Feng Shui Decorating IdeasFeng shui is an ancient Chinese practice for arranging items in a harmonious way, also called geomancy. Feng shui is directly translated as wind/water. It is believed that properly placed items will increase the chi or qi, which translates into life force energy.
Circle Plant TrellisDo you have plants that need a trellis? You can make 4 circle trellises for just ~ 25 cents each, versus paying over $10 for one. Here's a quick, easy & inexpensive tutorial on how to make a circle trellis (for my Hoya plant).
How to Fix Cat Scratches on CouchWe adopted a cat last year and she went to town on our new sofa, scratching it until it looked like a shag carpet. We tried deterrent sprays, laying blankets over the spot, and finally the sticky paper the eventually got her to stop.
Ecological Ways to Drive Moles Out of the GardenAlthough moles don't eat plants, they can damage the roots of plants and lead to their decay by digging numerous canals in the ground. There are many natural ways you can drive moles out of your garden. These are some of them.
Make Your Own Box Fan Air FilterWith all the wildfires right now air quality has gone down throughout the west coast. Here's an easy way to make a room air filter out of a box fan and a furnace filter.
Making an Emergency Bug Out BoxThere's a new guy in my trunk...BOB (Bug Out Box). There is no way to miss what Oregon and Washington is going through right now. I came up with something that will help me, and perhaps you, sleep better at night. A bug out box. Here is why we need one. We may only have two minutes to get out..
Make Your Own Box Fan Air FilterWith all the wildfires right now air quality has gone down throughout the west coast. Here's an easy way to make a room air filter out of a box fan and a furnace filter.
Disposable Sport Water Bottle to Hold Dish SoapIf you purchase dish soap in bulk, you'll know that the container is huge! It is heavy to pour out on a daily basis and it's not very convenient.
Crafty Pea TrellisI'm a fan of sugar snap and snow peas. I've seen all sorts of trellises for vining plants like these. Most are some variation of cedar lattice or pipes and wires. I wanted something I could compost with the leaf matter at the end of the season. With a very few durable pieces I could disassemble and reuse. I came up with this design based on what I had in my garage and scrap wood pile.
Open Bag Garden Items Are 50% OffAt Home Depot - I know for wood if there is a defect and it'll be marked with the specific color for discount, but I didn't know that on open bagged items you get 50% off.
DeKay's SnakeWhen you are digging in your flowers and grassy areas, you may run into this little fellow. It is a DeKay snake and quite harmless and appears to not mind being held, although, I don't want to hold it. I just take pictures.
New Plantings and Garden FlowersLast year my grandson and I cut down several forsythia shrubs along the northern edge of the side yard. The stumps still need to dealt with. This year I have focused on planting two lilac bushes further into the yard to ultimately help reestablish a green border between my yard and my neighbor's. There will also be a native mock orange placed along this same line, soon.
How to Hand Pollinate PassionfruitPassion fruit is very easy to grow. If you have a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker who has passion fruit save yourself $30, ask for some passionfruit cuttings. Hydrate the cuttings in water and plant in soil (preferable against the fence, wall, patio) so there is room for the passionfruit plant to crawl on, or an area where you could put a trellis up.
Extra Dish DrainerMost of the time, when I cook, I use a lot of pots and pans. Washing them can be a chore.
Toilet Paper Rolls for SeedlingsI had been saving all sorts of toilet paper rolls - I think mainly it was a habit from when we used to have a fireplace. This spring when I decided to start my seedlings I realized I could make life a lot easier for myself if I just started the seeds in the toilet paper rolls!
Cause of Multiple Sunflowers at the Top of a Single Stalk?I planted mammoth sunflower seeds and they turned out spectacular. The last few remaining blooms are on their last stages and I have one where the stalk's upper portion is enlarged and currently supporting 5 heads of flowers. Two are only 3/4 the size of the big ones and are opposite of each other. The 3 smaller ones are on top as the pictures show.
Washing a Sunbeam Heated BlanketI received a heated throw for Christmas and recently my kids spilled some food on it. I assumed that all I could do was wipe it with a damp cloth, but it turns out you can wash them! You do need to be careful when washing and drying and you can not wash as you would a regular blanket.
