Follow Me on Pinterest
Instead of posting links to Making Do Ideas on this blog now (I'll just post my own projects here though they are few and far between now), I'm now posting them on my Pinterest Board named Making Do Stuff.
You do not have to have a Pinterest account to see it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mow the Lawn without Gas

We were gifted with a reel push mower. You might think that it was replaced with a gas mower because it didn't work well or that it took too much effort, but the modern ones to me seem to be the same amount of work to mow the lawn as it is with a gas powered one. (Obviously, I have a ride on mower since I mow 5 acres of lawn, but this works on small areas I want to mow without getting the ride-on out.)

Plus, in the eight years I have been married we have gone through 3 lawn mowers, at minimum $100 each plus gas, oil, spark plugs and maintenance, (One kept losing its wheel nut, so we went through probably 5 bolts on that one, extra blades, and even a wheel tearing the sheet metal off making us go to a junk yard for a body to install the motor on). That's quite expensive and frustrating.

This isn't for lazy mowers though or people with huge lawns (half an acre or less is ideal). You have to keep up with the lawn, can't let it grow into a forest, otherwise you will have to haul out the gas powered one, but maybe that could be a motivator to get out and do it. It also doesn't do well on stick weeds it needs to be an actual lawn not scrub brush territory or get out there and mow before the weeds get big enough to become stick-like.

Here's a good site to research them if you are interested.
Heck, even Walmart carries them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Print Out Free Calendars

For record keeping calendars, I print out a calendar from Calendars That Work. You can't download years upon years ahead of time without paying, (It's easy enough to buy a pocket calendar or wall calendar for that.) but you can have them send you the next calendar to your email ahead of time, just click on the calendar type you want and at the bottom is a field for having them send it to you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wowser Wednesday - Fairy Houses and Fairy Wings for Dolls

What a neat Mom! At Filth Wizardry, Kitten Muffin, gives a nice tutorial on how to convert plastic bottles into fairy houses and make butterfly fairy wings for the dolls her girls already have.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Easy Leftover Chicken Pot Pie

Want to try out the Homemade Bisquick Baking Mix from yesterday?

Easy Leftover Chicken Pot Pie

1 can cream of something soup (I've used onion and chicken)
1 cup +/- cooked veggies or frozen veggies thawed
1 cup +/- cubed cooked chicken
1/2 c milk
1 egg
1 cup Baking Mix

Preheat oven to 400.
In 9" pie plate mix soup, veggies and chicken.
Mix milk, egg and baking mix.
Pour baking mix over chicken/veggie mix, smooth over its surface.
Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Make Your Own Baking Mix (Bisquick/Biscuit)

I rarely use my Baking Mix, and when a recipe I want to try calls for it, I buy a box, use it for that recipe and then it sits on the shelf and gets bug infested before I get to it again. I could put it in the fridge, but there is precious little space for my baking goods especially one I use twice a year. So, I actually contemplated trying to scoop out a cup without bugs to use (I know horrible, but I didn't actually do it.)

So, I found two recipes to make your own. Since my recipe called for 1 cup, I made this one.

1 c of baking mix =
3/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 T shortening

Cut the shortening into the flour mix and there you have it.

If you want to make a whole bunch and keep it airtight or in the refrigerator this site has a large batch recipe.

I'm beginning to like gathering up all the recipes for things that uses essential cooking ingredients, less things on my shelves.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Free Play Money to Print

Do you homeschool? Have kids who play grocery store? Have a monopoly game missing money?

Print play money for free here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wowser Wednesday - Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

We don't have pavement, so sidewalk chalk is not a big game around here, but if you have a driveway and love sidewalk chalk make your own. Mad Maggie Designs gives you the recipe.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Free Personalized Pandora Radio

I love Symphonies in Minor keys. So I am searching around on the internet for a CD that is just filled with minor key symphonies. (Like Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave which was what I was looking for). Didn't find anything in a quick search, but I stumbled across something better!

Pandora Radio

This is a free personalized radio station based on what you want to hear.

I signed up for their free radio player (you can have up to 100 personalized "stations") and put in Bach Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor for my first station. (Everone has heard this piece, if you don't recall this piece have a listen here).

