Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No Glue DIY Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

Vintage mason jars are too cool in my eyes!  I've been trying to track some down for a few months now, but evidently I'm not the only one who smitten with these fabulous old canning staples because tracking some that didnt cost a fortune was harder than I ever imagined.  But persistence paid off and I found the mother load at a local antique store and snagged up about a dozen in different sizes and colors for $4 a piece.
For my first mason jar project I wanted to try the fun soap dispensers I have seen making the rounds on pinterest.  Once you have the jars, the project looked super easy and I am here to say except for getting liqid hand soap all over myself it really is easy!  To get you need a drill, some tin snips or something to help cut out the circle in the lid and an old plastic pump soap dispenser and extra soap to fill your jar.
If you are using an old jar with a zinc lid you will need to lightly tap the white glass lining with a hammer to break out that layer. 
From there I used with the biggest drill bit we had to make a hole in the center of the lid.  Next, I was having trouble cutting a circle around the hole because of the rim of the lid so instead I made small cut from that hole out towards the outer rim all the way around the circle then bent those pieces back until the opening was big enough to fit the unscrewed bottom of the soap dispenser.
You only need the neck of bottle and just a little beyond where the bottle starts to curve out, so cut off the rest and try not to get the soap in the container all over yourself!!!  Be smart and use an old pump dispenser that is empty or at least dump out the soap before cutting.  I thought I could cut the top off a brand new container and not spill the soap, not so much!  I had more slippery soap on me and the counter that I would use in a month!!!!  So take learn from my lack of patience and plan ahead just a touch to save yourself a big mess! Once you have the hole the correct size and the soap cleaned up screw the pump on tight to the threads peaking through the top of the jar and then carefully pinch those piece of crimped metal back tightly against the plastic base of the pump. 
A small set of pliers pressing lightly from the underside of the lid worked really well to smooth out any lumps and bumps in the lid from making the whole and connected the pump and lid really well.  I found that I didn't even need any glue on the underside to secure the cut off top in place, but if you want to go ahead and put a little glue on the underside of the lid and along the threads of the pump to secure them in place.
For mine I didn't use any glue.  I use it everyday as my kitchen soap dispenser and haven't had a problem with anything coming apart or loosening up.
You will need some extra soap if you want to fill the jar all the way to the top like I did.  I bought some delicious smelling coconut vanilla hand soap in a big refill jug at walmart and did several jars.  These are great as a gift and have so much more charm than a regular old dispenser.  If you can't find the old jars, you can absolutely use regular canning jars or reuse really any jars you have around the house.  To add a little extra charm to new jars you can always spray paint the lid and rings as well as the plastic pumps.... metallic or a color to coordinate with the kitchen or bathroom would be adorable too!  So grab some jars and enjoy!

Happy Hunting,

Monday, September 24, 2012

DIY Garden "Bed"

I scored this chippy metal bed frame at an antique store last fall for $15 dollars and have been dragging to around waiting to put it to use ever since.  The frame had lots of character with green and white paint along with a little rust, which I LOVE but no rails.... no problem!
Because when we moved to our new house there was already a small raised garden area that I wanted to keep but it looked a little sad so I decided my fun bed frame would be the perfect upgrade.
Thanks to some help from my three favorite garden helpers we dug some holes, added some veggies and the frame.  OK so "they" dug and got dirty and I documented it... fair trade right?!?
Fast forward a few weeks and many miracle later because my black thumb didn't obliterate the plants and here is our "garden bed"!
I know this is the wrong time of the year to share a garden idea, but timing was never my gift!!!  That being said I love the charm the simple frame adds to the otherwise sad little space.  This is close to the house so everyone sees it when they drive in and I love the little twist, plus the kids had so much fun caring for, showing off and picking "their" veggies!  A bed frame is also adorable in a flower bed with bright colored flowers, so next time you see a great old bed frame at a yard sale or thrift store... even if it doesn't have rails don't pass it up!!!  Stick it away in your garage like I did for 9 months, then bring it out and wow yourself with your creative forethought!  

I plan to add a fun wood sign to the foot board, but there just weren't enough hours in the day this summer!  So here's to procrastinating until next spring to tackle that one!!!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY Make-Up Brush Cleaner

I have amassed quite the collection of makeup brushes over the years, and some I have paid a small fortune for so you would think I take good care of them.. right???
WRONG!!!  I am ashamed to say I don't even know the last time they were cleaned... it has been THAT long!  I always start off taking good care of them, but then life happens and a few days turns into a few weeks... cough cough a few months!  I know it's gross, but I am vowing to turn over a new clean brush thanks to the realization that I no longer need the expensive MAC cleaner that I have been out of for months! 
The process could not be easier and you already probably have all three ingredients you need in your house. Because I have so many embarrassingly dirty brushes I separated them into two drinking glasses filled them 1/2 way with warm water, added a glug or two of vinegar and a pump or two of mild soap.  I used baby soap to attempt, for a change to be gentle on the bristles and glue holding them all together, but a mild dish soap would work too.  Obviously I am not big on precise measurements, but the theory is that the soap, water and vinegar will not only remove the dirt, grease and makeup but also the germs that have taken up residence in and round the bristles.
Give them a good stir in the liquid and let them sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse in warm water until the water runs clear.  Finally, pat off the excess water and let them dry.  I can't believe how much better these look!  If my sad brushes can be saved with this quick fix I have no doubts that yours will too.


Monday, September 17, 2012

ABC Magnetic Study Tray

School is back in full swing and even though our little kiddos aren't old enough to head to the bus stop just yet I'm trying really hard to carve out time each day for "school".  My little man is so excited to get big so he can go to school so I figured I better jump on that bandwagon and take advantage of the enthusiasm while it lasts.  I can see myself in the not so distant future pulling my hair out trying to get them to "do their homework" only to get a huff and rolled eyes in return... not that I would know anything about that move... OK maybe I did perfect it in my day.  Wow, karma is something isn't it!!!
That being said, my little buddy loves to recite his ABC's but hasn't quite figured out the sight recognition to be able to tell which letter is which. 
        So I took a dollar store cookie sheet, some magnetic letters (also about a buck) and a few left over          scrapbook sticker letters and made a tray to help make the lesson fun.
The stickers worked great and made the project really fast.  Plus, I love how colorful they are!
But if you don't have the stickers on hand you could absolutely use a marker to trace around each letter.  I started to do this but made a huge mess... big shocker precision is not my strong suit!!!  The problem I found  was that my sharpie was too big to fit in the small spaces, so just be sure to use a very fine tipped permanent marker.  Oh and if you start with the marker and change your mind like I did after getting marker all over the tray and the sides of the letter (yes, chalk that first attempt up to an epic project fail)... did you know that a magic eraser cleaning sponge will take permanent marker off of plastic and the metal tray???  Well it does!!! I'm not sure what is in those things (maybe real magic) but they save my rear almost daily!  
My little guy LOVES his letter tray!  This could not have been easier (once I used stickers ;) and it fits perfectly on little laps.  
I think this could also be great for car rides, just put the letter in a little bag and you are set. 
 I put the letter towards the top leaving a space for the extra letters at the bottom, but you could space them out over the entire tray.  My thought was that once he learned all the letters the tray could grow with him and the bottom space could be for spelling words in the future!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Coconut Oil Hair Treatment Hail Mary

In the journey to grow out my hair from the shoulder length layered do most news people rock, my tresses have been severely neglected.  On days it's just me and the kiddos at home this mop just ends up on the top of my head in a big knot.  I thought not drying, flat ironing and constantly highlighting like I did while on TV would help the health of my hair, but it seems that while that is a plus... not getting it cut in 6 months has actually left it looking dry, split and sad :(  
When I finally went in recently for a trim the stylist said I really should cut a ton off to get it back to a healthy state.  Not willing to part with the hair that I have worked to grow for months and months I decided to just trim up the ends and try for a miracle to repair some of this mess.  Hence the "Hail Mary", I figure if it doesn't work no biggie I was going to cut it anyway, but if it does hallelujah!!!
Enter Coconut Oil.  If you haven't been introduced to this miracle inducing stuff you are missing out!!!  I was VERY skeptical when my mom told me about Coconut Oil last year.  Not only can you cook and bake with it, it is also amazing as a natural moisturizer and smells delicious.  You can now buy it anywhere, it's usually near the cooking oils.  You can either buy two jars, one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom or just split a jar like I do and put some in a resealable container for your skin and hair.
It is a little odd that the coconut oil starts as a solid, but as you can see just the warmth of your hand starts to instantly transform the solid to a slippery oil.  So grab a big handful, rub it between you hands a little to warm it up and then start slathering it in your hair from roots to ends.  At first it seems tough to get the oil evenly distributed through your hair but just keep running you fingers through your hair and in no time at all your whole head will be coated.
Once your hair is nice and covered put it on top of your head and forget about it.  You can use a shower cap if you want, everything I have seen online says to leave this on for at least 30 minutes.  You can also use a hair dryer to add heat which helps speed up the process but that seemed like too much work.  I just clipped it up and forgot about it while I did some projects around the house.  
Rub in the extra oil you have on your hands, it is amazing body lotion.
I left the oil on for probably two hours, because I got distracted doing a project :)  Your hair will never "dry" with the oil on it stays wet looking the entire time.  To rinse it out you will want to shampoo your hair twice, the first time focus on the roots and rinse, then wash all your hair and condition like normal.  One wash left my hair still feeling greasy, but two was perfect.  This is how it looks after... with NO product!!!
Quite a transformation from frizz to this :)  My hair has never been this soft and sleek, I can't keep my hands out of it!!!  I plan to do this once a week to help keep it looking like this, but you can do this as often as you can fit it into your busy schedule.  One jar of coconut oil costs about $6 and you could do at least six treatments if not more even for long hair with that amount.  Only a buck and I saved my hair from the scissors.... I will totally be doing this again :)

Give it a try, you will feel like a grease ball for a short time but it is SOOOOOOOO worth it!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

DIY Stretch Lace Headband

Headbands of all shapes, sizes and shades can be found scattered around our house each and every day.  I admittedly went a little crazy when we found out we were having a girl and made dozens of them.  So I guess I was bowed-out because as I was weeding through the kids clothes and many "accessories" the other day I realized that quite a few of our little diva's bows were too small.  Unable to fathom a day without an obnoxiously over sized accessory I figured it was about time to get back into "bow mode".
There are many different styles and approaches to making fun headbands, but this is my favorite.  You need a fake flower.  I got this fun spotted flower at Michael's (along with about a dozen other patterns :) for 50 percent off so it was less than a dollar, but the dollar store is also a great place to find all kinds of different flowers and colors. You also need something for the band, fold over elastic, a stretch elastic or hard headband already assembled from the store or stretch lace.
I love the stretch lace, I've also seen it called lingerie lace.  I have a hard time finding it at my local fabric stores so I bought several different colors and widths on ebay for really cheap.  I like how the wider vintage looking headband looks on my little toe head :)  To make the band measure around your little munchkins head and cut your lace to that measurement.  Now overlap the lace by 1/2 to 1 inch depending on ho stretchy your lace is and hot glue together.  This overlap connects the two ends and because of the stretch the headband will fit nicely.  To finish off and secure the band you can wrap a shorter piece of lace around where you glued and secure it with you guessed it a little more glue.  Oh how I love glue guns :)
You just want to make sure that where your glue is on the top side where the flower will go.  If you do this, the underside closest to your little ones head will be soft and smooth and any bumps from the glue will be hidden under the flower.
 The other option is just to cut a small circle of felt and glue that to the underside, both work great!
For the flower take off the stem, which I do as soon as I bring them home from the store because the stash of flowers I have amassed is rather embarrassing and they take up less space this way.  This is what you should have left.
Now take out the plastic and center piece holding the petals together.
From here I flip the flower over and working from the largest petal to the smallest start gluing them to the headband, either right over the felt or the lace you overlapped to cover the two ends.
For the center you can reattach the center that came with the flower, add rhinestones which I love or you can use vintage buttons which is my favorite.  Bling with character, what could be better???  To allow the button to sit flat on the flower I just snip off the loop on the back with scissors or small pliers, and glue it to the center of the flower.
And that's it, you now have a fabulous boutique headband for less than $2.
Sorry adorable model not included in that price :)
We love our " hair bows", in fact she now refuses to leave home without one. Oh, the monster I have created.... good thing Mommy figured out how to make them because I'm quite certain her future college admissions office won't allow us to pay her tuition in bows ;)

And.... because I don't say this enough if you are reading this THANK YOU!!!  These posts are sanity for this scatter brained mom and seeing that people are enjoying them makes my day.  

Gratefully Yours,