Condo Blues: frugal




Showing posts with label frugal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frugal. Show all posts

Monday, March 7, 2016

How to Make Bottle Cap Tiles

I want another ear phone, phone, and table charger organizer for the living room to hold the overflow from the Cigar Box and Wine Cork Storage Box I made last month.

I found a decorative Indian spice box during a 10 minute tidy in the kitchen that will a few quick tweaks will fit the bill just fine thank you.

 
The interior wood dividers easily popped out of the box in my hand. I wanted to add feet to the bottom of my DIY decorative storage box.  What to use?

Bottle caps!

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

DIY Allergy Friendly Homemade Furniture Dusting Spray

Dusting is not my favorite chore. I tried to make it easier by using a feather duster to dust the stuff on bookshelves and other hard to reach up too high places.

Until my allergist put the kibosh on that. He says feather dusters push more dust around than they pick up (including my fancy ostrich feather duster as well as the even fancier lambs wool dusters.)
Which for most of you will still work all fine and dandy but not for me. I have a litany of seasonal allergens including and especially dust mites.  So how exactly am I supposed to dust the furniture without commercial dusting sprays or a feather or lambs wool duster?

In this instance, my allergist recommended the best way to clean dust and dust mites is also the most non toxic and cheapest cleaner in the world – water!

How to Make Nontoxic and CHEAP! DIY Dust & Allergen Furniture Spray

 

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

12 Things I Do Not Buy and What I Use Instead

 Like most of you, I buy things on sale to save money where I can. Unfortunately, I’m just as guilty as anyone else who ran to the store to buy two things and came out with a buggy of stuff because I found a sale or a deal.

Sometimes I saved money and often times I didn't. The light bulb went off when I decluttered and organized the basement of our old place. Most of the Donate Pile was stuff I bought on sale because I thought I was saving money at the time.
  


 The easiest way to stop those intermittent money leaks disguised as saving was to stop buying things I didn't need even if they were on sale. I either gave up using it, found a reusable for a disposable, or repurposed something to take its place - all are extremely green, painless, and low cost options!

 So scoot over to my food blog Lazy Budget Chef to read my  post:

12 Things I Do Buy


Make sure you read the comments. A bunch of super smart folks shared their money saving tips there too!


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Monday, February 15, 2016

How to Make a Reversible Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day Garland

I don’t decorate for Valentine's Day or St Patrick’s Day very much, if at all. I’m not hating on either holiday.  I don’t have much room to store extra decorations that will be up for only a few weeks for Valentine's Day only to take them down and put up new decorations that will be up for only a few weeks for Saint Patrick's Day.

I got a flash of inspiration when I saw the servants hall in Downton Abby decorated with colorful cloth pennant garland in a recent episode. I know I’m a little late to the cloth garland party but a Valentine’s Day decoration I can flip over and reuse as a Saint Patrick’s Day decoration will solve my storage and holiday décor problem nicely.

Let’s get our DIY on!

St Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day Garland Decor Tutorial

 
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(No dog Project Mangers where harmed in the making of this project.)

 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tiny House Living Lies

I think tiny houses are twee and adorable. I have dozens pinned to my Pinterest boards (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest, pretty please?) I applaud living in a small ecological footprint. There positive financial aspects too. I understand how freeing that can be.

But.

I find it hard to believe that living tiny is nothing but utopia.


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We never hear about the downside of living in a tiny home. Sure, there is talk of how difficult it can be to decide what to keep and what needs to go. However the elephant in the itty bitty room no one will openly admit or discuss especially on tiny house TV shows is this:
  • It is illegal to park and live full time in a tiny house on wheels in most parts of the United States. Legally parking a tiny house is the most problematic issue and absolutely not addressed. Most camp grounds and mobile home parks forbid tiny houses - which is their right - as they are privately owned. Buying or renting land and plopping a tiny house on it may not solve the problem either. Local zoning laws often include minimum square footing for a house on a foundation and prohibit full time camping in a RV which is how tiny houses on wheels are classified. And sometimes what must be done to make a tiny house legal makes living in it all but impossible as Rowdy Kittens discusses here in her post On the Road Again…
 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

DIY Cigar Box and Wine Cork Storage Box

More often than I want to admit, phone and table cords, earphones, and eyeglasses are strewn about the side tables in my living room.  I put the stuff away. The next evening we need the stuff to read books or watch movies on our tablets and plop it on a table before heading off to bed. I put the stuff away…

It’s a never ending cycle.

