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The DIY Life: an upcycle for canning rings

4 Jan

So, ya. Canning rings, or bands. Whatever you call them, I have a plethora of them. I have dented ones that get beat up from use. Rusty ones from old canning jars that people gifted me. Gold ones. Silver ones. Tarnished ones.  A LOT! When a canning ring gets rusty, or dented, you are supposed to stop using it for actual canning since it can cause issue with your jars sealing properly. Instead of tossing them, I string them onto a piece of ribbon and keep them separate from my good canning rings. The beat rings are the ones I use when I need to secure the lid on an open jar (I don’t give a rats ass if it’s dented for in fridge food storage!). I’ll use some of the rusty and tarnished ones as a craft jar option. But I STILL have a shit ton of these things. So, I decided to get crafty with them. But it had to be an easy craft. Otherwise I get bored and abandon the craft. With the front porch bench bare now that the holidays are over, I needed something to put on it. And my mason jar holding the lone candle just seemed, well, sad. All alone on that big old bench. It needed a buddy. Someone to snuggle up with.

This craft is so stinking simple it’s ridiculous. You could do this blindfolded, with one hand behind your back and it would still rock.

The “directions” are as follows: I strung together the rusted, dented, beat up canning lids onto a piece of ribbon. When putting them onto the ribbon, I made sure they were all facing the same direction. Once they were all on the ribbon, I pulled the ribbon tight- SUPER tight, double knotted it and cut off the excess. Once the excess ribbon was gone, I fixed up the canning rings making them all nice and orderly. Then I jammed my mason jar “candle holder” into the center and stuck it on the bench. TA-DA! When I told you I generally stick to easy crafts, I wasn’t lying to you. The only way a craft can get any easier is to not actually craft anything. Really.

canningring

I was tempted to put it on my kitchen table, but it looked out of place so I stuck with my original plan as an outdoor decoration. I think it looks lovely. And I am digging that rusty patina from the old rings. If you do this with new canning rings, it will still look nice. Want that weathered look? Hang the rings somewhere outside where they will be subjected to the elements. It will give them a nice weathered patina.

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The DIY Life: Candy Cane Sugar Scrub for holiday gift giving!

13 Nov

In the retail world, Christmas has officially arrived. There is Christmas music on the sound system, holiday decorations overflow into the aisles, holiday t-shirts are front and center. And that leaves me a little twitchy and itchy over the thought of gift giving. It’s too soon. We haven’t even made it through Thanksgiving yet. I haven’t yet decided on a home made gift to give!!! Last year it was a canister of this Homemade Laundry Detergent – it went over well and was easy to do. This year, I thought what about something pampering for the ladies? Something the boys can use too if they wanted, but it was pretty for the girls? And then while I was at the local Bath & Body Works it hit me – body scrubs! Sugar scrubs to be specific, because salt dries out the skin, and it’s winter, and we are all already dried out. Wait…maybe that’s why I got twitchy AND itchy about the upcoming holiday – because I’m all dried out!!! I searched the wonderful world of the internet and found a recipe that had a cute photo as well as the directions/ingredient list and adapted it for my use. I wanted a deep moisturizing scrub that would help cure that winter dryness we experience once the furnace is on while exfoliating all those dry flaky skin particles. I think this recipe does the trick. And it yields a nice batch – 6 1/2 pint jars, with about 1/2 a jar of leftovers for me to use myself!

I’ll be jazzing these jars up with some shimmery ribbon and a candy cane. What a cute gift that I hope the ladies will love! It takes very little time – I think I whipped this up in about 15 minutes and it’s easy on the budget.

Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

adapted from here 

Yield: 6 1/2 pint mason jars

5 cups granulated white sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

2 cups coconut oil

1 1/2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract

In a microwave safe bowl, heat the coconut oil until melted, in 30 second bursts. Once melted, add the olive oil and peppermint extract, stirring to combine. Add your sugar and mix until no dry sugar remains. Add to jars up the 1 inch head space mark. Wipe rims, add bands and voila!

