Condo Blues: How to




Showing posts with label How to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How to. Show all posts

Thursday, April 15, 2021

How to Spring Clean Your Dryer Vent and Friday Favorites Week 577

I'm Spring Cleaning inside of the house, like ya do, and I noticed one thing I need to Spring Clean on the outside of my house - my dryer vent!

DIY dryer vent cleaning
I'll spare you the current gory state of dryer lint build up and give you this one when I first installed my energy efficient dryer vent.

Even if you clean the link trap/screen in your dryer after every load lint can still build up in the dryer duct, vent, and end cap. Dryer lint is highly flammable (which is one the reasons why people use it to make homemade fire starters) and according to experts it doesn’t take much for accumulated dryer lint to cause a dryer fire. Fortunately cleaning a dryer vent is a quick and easy thing to do. Learn how in my post How to Clean a Dryer Vent the Easy Way! you'll be glad you did.

I showed you my project, now you show me yours! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

How to Make a Recycled Wine Cork Wall Organizer

After putting the job off as long as humanly possible, it is time to clean and reorganize my craft room.  Every craft supply and tool found an organized storage space with the exception of my embroidery hoops. I kept moving them place to place during the decluttering project. It didn’t help matters that I added several big and hard to store machine embroidery hoops to the mix when I got a sewing and embroidery machine for my birthday.  

how to organize machine embroidery hoops

Her name is Bernadette. She can sew everything from chiffon to leather and has so many settings and features it is like flying a rocket ship. Cool, I always wanted to be an astronaut! 


 I sat and looked around the room trying to find a place for more storage. After quite a bit of time (I may have also been streaming Netflix) I found it – blank wall space under a shelf.  Great!

One of the things I like about cleaning, decluttering, and organizing a creative space is rediscovering supplies (fancy talk for I forgot I had that!)  I almost always end up using the found objects to make storage and organizers for the item I uncovered that don’t have a good store bought solution including this one. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

DIY Harlequin Jester Costume and Friday Favorites Week 575

Happy April Fool's Day!!!

As a professional jester in the Before Times, I consider April 1st to be My Day.  I don't play tricks or jokes on people, I just walk around extra happy and foolish. See?

how to make a harlequin jester costume
This costume is my first and probably last quilting project because it took four months to build!

Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Monday, March 22, 2021

DIY Compost Station

When someone asks why we started composting, my husband and I say it’s because we had to because all we had for garden was clay and zero topsoil. We sang the condo blues over how very little would grow in that pretending to be soil, researched how to amend it, and experimented with composting in a DIY compost bin.

I made our first compost bin by drilling a bazillion holes in a black plastic trash can. We loaded it up with food scraps and paper from our paper shredder and in about a year we had compost! We added the homemade compost to our soil and after awhile our tan clay soil started to turn black with nutrients. I practically dance the first time I dug a hole and found an earthworm – it is another indicator that the soil is improving!

 

We take our composting very seriously. Why do you ask?

 

And we’ve been composting ever since.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

How to Make an Easy Indoor Fairy Door

Columbus has many visit this type of business, stamp a passport, and collect a prize trails. We have a local coffee trail, craft brewery trail, a local small business trail, and a delicious donut trail among others. I recently learned about a cool one in Dublin, Ohio – The Fairy Door Trail. Dublin goes completely nuts for all things Irish,  Celtic, and St. Patrick’s Day. So it makes sense that they start a new trail by putting new fairy doors in their local small businesses in March for St Patrick’s Day just in case a leprechaun would like to use it. Which is mighty thoughtful.

I fell into an Internet fairy door rabbit hole after that and wanted to add another fairy door to my house just in case a fairy, gnome, leprechaun, or hopefully - a Borrower - would use it. I loved the Borrower books and movies as a kid and I often think a Borrow probably borrowed that thing I can’t find (which is way more fun than acknowledging I misplaced it.) If you don’t know what I’m talking about  you can read The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers series here. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience)

 

It’s National Craft Month so why not make an indoor fairy door (or the mythical sprite of your choice) to celebrate?

