Tag Archives: cheap

Some Doggie DIYs

I thought I’d share some DEEOHHGEE tips I found useful since getting our Pup.

I’ve learned so much about Large Breeds, since getting our St. Bernard/Great Pyrenees Mix. They NEED Large Breed Puppy Food to help along the quick growing. Even the later Neutering to help with growth (Hormones).

Reading TONS and TONS of info online… I’ve come to the conclusion that DIAMOND Dog Food is for us. Yes, I’m aware of the Recalls! But, seeing as his parents and he was already on DIAMOND. Annnd, our recent Family Dog did wonders on DIAMOND (Only food he could eat! The Enzymes helped his Stomach)… We decided to stick with it.
One downfall I’ve read about DIAMOND was that: For the price comparison to others similar, it was LOWER in Protein.

So, keeping that in mind. I started with some Protein Treats to help make up for it.
A few of MANY things I do:
dehydratedsweetpotatoes
– Dehydrated Sweet Potato with Smidge of 100% Peanut Butter with No additives, not even added Oil.
Slice Sweet Potatoes. Soak in White Vinegar and Water. Some I also sprayed with Lemon Juice, some I didn’t. Place on Dehydrator trays. Dehydrate overnight. I have kids break up to pieces and spread a very lil PB on them. They feed him. Bonding and Deliciousness!

– Slight Sunny Side Up Egg mixed into his first cup of Pup Food for the Day.
Making Many options to keep him protein happy. And, never boring.

 – NOW, for the Toys. I paid only $4 for all the below! Getting idears online, with my own twists, using Old Socks (I save for Dust Rags, anyway). Old Victoria Secret Yoga Pants (Has the PERFECT Stretch and Material for it!). Dollar Store Toys. And, some Regular Tennis Balls. Many Options and types keeps him happily entertained!
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1.) A few Dollar Store Items for him to Choose from.
2.) A Tennis Ball with a Small Slit or X shape cut. Stick Treats inside.
3.) A long strip of Victoria Secret Pants. Wrap around your hand til it’s all wrapped around. Take another strip, tie the Center, nice and tight. Making an 8 shape (As, my “Talented” drawing shows). Cut the ends of the 8. I also tied some of those strands together to create more of a ball.
diydogtoyexample
4.) Knot a sock nice and tight. Place into another sock. Knot it off. (Looks like tennis ball in it, it’s not. It’s another sock, knotted.)
5.) Knotted Sock Rope.
6.) Place small slits or Xs on opposite sides of Tennis Ball. Push (I used Pencil) Victoria Secret Yoga Pant LEG through holes. Knot off til ends.
diydogtoys2
This one uses two pant legs of Victoria Secret’s Yoga Pants. I had old Swing loop screw/bolt, screwed into tree stump. Tightly knotted one leg end to it. The other pants leg, I knotted all the way across it (Like #6 in last photo). Then, I tied the leg from tree to the center of the one similar to #6 (In last photo). I had to tie his favorite stick to it, to get him to realize it was HIS Toy and what it did… Which was Tug A War!

HIDE those UGLY Plungers (Another Great Post for in between Delicious Recipes, right?)

plungerstorage

We like the plunger we have. When… when… the Throne backs up, no one likes standing over it for a long time, plunging it. So, a while ago, we got ourselves an accordion type plunger. Works great, less time. But, stores DON’T have storage that fit these. So, got my DIY cap on. And, here it is!
Menard’s MINI Trash Can (With REMOVABLE Inner Container – EASY CLEANING!)– Under $10
Cut hole ALONG edge (To fit handle) with Razor Blade (Careful!)
Compact, Clean, Visually better than a Plunger just sitting there! You can even doll it up with Paint or a Durable Modge Podge job.
Bam! Done! You’re Welcome!
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Update the old, to fake the new!

Pffft… “Out with the old, in with the new…” No! Update the old, to fake the new! Cheap-O’s way! Clean. Paint. Dry. 2nd coat, if needed. Dry. Protective coat. Bam! Done. You’re welcome…
Garage sale 25cents each:



On the side of the road Free (There’s A LOT MORE Freebies- Check Out our Gardening Post for more decor and ideas- CLICK HERE:

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Marbles! Add Color and Sparkle. CHEAP N EASY

Click to Enlarge:
Marble Fence 1

Trellis Fence Marbles 1
(Click to Enlarge Photos) As young, there was a marble collector in the area who had marbles in things. About 3, or so, years ago, I seen something similar to the marble collector’s idear… While I pinned. So, from those ideas, here it is. Only, I did just the tips of pickets. Thankfully, our nice neighbor had a drill piece that was PERFECT in size! 5/8. Dollar Store marbles-SEE THROUGH COLORED/stained like. Drilled holes. Pressed in. Some needed a lil more force. So, I covered with thick cloth (To prevent cracking), and hammered it some. Now, I just need to find red marbles… But, Bam! Done! You’re Welcome…

Also, Michael’s bird and birdhouses, painted and treated. Glued to fence and post tops. Also, 2nd photo doesn’t do justice. It was afternoon sun, on other side. Didn’t get a photo of it’s peek sparkle effect!
– For Cheap DIY Stained Fence Artwork Idea: CLICK HERE

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EASY CHEAP DIY Hanging Solar Lights

DIY Tree Hanging Solar Light 2DIY Tree Hanging Solar Light
Dollar Store had these BEAUTIFUL bottles. I used picture hanging wire, secured it to bottle for hanging. Screwed in hook screws, into tree. Hung. Now, photo is before adding solar lights. Dollar Store has SMALL ones, that I will just set onto top hole of bottle. Secure with silicone or something. Haven’t gotten there yet. But, you get the idea.
It goes GREAT with the beautiful artwork my lil one made on the playhouse.
– For Cheap DIY Fence Artwork Click Here


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How a Crate can Help your Canopy…

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Many uses of crates. With a Canopy now up and recent storms. We weren’t too convinced that the mini stakes the canopy came with will hold it onto the ground. So, we had an idea with leftover material (Keeping it cheap!). Helping us to weigh this down and spruce it up.
First, we protected the pole with some black plastic, taped around it. Then doubled Burlap into the crate. Then River rock on the bottom 1/4.
Then some dirt. THEN, the Thriller, Filler, Spiller Rule of Thumb for Plant Containers. Thriller is a tall plant (Grasses, coleus, etc.). Then Filler, we just used Marigolds (Leftovers and CHEAP). Spillers are ones that spill over pot. We used Potato Vines… YES, we realize these get about 5, or so, feet long. We’ll figure that out as it happens. Maybe wrap around the crate to cover…?
Now, this is just a quick pic. Flowers haven’t filled in yet. So, it’ll only get prettier. And we are still managing this back corner. Leveled crates, adding to rock and mulch. Will be adding COLOR with decor. Etc. Up to Date photo coming SOON!
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– UPDATED! – How do you do it all, on 1 Income?

Money Savers
UPDATED-Again! We are asked about how we are able to manage our lifestyle with only one income. And do it with NO Reckless DEBT!
– First, the hub works so hard to provide us with the things we are fortunate to have.
– Secondly, we appreciate the value of a dollar. We usually have plans for each, usually each plan putting more money in our pockets in the long run. Most people make the mistake and have more plans for their dollar. Thinking, “Well, we can get this, and just cut here…”. But, never do the cutting. Thus, that dollar was spent twice… Creating a debt.
-We make life Fun, Cheap, and most importantly… Easy! You don’t need to spend fortunes to have great memories. Most people spend way too much money on “Fun”, only to spend their time running, exhausted, and broke for it. In the end, cheaper can be better. I’m not saying don’t splurge here and there, if ya have it. I’m just saying … It’s not needed. Or makes you a lesser of a person, if you don’t. Happy Homes can be made on Pennies!
Here are some Tips, we find Useful. Be sure to check out our added info- Senior/Student/Military Discounts, Kids Eat FREE list, & MORE… That you may not know about! (CLICK “CONTINUE READING”):
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Easy DIY Frame Wall Art-Decorative Paper

 For Idea Click Here - Easy CHEAP Wall Art- Decorative paper

Cheap and Ugly Frames Painted. Paint frame. Go to Michaels, get glittery/Decorative paper. Cut to size. Place into frames. You can use different pattern paper to cut out hearts or flowers to give layers. OR you can go to dollar store and get wall stickers (Flowers, owls, words, etc.) and stick to the decorative paper. Add to frame. For easy decor!
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Christmas Idears

It’s That Time Of Year, that I start getting Ideas… So, Keep Checking Back for NEW ONES!
I have a few I’m Currently Working On and More I Will Be Working On… SOON!

*** See a Graphic/Cutout you want? (For Example: Kissing Snowman/woman cutouts. Baby it’s cold outside cutouts. Etc.) 
* SEE INFO 
(Bottom of page) about getting Original Images (Unstamped) *FOR FREE*!

It’s Beginning to look A LOT like CHRISTMAS!
Cheap and Easily Done! Most of Our Ideas, I try to do with Items we have lying around the house. Or bought for Real Cheap. Get Your XMas On… CHEAPLY!

EASY and CHEAP Paper Bag Cutout Decor:
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All you need is paper bags (Cut open), pencil (Easier to edit), tape, red transparent tape, desired image. Larger images: Cut paper bags and lay out to desired size, flat. Tape together. With pencil, draw out image. Cut accordingly. Use red tape to give color in areas desired- Red nose/present ribbon. Hang on windows. Leave lights on at night, shut blinds. Enjoy cheap decorations.
(Yes, I realize the notes are backwards. As the hubs and kiddos pointed out… And laughed.)
Works for all holidays- Check out our Halloween Post!


Naughty or Nice?
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$3 DIY Christmas Project, helping to keep those Kiddos in Line!
Well, probably a little late for this post. But, with keeping busy with Customizing Mugs, I haven’t had time to post a lot!
So, here’s a late Christmas Decor Post. Naughty or Nice Sign! Customized mini jars, one says Naughty, other Nice. If your child is Good, they pick from the Nice jar, treats. If a Child is Bad, they pick one from the Naughty jar, Chores they must complete (Crumbled Black Paper with Chores written on them, to look as if it’s COAL… Naughty kids get Coal!). As you can see I have: Sweep, Dishes, Kitchen, etc. (Written in Metallic Marker on Black Paper). You can have things OTHER than treats, as well. Like: Movie, Xtra 20minutes up late, etc… And, Lose 1 Toy, Lose TV for the day, etc. for the Coals. Cost me a whopping $3 to make. Wood was $1, Jars, $1 each. Paint, Twine, I had on hand. Kids LOVED it! Also, this is previous photo (I stained the Twine to match the Hanging Twine.).

