Crafting is a wonderful way to relieve stress and express your creative side — and fortunately, you don’t have to be a master craftsman — or spend a fortune on materials — to have fun and enjoy the benefits.
“A great way to get into crafting is by ‘upcycling’ — bringing new life into items you already have,” said Dinah Wulf, author and blogger of the website DIY Inspired. “Some of my favorite projects can be done with ordinary household items and just a dab of glue.”
Here are four easy upcycled projects to get your creative juices flowing.
A cork cell phone stand? Wine-not?
Wine corks make excellent crafting material, so instead of throwing the cork away once the bottle is empty, put it to use by creating a stand for your smartphone. All that you need for this cute project are 24 corks and a sturdy, quick-drying glue like DAP RapidFuse All Purpose Adhesive.
Start by stacking the corks in a pyramid shape, applying just a thin layer of glue to where the corks meet. Press each bond together for 30 seconds to ensure a strong hold. Next, just add one extra row of corks at the bottom for the phone to rest on, and repeat with the adhesive. Allow to cure for 30 minutes. In less than five minutes, you’ve created a unique resting place for your phone that keeps it handy while you work at your desk or look up recipes in the kitchen.
A dazzling jewelry box for hidden treasures
For an easy, budget-friendly crafting project, Wulf recommends scouring flea markets and garage sales for old ceramic boxes. With a little dressing up, they make the perfect jewelry box for you or a young one. Start by spray-painting the box in your desired color. Once dry, embellish with rhinestones or old figurines — even old decorative salt or pepper shakers. Simply dab a bit of adhesive on the item, then press into the box for 30 seconds to seal. It’s the perfect gift for the little princess in your life.
A bird feeder to tweet about
One of Wulf’s favorite projects is creating an eye-catching bird feeder made from an old saucer and teacup. It’s a way to repurpose old dishes that you no longer use, while also bringing some whimsy to the backyard. Simply lay the cup on its side on top of the saucer, and check to see where the cup and saucer touch. Next, apply the adhesive to these two areas to set and press together for 30 seconds. To keep the cup from rolling as it sets, place two small items on either side. After it cures for 30 minutes, it will be ready to fill with bird seed and hang.
A marvelous mug makeover
We all have that favorite mug for our morning coffee, but with heavy use, it’s easy for the handle to chip or break in two. Instead of throwing it away, apply a bit of adhesive to the exposed ends and press together for 30 seconds. Your favorite mug is as good as new! Don’t have a favorite mug? Apply word tiles or other fun accessories to a basic ceramic mug to create a one-of-a-kind treasure that you’ll look forward to using each morning. Just be sure to apply adhesive only to the exterior of the mug, as many glues are not food safe, and hand wash your newly created masterpiece.
Beyond crafting for fun, use your newfound crafting skills to repair other household items such as flower pots and picture frames. Your first instinct may be to trash the pieces and shop for replacements, but by repairing your items instead of replacing, you can save significant amounts of money, as well as hang on to irreplaceable heirlooms and items with sentimental value. RapidFuse All Purpose Adhesive is a cost-efficient solution, as it bonds to virtually everything, sets in 30 seconds and fully cures in 30 minutes. In less time than it takes to find a replacement, you can be enjoying your old items once again.
5 tips to amp up the natural benefits of your yard
It’s easy to appreciate the sights and smells afforded by lawns and landscapes, but when it comes to your yard there is much more to consider besides pleasing aesthetics and aromas. Many would even be surprised to learn that the benefits of a lush lawn and stunning landscape design extend well beyond a yard’s perimeter.
That’s right, well-managed landscapes offer tremendous benefits for the community and environment. Here are just a few:
* Scrubs the air: Beautiful greenery, including grass, catch dust, smoke particles and other pollutants to make the air you breathe fresher and cleaner.
* Protects waterways: Well-maintained yards and lawns help prevent soil erosion and unwanted runoff into nearby lakes, streams and rivers.
* Adds oxygen: A 50-by-50-foot lawn produces enough oxygen to supply a family of four.
* Boosts home values: The yard is the first thing a potential buyer sees, and it sets the first impression. If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, investing in your landscaping now can pay dividends later. A recent study by the National Association of REALTORS and National Association of Landscape Professionals found that investing in landscape maintenance recovers 100 percent of the cost at the time of sale!
