QUICK TIPS ARCHIVES
Now's the time to start picking
up items for gift baskets and stocking stuffers like this box of
fancy cookies I found at Dollarama. Buying a few small items every
week will prevent panic from setting in as Christmas draws
The natural elements
all around us are free for the taking and make for easy fall
decorating. Here, a combination of small pinecones and acorns in
an attractive dish makes a quick and easy decorating accent for
fall and winter.
If you're living in a
rental apartment with a boring back splash area, try using
over-sized wall stickers to give the area some colour. Vinyl wall
stickers won't leave a sticky residue when removed and can be
wiped down with a damp cloth, so kitchen splatters shouldn't be a
problem. When you get tired of one pattern, these stickers can be
easily replaced for a totally new look.
Each sticker sheet has
six large decals on it. I found these at Dollar Tree.
Add a little
inexpensive bling to your curtains by using a dollar store
necklace as a tieback. Experiment with different types of
necklaces to get a look that’s right for your curtain and room décor.
Tissue boxes sit out in the
open in our homes, so we want them to be attractive, as well as
useful, especially in places where visitors may see them. I
usually buy my tissues in packages of six and sometimes there's a
box or two that I don't like the looks of, for one reason or
another. Here's an easy fix: Cut two-inch strips of wrapping paper
or scrapbook paper and tape or glue them around the outside of the
tissue box. (I recommend gluing to ensure that all the edges lay
flat.) I found this mirror-like paper in my scrapbook paper stash
and used it to glam up a plain tissue box for the powder room.
Did you know that you can use a
mug warmer to release candle scents? Well you can! I tried it and
it works great, especially when you have someone in your house who
is leery of open flames. ;) Of course, you only want to do this
with candles in glass containers.
Re-purpose an old
metal pencil cup as a candle holder. Here, we've just turned it
upside down and added a mirror sticker embellishment. If you have
a metal pencil cup with cut-out shapes, you could put the candle
directly inside the pencil cup.
All you need is a
package of plain shower curtain rings and a bag of craft accents
to make your own version of fancy shower curtain rings. Be sure to
use a strong glue to adhere the accents to the rings. (Hot glue
melts in the heat and humidity of a bathroom.)
Use your imagination to come up with the right accent for your particular bathroom décor, keeping in mind that they should be waterproof, of a comparable size to the ones you see for sale in stores and not too heavy.
Time to see more easy bathroom upgrades.
I've been using this desk
organizer on the kitchen counter to hold things I use often. Keep
scissors, pens and pencils, note paper and even small tools handy
and within easy reach. It's also a great place to store take-out
menus that you use often.
If you're traveling this
summer, put together a first aid kit with supplies from the dollar
store. Besides these shown, you can find alcohol wipes, diarrhea
medicine, muscle ache patches, medical tape and more. Use a small
lidded box to store everything. To save space, remove things like
bandages from their original containers, taking just a few for
your travel kit. You could also add a few cotton balls, cotton
swabs and/or cotton pads stored in a small zipper seal bag.
Customize your first aid kit
according to your family's needs and be sure to replenish anything
you use after each outing.
Dollar store garden ornaments
will have a greater impact if you group them together in sets of
three, rather than spreading them throughout the garden.
Who says you have to use the
same type of candle holder in a grouping? Here we've used two
different tea light holders along with a votive holder.
Unify the grouping by using the same colour tea light candle in
each holder. Fill the votive holder three quarters of the way full
with small shells or decorative sand to make a base for the tea
Got too many snack
boxes taking up space in your cupboards? Reduce the space need to
store them by using a cheap plastic box to store the snack bars
in. Then recycle the cardboard boxes. This storage box is about 9
1/2-inches long by about 6 1/2-inches wide and can store at least
three boxes worth of snack bars. Use these lidded boxes for
storing other things and stack them to save even more space.
You can throw some mood
lighting together quicker than you can say, "summer
party," by putting clear glass stones in a small glass bowl
and nestling the top of a cheap solar light into it.
Now that the weather
is getting warmer, many of us want to hang our clothes outside. I
love the fresh smell my clothes get after they've been
hanging outside to dry! But there's a problem. With small
backyards being the norm these days, we are limited to using
portable clothes racks, rather than a clothes line. On a windy
day, these racks tend to tip over.
Here's a solution
using garden staples. The picture on the left is a 5 1/2-inch long
garden staple. These staples come in a package of ten for
$1.50 at Dollarama. The picture on the right shows how you
can use three or four of these staples to anchor your clothes rack
into the ground so it won't blow over on a windy day.
A row of three dimensional
flower stickers placed around the middle of a vase makes a quick
and easy way to decorate a candle holder for spring and summer.
In years past it seems that
everyone had coloured covers for their toilet seat lids that
matched the bath rugs, but that trend has since fallen out of
favour. Still, if you'd like to add a little extra colour to your
bathroom, try using some wall stickers. These came on a large
sheet for two bucks at Dollarama.
A word of warning: These wall
stickers will be more of a challenge to remove from plastic and
porcelain than if they were on a wall, where they can be easily
repositioned, so be sure you get the design you've chosen where
you want it the first time as they may stretch and tear when
you're trying to reposition them.
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.
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!