Xmas Snowmen:
XMas Snowmen
Leftover 2x4s
Modge Podge
Printed aged looking Holiday Music Paper (Piano)
– OR Leftover Wrapping Paper
Buttons/ Beads
Socks for hats
Cut 2×4 to 3 different sizes. Modge podge paper onto. Glue buttons/beads on. Use sock as hats. (Buttons, I used Yarn. Place glue/modge podge on wax paper, then spiral yarn into circle, til size desired. Lightly smear glue on top. Left sit for a minute and keep moving (To prevent sticking to surface.) It hardened into a cute circle button.)
Don’t worry about being tidy modge podging paper onto snowmen! Some wrinkled, and they look cool and aged. Hats are made from old/singled socks. Some hung down, or I tied off top and cut it, to fringe. I’m sure you can make these much fancier, I just used what we had around the house. Kids enjoyed the scavenger hunt for pieces to build the snowmen. The kids knitted the scarves with the hand knitting craft technique… Showing, cheap can be fun, as well.

EASY and CHEAP XMAS Trees!
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Upside down Tomato Cage
Garland/Tinsel Garland
Strand of lights (Same color as garland)
Twist ties
Made this under $5. Michael’s garlands 50% off. 1.99 and 2.50. Had tinsel garland laying around, and those cheap tomato cages, laying around. Lay tomato cage upside down. Tape end spikes of cage together to form point (Tree top). Wrap well with garland(s). Twisty tie into place. Wrap with lights. Twist tie into place. Wrap with one more garland, if needed. Plug in. Done.

tableclothcurtain
SIMPLE. CHEAP. EASY. Favorite Christmas-y Tablecloth. Curtain Hanging Clips. Hang as XMAS Curtains. DONE! (Be sure to use a good tablecloth, not one that’s too plastic/stiff).

DIY Wall Art:
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But, Baby, It’s Cold Outside– Leftover Faux Wood Shelf (Off our entertainment center). Measure and line up Painter’s Tape, to create Lines to spray paint. I used Satin Nickel Spray, did 1 layer (Looks great, it’s Shimmer Silver and you can STILL see wood grain). Used cutout letters, modged podged em.
Kissing Snowmen. Cutout Letters/Flakes/Snowmen. Modge Podged. (I will be making the “Since we no place to go” BIGGER! It’s too small.)

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Reindeer with Ornaments on the Antlers. This image I found online for Free! I did a cutout, used another color for backdrop. Picture doesn’t show well, but, both, the deer and backdrop, are wood grain and the tan is actually burlap/canvas material. I may add red color/glitter/shimmer to the ornaments. The frame I had gotten for free, due to being broke. Just one smack of my hand, and it popped right back in to place! Making this FREE! Always keep those spare wood pieces and old frames.

shelftree
Who doesn’t have extra Tinsel/Garlands laying around?! Simply cut and tape up. I will be having kids decorate about 5-6 ornaments (Paper or snowflakes work) to hang from branches/shelf. This is just a base ideas (As all on this site- Making it EXTRA CHEAP!). You can choose to Amp it with Xmas Lights, etc!

Chandelier:
chandelierWrap greenage around. Mine was Cheap Dollar Store stuff, fancy can be used!
Wrap shiny red tinsel around.
Fish line string some Sparkly Snow Flakes and bulbs at diff. lengths. You can add shimmer too, with small reflective clear beads once and a while, in middle of line. When they move they’ll shimmer and sparkle.

Easy Mini Tree Decor:
yarntreesribbonminitree
Bend paper/light cardboard (12pk pop cardboard) into a point. Staple. Cut bottom straight, so it stands. Modge Podge/Glue as you go. Wrapping around yarn, of choice. Mine were: Green, tan, and a multi-colored one. Bottom one, I used WIRE ribbon. Which was a pain to deal with while using modge podge, didn’t work out. Then the idea of just stapling ribbon into rings, smaller to larger size rings, then, placing over cardboard.

Adding Sparkle
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glarebulbs
Add Sparkle! Because we have a cat, we can’t have tinsel on tree. Loving the turnout of using reflective tape for Halloween (Check out our Halloween Post), I wanted to think of some ways to use it for XMas. We bought plastic bulbs ($.50), filled it with the reflective tinsel, added reflective tape snowflakes on the front. Adding reflective beads (Jewelry) works, too. Add to tree, where lights are. Not only do the reflective taped snowflakes glare bright in light, but the tinsel reflects the lights. Adding sparkle. They have all colors, like gold and green. I used silver, because I have a white tree. You can also add these to snowflakes and place outside or inside for glares of snowflakes. I’m going to test tape cut tiny squares for our Mini Town’s windows to glare, vs. a whole mess of string lights. I have yellow, orange, and silver tape.
Not to forget the awesome job the kids did on the tree. Nothing’s better than a kid decorated tree!

Pencil Christmas Trees:
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I shaved pencils, with a vegi peeler. Tied Ribbon around (Wire works great for holding branches into place). Cut to size (Longer at bottom going shorter to top.). I will be staining pencils, to amp beauty. Stuffed in candle holders using stretched cotton balls (Mocking snow).

XMas Town under the tree
christmastownundertreeCreate a Mini Town (Dollar Store has town items). I will have a train going around it, as well. Looks beautiful! DON’T Forget the reflective tape cut to fit squares of windows, to reflect light, without mess of plugged in lights!

snowflakekidspicture
Simple Little Things to Add the Christmas Feeling. Sparkling Snowflake Stickers added to Wall Art. Simple. Cheap. Beautiful.

Noel Sign.
Noel SignI took leftover board. Nailed Pop Tops on left and right of back, for hanging. Front I did a faux wood grain technique (Tool was cheap at lowes or menards- $3) in black paint. Once dry, I watered down deep red paint (I want to say 1 part paint, 3parts water, but start half and half first). I wiped it on board, let sit, wiped rest off- To allow grain to show thro. I then cut letters out, and painted them white with designs (Modge Podge fabric, wrapping paper, etc. will work, too). I then glued it to the back. AT FIRST, I had the letters taped, so after XMas I could switch out NOEL with our last name. Or you can do FAMILY, LOVE, PRAY, etc. But, the red didn’t fit our new paint color, so just kept it Xmas decor.

KID FUN:
chainlink2014Give them paper. Have them do all sorts of scibbles, designs. etc. Cut into strips, make personalized chain link to hang.

Cookie Decorating:
cookiemakingCOOKIES! Old medicine container. Food coloring with little Water+ a pinch of Confectioners (Powdered) Sugar. Paint brushes. They decorated their cookies. (Mom makes icing with powdered sugar, vanilla, and water/milk, I believe. Easy!) I crush candy canes (Plastic bag + Hammer) and have choc. chips, as well, for decorating.

Felt Tree:
felttree
We bought green felt. Folded in half. Drew half a tree. Cut it, unfolded to make complete tree. We cut out circle felt pieces (Using smaller mason lids to trace) and misc. small pieces. Used glitter glue to decorate. Kids loved the craft and can now have a tree to play with and move the ornaments around… All they want! Felt sticks to felt, so NO NEED to glue or tack.. (I did tack the tree and stump to wall, tho.)

Countdown:
christmastownundertreeWe have an Advent. We place candies or monies inside each compartment. Each night a child takes a turn to open and hand out what’s inside. And, hangs the ornament up. Now, before we do this. We read a Christmas Story and an XMas Countdown Story (A Religious one that kinda explains the Time Line up to Christmas), every night in December. Each day our children take turns picking out the 1st book.  One countdown story, one XMas Story, and then the Advent, each night in December.

UN-Cooked-ies – Great for Gifts!:
UnCooked-ies

This is such a GREAT Idea! Cheap. Easier than cookies. Because, you save yourself the cooking time. Not to forget, the burning is on them now!!! It’s much appreciated, especially, those busier people. We LOVE frozen prepped dough balls. You can choose to cook a few at a time, for quick treats. Or a whole batch! No more worrying if they’re gonna go bad. As they last A LOT longer! You can pre-freeze to save time, as well!

Steps:
-Premake your favorite Cookie Dough recipe
-Line Parchment Paper with spoons of dough balls, spaced (I’ve used just plate with no problems). Freeze.*
-Once frozen, place into Freezer Gallon Bag.*
-Label bag with Type of Cookie, Temperature (Degrees), Time to Cook. NO NEED TO THAW! Do test batch to get correct timing (Frozen dough goes a little longer, not much, tho.)
-Place filled freezer bag in bakery store plastic container, decorated. Cookie tin or decorated mason/glass jar may work, as well. Just keep in freezer bag for freshness.
-Be sure to store on ice and let them know it needs to go into the freezer…
*You prefreeze, spaced, to keep them from sticking. If you just throw the balls into the bag, they’ll have 1 big cookie!

—Get the kiddos involved. Paint the containers. Do the handprint/footprint reindeer idea. Grandparents will very much appreciate a gift made for them to enjoy and the art they can save! Use mason jars and line outside with candycanes, modge modge wrapping paper to lid, bow on lid, old knitted sweater sleeves, cut and wrap around outside of mason jars, or knitted mason jar sleeve, add mini scarves around mason jar neck, etc. Decor ideas are endless… AND CHEAP!

Oh the Elfer! Elf on the Shelf: In which we all enjoy and have a good laugh. Our story is that Elfer is a new Elf. And is a bit hyper and naughty (He runs on Sugar!), tho he wants to be nice (Just gets things confused and wrong). It’s our kid’s job to teach him right from wrong. And show him love. A great tool to build humor, forgiveness, and to build their patience and teaching skills of what’s right from wrong. Not to forget, a great tool for behavior… Santa’s WATCHING! Below are a FEW of some ideas we’ve done. Our kids have great humor… Some of these may be too much for other kids. You know your kiddo, do what’s best for their personalities!!! Ex.) I wouldn’t buzz a little girl’s hair!!!


XMAS Eve… We hooked up the t.v. to the computer and did GOOGLE SANTA TRACKER! It tracks Santa. Any Santa Tracker works! The kids had a blast checking in on where he was and where he was headed! (Can you see the hidden elf?!)

Peppermint Cocoa!:
9 packs Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix
7 1/2c TO 8 1/2c Milk (Depending on Brand and Chocolate-ness)
3 Crushed Peppermint Candy Canes
1/4c Sugar
Crock pot, low for few hours. Great to start as you head out sledding!

Elf Making:
elfcraft
We draw, color, and cut out elves. We hide them in the house, as decor, with them peaking out. It’s cute, easy decor, and personalized! We also have fun trying to find the other’s elves.

