Condo Blues: saving money




Showing posts with label saving money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label saving money. Show all posts

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.

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How to Fix a Broken Dishwasher Rack

The top rack of the dishwasher was a little wonky.
 
Scratch that. A lot wonky.

The top rack wouldn’t slide in and out of the dishwasher easily. When it does, the rack dips down to an angle instead of being parallel to the bottom dishwasher rack.


Husband did a little investigation.  Instead of something being misaligned, the sliding brackets on both sides of the dishwasher rack broke off. So that’s why the dishwasher recently wasn’t cleaning dishes well!

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.

 
 Pin these clever ideas for later!


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 d├ęcor.

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.

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.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

5 End of Summer Projects and Adventures

Just as our unseasonably cold and soggy summer finally gets around to acting  like a normal clear and blazing hot summer the season is officially over with Labor Day weekend. Ohio weather is certainly an adventure!

That’s not to say, Husband and I have not had our share of projects and adventures in between thunderstorms. Since most of them are tidbits rather than full blown blog post I figure why not wrap up the summer with a wrap up of our summer fun?




After spending a little over a year driving past it and silently sending the place “build it faster” vibes

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Quick Craft: Make a Portable Phone Charger Case

I  love photography. My phone has a good camera and I’m not shy about whipping it out to document the beautiful, fun, or surprising things that cross my path in any given monument. Unfortunately, using the camera so often kills my phone battery. I started carrying a portable phone charger or two in my bag or backpack when Husband and I go on one of our adventures.

My quick phone charger holder makes a great gift. 
You should pin this post for gift giving season!


I quickly realized I need some sort of phone charger holder or case to store the charger and the cord together.  Why are the things you need to grab quickly always in the deepest darkest corners of your bag or purse and take ages of rooting around to find? It’s some sort of purse conspiracy I tell ya.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

How to Make Color Guard Swing Flags

This year, one of my band association’s members choreographed an epic swing flag routine to Pompeii (a song I like to begin with) for a group exhibition performance at the Drum Corps International World Championships. DCI asked our community band association to perform to let the corps kids know they don't have to give up music once they age out of drum corps at 21. Bucket List moment!

Our color guard choreographer put an instructional video up on YouTube so the guard members can rehearse on our own in our respective states before we meet for the performance later this year.


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I feel stronger and more graceful than I really am when I spin. It is good exercise too.


This way we won't have much work to clean when we meet two days before the show to rehearse together. Yes, it is as crazy and insane as it sounds to put together a pep band show of  5 routines with only 8 hours of rehearsal but luckily we’re all disciplined adults so it works when the umbrella organization has a country wide group performance made from performers from our member bands.

Rehearsing at home is no big deal except the group with the practice swing flags are using theirs this season and lives in New York. The group with the performance swing flags are using theirs and lives in Florida.

I better get a pair of swing flags for me in Ohio then, huh?



What is a Swing Flag?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Landscaping Budget Hack: Use a Tool Lending Libarary

It seems strange to start a landscaping project in late July instead of May but Mother Nature isn't giving us much choice. Ohio has the opposite water problem California has - too much rain.

The number of days in a row Columbus has not had any precipitation this year?

Four.

This we're lucky if we get a 24 hour period without rain once every couple of weeks. If the sun decides to visit us after a 15 to 19 day rainy stretch we learned to drop everything to do outside chores just in case it rains later in the day.


Pin this for gardening and landscaping season!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

7 Back to School Craft Projects


I always think of Back to School season as an unofficial New Year's Day. It is full of new possibilities and new school clothes, shoes, and supplies. My parents bought me new consumable school supplies like pens, pencils, and notebooks but for the big stuff like lunchboxes, binders, and backpacks they had a One and Done policy. I had to take care of it because I wasn't going to get another for the following school year if I trashed it that year.


Looking back, it was a great green lesson about taking care of what you have so it will last. It was also a lesson in creativity. Sometimes I jazzed up last year's school supplies makes them feel bright, shiny, and new for the new school year with a craft project like my washi tape USB Flash drive.

 Them: "Hey, where did you get that cool Flash drive?!" Me: "Oh, I made it."

When you want to be crafty for Back to School season it helps to start early. Especially if you have a student going back to college since most college start before summer officially ends.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cheap and Easy No Slip Tool Chest Organizer

After I built my recycled pallet and cabinet workbench, I needed to organize and load in my tools.


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The power tools were easy to organize. I already keep my power tools in their cases. I stashed those in the workbench cabinet. Boom. Done.

Monday, July 6, 2015

How to Repair a Quad Camp Chair

One of Husband’s coworkers has a HUGE Fourth of July parade party and cookout.

Food was made. Watermelon cut and cubed. Coolers were washed and ready. The one thing we didn’t double check were our first generation armless folding quad lawn (camp) chairs. (aff link)

We discovered one of rivets holding the chair legs to the seat broke after we set up the chairs at our parade viewing encampment. Whoops!




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Replacing a broken rivet on a folding quad lawn chair is a super simple fix. It takes barely any time at all. If you have a jar of odd nuts and bolts laying around, it could be a zero dollar repair. What’s not to love about that?



How to Fix a Folding Lawn Chair

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

12 Favorite Summer Craft Projects

Summer is in full swing. I am loving it! Warm summer days are excellent DIY and craft project weather. Here are a few of my favorite summer craft projects that are not only clever but useful too!


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DIY Personalized Insulated Wine Glass Tumblers –  Fun and reusable!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How to Replace a Rain Barrel Spigot

My rain barrel has been harvesting water for the last three years. I couldn’t be happier with it. Even better my rain barrel keeps a soggy side of my house dry.


