DIY http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4801/all en-US 50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bath-soap-gifts-Dollarphotoclub_60635657.jpg" alt="bath soap gifts" title="bath soap gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I love bath and body products. Unfortunately, they can also be quite expensive. Not to fret, my friends, because the web is teeming with amazing DIY products you can mix together using very basic, natural ingredients. In fact, you'll see quite a few components of these recipes repeated throughout this list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>And the vast majority of these projects would also make wonderfully cheap (and impressive) gifts for birthdays and other holidays.</p> <h2>1. Copycat Bomb</h2> <p>Do you love those Lush bath bombs? So do I. This <a href="http://www.creatorsocial.com/index.php/butterball-dupe-cocoa-butter-bath-bomb-diy/">Butterball copycat recipe</a> is full of skin-softening cocoa butter. The fizz comes from the baking soda and citric acid.</p> <h2>2. Flower Bomb</h2> <p>For even more luxury, make <a href="http://www.lovelygreens.com/2014/04/how-to-make-natural-rose-lavender.html">Rose, Lavender, and Oat Bombs</a> filled with dried flower petals. If you're having trouble finding molds, check your local craft store with the decoupage or soap making items.</p> <h2>3. Soap Cupcakes</h2> <p>Or get fancy with your bath bombs and decorate by <a href="http://www.otionsoap.com/blog/2012/08/09/crazy-for-cupcakes/">piping on soap</a> like frosting on a cupcake!</p> <h2>4. Sweet Bubble Bath</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.brit.co/picks/treat-yoself-to-this-5-minute-diy-bubble-bath/">Vanilla Honey Bubble Bath</a> takes only five minutes to put together. It should be used immediately (there's an egg white in the mix), but you can keep any excess in your refrigerator.</p> <h2>5. Bath Oil</h2> <p>Here's a <a href="http://www.bcliving.ca/garden/homemade-aromatic-bath-and-massage-oils">dual-purpose bath oil</a> that works equally well as massage oil. Your biggest decision is what base oil to use. I'd choose coconut oil because it helps with sunburns to psoriasis.</p> <h2>6. Bath Melts</h2> <p>I had never heard of <a href="http://happymoneysaver.com/homemade-relaxing-bath-melts/">Bath Melts</a> before researching this article. It's a similar idea if you're looking for a bath oil, just in solid form. The blogger who made this batch shared that it took $3 total to make a whopping 15 melts.</p> <h2>7. Sleepy Bath Salts</h2> <p>Unwind from your day with these <a href="http://www.naturallyloriel.com/nighty-night-diy-bath-salt-recipe/">Nighty-Night Bath Salts</a>. Epsom salts are made of magnesium chloride, which is thought to be a sleep aid. If you don't have the specific essential oil blend, you can use a combination of lavender, marjoram, mandarin, cedarwood, sage, etc.</p> <h2>8. Bubbling Salts</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.savingwithshellie.com/homemeade-gift-lavender-bubble-bath-salts/">Lavender Bath Salts</a> also bubble with the addition of scented body wash. You can customize by using your favorite essential oils.</p> <h2>9. Detox Soak</h2> <p>We all need a cleanse every now and again. This <a href="http://www.triedandtrueblog.com/ginger-detox-bath-soak/">Ginger Detox Soak</a> is just what the doctor ordered, combining the detoxifying power of epsom salt, ginger, and apple cider vinegar.</p> <h2>10. Beard Oil</h2> <p>I'm making my husband this <a href="http://bumblebreeblog.com/2014/05/26/druff-beard-oil/">Beard Oil</a> for Christmas &mdash; but don't tell him! Apricot oil is the base for this mix, but vitamin E helps soften those dry beards in a flash. The rest is up to you with the essential oil mix, though I'd certainly recommend the tea tree for its antimicrobial properties.</p> <h2>11. Beard Balm</h2> <p>Whiskey and woodsmoke. Those are two rustic scents that take this <a href="http://transientexpression.com/diy-gift-beard-balm/">beard balm</a> to a whole new level of manly. Beyond the scents, the rest is a combination of shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and almond oil.</p> <h2>12. Shave Soap</h2> <p>This <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2013/08/natural-diy-lanolin-shaving-soap-recipe.html">Natural Shaving Soap</a> recipe has a base of lanolin and shea butter for extra moisturizing power.</p> <h2>13. Shave Cream</h2> <p>If you prefer a cream, try this <a href="http://www.mommypotamus.com/natural-homemade-shaving-cream/">simple shave blend</a> made with coconut oil, shea, jojoba, and liquid castile soap. Whip using a hand or stand mixer for that creamy texture.</p> <h2>14. Makeup Removing Scrub</h2> <p>Skip the harsh face soaps at the store and whisk together this <a href="http://liagriffith.com/seasalt-face-scrub-and-coconut-oil-makeup-remover/">Sea Salt Scrub and Coconut Oil Makeup Removing Combo.</a> The creator of this project packaged hers in some adorable glass containers with crisp labels.</p> <h2>15. Salt Soap</h2> <p>Here's a three ingredient <a href="http://apumpkinandaprincess.com/2014/05/pink-himalayan-salt-grapefruit-soap.html">Himalayan Salt Grapefruit Soap</a> combination that uses a goat's milk soap base for a twist. Alternatively, you can use shea butter soap base, and both can be found at your local craft store.</p> <h2>16. Coffee Soap</h2> <p>My husband would enjoy this <a href="http://www.essentiallyeclectic.com/2014/01/cinnamon-hazelnut-coffee-soap.html">Rustic Cinnamon Hazelnut Coffee Soap</a>. You mix together the soap bases to start and then fold in the cinnamon, hazelnut, and coffee grounds to give the whole thing texture.</p> <h2>17. Foot Scrub</h2> <p>Wow. <a href="http://soletshangout.com/diy-sugar-cookie-foot-scrub-a-valentine-to-yourself/">Sugar Cookie Foot Scrub</a> sounds so good, I could eat it. The ingredients all come from the kitchen (brown sugar, white sugar, olive oil, and vanilla extract), so I actually could swallow it with no repercussions.</p> <h2>18. Bath Paint</h2> <p>Here's a great gift for those kids on your list: <a href="http://www.meetthedubiens.com/2010/11/bubble-bath-paint.html">Bath Paint</a>! Just mix together bubble bath, cornstarch, and food coloring.</p> <h2>19. Bath Crayons</h2> <p>Or you could make them these <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-bath-crayons/">Bath Crayons</a> using a bar of white soap, powdered colors, and ice cube molds. Melt, mix, and set.</p> <h2>20. Bubble Gum Bath</h2> <p>Kids need bubbles, too. This <a href="http://www.smartschoolhouse.com/diy-crafts/bubble-gum-bubble-bath/2">Bubble Gum Bath</a> is made from unscented castile soap, vegetable glycerine, and some scented oil. Far fewer ingredients than in the brands you'll find at the store.</p> <h2>21. Lotion Bars</h2> <p>You won't see parabens, chemicals, or formaldehyde in these <a href="http://adelightfulhome.com/how-to-make-chocolate-peppermint-lotion-bars/">Chocolate Peppermint Lotion Bars</a>! The cocoa butter gives this blend a richness that's perfect for the winter months.</p> <h2>22. Lotion Cubes</h2> <p>I store my <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY Lotion Cubes</a> in the fridge to keep them fresh. The mix of shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax melts on contact with your skin.</p> <h2>23. Slow Cooker Bar</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.missinformationblog.com/crockpot-lotion-bars/">Slow Cooker Lotion Bar</a> recipe uses the same ingredients as the rest, but can be made conveniently in your crock pot.</p> <h2>24. Tea Lotion</h2> <p>Your beverage-loving friends will enjoy this <a href="http://www.freshpickedbeauty.com/2012/12/wild-chamomile-body-cream.html">Wild Chamomile Lotion</a> made with loose leaf tea. Melt together the herbs and oils in a double boiler until combined. Then strain before beating into a smooth lotion.</p> <h2>25. Healing Salve</h2> <p>Give some TLC to super dry skin with this herb-infused <a href="http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/01/how-to-make-a-healing-salve/">Healing Salve</a>. The instructions yield quite a few jars of the stuff, and I think recycled baby food jars would make perfect, low-cost packaging.</p> <h2>26. Basic Lip Balm</h2> <p>This <a href="http://threadedtogether.com/2013/12/02/small-batch-homemade-lip-balm/">DIY Lip Balm</a> takes only three ingredients to make: Coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils.</p> <h2>27. Kool-Aid Balm</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yF6yXnmXXSc"></iframe></p> <p>Essential oils will not give your balm any taste. So, if you want a delicious blend like this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF6yXnmXXSc">Easy Flavored Lip Balm</a>, you can use drink mixes (like Crystal Light or Kool-Aid).</p> <h2>28. Natural Flavor Balm</h2> <p>For a more natural experience, <a href="http://www.brambleberry.com/Webpage.aspx?WebpageId=69&amp;CategoryId=148">choose flavored oils</a> over essential oils in the basic balm recipe.</p> <h2>29. Tinted Lip Balm</h2> <p>Or add some <a href="http://www.littlehomesteaders.com/2013/08/homemade-tinted-lip-balm/">beet root powder</a> to make a tinted balm for more special occasions.</p> <h2>30. Deodorant</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/5-minute-homemade-deodorant-review.html">5-Minute Homemade Deodorant</a> will change your life. It's made with baking soda, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, and essential oils. If you need a stronger stench-fighter, choose clove or lavender, which have high antimicrobial properties.</p> <h2>31. Edible Mud Mask</h2> <p>Well, not real mud. This <a href="http://www.essentiallyeclectic.com/2013/04/diy-edible-mud-mask.html">Edible Mud Mask</a> would make an awesome snack if you don't use the whole thing on your face. It's made with banana, Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, buttermilk, lemon juice, and honey.</p> <h2>32. Shampoo</h2> <p>I love coconut milk, so I think I'd also love this <a href="http://www.goddesslife.com/homemade-coconut-shampoo-recipe">Coconut Milk Shampoo</a>. Combine the nourishing liquid with castile soap and vitamin E, then lather, rinse, and repeat.</p> <h2>33. Conditioner Bar</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/ingredients/how-to-make-your-own-diy-conditioner-bar/">spill-proof conditioner bars</a> are perfect for travel or giving as gifts. You'll need some special ingredients, like incroquat, but you can find most easily online at a low price. Rub the bar on your hair to condition and rinse.</p> <h2>34. Deep Conditioner</h2> <p>You likely have the ingredients you'll need for this <a href="http://sortofhomemade.com/homemade-deep-conditioning-treatment/">Deep Conditioner</a> in your kitchen. Mix banana, yogurt, avocado, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar together for a treat your hair won't soon forget.</p> <h2>35. Strength Conditioner</h2> <p>This protein-packed <a href="http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2013/10/natural-protein-conditioner.html#_">conditioning treatment</a> is made with egg, olive oil, and some of your normal daily conditioner. It helps promote healthy hair shafts and good growth.</p> <h2>36. Shine Spray</h2> <p>Cool! <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2014/07/diy-shine-spray-leave-conditioner-recipe-dry-damaged-hair.html">DIY Shine Spray</a> is made with Argan oil and agave nectar. Spritz on hair, especially parched and damaged ends, to moisturize. I love how the blogger made her own labels for the containers.</p> <h2>37. Hair Dye</h2> <p>File this one under interesting! You can use coffee to <a href="http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2013/09/natural-coffee-hair-dye.html">dye your hair</a>. If you already use a natural dye, like henna, you can use coffee to enhance the resulting color. It's all-natural, so why not give it a try?</p> <h2>38. Sugar Scrub</h2> <p>I like my scrubs to be invigorating, and that's exactly what this <a href="http://www.classyclutter.net/2014/02/lemon-lime-sugar-scrub.html">Lemon-Lime Scrub</a> is about. The sugar granules exfoliate dry flakes to reveal softer, smoother skin in their place.</p> <h2>39. Salt Scrub</h2> <p>This copycat recipe is for my favorite scrub on the market: Lush's <a href="http://www.pantryspa.com/beauty-remedies/face-remedies/diy-lush-ocean-salt-scrub-homemade-recipe-lush-copycat/">Ocean Salt Scrub</a>. It feels/tastes sort of like a margarita on your face with the lime juice, salt, and vodka. Yum.</p> <h2>40. Shower Jelly</h2> <p>Another Lush-inspired DIY, this <a href="http://www.rookiemag.com/2013/07/diy-shower-jellies/">Shower Jelly</a> is so much fun to give and get. You mix soap with gelatin (or agar-agar) and food coloring. Set in your fridge overnight until firm.</p> <h2>41. Scrub Bars</h2> <p>Or take this idea to solid form with these <a href="http://www.adventuresincoupons.com/diy-sugar-scrub-bars">Sugar Scrub Bars</a>. Mix together shredded soap, sugar, coconut oil, essential oils, and even a little food coloring for pizazz before pouring into molds.</p> <h2>42. Chest Rub</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">Natural Vapor Rub</a> &mdash; made by mixing together olive oil, beeswax, and essentials oils &mdash; has worked wonders for my family. It's very similar to Vicks, and I've been able to make different strengths for my daughter as well as for myself and my husband.</p> <h2>43. Wash and Toner</h2> <p>Here's a wonderful spa set &mdash; <a href="http://www.cleanmama.net/2014/01/diy-oil-cleansing-method-skin-toner.html">DIY Face Wash and Toner</a> for oily skin. Once you stir together your concoction, store in a travel container that you can find at most drug or box stores.</p> <h2>44. Face Wipes</h2> <p>Use some microfiber clothes for gentle cleansing <a href="http://happymoneysaver.com/gentle-cleansing-facial-wipes/#_a5y_p=1489439">Face Wipes</a>. You'll soak and store them in a solution of water, coconut oil, and essential oils. To wash, pop them in a pillowcase so you don't lose any in the shuffle.</p> <h2>45. Face Mist</h2> <p>Do you have sensitive skin? This <a href="http://thechicsite.com/2014/04/18/face-mist-for-sensitive-skin/">Face Mist</a> is for you! Combine chamomile tea, essential oil, vegetable glycerine, and water in a spritz bottle. You can make your own label for gift giving, too!</p> <h2>46. Soap-Free Cleanser</h2> <p>Here's yet another Lush copycat recipe. This time it's for <a href="http://lovelygreens-shop.com/copycat-recipe-for-lush-angels-on-bare-skin/">Angels on Bare Skin</a>, a popular soap-free cleanser. The power comes from Kaolin clay, which you can purchase easily on sites like Amazon.</p> <h2>47. Sore Muscle Rub</h2> <p>Friends and family who struggle with aches and pains will love this <a href="http://www.organicauthority.com/health/make-your-own-essential-oil-sore-muscle-rub.html">Homemade Muscle Rub</a>. It's all natural and uses the power of eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, camphor, and rosemary to massage pains away.