*** Every Year XMAS TO DO List ***:
-See the XMas lights. It’s free and beautiful! (Xmas Eve!)
-SANTA Visit/XMas Celebrations. (Cities/Malls/COMMUNITY Centers/NATURE CENTERS usually do their XMas Celebrations on different days… Go to a few! Our Area has TONS of free kid activities!)
-Kids camp out by the XMas tree with movie and hot cocoa.
-SLEDDING!!!
-Ice Skating
-Snowman Building
-Snow ball fight (Dad usually- We surprise attack him when he gets home)
– XMAS Movies- Hit up the Library.
– Good Deed (Leave care pkg. for Homeless: Gloves, Treats, Blessing Note, etc.)
-We do the Planting of Jelly Beans. Decorate cups and plant jelly beans. They start off as sucker sticks, then get bigger and bigger. Then grow into candy canes and suckers! Kids love it!
-Elfer comes December 1st! Sneaky Prankster pranks the kids every night!
-Train Rides (Dinner train ride is beautiful)
Crafts!: Do different days: Snow flake making, cookie making, decorated chain link, snowman competition, elf making, window snowflake painting (Tape of flakes use washable paint, watered down some, paint- Like Stain! Great idea from a wonderful lady!)
… Internet has MANY More ideas!

*** See a Graphic/Cutout you want?:
PLEASE READ: If a Graphic/Image Cutout is wanted: Email me, and I can send you the Original (Unstamped) FOR FREE! (For Example: Kissing Snowman/woman cutouts. Baby it’s cold outside cutouts. Etc.)  … BUT, ANY Graphic/Cutout from this Site or ones I send you, cannot be used for selling
(If you are making a DIY Project TO SELL, and would like the Graphic/Cutout as a stencil or cutout to use on it, that is fine!- I JUST DON’T WANT PEOPLE MAKING A PROFIT OFF THE Graphic/Cutout, itself!)
I strive to make my Site a Site that saves people money, and do not wish to see any fans of my work taken advantage of. Especially, when I provide the Graphics/ Cutouts here… FOR FREE! The ONLY THING I ASK is for a SHOT OUT (Link DinkingAround.org) per each Image I send you. (If posting to an internet site, link DinkingAround.org with it. If not posting to a Website: A Shot Out on your Facebook Acct., will work!) A shot out with each Graphic used, please. Thanks in advance, we appreciate your help!

If you follow us, that will, also, allow you to view future Graphic/Cutouts/Signs I create, that are different from the typical ones provided on the internet!
I’m nice! Feel free to Email me any Questions you may have!!! (Email is Envelope, near-ish top/right of page.)

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CHEAP N’ GREAT Christmas Present Idea: Un-Cooked-ies!

uncookedies


This is such a GREAT Idea! Cheap. Easier than cookies. Because, you save yourself the cooking time. Not to forget, the burning is on them now!!! It’s much appreciated, especially, those busier people. We LOVE frozen prepped dough balls. You can choose to cook a few at a time, for quick treats. Or a whole batch! No more worrying if they’re gonna go bad. As they last A LOT longer! You can pre-freeze to save time, as well!

Steps:
-Premake your favorite Cookie Dough recipe
-Line Parchment Paper with spoons of dough balls, spaced (I’ve used just plate with no problems). Freeze.*
-Once frozen, place into Freezer Gallon Bag.*
-Label bag with Type of Cookie, Temperature (Degrees), Time to Cook. NO NEED TO THAW! Do test batch to get correct timing (Frozen dough goes a little longer, not much, tho.)
-Place filled freezer bag in bakery store plastic container, decorated. Cookie tin or decorated mason/glass jar may work, as well. Just keep in freezer bag for freshness.
-Be sure to store on ice and let them know it needs to go into the freezer…
*You prefreeze, spaced, to keep them from sticking. If you just throw the balls into the bag, they’ll have 1 big cookie!

—Get the kiddos involved. Paint the containers. Do the handprint/footprint reindeer idea. Grandparents will very much appreciate a gift made for them to enjoy and the art they can save! Use mason jars and line outside with candycanes, modge modge wrapping paper to lid, bow on lid, old knitted sweater sleeves, cut and wrap around outside of mason jars, or knitted mason jar sleeve, add mini scarves around mason jar neck, etc. Decor ideas are endless… AND CHEAP!

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Boy Room DIY Projects

Some Do-It-Yourself Ideas! Cheap and Free… Our favorite way! Wall Art. Click to Enlarge Photos. Also, To View the Designs in Print Form, CLICK HERE For all of these projects, I used extra stuff leftover or around the house. You can fancy it up with Michaels wood plaques or frames, etc. This is just ideas for the cheaper-free end. There’s many ways to make these much better. But, your welcome for the start.
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Boys Don’t Take Baths, They Dust Off: Scrap wood from broken chair. Used paper bags to print images/words on. I cut paper bag to 8×11 paper size. Ran through printer. I mixed dark brown paint with water to make a stainish paint. Wiped on wood with old sock to make streaks. I quickly burnt edges of printed paper bag. I Modge Podged onto dry wood. Modge Podged over again, once dry. Nailed pop top to back to create something to hang it with. Done.
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
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My Gentelman Sign: Water/Paint mix, as previous. Printed on paper bag. Modge Podged. Screwed screws to wood to give texture. Used picture frame corners (Cheap wood one from Michaels)… Still have to add decal into those. Used chain to connect.
We used quotes that were either: Inside jokes between us, things I wanted him to know, and a few funny things. Says:
If you Aint 1st you’re last.
Work Hard
Play Harder
Get Dirty
A Firm Handshake
Open Doors for Others
Say Your Thanks
Bee Sting ALWAYS
Grow a Stache
Forgive
Never Be 2 Old 2 Kiss Your Elders
Or Play in the Rain
Listen to Mom She’s Right
Dream Big but Always Find Your Way Home
When Life Brings You to Your Knees-Pray
Remember: FEAR Never Made Differences
If You Can’t Be Good, Be Careful: I modged podged onto it. And I randomly painted blue around it. (I’m still moving this around. Don’t care too much for it against the blue wall.

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Storage wall art. Cut out old jeans. I LIGHTLY stained wood with dark brown paint mixed with water. Once dry, fasten pockets onto wood (I placed cardboard in pockets so the glue wouldn’t seep through and seal the pocket shut. Keep moving this to be sure it doesn’t get stuck, itself). I printed on paper bag, the above logo. Wavy cut it. Modge Podged it onto wood. You can burn edges to give cool look. You can also do this with the laser printer idea. Laser print backwards onto address label paper (Address labels removed). Iron straight onto the board. (Reg. printer may work, too).

skateboardwallart


Skate Board Wall Art. Just drill a hole through. Screw it to wall. Makes for great art!

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BiPlane Shelf. Doubles shelf space. Cool airplane looking. I may tweek this. Found cool model at store I will replace center with. Just add shelf under existing shelf. This was actually a coin bank and lego pieces to mock plane. Picture was taken while in construction. Will update this post if I get around to taking another.

Sports Themed Art. You can make them. Or I sell them. Some images you won’t find online! I sell these. Let me know if interested:
I have Football, Baseball, Basketball! 30$. Mssg. Me!
baseballboysroomwallart… AND MORE. To see Mssg. me.

laddershelf


laddershelf2


moneyinbank


Ladder Shelf. Has rope light wrapped around back to light up. Also, used a first aid box. Painted it. Printed a Money In The Bank Logo. Modge Podged it to it (My son loves wrestling). Hangs above ladder shelf (Ladder match- Wrestling).
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MORE HALLOWEEN IDEAS ADDED!!!

ADDED A FEW MORE IDEAS to our HALLOWEEN POST! For MORE DETAILS and IDEAS CLICK HERE
Here is just a FEW of our many ideas:
witchpotion2a
finalmadesm
crawlingguy
dollydearest
hangingweaponpaperbag
halloweenpaperbagcutouthouse
skeletonfromwall
For MORE DETAILS and IDEAS CLICK HERE

—UPDATED Halloween Post—

Just added some more great ideas to our Halloween Post: https://dinkingaround.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/easy-cheap-halloween-decorating/
More photos! Check it out!

Have the BEST BDAY PARTIES!

For the kiddos birthdays it’s fun to have a sleepover. It’s always a full house. I have a drop off of 4-6pm. Pickup next day by 10am-noon. There’s on average 10-13 kids. Our parties are the talk of the kiddos!

-I have constant snacks: Chips, Popcorn, Pretzels, Animal Crackers, Cookies. Pop (Caffeine free, duh!). Cake. Ice Cream. Pizza from Little Caesar’s ($5 each). FOOD IS KEY! But, watch it, don’t want lil Jr. getting an upset tummy.
Activities/ Games:
-We hook up 2 gaming sysytems. Wii and the Playstation. 1 on big t.v., other on smaller t.v.
MUSIC! We have a room specific for this. Loudish, I have a handy dandy Light Show to go with the beat of the music (Steal at yardsale-$3). In this room, the lights are always off, or black light bulbs in the fixture. Music is constantly on. They can come and go as they wish.
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-When it gets dark… Glow: Sticks, bracelets, and necklaces for all! Bday kid gets Wand.
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-We have some games from Games List BELOW, kid favorites.
-We end the night, late, with a movie of BDAY kid’s choice. After all that dancing, they usually don’t last the entire movie!
movie
Face Painting! Luckily I’m not too shnabby at this. Washable tattoos work for the less artistic! I have a premade paper with options of some I can actually draw. (So they don’t say, “I’d like Mount Rushmore!”) They just pick the colors.

facepaint


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For my daughter’s birthday at school, we printed and cut out personalized books for her class. Took two glitter crayons and taped them together using printed address labels with my daughters photo on them. These make any kid’s day extra special, and ALL about them. With activities for everyone, too! Wordfind has the names of kids attending. Jokes were using kids’ names that attended, as well. I’ve done a Princess theme with visa card printouts and fake writable checks that were cut to size, stapled together, and perforated for easy ripping after they fill them out. I did play money with the kid’s faces, that were attending. Train passes for train theme. EVEN did a theme with “REWARD WANTED” pics with a photo of each kid that attended, and a silly reason they are wanted… Like, Booger Picking. Stinky Feet. Crazy Dancing. Etc. Have done play $ with each kid attending’s face. I’d staple and place these activities and funny pages into gift bags. Kids, and adults, had laughs. I also made bathroom signs and Take Your Shoes Off signs with their faces. Will post those photos some day.
Crayola has a picture upload to get personalized coloring pages, print and scan. Photo program using photocopy filter will work, too.
For $ printout: MONEY PRINT OUT

Option GAME LIST (Kid Favorites, Tons of Laughter):
*Game: Sock Toss. Like the musical game. Toss 2 of the birthday kid’s socks around (New ones, don’t tell them that!)… ONCE the music stops, the last 2 people who TOUCHED the sock have to open the socks. One will have a WINNER note. Other will have, “Wear this sock on your head and get a picture” note (Or just hold it up). Winner gets prize. I usually say BOTH people have to take pic with sock at end, but I trick them with one being the winner. But, they now know this.
diapertoss

*Game: Booty Shake. Tape tissue box to belt/rope (We used robe rope). They wear the belt and try to shake all the ping pong balls out of the box. Winner gets a prize.
shakeitgame

pinthesillyface
Game:
Pin the Silly Face on the Birthday Kiddo: Divide a photo of them (Large camera photo) into 4 (I used a photo program. They have free ones online). Print each 1/4th on 8×11 paper. Tape together. Print out noses, mustaches, have googly silly eyes, brows, etc. I have some on our site.Click: Printables. Color them. Place a dot on each facial feature and on the faces where each should sit (For winner measuring). Cover each kiddos eyes, spin them the number of years they are (Or, BDay kiddo’s age). They try to pin their facial feature nearest to it’s location. Measure to get closest. Closest is winner!

