Fun with Mason Jars

“Baller” Embroidery

Jim and I have an abundance of empty and unused mason jars after a failed attempt at canning our own pickles and jalapeños two years ago.

Occasionally we will use them to store anything from felt scraps to homemade chicken stock, but recently I’ve discovered a few tutorials requiring mason jars I’d like to try sometime soon:

Clockwise from top-left:

  • Fabric Votives – I like the warm, translucent glow of the light through the strips of fabric.
  • Air Freshener – All you need is baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.  How easy is that?

In what creative ways do you use mason jars?

DIY Cuffed Shorts

I’ve been on the hunt for new shorts recently, but all the pairs I seem to find are either too expensive or don’t fit in any of the right places.

Fed up, I decided to cut the legs off an old pair of jeans and make my own.

Supplies:

  • old pair of jeans
  • pair of shorts (to use as a template)
  • scissors
  • paper clips
  • water-soluble marker
  • needle and thread (only needed if you have to patch any holes)

Directions:

1.  Lay jeans on a flat surface.  Decide how long you want your shorts to be and draw a line 2-3 inches below that with a water soluble marker.  You can use a pair of shorts you already have as a template.

2.  Cut along the line to remove the legs.  Put these pieces aside to make patches later if you need them.

3.  Try on your freshly cut shorts, cuff them to your desired length and secure with a few paper clips.  At this point, your cuffs will probably be uneven – Use the water-soluble marker to even out the hem and cut away the excess.

4.  From the fabric you removed in step 2, cut patches large enough to cover any holes you need taken care of on your new shorts.  (If your shorts don’t need patching, skip to step 6.)

5.  Pin a patch to the inside of each hole and use a back stitch to secure them in place.

6.  Immediately wash and dry your new shorts to remove any remaining marker ink and to prevent excessive fraying of the cuff.  Cut away any loose threads.

Put on your new shorts and enjoy!

Quick & Easy Mosquito Bite Relief

Pretty much anyone who has met me knows that I react pretty badly to mosquito bites.

After many attempts at trying over-the-counter meds and at-home remedies, I have only found one thing that soothes an itchy bite: kosher salt.

Seriously, that’s it!

Mix about a teaspoon of kosher salt with a little bit of water (enough to make a paste) in the palm of your hand and rub the scrub into the area of the mosquito bite.  Leave the scrub on your skin for a minute or 2 then rinse away.  Kosher salt acts as an abrasive and dries out the bite – The itch should stop almost immediately!

On days when I am dealing with a lot of bites, I bring a mug of salt into the shower with me and apply the scrub there for easy clean-up.

If you have particularly dry skin, try mixing a little honey with the salt before applying.

Give it a try – Let me know what you think!

DIY Simple Polymer Clay Bead Necklace

My sister and I wanted to get a little crafty last week and decided to make some polymer clay bead necklaces!

I don’t typically wear much jewelry, so I came up with a design that was simple, customizable and could be worn with pretty much anything:

Materials (all of these can be found at your local craft store or in your kitchen):

  • polymer clay (we used Sculpey Premo)
  • aluminum foil
  • baking sheet
  • toothpicks
  • paint brush
  • glaze (we used Sculpey Satin Glaze)
  • thin cording
  • scissors

Directions:

1. Roll clay into approximately 1-inch balls and poke a hole through the center using a toothpick.

2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place beads onto the sheet and bake the clay according to the package directions.

3. After beads have cooled, paint with two coats of glaze.  Hint: Use a toothpick to hold the bead while glazing to prevent it from getting all over your fingers.  (Skip this step if you want your beads to have a matte finish.)

4. Measure and cut cording to your desired necklace length.  Remember: Necklace must be long enough to fit over your head!

5. Once beads are completely dry, thread both ends of the cording through the center of each bead and knot to secure them.

6. Show off your new necklace!

Got questions or suggestions?  Leave them in the comments – I’ll meet you there!