Tag Archives: DIY

Link Love: 37

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111111-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024.jpg This guy has averaged 95 dollars per year from picking up loose change on the sidewalks of New York.

Calculate your time until financial independence. I found this a little disheartening, but it’s an exercise in realism, I suppose.

6 foolproof rules for hiding things you hate about your home. We all have them…

Have you seen these beds that lift up for under-bed storage from Ikea? It’s genius.

Some really great creative furniture hacks.

5 furniture pieces you can live without.

“Owning less provides more money, more energy, more time, and more opportunity to pursue our greatest passions.”

This couple hiked the entire Appalachian Trail! That’s a feat that only 1 in 4 people complete. Part of the trail runs through my home state and I’d love to hike at least part of it one day.

This is a beautiful idea for a DIY gift. It would be perfect for just about every occasion, but it’d be especially great for wedding gift.

Don’t forget, we’re reading The Power of Less for our next book discussion!

And just for fun, this video cracks me up.

Happy almost Friday!

love,
melanie

20 Low-Cost Gifts to Make this Holiday

20 Low-Cost Gifts to Make this Holiday

How is it December already? Weren’t we just pumpkining all the things, jumping in all the leaves and carving all the jack-o-lanterns? Oh well. The holidays are almost here whether I like it or not.  I’m not making all my gifts this year. The handmade holiday challenge that I did last year was kind of insane. But I’ll still make a few gifts and I’ll still try to stay under $100, of course. If you are a fellow nut and want to MAKE ALL THE GIFTS here’s a few (or 20) ideas for low-cost gifts to make this holiday.

For the fashionista:

  1. A knotted bracelet
  2. A clay beads necklace
  3. Polymer clay hair accessories
  4. A holiday crown

For the foodie:

  1. DIY vanilla extract
  2. Upcycle a rolling pin
  3. Low sugar nuts
  4. Infused liquors!
  5. A personalized mug filled with coffee or chocolates

Can you knit or sew? These projects are super fun

  1. A knitted baby cape
  2. A chunky, knitted scarf
  3. A knitted scrubbie
  4. A leather clutch
  5. A look-alike, handmade American Apparel circle scarf

For everyone:

  1. Beeswax candles
  2. Pillows!
  3. A toy for your furry friends
  4. A clay bowl for jewelry, change or paper clips
  5. A hand-painted and customized ukulele
  6. And last, but not least, make everyone’s favorite gift (cash!) a little more exciting with this cash mobile.

What gifts are you making this holiday season? Tell me about them in the comments!

love,
melanie

Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Dogs

Dobby Dog Costume

Since this is our first Halloween with Bambi, I wanted to make it special. I had planned to make her three costumes for her first Halloween. I am an unstable dog-mamma, obviously. I didn’t have time to make her three costumes, because, well, mama has a job, but I did manage to make her one costume and find a bunch of super cheap and easy Halloween costumes for dogs.

Easy dog costume - Dobby from Harry Potter! Bambi as Dobby
This year I made a simple Dobby costume. Dobby is a house elf from Harry Potter, in case you aren’t a huge HP geek like me. With her ears, I think she looks just like him! I took an old t-shirt, dyed it with coffee, let it dry, then cut up the neck and sewed up the sides to fit her. Easy peasy.

Here’s my favorite cheap and easy dog costumes from the web-o-sphere! I picked them with the my fellow procrastinators in mind :)

It’s raining cats and dogs!

Dying over this one– it’s Lamb Chop!

A Hostess Cupcake! 

Cotton Candy!

A M&M! Make this one even easier by using hot glue instead of sewing.

This is too damn cute! A chia pet!

Clowns can be creepy or insanely cute.

There’s no bones about it, this dog is adorable (and warm!) as a skeleton! 

A bat! This one is great for those dogs who don’t like wearing something on their heads.

A lovely ladybug!

Are you dressing up your dog this Halloween? I’d love to hear your costume ideas in the comments!

love,
melanie

Link Love: 13

rp_Link-Love-1024x1024111111.jpg 5 beauty products to stop buying and start making

Get free money advice on Financial Planning Day this Saturday!

Can getting one month ahead save your budget?

Think of retirement as freedom, not a deadline

Super affordable mattresses sent right to your door
Where was this when I was buying a mattress?!

This tiny house is the bees’ knees

31 tiny house hacks to maximize your space 

This 1955/56 Silver Dome Travel Trailer is for sale and I am smitten.

How pretty are these DIY leather file folders? 