Game: Oreo challenge. They can’t use their hands/arms and have to STAY on their rumps. They try to get an Oreo from their forehead to their mouth. Winner gets prize.
Game 4: Sack Race. They wear a potato sack and have to jump around a track.
sackrace

*Game: Pin the… Except, you order a poster from walmart (7-11$) of your kid’s head/neck/shoulders You print up 2 funny looking ears, 1 funny looking nose, mustache, 2 eye brows, ear ring(s), freckles (How ever many kids attending). Then with pencil, slightly outline where each item belongs on the poster. Spin each person around number of years in age. Each person pins their items. Closest to their outline WINS. Looks funny at the end, too.
*Game: Dance off!
danceoff

*Game: Balloon pop!!! Night before, I place candy, bday gadgets (Mazes, bracelets, etc… Be careful which toys you pick, they will be stomping on these!!! Don’t want an OUCH!), and money into balloons. Blow them up with items inside (Takes a little stretching!). Play the Old School I WANT CANDY song. They pop the balloons and keep the contents. Make sure some have empty wrappers. Toilet paper roll. Pennies… Pranks.
balloonpopgame

We now do balloon pop when it’s dark and black light/strobe lights. Much more fun.
Game: Balloons filled with prizes. Taped/ pinned to pallet on it’s side. Plastic darts. If you pop it, prize is yours. Careful with younger ones. NOT as fun as balloon pop!
*Stars are the fun favorites.

dartgame
Game:
Great for older kids! Instead of Balloon Pop, we do Balloon Darts. Just take a cardboard box. Use a small nail to poke holes through. Fill each balloon with Treats, blow up, and tie off. Push the balloon knots through the holes. Once cardboard is full of balloons, hang up. Throw darts and get the treats.

beanpong copy
Game: Yes, this is like the Good Ol Beer Pong… But, Completely Kid Friendly!!! Have Solo Cups on each side (3, 2, 1, in triangle shape, as photo shows.) Count the number of players on each team, making 2 teams. GET BEAN BOOZLED Beans!!!! Needs to be Bean Boozled, for the gross effect!!! Place the same amount of beans, as players, into each cup. (Example: If there’s 3 players on each team, each cup gets 3 Beans). Each team takes turns shooting a ping pong ball into the opposing team’s cups. If they make it, EACH teammates, with the ball in their cups, has to take a bean (No cheating, just grab one). Then… They eat it. If you make the Pong Ball into the cup, that team gets to go again, until they miss. Then, the other team has a chance to go. Keep playing til one team empties the other team’s cups.

Tips:
-CUPS! Some kids may be too young to read their names. Simply use a permanent marker to draw images (Heart, smiley face, flower, etc.). This works pretty great. The youngins know which cup is there’s by the image. No confusions of who’s is which.
cups idea
-Don’t EVER list the games you will be doing. Sometimes, you don’t have time for them all, sometimes you have time to kill for MORE…
-I always buy extra prizes. In case more time for games or if there’s a tie, they each get one, or I have a roll of the dice.
-Tie Breakers roll dice. Highest wins the tie breaker. Let them know this before each game.
-Youngins: They can get wound up and over the line hyper. That’s okay. I have a Picture Find game. They sit down, and have to find the pictures before they come out. Calms them in a fun way. And I have a talk about appropriate behavior before they return to playing.
-Youngins: Try to pick games where everyone wins. Quick games, so attention span isn’t lost. Be energetic!
-Also, put things up! Hide the balls, hammers, glass, etc.
-No CAFFEINE! (Unless it’s before going home!)
-Try to have kids you are familiar with. Makes it easier. Nothing like finding out lil Jr. is mean and doesn’t like to share. And wants to call mommy every 10 minutes to tattle and go home. (Thankfully I haven’t had this at any party! Phhhheeeew!)
-Try to have separate areas. Gaming System (No running), Dance Area, Eating Area. So, no one’s stepping on toes. Have rules talked about ahead of time. Remember, these are kids. Have FUN!

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EASY CHEAP Halloween Decorating – UPDATED AGAIN!

halloweenlogo1
Do It Yourself (DIY) Ideas
We have many other decorations, like White Candles dripped with Red Wax to look like blood. Bloody hand prints on mirrors, or BLOODY MARY written across it creepily, etc. But, below are some ideas you may or may not have thought of. Hope you find some useful!

halloweentoiletpapertoll2a1


CLICK PHOTOS BELOW to VIEW GALLERY of MORE Reflective Tape Ideas:

This idea uses Highly Reflective Tape up against toilet paper roll, or ANY black paper. Draw and cut out eyes on toilet paper roll. Paint toilet paper roll black (I didn’t do in photos, they’re black now). Insert Highly Reflective Tape. Yellow or Orange work best! Or cut out eyes on reflector tape and place places (Staple to trees, etc.). This idea works great for us. Any source of light will light these babies up bright! Car driving by, flashlights, movement and sun/moon light. They last longer, No rebuying of glowsticks constantly, etc. We’ve also made a stuffed guy with a winter hat over the head. Cut out evil eyes. Placed tape under where the cutouts were. People loved it! It’ll be pitch black, semi dark, or light, and this tape lit right up! In gallery, I tried taking photos of all light types.
Now, I’ve seen the glow stick idea. Tried it, too. And if you are using the glowstick idea, put some REFLECTOR Tape inside to reflect light more. Because, you NEED TO use a bright stick. And the glow sticks don’t last that long. Ours didn’t do too well, especially since it wasn’t pitch black out. But, this idea works GREAT! Be careful not to scare/distract drivers!
ALSO: Spell out words on trees with tape strips (Die, HELP ME, You’re Next…, etc.) CHECK OUT GALLERY ABOVE FOR PHOTOS!

halloweenredeyes2
syrupladyeyes

Click to Enlarge Photos
Leftover Valentines Sparkly Shimmering Hearts. Or more reflective tape. I cut mini circles. Used 3M wall hook tape. Stuck these to every picture in the house. Taped over pupils of ALL eyes. USE Sparkly, reflecting red! Shines, even across the room! Creepy effect. Shimmer red. Evil looking!!! I did Syrup Ladies eyes with Reflective Tape. Also, if no lights for your mini Halloween Town, add mini squares to the windows to reflect, looking like light, just an idea. More safe than wires or hot lights, too. CLICK PHOTOS to enlarge.
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hangingweaponpaperbag

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paperbagclown
(I have to tweek clown, will do tonight. It’s a lil off)
Click to Enlarge

Paper bags taped together. Draw scary images of choice. Cut out. Clear tape to window. I used flashlight and taped bags to wall, outlined my kid’s silhouette, added creepy knife or upside down dolly, etc. Patio door we taped up paper bag and cut out pumpkin. Weapons I drew on cardboard, cutout, and used paper bag for strings. Keep lights on in house. Bam! Done! We also have a Christmas Idea of deer and elf, too! CLICK HERE for Christmas Idea
Also, to get the Red Look, use Red/Transparent, taped back to back, and cut to desired design. In a pinch, I used red streamers to it. Worked GREAT!
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

finalmadesm

$2 each, to make these!!! I already had Modge Podge (Dollar store had small bottles!). I already had reflective tape. I bought a simple pumpkin for $1. Painted creepy face onto it with Perm. Marker. Added reflective tape in the eyes. Modge Podged pumpkin all around, except very bottom. Centered the pumpkin in the center and pressed the cloth onto the modge podge, so it fit tight. Let dry. Repeat Modge Podge. I was sloppy with it. Allow to dry. I had a hoop screw, to screw into heads for easy hanging. Skull, I did same thing. Looks awesome! Reflective tape lights up when little light hits it. CREEPY!

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MILK JUG GHOST:  We had all on hand, but 2 items.
-Milk Jug – Reflective Tap – Outdoor compatible Modge Podge or Super Glue – Razor Blade – Halloween Decor Net/Lace (Dollar Store – $1) – Solar Light (Dollar Store – $1) – Hanger (Undone)
Glue Eyes to Jug (Reflective Eyes BLAZE UP when LITTLE light hits it). Cut top of Milk Jug, big enough to perfectly fit Solar Light. Cut Bottom of Milk Jug off… I cut in CREEPY Zig Zag (Light shines thro, giving creep effect).  Drill small holes (Hanger size) on left and right of jug- To slide hanger through, for arms. Modge Podge/ Glue Lace/Clothe on. I tied tight around arm chair to hold lace tight against glue and jug (Photo in gallery below) Once dry, I cut hole in cloth on top for light. Also, I cut Lace up some, to give creep effect. Through handle of jug, I used heavy duty Fish Line to hang up.  Our solar light has line design which gave cool lighting effect.
Photos of what it looks like, and to get idea of instructions: 


curtainclown2
Curtain Clown. Nothing Creepier than a Clown hiding behind the curtain. Catches us off guard, EVERY TIME! Easy! Old Mask (Stuff w/ plastic bags to puff out). Old Green Garbage Bag (White w/ painted colored dots, can be used.) for body shape. Can puff out with plastic bags, or old Spider Web Stuff. Keep it light! Hang from curtain rod.

skeletonfromwall

I took a dollar store skull. Brushed olive oil around it. Mixed 1 part flour, 2 parts water. Cut newspaper strips. Layered onto skull where I thought it would meet wall flat, pressed well to get creases. Once a couple layers, I left alone a day. I loosened it from skull some. I modge podged it. Carefully took off. It wasn’t pretty, but it works. I painted SAME COLOR as wall. Wait to dry. I used tape (I first stuck the tape to my pants then put onto wall… This makes for easier peeling off later, unstrengthens it some). I used medical tape and curved it smoothly from the skull to the wall, making for smooth flat surface. Paint over tape. Hands I used cardboard, traced and cutout hands. Painted. Once dry, tape to wall, only bottom, left, and right, so top popped some. Paint tape.
Now, I’m going to try just cutting the skull to fit flat to wall. Then taping and painting… Seems like much less work…

dollydearest
Dolly Dearest. Use old dolls. Paint face white, leaving eyes. Paint eye lid going downward to give creepy effect. I’m thinking about doing the Elfer Idea with this. With scary ideas (With OLDER kids, teens). Maybe have the doll hanging over them while sleeping with a fake knife. In bathroom sink with bloody hands. Or just randomly put it places. Like I said, the older kids…! Maybe get them to watch Chucky or Dolly Dearest first??? Or just use it for creepy decor.