</p> <h2>48. Bronzing Bars</h2> <p>These <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/9368/bronzing-lotion-bars/">DIY Bronzing Bars</a> contain natural SPF to keep your glow pretty and safe year-round. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-sunblock-and-6-other-non-toxic-recipes-to-get-your-skin-sun-ready?ref=seealso">Homemade Sunblock and 6 Other Non-Toxic Skincare Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>49. Shampoo Bar</h2> <p>Have you ever tried a shampoo in soap form? Once you do, you might never go back. Try this <a href="http://frugallysustainable.com/2011/12/shampoo-bar-soap-recipe/">Tea Tree Shampoo Bar</a> as an entry into the new way of looking at your hair care. Note: You'll need lye for this recipe, which you can purchase at chemical stores and online. By the time you're done with your soap, none of the chemical should remain due to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponification">saponification</a>.</p> <h2>50. Nail Polish</h2> <p>Yup. You can mix together <a href="http://saynotsweetanne.com/2014/quality-diy-nail-polish/#_a5y_p=1756649">your own nail polish</a> using bases you can buy online (or cheap top coats, etc. you can find at the drug store). To create, use glitter or even eyeshadow as pigment mixed with your base. Get creative and make a custom blend your friends will love.</p> <p><em>Will you be making any of these or other homemade gifts this year?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products" class="sharethis-link" title="50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">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/homemade-lotion-recipes">Homemade Lotion Recipes</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-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</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-fun-ways-to-wrap-the-gift-of-cash">10 Fun Ways to Wrap the Gift of Cash</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/15-great-diy-gifts-for-geeks">15 Great DIY Gifts for Geeks</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/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Health and Beauty bath body gifts Homemade lotion soap Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1267186 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plumber-bathroom-84469073-small.jpg" alt="plumber" title="plumber" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently came out of a gut bathroom renovation on a major budget. I'm talking replacing everything from the studs in the walls to the tile in the shower. Keeping the renovation affordable was a challenge, but I'm so happy to be showering in my dream bathroom now! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Awesome for Under $100</a>)</p> <p>Even if you're not renovating the entire room, there are ways to perk up the look of your bathroom on a shoestring. Check out these tips on making your bathroom look awesome for under $100.</p> <h2>Go Bold on the Walls</h2> <p>A bathroom is such a small space that you can experiment with bold color and pattern without too much risk. So choose a vibrant color, a fun stencil or wallpaper, and let your imagination run wild!</p> <p>If you're a renter, you can do a lot with removable wallpaper or peel-and-stick wall decals, which can be a great affordable and temporary solution in a small area.</p> <h2>Hang Some Art</h2> <p>The bathroom is so often neglected when it comes to wall decor. Hang a large scale photo or picture to bring in some life and color to the room, and to make the bathroom a nicer place to hang out. Just avoid hanging original art or an expensive print, as the humidity can eventually damage the piece.</p> <h2>Raise the Bar</h2> <p>The shower bar, that is. Buying an extra long shower curtain and moving the shower curtain rod up several inches can give the illusion of higher ceilings and more space. Also, if the shower tile isn't your favorite, moving the shower curtain up higher can help to hide it. If you don't want to buy a new shower curtain, sewing a coordinating band of fabric to the bottom of your standard shower curtain will make it longer (and more unique).</p> <h2>Create Storage</h2> <p>Having a place for everything makes your bathroom more functional and more attractive. If your bathroom lacks hidden storage, considering adding your own. A few suggestions include:</p> <h3>1. Add a Shallow Cabinet or Shelves Over the Toilet</h3> <p>This &quot;dead space&quot; can be put to use with a few inexpensive shelves from the hardware store or even a wall-mounted cabinet.</p> <h3>2. Bring in a Bookcase, Cabinet, or Small Dresser</h3> <p>While you might not initially think to bring a piece of furniture into the bathroom, doing so can both increase functionality and make the bathroom look less utilitarian.</p> <h3>3. Optimize Storage With Cabinet Organizers</h3> <p>Buying an under-sink storage system can make the best use of your vanity storage space, reducing clutter in other areas of the bathroom.</p> <h3>4. Corral Clutter in Trays and Baskets</h3> <p>If you must have toiletries on the countertop, keep them contained using a tray or basket, thereby keeping the rest of the counter tidy. Using a wall-mounted rail storage system, like the IKEA Fintorp line, can also keep clutter off the counter.</p> <h2>Add Textiles</h2> <p>Investing in a set of coordinated textiles can make your bathroom look much more pulled together. If your towels are mismatched and getting a little ratty, consider buying a new set that coordinates or complements the colors in a statement shower curtain. Add a fluffy coordinated bath rug.</p> <p>I also really like the <a href="http://www.westelm.com/products/hamam-stripe-hand-towel-b606/">Turkish-inspired hand towels</a> that have become very trendy. They allow you to bring in some graphic stripes and color without screaming overly &quot;bathroom.&quot;</p> <h2>Replace Fixtures</h2> <p>Replace an old dated faucet with something more modern, or a garish light with a more elegant light fixture. Small updated details can add up to a big impact.</p> <h2>Add Accessories</h2> <p>One way to diminish the utilitarian feeling of the bathroom is to bring in accessories. Just be careful to limit them to avoid clutter. A plant, a pretty vase, a stool or chair, and other decorative accessories can bring in color and make your bathroom look more luxurious.</p> <h2>Tile-It-Yourself</h2> <p>If you're willing to do a little grunt work, tiling can be remarkably inexpensive. For under $100, you can get a bag of mortar, grout, and enough porcelain tile to refinish the floor, shower, or add an attractive backsplash. Your local hardware store probably carries easy-to-lay 12&quot; x 12&quot; or 12&quot; x 24&quot; porcelain tile at less than $1 or $2 a square foot, making a small bathroom floor doable for under $100. Rip up that old vinyl floor and put in a durable and updated tile floor to upgrade the look and value of your bathroom. Tutorials on how to tile abound on the Internet and are totally free!</p> <h2>Frame Out Your Mirror</h2> <p>If you have a large sheet mirror in your bathroom, you can make it look a lot more custom by framing it out with molding. This can be a super cheap DIY (this great <a href="http://thriftydecorating-nikkiw.blogspot.com/2011/10/frame-your-bathroom-mirror.html">mirror frame</a> cost under $30, and this <a href="http://www.amomstake.com/2013/11/how-to-frame-a-mirror-bathroom/">larger mirror</a> under $40), especially if you use salvaged molding!</p> <h2>Add Architectural Wall Features</h2> <p>Adding a wall feature such as board and batten or a beadboard half-wall can take your bathroom from builder-basic to custom. Here's a tutorial to do your own <a href="http://theturquoisehome.com/2013/04/how-to-install-board-and-batten/">board and batten</a> &mdash; it can be very affordable especially if you use MDF boards. Buying wood beadboard can be a bit more expensive; luckily beadboard wallpaper is very affordable (and here's a great step-by-step <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2012/01/installing-beadboard-wallpaper/">beadboard wallpaper tutorial</a>) and looks just like the real thing. Top it off with a chair rail or molding.</p> <h2>Paint the Vanity</h2> <p>A dated builder-grade wood vanity can look much more updated and chic with <a href="http://www.twodelighted.com/2012/02/20/my-painted-bathroom-vanity-before-and-after/#.VFUV7jTF8rI">new paint and hardware</a> (I don't recommend painting the vanity if it is laminate). Consider painting it a sophisticated shade such as gray, charcoal, or black, or opt for a fun pop of color. Remember to clean the vanity thoroughly, sand lightly, and apply a good primer before painting. I'd suggest an alkyd paint (such as the <a href="http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-your-home/paint-products/advance-waterborne-interior-alkyd-paint#piSheen=793&amp;advs=0&amp;tab=2">Benjamin Moore Advance</a> Line) for a hard and durable finish. A quart of paint and primer won't set you back much, and the results can be amazing.</p> <p>If you want to keep the wood grain, a gel stain can be another way to update the finish on a wood vanity without having to sand down the entire thing.</p> <p>Finally, choosing some chic hardware to dress up your newly painted vanity puts the finishing touch on your project.</p> <h2>Shop for Salvage</h2> <p>If you have a <a href="http://www.habitat.org/restores">Habitat for Humanity Restore</a> in your neighborhood and haven't paid it a visit yet, make it your next priority. This is the best place to find gently used furniture, cabinets, fixtures, and hardware at bargain prices. For instance, I got the gorgeous floor model light fixture in our bathroom for $40 at the Restore, something that would have cost over $100 new.</p> <p>On recent visits to the Restore I've seen a pedestal sink, remnant slabs of granite, boxes of tile, mis-tinted paint, faucets and shower fixtures,and a variety of light fixtures, each for under $100. It can be hit-or-miss depending on what you're looking for, but every once in a while you can strike gold.</p> <p>If you don't have a Restore near you look for architectural salvage stores, junk stores, and thrift stores, as well as good old Craigslist. I bought a new granite vanity countertop off Craigslist for $90 &mdash; someone who was renovating decided not to use it and wanted to get rid of it, and it happened to fit the dimensions of my vanity perfectly.</p> <p><em>Being creative on a budget can greatly improve the look of your home. What's your favorite way to stretch your decorating dollars when it comes to the bathroom?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100">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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">10 Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves</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/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></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/home-improvements-that-pay-off">Home Improvements That Pay Off</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/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Home Real Estate and Housing bathroom bathroom redo cheap design renovation Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1260451 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Your Kids Room Look Awesome for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-kids-room-look-awesome-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-your-kids-room-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child-bedroom-99772061-small.jpg" alt="child bedroom" title="child bedroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to kids, fancy doesn't necessarily equate to fun. Sure, most youngsters would love to have <a href="http://www.rakuten.com/prod/hansa-great-dragon-ride-on-stuffed-animal-45-tall/249615793.html?listingId=284214186&amp;sclid=pla_google_EndeavourToys&amp;adid=29963&amp;gclid=CjwKEAiAj-KiBRC48YzhnLSg0D0SJAClOhK3oi08D0-fhUHtqYcwZax_VGidi2ziAzUWTxUJMPteYxoC3ozw_wcB">a rideable dragon to explore far-away lands</a>. But they're also just as easily entertained by a really good coloring book. So if you want to design an amazing bedroom for your child &mdash; one that reflects serenity, fun, and imagination &mdash; you're going to need a stock of creativity more than cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Great for Under $100</a>)</p> <p>There are tons of fantastical little improvements you can integrate into a kids room that require very little money &mdash; so long as you're willing to get down and dirty with a paint brush and maybe a spot of hot glue. Read on for our roundup of some of the best budget room design enhancements that are sure to amaze your little one for years to come.</p> <h2>1. Make a Pool Noodle Headboard</h2> <p>What's cheap, colorful, and protects your child's noggin? Why, <a href="http://www.m-magazine.com/posts/diy-pool-noodle-headboard-15337">a headboard made of pool noodles</a>, of course. Simply trace the shape of your desired headboard onto a sheet of wrapping or contact paper, cut the noodles with a kitchen knife to achieve the appropriate height, and hot glue the noodles onto the paper. Then use picture hanging tape to affix your new headboard to the old one &mdash; or straight onto the wall behind the bed. Voila! This project requires about 30 minutes and $15 dollars, depending on the brand of pool noodle you choose to buy. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-use-pool-noodles"> 20 Ways to Use Pool Noodles</a>)</p> <h2>2. Apply Giant Animal Stickers on the Walls</h2> <p>Adding larger-than-life accents to your child's bedroom walls is one of the easiest ways to breathe life onto a blank canvas. All you need is a roll of removable wallpaper (<a href="http://www.spoonflower.com/shop?shop=wallpaper">these gorgeous prints by Spoonflower cost about $7.50 per foot</a>) and stencils (<a href="http://www.thislittlestreet.com/blog/2014/04/24/diy-giant-animal-wall-stickers-with-free-printable/">lifestyle blogger Audrey Smit has flamingo and unicorn stencils available</a>) &mdash; plus a little patience while you trace and cut out your designs. This project requires about 30 minutes and $22.50, depending on how many and how large you want your wall animals to be.</p> <h2>3. Encourage Your Tyke to Channel His or Her Inner Monkey</h2> <p>Bringing you child's favorite part of the jungle gym right into their own little sacred space is a great way to promote fun and fitness. One relatively low-cost option is the climbing cargo net, a ladder made of rope and wooden dowels that promotes coordination, balance, and strength. All you need is the net &mdash; we recommend <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A9UOQQU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A9UOQQU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=V2XRZENEFTUF7FYV">the triple-wide climbing ladder by HearthSong</a> ($49.98) &mdash; and the know-how to affix it firmly to the ceiling. Then take a step back and watch your little monkey get to climbing!