I love this piece, so I thought a radio station that plays pieces like this would be neat, so after I put it in, the radio player says,
"We will play works that are musically similar to "Tocatta in D Minor" Featuring Tonal Harmony, minor key tonality, and a fast and bright tempo, a well known composer and a baroque style."

I love 80s music. So I decided to see what a station centered around one of the songs that no matter how many times I hear it, it makes me feel nostalgic and I never get tired of it: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to see if the rest of the songs the player pulls up are ones I like.

The first 10 were these:
"Every Breath You Take" by The Police
"I love Rock n Roll" by Joan Jett
"It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Jessica Sierra (American Idol Season 4)
"True Colors" Cyndi Lauper (not fond of this one)
"Holiday" Madonna
"Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" The Police
"Eternal Flame" The Bangles
"Time after Time" Cyndi Lauper
"Any Way You Want It" by Journey

Besides being a bit disappointed that it wasn't Bonnie Tyler singing Total Eclipse and not liking one of the Cyndi Lauper songs, I have to say the choices were all ones I could sing all the way through because they are some of my favorite 80s song choices.

If you don't like a song it pulls up, you can tell it to never play it again and it will supposedly adjust to fit your tastes.

You only get 40 hours of free listening a month and if you want more it's 99 cents. You can only skip 6 songs an hour (If you thumb down a song after it plays it doesn't count as a skip)

Every now and then there is a 10 secondish ad you do have to listen to, but I'm still impressed!

Woohoo, just made a Bing Crosby Station, I'm in heaven.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Homemade saline nose spray

Reading my Toddler's Magazine, "Turtle," has given me today's post.

Dr. Cory says: (Who is Dr. Cory? Not sure, but she or he gives medical advice to 2-5 yr olds.)

For kids under 6 who should not be given cold medicines, Dr. Cory suggests using a saline nose spray or dropper to clear up congestion.

The doctor says if you want to make your own, mix 1/4 tsp salt with 1 c. water

Friday, July 17, 2009

Awards and Links

Over the course of this blog, I have gotten many fellow blogger awards. In the spirit of the awards being a way to link readers from one blog to another, I am posting this blog to give you links to my award givers and to those I subscribe to in my reader. Hope you find a blog in the list that you haven't seen before that meets a need for you.

Awards given to me by over the course of this blog: (Forgive me if I missed someone)
Sewing Chick
Cloud Nine
That's Just Nifty Thrifty
What It's About
Tales of the Tightwad
Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Live Completely
Cleaning Up the Clutter
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
The Chickenista

Those that deserve awards because I'm subscribed to them in my reader at the moment and they are frugal/crafty related:
Cheap N' Cheerful
Passionate Homemaking
The Crafty Crow
Happy Hearts at Home
Money Saving WAHM
Craft Fail

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Maintain Cookie Softness

I have no idea how the science behind this works, but I learned this from my in-laws. After making a batch of cookies and sealing them away in a container, throw a slice of bread in with the cookies. The bread will get hard, but your cookies will stay soft. Works exceptionally well with homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wowser Wednesday - Tire Flower Planters

A friend of mine and I were going to turn some of her old tires into flower planters, but she is moving and since I don't really plant things on purpose because of the disappointment of watching them die, I am not going to make them for myself. But, I wanted to share with you all a great link for turning old tires into colorful flower shaped planters.

Wuv'n Acres has a great tutorial on making "blooming tire planters" along with other uses for old tires at the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cheap Cat Hair Brush

Awhile back we bought a plastic cat hair brush with little plastic nubs at the end of its bristles that worked quite poorly. With the cats shedding all over the house, hubby wanted to get a metal bristle cat hair brush. Since I forgot to pick one up, I wondered if a regular plastic cheapo comb would work since they were shedding on my lap.

This is ten strokes from the short-haired cat.

