Tag Archives: DIY

Do you have a vegetable garden each year? It’s a great way to enjoy fresh produce and save money.seed starting mixture Another way to save yourself some money is to make your own DIY seed starting mix. The materials you use are easily purchased at your local garden center. These mixtures for making your own seed starting mix must be sterile.seed starting mixture


Your soil mixture must be firm and dense enough to hold cuttings or seedlings in place during rooting or germination. You also want the soil to be of a consistency that will not alter drastically either wet or dry, since this could cause root damage. The soil must be porous enough to drain properly yet retain enough moisture so that you are not constantly watering.


You can purchase large bags of pre-mixed soil especially designed for seed germination. You can also easily make your own DIY Seed Starting Mix. The mixture I use each year works well for me, as you experiment with various components you will discover what works best for you.Top soil, Peat moss, gardening


DIY Seed Starting Mix


1 part sterilized garden loam or topsoil
1 part coarse sand or perlite
1 part peat moss

Pearlite is used to increase aeration in a mixture. It is derived from a type of volcanic rock and is processed into light, porous, sterile particles that hold many times their own weight in water.seed starting mixture

Sand is used to add body and drainage to a soil medium, and is also excellent when used alone for root cuttings.

Peat moss is used in heavy mixtures to lighten and increaser porosity; it is derived from partly decomposed aquatic plants.seed starting mixture

Now that you have mixed up your own seed starting mix you are ready to begin planting those seeds, which must be started early. Some plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions and leeks need time to grown and establish themselves before they can be planted directly into the garden. I always enjoying mixing up my potting soil and starting seeds inside. It’s a sure sign that spring is coming!starting seeds Indoors

Growing up my mother never used dryer sheets. When our children were younger I used dryer sheets, as I loved that the clothes smelled “clean” and there was no static. As time went on and our lifestyle changed I began to experiment with making my own laundry detergent. I never thought of making my own homemade dryer sheets!homemade dryer sheets


To deal with the static I made my own dryer balls. As you might remember I got carried away and made so many dryer balls! I’m still using them! Wool dryer balls remove static cling, and also shorten the time it takes to dry a load of laundry.


To replace commercial dryer sheets I decided to try making my own. Recently I received this wonderful recipe for homemade dryer sheets from a friend of mine. Jen is also the one who has introduced me to essential oils and I think I am hooked!


Directions for Homemade Dryer Sheets


Finding some old cotton t-shirts to cut up and use as cotton fabric squares was no problem. In fact since setting our goals to de-clutter we’ve been getting rid of a lot of old shirts. The first step is to cut up squares of cotton fabric, 4 inch squares seems to work well.homemade dryer sheets


Add ½ cup of white vinegar to a 16 oz. jar, . I used a large mouth-canning jar I had on hand. Add 12 drops of Grapefruit essential oil to the vinegar. Or use an essential oil of your choice. If you do a lot of laundry this recipe can be doubled.homemade dryer sheets


Fold each fabric square and place inside the jar. The cotton fabric will absorb all of the vinegar. The vinegar smell will evaporate during drying but the essential oil scent will remain.homemade dryer sheets


Next time you throw a load of laundry in the dryer add one of these dryer sheets. Let me know how you think it works.

Callum is the co-owner of LED World (with his brother Simon) – an Australian based lighting design company. In his spare time, he enjoys taking his expertise in lighting technologies and turning them into craft project (especially for his children). You can read more about his business hereIf you have ever wanted to add that extra little joie de vivre to your home, lighting is the way to go. Seriously, there are a million and one things you can do with a light bulb and some creativity – check out Pinterest if you don’t believe me. Most of us have strands of holiday lights somewhere up in our attic that just sit around gathering dust until Christmas season comes around again. Put those pretty twinkles to work year round with this easy DIY hack.holiday lights


What you will need:


  • LED lights
  • Ping Pong Balls
  • Xacto knife
  • Hot glue gun or silicon (optional)


Some Pointers before getting started:


Make sure your LED lights work, you don’t want to end up with flickering lights or worse, lights that don’t work at all. Make sure your lights don’t get too hot to the touch either – ping pongs are plastic after all. As long as your bulbs work fine, you won’t have any problems though.