clownclock
Halloween Clown Face Clock. There are many clear Cling options at the Dollar Store! Just stick on and enjoy the creep effect! I’M ALSO going to cut a few to size and fit perfectly over the faces of our family portraits! It’s clear so you see our faces, but, distorted with creepiness.

skullfloor
This is a sticker from the Dollar Store. Looks pretty cool with the hardwood floor. Pictures don’t do justice! I did stick it to something and then stuck it to floor, to lessen it’s strength, in case needed for floor coating protection. I did it by the door (Where rug usually lays), as it’s a little worn from all the traffic there.

wallcockroachesDollar Store Rubber Cockroaches. I actually have more I’m going to put up! to fan out near top of them. Cool thing, I have a purifier near that blows on them, moving their legs, slightly.

treemask
Tree Face: This photo does NOT do this justice. It looks like it’s a part of the tree! Cheap $1 Dollar Store Mask. Add Reflective Tape to the Eye Holes (Reflective Tape Glares up with just a little light, giving creep effect). Looks fantastic, still gets me every time (Scares me!). And, we are moving Creepy Stalker Guy to another area. So, it’s just tree faces.

glowbracelet4
SAFETY BRACELETS and PENDANTS! During Trick Or Treating, not only do I make my children wear ALL sorts of Glow items (Glow necklaces, glow wands, glow in the dark gloves, and glow bracelets (Which I incorporate into my girl’s hairstyle, too. Making glowing hair pieces)… BUT, I also have a craft day where we can make bracelets and necklace pendants. 1 toilet paper roll makes 2 bracelets. I use HIGHLY REFLECTIVE SAFETY TAPE!!! (Reflects car head lights from far, drastically heightening the chance of your kiddos being seen!). They tape the different colored reflective tapes onto the toilet paper rolls. Then I cut. You can choose to tape around their wrist, or poke holes and secure with string, twine, etc. YOU CAN ALSO let them make necklace pendants. 12pk pop cardboard. Tape onto, cutout design, poke hole, string to make necklace. My son makes belt buckles (WWE), too. Kids enjoy making these, and parents can help to protect their children a little better. Please, don’t only rely on these. Educate your children on road safety. Excitement can get the better of them.

crawlingguy
$1 each! Dollar Store. Now, I did fix the guy crawling on house. Making it more creepy… But, you get it. Randomly place these around house, on siding, garage doors, etc. Looks creepy, like creature crawling all over the house.

WITCHES BREW AREA! Cut grocery paper bags the size of printer paper, or use regular paper. Print different potion images found online for free. Vampire Blood, Swamp Fog, Fur of Werewolf, Snake Oil, Poison, Raven’s Cure, etc. Modge Podge on old bottles. Set up a Witches Spell/Brew area…. ORRRRRRRR:
—For parties: Use alcohol bottles and cover their labels (Or over back label, so no confusion), modge podging paper bag print outs onto the original labels. Each alcohol bottle will have a label on it. Example: Vodka will be labeled Poison. Jigger Jagermeister Liqueur has 3 Witches Owlette’s Wing label on it.
Have a spell book using drink recipes that you have available, using ingredients on labels of bottles!!!:
Examples:
Death by Screw Driver:
1.5oz Poison (Vodka is labeled Poison)
6oz. Liquified Pumpkin Guts (Orange Juice)
Another printed spell that says:
Death by Jager Bomb:
1/2 can Energy of a Bull (Energy drink)
1.5oz 3 Witches Owlette’s Wing (Jigger Jagermeister Liqueur)
This idea can work for KID PARTIES, too. Have each labeled: Lemon-Lime Drink, Orange Pop, Pineapple. Have a spell print of how much of what to mix to make their own Kid Friendly Drink! (Also Pink lemonade, sprite, raspberry sherbet.) Find exact recipes online.
ALSO, the spell paper is printed on paper bag. I quickly took a lighter and lit around the edges, putting out the flame quickly, to give it a cool look. Be careful.
halloweenbottlelabels


halloweenchangingpictures
littlehalloweenframesCheap Dollar Store Photos! One of my favorites! They are normal picture people, then in the right angle, turn into monsters. $1 each. Also, Arrow signs. Orange, Black, White, Fake Blood painted/written: BOOlevard, DEAD End, etc. Also, Michaels 25cents plain small wood frames. Painted black. Printed images from internet: Skull, bones, etc. to fit the frames. To fill in pallet, and creepify it. CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE


crawlingbones
I only have a photo of pre-tweeking. Bending arms, and such. But, you get the idea. $1 skeletons looked to be climbing things. Walls, tables, outside of house (Gutter), poles, trees, etc. Paint black if back drop is light colored, or else they’re less visible.


hangingskeleton
Hanging Skeletons: Dollar Store Skeletons, Painted Black. Then, sloppily paint Red. Let it sit a minute, then flip. Repeat on other side. Wait a minute or 2, then flip again… Onto crinkled plastic bag. I don’t wait for it to dry, laying onto crinkled plastic, gives cool creepy look. Hang Ropes around the necks. I hung many from trees, with creepy webbed skulls.

treeskull
I bought a pair of arms ($1), I laid onto plastic bag. Spray painted Red (Arms I did a crappy job, and while STILL WET, I flipped to paint other side and flipped again, laying onto crinkled plastic… Gives cool look. PLUS, the arms are glow in dark, so some glow in dark peeks thro.) I nailed in long nails, in an upward position, and slid on arms (They had holes already in them). Easy Breezy.

skullweb2
I used our Onion Net, that comes with onions from grocery store. I used last year’s leftover spider web (It was clotty, you can do a better job with crisp stuff). Placed reflective tape on eyes, to give creepy glare at night (Lasts FOREVER!). Placed skull in onion net. Tied Twine/string/fish line to the onion net. Tied other end to tree limb. Spread web around to look at a Spider Nest with a Human Skull.

Not Pictured… GHOSTS!… Upside down tomato cage. Wrap with orange or red (White works, too) string lights. Draw big scary eyes on large WHITE garbage bags. Place over cage. Light up. You have GHOSTS!

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Garden Pest Protection

holographicpestcontrola

This worked wonders in my garden this year. Last year I had a problem with birds taking my seeds. This year, not so much with the help of this Easy, Cheap, DIY idea.
HOLOGRAPHIC helped with pests in the garden. I use dollar store fans, and the broken tail of my kid’s kites. Place by seeds in garden (Preferably each end). Tie off kite tails, let end flap in wind. It is highly reflective with sunlight. Moves in the wind. Makes noises. Birds, especially, hate sudden beams of light. Leftover HOLOGRAPHIC tinsels from Christmas tree, dollar store pinwheels (Wind fans), leftover kite tails, etc. Preferably silver holographic. Cheap. Easy! Now, go add a little shine to your garden!
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Edited Garden Post

COLORFUL, even on a cloudy day! Got some post tops painted and added to tomato trellis posts. Layers!

COLORFUL, even on a cloudy day! Got some post tops painted and added to tomato trellis posts. Layers!




Garden tips, advice, and designs! For easier reading, I edited it. Answering some questions I have gotten about the reasons why I chose the techniques that I chose, asking what their benefits were. Read and enjoy. I was asked about my 2014 Garden Layout, I will get to that soon, as well.
Here’s the updated link: https://dinkingaround.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/2014-gardening/

Gardening Tips and Designs

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→ PHOTO GALLERY BELOW ← —

With fear of Blight/Tomato disease/Pests on mind, I “Try” to take extra care. Trying to be as close to ORGANIC, as I could. (Within keeping my sanity). And as CHEAP as I can. Gardening is never done. I now know: Every year is a learning, trial and error, process. Each year, better than the last, yet with different failures along the way. Here’s what I’ve learned along the line.

»Planting, Blight/Disease, and Beneficial Fertilizing«:
Tomato varieties that are early producers or disease resistant: Rutgers, Legend, Old Brook, Golden Sweet Grape, Mountain Fresh, Bush Early Girl, Better Boys, Celebrity Hybrid, Brandywine Pinks, German Johnson, Bush Big Boy, Juliette Cherries, and others.

Seed Planters. Our experience, Foam Cups with holes and Grocery Store Plastic Mushroom Containers (I can get up to 8 plants in this one), work for quicker plants that will be transferred sooner. Husk ones are another working option for all plants. For starting seeds sooner, Jiffy’s didn’t work. They stayed wet, or soaked up all the water from the plants (Dried out). Soggy or Dry. No inbetweens. Creating mold. Ruining plants, too. When transplanting, I never plant the planter into ground, unless it’s intertwined with the roots, in which I break up as much of the container as I can, so roots can get established and not be hindered, slowed, by cups. The husk ones were easier to pull and stretch, to get the plant out. Watering and mold/fungus wasn’t a problem like Jiffy’s.
seedcups

Use Leftover Plastic Spoons, knives, or forks to Label Plants! These are washable and reusable. Wash and put away for next years use! Note: Don’t use those plant pots, use the ones in the photo prior to this one. From experience, I learned they aren’t that great, either dry or too wet.
plasticspoons


Weening plants started inside, means to slowly introduce to a new surrounding, to build stamina. If you start seeds inside, they may not be used to harsh colds outside and will shock them. BUT, a lot of people don’t know this, that weening ISN’T only for cold. It’s for Hot Sun, as well. Some people over cover their plants outside. Placing into plastic containers, then into the sun, where it beats down and cooks them, wilting the plants. I usually don’t have problems w/ transplanting. I’m sure to check daily, to open front of green house if too hot, also, to get some wind (Builds stem strength). Check below on how crates can help in transplanting new plants into ground.

Tomato TipsTomato Seed Starting TIP*– Start in larger container, fill it about a third of way with wet STARTER dirt. (I mix dirt in bowl with warm water) Once sprouted and taller than a few inches, I keep adding dirt, CAREFULLY. About an inch at a time per about 3 inches it grows. Tomatoes grow roots where the stem hits the dirt, making for good rooting system. Also, adding more starter dirt continues to feed them. Once seeds are sprouted and a month in, I start to fertilize. Using my secret weapon… Fish Fertilizer. 

-When Seedlings Grow. I’ve read Wind is Beneficial. Movement Toughens the Stems. I always rotate plants (They lean toward sun) to create movement. And, as foolish as it sounds, I give a little shake every now and then. Light shake. Fans help, too.

Cheap Small Plant Heater. No need to buy expensive ones. A simple small heating pad works great! Keep on lowest setting. Place plants onto a pan or tray, then onto pad. Be sure to keep moist.
seedheater

Outdoor Heated Green House. Get those plants outdoors a little earlier. Or to protect from cold nights! We use an outdoor extension cord, hooked up to timer. It goes on a few hours before sundown and turns off morning time (If warm enough outside). I place the ENTIRE heating pad, and cord/plug-in, inside the green house (To protect from snow/rain). Our 1 small heating pad, on high, is enough to keep entire greenhouse/plants warm enough. You can test yours by placing thermostat inside. Turning on. And checking throughout day and night. Sun onto greenhouse keeps it warm, heating pad continues to, through nights and extra cold days. If no pad, try rope light idea with a greenhouse. (Some light ropes give off heat)
NO GREENHOUSE? Easy Greenhouse Ideas in photo gallery below!
heatedgreenhouse

Companion planting kept in mind when designed the garden layout. *Companion List Under Photo Gallery Below

Garden Staples / Stakes
– Garden Stakes / Staples can get expensive… Save $ with this cheap idea!

-When planting tomatoes, bury slightly sideways. Helps to grow stabilizing roots. You want to bury most the plant. Only about 1/3-1/4 of the plant above ground. I surround area with weed paper (That allows water to get through) and cut holes for tomatoes. Dig holes. Add 1tsp. Epsom Salt, stir into dirt. Add tomatoes slightly sideways. Add starter soil. Surround stem with Garden Safe Woodchips (Helps splashing and disease spread from rain. Keeps cool and moist.). Follow these tips/info, as well:

epsomingarden

Epsom Salt for tomatoes and peppers. At planting time. Then, once a month when flowering.
Reason for Epsom Salt on Tomatoes and Peppers:
Epsom salts can keep plants greener and bushier, enhance production of healthier fruit later in the season, and potentially help reduce blossom-end rot. Also better tasting!
At time of planting, I use starter soil mixed with dirt and 1tsp-1T Epsom Salt (I do tsp), in each hole. Sprinkle every now and then around base (Not touching plants), about every 2 wks. (The weeks I’m NOT fertilizing) … If I’m having Pest Problems… Sprinkling a little around the BASE of plant helps, because, a lot of Pests don’t like going over Salt!

Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer! This lasted me 2 years. Fertilized every 2 weeks. Adding Molasses to it every other fertilize.
Reason for Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer (Only that brand):
It works! HUGE DIFFERENCE in flowers, fruits, and vegis! Not sure on the science behind it, but it’s awesome. I’ve noticed, as did neighbors, Miracle Grow (Not organic) made plants bigger (If, that). But, not a lot of fruits. (No studies, just experiences). I used Neptune’s Harvest Fish Fertilizer last year and will never do anything else outside that brand. I usually only apply to base of plants, but, apply in evening for burning protection, if any. Cucumbers, I didn’t see as huge of a difference with this, nor potatoes. My pepper plants were small (Started late from seed), it was suggested to add Miracle Grow to help size them… But, with fish fertilizer, we’ve had a huge turn out, even on the little plants. I do like alternating Miracle Grow with Fish for Cucumbers (Our best results). But, for the most part, Miracle Grow seems to help size my plants, but, doesn’t do much for production. Fish does WONDERS!

-Every other fish fertilize, add Blackstrap Molasses (Unsulphered):
Reason for Black Strap Molasses:
1-3T per gallon of water (In my case, I added right to fish fert. mixture). Applied every other fertilizing. It’s a type of fertilizer, fends off pests. It’s high in calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. It contains sulfur and a bunch of micronutrients. It provides plants with a quick source of energy and encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms.

Gardening Fert. Schedule (Click to Enlarge):
garden planner

Chicken Manure Box, in center of garden. Soil sloping out to vegis. Drill holes all around a bin, bury into ground. Throw manure in there, cover with dirt with each time. I place top on mine with a few small holes. When it rains, nutrients seep into garden. A lot of chicken manure added directly to small plants could burn plants. Hence, the box with holes using rain water. At end of year add to soil and till in. Proceed with refilling it in the box. (I also add extra dirt to this bin, as well. After placing manure in, top with some dirt to help with smell.)

Thick plastic over garden as soon as season is done, all the way up til growing, helped with weed and disease. A burning process. Cooking it.

-I built a trellis for tomatoes (The box below), and ONLY watered the grounds of plants (To prevent disease, if any, from spreading). They grew up reg. tomato cages, then intertwined through the 6ft. vinyl fence.
—-NEED TO KNOW—- There are Indeterminate Tomatoes and Determinate Tomatoes types.
Indeterminates vine, and grow, and grow. Usually producing til frost. (Hence the tall support-Which mine overgrew).  Determinates are usually compact/bush and grow their fruit within the same time frame (I believe few wks). They do great in containers or cages. Determinates DO NOT need “Suckering” or much/any, “Pruning”. Like you can with Indeterminates.
How: 2x4s and posts. I did not cement them in. I got treated wood, and used rock in holes for drainage. Then stapled green Vinyl-Coated Fence to top half. Still more decorating this to come!
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– X (Butterfly) Trellis– When Planting Cucumbers, or a climbing  plant, use the X shaped trellis. This: Saves room, creates room, allows more walking space. Also, plant in the inner 4 corners. Sunflower/marigolds (For protection) or more Vegis! Decisions, decisions. But, at least I have more room for Decisions! This keeps cukes off the ground and dry (Mildew Prevention). Easy gathering! Used Vinyl fencing and 5-6 snow poles. In this photo I am testing out Cukes in an above ground idea, using Crates and Weed Paper. I did this in the back of trellis and planted cukes in ground up front of this trellis, so when the front grows, it can shade the crates some, to prevent over heating, if any!  In photos below, sloppy red line shows trellis’s shape. Green X’s are where I planted. I could have squeezed more, but, want them spaced this year.   
xcuketrellis1b

In between the Butterfly Trellis, I have Pepper plants. (Left/Right of trellis). I used an old chair back, painted it, placed into ground for DECORATIVE Plant Support.
chairsupport

Brussel Sprout TrellisOur Pea Trellis (Look in Gallery for photos of Pea Trellis). In between Pea Trellis Arches, I’m growing Brussel Sprouts. In the chicken wire holes, I slid in Cheap bamboo sticks. To hold the Brussels up (They grew in my aisles last year!). Around the Base of the plant is Cheap PVC cut, placed Cheap Copper Tape around top. Buried about an inch. This will help protect my brussels from Slugs/Snails. Sends a charge through them, they HATE it!

Arch Pea Trellis - Multi UsesArch Pea Trellis (More Photos in Gallery Below)- Multi Purpose Uses. Grow Peas along Chicken Wire Arch. Under arches, plant part shade plants, cooler plants. Space Arches about a foot or so apart, and plant more plants in between arches! I grow Lettuce and Spinach under arches, and Brussel Sprouts in between arches.

Root Watering System. I plant 1 tube in between 2 plants. 2ft PVC piping, one end capped, drill holes throughout, ziptie weed paper around it. Dig into ground, leaving it a few inches above ground, capped side down. Don’t over water with this. Once in a while.
rootwatering

-I trimmed, butchered, my tomatoes that showed any signs of damage. Kept my garden debri free. Blight/disease has yet to be a concern!

-With each trimming, I Copper sprayed where I cut. Copper sprayed scissors in between each cut, to limit any possibility of spreading diseases, if any.

»Pest and Fungicide Control«:
PLANT Pest Repellent Plants and DON’T WASTE those deadheads/Plant Trimmings!!! For our sitting area, I planted a mixture of Marigolds, Petunias, Lavender, Spearmint/Mint, etc. Creates a great balance of height and texture to flower pots and SMELLS AMAZING! Even incorporating Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Grn. Onions, etc…. Looks and Smells DELICIOUS! Note: I got those plants for .50cents. Spearmints weren’t pretty and what paying customers look for, but, spread and grew in nicely! Buy the ON-SALE plants. Most cases, they just need to be placed into the ground to thrive!
Around Cucumbers I planted Marigolds, Garlic, and Chives/Grn. Onions to deter rodents. I, ALSO, use the trimmings of those, Basil… Even, Salvia/Sage seems to work (I have it intertwined with Cucumber Trellis. Seems to be working excellent for flying pests!). Add to the grounds/bases of plants that are bothered. You can look on WIKIPEDIA for List of Pest Repelling Plants. 

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COPPER SPRAY!!! Insecticide and fungicide. I Copper sprayed and trimmed up my cucumbers and tomatoes every 10days, if needed.
Reason for using Copper Spray:
Considered an organic treatment used for fungicide and bactericide in fruits, vegetables and ornamentals against mildew, brown rot, leaf spots, blights, scab, anthracnose and rusts. Please use this in the evening as it kills beneficial buggers. Toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. Also, can be very harmful to humans, use with caution. Wear mask.

Milk Spray! Great for mildew and insects. One part Skim Milk, 5 parts Water, few drops Regular Dawn Dish Soap.

Sticky Unwind Fly traps throughout garden. Even on ground near plants. You can wrap around trees being bothered, too!

Randomly put these in the garden. Some around plants (Not touch leaves), on ground.

Randomly put these in the garden. Some around plants (Not touch leaves), on ground.

Plant Base Pest Protection in GardenCOPPER Base Plant Protection. Slugs/Snails HATE copper, sends a volt thro them. They will not crawl over. Cut PVC, enough room to place tape & bury some. Place around BASE of plant (You can cut down side to allow to open some to fit around stem). Press into ground, about inch or so.  

2literprotection

2 Liter Pest Control + MORE! It’s hard for most bugs or animals to get around, through, the plastic. Add Two Way Tape (Or, Copper Tape!)  for extra protection! Also, great for ORGANIC GARDENING! Upcycles trash! Collects water and directs it to where it’s needed. Easy watering.
Either Cut and place around plant. Burying some. (Can tape back up to secure, but, dirt helps hold it in place.)
Or, Bury some, add in dirt. Plant Seed! Roots will find their way.
USE A RED BOTTLE FOR TOMATOES! Better Production (More on Red in this post!)

milkyspore
Milky Spore
treatment on the yard (Not garden-No reason, just didn’t) last year for grub control. Works in 2yrs. Lasts for years.
Reason for Milky Spore:
Milky Spore is a natural bacteria that infects the grubs of Japanese Beetles with Milky Spore Disease. The disease paralyzes and kills the host grub. The dead grub breaks down, it releases billions of new spores into the soil. Which, in turn, infect and kill other grubs. Milky Spore is harmless to pets, beneficial insects, fish, bees, birds, other animals, plants, or humans, not a poison. Milky Spore is harmless to crops. It is not a chemical pesticide. It may be used in gardens, around pools and wells.
milkysporeapplierMilky Spore Applier DIY-Took a stick/pole about 3ft long. I take a coffee can, poke holes into bottom. I Duct Tape it at the end of the pole (So holes face down to ground). Fill with Spore. Tap the ground to tap spore onto it. Use stick to guesstimate 3ft (Directions: Apply every 3 ft) -Click photo to enlarge-I do realize drawing is off

Velcro Pest ProtectionVelcro Pest Protection. Some pests don’t like the SCRATCHiness of the ROUGH sided velcro. Snugly, not too snug, place the ROUGH side of velcro, face out, around the base of stem. Adjust as plant stem thickens. ALSO, can cut circle/square piece. Slit the radius (From center, out to 1 side), with small x in center (For stem). Wrap around stem, on base of plant, on ground, scratchy side up. May work for some pests on trees, as well. NON TOXIC – REUSABLE

Plant onions and garlic around plants that are bothered by pests. I did around my potatoes.