If you want to do the layering effect to make it look like a candy cane, take half of your sugar mixture and add it to another bowl. Use food grade GEL food coloring – this works the best. Mix until you have a nice consistent color and then layer it in your mason jars – one layer red, one layer white, and keep going till your jars are full up to the 1 inch head space. The red layers may leave some red coloring on your skin, but it easily rinses off with some soap.

Note: Since this is an oil based scrub, you’ll want to be careful after using it in the shower since it will leave a slick film on your tub. I usually just rub the slippery areas with my foot and it’s all good.

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The DIY Life: Hand crafted cake stand

17 Jul

My name is Heather and I am a pinterest addict. There. I said it. Now, having said it I must also admit that I pin a whole helluva lotta things that I am probably:

1. Never going to craft

2. Have room to store said craft should I manage to craft it as most of these crafts would require multiple households to display these items

3. Not manage to sucker the hubs into  “helping” me craft every single thing I’ve pinned (helping translates to creating anything that requires a saw or accurate measurements of ANYTHING!)

BUT, that being said I did feel compelled to immediately craft up THIS from over at joshuatrent.com. Why? Well, it’s a very simple and cheap craft to make. And my sink needed it to organize my dishwashing crap. I’ve got a 1/2 gallon old blue Ball canning mason jar that has my dish soap in it (I know, shocking. I’ve got a mason jar holding my dish soap!!!), a mason jar containing my Lemon Kitchen Sugar Scrub and a scrubby (yes, ANOTHER MASON JAR! I have a problem. Whatever).

I went to the store and purchased a 4.25in clay pot as well as a 10in clay saucer in the outdoor department. I then picked up a can of indoor/outdoor spray paint – since it’s going to be by the sink, the paint needed to be able to handle water – and got down to business.

I measured and marked off the center (what I thought was the center, and is center enough for ME. Hubs told me I was 3/8 of an inch off. I told him that was good enough for me. psh.) Then I traced a ring on the underneath of the saucer with the bottom of the pot, laid down a ring of clear window silicone because that is what was open, and stuck my clay pot on. I smoothed out any silicone that oozed and let it dry overnight.

Over the next 2 days, because I’m a craft slacker, I applied 3 coats of spray paint to the top and bottom.

Voila! My new organization for beside the kitchen sink. Loving it. For those in the Need to Know – The paint I picked was Krylon in gloss – Blue Ocean Breeze. The ocean blue of old Ball canning jars is one of my accent colors in my kitchen, so this worked out to be a bright and lovely shade. Very complimentary! I dig it.

If you want a more detailed tutorial of this simple yet awesome craft, please check it out here.

I’m thinking these would make fantastic housewarming gifts when paired with something edible, or even with items like I have sink-side.

The DIY Life: Invitation Ornaments

11 May

It’s that time of year again – Wedding Season! And what do we get when wedding season begins? Invitations to the weddings! What do we generally do with them? We throw them away!

Now that we all know what time of year it is again and what we do with invitations, onto a way to repurpose those invitations into a gift your friends and loved ones can cherish forever!

Invitation Ornaments – Most craft stores sell clear glass ornaments. The kind you can paint, fill with glitter, whatever your heart desires. My desire was to fill them with curls of the wedding and shower invitation for one of my good friends as a gift for her wedding. To me, a handmade gift is a wonderful thing. I love getting homemade gifts. It means someone not only thought of me but took the time to create something for me. It’s a wonderful reminder that people care about you.

The ornaments I bought are little glass squares and totally adorable. Since the opening in the top of the ornaments was small, I cut my invitations into thin strips so they could easily fit.

I then wrapped the strips around a pen so they would curl, and curled them through the opening at the top of the ornaments. Reassembled them, put them back in their snug little box, and my gift is ready for wrapping!

The process is simple, quick, and the cost is rather inexpensive. It’s a great way to give a gift that can be cherished for years to come. I recently found a copy of my wedding invitation, so I’m going to make a set of these for my Christmas tree!

Some tips – when cutting the invite, try to keep the words from the invitation visible. It’s awesome to look into the glass and see a name, date, or place.

Buy the clear glass ornaments. Frosted ornaments won’t let you really see the invitation curls.