Beware of Poison Ivy and Poison OakI learned something new. My daughter and I took a stroll on a farm path down by the woods. As we were walking, I noticed a tree that had a limb, about head high, that was filled with pretty leaves with small white clusters of flowers.
Used Tea Bag to Sprout SeedsRemove the staple and string and snip a tiny hole in your used tea bags and place your seeds inside. Keep moist and in a few days your seed will sprout. From there, you can place in a small pot or directly into your garden. No need to remove the bag. It will protect the young root from any disturbance and pests and break down naturally.
Cleaning In Tough Kitchen AreasI always have difficulty cleaning in those small spaces between the stove and the refrigerator and the stove and the counter top. You all know what falls between those areas.
Making a Brick PatioI got these unusual old bricks from a friend. I'm fond of them because they say "Pacific" and I've lived in the Pacific NW most of my life. I wanted to use them for something special but I only had 28 bricks. My husband made this little patio off our concrete pad to hold my grill. It's the perfect size and leaves me more space on the concrete for other things. Here is how he did it.
Recycled Wheelbarrow Herb GardenWe've seen that people are making gardens, especially now. My tip is to recycle an old wheelbarrow into a lovely and useful herb garden. There is no weeding and many herbs are perennials. My husband was about to trash his old wheelbarrow and I turned it into a herb garden. Now I just go out the door and snip whatever I need for cooking or to dry.
Natural Fly RepellantHere is a way to keep pesky flies and mosquitos away using citrus and cloves. Simply cut the citrus in half and insert the cloves into the lime. The scent keeps them away and it is a natural solution.
Now Is the Time for a Victory GardenWith all the extra time spent at home and uncertainty with COVID-19, now is the perfect time to be planting a victory garden.
Vertical Gardening in PotsAt the beginning of the season I select one plant of each type at a nearby nursery. I cut off each stem about an inch from the bottom. I cut all but the top 2 leaves off of each stem and place the stems in various sized jars of water to root. In a week or two the roots grow long enough to plant them in pots. By this time the original plants have grown up once again and are blooming.
Protecting Clothespin Bag Left on ClotheslineSoon begins the hanging laundry on the line season. I have a very nice cloth monogrammed bag that I like to keep hanging on the clothesline right where I need it. To protect it from the rain and sun I found a simple solution. After I emptied a large birdseed bag I cleaned it out and cut a hole in the top, slipped it over the bag and it is well protected with ease.
Protection from the Birds and the SunWe added a conduit metal frame with side "curtains" and a "roof" to our grow box to prevent birds from attacking our plants and to prevent the sun from attacking our plants. It works well here in sunny Arizona where temperatures get up to 115 to 120 degrees in the summer.
Spilling Wheelbarrow Garden PlanterHere is a "spilling wheelbarrow" I made, using coleus. It was easy to make and can be used for years.
Turnip Blooms Attracting Honey BeesI'm glad we left the turnip salad in the garden. It is in full bloom now and on the warm days, the honey bees are loving it.
Grow New African Violets and Succulents from CuttingsI have seen these tips on the internet, and had not had a chance to try it till now. A friend gave me one African violet leaf after my AV had sadly died because I didn't understand how to keep it happy. Another friend gave me a sage plant leaf.
Removing Sticky Adhesive Residue from PlasticFill a container with pretty warm water (as hot as you can without it distorting the plastic container of course) and let it sit 5 minutes. This heats up the adhesive on the outside of the container. Don't get the outside (where the glue is) wet though. Dump out the water (still keeping the outside dry) and generously wipe the gluey spot with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil.
DIY Counter CleanerAt one point I started making my own kitchen/all purpose cleaner becuase I wanted to save money and use simpler ingredients.
Prevent Mold and Mildew on Shower Curtain LinersIf you have a shower curtain or liner that comes in contact with the side of your shower stall or tub while it dries, you have probably noticed that where it makes contact is where you see mold and mildew. That's because it's not drying fast enough to keep those nasty critters at bay.
Sort Laundry As You GoSo as to run full loads only in my washing machine, which is most efficient, I keep 2 popup hampers in my bathroom closet. One has a little hanging tag marked "Lights", and the other "Darks". As I take off my clothes, they are put into the appropriate hamper. When one is full, I do a load of laundry.
