QUICK TIPS ARCHIVES
Arrange different shapes of
cork trivets on a wall to create an outside-the-box message centre.
Trivets are thicker than the usual cork board so you can be sure
push pins won't scratch walls. 3M Comand strips work well to adhere the cork to the wall.
The embellishments are 3D
stickers also found at the dollar store. I'm always surprised by
how many surfaces stickers will adhere to.
Label your closet bins
using pictures, rather than writing on labels. Stickers work well.
For instance, if you have dog gear in one basket, like I do, you
can always find stickers with dogs on them. Or, if you can draw or
have a talented relative in your family, put a hand-drawn picture
on the label. In my case, my son Curtis helped me label the bin
with extra hats and gloves in it and made another label that
designates all things related to shoes, such as laces, polishes
and spray protectors.
Keeping such things
all in one place makes them easy to find when you need them.
Don't throw out those
zippered plastic cases that your new sheet sets or blankets came
in. They make great places to store other linens. A fleece sheet
set came in the one pictured and I've been using it as a place to
store my Christmas linens ever since. The whole package doesn't
take up much space in my linen closet and tablecloths, napkins,
fingertip towels, oven mitts and cushion covers for the Christmas
season are all kept together in one place.
Rather than buying
specially designed tissue boxes for the season, make your own
using Christmas tape (on the green box) or scrapbook borders. I
lucked out and found a booklet of Christmas-themed scrapbook
borders by Martha Stewart for only $1.50 at Dollarama. The
plainer store brand tissue boxes work best for this purpose as the
patterns are less busy.
You know all those
paper wine bags you collected last year around this time?
Re-purpose some of them into different sized gift bags. Cut them
to the height you need, fold the tops down about an inch inside
the bag and use a one-hole punch to accommodate a ribbon, rope or
I find that the Slide Seal
storage bags are just as good as the more expensive brand and are
terrific for storing everything from small craft pieces to
Christmas decorations. Last season, I stored my snowman fridge
magnets in a small Slide Seal bag to be sure that the pieces would
stay together and be easily found this year.
Often, cupcake liners
from the dollar store come with decorations to stick in the top of
the finished cupcakes. Instead, you can put them in a shot glass
to use as appetizer picks. Besides being useful, they'll help to
dress up your buffet table this holiday season.
Someone gifted me with
apple-scented potpourri years ago. Although the scent is long
gone, the potpourri is still attractive. For contrast, I've added
some elements from other vase fillers, such as the cream-coloured
paper flower, as well as some pinecones and faux acorns. Served up
in a wooden bowl, it makes an attractive decoration on a coffee
table that will last throughout fall and winter.
Here's a quick and easy party
favour for your next fall party: Simply wrap regular-size
chocolate bars in scrapbook paper. Here, we've left the ends open.
Place a faux leaf on top and secure it in place with baker's twine
as you wrap the chocolate like a gift. Tie a knot in the twine,
leaving the ends long.
Print messages such as
"Thankful for You!", "Give Thanks" or place
names, if you prefer, onto a sheet of address labels and cut them
out. Apply messages or names to small tags, add a small
embellishment like the leaf confetti shown here and tie the label
onto the ends of the baker's twine.
Okay, so the zipper
pull on one of my fabric storage bags broke. Since this isn't
something on display for all to see, a safety pin works as the
perfect quick fix for the problem.
If you're like me, you hate to
throw out reusable gift bags but what can you do with a bunch of
paper wine bottle bags? I mean, you don't gift someone with
a bottle of wine everyday. If you have a collection of these tall
paper gift bags, here's the answer. Just cut them down
to a shorter size (however tall or short you want), leaving about
an extra inch at the top to fold down on the inside
of the bag and use a one-hole punch to make holes for a ribbon or
decorative cord handle. Voila! A gift bag that's wider than your
average small gift bag and great for smaller gifts.
Perch small potted succulents
atop glass candlesticks of varying heights for a quick and easy
coffee table centrepiece. If your faux succulents are in larger
pots, use candlesticks with wider tops.
Organize your craft
supplies and make them easily accessible by using a lazy Susan. We
cut a piece of non-slip shelf liner to fit the top of this 10-inch
glass lazy Susan and added six mini glass canisters to hold small
craft pieces like buttons, tacks and other small pieces. These
small canisters come in a set of three for two bucks. Place a
square votive candle holder in the middle to store things like
sharpie markers and paint brushes.
Pull out a few of your votive
candle holders, fill part way with birdseed and nestle bird-shaped
tea lights into them. This is a quick, easy and very affordable
idea you can use for casual entertaining this summer. You
can buy a small bag of birdseed for a buck at Dollarama. The bird
tea light candles are from there, too.
See more summer candle ideas here: Light
of the Party.
Make a 23-inch tall outdoor
side table by hot gluing two 15-inch round pots together and
sitting a 15-inch round melamine tray on top. Each piece cost
three bucks. Don't glue the tray on so you can use the top pot to
store small items like sunglasses or acrylic glasses to protect
them from the elements when they're not in use. Run a bead of hot
glue along the raised edge on the bottom of the tray and let it
dry to help to keep the tray-top from sliding around.
Add a decorative covering to a
chair the easy way. Slip a cushion cover over the chair
back, fold the top corners of the cover down and pin them in
the back. These cushion covers will fit a chair back 15 1/4-inches
square, or less.
If you want to decorate a terra
cotta pot but don't necessarily want to mess with paint, you can
use peel 'n stick paper to accent the rim. There are so many
different patterned rolls available now, you're sure to find one
that you like. This roll of peel 'n stick is 2-inches wide and the
pot rim is 1 1/2-inches wide, so I simply followed the lines on
the back and trimmed half an inch from the length of paper
covers from a vinyl tablecloth to make some of your old cushions
So, I was in a home store the
other day and happened upon a mat that was meant to be placed
under your coffee machine. I though it was a great idea but I was
not going to pay that price! Next door at Dollar Tree, I
bought a 12 by 18-inch micro-fiber dish drying mat for $1.25.
Works just as well, don't you think? And you have a choice of
colours and patterns.
Use a wide bag clip to hold
your place in a recipe book while you're cooking.
Use three different sizes of
fillable plastic Easter eggs to make a fun and easy Easter party favour
inspired by nesting dolls. Hide an Easter treat in the smallest
egg, put it inside the medium egg and put the medium egg inside
the largest egg. Kids love it!
Make your own vinyl placemats using shelf liner.
Use a placemat you already have on hand to measure for size. If
you wish, shape the corners. Use the first cut off corner to
measure where the other corners should be cut, to be sure they're
Elevate your decor by
turning square vases upside down to make pedestal bases. Try
a grouping of three in different heights. To ensure things don't
get accidentally knocked off, secure items to the pedestals with
Use a pretty vinyl
shower curtain to hide a storage area in the basement. You can use
a shower curtain tension rod or a regular curtain rod. Either way,
you can hang it with regular metal shower curtain hooks.
These Slide Seal storage bags
from Dollarama are great for storing more than just food. I like
them for corralling small pieces like these Christmas fridge
magnets to ensure they're easy to find when I want them next year.