How to Make Solar Canning Jar Lanterns

How to Make a Solar Canning Jar Lantern

Solar. Canning. Jars. Do I really have to say anything else to convince you that you need a set? Yeah, didn’t think so, which is while I’ll skip right to the part where I tell you how to make them.

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How to Make a Braided T-Shirt Rug

How to Make a Braided T-Shirt Rug

See that big braided rug? It was my TV project over the last month. I’ve always wanted to make one, and I finally decided to do it. A normal person would have started with something smaller, but I wanted an area rug for the living room at our cabin, so I went big. Really big. That rug is almost 5’x5’. And you know what? It was actually a really fun project. Want to try your hand at rug making? Here’s how it’s done. [Read more…]

Make a Mortgage Chain

Mortgage Chain

We’ve been making a lot of changes to our office lately, and I’ll be talking more about that soon, but I wanted to show you a small change that we made yesterday.

That paper chain that you now see hanging over our office window is our mortgage chain.

Paper Chain

There’s a link for each month left on our mortgage. We have four and a half years until our mortgage will be paid off, so there are 54 links in our chain.

I’m a visual person, so I like to create visual reminders of our family goals, and a chain is the perfect reminder of our goal to be mortgage-free. Whenever we see it, we’ll be reminded of how badly we want to break the mortgage chain.

It should help us keep our priorities straight, and each month when we make a payment, we’ll get to remove a link, and watch the chain get shorter. I’m betting it’ll inspire us to make extra payments along the way.

Our kids know how important we think it is to pay off debts quickly. We’ve talked about the peace of mind that that brings you, and the things that we’ll be able to do once we no longer have that big monthly payment over our heads. So, I like that they’ll get to watch us make progress towards that goal. We’ve always been very open about finances with our kids, and this is just one more opportunity for us to show them how you make big things happen.

Want to pay off your mortgage early? Pull out some paper, and make your own mortgage chain.

How to Make Wax Melts

How to Make Wax Melts

I popped into Walmart the other day, and was surprised to discover almost an entire aisle dedicated to wax melts. Wow! I knew they were popular, but I had no idea they were that popular. And here’s the thing: most of the wax melts they were selling were made out of paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances. Those aren’t things I want my family breathing.

But I do like the idea of wax melts. So, I grabbed a cheapy electric warmer (less than $7), and I went home to make my own wax melts. My version cleans the air instead of polluting it, and can easily be tweaked to help with sinus and cold/flu symptoms. Check it out. [Read more…]

How to Make Reusable Food Wrap

Homemade Reusable Food Wrap

Plastic food wrap is a hard product to have love for. It’s disposable, which means you’re buying it just so you can turn around and throw it away; it’s made out of plastic; and it always gets stuck to itself when you try to use it. Annoying!

Well, as of last week, this is one product that I’ve banished from my kitchen. Yep, I’m done with plastic wrap. From now on, I’ll be using reusable food wrap, made from beeswax-dipped cloth. Maybe you’ve seen this stuff, since it’s kind of “in” right now. It’s literally just a piece of fabric that’s been coated in beeswax. The wax makes the fabric waterproof and air-tight, and it gives it just enough body, so that when you press it around the edge of a bowl or casserole dish, it stays put. Pretty nifty. It even folds around a sandwich nicely.

There are actually several companies selling this product right now, but as easy as it is to make, I opted to make my own, which means I also got to pick the fabric.

Ask your grandmothers or your great-grandmothers how they covered food before plastic wrap came along, and you might just find that they used beeswax-dipped fabric. Yep, while beeswax food wrap is trendy right now, it’s far from a new idea.

Ready to banish plastic wrap from your kitchen? Here’s how to make your own reusable food wrap. [Read more…]