DIY Star Wars Rogue One Night Light

This post featuring a DIY Star Wars Rogue One Night Light is brought to you by Kleenex brand via Momtrends.

diy-star-wars-rogue-one-night-light

In just a few short weeks Rogue One: A Star Wars Story© TM Lucasfilm LTD will be coming to theaters everywhere and I’m pretty sure that my family may be looking forward to that more than Christmas this year. We’re huge Star Wars fans and have been for… well… ever! And it’s not just one or two of us, it’s the whole family. Including Grandpa. My dad may be the biggest Star Wars fan I know and he’s passed that down to his kids and grandkids. So as we wait patiently for the next story to come to life on the big screen, we’re biding our time with fun Star Wars themed crafts. 

In partnership with Lucasfilm LTD, Kleenex brand will launch limited edition boxes featuring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story designs, perfect for Jedis of all ages. They’ll hit store shelves this Fall. Once they do, you too can create your own Kleenex brand ft. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story designs night light. This DIY craft turns a Kleenex box with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story designs into a fun room accessory, simply by removing the tissues, poking small holes in the sides of the box (using a thumbtack) and inserting an electric tea light, creating a “night sky” in a dark room. So easy that my 7 year old son was able to complete this craft on his own! 

This craft, just like the Star Wars movies, brought my family together. Spending quality time together is an easy way to show you care. And we can take this idea outside of the home by showing others we care as well. We can all be heroes by banding together to combat indifference with gestures of care, like sharing a tissues from a Kleenex box featuring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

diy-star-wars-rogue-one-night-light-supplies-needed

DIY Star Wars Rogue One Night Light

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 empty Kleenex box with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story designs
  • 1 thumb tack
  • 1 electric tealight

diy-star-wars-rogue-one-night-light-poke-holes-in-box

What you do: 

1. Grab your Kleenex box and use the thumb tack to poke holes on all sides of the box. 

2. Turn on your tealight and drop into the empty Kleenex box

3. Enjoy the light show! 

diy-star-wars-rogue-one-night-light-add-tealight diy-star-wars-rogue-one-night-light-shine-on

You can find more great kids crafts by checking out my Pinterest boards! And for more fun with Kleenex, check out their boards too here

Do you have a caring moment to share with Kleenex? 

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Kleenex brand via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Kleenex or Momtrends.

Find Kleenex on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

diy-star-wars-rogue-one-night-light-a-great-craft-for-kids

2-Ingredient Homemade Bubble Solution Plus Fun Bubble Activities

This 2-Ingredient Homemade Bubble Solution is the perfect thing to have on hand for a boredom buster! 

2-Ingredient Homemade Bubble Solution and other awesome ways to use bubbles!

My girls are obsessed with bubbles. Completely obsessed. Every day they head outside, grab the bubbles, fill up the bubble maker, turn it on, and dance around in the bubbles. Hearing the joy and squeals that come out of them as they play is the best. But when the bubbles run out, sadness hits. Hearing my little 18 month old asking for more “buh-bowls” is the cutest thing ever but she’s serious when she says she wants more. 

So the last time we ran out of bubble solution I decided to see if there was an easy recipe to make them at home. We tried a few out and changed some around but honestly this recipe below was the best homemade bubble solution that worked perfectly both with a wand and our bubble maker. The best part? Our girls can help make it with me! 

And it’s a lot less expensive than bubble solution. Unless we find bubble solution on clearance (PS… it’s on clearance now at Target!). 

2-Ingredient Homemade Bubble Solution

2-Ingredient Homemade Bubble Solution

  • 1/2 cup dish soap
  • 3 cups water

Add water to a container (preferably with a lid). Then slowly add in soap and stir gently. Try not to create too many suds while you incorporate the soap completely into the water. Use right away or place lid on bubble solution. 

2-Ingredient Homemade Bubble Solution - playing with bubbles

Other Fun Ways To Use Bubbles

Tips for Hosting A Playdate - bubbles and other activites

Teaching My Daughter To Find Her Dreams + a DIY Vertical Toy Storage Tutorial

This shop featuring a tutorial on DIY Vertical Toy Storage has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InspireBigDreams #DreamBigPrincess #CollectiveBias

DIY Vertical Toy Storage Tutorial

My daughter. She is so strong. She’s always known what she wanted since she was a small child. I’m sure many of my family members remembered how she’d refuse a bottle because she knew she only wanted to nurse. She’d make my husband drive her all the way to my work to nurse her at lunch time. And then would wait until I got home to eat again. She still, to this day, knows exactly what she wants. And for the most part she knows how to get it.

