Monthly Archives: November 2015

  • Crafty DIY Holiday Gifts

    Looking to put a little more detail and effort into your holiday gifts this year? Creating crafty DIY gifts is the perfect way to show friends and loved ones how much they mean to you. Homemade holiday gift projects are not just for advanced crafters. Anyone can do the following projects, and they are all budget-friendly. We have included the links with step-by-step instructions for these awesome DIY holiday gifts. And get all the supplies for your arts and crafts projects at

    • Make a multi-strand scarf/necklace for the fashionista in your life. Using an old t-shirt and scissors, create this unique accessory that will surely get compliments. It may be worn as a scarf, or coupled with a bold necklace.
    • Use a vintage book to make a travel-tech organizer for jetsetter friends and family. With so many plugs and electronic accessories as a part of our day-to-day lives, having a lightweight place to store them all makes traveling much easier. As a custom gift that no one else has, it’s sure to make the receiver feel extra special.
    • A small collection of flavored salts is a perfect (and easy-to-make) DIY gift for anyone who loves to cook. Package in cute miniature jars to add an element of style. The three recipes included in this DIY project are lemon salt, shiitake salt, and roasted garlic salt, but you can put your own spin on it.Drink Sitting on a Coaster
    • Personalized coasters are useful and pretty. Create this gift based on a specific theme that would have special meaning to the receiver – whether based on their names, their hobbies, or inside jokes you share together.
    • Spa accessories are ideal for women who need some pampering, but can’t set aside time in their busy schedule. You can create a peppermint candy cane sugar scrub that is perfect for the holiday season.
    • Use inexpensive mason jars to create a personal vase that acts as a standout centerpiece. With some spray paint and a cool stencil, you can turn a basic jar into a completely “artsy” vase.
    • Button bookmarks takes very little time or money, but will surely be used by book lovers in your life. All you need are paperclips, cute buttons, hot glue, and felt. They are so simple that even kids can create special button bookmarks for their friends and teachers.
  • Craft Stations for Grown Up Holiday Parties

    Craft stations are not just for kids anymore! Setting up various stations at holiday parties is a fun and exciting way for guests to interact with each other. Crafts do not have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive. They can be easy projects and serve as party favors for guests to take home at the end of the event.

    Craft stations for adults also help introverts feel more comfortable socializing, and can give entry-level employees a chance to talk with senior executives in an informal manner. So whether you are hosting a corporate event, or an informal gathering of best friends, here are three craft station ideas for adults. Alter them to fit your specific holiday party needs:Rolling Pin and Cupcake Liners

    Decorate Your Own Cupcake – Adults love cupcakes and sweet treats just as much as youngsters. This edible station is easy to setup with basic vanilla or chocolate cupcakes. Keep sprinkles, melted chocolate, frosting, jellybeans, and other toppings at the table. Guests can easily assemble a handful of custom cookies that suits their taste.

    Holiday Ornament Station – Use inexpensive aluminum cookie cutters to create a cool ornament for the Christmas tree. All you need are holiday-shaped cookie cutters, patterned paper, craft glue, and ribbons. Have your guests trace the cutter on the paper and cut out the shape. Place craft glue along the cutter’s edge and press the paper inside. Once dried, they can simply slip a needle with pretty ribbon through the top of the cutter and tie a knot. Their ornament is ready for hanging.

    Decorate a Holiday Mug/Glass – Making custom mugs is a project that may be immediately useful if you require guests to complete one for use at the party. But they are best done for smaller, home-based parties since they require the use of an oven. Buy ceramic mugs or bowls and colorful sharpies. (Oil-based markers will last longer.) Allow guests to decorate in any manner they choose and once done, stick the mug in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow the item to cool in the oven to make the design permanent.

    Tables, chairs, table covers, and other party supplies can be found at

  • Tips for Setting up Holiday Lights Outdoors for Newbies

    Decorating the house and yard with lights is a common holiday practice for many families. Whether you’re a novice to the process or just increasing your efforts this year, there are some tips you should be familiar with before getting started. Hanging lights in and around your house is a process that can take as little as an hour, or as long as a few weeks. Here are tips for our weekend warriors for getting your outdoor holiday lights set up over the course of a few days.

    Before even opening the first box of lights, you should have a game plan. Pick a starting point and visualize how the lights will flow from that spot throughout the rest of the yard. This will allow you to coordinate the perfect colors and styles of lights for the areas you plan to cover.Home with Christmas Lights

    While coordinating your layout, check all the surfaces you will be using to determine if they are thick and stable enough to support your lights. Some of the most common spots for hanging holiday lights are bushes, trees, rooflines, pillars, posts, around windows and door frames, and near pathways.

    Next, make sure the extension cords you plan to use are UL approved – designed and manufactured to meet industry specifications for safety. The lights you plan to use outdoors should say so specifically on the box because they contain more insulation than indoor lights.

    Prepare your lights. Plug in each one before hanging them outside. Check for frayed or damaged bulbs. All sockets in the string should have bulbs. Damaged strings are a fire hazard and should not be used.