If you are buying new lights, you will have to choose between fun, multi colored bulbs or elegant white ones. The color of the wiring also needs to be considered because you don’t want them to clash with your decor. Your options are usually going to be opaque, translucent, white, or light green. Before you buy your lights, measure out how long your strand (or strands) need to be for the place you are decorating. There are usually about 10 – 20 bulbs on shorter strands and about 100 on the longer ones.holiday lights


The amount of ping pong balls you need depend on the amount of LED lights you have. You should also buy a few extras just in case some balls break when you put the light through them. Amazon or any sporting good store will usually have a bulk stock of them for a fairly cheap price. What you don’t use for decorating you can always use for a rousing game of table tennis – or beer pong – they even make good massagers to roll your feet on.holiday lights

The silicon or hot glue will be used to close up the opening you make in the balls, especially if you want to hang the lights outside. Silicone is the better option because it makes it easier to get the bulbs  out of the balls in case you need to change the bulbs. You can buy a small tube of silicone for less than $4 online. Sealing the balls will prevent dust, rain, bugs, or dirt from getting inside your balls – once the ball is illuminated, every speck of dirt inside of it  will be cast in shadows.holiday lights

1. Use an empty egg carton to stabilize each ball and carefully cut a small X into it. Be careful not to cut into the seam because you could end up breaking the balls in the next step.

2. Gently push each LED bulb through the X. You should meet some resistance if you try to pull the bulb out.holiday lights

3. Close up the X with silicone or hot glue and let it air dry on a flat surface. You can load them all into the egg carton so they don’t roll around.

4. Hang your lights and enjoy the new ambiance you just created! (Snap a few pictures for Instagram too.holiday lights

5. Bonus tip: Use the hot glue to wind the strand of lights around a lampshade or outdated chandelier for a fun new look.


Have fun with the lights and try out different ways of hanging them every few months to give your place something different every season!

Worcestershire Sauce – Make Your Own!Worcestershire Sauce


Do you use Worcestershire sauce? Ever wonder what’s in it? Ever wonder if you can make it at home. I don’t use Worcestershire sauce that often but recently I was curious about the ingredients.Worcestershire Sauce


Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment of complex mixture originally created by the Worcester chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins,  who went on to form the company Lea and Perrins. The ingredients are allowed to mature for 18 months before being blended and bottled in Worcester, where the exact recipe is kept a secret. The original recipe for Worcestershire sauce basically consists of anchovies layered in brine, tamarinds in molasses, garlic in vinegar, chilies, cloves, shallots, and sugar.


Interestingly, the version of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce sold in the U.S. differs from the British recipe. It uses distilled white vinegar rather than malt vinegar. In addition, it has three times as much sugar and sodium. This makes the American version sweeter and saltier than the version sold in Britain and Canada.


The one ingredient that sets Worcestershire sauce apart is tamarind, the fruit of the Indian date. This fruit contains more sugar than any other fruit but is balanced by its high content of acid, giving it that sweet-sour taste. Worcestershire sauce also contains anchovies, actually fermented anchovies!


After searching online I found an easy recipe that didn’t require any long fermenting or cooking. I decided to try it and see how it compares to the bottled version.Worcestershire Sauce


Homemade Worcestershire Sauce


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp of chili powder

Mix all ingredients together in a blender, or shake thoroughly in a dressing bottle!


Nourished Kitchen has another recipe which was a little more involved. She found the recipe from Nourishing Joy.


  • ½ cup malt vinegar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup naturally fermented fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon naturally fermented soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons onion juice, or 1 teaspoon dehydrated onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 8 anchovies, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Whisk together the vinegars, molasses, fish sauce, tamarind paste, soy sauce, and onion juice. Set aside.
  2. Heat a small, dry sauté pan over medium heat. Toast the spices until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat; then sauté the shallots until transparent and beginning to brown, 2–3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, anchovies, and reserved spices and continue to saute just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour in the vinegar mixture and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a full simmer; then remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  5. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the lime juice. Pour into a jar or bottle for long-term storage. Will keep in the refrigerator for 1–2 months.


Worcestershire SauceI tried the very first version and I have to say the taste is very similar. I’d be very happy to make my own Worcestershire sauce from now on. I know exactly what’s in it and I usually have all the ingredients on hand! Have you ever made your own Worcestershire sauce before?