From finishing fun projects she’s set out to start, to learning new things and going on fun exploratory journeys to do so. She is so brave. And so generous. And just the kindest girl I know. Sometimes I look at her and wonder how I got so lucky to have a daughter like her. She’s a lot like some of her favorite Disney Princesses. Inquisitive like Ariel, adventurous like Rapunzel, and smart like Tiana.

The other day she came to me asking if she could help kids who might not have as much as her. We had talked about how blessed we are as a family a few nights prior and how much we have after one of the kids had a meltdown after not getting a toy at a store. We went over how not everyone was blessed enough to have a huge birthday party every year, or is able to go to theme parks with their family, or even get new toys at Christmas and on birthdays. So my sweet girl asked how she could help make sure other kids got the gifts and toys they deserved. How could I not help her with this?

Building a DIY Vertical Toy Storage needs precise measurementsDIY Vertical Toy Storage - glue pieces before screwing together

So we set out to make a list of all of the places we could ask for donations. We also thought about how we could also chip in a bit to purchase new toys. And we came up with a game plan. Any time we head over to Toys ‘R Us to window shop or pick out a gift, we’re going to grab one extra. Guess what Molly’s doing to help? She’s saving up her dollars to use on the extras we purchase. Yup! She thought of that all by herself too. That kid. She makes me proud. 

And then she asked if we could make a toy chest for her room so she could put all of the extra toys we collect somewhere as we collect them. Since I’m not one to squash her ideas and dreams, we set fourth to make a great DIY vertical toy storage with her help, of course.  Why not build up her dreams literally and figuratively? 

DIY Vertical Toy Storage - measure twice cut onceDIY Vertical Toy Storage takes focus to build

With the help of a few princesses, some tiny field mice, a dad’s guiding hand, and a mother’s encouragement our project came together quite nicely. I think it’s absolutely amazing that both of our older kids love helping my husband and me with our projects. Whether it’s sanding, glueing, hammering, and even using a drill, they’re up for the challenge. It doesn’t hurt to have a super handy husband who can make just about anything. So when I drew out my vision he was 100% on board with creating a plan. 

Now her new dolls have a home, and we have designated to top box for new toys we’ve collected to donate. At the end of every quarter we’ll collect up our toys and find a local charity in need to donate them to. 

The best part about all of this? Now my youngest will have her own person to look up to and learn from. And I know her sister is going to teach her every thing she knows about following her dreams. Sure she’s only 1, but it’s never too early to encourage them to be strong and think for themselves even if it is a bit difficult at times. I’m up for the challenge! 

DIY Vertical Toy Storage Tutorial top tiers

DIY Vertical Toy Storage Tutorial and twirling with princessesDIY Vertical Toy Storage disney princess royal shimmer dolls

DIY Vertical Toy Storage

What you need:

  • 2 2’x6’x8′ doug fir boards
  • 3 1’x8’x8′ western red cedar boards
  • wood glue
  • miter saw
  • 3/8ths inch drill bit + drill
  • pocket screw jig
  • 12 1 1/2″ pocket screws
  • 12 2 1/2″ 5/16ths bolts
  • 12 5/16ths T nuts
  • 12 5/16ths washers

What you do:

Build 3 Boxes

  1. For the first box, cut one 1 x 8 x 8′ board into the following:
    – 2 – 24″ sections (front and back of boxes),
    – 1 – 22 1/2″ section (bottom),
    – 2 – 7 1/2″ section (sides)
  2. Screw and glue the pieces together. 
  3. Repeat again to make 3 boxes total

Build Side Box Supports

  1. Cut 2 x 6 x 8″ boards to 74″ long. These will become the side supports of your vertical storage.
  2. Lean one of the sides against a wall. Put a straight edge on ground against 2 x 6. Trace angle on 2×6. We used a 50 degree angle. Cut along line you have drawn. Transfer angle to other 2 X 6 and cut to match.
  3. Now put straight edge against wall and trace line on 2 X 6. Cut along line. Repeat for other 2 X 6. Both pieces should be identical.