 

Let’s make stuff!

How to Make an Indoor Fairy, Leprechaun, Gnome, Elf, or Borrowers Door


how to make an indoor fairy door

Save this fairy door craft idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

How to Put a Removable Pompom on a Knit or Crochet Hat and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 568

I'm attempting to crochet a winter hat. It isn't going very well. I've had to rip out stitches/start over at least six times! At this rate I'll probably finish it by the middle of summer.

In the meantime, it has been snowing all week and my head is cold.

I found a cute chunky knit with a warm fleece liner similar to this Heat Holders thermal hat on winter clearance. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) The price was more than right but it didn't have a cute pompom like the style of  hat I will hopefully make.

quick and easy DIY pompom hat
BRRRRRRRR!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

DIY Dollar Store Valentine's Day Wreath and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 566

February will be here in no time and with it brings Valentine's Day! If you are looking for something a little different for your DIY Valentine's Day decor my glass bead heart wreath is just the thing! It is quick, easy, and best of all inexpensive because everything I used to make it came from the dollar store. Woot.

easy dollar store valentine's day wreath

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

12 Real World Ways I Went Zero Waste This Week

Some of the things they don’t tell you about trying to reduce your household trash with zero waste living is that it depends a lot on where and how you want to live. Most of the year’s worth of garbage in jar folks have access to big fill your own container stores, year round farm markets, or huge gardens where they can grow almost everything  they need. Not all of us are that lucky,  would rather not drive all over the place, or crunched the numbers and found some the prices in those shops sky high. *raises hand*


But’s not to say that zero waste is impossible!  Instead try the more realistic goal of concentrating on reducing your household waste than making it absolute zero. By focusing on reusing, the Rule of Half, recycling, reducing, and composting (when the bin isn’t frozen shut) my family has reduced our weekly household waste to approximately one grocery store size shopping bag (ish. We reuse any packaging, dog food, etc.  bags for garbage which means the size varies) a week. We average a 3/4 full recycling bin every two weeks. We also give ourselves a break if our output is more than that because we have seasons and that can determine what we can do and how we do it.


To give you some realistic ways to reduce your household waste (and possibly save some money doing it) I made a list of the zero waste practices, tips, and tricks I do in a normal week to give you some ideas and jump start your thinking machines to find a zero waste solution that works for you!

 

12 real world zero waste tips
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Sunday, November 8, 2020

How to Make Bottle Gnome Christmas Decorations

much invisible because that’s the way the tomte like it. You don’t want to make a nisse mad because it they really feel like getting even, their bite is poisonous.

So personally, I think it is best to decorate with the not so fickle recycled variety and make quick and easy bottle Christmas gnome decorations! Although, just like the Irish leprechaun, Danish gnomes don’t go away after the holiday and you can decorate with gnomes all year round if you like.

 

how to make Christmas gnome decorations
Save this gnome decorating idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

 

This is a very forgiving Christmas craft project because the way you make your gnome is only limited to your imagination and what craft supplies you have on hand or want to use for this project.

Monday, October 19, 2020

How to Make Comfortable Padded Headphone Covers

I found a set of headphones with a microphone I forgot I had in that random box of cords you’re supposed to have when you hit 30. The foam ear covers where deteriorated but the microphone windscreen was fine. What good luck I thought! I don’t have to by a new pair! I used them for my next Zoom meeting. 

Of which, the last half an hour was the longest of my life because the bare headphones hurt my ears. OW!

 

how to make replacement headphone covers
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I  went into my craft studio, gathered materials, popped on an audiobook (I use Audible. You can Try Audible and Get Two FREE Audiobooks here,) and started to play. In the end I had new cute and comfortable ear covers for my headphones. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

 

Let’ do this!

How to Make Replacement Headphone Covers

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

How to Sew a Skeleton Skirt with POCKETS

I plunked a bolt of skeleton print fabric on the store’s cutting table.

 

Fabric cutting lady: what are you making?


Me: A skirt


Fabric cutting lady: Oh! Are you getting ready for Halloween early?


