Homemade Firestarters | Dryer Lint & Candle Wax!

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I’m re-posting this tutorial I wrote previously on how to make homemade firestarters because camping season is HERE again!  (Check out some good tent deals here)

This weekend I took my 4 boys out for our first ever family camping trip.  It was all I could’ve hoped for – they were thrilled to cook hotdogs over the campfire, make S’mores, tell silly ghost stories, and listen to old John Denver songs on the guitar.(Well – maybe not so thrilled about the last one ;) )   We swam in the lake until we were exhausted, and finally cuddled up in our tiny 4 person tent together while I lay awake hoping no critters would come looking for leftovers.

It was wonderful – memories they’ll have forever  – just like I do from when I went camping as a kid with my parents.  There was one thing, though, that I wished I had remembered to bring along – something to make the all-important campfire even easier to get going: these HomeMade FireStarters.

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Reuse Empty Candle Jars | Seashell Display for Summer

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Jamie here, I’m always looking for new ways to reuse empty candle jars around my house.  After I’d figured out how to get wax out of candle jars (and I mean COMPLETELY!)  I had them in the window sill drying in the sunshine and they just looked so pretty grouped together like that.

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Love these!!

I decided to fill them using the seashells we’d collected during our last couple beach trips and grouped them together for a summery seascape.


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I have a little confession to make – you see all those perfect cute starfish and sand dollars and shiny conch shells??  Yeah… I didn’t find those on the beach.

We bought a bag of them in a gift shop on our way ouf of town to supplement our massive sad buckets of broken shells.  I felt like a cheater-cheater at the time, but now I’m totally good with that purchase  ;)

I love that this project is simple and clean looking.  

If you don’t have lots of seashells to reuse empty candle jars around your house – you could also display pretty rocks for an earthy vibe and nestle a tealight into the center :)

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Make sure you find out how to get beautiful, streak-free glasses in our post

How to Get Wax Out of Candle Jars

10 Summer-Fun Ideas To Try At Home

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10 Summer Fun Ideas to Try at Home

Jamie here!  Having fun doesn’t have to cost money – or even require you to leave home.  In fact – some of my kids’ favorite things to do require only that I drop everything and dive into pretend play or poke holes in the lid of a mason jar.  Here is my list of 10 Summer Fun Ideas To Do In Your Yard – also check out the Top 10 Neighborhood Games you can play on summer evenings!

1.) Flashlight Tag.

The thrill of hide-n-seek lies in the fearfully giddy waiting period – while the seeker wanders about the yard yelling “GOTCHA” at the unlucky.  The thrill is heightened to a new level when done in the dark – with flashlights!  Grab some neighborhood kids to join in – and then sit back in your lawn chair with iced tea to supervise.

2.) Homemade Bubbles & Bubble-Makers.

 

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Make your own “Water Bombs” for the Pool with Sponges!

Make your own water bombs with sponges!

I saw this project on Pinterest a few weeks back and I ran out and bought several sponges and made them with the boys.  It was so easy and you would not BELIEVE how popular they were at the community pool!  All the kids loved them – and I sat on the edge of the pool tossing them back and forth with all the boys.  It got me wet – but hey, when it’s 100 degrees, getting wet is really not so bad is it? ;)

Photo courtesy of Make and Takes

You’ll Need:

Directions:

  1. Cut each sponge into 4 long strips and group them together in your hand.
  2. Fasten the middle with a rubber band very tightly so that the sponges fluff out all around it.
  3. Dunk in water – throw – enjoy!

For more water games – check out our post on 15 water games HERE!

DIY Water Balloon Flip-Flops

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Dollar Tree has a summer collection of colorful flip-flop that would be perfect for this DIY!  Does anyone wear anything but flip-flops in the Summer? We spend so much time at the pool, or out playing in the sprinkler in our backyard that flip-flops are our regular attire. For a crafting project, I thought it would be fun for my daughter and I to decorate a pair of flip-flops. What better place to go shopping than Dollar Tree, where we can take advantage of their incredible already low prices during their Summer Fun flip-flop frenzy?

Flip-Flop Frenzy Details:

  • Flip-flops are available in solid colors (blue, black, pink, lime, turquoise, yellow, purple, and orange), as well as colorful patterns and styles. Colors and styles vary by store.
  • Flip-flops are available in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes.
  • Also check out colorful Summer Fun housewares, party supplies, and toys.