</p> <h2>4. Coat the Walls With Chalkboard Paint</h2> <p>Coloring books and poster board are cool, but for kids it's always more fun to draw on forbidden surfaces. So why not transform those boring white bedroom walls into a blank canvas? Simply brush <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DCTH2G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001DCTH2G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OHRXP4JRK2DS3IZT">a thick coat of chalkboard paint</a> ($6.99) onto the wall and let the creating begin! This project won't cost you more than the price of a can of paint and a couple pieces of chalk, assuming you already have a paint brush at the ready.</p> <h2>5. Accent the Walls With 3D Art</h2> <p>Another low-cost way to dress up the bedroom walls is with a DIY flock of origami birds or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KUN6SYE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00KUN6SYE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZFLBNRG3LR33XNND">a cluster of decorative butterflies</a> ($3.99). These wall accents add texture to an otherwise flat surface, not to mention they are one of the trendiest features right now in kid bedroom design. Simply buy or create your desired 3D objects and secure them to the wall with double-sided tape. No matter which route you choose, this project will cost you no more than a few bucks.</p> <p><em>Have you gussied up your kid's room for cheap? What'd you do? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-kids-room-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Make Your Kids Room Look Awesome for Under $100" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-kids-room-look-awesome-for-under-100">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/off-the-wall-21-clever-uses-for-leftover-wallpaper">Off the Wall: 21 Clever Uses for Leftover Wallpaper</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/stretch-out-a-small-space">Stretch Out a Small Space</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY cheap decor interior design kids room Mon, 24 Nov 2014 19:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1258601 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-painting-canvas-85451640-small.jpg" alt="painter" title="painter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find lots of DIY home projects online that look absolutely amazing, but when you get to the instructions, well, your jaw drops at the difficulty? Me too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5?ref=seealso">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a>)</p> <p>The good news is that there are plenty of straightforward projects out there that can make your home look fantastic (and give you the satisfaction of doing it yourself). Here are some of my favorites for every area of your home.</p> <h2>1. Painted Tablecloth</h2> <p>This <a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2013/05/polka-dot-tablecloth-diy/">Polka Dot Tablecloth</a> is so simple, a kid could make it. Cut out a dot shape using a potato, dip it in some textile paint, and stamp. Of course, if you have other ideas for designs, just use a brush or stamp and the same textile paint.</p> <h2>2. Painted Furniture</h2> <p>If you have an index finger, you can spray paint a variety of furniture pieces. I've given a bright coat to chairs, side tables, and even a dresser for design on a dime. There are definitely some <a href="http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/952805/how-to-spray-paint-furniture-for-a-professional-look">best practices</a> here, including cleaning and lightly sanding, spraying outdoors in a well ventilated area, priming and painting with thin coats, and sealing with a clear finisher if your piece will be heavily used.</p> <h2>3. Fun Tile</h2> <p>Refresh that outdated backsplash by <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2014/10/how-to-paint-a-tile-backsplash.html">painting over it</a>! You'll need a shellac-based primer, acrylic house paint, and a polyurethane top coat. I took this project a step farther by using metallic craft paint to create an artistic <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/10/the-hand-painted-backsplash.html">mixed-tile look</a> in my kitchen.</p> <h2>4. Stone Tub</h2> <p>That old bathtub can get a <a href="http://lovelycraftyhome.com/2013/01/28/update-your-boring-builder-bathtub-with-airstone/">spa-worthy makeover</a> using AirStone &mdash; a lightweight veneer you can buy at Lowes &mdash; and adhesive. You'll want to clean your tub well before beginning for optimum sticking power. From there, just apply the adhesive to the stone and stick. You can cut different sizes using a hacksaw.</p> <h2>5. Serene Fireplace</h2> <p>I've given <a href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/fireplace/styles/how-to-paint-a-brick-fireplace/">new life to an old fireplace</a> in three homes now. Old red brick doesn't go with all decors, so paint those suckers by using a regular paintbrush and a foam brush (will help get in all the crevices) and good quality flat, semi-gloss, or gloss latex, depending on your tastes. Note: I've skipped the priming the last two times, and my results have been just as stellar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects?ref=seealso">Boost Your Home's Value With These 5 Projects</a>)</p> <h2>6. Basket Pendant</h2> <p>Updating an old light fixture doesn't have to be expensive. I love this <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2012/08/total-basketcase/">Basket Pendant Light</a> idea &mdash; which features a cool $10 thrift store basket and cheap pendant light. Just remove the pendant's original cover, snake it through the basket, hang, and you're done (similar fixtures cost over $300!).</p> <h2>7. Haute Headboard</h2> <p>Head to your local lumber supply or box hardware store and get a large piece of plywood cut to size for this <a href="http://design-aholic.blogspot.com/2009/09/afternoon-headboard.html">DIY Headboard</a>. Once you have your board cut, cover it with batting and fabric, then embellish with nailhead trim. The cost was just $67 for a queen bed, and the time required was only an afternoon.</p> <h2>8. Towel Hooks</h2> <p>Tame all those bathroom towels with this <a href="http://myfabulesslife.com/diytowelrack/">beautiful rack</a> that assembles in only minutes. Cut (or have someone cut) your desired length from a 1x10 board, then sand it lightly and stain. Once it dries, mark where your hooks will go, hang, and then screw in your hooks. Bonus: The entire cost is less than $15 from start to finish.</p> <h2>9. Terrific Throw</h2> <p>Even if you've never once touched a sewing machine, you can still make a throw blanket for your couch to ward off chills. The classic is a warm <a href="http://lifeovereasy.com/diy-no-sew-fleece-throw-dorm/">fleece blanket</a>, where you take two pieces of fleece fabric, cut all along the edges, and then tie off to bind. If you live in a warmer climate, it's the same process for <a href="http://makelyhome.com/no-sew-color-block-summer-throw-blanket/">this throw</a>, just using jersey knit fabric.</p> <h2>10. Abstract Art</h2> <p>I recently went out looking for some art to cozy up our family room, and I was shocked at the price tags. This <a href="http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2014/02/diy-abstract-canvas-art.html">DIY Abstract Art</a> project looks a ton like a lot of the options I was considering, but at a fraction of the price. You'll need a large canvas, acrylic paints, a couple brushes, and about an hour of creative time.</p> <h2>11. Quote Pillow</h2> <p>Pillows with sayings scrawled on them are all the rage these days (that sounds like something my grandmother would say!). Fittingly, they can be quite expensive at the store. Make your own using this <a href="http://www.momtastic.com/diy/445213-diy-quote-pillows/">easy tutorial</a>, a linen pillowcase, stencils, and fabric marker. I'd paint words on both sides and flip to change things up every now and again.</p> <h2>12. Custom Chalkboard</h2> <p>Turn trash into treasure by taking an old picture frame and painting the glass on the inside with a couple coats of chalkboard paint. You can paint the frame with colorful spray paint, too! It's the easiest way to get a chalkboard in your house without painting the walls black. (See also: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Paper-Bag-Fall-Wreath-31822923?ref=seealso">15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects</a>)</p> <h2>13. No Sew Curtains</h2> <p>I made these <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/03/nursery-curtains-tutorial.html">No Sew Curtains</a> for my daughter's nursery a couple of years ago. The hardest part was picking out the fabric design I wanted. Iron your yards until they are smooth, then cut to your desired size. Instead of sewing, use hemming tape to create clean edges. You hang using curtain clip rings. Done!</p> <h2>14. Table Runner</h2> <p>The same idea applies with this <a href="http://www.homeyohmy.com/diy-no-sew-table-runner/">No-Sew Table Runner</a>, just on a smaller scale. You could make one for every month of the year or the change of seasons. Pick out your fabric, cut it to fit your dining table, hem using the iron-on tape, and enjoy.</p> <h2>15. Copycat Shelves</h2> <p>Skip the Restoration Hardware order and make your own <a href="http://7thhouseontheleft.com/2014/01/diy-restoration-hardware-inspired-shelving">Industrial Shelves</a>. As with many other projects on this list, you can get your 2x10 board cut down to the size you want (in this case, the author chose 30 inches for three shelves total) at the store for little or no charge. After staining them, hang with spray painted pipes and floor flanges.</p> <h2>16. Kitchen Cart</h2> <p>My eyes nearly popped out of my head with this <a href="http://ana-white.com/2014/07/plans/easiest-industrial-cart">DIY Kitchen Cart</a>. And here's why: You just use three boards cut to the size you want, stain them, then fasten together using metal angles, and then screw on some caster wheels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">10 Ways To Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <h2>17. Wrap Wreath</h2> <p>Liven up your front door by making a <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Paper-Bag-Fall-Wreath-31822923">Wrap Wreath</a> using a foam wreath form and some recycled paper bags. Cut strips of the paper, twist, and then wrap around your form and hot glue to secure. You can make a more colorful wreath by using thick yarn instead of paper. Embellish however your mood strikes you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-useful-items-you-should-never-throw-out?ref=seealso">10 Useful Items You Should Never Throw Out</a>)</p> <h2>18. Hand-Painted Rug</h2> <p>Upcycle an boring old rug into an amazing <a href="http://upcycledtreasures.com/2014/08/diy-painted-rug-inspired-west-elm/">West Elm Copycat</a>. You'll want to create a stencil of sorts using whatever design you think will match your home's decor. From there, draw the outlines using a Sharpie marker and paint over it using acrylic or latex. You can seal the rug using fabric protector to finish.</p> <p><em>Have you made any fab, easy DIY projects lately? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think" class="sharethis-link" title="18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">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/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/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</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/9-amazing-diy-lamps-you-want-in-your-house">9 Amazing DIY Lamps You Want in Your House</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/18-cheap-and-attractive-ideas-for-bookshelves">18 Cheap and Attractive Ideas for Bookshelves</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-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Home crafts design DIY easy decor home decor Tue, 18 Nov 2014 22:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1255031 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chalkboard-picture-frame-512939223-small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you haven't been watching home decor trends over the past few years, you might have missed the chalkboard paint phenomenon. Good news, though: It's still going strong. And when I started brushing this useful and stylish coating onto my walls and other projects, it was mostly available in standard black. Now the options are many &mdash; you can even <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/02/how-to-mix-chalkboard-paint-in-any-color.html">make your own</a> unique blend using &frac12; cup acrylic paint (in any color) and a tablespoon of sanded grout. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-used-corks-including-making-money-with-them?ref=seealso">25 Things to Do With Used Corks</a>)</p> <p>How will you use your batch? I'm here to help! The following projects make creative use of this ubiquitous medium. With each, you'll want to <a href="http://salvagedinspirations.com/how-to-season-a-new-chalkboard/">season</a> before using, which means shading a thin layer of chalk over the whole, erasing, and then drawing and doodling to your heart's content.</p> <h2>1. Calendar</h2> <p>Use an old window to make this cute weekly <a href="http://www.housebyhoff.com/2013/09/old-window-chalkboard-calendar-its-30/">Chalkboard Calendar</a>. You'll want to choose a window that has more than seven panes in all. Then paint each pane and let dry before writing. You can even add hooks for hanging coats and bags if you like.</p> <h2>2. Magnetic Board</h2> <p>I love this freestanding <a href="http://deniseonawhim.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-chalkboard-with-magnetic-personality.html?m=0">Magnetic Chalkboard</a> upcycled from an old mirror. The author used sheet metal cutouts to achieve the magnetic feature, but you can also try a can of magnetic primer applied directly onto the mirror (under the chalkboard paint) for a much easier solution.</p> <h2>3. Framed Chalkboard</h2> <p>Rather than cover your entire wall using chalkboard paint, try sectioning off single area for this <a href="http://www.meadowlakeroad.com/how-tos/large-diy-framed-chalkboard/">Framed Chalkboard</a> effect. After cutting pine boards with a compound miter saw, this family screwed and glued together their frame before staining. You can either paint the actual wall and mount the frame over top of it or, alternatively, paint a piece of plywood that fits inside the frame.