Succulent Plant StarterThis is a great way to always have succulent plants available for your craft projects and decorations around your home. We all love to decorate and grow succulent plants these days. When we cut our plants there are always leaves that need to be removed. Don't throw them away. Make this easy succulent plant starter and within a few days you can plant those leaves to start growing new plants.
Replacing Your Laptop Hard DriveHas the hard drive in your laptop died? Do you want to replace your hard drive with a larger hard drive? Today replacing hard drives is a straight forward process. Laptop manufacturers place the hard drive in different locations depending on the make and model of your laptop.
Using Old Sinks As PlantersOne way to recycle old sinks from your bathroom or kitchen is to use them in your garden to plant succulents in. These sinks make a great border around your garden and add to the look of the garden. Succulent plants don't need much water. It is easy to use the sink and they have a drainage system. Just dig a hole in the ground and place the sink and the drainage pipe in the hold.
Use Faux Flower Stems to Support Live PlantsDo you have fake flower stems? Do not throw them away, they are very useful as stem support!
Always Have Hope - Rescued PlantI rescued this plant from someone who was going to "trash it" after its first blooming. The plant was almost dead when I got it last year. I'm always trying to save things that other people have given up on or abandoned. After a summer of good care, this is the reward I got this fall.
Making a Custom Bottle WasherI freeze my half and half, plus I make flavored water. When the bottles need washing, it's hard to get them clean.
Recycle Plastic Tubs to Hold CuttingsI recycle margarine and ice cream tubs and use them to put my cuttings in. They will hold around four or five small pots. They are easy to transport and catch the drips when watering.
Refinishing a Wooden PlaygroundWe bought this playground 13 years ago for our 2 oldest kids. We recently decided to refinish it, instead of buying a new one, for our 5 yr old son.
Easy Tree Limb Clean UpI decided to do a little tree trimming in my yard and once I got finished I had a whole lot of limbs in several areas of my yard. It was going to take several trips to get them all moved to my dump pile. In the past I would have dragged a handful of limbs (all that I could get in one hand) to my dump site.
Tablecloth for Reupholstering a ChairDo you have any extra tablecloths you don't need? The tablecloths could be turned into upholstery fabric for your chairs! You could save money versus buying fabric by the yard. This is what we did for the chair seats!
Bamboo Garden GateI live on a small island in the South Pacific, where everything is imported. We do not have a large variety of items to choose from. Years ago when we wanted to put a gate up all we had to choose from was a metal gate. The gate has been up for over 20 years now and is looking shabby and worn.
Use Old Storage Racks In Your GardenEveryone has old shelves and racks that they have bought to use in their garage. From time to time the racks get old and you replace them with new ones. Instead of throwing them away use them in your garden. The racks in the garden will give you more space for your plants. You can arrange the racks at the back of your garden next to the fence. This way you have plenty of room to add your plants.
Save Money On Toilet Bowl CleanerIn a recent post, I gave Dollar Tree's brand of household bleach a thumbs down. I'm back with a thumbs up for another of their products, toilet bowl cleaner.
Dressing Up Your Garden With RibbonIf you want to add a little fall color to your garden on a budget, fall wire ribbon goes a long way! You can purchase it at the dollar store or many craft stores. Along with ribbon you can add fall picks that are sold at the same location. This gives a festive fall look that will carry through the Thanksgiving season. So simple, here's how!
Cleaning a Bedroom By YourselfSometimes, I like tackling a job by myself and the other day, I decided to clean the master bedroom. This is the dustiest room in the house. I guess it's from fanning the covers and the bed is where I fold clothes.
Hide the Plant Saucer Inside the PotNot a fan of plant saucers? No problem, you can hide the saucer inside the pot! Here's a free way of making a saucer. Using any sturdy container that will fit inside your pot, like for me - a greek yogurt container. Then cut the yogurt container down. Place yogurt container inside and you're done.
How to Care for Your SwimwearSwimwear goes through a lot more than your typical article of clothing. It gets in contact with chlorine, salt, sun lotions, and sprays. They're also way more elastic than your usual garment, so throwing them in the washer and dryer will only shorten its lifespan and kill its colour. Here is how I wash my swimwear to elongate its life and keep the quality pristine.