Attach Boxes

  1. Lay one of the 2 x 6’s flat on the ground. Position one of the boxes in the lowest spot (bottom of box should be about 8-12 inches up from bottom of the board). Make sure to adjust box so that it’s level once it is resting on the wall. Next, lay out the second box. Finally position the third.
  2. When happy with the spacing, use screws to attach box to 2 x 6 side. Now put other 2 x 6 side flat on the ground. Flip partially assembled side to rest on 2 x 6. Attach with screws once lined up.
  3. Reinforce with bolts once unit is assembled with screws.

DIY Vertical Toy Storage close up of boxes DIY Vertical Toy Storage inside of box

DIY Vertical Toy Storage also good for books

If your daughter is interested in following her dreams and ideas, check out this great video from Disney on how she can be a champion too. You can find the full line of Disney Princesses at Toys ‘R Us including my daughter’s favorite Disney Princess Royal Shimmer Dolls and Little Kingdom Ariel’s Sea Castle. They’re easy to find when you look for the dedicated Disney Princesses aisle in store. 

Dream Big Princess Display at Toys R Us

How do you support your daughter’s dreams?

How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle

This shop featuring how to make a glass vase out of a Coke bottle has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyFavoriteIsAllMine #CollectiveBias

How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle - the perfect way to display garden roses

Last year I attended a Mom’s Night Out event at an awesome local store that repurposed glass bottles into various pieces. One thing that stood out to me were the various drinking glasses that they made from upcycled glass bottles. Another thing that stood out was the steep price tag. So after a bit of digging around I came across a few different tutorials on how to make my own drinking glasses from glass bottles and while I haven’t perfected it yet, I have created an awesome glass vase out of a coke bottle.

On a recent trip to Vons, I found these gorgeous Diet Coke It’s Mine bottles while shopping for an event I’m hosting at my home. These new, uniquely packaged bottles showcase Diet Coke in a creative way and no two glass bottles are the same! After perusing the designs on display, I chose a few that complimented each other. Their colors reminded me of the blooming flowers we have in our back yard and the hints of spring all around us.

Diet Coke It's Mine bottles at Vons

Selfie Your Way To Primetime TV’s Biggest Award Show

In addition to being awesome, these bottles could get you into Primetime TV’s biggest awards show!

You could win 1 of 10 VIP prize packages for 2 to Los Angeles to see Primetime TV’s Biggest Awards show coming up in September! (packages include: hotel, travel gift card, pre-party reception, exclusive gift bag and tickets to the awards show.)

Snap a selfie with your favorite Diet Coke It’s Mine branded bottle/can on Twitter OR Instagram with the hashtag #ItsAllMineSweepstakes for a chance to win. You may register between February 3rd, 2016 and April 26th, 2016.  Winners will be selected around April 27, 2016.

Make sure to follow these rules: 

  • Twitter: Your account settings must be set to “unprotected” and/or “public” in order for your Tweets to be viewable to enter into the sweepstakes.
  • Instagram: In order for your entry to be valid, your Instagram profile must be public.

How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle with roses

Once back home it was time to start testing out my new project. And after a few failed attempts, I finally created a beautiful glass vase to display the flowers we have in the back yard. I’m hoping my next attempt might even yield the drinking glasses I was hoping to create. Once I do master the skill of creating drinking glasses, I’ll be creating a gift basket for our school’s Gala along with other Coca Cola goodies (and my favorite Diet Coke It’s Mine bottles).

How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle with Diet Coke

How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle

What you’ll need: 

  • Diet Coke bottle
  • Yarn
  • Acetone
  • match or lighter
  • scissors/straight edge razor
  • ice bath
  • sand paper
  • adhesive roller

How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle materials
What you do: 

1. Grab a Diet Coke It’s Mine bottle and enjoy the deliciousness inside. Once you’re done with your beverage, remove the plastic decorative packaging with scissors or a straight edge razor.

2. Wrap the yarn around the bottle 5 times in the spot you want the glass top to be. Tie a knot and cut off the edges.

3. Remove the yarn from the bottle keeping it together in the same shape and soak in acetone for about 20-30 seconds until well soaked.

4. Place the yarn back on the bottle and make sure it lines up where you want it to be.

5. With an ice bath close by*, light the yarn on fire and turn the bottle slowly while the yarn burns until the flame is gone.