</p> <h2>4. Another Framed Board</h2> <p>Better yet, skip all the construction and use an old wall mirror or picture frame as your project base. This particular <a href="http://www.youaretalkingtoomuch.com/2012/08/chalkboard-paint-vs-spray-chalkboard-paint/">tutorial</a> is helpful with deciding between using standard brush-on chalkboard paint versus the newer spray-on kind. Whatever you end up choosing, you'll prime and paint the mirror or glass and then let dry.</p> <h2>5. Party Favors</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.maisondepax.com/2014/05/diy-monogram-chalk-slate.html">Monogram Party Favors</a> are fun for kids and adults alike, and they only cost two dollars a pop. Just find large wooden letters at your local craft shop. Then sand and prime them before smoothing on a couple coats of chalkboard paint.</p> <h2>6. Play Table</h2> <p>As a mom, I find this <a href="http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.ca/2011/10/organizing-legos-part-2-creating-table.html">DIY Chalkboard Play Table</a> absolutely genius. You can use an old table you already own or pick one up on the cheap at your local thrift shop. From there, paint the legs whatever color speaks to your playful side. The trick is slathering several coats of chalkboard paint onto the top and letting your child's imagination go wild.</p> <h2>7. Garden Markers</h2> <p>Those of you with green thumbs will enjoy this <a href="http://www.handmadeintheheartland.com/2013/06/easy-garden-markers.html">Chalkboard Garden Marker</a> project. Paint stir sticks are the star of the show (and cheap to boot). Coat them with chalkboard paint and let dry. The author uses a chalk marker versus standard chalk for more precise labeling.</p> <h2>8. Kitchen Jars</h2> <p>Organize your pantry using these <a href="http://pumpsandiron.com/2012/11/07/diy-chalkboard-paint-glass-jars/">Labeled Glass Jars</a> using &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; chalkboard paint. Clean your container thoroughly before taping off the section you want to paint. Slap on a few coats and let dry before labeling.</p> <h2>9. Serving Platter</h2> <p>Whether you're hosting a fancy wine and cheese soiree or an informal potluck, this <a href="http://www.soyouthinkyourecrafty.com/chalkboard-serving-tray-tutorial/">Chalkboard Serving Tray</a> will come in handy. The author made it by painting an old cabinet door. You could also use an existing platter or even large plate.</p> <h2>10. Refrigerator</h2> <p>I know. This idea sounds crazy. Would you believe I <a href="http://asouthernfairytale.com/2014/09/16/chalkboard-paint-refrigerator/">painted my refrigerator</a> using chalkboard paint? Our range and dishwasher are both black and the fridge was an off white, so rather than buying a matching appliance, I thought I'd give painting a try. So far, it's holding up well. Advice? Make sure you prime first.</p> <h2>11. Pantry Organizer</h2> <p>I painted the inside of our pantry door with chalkboard paint as well, creating a <a href="http://decorandthedog.net/decorandthedog/2012/03/organization-baby-steps.html">DIY Command Center</a> to stay organized. It eliminates searching for scrap paper to make grocery lists, that's for sure. Plus, I like how it looks.</p> <h2>12. Clipboard</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.andersonandgrant.com/2013/07/kitchen-chalkboard-made-from-clipboard.html">Chalkboard Clipboard</a> looks easy to make and quite functional. I'd love to paint several and arrange on a wall in my office for mega-organization. You could pretty much use one of these guys in any room of the house, and I think they'd make fabulous frugal gifts.</p> <h2>13. Staircase</h2> <p>The <a href="http://houstonlifestyles.com/country-flair-in-bellaire/">Chalkboard Staircase</a> in this home is quite unexpected, yet it adds some interesting flair and personality to an otherwise boring space. The family uses the area to write positive affirmations that foster confidence and strength in their kids. I like the whole concept.</p> <h2>14. Banner</h2> <p>There are many reasons to celebrate with this all-occasion <a href="http://snapcreativity.com/easy-diy-chalkboard-banner/">Chalkboard Banner</a>. Just pick up some wooden shapes at a craft store, paint them, string on some twine, and write your message. Festive decor: Done!</p> <h2>15. Gift Tags</h2> <p>This tutorial is actually for <a href="http://www.gingersnapcrafts.com/2012/12/chalkboard-ornaments-tutorial.html">Chalkboard Ornaments</a>, but I think the finished product could double as amazing gift tags for any holiday. Much like with the banner above, you'll want some wooden cutouts in different shapes to paint. Let dry and tie to gifts with ribbon.</p> <p><em>Have you chalkboarded anything in your home? Leave us a note in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects">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/make-a-crafty-airbrush-out-of-old-junk">Make a crafty airbrush out of old junk</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/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</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/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</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/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Organization chalkboard crafts organization paint Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1250693 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Clever IKEA Furniture Hacks http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-clever-ikea-furniture-hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-clever-ikea-furniture-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-assembling-furniture-459521915-small.jpg" alt="man assembling furniture" title="man assembling furniture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on IKEA furniture hacks, apps that are changing how we spend money, and products to buy before Black Friday.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.supermoney.com/2014/10/ikea-furniture-hack/">10 Clever IKEA Furniture Hacks That&rsquo;ll Turn Boring to Amazing Instantly!</a> &mdash; Turn a Lack shelf sideways, then add padding and legs and voila! You have a new dining bench. [Super Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dailyworth.com/posts/3057-5-apps-changing-the-way-we-spend-money">5 Apps Changing the Way We Spend Money</a> &mdash; Venmo allows you to transfer money instantly, with just a tap on your phone. [DailyWorth]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Buy-Before-Black-Friday-35833873">6 Products to Buy Before Black Friday</a> &mdash; Many denim brands offer huge sales during Fall, including Lucky Brand and Seven For All Mankind. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2014/10/7-tasks-to-complete-before-you-head-out-for-your-weekend">7 Tasks to Complete Before You Head Out for Your Weekend</a> &mdash; Before you leave work, look at next week's calendar to see what appointments you have and to resolve any scheduling conflicts. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.credit.com/2014/10/3-terrifying-credit-spooks-99968/">3 Spooks That Can Haunt Your Credit</a> &mdash; Watch out for zombie debts that are no longer collectible&hellip;or not even yours! [Credit.com]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/9-ways-for-kids-to-make-a-difference-this-halloween">9 Ways for Kids to Make a Difference This Halloween</a> &mdash; Volunteering at a local event, such as a haunted house or Halloween Party, is a great way for parents and kids to get involved in the community and help people in need. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/blog/planning/4-common-myths-about-financial-planning102714">4 Common Myths About Financial Planning</a> &mdash; Financial planning is not a product that you can buy once and be set for the rest of your life. It's more like roadmap to help you achieve your goals. [MintLife]</p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/4-creative-ways-to-help-pay-for-moving/">4 Creative Ways to Help Pay for Moving</a> &mdash; Use produce boxes from supermarkets and old newspapers as packing material. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/5-smart-ways-make-money-without-leaving-apartment-building">5 Smart Ways to Make Money Without Leaving Your Apartment Building</a> &mdash; Offer your pet-care services when a neighbor needs help with Fido or Fluffy. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/30-ways-to-use-less-paper">30 Ways to Use Less Paper</a> &mdash; Use a white board or a Notes app on your phone for household announcements and lists. [Small Footprint Family]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-clever-ikea-furniture-hacks" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Clever IKEA Furniture Hacks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-clever-ikea-furniture-hacks">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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/make-your-dvd-player-region-free-in-seconds">Make Your DVD Player Region-Free in Seconds</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/25-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY best money tips Ikea Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1247738 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Is Your Favorite DIY Halloween Costume? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-diy-halloween-costume <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-diy-halloween-costume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/halloween-costume-girl-89793499-small.jpg" alt="halloween costume" title="halloween costume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-diy-halloween-costume#comment-757762">Beth</a>, Susan, and Candace for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Costume retailers are out in full force now, but with so many DIY costume tutorials on the web, you can save some cash by making your own. From bubble wrap jellyfish to balloon grapes, your next Halloween get-up is only a click (and maybe some duct tape) away!</p> <p><strong>What is your favorite DIY Halloween costume?</strong> Have you worn this costume before, or made it for someone else? Will you dress up this Halloween &mdash; if yes, what will you be?</p> <p>Tell us about your favorite DIY Halloween costume and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rc-79857dfa146" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa146/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script></p> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, October 27th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after October 27th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-diy-halloween-costume" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: What Is Your Favorite DIY Halloween Costume?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about your favorite DIY Halloween costume and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-diy-halloween-costume">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/85-easy-frugal-halloween-costume-ideas">85 Easy, Frugal Halloween Costume Ideas</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/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-celebrate-fathers-day">Ask the Readers: How Will You Celebrate Father&#039;s Day?</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/ask-the-readers-i-used-to-but-now-i">Ask the Readers: I used to __, but now I __ to save money.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Giveaways Ask the Readers Halloween costumes Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1238211 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/halloween-costume-children-124925068-small.jpg" alt="halloween costume" title="halloween costume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have an almost 3-year-old daughter, and she's incredibly excited to dress up for Halloween this year. The thing is, we went out shopping for costumes the other day, and I was absolutely shocked at how much these little outfits cost. I complained to my own mother who, in turn, showed me photos of some of the costumes I wore as a kid. Guess what! They were all humble and homemade. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-diy-halloween-costumes?ref=seealso">Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes</a>)</p> <p>So, get out the glue, cardboard, and pipe cleaners. Here are 20 amazing Halloween costume ideas that are both adorable on your kid and sensible for your budget.</p> <h2>1. Black Cat</h2> <p>Dress your child in black pants and a black shirt or sweater. Use construction paper to cut out two triangles to attach to a headband for ears. Use eyeliner to <a href="http://makinbacon.hubpages.com/hub/catfacepaintinghalloweenchildrendesignstipstutorials">draw a black triangle</a> on your child's nose and then whiskers on his or her cheeks. Finish off by filling a long black sock with some stuffing and pinning it on as a tail.</p> <h2>2. Robot</h2> <p>Gather up any discarded boxes you were planning to recycle and use them to assemble a <a href="http://makezine.com/craft/robot-costumes/">DIY robot costume</a>. Paint with bright or metallic craft paint however you like. Decorate with &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; plastic bottle caps, stray buttons, and other discarded items.</p> <h2>3. Snail</h2> <p>Use brown craft paper to twist and turn into a shell for this cute <a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2012/10/snail-costume/">snail costume</a>. From there, you simply make a base using a square of cardboard and hot glue ribbon onto it so your child can wear the shell as a backpack.</p> <h2>4. Runner</h2> <p>Put your kid in his or her most athletic clothes &mdash; a t-shirt and shorts should do. You can add leggings if it's cold. Then choose a pair of sneakers. If you have a sweatband &mdash; great! To finish, pin one of your race numbers onto the shirt and add a finisher's medal (or borrow those items from a runner friend).</p> <h2>5. Aerobics Instructor</h2> <p>My mom taught dance aerobics in the 1980s, so I love this <a href="http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/2010/10/rubys-halloween-costume-baby-aerobics.html">throwback costume</a> that even a baby can wear. Dress baby in a onesie with leggings underneath and a pair of leg warmers. If you don't have leg warmers, cut the feet off a pair of old socks as a temporary fix. The author of the costume made a felt boom box. If you're not into sewing, make one using a small cardboard box and craft paint.</p> <h2>6. Angel</h2> <p>You can make some amazing angel wings using <a href="http://www.thoughtsfromalice.com/2014/02/coffee-filter-angel-wings-diy.html">cardboard and coffee filters</a>. Though this tutorial was originally intended for decorative wings, they'll attach to your child's body with ribbon much like in the snail costume instructions above.</p> <h2>7. Superhero</h2> <p>Dress your child in one color as a base and then craft a quick, no-sew cape <a href="http://eastcoastmommyblog.blogspot.ca/2014/09/no-sew-superhero-cape-and-cuffs.html">using an old t-shirt</a> (or you can buy one for just $1 at the Dollar Store). Then make cuffs using toilet paper rolls and a mask using construction paper. Decorate using whatever art supplies you already own.