It goes without saying that it’s fairly inconvenient when your toilet lets you down and clogs up. Calling a good plumber is another task and expense that you have to face. However if you are brave enough you don’t need to rely on a plumber, and who doesn’t love a good bathroom hack?
Unclog a toilet


In some cases all you need to do is flush few time and poke with your handy dandy toilet brush. However if you are having bad day, this won’t do the trick and you will have to rely on few tricks of the trade.unclogging your toilet


If you are going to jump in and try to unclog your toilet yourself, the first thing you need isn’t far away, you need a good dish soap (if you don’t have one you can rely on your shampoo) and medium sized bucket to hold hot water. Two of these would be great as it will save you the effort to refill them again.


Now first you will have to pour in the dish soap into the toilet and let it be for the next 30 minutes or so. The dish soap or the shampoo acts as a lubricant and helps all the stuff to get moving. After 25 minutes you can start pouring the hot water in the flush. It will help in unclogging the flush.


We found that the above method works in the majority of cases, unless you have a more serious toilet malfunction. But if it didn’t work for you then don’t worry we have more great tricks of the trade for you to try before resorting to calling out the plumber.


So if you are still looking for more ideas to unclog your toilet then you can go through this great infographic by DIY experts Legendary Home Services.


When taking on home improvement projects, it’s tempting to attempt to do it all yourself. And while I’m a big believer in self-reliance, there are simply some things that are too complicated for a hobby DIY-er. Sure, it can be hard to admit that you need help and don’t have the expertise to do a project alone, but sometimes, you’ll end up saving money in the long run. Doing it yourself can result in costly mistakes if you’re not sure what you’re doing. More often than not, if you make a huge mistake, you’ll end up hiring someone to come fix it, and it will be much more expensive than it would’ve been originally. When are some instances when it’s a good idea to hire an expert?


Garage doors


A garage door seems like a fairly simple thing, doesn’t it? However, those springs that work the mechanism are amazingly heavy and bear a lot of weight. They can be really dangerous to handle yourself, and as this video states, it causes a lot of accidents for ambitious DIY-ers every year. When you need to install or make repairs to your garage door, it’s a good idea to hire someone else to fix it. This is just as much a safety precaution as it is making sure someone qualified is doing the work. If you install the door incorrectly, it could seriously hurt someone, whether it’s during the actual installation process, or after the fact.


Difficult plumbing issues


If you have a simple clog in your toilet, you can usually solve this problem with a plunger and a determined attitude. However, if you have a faucet that’s spraying water uncontrollably, or a burst pipe, it’s probably best to take a step back, and call your neighborhood plumber. They know what they’re doing, and they’ll have the tools to get the job done quickly with minimal damage. It’s also important to get things like cracks and drips taken care of early and efficiently before they cause major leaks and flooding in your home. Long-term water damage can undermine the foundation of your house or cause mold infestations that threaten your family’s health.


Electrical issues


Electrical issues can be really dangerous. When you don’t know what you’re doing, you run the risk of electrocution, as well as other complications. Unless you know exactly what the issue is and you already know how to fix it, it’s best to call an electrician to come in and assess the problem.


Interior Design


This one may not seem as important, but doing it yourself can be just as costly of a mistake as anything else on this list. If you’ve ever walked into Hobby Lobby and been overwhelmed by all of the decor options, and ended up buying way more things than you actually need because “they were cute,” you’ll know what kind of costly mistake I’m talking about. When tackling a new interior design project, it can be way too easy to get overwhelmed or over excited, and get a lot of expensive furniture and decor that you won’t end up using.


If you hire an interior designer or consultant, they’ll be able to look at the space objectively and help you decide what pieces will actually look good there, and what will actually be functional. You don’t want your home to look cluttered just because you thought the entire kitchen section at your local decor store looked good to you. Additionally, if you’re going for a very specific look in your bigger rooms, like a modern design for example, a professional will have insights on the subtleties that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.


Redoing your floors


Some flooring options, like peel and stick laminate flooring, is fairly simple to figure out and can be done easily yourself. However, there are bigger projects, like replacing the carpet or doing tile, that are difficult to do yourself. For example, when you’re tiling a room, you not only have to remove the flooring that’s already in that room, but there’s a lot more involved with installing tile than a simple laminate. You’ll probably have to cut some of the tile, grout, and seal everything. If you do it incorrectly, you’ll have to painfully pull it back up and redo it with a new piece, as that piece will be ruined. If you hire a flooring specialist for this sort of project, you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’ll have all the necessary tools and they’ll get the job done efficiently.
There are plenty of simple projects that you can take on yourself, but it’s important to realize when the project is too big to handle alone. It’s okay to step aside, and let someone experienced take over.



Guest post by: Aurora M.

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