Restoring a Tarnished Gold BraceletI had a lovely Alex and Ani bracelet that tarnished. It was easy and quick to make it look like new.
Repairing Clothing SnagsKnit fabrics are very easily snagged. Here is an easy way to repair the snag using an unusual tool - a dental floss threader. Here we show the process on two men's shirts.
Cable Ties for Supporting PlantsWhen garden plants start to produce, they need extra support. Cable ties are great. They come in many sizes and are inexpensive. You can tie them to a plant stake, another part of the plant, or a fence. At the end of the season, just cut them and dispose of.
Creative ClotheslinesI like to take advantage of warm weather to dry clothing outdoors. Even though I have a couple of drying racks, sometimes it was not enough. I did not want to invest in an outdoor clothesline that would have to be removed every time the lawn was mowed and when the winter came. I solved my problem in several ways.
Yellow Sticky Traps for Flying InsectsI have many household plants throughout my home. I used indoor soil for these plants and didn't think there would be any flying insects. My friend introduced me to these yellow sticky traps (she actually gave me a handful). They are rather large double sided sticky traps so I cut them down in smaller pieces and placed them into my potted plants. A few hours later, the traps are already working!
Protecting Delicate Blooms from Summer HeatDuring these massive heat waves, don't let your flowers wilt and die. Use a patio umbrella to protect them. My spider lilies were wilted and dying from 103 heat (1st picture bottom left.) I gave them some extra water and used a patio umbrella to protect them and it brought them back to their beauty.
The Chem Caddy - Cleaning Supply KitNot only will this keep all materials used to clean any area together, but it's easy to spot what needs replacing at quick glance; fluid levels, bristles on brushes, number of clean rags yet unused plus extra bags for wastebaskets. Sneak a look at that Magic eraser. Dilapidated enough yet to replace?
How to Make a Plant TerrariumHere are my step by step instructions on how to make a plant terrarium with no drainage. Plant terrariums with no drainage require little maintenance - you only need to water every 2 to 3 weeks, or when needed.
DIY Foil Garden Pest DeterrentsFor several years, most of our big fruit trees were being attacked by squirrels, birds, rodents, raccoons, and insects. Deterrent sprays did not work. Hanging shiny CDs barely helped at all. Finally, we tried this foil method and we have all of our fruit intact and growing at extremely rapid rates. Anyone need nectarines? We can't keep up! :)
Floating Flower Bed for the HummingbirdsWe don't have much area to plant flowers in our yard as it's mostly concrete everywhere and an in-ground pool, so we had an idea for our backyard hummingbirds. That was to give them some real nectar, from real flowers.
New Retaining Wall and Early PlantingsDuring the summer of 2018 we added a second tier retaining wall to our front yard. It improved the existing steep slope that was mostly useless, as it was difficult to water and slippery to try and weed.
PVC Pipe as Garden Support/StakeNeed a garden support/stake for your fruit trees, plants, or garden flowers? An inexpensive alternative from trellis and garden stakes is using PVC pipes! They are extremely inexpensive, averaging out to be $2-3 each depending on the pipe you go with.
DIY Wooden Raised Garden BedWe would love to have a garden in our backyard, but supposedly there are gophers. We decided on having a raised garden bed and after looking at the costs of already built raised garden beds and ready to purchase and install yourself garden beds, they were definitely out of our budget!
Propagating Lemongrass in a Plastic BottleHave an empty plastic water bottle? You can cut the plastic bottom down to size and propagate your choice of plant. I like this method because I'm able to see the roots grow and ensure it'll be successful instead of planting directly into soil.
Making Simple Suet CakesWe always pour the oils collected from our (George Foreman) grill into a tin can, add bird seed (dusted in a little wheat flour or ground oatmeal) and leave it cool down (or freeze) and then place in our suet feeders.
Making a Strawberry Planter from a Laundry BasketEven if you purchase everything new, this is not an expensive project. I found the laundry basket at the curb, got the potting soil and burlap on sale, and traded plants with a neighbor.
Increasing Humidity for Newly Potted HouseplantsTo increase humidity, you can use a plastic bag and skewer. The skewer is used to hold the bag up without touching the leaves. If the plastic touches the leaves, it could cause damage to the plant. The plant was being propagated in water and moved into soil. To help the transition into soil, I placed the plant under a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks to increase humidity.
Use a Powder Puff to Clean Your Cell Phone ScreenI have found a use for the extra powder-puff I have been keeping. It is the type that goes in powder compacts that you would keep in a purse. They work really well at gently moving dust off of a phone screen ;)
Growing Passionfruit from CuttingsPlace passionfruit cuttings into water to revive the cutting before planting in the ground. You would want to place passionfruit cuttings in water for a couple of days until the cuttings are less limp and more firm.
Use a Plastic Plate Instead of Flower Pot SaucersAre your looking for a budget friendly alternative to pot saucers? Think plastic kid's plate! I recently was gifted this Castanospermum australe "Lucky Bean Plant". The cheapest saucers from Home Depot were 80 cents (very thin plastic) to $2.68 (still somewhat thin plastic) so I held off on purchasing a saucer.
Use Spray Paint to Have a Choice in Planter ColorsI love pastels! The one problem I have is I cannot find planters in pastel colors. I can find white ones that sometimes work. While out looking for inexpensive planters I found the size and price that I loved. One problem, the color only came in black! Here's how I transformed them to more of a shabby chic look, just by using spray paint.
Using Flower Trays As Seedling PlantersAt your garden center they often have discarded flower trays and pots that are free for the asking.These trays are great for seed starting for all season long plantings. They have sections that are perfect for keeping them separate, without extra cost.
Use a White Board Eraser for Window StreaksAfter washing windows or mirrors take a white board eraser and go over it with that. You'll be thrilled and amazed! We have all had fun trying to rid ourselves of streaking windows and mirrors. Sure newspaper works, but gets ink all over you. And coffee filters are small and it's tricky to keep it gliding smoothly over the surface of things. Just erase those pesky streaks away!
Robin's NestOur spring cleaning and repairs were temporarily interrupted when we discovered two robins making a nest outside our back door. They found our light fixture to be the perfect place. They got all sorts of material to make the base of the nest, including some shredded pieces of tarp that my son missed when cleaning up.
Using a Swiffer to Clean WallsDo you have high ceilings or hard to reach areas in your home to clean? I found that using a Swiffer with the dry cloths works well! When I run out of refills, I plan on using microfiber cloths, washing them and reusing.
Thrifty Vertical Planter WallI was inspired by the beautiful succulent decor walls at my local malls and stores. I wanted my own mini version in my backyard. However, upon research I found that vertical planters are so expensive!
Starting Tomatoes in Coffee CansWhen starting tomato plants, I cut the bottom off of an empty Folger's coffee can. Then I poke some drain holes in the lid, put the lid on, and turn the can upside down. I fill the new pot with soil and plant my tomatoes. When they are ready to go into the garden I just take the lid off the bottom and the plant slides right out.
Make a Little Hothouse for Early TomatoesI'm sharing this tip now so if you like, you will have time to make a little hot house for your tomato plant. It can help to produce tomatoes a month early.
Pot Drainage from Garlic MeshInstead of spending money on mesh netting for flower pot drainage, you can make your own for free with general items you probably already purchase.
Cereal Treats for Backyard BirdsI love helping the critters eat. Today, this is the best craft to do with the kids. You don't need but two or three items and you are set.
Recycled Lanterns As PlantersI found 2 lanterns in great shape at a thrift store for pennies! I wanted to transform these beauties into something other than lighting - planters! Although you find a lot of them are in black, I will transform them into a softer look.
Homemade Compost - The Natural Way To Green GardeningOur neighbors think we are very odd people when we save grass clippings, leaves, discarded fruit and veggie peels, and now shredded newspaper clippings.
Dividing Potted PlantsWhen your plant is getting tight in the pot (or when you purchase a plant like this one), you can easily get more plants by separating into more pots. This will allow room for your plants to grow, or is a great way to give some plants away as gifts.
Squirrel Scare ToolFrom my kitchen window, I enjoy watching the birds at our bird feeders. However I can't keep a lot of food in the feeders because of squirrels. In the cold months, early in the morning, I'll put out just enough seed to last through the day.