</p> <h2>8. Crayon</h2> <p>Have your child wear his or her favorite color from head to toe. These girls decided to <a href="http://www.costume-works.com/box_of_friends.html">color their hair</a> and loft with water bottles, but you could also make a quick cap using construction paper and ribbon. Otherwise, make a label using black paper and paint that says Crayola.</p> <h2>9. Ghost</h2> <p>Your classic homemade costume. Use a sheet or large piece of white fabric as your base. Cut holes for the eyes. Or you can buy this <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2479217/Would-spend-200-ghost-costume-Designer-sleepwear-brand-offers-600-thread-count-sheet-eye-holes-Halloween.html">exact same thing</a> for $200 with 600 thread count. Your choice.</p> <h2>10. Fairy</h2> <p>Most little girls already have one of those tulle dress-up skirts. Dress her in one color leggings and a shirt and throw on the poofy skirt. Head to your Dollar Store and pick up a few fake flowers to glue onto a headband. Craft some <a href="http://www.secret-agent-josephine.com/2009/09/fairy-wings-and-toadstool-cupcakes/">DIY wings</a> using cardboard, glitter, and ribbon.</p> <h2>11. Lego Man</h2> <p>If your child loves playing with Legos, this inexpensive <a href="http://www.costume-works.com/lego_man1.html">Lego Man costume</a> will surely be a hit. Use two cardboard boxes and some disposable bowls (or Solo cups). Glue everything together and then spray paint your favorite color.</p> <h2>12. Wind-Up Doll</h2> <p>Though this <a href="http://hartandsew.blogspot.com/2009/10/doll-costume.html">Wind-Up Doll</a> idea is originally for a girl's costume, it could work equally well for a boy. Use a toilet paper roll, a styrofoam ball, and a cardboard cutout to make a wind-up handle and spray with gold paint. Use elastic and brass fasteners to attach to your child's arms.</p> <h2>13. Artist</h2> <p>Dress your child in all black, including a beret. Cut cardboard in the <a href="http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/artist-halloween-costume">shape of an artist's palette</a>, paint white, then add color splotches and a paintbrush. Then cut two small holes in the top so your kid can loop the whole thing around his or her neck.</p> <h2>14. Jellyfish</h2> <p>All you need is an umbrella, some ribbon (or streamers, etc.), and embellishments for this <a href="http://www.acasarella.net/2012/10/diy-jellyfish-costume_29.html">DIY jellyfish costume</a>. Bonus: When you're done with Halloween, your child can continue to use the umbrella on rainy days for years to come.</p> <h2>15. Care Bears</h2> <p>Get the whole family involved with this no-sew <a href="http://seevanessacraft.com/2012/10/20-crafty-days-of-halloween-no-sew-care-bear-costumes/">Care Bears costume</a>. You'll need sweatshirts or hoodies and matching pants. The rest requires felt, paint, glue, some pipe cleaners, and a little artistic ability. If you don't want to go to all that trouble, I think you could draw the designs on paper plates for a similar impact.</p> <h2>16. White Cloud</h2> <p>This <a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2012/10/fluffy-white-cloud-costume/">white cloud</a> getup would be a lot of fun to wear. After you construct your base, the bulk of the costume is made from cotton batting or polyester pillow stuffing. Use whatever you have on hand. This cloud would also be cool if you spray painted it grey or black and added a cardboard lightning bolt.</p> <h2>17. Game Boy</h2> <p>Turn your baby into a <a href="http://www.reallyawesomecostumes.com/diy-game-boy-costume/">handheld gaming system</a> with a onesie, different colored felt, and glue. This costume is seriously adorable and &mdash; as the author writes &mdash; the hardest part is waiting for it to dry.</p> <h2>18. Litterbug</h2> <p>Tampa has a Green Halloween celebration each year. In 2010, a little girl stole the show with her eco-conscious <a href="http://whatsdoingtampabay.com/2011/10/3rd-annual-green-halloween-tampa/">Litterbug getup</a>, winning first place in the costume competition. Simply have your kid wear a solid color underneath a collection of taped-on (and cleaned off!) recyclables of all shapes and sizes.</p> <h2>19. Octopus</h2> <p>I laughed out loud when I saw this <a href="http://www.janemarieblog.com/2012/10/o-is-for-octopus-last-years-diy-halloween-costume/">DIY octopus</a> costume in my search. I've come across several variations, some with matching socks and some without. If you're on a tight budget, just use what you have around the house before buying anything new.</p> <h2>20. Masked Animal</h2> <p>If you don't have a lot of time or crafting ability, try these <a href="http://prudentbaby.com/2012/10/baby-kid/diy-animal-masks-free-template/">no-sew animal masks</a>. The template is free and this project is a fun one to get kids involved with creating. For the rest of the costume, have your child wear simple clothing so the mask is the focus.</p> <p><em>Are you proud of a DIY costume you made (or wore)? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids">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/how-to-make-8-trending-halloween-costumes-on-the-cheap">How to Make 8 Trending Halloween Costumes on the Cheap</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-cheap-and-easy-halloween-costumes-for-adults">20 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults</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/the-5-most-offensive-halloween-costumes-ever">The 5 Most Offensive Halloween Costumes Ever</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/15-halloween-costumes-for-people-who-hate-dressing-up">15 Halloween Costumes for People Who Hate Dressing Up</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/last-minute-diy-halloween-costumes">Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Entertainment costumes dress up Halloween Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1237801 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make 8 Trending Halloween Costumes on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-8-trending-halloween-costumes-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-8-trending-halloween-costumes-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/minion%20costume.jpg" alt="minion costume" title="minion costume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Halloween is a booming business, and the only thing more expensive than the treats for little tricksters are the costumes. Commercial get-ups can run into the hundreds, so many people are looking to Pinterest and other sites to turn their next disguise into a DIY adventure.</p> <p>So here's how to make some of the hottest costumes this season yourself for less!</p> <h2>Striped and Wrapped</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/candy%20crush.jpg" /></p> <p>Candy Crush Saga isn't just a game. For many, it's a way of life. This sickly sweet and addicting mobile app has many adults seeing images of brightly-colored candies in their dreams each night, so bringing them to life as a Halloween costume only makes sense. Simply get a big box and paint it on the front to look like a candy grid before cutting out holes for the head, arms, and legs (or <a href="http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/candy-crush-halloween-costume-for-kids/">use a sandwich board</a> for better mobility).</p> <p>You can also chose to dress like Tiffi, that little girl that cries at the end of each level. Popsugar has your shopping list for all the <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Tiffi-Candy-Crush-Costume-31956867">cute-sie accessories</a> you'll need to pull off the look.</p> <h2>Clash of the Clans</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4wsFVqzsQKY" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>This is yet another obsession for kids (and their parents), but the silver lining is that the costumes aren't that complicated. This video tutorial for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wsFVqzsQKY">making up a child to look like the goblin</a> takes patience, but isn't very expensive. Archers seem to be a simple costume as well, assuming you have a pink wig and both a green dress and hooded cloak. If you have old gear from a Renaissance Fair, you'll likely have what you need to dress up as many of the characters in this game.</p> <h2>Lego Minifig</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/lego%20minifigs%20costume.jpg" /></p> <p>This trend never seems to die out, and once again, Pinterest is full of Lego character costumes. While everyone can get the &quot;box body&quot; pretty easily, the head is what give people trouble. <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/LEGO-Man-Costume/">This Instructables</a> shows you step-by-step how to get it done in one weekend!</p> <h2>Minion</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/minion%20costume.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>These little creatures from the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0042U94UQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0042U94UQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CRFREKZDNPRZNLAS">Despicable Me</a> franchise have been a huge success as both adult and kid costumes. Their simple features make them easy to duplicate in a DIY project. Most of the projects I've seen involve nothing more than a yellow hooded sweatshirt worn under a pair of denim overalls. Add some black rounded glasses and a toolbelt, and you have yourself a fashionable version of this cartoon trend! Or, check out this tutorial for an <a href="http://www.makeandtakes.com/last-minute-despicable-me-minion-costume">accessory Minion hat!</a></p> <h2>Monster High</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/monster%20high%20costumes.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>As much as I can't relate to this trend (I have five little boys), I do see it as any easy win for the DIY costume crowd. A private school uniform skirt and blouse altered slightly with some iron-on patches of spooky spiders or webs will go nicely with a black studded belt, black tights, and some creepy hair accessories. Don't forget to paint a few scars or stitches on the face!</p> <h2>Doctor Who</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/doctor%20who%20costume.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>This is one alien that won't cost a fortune to replicate. Since any human can get away with looking like our time-traveling friend, you simply have to pick your favorite regeneration and buy the appropriate accessories. Will it be a bowtie? A fez? Something vintage, like a scarf? While some Doctors (like the 11th) weren't as quirky looking &mdash; and you might get confused with the Fonz &mdash; you can always prove a point with your own <a href="http://www.doodlecraftblog.com/2012/08/doctor-who-week-5-sonic-screwdriver-diy.html">homemade Sonic Screwdriver</a>!</p> <h2>Mario and Luigi</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/mario%20luigi%20costume.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The NES may no longer be functional, but the legacy of the two most famous Italian plumbers lives on! Mario and Luigi costumes are still for sale at major retailers, so it's a safe bet to make at home. A pair of denim overalls can be dyed bright blue and paired with a red long-sleeve tee for Mario (green for Luigi) and topped off with a red or green baseball cap. Mustaches are easy to find, too!</p> <h2>A Selfie</h2> <p>In this selfie-obsessed world, what's more fashionable than a pic of you? This tutorial for putting together an <a href="http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/2014/09/teen-adult-halloween-costume-diy-instagram-board/">Instagram frame</a> is brilliant and surprisingly not too complicated. It's an acceptable solution for tweens and teens who may be forced to take younger siblings out trick-or-treating, but feel lame &quot;dressing up.&quot;</p> <p><em>Each year bring it's share of super heroes, angels, monks, and witches, but it's nice to bring a little creativity to the party &mdash; especially at a low cost. What frugal Halloween costume ideas will you try out this year?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-8-trending-halloween-costumes-on-the-cheap" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Make 8 Trending Halloween Costumes on the Cheap" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-8-trending-halloween-costumes-on-the-cheap">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/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids">20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids</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-cheap-and-easy-halloween-costumes-for-adults">20 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults</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/the-5-most-offensive-halloween-costumes-ever">The 5 Most Offensive Halloween Costumes Ever</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/15-halloween-costumes-for-people-who-hate-dressing-up">15 Halloween Costumes for People Who Hate Dressing Up</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/last-minute-diy-halloween-costumes">Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Entertainment cheap costumes costumes Halloween trendycostumes Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1236049 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-feeding-baby-466386317-small.jpg" alt="mother feeding baby" title="mother feeding baby" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether it's to save money, avoid harsh chemicals, or simply for the joy of creating, there are tons of good reasons to make your own baby and child products. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought?ref=seealso">7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Better and Cheaper Than Store Bought</a>)</p> <p>If you're feeling that DIY itch coming on, try these homemade child and baby products that are both cheaper, and better quality, than what you'll find at the store.</p> <h2>1. Baby Food</h2> <p>Pouches and jars of store-bought baby food are convenient, but homemade baby food tastes better and is more nutritious, not to mention cheaper (most pouches run over $1 each, which can add up with a hungry baby!). With my first baby I kept a variety of pre-packaged baby food for emergencies, but for meals at home I definitely made my own purees. Here's a great place to look for <a href="http://weelicious.com/homemade-baby-food-recipes/">baby food recipes</a>. Any fruit or veggie, cooked until soft, can be pureed, and the combinations are endless!