* Makes you feel good: Having a nice yard with lush turf and well-tended landscapes delivers some mood-enhancing properties as well. Looking at plants and trees, even through a window, has been found to lower stress and blood pressure, while walking among plants and trees improves attention and memory.
Ideas to enhance your yard’s natural benefits
Now that you know the benefits of your lawn and landscapes, you may be inspired to try some of these simple improvements to make it look and feel even better. Some of these can even save you time and effort, so you have more hours to spend outdoors.
* Mow properly: Raising the deck height of your lawn mower is one simple thing you can do right now to improve your green space. When mowing, the blade should remove no more than a 1/3 inch from the blade of grass.
* Mow at the right time: Professionals recommend to not mow right after it rains. Mowing wet grass will cause clumping and ruts. This also leaves the lawn more susceptible to certain diseases.
* Let the clippings drop: “Grass cycling” your clippings allows nitrogen and other nutrients to return to the soil. Even better, it eliminates the step of hauling around heavy bags of yard waste.
* Invest in smarter watering tools: An irrigation system saves time on watering chores, but one that uses smart technology and weather-based data will apply water only when your lawn and garden need it.
* Consider natural landscaping: The next time you choose flowers, shrubs or trees, opt for species native to your region. These plants have adapted to the climate, so they’re more resilient to your region’s weather patterns, and require less watering than exotic species.
With these tips, you have plenty to get started on creating a beautiful lawn and landscape that looks and feels even better. If you’re seeking fresh ideas to amp up your landscaping or want to maximize its full environmental and enjoyment benefits, consider turning to the expertise of a lawn care or landscape professional. With help from a professional, you can have the outdoor oasis of your dreams. To find a professional in your area, visit LoveYourLandscape.org.
Your home haven: 5 common mistakes when planning a DIY deck
Across America, decks have become a popular place for people to entertain guests or just relax. The greatest appeal? The elevated outdoor living areas offer a convenient option for enjoying the great outdoors in a comfortable, room-like space that’s somewhat removed from the elements.
Further, studies reveal adding a deck to your home pays for itself in terms of resale value. A 2016 report by the National Association of Realtors estimates new wooden decks recover 106 percent of their cost, with the average deck costing $9,450 and generating $10,000 in value. In fact, a deck was ranked third among home improvement projects recouping the most resale value.
“Backyard decks have replaced patios and front porches as the social centers of suburbia in the summer,” writes Steve Cook on Homes.com. “Decks are elevated to catch summer breezes and to facilitate conversations with neighbors. Large enough for a table and grill, most decks are more versatile than front porches and provide privacy from street traffic.”
While building a deck isn’t difficult, it’s helpful to understand some of the potential pitfalls before getting started. Here are some common mistakes made by inexperienced homeowners.
* Choosing the wrong side of your house. While your backyard is an obvious option, it’s not always the best choice for your lifestyle. Are you most apt to enjoy a full-on sunny spot, or a shady haven on a hot day? Will wind be an issue? Are you aiming for privacy, or a chance to socialize with neighbors? Which positioning provides the best views?
* Not researching your optimal layout. A nearly endless number of sizes and shapes are possible. Before choosing, think beyond just aesthetics and consider how you’ll actually use the space. Where will furniture be placed? What will the foot traffic patterns be? How will users access the deck from inside and outside your home? To what extent will new doorways and stairways be necessary?
* Not opting for real wood. While the grain of authentic wood is hands-down more visually stunning than composite, many homeowners don’t realize wood can also be more affordable and just as easy to maintain. The NAR study also found wooden decks recoup greater resale value than composite decks. A particularly beautiful and versatile choice for decks is Western Red Cedar, a stunning species that inherently resists rot, decay, shrinkage and insects. And if left unfinished, it weathers over time into an attractive silvery gray patina. Do-it-yourselfers report it handles like a dream because it’s naturally flat and able to absorb a wide range of finishes.
* Not considering air quality. Composite deck materials often emit greenhouse gases during the manufacturing process, whereas woods such as Western Red Cedar leave a smaller carbon footprint than any other building material. That means you can rest easy knowing you’re choosing the greenest option available.