6. Submerge the glass into the ice bath.

7. If the glass doesn’t break after the first attempt, repeat 1-2 more times until it does making sure the yarn soaks well and the ice bath is super cold.

8. Once the top breaks off, use a sheet of sand paper to sand down the rough edges around the glass. Be aware that it may take a few attempts/bottles to get the method down right.

9. Once the top of the vase is sanded, grab the beautiful It’s Mine Diet Coke bottle and wrap it around the vase. Cut it down to the size of the vase and use adhesive to adhere back onto the bottle.

10. Add flowers and enjoy!

* I suggest using a separate container for your ice bath and not your sink due to the chance of broken glass.

 

 

How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle using the new Its Mine Diet Coke bottles

For more information on the sweepstakes and to discover your entry visit http://cbi.as/2edqu.

Find the video tutorial here:

Minecraft Miner Valentine Printable

Minecraft Miner Valentine Printable

You know how I’ve mentioned a few times before how obsessed my son is with Minecraft? Well in an effort to continue tradition and make handmade valentines for the kids, I wracked my brain to try and think of ideas to make Minecraft valentines. I couldn’t figure out what to use as the treat, edible or non-edible.

And then as my son was building another world and digging through the ground, it hit me. A Minecraft miner valentine! And I could use Hershey’s nuggets as the treat. I thought the gold would be perfect. And then my son reminded me that you can also mine for silver. So I grabbed some milk chocolate Hershey’s nuggets to go along with the chocolate with almond for the kids who don’t eat nuts. Luckily there are no allergies in his classroom.

This post contains affiliate links

These valentines were super easy to make. I used the same process I have in the past and made them in PicMonkey. And while it took a little more work adding each additional square to make the background look pixelated, it was totally worth it! I love how much fun these valentines are to make every year. I sure hope my kids continue to want me to make their valentines (or take over completely themselves!).

Minecraft Miner Valentine Printable - I Dig You Valentine

Minecraft Miner Valentine

What you’ll need: 

Minecraft Miner Valentine Printable supplies

What you do:

1. Print Minecraft miner printable and cut them out.

2. Place a few Hershey’s nuggets in a bag.

3. Fold the valentine in half and measure where on the bag the valentine goes to.

4. Fold over the bag onto itself so there is no overlap when you place the valentine on top of the bag.

5. Using the stapler, secure the valentine onto the bag.

TO PRINT MINECRAFT PRINTABLE CLICK HERE

Minecraft Miner Valentine Printable with chocolate

What is your little gamer giving out for Valentine’s Day this year?

Looking to customize your own Valentines? Check out this post below:

How to Make Valentines with PicMonkey
How to Make Valentines In PicMonkey

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume: An Easy Way For Baby To Dress Up

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #onestopshopforbaby #CollectiveBias

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume with a onesie
One thing I’ve never been a fan of are big, awkward costumes for babies and little kids. I like something that’s breathable, moveable, and comfortable. Because each of my little ones has been mobile around the time their first Halloween came around, I’ve chosen to either make or purchase simple costumes that feel more like clothes than costumes for the little ones. My son was Charlie Brown for his first Halloween and my oldest daughter was a sushi roll.

This year is Norah’s first Halloween and just like her older brother and sister, I want her costume to be just as comfortable to move around with. However I got a little excited last year and purchased a cupcake costume on clearance after Halloween. The cupcake costume is simple but comes with a little hat. Since I wasn’t sure if she’d care for the costume, I decided to make a onesie to match. That way if we need to take her costume off at any point during the festivities we partake in, she’ll still be in costume! And? It was SO simple to make.

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume details

After heading to Babies”R”Us for some Huggies Little Movers diapers, I was perusing the costumes and Halloween items they had up front and found the most adorable ghost onesie that would be perfect to match the cupcake costume! It’d just take a little felt and some hot glue to turn it into a cute cupcake onesie. The other onsies they had there would also be great for alternative costumes to wear under big costumes.

Babies “R” Us has everything you would need to prep for Baby’s First Halloween. It’s your one-stop-shop for all your baby’s needs!