    The equipment you need will depend on how high you plan to go to position your lights. Ladders are available at – just be sure that you’ve got the right ladder for the job. Do not use staples, nails, or screws to hang holiday lights. They can pierce the electrical wires and create a safety hazard. Use lightweight clips instead.

    Once you have completed your outdoor light setup, set a timer so the lights do not remain on all night. Also, turn them off when you leave the house to reduce the chance of fires.

    After the holiday season, remove your exterior lights within 90 days to prevent weather damage. Store the lights safely by wrapping them around a stiff piece of cardboard to keep them intact for next year. Prevent bulb breakage by wrapping them with soft fabric.

  • 7 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

    Temperatures around the country have started cooling down and it won’t be long before many areas experience the precipitation that comes along with winter. There is plenty you can do to ensure the next few months at home are as comfortable as possible. Now is the time for weekend warriors to prepare the home for winter if it hasn’t been done already. Not only will these tips keep your family warm and cozy, they may also end up saving you money on the utility bill during the course of the winter.

    1. Change ceiling fans to rotate in a clockwise direction. Doing so can warm up the spaces of a home because hot air rises and when the blades are moving clockwise, they force warm air down.
    2. Replace old and dirty furnace filters because they put a burden on the entire system. The furnace has to work much harder to warm up the house and you’ll likely see an increase in your bill. New filters cost about $10 each and will allow your furnace to work at an optimal level of efficiency.
    3. Look for gaps around windows and door frames. If you notice spaces that are bigger than the diameter of a nickel, reapply exterior caulk. Consider the use of silicone caulk for exterior use because it will not shrink and can withstand the various elements of winter.Man Cleaning His Gutters
    4. Clear your gutters of leaves, branches, and dirt buildup. Clogged gutters may cause water backup against the house, leading to damage of the roof and siding. While examining the gutters, check for missing boards or damage so you can repair them as soon as possible.
    5. While some areas of the country are immune from frigid temperatures, heavy rainfall and snow accumulation can still cause major issues during winter months. Add extensions to the downspouts so that water can run more than three feet away from the foundation.
    6. Ducts are out of sight so many people forget how much of an impact they have on the heating of a home. Properly seal and insulate ducts that may be hidden away in the attic or basement. Homeowners may reduce the annual cost of their energy bill by more than $100 when ducts are tightly sealed and insulated.
    7. Use insulation to wrap the water pipes that are located in the basement or crawl spaces. Plastic and copper pipes can easily freeze with poor insulation. Frozen pipes may crack or burst, and even a small slice and release up to 250 gallons a day.

    Find all the parts and accessories you need to heat your home for winter at

  • Ways to Childproof Your Home During the Holidays

    The holiday season is quickly approaching which means travels, toys, visitors, and decorations all around the house for many families. Although it is one of the happiest times of the year for little ones, the holiday season can pose hazards that are not a threat during the rest of the year. Extra safety measures and precautions can be made around the house to keep children out of harm’s way. It’s also wise to keep a first aid kit from readily available. Here are ways you can childproof your home during the holidays.

    • If you are putting up a tree, avoid tip-over by securing it to the wall with an eyehook or twine. Another option it to completely block it off with a safety gate to ensure that babies won’t crawl near the base and accidentally tip it over on top of themselves.
    • Keep candles, lights, and other heavy decorations well out of reach. Colorful and sparkly decorations are sure to catch the attention of children so ensure they can’t get a hold of it. Use lightweight and portable options for decorations that go on the floor or within reach of kids.
    • Cover your electrical cords with a rug or run them along the length of a wall and tape them securely. Test lights for loose connections and replace them with new bulbs.
    • Candles create a cozy and charming atmosphere at holiday parties and dinners, but they are an accident waiting to happen if there are numerous children running around the house. Consider the use of artificial candles that are battery operated or electric. They are a great alternative and give you one less thing to worry about.Baby Gate in Front of Stairs
    • The kitchen should be off-limits for young children unless supervised by an adult. Burns and scalds are a common holiday hazard so refrain from asking children to help you move hot foods/liquids from one room to another.
    • Batteries are common during the holidays. They are in everything from small electronic toys to greeting cards. But they are also very tempting to young children. Swallowing these shiny objects can lead to serious intestinal damage. Keep them safely inside electronics by placing a piece of tape on top of battery covers.
    • Fire safety is important year-round, but be extra diligent during the holidays. Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors you already have installed. Replace batteries or units as necessary.
  • DIY Limitations – Home Projects That Require the Help of a Pro

    DIY projects give renters and homeowners an outlet to create a home that best fits their individual tastes. From applying creative stencils and wallpapers to landscaping, these projects increase the skill of DIY enthusiasts over time. Doing work around the house without the help of a pro can also save a fair amount of money in the long run.