Me: No. Just making something fun to wear for every day.


Fabric cutting lady: (Gives me a blank stare because she doesn’t know what to do with this information and says nothing. This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten this response from her about one of my weirdo projects.)

 

That doesn’t matter because I made a cute, twirly dirndl skirt that has pockets!
 

how to make an A line skirt with pockets

Save this sewing idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

 

And you know what?

 You can make one too!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

3 Quick and Easy DIY Face Mask Lanyards

When I have to go out and about on a necessary errand to two, I'm required to wear a cloth face mask.

  As always, I try to batch my errands to save gas (eco friendlier and all) and most importantly, time. 

 Which means, I usually take off my mask by the ear loops when I get back into the car. Then I hunt to find where it shifted around while I was driving to my next stop when it is time to put the mask back on again (always using the ear loops as recommended!) I need a better way to keep track of my cloth face mask in between the short times I remove it and need to put it back on again.

 I took my inspiration from the floating sunglasses strap similar to this one  I use when I’m at a water park or pool to keep my sunglasses from sinking if they are accidentally knocked off my face. In no time at all I a cloth face mask lanyard. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

 Well, actually I made 3. Two handmade face mask lanyards and one cloth face mask chain because it is such a quick and easy project to do.

 Let’s make stuff!

  3 quick easy face mask lanyard tutorials

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Soapmaking and Friday Favorites Linky Party 538

Well, there is one thing I have to say about our social distancing summer, I'm getting a lot of projects done that I've been putting off (repeatedly.) For example just this morning I finally played that game of Sock Concentration (although you may call it  matching up and reorganizing your sock drawer) in a desperate attempt to find a pair of matching no show socks to wear today.

Although I briefly considered wearing a pair missing mates, because no show socks, amiright? But hey, it's done, I'm wearing matching socks (also I'm wearing an actual shoe that requires a sock) and in a Marie Kondo fashion that I revised after the first go round to work a little better for me - I hope.

My last batch of liquid hot process soap came out with the consistency of Flubber and I've been putting off trying again since its failure. Projects have been keeping me sane since this whole mess started and soap making was the only thing left on this list. Also, the summer heat in the garage already melted my coconut oil for me and since melting my oils at too high a temperature was Step 1 in my last comedy of errors, I gave it another go.

melted coconut oil
Soapmaking is easier when the summer heat melts your oils for you!

Monday, July 13, 2020

How to Make a Recycled Aluminum Can Butterfly Necklace

  I don’t drink a lot of soda but every once and awhile a pop can will cross my path. Once I finish the beverage I have two choices:

1. Recycle the can in the recycling bin.

2. Recycle the can into a cute necklace.

 

Today I am going with Option 2 because it will make a much more entertaining tutorial than Option 1 and it will give me a chance to answer I often get: How do you smooth the edges of a cut aluminum can?

 It’s easy! Let’s get started. 

How to Smooth and File the Sharp Edges of a Cut Aluminum Can

How to make a recycled soda pop can butterfly necklace
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Monday, May 18, 2020

How to Clean Caulk Off Clothing

I had a quick little caulking project I needed to do and didn’t bother changing into paint clothes because I didn’t think I’d get messy.

 Which of course meant I got several big smears of caulk on one of my few pairs of good jeans.

 It. Never. Fails. Why won’t I learn?

 How to remove caulk from clothing

Pin this hack to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends! 

Can these jeans be saved? Yes they can! It is very easy to remove caulk spills from clothing. here’s how.

 

How to Remove Caulk From Clothing

Monday, March 30, 2020

How to Caulk Around a Toilet

After tiling the guest bathroom and replacing the boring builder molding with something a little more interesting, It is time to make this bathroom look and function like a bathroom by installing a working toilet – a luxury we haven’t had in quite a while since the builder toilet went on strike.