</p> <p>Freeze extra purees in ice-cube trays for convenience. Then at mealtimes, heat up a few cubes. You can also buy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AM5NTIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AM5NTIS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=46CNNOKK67VRDHQ2">reusable baby food pouches</a> (easily cleaned in the dishwasher) for bringing homemade purees out when you're on the go &mdash; just remember to pack them with an ice-pack.</p> <h2>2. Diaper Rash Cream</h2> <p>With all the unpronounceable ingredients found in baby products these days, it's nice to know exactly what's going onto your baby's bottom. This recipe for <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/17140/natural-diaper-cream-recipe/">natural diaper cream</a> works as well or better than store bought. Although you'll have to buy all the ingredients, you'll spend less than buying the expensive organic brand diaper creams in the long run.</p> <h2>3. Baby Laundry Detergent</h2> <p>Little ones have sensitive skin that can sometimes be irritated by the chemicals in commercial detergents. It is easy and cheap to make your own with minimal and natural ingredients. Check out this tutorial on how to make your own natural <a href="http://dailymom.com/make/easy-diy-baby-laundry-detergent/">baby laundry detergent</a>.</p> <h2>4. Baby Wipes</h2> <p>If your child has sensitive skin, the alcohol in store-bought wipes might irritate his or her skin. You can make your own <a href="http://thenewlighterlife.com/homemade-baby-wipes/">homemade baby wipes</a> that don't have any irritating ingredients and that are almost as convenient as store-bought wipes.</p> <h2>5. Toys</h2> <p>If you've ever hung out with a baby or toddler, you'll have quickly realized that they can be surrounded by the most expensive, fancy, developmentally-appropriate toys, but all they want to do is play with a cardboard box. In fact, one of the most fun things to do with your child is to make things together. My daughter and I have spent hours creating furniture for her dollhouse (which was also a DIY my husband nailed together from wood boards). Cardboard beds, &quot;paintings&quot; for the walls, blankets and towels, a bathtub made from a plastic food box &mdash; all of these have inspired hours of creative play.</p> <p>Other examples of DIY toys we've tried include:</p> <ul> <li>Plastic cups and a wooden spoon for play cooking</li> <li>A hand-drawn &quot;map&quot; to drive toy cars on</li> <li>A paper gift bag and some play &quot;money&quot; made of paper for pretend shopping</li> <li>Paper crowns for dress-up</li> <li>Homemade <a href="http://fun.familyeducation.com/sculpting/recipes/37040.html">play-dough</a></li> </ul> <p>The vast majority of the &quot;interactive&quot; toys &mdash; the ones that make noises and have blinking lights &mdash; sit forgotten in the toy box. It's the toys with scope for imagination that get the most use.</p> <h2>6. Kids' Paints</h2> <p>Kids love to do crafts, and you can make your own washable <a href="http://www.allparenting.com/my-family/articles/967401/homemade-water-color-paints">watercolor paints</a>, diy <a href="http://easiepeasie.blogspot.com/2010/07/homemade-finger-paints.html">non-toxic finger paints</a>, <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-Face-Paints-31540547">face paint</a>, or washable <a href="http://www.frugalfanatic.com/diy-crafts-washable-sidewalk-paint/">sidewalk paint</a>. Paint isn't expensive to buy, but by making your own you can ensure you know exactly what is going into each paint, in case little painted fingers find their way into curious mouths. Also, since these paints are made with common household materials, you have an unlimited supply.</p> <h2>7. Accessories</h2> <p>It seems crazy to spend a lot of money on kids' accessories when they're just going to get lost under the sofa cushions, so good thing it's super easy to make your own hair clips and accessories with some basic supplies and a glue gun. Check out these tutorials for <a href="http://www.usefuldiy.com/diy-easy-double-bow/">ribbon hairclips</a>, <a href="http://loniemae.blogspot.com/2012/04/diy-baby-headbands.html">baby headbands</a>, and for the little man in your life, <a href="http://thepleatedpoppy.com/2011/04/bow-tie-tutorial/">baby bowties</a>. In my opinion, these diy accessories are cuter than store-bought ones anyway.</p> <h2>8. Baby Linens</h2> <p>If you know how to use a sewing machine, the following baby linens can be made by sewing more-or-less straight lines. You'll have the satisfaction of having your child sleep in bespoke linens right from birth.</p> <ul> <li>Baby <a href="http://www.thinkingcloset.com/2013/03/27/burp-cloth-tutorial-for-the-beginner-sewist/">burp cloths</a></li> <li>Fleece-lined <a href="http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com/easy-baby-blankets/">baby blanket</a></li> <li>Baby <a href="http://aliceandlois.com/diy-baby-bibs/">bibs</a></li> </ul> <h2>9. Bubble Solution</h2> <p>Kids love bubbles and go through bubble solution fast! Instead of buying the bottles from the store, try making your own <a href="http://www.dosmallthingswithlove.com/2014/01/homemade-bubble-solution.html">homemade bubble solution</a>, which allows you to make as much as you need with easily accessible ingredients.</p> <h2>10. Nursery Decorations</h2> <p>Decorate your child's room with some DIY art &mdash; better yet, involve your child in the creation of the room's decor. Try this cute <a href="http://modernmommyhood.com/2011/12/button-letter-nursery-artwork-tutorial.html">button monogram art</a>, a <a href="http://www.pnmag.com/baby-buzz/project-nest-nursery-diys/">yarn mobile</a>, <a href="http://aedriel.blogspot.com/2009/05/sweet-girl-deserves-sweet-wall-decor.html">embroidery hoop art</a>, or a cute <a href="http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/10/10-ways-to-make-a-garland.html">DIY garland</a> for your child's room. Decor for kids' rooms can get expensive if you buy it in the store, and your homemade creations will be much more special.</p> <p><em>Do you create for your child? What kids' products have you made that are better than store-bought?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/10-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">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-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</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/three-kids-diy-projects-in-your-pantry">Three Kids&#039; DIY Projects In Your Pantry</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/this-year-s-hot-toy-is-next-year-s-trash">This Year’s Hot Toy is Next Year’s Trash</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/25-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</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/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Shopping babies crafts kid stuff kids toddlers toys Thu, 02 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1225627 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Ways to Use Pool Noodles http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-use-pool-noodles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-ways-to-use-pool-noodles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pool-noodles-95278005-small.jpg" alt="pool noodles" title="pool noodles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Believe it or not, pool noodles are good for more than beating up your friends on a steamy summer day. Exactly what other practical applications do they have? Let's take a look.</p> <h2>1. Insulate Your Pipes</h2> <p>Cut a slit in the noodle from top to bottom and wrap them around your pipes during the winter to keep them from getting too cold.</p> <h2>2. Protect Children at the Supermarket</h2> <p>Cut a 12-inch piece of the noodle off and slice it from top to bottom to wrap around shopping cart handles so children don't have to touch the germy handle or hurt their head, nose, or teeth by accident.</p> <h2>3. Stuff Your Boots</h2> <p>Keep your boots in boot shape by cutting a piece of noodle long enough to fit inside so they stay erect in the closet.</p> <h2>4. Form Wreath Shapes</h2> <p>Becky Clegg, author of the blog <a href="http://happyisaverb.blogspot.com/">Happy is a Verb</a>, says, &quot;I have used pool noodles instead of foam for wreath forms. You just cut the noodle to the size you'd like, put the two ends together, and tape that baby really well. It's so much cheaper!&quot;</p> <h2>5. Quiet the Clanking on Sailboat Masts</h2> <p>Certainly this isn't a common problem for most of us, but if you're a sailor you might be familiar with <a href="http://www.galleywenchtales.com/p/about-wayne-dana.html">seafarer Dana Greyson</a>'s conundrum.</p> <p>&quot;One thing that drives us sailors crazy is when the wires inside the main mast of our sailboat 'clank,'&quot; says Dana. &quot;Given how small our living space is &mdash; about 150 square feet of living space in our 36 foot sailboat &mdash; it's a real sleep disruptor. We know a number of sailors who've stopped the problem by pulling their mast &mdash; on purpose &mdash; and using pool noodles to quietly contain all the otherwise loose wires inside, then stuffing the wire-filled noodles back down into their mast. We hear from them it's become blissfully quiet. Our mast is due to be pulled in two months and we'll likely follow suit.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Fortify Car Seats for Children</h2> <p>Certified passenger safety technician Cherlyn Jenkins says, &quot;Pool noodles are acceptable to put under certain rear-facing car seats to get the correct angle when you can not otherwise achieve the correct angle.&quot; Please just be careful.</p> <h2>7. Get a Workout In</h2> <p>Fitness pro and author <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AWF97EI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AWF97EI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ODJ7SMOFGL4GYF2V"> Noodles for Dumbbells: Water Exercise, Weight Management &amp; More</a> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Janna Lowell</span> is an expert on how to use noodles to break a sweat. &quot;I am currently quite fond of single leg jumps on the noodle. Beginning with the left foot in the middle, push the noodle to the pool floor and &mdash; keeping both knees slightly bent &mdash; begin jumping up and down with both legs,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>8. Start Stamping</h2> <p>Cut the noodle into different shapes and use them as stamps for craft projects. Circles are easiest, of course, but you can cut the noodle into many other designs.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Sports Equipment Scratch-Free</h2> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0877423407/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0877423407&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PT3SIA4JHHSUDL6V">Living Aboard Your RV</a> author Janet Groene suggests using pool noodles to pad sports equipment when traveling. &quot;Slice [pool noodles] in required lengths to make a buffer to slip over the edge of a surfboard, snow skis, water skis, and so on.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Outfit Your Garage Door to Protect Your Car</h2> <p>Cut a slit in the pool noodle lengthwise and put it on one of the &quot;ribs&quot; of the garage door. When you're parked in the garage with the door shut and open the trunk, the car trunk door will come in contact with the softer surface of the noodle instead of the door, and save your car from scratches.</p> <h2>11. Keep Kids From Rolling Out of Bed</h2> <p><a href="http://www.theperfectbrownie.com">Mom blogger Katie Moseman</a> says, &quot;When your child transitions from a crib to a toddler bed or a full-size bed, place a pool noodle at the edge of the mattress &mdash; underneath the sheet and the mattress cover &mdash; to keep your child from rolling out of the bed. It works!&quot;</p> <h2>12. Line the Underside of a Loft</h2> <p>Many college students know the pain of standing up underneath their lofted bed and banging their heads on the wood of the bed above. Reduce the amount of concussions your kid gets in a semester by advising them to line the underside with pool noodles to help soften those blows.</p> <h2>13. DIY Your Kids' Halloween Costumes</h2> <p>The possibilities for making Halloween costumes using pool noodles are only limited by your creativity. Find some inspiration at <a href="http://www.frugallivingmom.com/pool-noodle-halloween-costumes/">Frugal Living Mom</a>, which has suggestions on how to make pool-noodle ninjas, bats, spiders, cowboys, and more.</p> <h2>14. Stop Drafts From Sneaking Under Your Doors</h2> <p>Make a <a href="http://homeguides.sfgate.com/make-door-draft-stopper-using-pool-noodles-69740.html">two-sided draft stopper</a> to keep warm air in and cold air out.</p> <h2>15. Prevent Creasing on Clothing</h2> <p>The blog Living on the Cheap <a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/reusing-summer-clearance-items/">suggests wrapping your clothes hangers in pool noodles</a> to avoid dreaded &quot;hanger dents.&quot; There are a few other fun and creative ideas for pool noodles on the post as well.</p> <h2>16. Invite the Force to Be With You</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kristingriffinphotography.com/site/">Photographer and mom Kristin Griffin</a> details how she and her husband made mock light sabers for her tiny Star Wars fanatic: &quot;My 7-year-old son loves Star Wars, so my husband took red, green and blue pool noodles, pushed a wooden dowel &frac34; of the way into the noodle and used duct tape to keep the noodles in place and cover the handle,&quot; she says. &quot;Now, we have light sabers for both Jedi and Sith lords, and my son loves to battle with them. The noodles are a lot softer than plastic toy light sabers, so there are fewer injuries around our house now, too.&quot;</p> <h2>17. Use as a Roof-Rack Alternative</h2> <p>Don't want to spend the money on a roof rack for your car to prevent large items from scratching it? Fasten a couple pool noodles to the roof and place your equipment on top to keep everything looking its best before and after transit.</p> <h2>18. Childproof Your Home</h2> <p>If you have little ones that are in danger of bumping their heads on tables and other hard objects, cut pool noodles to size and slit lengthwise and wrap the edges.</p> <h2>19. Protect Value Items During a Move</h2> <p>Cut pool noodles to size and slit lengthwise to wrap items like flat-screen TVs and computer monitors for protection during a move.</p> <h2>20. Impress Your Friends With a Floating Beer Pong Table</h2> <p>And finally, there's absolutely no way you shouldn't have this incredible creation if a) you're under 30 years old, b) you don't have any children, c) you have a pool. A DIY floating beer pong table will be your everything next summer if you <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAW3LIRQGyU">follow these detailed video instructions</a>.