Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

While browsing through gardening ideas on Pinterest one day, I found this adorable post on making your own garden treasure jars from the Empress of Dirt. “That looks easy enough, I can do that” I thought to myself. I had mason jars, lids (I do believe any used jar with a lid will work though) and dowels on hand. All I was missing were the flat marbles and some clear silicone sealant. So off I went to Lowe’s to get the sealant and the Dollar Tree for the marbles. Once I got back I was ready to do some crafting. My kids were eager to help too.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

My BIG mistake: I didn’t read the Empress’ post well enough. She specifically says to get the GE II Silicone Sealant, clear, waterproof. I didn’t do that. I got a (cheaper) brand called Loctite, but hey, it was clear, so there was that.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

What happened next could have easily turned this experiment into a Pinterest fail. I liberally slathered the sealant on the jar, just like in the picture on the other post. Then we added marbles one by one. This is where the wrong sealant played a huge factor. The marbles were not sticking well at all. They were sliding off and falling off, one by one. It looked disastrous. I was trying to catch them and put them back on, meanwhile, another would fall off, then another. Plop, drop, plop went the marbles. Not to mention the sealant was getting on my fingers and the marbles and my kids fingers. Ack! I wasn’t even thinking of taking a picture of this part, but you can imagine the awful mess. I didn’t give up though. I patiently kept re-adding them on, until the jar was full of marbles and set it aside. This did not stop the marbles from plopping off. I just stuck them back on as needed and proceeded to try my second jar.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

This time, I decided to place a droplet of the sealant on the marble instead of slathering it on the jar. WRONG! This was worse than the first experiment. The marbles slid down the jar immediately. So I did another sticky, marble juggling act to get them all on and set it aside. Needless to say I had to keep checking on it often to reposition the marbles. Luckily, it took a full day to dry, so I was able to kind of move everything into position in the end. Once they were dry, I washed the sealant goo that was left on the marbles from my sticky fingers to give it a nice appearance. I now think that if I had slathered the jar with the sealant and left it alone for a couple of hours, then added the marbles, that might have worked better. I cannot be sure though, since I haven’t tried it.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

Once the jars were dry, I took the lids and the dowels and drilled holes in them. I connected the lids to the dowels with a screw. Then I placed the dowels in the garden where I wanted them (I had to use a hammer to really get it in the dirt) and add the glass jars on to the top. Don’t forget to add some treasure to yours first.

Garden Treasure Jar Tutorial

That’s it. Woo hoo! I now have home made garden art. My kids have really loved having these in the garden too. They love checking them for goodies. So what do you think? Did I nail it or fail it? Will you be trying this craft? Or have you done it already? Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear about it.

If you want to make these yourself, I highly recommend following the Empress of Dirt’s tutorial.


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Easy Homemade Tub & Shower Cleaner

I like having a clean house, really I do, but sometimes, I don’t like putting in the hard work required to get certain things clean, like the tub and shower. Let’s just say the whole bathroom in general is not my favorite place to clean. If I can find a way to work smarter and not harder (like the microwave cleaning trick), that’s the route I’d prefer to take. So I found an interesting solution once again from Pinterest, on how to clean the tub and shower with ease by making your own Homemade Tub & Shower Cleaner.

I’m ashamed to show you this, but this is my tub before I used this cleaner. It’s BAD. The worst part about it is that I did actually try to clean it a few days before with actual tub cleaner, the stuff just wouldn’t come off!

Once I made this homemade concoction out of vinegar and Dawn, I sprayed it on and waited 10 or 15 minutes. I should have waited longer, but I was eagerly anticipating it’s magic. Once I started scrubbing, all of the gunk was just coming right off without a problem. There were still a couple spots that were still not coming off close to the faucet, but next time I will just let it sit for an hour or two before scrubbing. I’m so excited that it works!

Here’s what you will need to do this yourself:

Homemade Tub & Shower Cleaner

One empty spray bottle. I used a 24oz.
White Vinegar. I used 12oz.
Liquid Dawn Soap. I used 12oz.

I imagine you can use smaller portions as long as they are equal amounts.

Step 1 - Heat the vinegar in the microwave until it’s hot (approx 45 sec – 1 min) and pour into squirt bottle.

Step 2 - Add the Dawn soap and put the lid on. Gently shake the bottle to mix.

Step 3 - Spray away. Wait a few minutes and then scrub. You won’t believe your eyes.

I would seriously compare this to an industrial strength all purpose cleaner. Don’t be surprised if you find all sorts of things to clean after you make it. After I cleaned the tub, I decided to clean out the cooler we had used to go to the beach. It worked like a charm. Since I was already outside with the cooler, I noticed some dirty siding on our house that I had been having trouble getting clean. Guess what? The dirt came right off. No joke. I wish I had taken before and after pics of it. From there, it progressed into a full on cleaning frenzy. I was using a watered down version of it on a cloth and wiping down the fridge and dirty smudges on walls. It was better than a magic eraser I’m telling you. But enough of my rambling, go ahead and try it for yourself and tell me how it works for you.