I went with a Watersense rated Delta Faucet Company toilet (you can find similar toilets here.)  (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) I had such a good experience installing one in my powder room because every single thing you need to install the toilet comes in the box down to a screwdriver and the Watersense rating means it is water efficient (I think of it as the Energy Star rating for plumbing) without the hit or miss of not quite flushing everything that needs to be flushed like a duel flush toilet. 

the easy way to caulk a toilet and bathtub
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


But before I can completely cross Install New Toilet off my punch list, I need to caulk around it (and also along the new tile next to the bathtub. Fortunately, you caulk around a bathtub the same way you caulk a toilet. Let’s do this!

Why Should I Caulk Around the Toilet?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How to Plant an Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden the Easy Way!

I have more time to grow a garden during the winter and spring than during the summer. Unfortunately it is way too cold outside and I just don’t get enough sunlight inside of my house to grow even a tiny herb garden. Trust me. We tried. 

Also there is the whole I forget plants need water to grow thing. The only reason I can keep a succulent alive is that they thrive on low light and neglect.

I’ve been interested in hydroponic gardening (growing plants in water instead of soil) ever since my husband and I saw an exhibit on aquaponic gardening (similar to hydroponics except fish in a tank fertilize the plants.) I looked at several of them off and on but most of them needed preparatory (and spendy) seed pods that weren’t always what we were interested in growing or eating. Fortunately, on Christmas morning my husband unwrapped our gift and learned that you can use your own seeds to grow whatever you like in an AeroGarden.

how to set up and troubleshoot an AeroGarden indoor hydroponic herb garden
Save this tutorial and troubleshooting tips to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

We set up our indoor hydroponic herb garden and have been enjoying cooking with fresh herbs all winter which feels decadent because up until now, that as been a summer only thing.

How to Set Up an AeroGarden Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden

Sunday, February 16, 2020

11 Floor Tiling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Tiling a floor is a pretty easy DIY job.

It is also a DIY job that is easy to mess up if you don’t follow a few precautions first. You really don’t want to put in all of the work of tiling a floor only for the tiles to eventually come loose or crack after the job is done.

how to tile a bathroom floor
Save these handy floor tile tips to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!


1. Not adding an extra 10% of tile to your tile order – Depending upon the design, you may need extra to match up the pattern in the room. It is also good to have extra tile on hand just in case you cut one incorrectly or worse drop one and break it.

Friday, February 7, 2020

How to Make a Teapot Cozy

Sometimes when I want to drink more than one cup of tea on a leisurely afternoon, I’ll make it in a teapot. Unfortunately, leisurely drinking the tea in my cup usually means the  tea in the pot turns cold by the time I’m ready for a refill.

Which pretty much negates the reason for making a small pot of tea.

The solution is to put an insulated tea pot warmer on my hot little pot to keep the tea inside it nice and warm as I slowly sip the day away...

Oh, who I am I kidding? I’m usually sewing and forget I made the pot of tea that is sitting on a table across from my sewing machine until hours later.

Either way, a tea cozy is a super simple sewing project to make and is a fantastic fabric stash bust project. I added machine embroidery from a file that came with my machine to get a little more practice in on hooping the embroidery fabric – easily the most tedious, difficult to get right, and important step in machine embroidery.

Let’ s make something!

How to Sew a Simple Tea Cozy



how to make a quick and easy teapot cozy
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Sunday, November 24, 2019

How to Make Outdoor Scandinavian Christmas Gnome Decorations

I saw a big Christmas gnome decorations on line at IKEA and knew two of them would look perfect decorating both sides of my front door this Christmas. Unfortunately they were already sold out of them by the first few days of November!

I was severely bummed.

It was all the encouragement I needed to shop IKEA for the materials and go with my original plan of making a set of outdoor Christmas gnomes built around tomato cages.  Since storage space is at a premium in my condo, I made my Christmas gnomes (which we Scandinavians call Tomte or Nisser) as a temporary slipcover. That way I can use the cages in my summer garden, clean them, and use them again during the Christmas decorating season.  If you have the storage space you can permanently hot glue the fabric to your tomato cage instead of holding it in place with clothes pins like I did.

how to make outdoor Scandinavian Christmas gnome decorations
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share this decorating idea with your friends!


How to Make Scandinavian Christmas Gnomes