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LAW3LIRQGyU" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em>Do you have more ideas for how to use pool noodles in different ways? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-use-pool-noodles" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Ways to Use Pool Noodles" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/20-ways-to-use-pool-noodles">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/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/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</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-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</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/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> <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/watch-7-diy-fails-that-will-inspire-you-to-call-an-expert">WATCH: 7 DIY Fails That Will Inspire You to Call an Expert</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY General Tips DIY foam making pool noodles Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1224680 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/autumn-candle-178492659-small.jpg" alt="autumn candle" title="autumn candle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This time of year gets the best of me when it comes to my inner nesting goddess. Whereas during the summer I'd rather cool off than decorate our spaces, fall brings me indoors and into full-on festive-mode. If you've been to the store to check out how much little knickknacks cost, your eyes might bug out of your head (which might help with a Halloween costume &mdash; but still!). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-fall-pizzas?ref=seealso">15 Easy Fall Pizzas</a>)</p> <p>Try these 12 inexpensive projects using items you can find in your backyard or otherwise on the cheap.</p> <h2>1. Cozy Candle</h2> <p>This <a href="http://passionatepennypincher.com/2012/09/the-friday-fluff-up-6-decorating-at-the-dollar-tree/#">autumnal candle project</a> costs just $6 for two, and most all of the supplies can be purchased at dollar discount stores. Fill a glass candle jar with some un-popped popcorn, stick a candle inside, and tie some raffia ribbon in a bow around it. I suggest embellishing your finished piece with colorful leaves you find outdoors for free.</p> <h2>2. Thankful Tree</h2> <p>Celebrate Thanksgiving early this year by making a DIY <a href="http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/16/the-thankful-tree-with-chalk/">Thankful Tree</a>. Fill a Ball jar with assorted nuts (or wine corks), then poke in a few sticks from outside. The rest is flexible, as the author uses wooden chalkboard tags to write down her thoughts. You can also use inexpensive paper tags. Tie a ribbon or some burlap around the jar and place on your mantel.</p> <h2>3. Fall Potpourri</h2> <p>Don't just make your place look like fall, let the scents mingle and linger as well. This <a href="http://diana212m.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-perfect-fall-potpourri.html?m=1">fall potpourri</a> is made using ingredients you likely have on hand, including orange peel, apple, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla and almond extracts, and plain water. Fill a stock pot and let simmer all day long to wrap yourself in the warm aroma.</p> <h2>4. Junkin' Pumpkins</h2> <p>Skip the patch this year and recycle your old aluminum cans to make these cute <a href="http://www.creativegreenliving.com/2013/10/make-tin-can-pumpkins.html">Junkin' Pumpkins</a>. Find some empty tin cans of assorted sizes and paint them orange using craft paint. Use branches and wire to make convincing stems, and then decorate with ribbon or whatever else you think will make them pop. Bonus: They won't rot, so you can keep them for next year's decor!</p> <h2>5. Gold Leaf</h2> <p>If you have an old frame begging for a photo, consider trekking outside and finding a leaf for this <a href="http://paulinaspassions.com/easy-diy-fall-decorations/">sophisticated art project</a>. Clean off any dirt or debris on the leaf with plain water, let dry, and then paint with metallic paint and let set. Place a clean sheet of paper or card stock behind the leaf and then frame for display.</p> <h2>6. Festive Garland</h2> <p>While you're looking for leaves, pick up some pine cones, too. You can make a <a href="http://blog.freepeople.com/2013/10/diy-fall-garland/">beautiful garland</a> by tethering the cones with twine or hot glueing other items you find &mdash; like flowers and leaves &mdash; to the string. Feel free to paint cones for a brighter look. Then hang over a door or fireplace mantel.</p> <h2>7. Pumpkin Planters</h2> <p>Maybe you'd rather hollow out your pumpkin and <a href="http://www.17apart.com/2012/10/how-to-fall-pumpkin-planters.html">plant some mums</a> inside. You'll need to drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage, but the rest of the project is super easy. Pack in some dirt, plop in your plant, and water as usual. For the best prices on pumpkins and mums, head to a local farm.</p> <h2>8. Carve-Less Pumpkins</h2> <p>I hate carving pumpkins. I usually cut myself or make a huge mess. You can <a href="http://bliss-athome.com/2013/10/10/tribal-painted-pumpkins/">paint pumpkins</a> using acrylics for a gorgeous addition to your indoor or outdoor decorations. One blogger even <a href="http://alisaburke.blogspot.com/2010/10/pretty-painted-pumpkins-tutorial.html">snagged puffy paint</a> for an impressive 3-D impact. Or let your pumpkin double as a <a href="http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2012/11/19/chalkboard-pumpkins/">message board or table decor</a> using chalkboard paint and chalk.</p> <h2>9. Wrapped Wreath</h2> <p>Use those yarn remnants to make a <a href="http://www.mysocalledcraftylife.com/2012/09/25/diy-yarn-wrapped-fall-wreath/">colorful wreath</a> you'll use for years to come. You'll need a wreath form, that you can find at most craft stores, and &mdash; of course &mdash; yarn. Wrap the yarn over the form until you get the look you want. Then decorate using buttons, fabric flowers, or anything else you like.</p> <h2>10. Nature Wreath</h2> <p>Not as crafty? It's okay! Check your local fabric or craft store for a <a href="http://thirdfloordesignstudio.blogspot.com/2011/10/tuesday-tip-fall-wreath-rosettes.html?m=1">wood or wicker wreath</a> and then use hot glue to decorate it to your best ability. There's no right or wrong way. You can make simple felt rosettes or use items you find outdoors &mdash; acorns, leaves, etc. &mdash; for a punch of color.</p> <h2>11. Sensational Centerpiece</h2> <p>If you're hosting any gatherings, you'll likely want to jazz up your dining table. Don't over-think or over-spend. Instead, <a href="http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2012/09/fall-table-centerpiece.html">glue together a few boards</a> (you can ask your store to cut them for you) and make a base to fill with whatever you choose. You can also use a container you already have on hand. Head to the farmers' market to stock up on small squashes, gourds, and pumpkins that will double as decor and food at a later date. Round out the look by placing a few candles in Ball jars.</p> <h2>12. Apple Candles</h2> <p>Or skip all that and try these genius <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273609/apple-votives">DIY Apple Votives</a>. Cut into the top of your apples with a paring knife to make enough space for your votive. You'll want to sprinkle a little lemon juice to keep the exposed fruit from turning brown. Oh, and you can skip the expensive steel tub and arrange these candles on your dining table atop a plate or other fire-safe surface.</p> <p><em>How do you decorate for fall? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">23 Fantastic Uses for Apples</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/9-amazing-diy-lamps-you-want-in-your-house">9 Amazing DIY Lamps You Want in Your House</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-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</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-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Entertainment Home autumn crafts decor DIY fall festive Holidays Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1220813 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Times You Should Splurge and Hire a Pro http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-you-should-splurge-and-hire-a-pro <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-times-you-should-splurge-and-hire-a-pro" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/professional-movers-479396919-small.jpg" alt="professional movers" title="professional movers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a DIY attitude is great for saving money.</p> <p>Between Google and YouTube, you have a virtually endless resource of tutorials and guides on how to do anything. From installing a ceiling fan to mending a wall, you can figure out how to get the job done yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-diy-jobs-homeowners-should-avoid?ref=seealso">The Top 10 DIY Jobs Homeowners Should Avoid</a>)</p> <p>However, there are times that you can lose more than you save by risking to do the job yourself. Here are four scenarios in which is best to hire a pro.</p> <h2>1. Moving</h2> <p>Between 2012 and 2013, about <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Points-to-Keep-in-Mind-When-Choosing-A-Tax-Preparer">12% of Americans moved</a>. Even though many people move every day, this doesn't make moving an everyday chore.</p> <p>First, even the fittest of athletes can get <a href="http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10841708/garrett-grayson-colorado-state-rams-injured-moving-couch">seriously hurt by moving a heavy couch</a> or a <a href="http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/08/18/jamaal-charles-injured-ankle-moving-out-of-dorm/">bulky box during a move</a>. It is not worth it to risk an injury that could make you miss work for several days and unable to finish your move in the first place.</p> <p>Second, a major benefit of using a professional mover is that you can insure your expensive items, such as antiques, electronics, and artworks. This is an extra cost to your move but a very necessary one to protect your valuables. If your items were to be damaged during your move, would you be able to afford replacing them on your own? When signing up for insurance go beyond the standard policy because that one covers only <a href="https://www.protectyourmove.gov/consumer/awareness/valuation/valuation-insurance.htm">up to 60 cents per pound</a>. Also, make sure to check that your mover is adequately insured to carry your valuables.</p> <p>Third, if your move is at least 50 miles and related to your new job, you meet the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p521.pdf">distance test to deduct moving expenses from your federal taxes</a>. By hiring a professional you leave the guesswork out of the estimate that you present to your employer for negotiating and reimbursing your moving expenses. Also, having an invoice from a pro mover helps you when it is time to file your taxes and prevents raising any red flags from the IRS.</p> <h2>2. Tax Preparation for Freelancers and Self-Employed</h2> <p>Small businesses using Schedule C are almost <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/28/us-yourmoney-freelancing-irsaudit-idUSTRE81R1QR20120228">three times more likely</a> than corporations to be audited. Back in 2009, the IRS audited 10 times as many Schedule C filers as corporations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-hire-a-tax-professional-even-if-you-dont-mind-the-work?ref=seealso">3 Reasons to Hire a Tax Professional Even If You Don't Mind the Work</a>)</p> <p>The main culprit is the freelancer him or herself. In keeping with the entrepreneurial attitude, the already busy-busy self-employed tries to wear the accountant hat and makes too many mistakes. Some of the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704754304576096462998700934">most common mistakes</a> are:</p> <ul> <li>Not reporting all income (e.g. leaving some 1099's hidden);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Claiming too many suspicious deductions (e.g. $15,000 in deductions for $50,000 in revenue);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Making arithmetic mistakes on paper filings; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mixing personal with business expenses.</li> </ul> <p>This is why about <a href="http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/2013-Annual-Report/full-2013-annual-report-to-congress/">60% of individuals use paid preparers to do their income tax returns</a>. Still, the IRS urges you to do your <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Points-to-Keep-in-Mind-When-Choosing-A-Tax-Preparer">due diligence when choosing a tax preparer</a>. Specifically, you should:</p> <ul> <li>Review the preparer's qualifications and certifications;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check the preparer's background at the Better Business Bureau or other applicable institutions;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Avoid preparers that charge a percentage of your refund or make claims obtaining large tax refunds; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Review your entire return before signing it.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Cleaning for a Move or Home Sale</h2> <p>There is no straightforward method to determine how clean is &quot;ready-for-vacating- or sale-clean.&quot;</p> <ul> <li>Many rentals and home purchase contracts require that your unit is in &quot;broom clean condition.&quot; This generally means that you need to take away anything that doesn't belong to the original unit and leave the unit as you found it when you first moved in.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>While most standard residential purchase or rental agreements have a clause about the requirements to present a unit when vacating, any landlord, buyer, or seller may add special requirements. Read contracts thoroughly before signing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Remember that your landlord may properly deduct from your security deposit to make the rental unit as clean as it was when you first moved in. <a href="http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/sec-deposit.shtml#footnote214">Depending on the length of your stay</a>, this may also include replacing carpets and drapes, repainting walls, and fixing damages to property.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Real estate agents are in no legal obligation to pick up after your mess. Just because they receive a commission from a transaction doesn't mean that they will always cover cleaning costs.