    But there are some home projects that may be unsafe, even for advanced DIYers. Safety should be a top priority for any home project. Here are some DIY projects that may best be tackled with the help of a pro, or done entirely by experts:

    • Branch and tree removal – Whether you are trying to clear your landscape, safeguard your home from storms, or required to remove a tree/branches due to county regulations – consult a pro. Because this home project requires climbing and the use of dangerous tools from a high distance off the ground, it’s best not to try it alone.
    • Structural changes – Breaking down walls might seem easy enough, but there could be electrical wiring, gas pipes, and plumbing that cause major safety hazards if damaged. There’s also the chance of accidentally destroying a load-bearing wall, which is sure to lead to problems for the foundation of the house.Man Doing Electrical Work
    • Electrical work – Taking on electrical work puts DIYers in danger of getting shocked or unknowingly changing the position of wires. Both mistakes may lead to major safety issues for individuals and the home.
    • Replacing home siding – This job typically requires tools and equipment the average DIYer will not have on hand such as scaffolding and commercial ladders, which can be found at Using normal ladders and makeshift equipment for this job can lead to personal injury or a final look that appears unprofessional.
    • Roof repairs – Clearing gutters is doable for most DIY handymen. But when it comes to replacing tiles or structural roof projects, it’s best to call in a pro. One can easily lose their footing and slip, or even install tiles/materials incorrectly.
    • Building an outdoor kitchen – Building an outdoor kitchen is great for parties, entertaining, and the overall value of a home. But they require specialized knowledge and skill in various areas of home improvement. They are also a big investment, so while advanced DIY handymen can work on many aspects of the project, it may be worth it to consult a contractor to ensure the project gets done with 100% accuracy.
  • Ideas for Reinventing Your Dull Doors

    Doors play an important role in the home. They separate the function of one room from another, provide a physical barrier between hosts and guests, and during different seasons they either contain warmth and coziness or allow for a light and airy atmosphere. Many renters and homeowners tend to view doors as just a functional element of a space, but they may also be used to add an element of style and design to a home. If you’re looking for an indoor handyman project that won’t break the bank, consider reinventing your dull doors in some of the following ways:

    • Add mirrors – Whether you choose full-length or partial, adding mirrors to a door adds practicality and an element of surprise. It brightens up a room to give the illusion of more space; it provides additional ways to check your look and attire; and it reflects art and design elements you already have in the room.Grey Front Doors
    • Cover it with wallpaper – There are many unique wallpaper options on the market that can enhance the look of your home. If you don’t like the idea of covering full walls, revamping a dull door into a funky focal point is the perfect solution. Within your wallpaper selection, options range from self-adhesive to removable so there’s no need to stress out if you have to go through multiple designs before finding the right look.
    • Paint it – This is one of the easiest ways to reinvent a dull door. A fresh dash of paint that pops is a fun family project. Use a contrasting color or consider including stencil designs to make the doors more artistically appealing.
    • Make it a chalkboard – Perfect for a child’s bedroom door, the use of black or white chalkboard paint is a great way to liven up a door. Allow the young ones to pick the color and help them divide different sections of the door for various purposes such as games, schedules, drawings, artwork, and pictures.
    • Change the door handle – Sometimes that’s all it takes to give a dull door a bit of a facelift. There are limitless styles of doorknobs and handles that can add personality or a particular theme to a room. You can even change them out based on holidays or season. For example, install a skeleton hand piece during the Halloween season and switch it out for a snowflake-inspired look during winter. The possibilities are endless.

    And remember to purchase all the tools you need for your door transformation at

  • Steps for Bleeding a Radiator This Winter

    Bleeding a radiator is a normal routine for many homeowners and renters during winter. You’ll know it’s time to bleed the radiator if the bottom feels warm but the top feels cool. If there is a lot of air trapped inside, the radiator will feel cold all over. Bleeding a radiator is an easy maintenance job that any handyman can do. It also improves the efficiency of your entire heating system – both in terms of heating and monetary savings.

    The one item you will need for this process is a radiator key. A flat-head screwdriver from can also work with many radiators if you don’t have the key. The first step for bleeding a radiator is to turn on the heat and wait for all units to get fully hot. Next, determine which radiators need bleeding by checking them one by one to see if all the parts are warming up normally. Be cautious when checking the temperature at this stage to prevent accidental burns. Once you have found all the units with cool spots proceed to bleed them.Radiator

    Switch off the heat to prevent more air from entering the system. Doing so will also minimize the risk of burns and a soaked floor. Remember to count how many turns it takes you to turn off each radiator valve. Attach the radiator key to the valve located at the top end of the radiator. If you are using a screwdriver, place it into the groove. Position a cloth below each valve to catch any moisture. It is also a good idea to wrap a cloth around your hand as a protective shield in case water that escapes from the radiator drips on you.

    Slowly turn the radiator key counter clockwise. Don’t be alarmed when you hear a hissing sound as it signals that gas is escaping. When water starts to drip out of the valve, you’ll know that all the air has been removed from the radiator. Tighten the valve quickly back to it’s original position.

    Finally, be sure to check the pressure by taking a look at the gauge on your boiler. If the pressure is too low top it up by using level on top of the boiler. Switch the heating back on once this entire process is complete. After a few hours make sure that each radiator you have worked on has a uniform temperature throughout the entire surface and there is no water leaking from the bleed valve.

8 Item(s)