David Sedaris’ Reddit Q&A Thread was just delightful. He’s definitely my most beloved author.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the weekend!

love,
melanie

Frugal Friday: The Importance of DIY

nail polish I’m usually a gung-ho DIYer. I mean, we fixed up the Airstream ourselves! And you can catch me on any given night knitting, cooking or making candles. I even tried to make all my Christmas gifts last year and plan to do so again this year! But there are some things that I just plain don’t like to do. I don’t like to clean my own car and I don’t like to give myself pedicures. I just don’t like to do it. #truestory. We’re going down to truth city today, folks.

But since I started the Spending Fast (spending only $100 per month on non-necessities) I’ve had to do many chores that I would outsource before because I didn’t like to do it. I’d like to say that it hasn’t been so bad, but I still hate doing those chores. I’m putting those things in the same category as working out— something I don’t like to do, but I have to do. (Both are in the same category as stuff that isn’t so bad once you start doing it.)

Even though I hate it, when trying to save money, DIY is at the utmost importance. There are some things I’d never DIY, like electrical stuff (it’s too scary and dangerous!), but if I can do it and feel safe doing it, I will. DIY not only saves me money, it also teaches me a new skill. DIY is empowering. Saving money is empowering.

DIY has totally changed my life. How has DIY changed your’s? Let me know in the comments.

love,
melanie

Adventures in Wine Making

wine making I’m calling this post “Adventures in Wine Making” instead of “Homemade Wine Recipe” or “DIY Wine” because really, I can’t believe this wine turned out half-way decent. I also don’t want to share a recipe just yet because I may have just been lucky with my first batch. And I don’t want to be liable for poisoning you all. I tried using this recipe from All Recipes, but the portions were off, so I just heated up some sugar with water, threw in the yeast after it had cooled, mixed it with Aldi-brand fruit juice and went with it.

Five weeks later, the balloon deflated, I filtered out the yeast with coffee filters and BAM! I had drinkable wine. It was a little too sweet for my liking, but my friend, Gabby loved it. It also helped that we called it “toilet wine” and thoroughly researched “How to Make Prison Wine” while drinking it. Did you know prison wine can be made with fruit cocktail, ketchup and bread? I HAD NO IDEA. This wine would be perfect for an Orange is the New Black party.

Have you ever tried making your own wine? How did it turn out? When I perfect it, I’ll have a recipe to share!

love,
melanie

How to Make Beeswax Candles

beeswax candle DIY Did you know that beeswax candles are honey hole full of benefits? Ok, that pun was forced. But seriously, beeswax candles can help with allergies, have calming benefits and burn slower and cleaner than paraffin candles. I’ve even heard that beeswax candles give off negative ions that actually purify the air. I also love the scent of beeswax candles.

In elementary school we went to visit the town of Old Salem, a living history town that depict Moravian life in the 18th and 19th century. Well, one guy, dressed in his period-correct finery, was pouring candles. Even as an elementary schooler, I thought that was pretty cool and I bought one. My parents didn’t let me play with matches, so I ended up just smelling the unlit candle like a weirdo. But I’m still obsessed with the natural scent of beeswax candles.

Anyway, I know that beeswax candles are one of those things that I can make cheaper than I can buy. So I did just that. It took me a couple of tries to perfect the process, but here’s how to make beeswax candles.

Supplies

glue wicks Glue your wicks to the bottom of the jars. The glue helps the wick to stay in place during the pouring process. Let dry, then trim the wicks to slightly longer than the desired length. (I didn’t do that and regretted it later.) Pour your pellets and coconut oil into the pitcher. 1/2 pound of pellets makes about a 1 pint jar candle. Fill large pot of water 1/4 of the way full of water.

candle making pitcher Put the candle making pitcher in the water. It might float a bit. That’s ok. Stir until the wax is melted.

candle cooling As the wax is melting either heat up your oven on low or prepare a bowl of warm water and put your jars in it to cool the candles. I did both and both methods worked. The addition of coconut oil and the intricate cooling process ensures that the candles don’t crack. The coconut oil also gives the candles a lovely baby yellow hue.

beeswax candles cooling When wax is fully melted pour carefully into jars to not disturb the wick.

candles covered in tinfoil If using the water cooling method, cover in candles in tinfoil. If using the oven method, turn the oven off and let the candles cool inside.

We just made beeswax candles! All my childhood dreams are coming true! Also, wouldn’t these make great gifts?!

Have you ever tried candle making? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie