Canning Ring Pumpkin

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Canning Ring Pumpkin

With most of the canning done, and extra canning rings lying around, I thought I would make a canning ring pumpkin for the table. It’s cute, festive, and takes about 2 minutes—my kind of craft.

Canning Ring Pumpkin

You’ll need:

  • Canning rings {all the same size}
  • String {to tie the rings together}
  • 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Some scrap fabric or paper cut into the shape of leaves {enough for 2 leaves}

cinnamon sticks

Directions:

String the canning rings together in a straight line.  Once all the rings are on, tie them together tightly, pulling them into a round pumpkin shape.  Then, stick the cinnamon sticks down into the pumpkin and add the leaves.

How easy is that?  And so cute and homesteady {that’s a word, right?}.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

Need a new pin cushion?  This strawberry pin cushion is super easy to make and turned out soooo cute. I think it would be the perfect addition to a DIY sewing kit.  If you have a wedding gift, birthday gift, etc. you could totally throw together a sewing kit with this cute little nugget in it.  Custom is all the rage.

You’ll need:

6-8″ square of strawberry looking fabric {I used velvet}
Small piece of green felt or wool
Thread
Needle
Scissors
Stuffing {I used wool scraps}

two circles cut in half

Directions:

Draw a 6-8″ circle on a piece of paper.  This will serve as your pattern.  Cut it out and pin it to your fabric.  Using your pattern as a guide, cut a circle from the pattern.

Cut the fabric circle in half.  {Each half will make one pin cushion.}

Take one half of the circle and fold it in half, right sides together {it should look like a triangle with a rounded top now.  Pin it down.

make a berry pin cushion

Sew along the straight side of the fabric, curving your stitch around the point of the triangle to create a more strawberry like bottom.

making a strawberry pin cushion

Flip the fabric right side out.  Now, sew the top with a gathering stitch about 1/4″ from the top, leaving a hole on top to stuff the strawberry.  Fill the strawberry with stuffing and then pull the gathering stitch shut.

how to make felt berry leaves

Draw a little three or four leaf pattern on paper and then use it to cut out the leaves on the felt or wool {or if you are brave, just go rogue with your scissors}.  Sew the felt down on top of the strawberry.

How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

Repeat the process with the second piece of fabric, if you want two. {I personally think the strawberries look better with two “leaves”}. If you want to add a stem simply roll a 1 inch by 3 inch piece of felt or wool stitch up the sides and sew it on top of the leaves.

Way cute, way simple.

~Mavis

How to Make a velvet Strawberry Pin Cushion

* I just posted two sets of strawberries on my Etsy page if anyone is interested. :)

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

15 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

15  Ways  to Boost Your Creativity

You know how some people are just naturally creative?  I am always in awe of that.  I kind of have to work at it.  I like doing creative projects–but they take a little effort.  I am always glad I put the effort in, though, because creativity is therapeutic.  It makes you kind of feel original and unique, even if it is just for a minute.

So, if you want to get your creativity on, whether it is at work, home, or otherwise, here are some easy ways to give yourself a boost:

  1. Read.  Yep, sometimes the best ideas come from being informed.  You may get an amazing idea to fill a niche that you’ve read about, or an idea on tweaking an already existing idea to make it better.  Either way, “the more you know, the further you’ll go”–or at least, that’s what the commercial on the Saturday morning cartoons always said.
  2. Meditate.  It sounds all new wave, but sitting in complete silence takes effort, and when you actually achieve it, it opens up your mind to possibilities that would have been silenced had you never given yourself a moment of peace and quiet.
  3. Exercise.  Exercise releases stress and endorphins.  The better you feel, the more apt you are to come up with original and doable thoughts.
  4. Listen to music.  Ever heard of the Mozart Effect?  Studies have shown that listening to Mozart boosts people creativity and concentration.
  5. Get out and socialize.  New people bring new perspectives.  New perspectives bring new ideas.  Keep your social circle fresh.
  6. Start a new hobby.  Challenging yourself with something lends itself to creativity.
  7. Eat anti-oxidant rich foods {think:  blueberries}.  They boost your brain function, which leads to…drumroll please:  creativity.
  8. Practice.  Sometimes, you got to put a little work in to perfect your “creativity.”  Write everyday, play an instrument religiously, paint, whatever, just make sure to practice and hone your skill so that you have the ability to get creative with it.
  9. Block out time for creative endeavors.  Whether you’re crafting or dancing, carve some time out of your day to pursue it.
  10. Drop your expectations.  Try, if possible, to drop any expectations you have of an outcome.  It will lead to disappointment.  Leaving your mind open for any possibility makes pretty much any attempt a success {in that you can learn and adapt from it}.
  11. Research.  Learn everything you can about your creative activity.  The more you know, the more you will find ways to be innovative.
  12. Jostle your routine.  Try to do something everyday that is a little out of the ordinary.  Start shopping in the back of the grocery store and work your way forward.  Try a completely new dish or food each week.  Expand your mind {imagine me saying that in a very Yoga-like way}.
  13. Brainstorm.  When  you are stumped on how to move forward, brainstorm with someone.  Don’t feel like you are using their creativity to “be creative.”  You won’t implement it exactly as they would have anyway.
  14. Give yourself restrictions.  For example, as an exercise, if you are  a painter, try painting with only 2 colors.  The restrictions will force you to see your outlet in a new way.  It will force you to get, well, a little creative.
  15. Consider other people.  When you create, imagine  you are doing it for someone else.  It spurs you to bend the limits and push past just okay.  Studies show that when people are doing something for someone else, they tend to put more effort it and demand more from themselves.