A friend found a bunch of empty wood cigar boxes in the basement of her wine shop. I was drooling when I found out. Old cigar boxes are the gold standard of recycled project material just begging for an upcycle!

Needless to say, I made my way over to her shop and came home with a cigar box to make into a decorative storage box with wine cork feet to contain the flotsam and jetsam littering the living room.

 You have no idea how much work it took to to win the eBay auction for these vintage metal frames. I had my optimist fill them with my prescription. I love them!

How to Make a Decorative Cigar Box Storage Box 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How to Make Quick and Easy Peppermint Gift Tags

I have one more gift tag tutorial in this year’s series and it couldn’t be easier! We’re using cute printed packing tape to make Christmas gift tags!

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You will need:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Vintage Button Gift Tag Tutorial

I have another craft supply stash bust gift tag tutorial for you. Today we’re making gift tags with fabric ribbon and vintage buttons! Oh heck, let’s throw caution to the wind and use some scrapbook paper too.


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Many of the buttons I have in my grandmother’s button box are plain old shirt buttons. Great for replacing a lost one and better for crafting because there are so many of them. I also have odd lengths of ribbon from sewing projects that are too long to throw away and too small for my recent sewing projects. Inspired by finding  a box of business cards from my old company (may it rest in peace) I figured I could get these kids together and let them make quick, easy, and beautiful recycled gift tags together.

I’m sure you can figure out how I made the gift tags by looking at the picture so I almost don’t have to write a tutorial but since this is the holiday season is all about giving I will.

Monday, December 14, 2015

How to Make Evergreen Window Swags for Free!

We’re bumping up our outdoor Christmas decorations this year. We have a house full of energy efficient disco projector Christmas lights to replace our dead strings of LED Christmas lights.

I saved some Amazon Subscribe and Save boxes and wrapped them as Christmas presents and put them in the barren flower beds. We’ll recycle them after the holiday because storage space for holiday decorations is at a premium.


The front yard still needed a little something and when I saw a pair of dachshund Christmas decorations (learn more about them here.) in a neighbor's yard I had to have them too as a tribute to Lacey. What can I say? We are dog suckers through and through.
 
 The dachshund lights come apart for storage after the holiday. They make make me insanely happy.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Make Peek a Boo Window Gift Tags

After a two day craft room excavation I had a couple of boxes of old business cards and nice little pile of random paper, ribbon, buttons, and punches on my worktable. The following day and fueled by probably more hot chocolate than one person should drink in an afternoon I started to play.


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Once I got on a creative roll, I upcycled a bunch of old business cards into gift tags I’m not ashamed to tie onto our Christmas gifts this year. I have so many handmade stash buster gift tags, that I’m going to turn this craft project into a blog series. Come craft with me!

 

How to Make Embossed Gift Tags for Hanukkah or Christmas

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to Make a Christmas Countdown Calendar Candle

When it comes to Advent calendars, I am more about the Christmas Countdown than the extra treats and trinkets that fill the calendar. I’m not knocking anyone who likes the prizes. It’s hard to find one that isn’t filled with milk chocolate. With a milk allergy, I don’t need the daily reminder that I’m stuck with a relish tray at the Christmas party while everyone else is wolfing down yummy milk chocolate desserts and treats.

But Christmas is the time of year I like to honor my Danish heritage and Danes love their Advent Calendars. Danes also love burning candles. That means Christmas countdown candles are very popular in Denmark.

Instead of opening a little door or pocket, you countdown the days until Christmas by burning the candle to each marked day until Christmas Day.  Unfortunately, Advent calendar candles are hard to find and when I did find some on line they were $30 for a decorated taper candle.

30 bucks a pop? I can make it for less!

So I did.

How to Make an Advent Calendar Candle

Friday, November 6, 2015

Washi Tape Headphones

I decorated the headphones I keep on my desk with washi tape. By using paper washi tape I have a plastic free craft and the option to easily change the design in the future.

After awhile I wanted to step up my washi tape craft game from covering an object with the same washi tape design to projects that mix and match different tape patterns and colors. But here’s a little secret you don’t know about me: I choke when it comes to mixing and matching patterns in my décor projects. Also I only have two rolls of washi tape and they don’t coordinate.


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Luckily, I received a review copy of  Washi Tape Crafts: 110 Ways to Decorate Just About Anything by Amy Anderson, the author of the book Mod Podge Rocks! I knew Amy was writing a washi tape craft book but what I didn’t know is her book comes with 10 rolls of custom design washi tape.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How to Make Wine Cork Napkin Rings

I want to switch up my dining room decor for Thanksgiving. One of the easiest and cheapest way to do that is to decorate with fall colored napkins and napkin rings. The cloth napkins I have. The cute fall napkin rings I do not.

