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…]

Make Your Own School Supplies

My kids started back to school yesterday. Crazy, but true. We dropped them off with their backpacks full of all the supplies on their school supply lists, and as usually happens, they came home with another list of supplies that they needed.

Normally, that’s not a big deal because I keep a big stash of school supplies on hand – things that I’ve gotten free after rebate, on clearance or from yard sales. It’s pretty rare for us to have to run out for school supplies. But this time, they got me. My oldest daughter needed a five-subject notebook, a student planner and a sketchbook. I didn’t have any of those things on hand. Darn it. I did, however, have $40 in Staples Rewards that I’d been saving, just in case, so we headed out to pick up everything she needed.

And that’s when the sticker shock set in.

The cheapest five-subject notebook with a poly cover was $8. A sketchbook with halfway decent paper was $12.99, and most of the student planners were in the $25-35 range. They had a cheapie pocket planner for $6.99, but it didn’t really have any space to write anything.

Did I really want to spend $46, plus tax for three items? Um no.

The longer I stood there, the angrier it made me. A five-subject notebook is nothing more than a pack of filler paper and some dividers sandwiched between a cover and bound with a spiral ring. Why does it cost so much more than filler paper?

Then, it hit me. We could make one. We already had everything we needed at home, including binding machines. In fact, once I thought about it, there really wasn’t any reason we couldn’t make her sketchbook and planner, too.

So, we left the store without buying anything, and within an hour, all of her new supplies were tucked inside her backpack.

Check it out:

Homemade Five-Subject Notebook

We used a poly file folder to create the cover for her five-subject notebook. I had a bunch I’d bought at a yard sale a while back, so I pulled them out, and let her pick what color she wanted. [Read more…]

Make Your Own Ant Bait Traps

Make Your Own Ant Bait Traps

Dealing with ants now that the weather has warmed up? Yep, so are we. For the past couple summers we’ve had a persistent ant problem centered around our kitchen sink, and our tried-and-true solutions haven’t been working. We’ve made ant poison by mixing borax and powdered sugar together in equal parts. We’ve kept the sink cleaned out and dry. We’ve wiped down the sink and surrounding countertops with vinegar to remove their scent trails. None of it’s working. So, it’s clearly time to up our game.

And up it, we have. We just made a bunch of homemade ant bait traps. One went in the sink, where we’re seeing the ants, and the rest went around the foundation of our house. Makes sense, right? I mean why wait for the ants to come into your house? Kill’em before they have a chance to get there.

Here’s a look at how we made our ant bait traps. [Read more…]

How to Dry Herbs in a Dehydrator

Buying herbs always leaves me with sticker shock, so I try to grow as many of my own as I can. This time of year we pick herbs as we need them …

Basil Plant

A few basil leaves for tomato sauce …

Fresh Dill

A big handful of dill for our salad dressing …

Sage Plant

A couple sage leaves to season a chicken or turkey …

Fresh Oregano

It’s a wonderful way to eat, but it’s not something that we can do during the winter months. So, I also dry our herbs. The process couldn’t be easier. [Read more…]