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume - costumes at BabiesRUsDIY Infant Cupcake Costume - ghost onesie

I started with making a cute pom out of red yarn to attach to a headband to act as a cherry on top to complete her outfit. Since I know she’ll wear a headband as long as she forgets about it, I thought this would be perfect for her costume as well in case she doesn’t wear the hat that came with it. Making poms out of yarn is super simple! Here’s how:

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume - cherry poof

Easy DIY Pom Ball

What you’ll need: 

  • yarn
  • scissors
  • fingers

What you do: 

1. Take 2-3 fingers (depending on the size you want the pom to be) and wrap the yarn around your fingers a few times. More if you want a thicker pom, less if you want a thinner pom. Make sure to leave a tail on either end that’s about 3 inches long.

2. Take the wrapped yarn off your fingers and wrap in the center with the end of the yarn. Tie both ends together to secure the pom with a knot or two.

3. Cut the loops in each side and fluff up. Using the scissors, even up the pom so it’s somewhat level all around. Leave the ends longer so you can tie to a headband or sew to a hat.

Now it’s time to make the onesie! And, confession, this took less than 10 minutes to make from start to finish. So it’s the perfect last minute costume

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume with Cherry

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume

What you’ll need: 

  • onesie
  • fabric marker
  • scissors
  • felt in a variety of colors (brown too if you don’t have a onesie with ruffles at the bottom)
  • hot glue gun w/ hot glue sticks

What you do: 

1. Grab a piece of felt to make the outline of a cupcake top for your costume. Choose whatever color you want the outline to be.

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume - trace cupcake form

2. Once you have the outline traced, cut out the cupcake top and place on the onesie to get an idea of how thick you want the outline to be. Then cut out the outline and glue down to the onesie.

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume - glue on felt

3. Take a few other felt colors and cut into small rectangles. Glue inside the cupcake top outline to look like sprinkles on the cupcake.

All done!

I’ll add a pair of black pants to her outfit to complete it on Halloween night but it’s too hot to have her in pants right now. And with her on the move constantly, I want to make sure the pants don’t get ruined between now and then. With how quickly she’s starting to crawl, all of her pants have started to get a little worn in the knees! 

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume An Easy Way For Baby To Dress Up

With how mobile this little one is, I’m so happy to have Huggies Little Movers on hand when we’re on the go. The NEW Dry Touch absorbs on contact and the Leak Lock is fabulous for keeping everything locked in for up to 12 hours of protection. I know we’ll be covered and won’t have any mishaps when she’s wearing her costume on her first Halloween. 

DIY Infant Cupcake Costume - Huggies Little Movers

BabiesRUs Huggies Little Movers

Huggies Little Movers diapers on the go

Be sure to check out more great ideas at OneStopShopForBaby.com. I’d love to hear your favorite infant costume idea!

How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

This is a sponsored post featuring how to build a vertical garden using pallets and is written by me on behalf of the Visa Clear Prepaid program and the Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card. This post contains affiliate links. 

How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

Ever wonder what else you can do with pallets? I mean besides the thousands of other ideas you find all over the interwebs? Well my husband and I figured out how to build a vertical garden using pallets. And they’re quite fun!

Now, I want to tell you right now that we’ve had some interesting finds when building these. The first? It’s really difficult to get dirt to stay IN the pallets once you start watering them. Especially if you don’t use a soaker hose line and just spray them with the garden hose.

My son had fun with the muddy clumps that came with that! But once the dirt is settled into the pallets it’s actually quite a good way to grow fun things and makes an awesome display for your yard.

build a vertical garden using pallets - before

This above was the side of our house in the front yard before we put the pallets in. I hated how empty and plain the space was and wanted to use the vertical garden to spruce it up and bring life to this part of the yard.

I don’t think my husband quite understood exactly what I was envisioning in my head but with some team work, a bit of dirty looks and rolling eyes, and some muddy kids, we got it done.

Oh… and if you’re having trouble finding pallets because everyone and their mom is grabbing them up to make things like this, go to Home Depot or whatever other hardware store you have around and ask for their sod pallets. They’re more flimsy/rickety (hence the support added) but are perfect for this type of project!