Patching Screw Holes in WallsThis project shows how to patch a hole in your wall, after removing a screw, properly before painting over it again. It is cheap and easy to do and it doesn't take very long to do.
Clearing a Clogged Sink DrainMy bathroom sink had been draining slowing for a while and it was finally time to figure it out. I found a recipe on ThriftyFun for homemade Drano, using salt, baking soda, vinegar and water. It didn't go quite as planned but we were successful in the end.
Foam To Fix a Store Room LeakThe store rooms in my complex were add-ons. They are about 10 years old and were not made very well. Because of this, and our gutters not being cleaned out as often as needed, they bring down rain that often leaks under a wall and half the door.
Plastic Bottle Fruit Fly TrapWe have tried many things to get rid of fruit flies in our home, and this is hands down the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way. One of the most important things in order to catch them is the bait you put out. Fruit flies can be more attracted to some things more than others.
Free Flower Pots at Lowe's Garden CenterSome garden centers like Home Depot or Lowe's have a rack for free pots. If they don't, you can ask if they have any free pots you can have. What's awesome is once in a while you may stumble across a nice ceramic, clay pot too!
Rubbing Alcohol for Mealy Bugs in a Succulent GardenKeeping a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol is convenient and can be used to get rid of mealy bugs on succulent plants! Rubbing alcohol is inexpensive and succulent safe while also getting the job done by getting rid of mealy bugs!
Make a Bicycle PlanterSome months of the year, the garden looks extra dull and brown, especially with our California droughts. My next door neighbour left a bicycle outside with a "Free to take" sign on it. It was absolutely trashed. I removed as much rust as I could, and with a little spray paint...
Using Bird Feeders for HouseplantsI picked up two inexpensive wooden bird feeders that were actually a little broken in a local department store for $1 each. I decided to use them inside my house to hold some hanging plants. I bring in a number of herbs for the winter and so window and plant space becomes an issue for me in the winter.
Adjusting a Dust Pan ClampI purchased this little dust pan at the grocery store. I have seen them at Walmart as well. It is made to clamp onto the broom handle, I would guess tight enough to stay in place which makes the dust pan very convenient. When you use a broom, you usually need a dust pan.
Saving Tomato SeedsHere is another way to save tomato seeds for next season.
Succulent WreathThis is a beautiful outdoor succulent wreath that can be hung on your front door or in your backyard. Just a few supplies and you can have yourself a lovely succulent wreath!
Add Vinegar to Dish SoapA doctor on a Japanese TV show mentioned adding a tiny splash of white vinegar to dish soap when washing up. It gives glass items an extra spotless sheen, and apparently it will help completely remove any soap residue on the dishes when you think you've got it all rinsed off, aiding in what you digest in the future.
Refinishing a DeckOur deck was built 11 years ago and was in desperate need of refinishing. It was covered in mold and mildew, which made it unsightly and very slippery in our rainy weather. We enlisted the help of our kids and were able to get it done fairly quickly. Now have a beautiful deck again!
Using Natures Own For Decorations, While Going GreenI love creating decorations from items that are free! Not only is it free, it smells nice, adds earthy freshness, and can be changed out and composted, eaten, or dried for arrangements. With apples from the tree, pine cones, and my favorite magnolia leaves, all of earth's freshness, can go back to the earth.
Use a Baby Pool to Cleanup Yard DebrisI trimmed some low lying limbs on our pecan tree and thought about Hurricane Florence that is predicted to bring devastation to North Carolina and South Carolina. There is going to be a mess of debris left to clean up.
Replacing Your Watch BatteryI always took my watches to the jeweler to have them replace the battery, at a cost of $8-$15. I saw watch batteries for the first time at Dollar Tree, and decided that I would try to replace them myself. Dollar Tree sold them 4 to a pack, which ends up being 25 cents to fix a watch.
Paint a Flower Pot Saucer that Doesn't Match PotFlower pots and saucers are sold separately. I knew I had a saucer at home so I didn't buy a new one. When I went home, the saucer didn't match the pot. You can revamp the saucer with a little bit of paint and it pairs nicely with the accents of the pot. I was able to save the $1-2 on a saucer, and use an existing one.