How do you get your creative on?  What helps you when  you hit a creative wall?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

DIY – Homemade Bubble Mix for Kids

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

DIY – Homemade Bubble Mix for Kids

Well, we are in the thick of summer now.  The kids have been out of school long enough that you are probably starting to hear, “I’m bored” way more often than you’d like.  Instead of spending the time searching for year-round schools, try out this easy homemade bubble mix.  It’s so easy, the kids can help you make it–and it makes awesome strong bubbles, that will hopefully keep them busy for hours.  *Fingers crossed.

DIY – Homemade Bubble Mix for Kids

Ingredients:

  • 1 part dishwashing soap 
  • 8 parts water
  • 1/4 part corn syrup or glycerin

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into an empty bubble container.  For a little extra oomph, have the kiddos use less orthodox things to make bubbles, i.e. fly swatters, hula hoops, plastic 6-pack holders from soda, etc.

Now go make some memories,

Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

DIY Garden Markers Made From Beach Shells

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts. It’s a good thing we don’t live next door to each other because we would never get a moments rest. We’d be too busy making arts and crafts and gardening 24/7. ;)

DIY Garden Markers Made From Beach Shells

The great thing about garden markers is the sheer creative variety! Mavis made these sweet Chalkboard Garden Markers these clever plant markers made from Broken Pots, and these stamped popsicle stick plant markers  well and the creative juices started flowing. ;)

Last summer when my daughter and I made a trip to a local beach north of Boston, which was filled with the very common Atlantic Surf Clam shell. So of course we brought a few home.

shells on beach

Supplies 

  • Shell or other item you’d like to use as a marker
  • Pencil
  • Paint (I used Martha Stewart Acrylic Paint)
  • Paint brush
  • Mod Podge Spray (11-oz. Super High Shine Spray 1450, this stuff is saweeet)
  • Gorilla Glue 
  • Metal (clothes) Hangers

decoraitng beach shells

Directions

Use a pencil to draw your design on a shell. Then paint on the final design, let it dry, use the Mod Podge spray.

DIY-Garden-Markers-Made-From-Beach-Shells

Handy-Dandy-Tip: make sure you spell check yourself! “rasberries” is actually spelled “raspberries”. ;)

DIY Garden Markers Made From Beach Shells

Finally Gorilla glue the metal hangars to the shell, and let it dry for a day. Then, very carefully, bend the wire around your garden box posts.

DIY Garden Markers Made From Beach ShellsHow cute is that?

~Heather

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

DIY Garden Markers Using Bricks

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

DIY Garden Markers Using Bricks

If you plant herbs {or any other edibles} right  into your garden beds, these brick garden markers make an awesome addition to the overall look of your beds {and they are, of course, totally functional}.

You’ll Need:

  • Bricks {super cheap at Home Depot}
  • A sharpie
  • Pencil
  • 5 minutes

DIY Garden Markers Using Bricks

Directions:

Using a pencil, sketch out the name of your plant {this will allow you to play with the size and safeguard you against any mistakes}.  Try to take up as much of the brick as possible–they look better that way.  Go over the penciled letters with the sharpie, once you are satisfied with the lettering, placement, and size.