Here’s how!

build a vertical garden using pallets - pallets

How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

Supplies:

Wood

  • wooden pallet
  • 2×2 doug fir
  • 2×4 doug fir
  • 1×8 cedar fence board
  • 2 4×4 cedar posts

Materials

What you do:

build a vertical garden using pallets - drilling on support beams1. Measure length of pallet and cut 2x2s to that length. These will give extra support to the pallet.

build a vertical garden using pallets - staple black garden cloth

2. Staple weed block fabric to the back of the pallet, pulling taut to make sure it’s stretched all the way across. Layer if needed to cover the full back.

build a vertical garden using pallets - add support panels

3. Measure the width of the pallet from 2×2 to 2×2 and cut 1×8 fence boards to that length. Screw in place over the weed block fabric.

build a vertical garden using pallets - dig post holes and level post

4. Measure the distance you need your posts to be installed on the ground and dig holes for posts. Cut posts to size depending on how far above the ground you want the pallets to be. Make sure to bury them about 1-2′ in the ground to provide a sturdy base.

5. Set posts in the ground by covering with dirt and using a level to determine if you need to move or shift the posts. Measure the back dimensions of the pallet to determine exactly how far apart the posts should be. This will vary with every pallet.

build a vertical garden using pallets - attaching pallet to posts

6. Measure where you want the bottom of hte pallet to be and mark off that height on each post with a pencil. Then cut the 2×4 to the width between the posts. This board will act as a frame for the pallet to sit on. Screw the 2×4 into position directly underneath the line you’ve drawn.

7. Lift pallet into place on the frame and screw to secure.

build a vertical garden using pallets - fill with dirtHow pretty are they??

Next up is the hard part… this is where we had the most trouble… trying to pack in the soil to make sure it stayed in place and didn’t spill all out.

Now you’re probably asking why we didn’t start our pallet garden on the ground and then lift it into place once the plants were established. Well.. you *could* do that but just think of how heavy those pallet gardens would be. Crazy heavy! So we did it this way.

build a vertical garden using pallets - dirt in pallet

8. Using the cardboard stapled to the front of the pallet, fill the pallet with mulchy garden soil. Pack down each layer as you go to make sure it’s secure. There will be some dirt that falls out, simply fill it back again or leave it as is to settle more and fill later.

9. Plant with whatever seeds you think will grow best! We stick to lettuce in one planter and herbs in another with a few strawberries at the bottom. It’s pretty fun to step out and grab herbs whenever I need them!

build a vertical garden using pallets - planting from startersAnother problem we ran into was using starter plants we purchased instead of seeds. While in theory this would work great, when you put a plant that’s been growing vertically in a horizontal planter into a vertical planter and ask it to grow horizontally it looks like this above… droopy.

It’s also quite messy and hard to get the starter plants IN the planter and you spill a TON of dirt everywhere. Our solution? Seeds… start from seed and install an irrigation system with a soaker hose. You can find everything you need for the soaker hose in the irrigation aisle at your local hardware store.

build a vertical garden buckets for run offIf you’re going to use an irrigation system with your garden, know that there will be water that drips down constantly. In order to conserve that water to use on our other plants and in our raised garden beds, we simply put buckets underneath to catch the excess water.

You know what else we found? Bees LOVE to come and drink the water that pools on the last rung of the pallet because they love mineral rich water. That means you’re helping the bees with your vertical garden too! Here’s a close up of a bee drinking. This is a regular sighting.

build a vertical garden using pallets - plant from seed

While it’s been a crazy process, I absolutely love how the vertical gardens make the side of our house look. I consider them more of a decorative piece in our front yard but love that we also get the benefits of growing our own herbs and lettuce.

And since our pallets are in the shade for most of the day, we had to choose plants that would work well in these conditions. I’m sure there are other things one could grow if their vertical garden were directly in full sunlight.

Budgeting Tip: For most home improvements we make, I like to plan ahead and set up a specific budget. We are known for going over on frivolous things so I’ve recently begun exploring using a Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card to help us better plan and budget accordingly for future projects.

Not only will it help us keep track of our spending and stick to our budget, we know ahead of time if there are any fees. Plus the Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card, part of the Visa Prepaid Clear program, will not let us overdraft. Win-win for our home improvement projects!

We can just load the card with our budgeted amount for the project (for a small fee) and then head out to the hardware store for the supplies we need!

Visa Green Dot Prepaid

build a vertical garden using pallets - planted

What would you plant in a vertical garden?

Pinterest Inspiration

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Visa Clear Prepaid program and the Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card

Upcycled Container Gardens: Housing Your Herbs

This post featuring upcycled container gardens is brought to you by GreenWorks.