-Planted sunflowers in garden and marigolds. BIG HELP for pests. Brings pollinators. Also, great looking. EASY TO GROW!
Reason for Sunflowers:
Attracts ants herd aphids onto sunflowers, keeping them off neighboring plants.

-A piece of foil square, slightly wrinkled, shiny side up. Place around base of plant on ground. I only did about 6x6inches. Not sure why or how, but this worked WONDERS for my cukes and other plants getting attacked. Unfortunately, my cukes were blah this year due to other things.

Fish line. Reflective Jems. Bamboo sticks. String jems onto fish line. Making a border/fence, tie to bamboo sticks along the garden beds. I do 2 rows. Adds Reflecting Sparkles to gardens. Beautiful! Also, helps keep my chickens out of the garden!!! Works too. (More photos below)
jemborder

– If an Organic Garden- Attract Frogs/Toads to the Garden! They eat 10,000 insects in just one summer! Build Frog Houses! Not only beautiful, but beneficial! (Flowers on top will fill-in, beautifying more!) 
How To- Click HERE

frogflowerhome1
Crates and Burlap Bags make for great protection from hot sun and hard rain after transplant. Burlap fits right over cages.

Burlap and crates helps with hard rains (What the above case is), burning sun, and frost. Crates work well, too. Above is case of hard rain. They still get sun, water, but, when burlap is partway on, it breaks up hard rain.

Burlap and crates helps with hard rains (What the above case is), burning sun, and frost. Crates work well, too. Above is case of hard rain. They still get sun, water, but, when burlap is partway on, it breaks up hard rain.

Crates in the garden. (MORE Photos Below)

Herbs did Amazing in Crates. Great for early plant starting keeping moist and warm. Helps break up hard rain and partially shade young plants.

Herbs did Amazing in Crates. Great for early plant starting keeping moist and warm. Helps break up hard rain and partially shade young plants. Lettuce loves crate shade.

Crate Plant Tower. 4 Crates, plus 1 on top. Line with weed paper. Fill with dirt. Using for herbs (Lettuce in back corner). Movable, too! Placing this in center of tomato trellis. Front right crate, I left empty, but, placed tight down into dirt. In holes of bottom of crate, I planted Garlic Chive Seeds. Info below.

chivesincrateThis idea is a part of Crate Tower, above. I’m “Testing” it out. I put the crate TIGHT against the dirt. Placed more dirt inside and rubbed it into the holes, to be sure it was tight and even. In the holes (Not all of em), I (Well, my son) planted Chive seeds. This helps with weeds/grass growing in between. Helps with pests getting to them. And will be more likely to keep coming back each year, vs. being planted in crate. If all else fails… Throw a plant in there, Cilantro! 

Plant Crate Tower. Great for Strawberries! Keeping em off the ground to prevent disease. OR a Beautiful Flower Tower. Flowers fill in to cover entire area. 3 Crates, stack. Lined with Weed Paper. Filled with good Dirt. Cut holes. Plant Flowers/ Strawberries /Both / Etc. Watering can be small holed PVC, Drip Hose intertwined, etc. Be sure it’s secure (Metal rod through center into ground, etc.- Especially, with lil ones!) Note: You can cut to make bigger holes, or use bigger holed crate, etc.
Plant Crate Tower
Crate on Crate GreenhouseCrate on Crate Planter AND Greenhouse. I wanted to test some Cucumbers above ground. This keeps them warm, protects from pests. Great for Early Starting! Opens and Closes for your control. Poke holes on top for rain water to benefit plants. 2 Crates. 1 Plastic Bag. 1 Ziptie.

hangingflowertowerlogo

– HANGING Upcycled Flower Tower:
Reused a Soil Bag. Rolled, tightly, one side- To size of desire. I just heavy duty clear taped it on top, bottom, and center… Worked fine. BE SURE TO PUFF IT OUT AS YOU TAPE, you don’t want to tape it flat! Adding Dirt Helps! I also taped where I was going to cut it at, to reinforce the cut, help it from ripping. For flower openings, I made cuts in it, like this:
hangingflowertowercut1
I, also, sliced a handle in top, being sure it had enough room from the cut to the top of bag. Taped handle cut to reinforce that. I placed flowers in, filled it rest of way with dirt, hung it up.
Now, I think I’ll work on my spacing a little better, for cuts. We will see how it goes!

Reflective Wind Fan Decoration things near plants. SHINY tails off kites, one end tied off. Wind blows to move them, reflecting light and making noise. In turn, keeping pests away. Birds don’t care for the sudden reflective shine. Our problem was momma birds taking seeds. Upside down crates help, too.

»Extra Useful Tips«:
-I over watered Corn during fruiting. Just opened first one! Delicious!

-PICK YOUR PEAS AND GREEN BEANS! More picking, more producing. Beans best stored dry in ziploc bag, in fruit drawer of fridge.

-It just might work!
I’ve broken quite a few plants in my gardening life. As a joke, a bandaid was placed around a green bean plant. It worked! Thrived. Duct taped my tomaters too. Pictured is broken limb of orange pepper plant, from storm. Taped it and the wilted leaves spruced right up, as if never broken. So far so good, like other plants I’ve tested out.
It just might work…

In SOME cases it actually works. So, before giving up on them... Try it out.

In SOME cases it actually works. So, before giving up on them… Try it out.

Potatoes (Grown in ground): Once plants are a foot or so, throw more dirt onto them. Helps keep them cool and prevents sun getting to those close to the top of soil and spoiling them. Do this a few times in the growing year.

Try New Things.  Our newbie is a Potato Tower! I’ve wanted last few years!

– Potato Towers! This year we are gonna try our hand at a few. Along with what we know works (Our Russets in the Good Ol’ Ground). Only downfalls I’ve read about successful towers- The amount of dirt you need!
A few options about potato towers that most people don’t realize. There’s Indeterminate (Usually later season) and Determinate (Usually early season) Potatoes. Indeterminate, with longer lifespan, continue to produce. They are able to vine (To an extent), producing more stolons (Horizontal shoots). If provided it’s nutrient needs. Determinate, usually have a limited lifetime (Early season producer) and will usually set one layer of stolon growth outward with limited produce. Most people have fails with towers, not realizing this info! Using WRONG POTATOES!
I’ve read that INDETERMINATE (Later Season Types) type potatoes do BEST in towers that grow up (Not out sides).  For highest yield. They continue to grow and produce. Once a stem is above ground for so long, it will stop producing tubers. So, continue adding dirt to increase productions. (I’ve read about 7-14days, or sooner, above ground can stop em.) We are trying our hand at Fingerlings (Later seasoner) in 1 tower this year. It’s Late Season and Indeterminate. Also, I’ve read some can remove bottom potatoes when ready, as needed, as they grow up. I will test that on one tower. Also note… Too high of temps will limit production (Towers can heat up, so use straw to help shade some)
My INDETERMINATE Potato Tower Plans (One w/ fence support and one w/o extra support-DIRECTIONS IN PHOTOS-CLICK):

Another Tower Type is one for, mainly, Determinate Potatoes (Usually, shorter season types). These will grow out the SIDES of this tower. (Indet. Potatoes CAN be grown here, too. But, you won’t get it’s yield potential.) DETERMINATE UPDATE: I’ve had MORE success WITHOUT the Burlap! And, I did vertical layers of Hay and Dirt (Using MORE HAY than Dirt, to not over weigh down on the seeds/plants)!
Determinate Potato Tower Plan (Click to Enlarge & Read More):

Red MulchAnother tester for this year is:
Red Mulch Plastic. Creates light wavelengths that bounce up to tomato plants. The phytochromes tell fruits to grow more, and fast. Thus, increasing ripening time and bigger fruit. Studies show more yield. Better ground heating. And Helps against Nematodes. Other colors are proven to help in aiding growth. BLUE is ANOTHER great color for tomatoes! Here’s a great link about more: Click Here Tip: You want the mulch a few feet out from each side of plants.

produce soak– We soak our produce in the sink w/ water and vinegar. It helps to remove/kill some bacteria. Also, with doing this, our produce seems to last longer. When harvesting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, peas, beans, etc. We noticed they all lasted longer when soaked in vinegar water vs. not.(Some people also amp this up by adding lemon juice, even baking soda in with water- I have yet to try that.)

Water Softener and PlantsWater Softener Owners!!!: After some years, we turned our Water Softener on. I do enjoy the benefits of it… BUT, noticed my Once Thriving Baby Plants were starting to do horrid. Dying. I couldn’t explain it! Only new thing, was watering with Softened Water (I started plants using UN-Softened Water. But, after using it, they started doing horrid). Now, there is NO science behind this. Maybe a Co-Wink-A-Dink. But, once I switched back to non-softened, they did great. (Ones that didn’t see too much of a difference- Peppers. They were good whole way thro.). I did some research of reviews with same problems. Tho, most stated, YES! Ruined my plants! A few stated, no effect. Or, can’t affect plants…
So, for your own determining whether to use or not softened water on your plants… Here is a quote I’ve read (Going against what I believe to be happening- That water softener affected my plants), “The salt is only used to clean the media and is never mixed with or released into the home water feed. Any salt that may still remain in the resin beads after the rinse cycle is infinitesimal at best unless you’re using a totally generic softener system….After the saltwater bath, the beads are rinsed thoroughly to remove any remaining salt residue and this rinse water is discarded. Then, and only then, the softener stops diverting the water and the water is directed back through the resin beads to be softened and then out to the rest of the house.”
My newbies have done horrid since watering with softened water, now better without softened water… Sure, could be altering reasons. May be due to being baby plants. I will be RE-TESTING softener soon. I’m not a scientist. You determine, with your own testing! If you’re using softener and your plants suck… Switch the softener off (Or something similar to that- So, water does NOT run through softener when using.)… Then water plants.