For more frugal cleaning fun, check out the Back To Beauty Home Edition: 25 Natural Cleaning Recipes For A Green Home And A Healthy Planet (Natural Home) ebook on Amazon.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

DIY Fun for Kids – The Water Blob


A couple of weeks ago, I found this neat tutorial for making a water blob on Pinterest, and it looked like so much fun I was dying to try it.

You’re probably asking yourself what a water blob is, am I right? Well, basically it’s a plastic drop cloth (like you would use for painting) folded in half, with duct tape around the edges & filled with water. It reminded me a little bit of a water bed actually.

What you will need:

A large roll of plastic sheeting (at least 3 mil thickness) and duct tape or another kind of strong tape. You can get this at a hardware store like Home Depot, Lowes and I have heard, even at Sears. I used a 10’x25′, 3.5 mil thickness. I got the value pack, so we can do it again! You will end up using nearly the entire roll of duct tape, so if you plan to do it twice, get two rolls.

How to make the blob:

Start by rolling out the plastic on the ground and folding it in half.

Next, tape up the edges of the plastic with the tape. I think one of the errors I made was taping it on the grass. It wasn’t cold outside or anything, but there must have been a bit of morning dew in the grass, which made the bottom of the plastic feel damp as I was taping. Next time, I will tape it on the cement and then move it over to the grass.

Try to get the tape on as flat and straight as possible. It will be harder to fix when you start filling it with water, so try to be thorough from the onset. Remember to leave a small opening for the hose.

Now it’s time to bring in the hose and fill er’ up. If your yard is like mine and  not level, try to get it to the most flat, grassy spot you can find because the blob could potentially roll.

If you’re planning to add color or glitter or soft toys, now is the time. Since we didn’t have any food coloring, we tried to add a few packets of Kool aid. However, it was only “kool” for about 5 minutes before is disappeared.





When it’s full (takes about 20-30 mins), remove the hose and tape up the opening where the hose was. This was where I had a bit of a hard time. My kids were trying to help me with this and I couldn’t seem to get that area dry and taped properly. The first breaches we had came from this area, so a good dry, flat tape job is crucial here.

  Once it’s all taped up, you’re set. Let the kids play!   We did notice that after just a few minutes of jumping it was starting to get marks. It was still fine to play on for a while though. The kids were able to lay on it, roll on it, somersalt, jump, etc. The nice thing about the blob is that the water feels cool through the plastic, but your kids aren’t getting soaked, so if it’s not a super hot day, the kids can still have fun with water.

 

Fortunately for us, it was a pretty hot day, so we decided to add the sprinkler to it for even more fun.

Our water blob survived for about an hour and a half before there were big holes in it, but my children are somewhat brutish, so I’m thinking it would probably last longer for most other kids. Once there was a hole in it, it made a fun splash puddle for the kids.

 

After it was popped it was time to let the dog out. He loved it too!

I have to say that it was a ton of fun. If you are looking for a fun idea for a toddler birthday party or a fun 4th of July activity, this might be the thing for you. Let me know how it works for you.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

DIY Crockpot Yogurt

One of the ways I’ve found to stretch my dollars is to make my own yogurt in a crockpot. Yep. It really does work. It’s not quite as thick as what you buy at the store, but it’s still very yogurtey (is that even a word?) and the best part is that you know what’s in it and you can sweeten it however you see fit (ex: sugar, honey, agave nectar, fruit).

The nice thing about yogurt is that it is a very versatile food. Some of the many ways you can use yogurt are in homemade salad dressing, frozen fruit pops, smoothies, you can coat chicken with it before dipping in breadcrumbs to bake and of course, you can just eat it with some fruit added. I’m sure there are many other great ways to include yogurt in your everyday recipes. Let me know your faves.

To make the yogurt you will need a crockpot, 1/2 gallon of whole organic milk and 1/2 cup of plain natural yogurt (to use as a starter).

The process of yogurt making is really simple, but time consuming, so make sure to try this on a day when you will be home all day.

DIY Crockpot Yogurt

1. Pour 1/2 gallon whole organic milk into the crock put. Cover and heat on low for 2 1/2 hours.

2.  Turn off or unplug your crockpot. Let it sit for 3 hours.

3. After three hours, take 2 cups of the hot milk and put in a bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup of plain natural yogurt in with a whisk. Then pour the mixture into the crockpot and stir. Replace crockpot lid.

4. Cover your crockpot with a heavy towel or blanket for insulation. Let it sit for 8 hours.

5. After 8 hours have passed, it’s time to see what you made. Pretty nifty, eh?

Separate into plastic containers and chill. This yogurt will keep for about 5-7 days. Be sure to save 1/2 cup to make your next batch. Enjoy!


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.