I have a TON of wine corks in my craft room, just waiting for a crafty wine cork project. Time to get my upcycling on and recycle some of the corks into handmade napkin rings!


Recycled Copper Beaded Wine Cork Napkin Rings

This is a quick little project you can do for yourself or make and give them to someone as a homemade gift. Christmas is just around the corner you know!


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For each napkin ring you will need:

Monday, October 26, 2015

10 Natural, Reycled, and Upcycled Acorn Crafts

Fall is one of the best times of the year to decorate with nature. A simple walk in the park or, if you are lucky, a few steps from your front door is a whole host of Mother Nature’s splendor just waiting for a little green Fall decorating and craft magic.

 
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Autumn leaves, pumpkins, and cornstalks (I almost bought some from a farmer’s market on a whim last weekend,) are what I normally think of when it comes to Fall décor.

It wasn’t until I saw Dandelion Patina ‘s  recycled sweater and coconut shell acorns that I thought about decorating with acorns and acorn crafts. I pinned her post to my Fall decorating Pinterest board (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest pretty please?) and fell head first into real, recycled, and upcycled acorn crafts and decorations.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick and Easy Boat Cleat Towel Rack

I need to to organize the towels in the guest bathroom and found my design inspiration at the vet’s office. Wha? Let me explain.

Lacey’s vet has boat cleats on the main desk which allows you to anchor your pet’s leash (pun intended) over the cleat so your hands are free to make payments and sign paperwork.  It is quite genius and something I’d totally expect seeing growing up on Lake Erie.

The guest bathroom is taking on a nautical vibe. I like repurposed and reclaimed design elements. So why not organize my bathroom by repurposing dock cleats? Sounds like a plan.

How to Make a Boat Dock Cleat Towel or Coat Rack

 
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Homemade Fairy Wing Dog Halloween Costume

Costuming is my favorite part of Halloween, but Lacey? Not so much.  Lacey’s favorite part is earning treats at Halloween pet charity events. I can’t blame her for that.

Husband and I use dog charity events as fun socialization training to help Lacey work on her fear and anxiety issues (Read more about that on this dog training post on Condo Blues.) Unlike her humans, Lacey isn’t into wearing dog Halloween costumes or clothes (unless it is freezing outside.) We don’t push it because the costume thing is really for the humans, not the dogs.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How to Fix a Running Toilet: Replace the Float

Water in the guest bathroom toilet kept running after every flush. I removed the lid to the toilet tank to investigate.


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to Build a Rain Barrel Drainage Pad

Late summer/early fall is a great time to do garden landscaping projects. The weather isn’t as blazing hot as it is in the middle of summer and most of the materials are now on clearance to make room for fall and winter merchandise.

  
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Or in our case, you end up with a bunch of extra bricks from repairing your vintage brick garden border and want to do something with the lovely, worn, and free reclaimed bricks.

Thanks to two months of never ending rain and me replacing the broken spigot on the rain barrel (read the tutorial here) before the rains came, Husband and I have plenty of water to use for watering our new plantings. Eco Dork that I am, I get positively giddy watering my plants with rain water but I’m not happy with stepping in the mud that sometimes surrounds the rain barrel spigot.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

100 Homemade Halloween Costumes!



 
My absolute favorite, favorite thing about Halloween is costumes! It is the only day of the year you can dress up as weird as you like and no one will think you are a weirdo.

Unless your costume is a Weirdo.


Husband and I as Raving Rabbid Weirdos. Bwaaaaaaaaaaa!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Recycled Fall Leaf Lantern Decor

Fall leaves are Mother Nature’s fireworks.  It is such a shame to dump all of those golden yellow, red, and orange leaves that eventually litter my yard into the compost bin. We should show at least some of them off!





Red Ted Art did just that. She and her children gathered pretty fall leaves and forced themselves to eat a lovely cheese so they can upcycle the cheese box into a quick and easy leaf lantern.

Husband is so on board with this project. He selflessly volunteered to eat as much cheese as needed so I can recycle the wood cheese boxes all in the name of green fall home décor. What a trooper!

Learn how to make Red Ted Art's Fall Leaf Lanterns here. Check out the comment section for suggestions on what you use to make the lanterns if you don’t have access to cheese boxes.

This is a very kid friendly craft and decoration because she uses electric tea lights to light the lanterns.

Do you think I can use a small solar light to power her leaf light like I did when I made my solar Halloween Milk Jug Ghost lights?


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