After seeing so many different fun flip-flop crafts on Pinterest, my daughter and I settled on water balloon flip-flops. I’m not super-duper crafty, so I wanted to make sure we didn’t bite off more than we could chew.

Water balloon flip-flops are fun, easy and inexpensive to make. I’ve included the supply list and details below.

What you need:

  • flip-flops
  • 1 to 2 packs of water balloons

You’ll want to begin on one end of the flip-flop. First, gently stretch the balloon, then tie tightly in a double knot. Alternating the direction of each balloon, continue until the straps are covered. Make sure to tie balloons closely together. You can follow a color pattern or change it up, depending on your preference.

You’ll have lots and lots of water balloons left over for fun summer water balloon fights. You could probably get away with one pack, however I went ahead and grabbed two just in case. Even so, I ran out of green balloons quickly. My kids are already planning a water balloon fight this afternoon after they finish their school work.

Stay in the Loop:

  • Have you signed up for Dollar Tree’s free loyalty program, the Value Seekers Club? You’ll get access to exclusive crafts, recipes, and tip ideas every month. Visit www.ValueSeekersClub.com.
  • Learn more about new Dollar Tree products and contests as an email subscriber. Sign up for weekly emails here:
  • Follow Dollar Tree on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dollar Tree via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

DIY Kids’ TV Snack Tray

 kids-snack-tray

DIY Kids’ TV Snack Tray

 

Now that it’s summer, lots of us probably have our kiddos asking to snack/lunch/picnic during movie time in the living room.  Here’s a cute little project to keep the crumbs at bay!  This is a post our friend Amber did for us – so cute!

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life!

If any of you are like me, you have a constant flow of crumbs surrounding your couches and rugs from the kids eating snacks. In my case, I pretty much let Jude (my 2 year old) eat whatever, whenever and where ever he wants it. This is mostly because he never wants to eat, so when he does, I happily oblige. So with him, I decided to come up with something that would allow him to snack without having to sit at a table (which is a struggle all of its own).

This DIY can go with any style though, I can picture it on an ottoman with some magazines and a candle, or used as a breakfast tray on special occasions. My creative sister-in-law, Jillian, even decorated hers with a paper map of Detroit.

What you need:

  • Tray (I got a cheap tray from Ikea, around 8 bucks)
  • Paint (I always shop the oops paint at Home Depot, a small jar is .50!)
  • Fabric
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Polyurethane/Clear coat
Directions:

1.  Lay out your fabric over the tray, do a quick trace around the bottom edge, so you’ll know where to cut. As you can see, mine did not turn out perfect..don’t sweat it!

2. Paint around the entire upper part of the tray. In the picture, I have the tray taped off BUT you do not need to do this. I found out afterwards that since my fabric did not fit exact, it looks better if you paint around the base of the tray also. (See picture in Step 3)

 3. After the paint is COMPLETELY dry, pour Mod Podge onto the tray and completely cover over the entire base with a foam brush. Lay fabric back down and smooth out with your hands until it is completely stuck to tray.

4. After the fabric and Mod Podge is hardened and dry, add more Mod Podge to the top of the fabric. Coat and smooth over with foam brush.

 5. After its completely dry you can spray the whole thing with a clear coat spray, or you can brush on a polyurethane coat. Whatever you think would be easiest to clean.

 

Here is my finished product, we would love to see yours!

Homemade Swimmers Ear Drops

Homemade Swimmers Ear Drops

Jamie here!  My youngest was never very prone to ear infections – but last summer when we were swimming a lot he started getting them all the time.
It got so bad that we had to go to an ear, nose and throat doctor to clear it up.  He suggested drops of swimmer’s ear after each time in water, and he gave me this homemade swimmers ear drops recipe that was just as good.
You can likely find these ingredients in your home already, and the cost will be just pennies compared to the $4-6 you’d pay at the store.
Homemade Swimmers Ear Drops:
  1. Mix one part vinegar and one part rubbing alcohol into an old eye dropper bottle and shake.
  2. Use 4 drops in each ear after getting out of the swimming pool.
  3. If you don’t have a dropper bottle, soak a cotton ball and squeeze into the ear canal.
  4. The vinegar and alcohol will both kill bacteria and dry out the ear canal to prevent bacteria from growing there later.
We’ve had success with this so far – and we even use it after baths sometimes just in case.
Speaking of household items being used to replace store-bought remedies – have you tried this DIY Mouthwash and Vinegar Foot Soak yet?  If not, I highly recommend it!  Your cracked heels will feel so much better afterwards!