* Not factoring in maintenance and upkeep. Regardless of materials, decks typically need periodic cleaning to protect them from the elements and keep them looking like new. Fortunately, a Western Red Cedar deck is relatively low maintenance. Maintain its beauty by cleaning it annually with a plain bristle brush, and should you choose to stain your deck, be sure to select a quality product.
For more information about creating your dream deck, visit RealCedar.com.
3 elements to create a dream bathroom
Bathrooms reign supreme, overtaking kitchens as the most popular remodeling project, according to a new survey by the National Association of Home Builders. In the study, remodelers reported on the most common projects in 2017 and 81 percent performed bathroom remodeling.
Whether you’re hiring the project out or taking the DIY route, fashioning the bathroom of your dreams can enhance your home’s value and add enjoyment to your daily routine. A leading trend in bathroom design is to create a space that is not only functional but is a true sanctuary. To craft a spa-like bath setting that you’ll love for years to come, consider these elements.
1. Sinks and vanities
Clutter causes chaos that can add to daily stress. To establish a peaceful retreat without the disorder that commonly overtakes bathrooms, it’s important to keep organization in mind when selecting a sink and vanity combination. The key is to find a balance between style and functionality.
Consider the DXV Modulus collection, which creates simple yet dramatic spaces with a selection of trending materials and finishes for optimum style. Its modular concept, highlighted with minimalistic bathroom sinks and coordinating vanities, allows for maximum flexibility in installation and organization. It brings high design to any project, including master bathrooms and powder rooms, where space may be at a premium.
2. Freestanding tubs
When you select the right tub for your new bathroom, you’re giving yourself a way to unwind every day, as well as provide a stunning focal point to anchor the space. Deep soak freestanding tubs are a top trend for the ultimate in bathing relaxation. Immersing yourself in the warm water of a soaking tub can help ease muscle tension, making you feel like you’re at the spa while bathing in the comfort of your own home.
Soothing, romantic and indulgent, DXV soaking tubs create the perfect personal sanctuary. This must-have showstopper adds style, repose and a touch of luxury that elevates any bathroom setting.
3. Shower systems
Forget boring single showerheads. Today’s complete shower systems go beyond the basic clean to provide a comprehensive bathing experience. Design the space to fit your preferences with different sprays and various angles for massage, invigoration or total relaxation. You can adjust the flow and temperature to your liking. It’s customization on demand.
To further enhance the shower experience, add in spa-like elements, like your choice of adjustable lighting and music to match your mood. Go ahead and close your eyes, feel the water, and escape while getting lost in your favorite tunes.
With the right elements and well-thought-out design, you can craft your own personal oasis. Adding to your home’s value while relishing in its pleasure — now that’s a dream come true.
Blake Lively & Anna Kendrick Wear Ralph & Russo to the 2018 VMA’S
Esteemed actresses Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick wear Ralph & Russo couture to the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards in...
Why Myrtle Beach is the perfect fall vacation for families
When it comes to vacation planning, millennial families with young children have the edge over school-aged families — no strict...
Your summertime prescription: Sweet cherries
This summer, don’t be surprised if dietitians point you to one of Mother Nature’s sweetest treats to remedy a variety...
5 tips to amp up the natural benefits of your yard
It’s easy to appreciate the sights and smells afforded by lawns and landscapes, but when it comes to your yard...
4 ways to use technology to simplify your home buying process
While spring is typically the busiest period in real estate, particularly for families looking to get in to a new...
5 reasons to snack on strawberries
The perfect snack needs to check off three boxes: It should be filling enough to get you to your next...
5 fantastic energy-boosting snacks for fitness success
As marathon season approaches, many people are focused on training. Building up endurance is key, but you can’t do that...
Tech6 days ago
The Inside Story of Hilton’s New High-Tech Hotel Rooms – And What It Will Mean For Travelers
Tech7 days ago
Stay Connected No Matter Where You Are with the New Samsung Galaxy Watch
Aviation6 days ago
Emirates revamps its premium offering in First and Business Class
Destinations7 days ago
Destination Langkawi: Beyond the Beaches
Hotels7 days ago
Ultimate Eid Getaway at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh
Hotels6 days ago
Grand Hyatt Athens Opens in Greek Capital
House & Gardens5 days ago
5 tips to amp up the natural benefits of your yard
Health & Fitness5 days ago
Your summertime prescription: Sweet cherries