Upcycled Container Gardens Housing Your Herbs

Around this house we try to repurpose and upcycle as many things as we can. If it can’t be composted or turned into something else, we try to donate. So very rarely do we end up with things that go in the trash. This makes for a great assortment of containers to be used in the garden.

When we picked up our chicks I knew we’d need a little home for them until they were big enough to go straight into our coop. At 3 weeks old they’d need to stay warm indoors so I picked up a metal bucket at our local hardware store.

Since I knew I would only be using the bucket for a short period of time I already had it earmarked for a project I’d wanted to do for quite a while… a stand alone herb garden!

Growing Chicks
I’m not sure if you know this but chicks, like children, grow like weeds! Seriously.

I turned around for a second and these cute little baby chicks are almost chickens at 2 months! But we still have 4 more months until they’re actually laying eggs (so I’m told).

Upcycled Container Gardens - growing seedlings

With so many things growing in our raised beds (like the broccoli that’s sprouting from our DIY K-Cup Seed Starters) we didn’t have any more room for the herbs I love to have on hand for cooking.

So it just made sense to have a container garden on the patio. What’s a better green work of art than a container garden?

Our next step will be to build a stacked container garden to house the strawberries we’ll be planting soon! How awesome does that sound? It’s as simple as taking this idea and stacking a few smaller containers on top of one another. Then planting in each tier.

Upcycled Container Gardens - cleaning out the container

 

Because our tub housed the chicks, I wanted to make sure that I cleaned the container very well before putting the soil and plants inside.

While some might question why I would clean out the container first – don’t people buy chicken manure? – the chicken poo that may be on the container hasn’t been composted yet. And I don’t want any bacteria that may have been left in teh container to contaminate my plants.

But more on composting chicken poo later! Lets get to this herb garden. First up – the chalkboard label.

Upcycled Container Gardens - DIY Chalkboard Label

 Upcycled Container Garden Chalkboard Label

What you’ll need:

  • 2 paper towels (can also use newspaper)
  • painters tape
  • chalkboard spray paint
  • metal container

What You Do:

1. Wipe down the area you wish to put the chalkboard paint on with GreenWorks All-Purpose Cleaner.

2. Grab two paper towels and cut each in half (4 half sheets). Then cut one half sheet in half again. You’ll have 3 half sheets and 2 quarter sheets.

3. Using the painter’s tape and the paper towel pieces, create a square or rectangle space to spray paint the chalk onto.

4. Put extra paper towel under the container to protect the table underneath from paint.

5. Using the chalkboard spray paint, spray on two coats of chalkboard paint onto the container. Wait about 20 minutes in between each coat to allow them to dry.

6. Remove the paper towels and tape to reveal your chalkboard label. Write on it with chalk and display for all to see!

Upcycled Container Gardens - variety of herbs

Tips for Planting Herbs in a Container Garden

  1. Use good soil – find a soil that’s good for growing vegetables or use a good blend of soil and compost
  2. Depending on where you’re putting your container garden, consider the height each herb/plant gets and plant taller herbs in the back
  3. Plant what you know you already use now in the kitchen
  4. Make sure you are also giving your herbs vegetable food (found at any garden center)
  5. Place the container garden in a spot that will receive direct sunlight and make sure to water!

Upcycled Container Gardens with Chalkboard Label

What’s your favorite way to upcycle old containers?

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Clorox GreenWorks giveaway

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder: After School Activities for Kids

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 In sponsorship with Tree Top, I’m sharing a DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder tutorial and talking about how I keep the kids entertained outdoors in the afternoons.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder

We love finding fun ways to spruce up our outdoor living areas in our new home and are slowly adding all of the things we came to love at our old house. This April we’re planning on building some garden beds to go along with the fruit trees that came with our new home. We loved having our garden beds at the old house and even though we have a plot at the community garden still, we’re missing the ease in walking out our door to pick fresh veggies and herbs. And the kids are missing their bug hunts.

While we wait for my husband to figure out exactly how he wants to construct our new beds, the kids and I are doing a few projects of our own. Including making a few bird feeders for the local birds to enjoy. One thing we love about our new home is the constant chatter of birds we hear outside our windows.