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The only downside to my 40 gallon bundle of joy is after three years of faithful service the shut off valve on the attached hose broke. I can’t unscrew it and use a regular garden hose with my rain barrel rock because it has a hose instead of a spigot. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

18 Easy Summer DIY Projects That Will Motivate You

Summer is my favorite season. I think I am part plant because I love being out in the sun after suffering though the cold and harsh winter. I’m  too Type A to sit in a lawn chair and tan (which is actually skin damage. Who knew?) I’m not into sports much either. I spend time outdoors getting my DIY on!

I lovingly refer to summer as Project Season. 

There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing a DIY project. It might be a little project that ends up taking all day because you are new but that’s OK because everyone has to start someplace and every super smart DIYer I know had to start at the beginning.





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I just want you to pick up the tool of your choice and try. I get a thrill when someone like Diane of The Big Green Purse lets me know you were inspired to make try making a repair yourself. You go Diane! Woot! Woot! 

DIY doesn’t have to be all big scary power tools unless you want it to be. One of my favorite gardeners Anna from Green Talk insists she isn’t a DIYer, yet she has an amazing garden and spends hours tending it with love. So yes Anna, you are a DIYer your tool of choice is a trowel instead of a hammer and that’s OK.
 

18 of My Favorite Summer DIY Projects


 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How to Make Extra Money Flipping Furniture

I bypass a lot of cast off furniture that would look stunning with a little DIY love. If I don't, my small condo would quickly look like an episode of Hoarders.

If I had the room to store the pieces AND work on them (for me its an either/or not both situation) I could make some cash on the side fixing up old furniture and flipping it - selling it for a profit.


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Sunday, May 31, 2015

How to Make an Easy Cargo Net Car Organizer

I have a bunch of junk in my trunk.

The trunk of my car, people. Not my badonka donk! Although truthfully….oh never mind.

The biggest mess maker is the stash of reusable shopping bags we keep in the car. They slosh out of the big shopping bag that is supposed to contain them and into everything else in the trunk.

How to make a cargo net car organizer
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The last straw was when the mess hid a container of orange juice that popped out of a grocery bag and it sat in a hot car for several days. I still have nightmares about the stench that followed. So. Evil. Horrible. BAD.
Most car organizers I found are not made for sedans, only SUVs. Besides we don’t want a shopping bag and stuff organizer that doesn’t allow us to fold the back seat down. This is mostly an issue during the summer when I’m hauling color guard equipment back and forth to practice.  The flags don’t fit in the trunk unless I fold the seat down.


Would you believe this is what my trunk looks like when it is neat? Sad. I know.

 Dollar Store Cargo Net Car Organizer Tutorial


I gave Lisa my idea to hang her shopping bag organizer on the side of the car trunk instead of the back. She came up with using laundry bags because the mesh is small enough to contain the most important thing in our car (besides snacks) my Frisbee and tennis ball for the dog park!


You will need:

Mesh laundry bag - This mesh laundry bag is similar to the one I used  

Fabric - I used a fat quarter of fabric

Interfacing

Scissors

Large grommet kit (I used this grommet kit from Dritz)

Iron and Ironing board

Thread

Straight pins

Sewing machine

Magnet hooks (I buy my magnetic hooks here)

Hook and loop tape 

A canine project manger – Try to find one who doesn’t sleep on the job.


 
I am not sleeping on the job! My eyes are open!

Make it:

1. Remove the drawstring from the laundry bag. I cut the end off with a pair of scissors.

2. Use the scissors to cut a horizontal side open from the closed end of the bag to the open end of the bag.

3. Measure the circumference of the horizontal opening in the laundry bag and add 2 inches to that measurement for a seam allowance.

4. Use this measurement to measure and cut a piece of fabric and interfacing that is that long and 4 inches wide.

5. Fold the rough lengthwise edges of the fabric right side (the pretty part) to wrong side (the back of the fabric) in and iron them into place to make smooth edges to your banding.

6. Fold the banding wrong sides together and iron it into place. This will be the banding for the top of your cargo net trunk organizer.

7. Use the straight pins to pin the banding around the top of the open mesh bag.  Use the sewing machine to sew the top and the bottom of the band into place.

I used a zig zag stitch because I forgot to reset my sewing machine back to a straight stitch after a previous project and I figured why not? You can use a straight stitch too.

8. Pin the raw open end of the laundry bag closed. Use the sewing machine to sew the bag closed.


You should use a straight stitch to make this seam.

9. Set two grommets (also called eyelets) into the band of the bag using the grommet tool that comes with the grommets. Read my tutorial How to install grommets if your kit doe not come with clear instructions.



10. Sew a piece of the hook side of hook and loop tape to the back side of the fabric band. This will help keep your trunk organizer in place and against the carpeted wall of your car trunk.

Warning: This will not be strong enough to keep the organizer full of stuff attached to the side of your car trunk. Guess how I know? That’s why we need Step 11.

11. Attach the magnet hooks to the metal sides of your trunk, hang the cargo net up, and get that organize that junk in your trunk!


This is such an easy way to organize the stuff in our car and make sure it stays put! I made two net car organizers for each side of our trunk. One cargo net keeps our reusable shopping bags organized. The other cargo net keeps our picnic blanket, Frisbee and toys, and car seat covers from sliding all and hiding fetid orange juice containers for days on end.

 
Easy organization. Love that!

The net organizers are easy to remove if we need extra room in the trunk for a trip or when I buy something big at the home improvement store.

How do you keep your car organized?


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