</li> </ul> <p>To avoid headaches and stay in friendly terms with the other party, hire a professional cleaning service. Tell the other party about what company you're planning to use or, even better, present an estimate with line items. By providing an opportunity to the other party to review your plan of action, you most likely meet the common sense and good faith requirement in case of a dispute. If issues still arise, then you have invoices and receipts to back up that you acted in good faith.</p> <h2>4. Tree Trimming and Removal</h2> <p>Think twice before trimming or pulling out a tree on your own.</p> <ul> <li>Tree trimming is a dangerous profession with about <a href="http://archive.lohud.com/article/20111105/NEWS01/111050353/Tree-trimming-injuries">2,000 injuries reported in 2009</a>. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Branches hanging near or over power and telephone lines are a major safety hazard &mdash; not only to yourself but also to any people passing by.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tree removal requires the use of dangerous tools, such as chainsaws, wood chippers, and axes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Improper technique can result in serious harm to your body.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Some trees may host dangerous or poisonous animals, fungi, and insects.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Other trees may have become toxic from exposure to chemicals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Depending on the age of tree, it may have rotting wood or deadwood. Either condition makes it hard to predict the trajectory of the tree when felled.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Some trees may require the crane to removed them and a big truck to haul them away.</li> </ul> <p>You cannot afford the potential physical and legal consequences of a tree take-down that goes wrong. This is not a time to wear your DIY cap.</p> <p><em>What are other times when you ought to just hire a pro? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-you-should-splurge-and-hire-a-pro" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Times You Should Splurge and Hire a Pro" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-you-should-splurge-and-hire-a-pro">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/18-cheap-and-attractive-ideas-for-bookshelves">18 Cheap and Attractive Ideas for Bookshelves</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/15-great-diy-gifts-for-geeks">15 Great DIY Gifts for Geeks</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</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/blood-gore-and-hairy-warts-a-diy-halloween-makeup-guide">Blood, gore and hairy warts; a DIY Halloween makeup guide.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY contractors DIY taxes tree trimming Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1220279 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sewing-accessories-453017147-small.jpg" alt="sewing accessories" title="sewing accessories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've already covered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-stylish-diy-clothing-projects-for-women">20 Simple and Stylish Clothing Projects for Women</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cute-and-frugal-diy-clothes-you-can-make-for-your-kids">Cute and Frugal Clothing You Can Make for Kids</a>. Though men's clothing projects are much harder to find online, they're well worth seeking out. Any time you can bring new life to the duds you already own, you're saving money.</p> <p>So check out these 13 cool projects for DIY men's clothing and accessories and feel free to add your own in the comments!</p> <h2>1. (Re)Dyed Jeans</h2> <p>Have a pair of faded denim jeans? This <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-redye-your-jeans/">smart tutorial</a> will show you how to refresh them for just $3. Grab a box of RIT dye at your local grocery or drugstore. You can go with traditional navy or blue, but there are a wide variety of colors from which to choose.</p> <h2>2. Cutoffs</h2> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pP49xtThaUo" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>If you have a comfy old pair of jeans, turn them into cool cutoffs with this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP49xtThaUo">simple tutorial</a>. It's really as easy as cutting the jeans and cuffing them. The author also uses a standard razor to create a naturally distressed look.</p> <h2>3. Pocket T-Shirt</h2> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zivXK2yda68" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>A printout pattern and piece of your favorite fabric jazzes up a plain t-shirt with a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zivXK2yda68">new, useful pocket</a>. There's a bit of basic sewing involved, but it's nothing a novice can't handle.</p> <h2>4. Skinny Tie</h2> <p>Need a unique tie for a special occasion? Skip the store and try <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/04/mens-skinny-tie-diy.html">making your own</a>. You'll need a vintage tie to act as your pattern, but once you get going &mdash; you'll want one in every color.</p> <h2>5. Bow Tie</h2> <p>That's right, you can also create your own <a href="http://crafts.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-make-your-own-bow-tie&mdash;craft-15098">stylish bow tie</a> for special events or, well, just because. This tutorial requires some basic sewing, but you can use whatever fabric matches your theme. And making the bow tie might be easier than tying one!</p> <h2>6. Leather Belt</h2> <p>Create a custom <a href="http://www.mrlentz.com/2013/10/how-to-make-a-leather-belt/">DIY Leather Belt</a> that will last you years and years. Find an old belt to serve as your pattern, as well as a long strip of leather, some hardware, and a few leather-working tools. You can dye it whatever color you like and then condition using olive oil.</p> <h2>7. Tank</h2> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/woIWuKzWcjE" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>All you need is an old t-shirt, a sharp pair of scissors, and a marker to make this casual <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woIWuKzWcjE">Tank Top</a>. This piece would be great to wear to the beach or at the gym for lifting weights. Plus, it's a good way to reuse an old shirt that might have pit stains!</p> <h2>8. Screen Print</h2> <p>This specific tutorial features a women's shirt, but the same <a href="http://www.collegefashion.net/fashion-tips/diy-fashion-screen-print-tee/">basic screen printing process</a> applies for men's (and kid's) shirts as well. Choose a design you wish to print and draw it onto freezer paper. Iron it onto your shirt on a flat surface. Then paint over the design using fabric paint and remove the freezer paper to let set.</p> <h2>9. Elbow Patches</h2> <p>Again, this <a href="http://www.brit.co/elbow-patch/">DIY Elbow Patch Sweater</a> tutorial features a women's shirt, but it's just as stylish for men. Plus, you can buy leather or fabric elbow patches if you want to skip the stitching for less than $10. Otherwise, you need an old sweater, iron-on adhesive fabric, and an iron.</p> <h2>10. Button Up Shirt</h2> <p>This manly sewing project creates a <a href="http://mellysews.com/2013/05/mens-shirt-pattern-tutorial.html">button-up shirt</a> for a fraction of what it would cost at the store. You can use whatever fabric you might have on hand or choose something specific, but you'll need two yards in all. The pattern is free after you sign up for the blog's email list.</p> <h2>11. Card Holder</h2> <p>These awesome <a href="http://cailamade.com/leather-card-holders-tutorial-made-for-man/">leather card holders</a> come together quickly and require minimal stitching. You can also play with the pattern a bit to get the look you want. A great place to find leather in all textures and colors is on <a href="https://www.etsy.com/craft-supplies?q=leather">Etsy</a>.</p> <h2>12. Paracord Bracelet</h2> <p>I see these <a href="http://stormdrane.blogspot.com/2009/01/woven-paracord-bracelets-one-strand-two.html">Paracord Bracelets</a> everywhere, and I never thought to make my own. Though the images might look tricky, you can click them for a closer view. It's a lot of figure eight weaving, but after a while, you should get the hang.</p> <h2>13. Hoodie</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.craftstylish.com/item/30695/how-to-make-a-mens-fleece-hoodie/page/all">DIY Hoodie Project</a> surely requires some sewing skills. However, it doesn't look out of the realm of possibility. And the pattern is loose. You can use an old t-shirt &mdash; just make sure to leave a seam allowance.</p> <p><em>Alright you manly DIYers: what projects are you getting into?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men" class="sharethis-link" title="13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">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-14"> <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-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</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/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</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-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</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/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Style clothing crafts men's clothing menswear sewing Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1215197 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Unique Ways to Use School Supplies http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-use-school-supplies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-unique-ways-to-use-school-supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eraser%20stamp.jpg" alt="eraser stamp" title="eraser stamp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love finding dual purposes for everyday items. It's a sneaky way of getting more bang for my buck. And &mdash; chances are &mdash; if anyone in your family is in school, you have quite a collection of school and office supplies handy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <p>Break out your pencil boxes and your craft paper and let's get started!</p> <h2>1. Pencil Eraser Designs</h2> <p>For a custom <a href="http://cutesycrafts.com/2014/06/diy-eraser-stamped-4th-july-shirt.html">stamped shirt</a>, use your eraser. Cut out a simple shape or design using freezer paper, place it on a clean cotton shirt, and then dip an unused pencil eraser in fabric paint and get creative.</p> <h2>2. Large Eraser Stamps</h2> <p>For those bigger erasers, carve out a design and make a <a href="http://www.wardi.dk/2009/05/eraser-stamp-tutorial-part-5.html">smart stamp</a> for personalizing stationery or just plain fun. Don't forget: If you're going to use lettering, you'll need to write it backwards to make sense once stamped.</p> <h2>3. Pencil Beads</h2> <p>For a cute back-to-school accessory, look no farther than your pencil box. Colored pencils make wonderful, <a href="http://www.designmom.com/2011/08/diy-colored-pencil-jewelry/">vibrant beads</a> that can be drilled for use in necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and more.</p> <h2>4. Mega-Crayons</h2> <p>Turn those old crayon bits into a <a href="http://www.mollymoocrafts.com/for-crayon-out-loud/">great gift or party favor</a>. Simply take off any leftover paper, place remnant into a silicone mold, and bake at around 200 degrees for just five minutes (baking time will vary depending on your oven). Let cool before packaging.</p> <h2>5. Paper Clip Ornaments</h2> <p>For a super frugal way to decorate your tree this year, try these <a href="http://craftyjournal.com/easy-paperclip-angel-ornament/?cuid=b1dfac24b37c30de8b94cd5b618fecc6">paper clip ornaments</a>. All you need are butterfly flips, a bit of ribbon, and pearl beads. Once you get the hang, you can make dozens an hour for stocking stuffers!</p> <h2>6. Post-It Planner</h2> <p>I'm a big fan of Post-It notes, and I love this idea to use those little squares in a big way. Turn yours into a <a href="http://tatertotsandjello.com/2013/08/free-printables-easy-post-it-note-school-planning-wall.html">wall planning system</a> by arranging each square like a box on a calendar.</p> <h2>7. Three Ring Genius</h2> <p>Use a three ring binder to organize more than just class notes. You can use a variety of <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Neat-Electrical-Component-Organizing-in-Binders/">plastic inserts and baggies</a> to hold your memory cards, jump drives, etc. I use a similar method to organize my coupons, store punch cards, gift cards, and more.</p> <h2>8. Upcycled Hooks</h2> <p>Or you can use that old binder's insides for a <a href="http://upcycleus.blogspot.com/2011/07/upcycling-threering-binder-with-easy.html">quick hook system</a>. Once you get the metal out of the plastic cover, use screws to fasten the hooks to a wall or fence for instant hanging.</p> <h2>9. Rubber Band Remedy</h2> <p>Need to dry your makeup brushes? Try <a href="http://glossedintranslation.com/2012/01/11/bleurgh-its-french-and-brush-drying/">tethering them to a towel rod</a> using rubber bands. No towel rod? Easy &mdash; just use a hanger for the same purpose.</p> <h2>10. Clipboard Decor</h2> <p>Arrange various sizes and styles of clipboards into a gorgeous wall of art with these <a href="http://www.craft-o-maniac.com/2014/05/clipboard-wall-art-free-printables.html">free printables</a>. You could also clip photos, your child's artwork, and even use this trick to organize an office the chic way with important documents and to-do lists.</p> <h2>11. Clip Cord Holder</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/L50GfLlhy70"></iframe></p> <p>If you've ever tried charging your devices at your desk, only to have all those cords fall straight to the floor &mdash; this trick is for you. Loop the end of your computer or phone charger cords through <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L50GfLlhy70">binder clips</a> and clamp onto your table or desk to hold steady.</p> <h2>12. Sharpie China</h2> <p>To upgrade basic dinnerware into something beautiful, try <a href="http://alwayswearyour-invisiblecrown.blogspot.nl/2013/09/the-one-with-sharpie-and-plate.html">drawing geometric designs</a> with Sharpie markers. To set, just bake the dish for 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This projects lets you freshen your kitchen for less or give great gifts on the cheap.</p> <p><em>How do you upcycle school and office supplies into cool tools and decor? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-use-school-supplies" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Unique Ways to Use School Supplies" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/12-unique-ways-to-use-school-supplies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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