– For all those extra Zucchinis… Try this! Vegetable Candy! CLICK HERE for Recipe  

Other’s junk is my greatest treasure. Keep that crap! Almost all of our decorations were free or dirt cheap at a yard sale. I love a colorful garden. Just spray paint blah decorations. Some I used an old paint brush and stroke another color over the base color to give aged look. Also, to tie in all the colors. I used some ugly wood shelf supports and painted for corner decorations. LAYERS is my rule of thumb. Just keep adding stuff. Added post tops to top of tomato trellis posts. etc.
– Add Sparkle to your Yard and Garden! Cheaply Beautifying your Garden! Tie/Knot Reflective Jems onto Fishing Line. Hang randomly throughout garden. Shimmers and Sparkles. Kids think they’re Fairies! Jems also help to keep chickens out of gardens (Photos of this in Gallery below). Photo Above shows what we have NOW. Multiple sizes and color.  Here’s a Video Example (Only a few SMALL clear beads hung for video- About 1/4 size of finger nail! And, this is through a Dusty Window Screen! CLICK HD Button!):


gardenjune2015layout(Pictured “Starting” 2015 Garden) Garden Decor (This isn’t even all of it!). Upcycled junk, painted. Back of chair, painted and treated for plant support. I love our idea of Colored Stones around the Tomato Trellis, making a CANDYLAND Game for the kids (Miss Pea, Mr. Tomato). Have 1 dice that states Go Ahead, Go Back, Lose a Turn… And another dice that has the color of the stones! !

»Check out the below photos for gardening«:
 Sign ideas, decoration ideas, layout ideas, color scheme ideas, pest control ideas, etc.
»Companion List is Below these photos!«

companiongardeninglogo
Companion planting, in gardening, is the planting of different crops in proximity for pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial creatures, maximizing use of space, and increase crop productivity.
*Companion Planting:
Asparagus
aster flowers, dill, tomatoes, parsley, basil, mints, marigolds AVOID onion, garlic, potatoes
Beans Legumes Phaseolus and vicia
beets, cukes, cabbage, cauli., potato, lettuce, squash AVOID Tomatoes, chili peppers
Beets
bush beans, onions, catnip, garlic, lettuce, mint AVOID runner or pole beans
Bush Beans
celery, strawberry AVOID Alfalfa soybeans, dry beans
Pole Beans
radishes AVOID sunflowers, beets
broccoli
tomatoes, lettuce, beets
Brassicas (broccoli, brussels, cabbage, cauliflower, chinese cabbage, radish, turnip)-
beets, spinach, chard, aromatic plants, celery, chamomile, marigolds, sage, peppermint, sage, rosemary, onions, potatoes, geraniums, alliums, nasturtium, thyme, beans AVOID nightshade, tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, STRAWBERRIES
Brussels
sage, thyme
cabbage
marigolds, dill, onions, beets, lettuce, garlic AVOID grapes
Carrots
lettuce, onions, shallots, sage, beans, flax AVOID dill, parsnip, radish
Cauliflower
spinach, peas
Celery
daisies, snap dragons, leeks, tomatoes, cabbage, bush beans AVOID corn aster flowers
Corn (Maize sea mays)-
Sunflowers, legumes (beans, peas, soybeans), peanuts, clover, morning glory, parsley, potato AVOID tomato, celery
Cucumber– radishes, marigolds, sunflower, peas, beans, beets, carrots, dill, onions, garlic, celery, spinach AVOID potato, aromatic herbs
Lettuce
radish, beets, onions, beans, carrots, cukes, strawberries, broccoli, thyme, cilantro AVOID celery cabbage cress, parsley
Onion
carrots, beets, strawberry, tomato, lettuce, chamomile AVOID lentils
Peas
garlic, turnip, cauliflower
Peppers
beans, tomatoes, marjoram, okra, geraniums, petunias, sunflowers, onions, basil AVOID beans, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts
Potatoes
horseradish, beans, peas, onions, garlic, clover AVOID carrots, cukes, pumpkin, raspberries, squash, sunflower, tomato
Pumpkin– catnip, radishes, nasturtiums AVOID potatoes
Radish
lettuce, pole beans, nasturtiums AVOID grapes
Spinach
strawberries, peas, beans, cauliflower
Squash
beans, catnip, radishes, marigolds, nasturtiums
Sweet Potato
Okra
Tomatoes
asparagus, basil, oregano, parsley, marigolds, alliums, garlic, leeks, celery, geraniums, petunias, nasturtium, coriander, corn, dill, barley, carrots, eggplant, okra, flower strips? AVOID alfalfa, corn, fennel, chili peppers, peas, dill, potatoes, beetroot, rosemary
Apple- AVOID CEDAR, walnuts!!!
Strawberry
bush beans, caraway, bush lettuce, beans, onions, spinach AVOID tomatoes, potatoes, egglpant, peppers, melons, okra, mind, roses
Chives
apples, carrots, roses, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, etc.  AVOID beans peas
Cilantro
cabbage, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, peas AVOID dill
Dill
cabbage, corn, lettuce, onions, cukes AVOID carrots, tomatoes, cilantro
Garlic
roses, tomatoes, cukes, lettuce, celery, peas, CHINESE cabbage, potatoes AVOID cabbage, grapes
Lemon Grass
Eggplant
Oregano
Basil
Parsley
Asparagus, corn, tomatoes, apple, rose AVOID lettuce Alliums
Sunflower helps Peppers, corn, cukes, tomatoes AVOID pole beans ::: Was grown as a companion for corn(maize) before modern Europeans arrived in the Americas, supposedly increases their production, ants herd aphids onto sunflowers, keeping them off neighboring plants. Works as a trap plant for thrips keeping them off of bell peppers
Marigolds
Most plants, especially tomatoes and peppers, cucurbits (cucumbers, gourds, squash), alliums, brassicas, zucchini ::: Marigolds are a wonder-drug of the companion plant world, invoking the saying “plant them everywhere in your garden”. French marigolds (T. patula) produce a pesticidal chemical from their roots, so strong it lasts years after they are gone.
Mexican marigolds (T. erecta) do the same, but are so strong they will inhibit the growth of some more tender herbs. Stinking Roger (T. minuta) has also been found effective against certain perennial weeds.

CLICK HERE to check out how I start my seeds, prep for Garden Season: https://dinkingaround.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/already-started-my-zone-4-garden/

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DIY Cheap Greenhouse

greenhouse

An old pepsi display stand we got from store for free. Some leftover plastic from when we sheetrocked garage. Some velcro for easy open. I just glued it all together. 4 years later, still together. As you see, the top props up with cup for air, cooling. Back opens or stays shut with velcro. Keeps plants as warm as you want them. Got over 100 degrees, if I wanted it.
CLICK
HERE- More Great Gardening Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

Easy Cheap DIY Greenhouse

crategreenhousea


DIY Greenhouse. All you need is a crate, which we have quite a few. And a plastic bag. I always stake mine down and poke hole in top for water collection. This worked WONDERS for starting my watermelon and cantaloupe in the ground earlier. Also, for my plants that like warmth- Peppers! You can prop up for warmer days. Protect from night time critters, even without bag. For those birds, too! Ohhhh that feisty momma bird!
These last a LONG time, as well.
CLICK
HERE- More Great Gardening Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

CHEAP Advertisement to get YOUR NAME out there!

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This is a cheap way to quickly advertise. Address labels of desired size, we used AVERY template 5195. Pens. I couldn’t find my super glue, so I used Modge Podge. I found sticking the sticker to the pen first worked better vs. modge podging it directly onto it. Unless you don’t mind holding it some. I just modge podged over top, 2 coats. You can you use sturdy clear tape, too. This is just to quickly get your name out there. ADVERTISEMENT IS KEY to any successful business or site! You can use funny sayings to catch attention like, This Pen was Stolen From, Left Handed Pen Courtesy of, Here Write This Down, Jokes, etc. Endless ideas to get them curious and want to visit your site. We kindly hand these out for free. You know those pesky form stations with NO PENS… Donate one of yours!

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UpDo those old tables, that your kids ruined!

stenciltable


Wall Stickers from Menards. Primer. Black Paint. Clear Coat. Remove stickers. Mine came off easily, some areas needed a nudge of help with razor blade. That’s it. Looks great with floors. Same wood (Well table was fake laminate stuff). Looks great. Photo is of still wet clear coat stuff, hence bluish black with streaks. It’s beautiful, and crisp black now. We’ve only bought 2 sets of stickers. I reuse them, using Elmer’s Glue Stick, to restick them. I’ve been able to do SEVERAL projects with just the 2 sets.

Here we also did our light switches in our home! Adding layers to decorations. Beautifying unbeautiful things! And, yes, that picture has been sideways for some time now… I will get to modge podging it soon-ish.
lightswitch

You may also be interested in our Sprucing your outdoors with this idea! Making things pop with simple, easy, and cheap tricks. We did these all on 2 purchases of stickers! Save them, LIGHTLY use Elmers Glue Stick to restick. To check out more ideas CLICK HERE

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EASY Holiday Decoration DIY

holidaycutout

holidaycutout2

All you need is paper bags, pencil (Easier to edit), tape, red clear tape, desired image. Works for all holidays. Bunnies for Easter. Pot O Gold for Patty’s Day. Pumpkin for Halloween. Flag for 4th Stripes, stars. Etc. For Halloween, I taped paper bags to wall, set up flashlight, had my kiddos stand in front of bag, and outlined their silhouette for personalizing decor. Except daughter moved a lot so had to improvise, reason she looks like Beavis/Butthead. For pumpkin, I covered patio door, drew desired pumpkin, cut out, taped securely to window.
Cut paper bags and lay out to desired size, flat. Tape together. With pencil, draw out image. Cut accordingly. Use red tape to give color in areas desired. Ex.) Red nose, present ribbon. Hang on windows. Leave lights on at night, shut blinds. Enjoy cheap decorations.
(Yes, I realize the notes are backwards. As the hubs and kiddos pointed out… And laughed.)

Check out our Christmas Ideas: https://dinkingaround.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/christmas-idears/
Check out our Halloween Ideas: https://dinkingaround.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/updated-halloween-post/

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EASY CHEAP Canvas Art – Faux Style!

wallart
I needed large artwork for my bedroom… On the cheap. Canvas Artwork this size can run $40+, easy. I needed to lighten the room with light colors. But, tie in the Wall Color.
Directions:
Pillow Cases, cut open.
Cheap lightweight wood made into frame.
Staple pillowcase around frame, snug.
I painted with Kilz Primer (What I had on hand). Allowed to dry.
I used my art skills… First, tested on paper to get style I’d like. Used a pencil to draw in branches (Branches I just drew lines, paint brush was thick enough to go over to make into branches.). Then, leaves. YES, I have 3 different shapes. But, to be fair, I have a tree in the backyard that must have had a few trees twine into one… One branch has 3 different shape leaves on… So, I’m not all that off!

I love making my own art… Even if I’m not the greatest artist. I can tie it in, therefore making ANY room ANY colors I want. Just tie in all the colors with artwork and accessories.