The long haired cat produced a ton of hair. Not going to buy that metal cat hair brush after all, this works terrifically, and I have these things lying around the house. Heck, I recall seeing two just lying around on the ground in town this past week. Keep your eyes peeled and you might find an excellent cat hair brush on the floor somewhere that you can pick up and take home if you need one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Laptop Screen Cleaner

Use rubbing alcohol and a lint free cloth rag (not paper towel!) to clean your screen. Don't waste your money for computer screen cleaner, this cost pennies and what the factory uses to clean it before shipping it to the store.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Reader Suggestion Friday - Crochet with Plastic Bags

A reader's friend uses plastic bags to crochet durable reusable grocery bags. (I use t-shirts for my reusable grocery bags)

If you would like to see a photo tutorial on how to cut bags to reuse as yarn go here.

Recycle Cindy from crocheted a clothespin bag for her clothesline with this method. (I used a toddler's dress for my clothespin bag)

Check out the rest of Cindy's site, cool reuse projects, some of which I think I am going to do, which of course I'll post when I do them.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Make Your Own Drain Cleaner

Pour a scoopful of baking soda in your slow drain and follow it by a glug or two of vinegar until the bakind soda is dissolved. Watch it bubble and fizz and leave for 15-30 minutes and wash it down with a large saucepan full of boiling water. Do this until you see improvement.

Have yet to try it on a really stubborn slow drain. If you have, let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wowser Wednesday - Aluminum Can Garden Markers

I have a post about making garden markers with an old mini blind which is cheap and fast, but I saw a post on Little House in the Suburbs of making garden markers out of aluminum cans and they are BEAUTIFUL! Maybe one day when I have time on my hands I'll do these. (Ha!)

Some of you may be experiencing deja vu; this post was naughty and showed up in the wrong place last week. It was only up for an hour, but some of you were so quick I was seeing people linking to it before I discovered it! :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Free Moving Boxes

If you are moving, instead of paying for moving boxes, find them for free. When I lived in bigger cities, my favorite place to dumpster dive for boxes was shoe stores. They had massive amounts of large boxes that were typically close in size. The other kind of store I would hit up was book stores for the same reason; their boxes were generally sturdier though.

If you live in a smaller town it might be more difficult. Walmart is not a good one to work with I have found, so I found an action figure selling warehouse that sold stuff on ebay (that was an interesting business find!) for my last move in this tiny town. Drive around the back of businesses and see if you find piles of broken down boxes to get an idea of who generates a lot of box trash.

I always asked the manager before taking boxes from the dumpster and most were congenial enough to save them up for me. They generate a lot of box trash when they receive shipments.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Car Dehydrator

Don't have a dehydrator but would like to make fruit leather or dehydrate fruit and veggies? To make sure you get appropriate temperatures, just setting out in the sun can make it difficult, but if you have an automobile and it is high temperature summer time, you have a dehydrator.

Prepare your fruit roll up mixture and pour in a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Put cheesecloth over the pan (not touching) to keep bugs off. For veggies and fruit, put sliced pieces on a cooling rack in a baking pan and cover with cheesecloth.

Put food in back window in the sun. Leave window cracked to let moisture out.

Thin sliced fruit and fruit leather should dry in about 6 hours of hot sun in the car. Large pieces (like half of an apricot) could take up to 2 days.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tasty Finger Paint

Want to occupy your toddler with finger paints that are non-toxic and easy to make? I posted a cheap one yesterday and a tasty one today. These are not paints that will keep, so if you expect a masterpiece that you will want to keep forever, these are not the paints.

Tasty Finger Paint

White creamy food (like pudding, yogurt or as I used, sour cream) and food coloring

Place drops of food coloring in small bowls of pudding/yogurt. Paint on wax paper or baking cookie sheets. Wash soon so no bugs are attracted to the artwork.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cheap Finger Paint

Want to occupy your toddler with finger paints that are non-toxic and easy to make? I have a cheap one today and a tasty one tomorrow. These are not paints that will keep, so if you expect a masterpiece that you will want to keep forever, these are not the paints.

Cheap Finger Paint

Flour, water and food coloring.

Mix just enough water into flour to make a paste and drop in food coloring. No worries if they ingest it. Use on paper, waxed paper, cookie sheets, etc.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wowser Wednesday - Tie turned into carrying case

At Nouvelle Mama, there is a tutorial for taking a tie and turning it into a carrying case for an electronic gadget. If you click on the pdf for the tutorial, the first page is blank, but the tutorial on the other three pages is all there.