Set the bricks in the beds along side the plant.  Cute, easy, done.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Make a Sponge Ball

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

how to make a sponge ballLooking for a fun activity to keep the kids busy this summer?  Ever try sponge balls?  They are basically sponges that you cut and tie, then plunge over and over again into a bucket of water and throw at each other.  They take the place of water balloons, which are a pain in the behind to fill and tie, and don’t hurt at all when they hit bare skin.  Plus, if you wring them out and let them dry each time, they will literally last all summer.  I don’t want to call them the perfect summer activity, but let’s face it, they pretty much are.

how to make a sponge ballYou’ll Need

Sponges
Scissors
Strong String or Yarn

green spongeDirections

For each sponge ball, plan on three sponges.  Stack the sponges on top of each other, and cut them into five strips {about 1/2 inch wide or so}.  Place the string underneath the stack of sponges in the center.  Wrap it around the top of the sponges, like you are wrapping a present and tie it tightly.  Double knot.  Presto!  Sponge balls.

Now, get outside and toss a couple at the kiddos, trust me, it’s like painless therapy.  Ha!

~Mavis

how to make a sponge ball

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Recycle Wine Corks into Plant Markers

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

wine cork garden markers

I love it when I stumble onto a genius idea that I can implement in seconds, and that’s totally handy. This wine cork recycling project is one of those genius ideas. It takes one man’s junk and turns it into a treasure for gardeners!

Now I don’t drink wine, but I know enough people that do to provide me with a whole bunch of wine corks. Then all I needed were some wooden plant stakes or bamboo skewers and a black marker. Simple as that I have cute garden markers made out of something that would have otherwise wound up in the trash. It’s a win-win!

wine corks

Supplies:
Recycled wine corks {I suppose you could buy them new if you can’t get your hands on any used ones}
Wooden plant stakes or bamboo skewers
Black Sharpie-type marker

Wine Cork Garden Markers

Directions:

Using the Sharpie, write the plant name on the side of the wine cork. Insert sharp end of your stakes or skewers right into the center of the cork. Push the wine cork plant markers into the dirt of their respective plants. Now you have cute plant markers you can sit back and enjoy while sipping wine {therefore, adding to your wine cork collection!}.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Flower Pot Candy Bouquet

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Flower Pot Candy Bouquet

The Girl has had the same friends all through high school.  Her group of girls have spent countless nights at my house, so when Senior Night came, I wanted to make them each a little something.

I decided on flower pot candy bouquets.  I think these would make an awesome gift for just about any occasion, so even if you don’t have a senior this year {pause for nervous breakdown}, you can make them for birthdays, teacher’s gifts, etc.

Flower Pot Candy BouquetYou’ll Need

A small flower pot
A foam ball {size depends on the size of your flower pot}
A pretty fair amount of dum-dum suckers
Glue gun
Spray paint or ribbon can be used to decorate the pots as well. {I chose not to in the end}

Flower Pot Candy Bouquet

Directions

Using the glue gun, glue the foam ball into place on your flower pot.  Now, starting at the top center of the foam ball, push the stick of the dum-dums into the ball.  You only need to push it about as far as the start of the wrapper.  Continue placing the dum-dums, working outward toward the flower pot, until the foam ball is completely covered.

Flower Pot Candy Bouquet

That’s it.  So easy, right?

~Mavis

Flower Pot Candy Bouquet

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

DIY Garden Markers Made From Sticks

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Garden Markers Made From Sticks

I always think that I will remember which plant is which, but I can only hold so much information in my brain these days {and that amount is very small, I admit}, so I inevitably forget {usually within hours}.  So, for me, marking my plants is absolutely essential.

I really liked the organic look of these stick markers and I lov that all I had to do was wander into the back yard to collect a few sticks to make them. ;)

sticks

You’ll Need:

Pruners
Veggie Peeler or Sharp Knife
Sticks {about 1/2 thick}
Sharpie

DIY Garden Markers Made From Sticks

Directions:

Start by wandering outside and cutting some branches off of a tree–or better yet, find a fallen limb.  Choose a branch that is about a 1/2″ thick.  Cut the stick into segments, roughly the same size.  Trim the sticks, so that they don’t have any shoots.  Now, using the veggie peeler or sharp knife, remove the bark from one side of the stick.   {I totally felt like I was whittling wood–very old-timey of me.}

You only need to remove the bark about half way down the stick, because the rest will be pushed into the dirt.  {If you use a veggie peeler, be aware, it may really dull the blade!}  Once you have a bark-free portion of the stick, write the name of your plants on with a sharpie.

DIY Garden Markers Made From Sticks

That’s it.  Now, mark your plants and free up some space in your memory bank.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel