks easy</a> and I like her suggestions for additions to the soap, such as lavender and peppermint.</p> <h2>18. Build a Garden Path</h2> <p>A meandering path around your yard adds charm and can also be very practical. <a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/garden-structures/garden-paths/affordable-garden-path-ideas/view-all">These instructions</a> are extremely helpful. While it points out that mulch is the cheapest material, it does break down over time. So prepare to do a lot of shoveling! The results are really nice, though, and assuming your path isn't too long, it can be accomplished in a weekend.</p> <h2>19. Learn a New Language</h2> <p>Of course, you can't learn a whole language in a weekend, but you can learn some of the basics. There are <a href="http://www.openculture.com/freelanguagelessons">many resources online</a> to help you. I am proud to say I can now ask where the bathroom is and order a <em>Croque Monsieur</em> in French.</p> <p>Some of these projects will require some pre-planning and purchasing of materials beforehand, so make your selection and start planning before the weekend arrives.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite DIYs or weekend hobbies?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-fun-cheap-projects-to-try-this-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-online-resources-for-the-design-impaired">Top 5 Online Resources for the Design Impaired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-you-can-use-towel-rods-for-efficient-storage-and-display">8 Ways You Can Use Towel Rods for Efficient Storage and Display</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-diy-projects-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-and-3-you-shouldnt-try">17 DIY Projects to Make Your Home Look Amazing (and 3 You Shouldn&#039;t Try)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home DIY home decor washi tape weekend fun weekend projects Fri, 13 Nov 2015 11:15:33 +0000 Marla Walters 1608490 at http://www.wisebread.com