Afternoons are the perfect times for us to do this because it keeps the kids from whining about using the iPads and watching TV. Keeping the kids entertained and busy after we get home from school can sometimes be a chore. But if it’s something they can do outside then they’re all for it!

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - a quick and easy DIY project for kids

The kids love watching the birds come to feed in our yard as we play outside. They love it even more when the birds start to take advantage of the bird houses we made for them a few months back.

And it keeps our new chicks entertained as they watch the local birds come out to eat while they peck around underneath them. The chicks love the treats they find in the leftover bird seed that’s strewn down from the feeders.

Now when the kids come home they run out to check the feeders and make sure they’re full, then they let the chicks out to play in the yard. Then the kids are ready for their afternoon snack. Nothing a Tree Top Apple Sauce pouch can’t handle!

Want to make some bird feeders of your own? Here’s how!

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder

Inspired by this tutorial from KidsGardening.org

What you need:

  • half gallon milk or juice carton with cap, washed out and dried
  • sharp knife (to be used by an adult)
  • paint stir stick or dowel/rod
  • twine or string
  • wild bird seed

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - supplies needed

What you do:

1. Make a cut in the corner of the milk carton about 2-3 inches from the bottom. Cut out about 1 inch from the corner in each direction. Repeat on the opposite corner.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - cut milk carton

2. Let your child press inward on the cut to create a triangle punch in the milk carton. This is where the bird feed will be added and where the birds will eat from.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - create bird feed opening

3. Add a small 1 inch cut on either side of the milk carton about 1 inch from the bottom to slide the stir stick in. Slide the stir stick in on one side and out the other. Make sure each side is sticking out evenly. This will be the bird’s perch so they can sit and eat the seed.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - add stir stick

4. Using the knife, punch a hole at the top of the milk carton and let your child thread through some twine or string. The length you’ll cut it depends on the place you’re hanging the feeder from.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - thread twine on top

5. Let your child add the bird feed in. Make sure to fill it to the opening line so that the birds have access and can see the bird feed. When filling you can either fill from the sides as we’re doing or get a funnel and fill from the spout at the top. Expect some spillage.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - adding bird seed

6. Hang the bird feeder where it will be easy to watch the birds that come to eat.

Tips from KidsGardening.org: Place it about 10 feet from plants such as evergreens or dense shrubs that can provide birds with easily accessible cover from predators. But don’t place the feeder closer than 10 feet to avoid giving neighborhood cats a hiding place from which they can wait to ambush visiting birds.  Also try to choose a spot that is sheltered from winter winds.

Now it’s time for that afternoon snack!

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches

I’m excited to share that Tree Top is teaming up with KidsGardening.org to build gardens in communities across the country, helping children to understand the value in caring for the land and connecting with the food they eat. And you can help! For every Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches product purchased, Tree Top will donate a dollar to help fund community garden projects and raise good apples across the country.

Looking for some great ways to get the kids in the garden or keep them active with fun activities? Check out the great ideas KidsGardening.org has on their site. As we start up our garden beds again at our new home I’m sure we’ll be heading back to this great resource for tips and tricks. Another great idea are these DIY Cardboard Seedling Starters to get started. 

We truly believe in the importance of teaching our children where their food comes from and how they can grow it. They learn so much by staying hands on in the garden (can you tell that my son loves to be hands on? This boy is ALWAYS dirty!) whether it’s in the community garden, at their school’s garden, or at home in our own back yard. 

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder After School Activities for Kids - large

 

Do you have a garden in your back yard?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tree Top.

DIY Baymax Upcycled Sock Rice Pack

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DIY Baymax Upcycled Sock Rice Pack

Our family has a slight obsession right now. With Baymax. Do you know Baymax?

Have you seen Big Hero 6 yet? Since seeing it on the big screen when it first came out my kids have been asking when it would arrive on BluRay every week or so. And the time has finally come! Big Hero 6 is now on store shelves and available for purchase. As soon as we received our review copy in the mail the kids had it in the BluRay player and haven’t stopped watching it since!

In celebration of our little obsession I made some upcycled sock rice packs to look like Baymax. Now my kids have their own personal healthcare companions to soothe them when they bump their heads or scrape their knees and need a cold pack. Added bonus? I had everything on hand to make this craft at home in 10 minutes!

Want to make your own DIY Baymax Upcycled Sock Rice Pack? Here’s how!  [Read more…]



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