Saturday, January 28, 2012

Borax Sparklies

I love sparkly things.

I love inexpensive things.

I love making things (as long as they're easy).

I REALLY love making sparkly things that are inexpensive (and easy).

So I give you (drumroll please):   The Borax Sparklies!

This will come as a shock - but this idea came from Pinterest.  The kids and I made these at Christmas too - but I especially love the Valentine sparklies.

And they're actually easy!  All you do is make some pipe cleaner shapes and let them soak overnight in a water/Borax solution.

Here's how:

Take pipe cleaners and make them into the shapes you want.  

Since they have to hang suspended in water overnight, I attached them to a pencil (a popsicle stick would work fine too).  I used fishing line and scotch tape to attach them.

Also - I put them in empty jars first to make sure that the shape will fit in the jar without touching the sides or the bottom.

Once you're ready to submerge the pipecleaners, fill a mason jar with hot (super hot) water and add a half to a three-quarters  cup of Borax to it.  Important: If you use something bigger than a mason jar (I used some empty hurricane lamps) use more Borax.  The sparklies come from the Borax so you want to make sure that you're solution isn't too watered down.

ASIDEApparently Borax is like this crazy good household cleaner.  I wouldn't know about such things since I'm not the best housekeeper...)  

Anyway!  Stir up the Borax really good and then submerge your pipecleaner shape into the water.  Be sure not to let it touch the sides or the bottom or it will get stuck.  

Let them sit, fully submerged and undisturbed overnight.

The next day, carefully remove them from the water and voila!!  A SPARKLY!!!  (can't you just hear them sparkling - sheen! sparkle, sparkle!!)

They look beautiful hanging from a chandelier or in a window.  When the sun hits them, they really sparkle!

They also make cute little gift wrap accessories.

Here's the site where I first saw the idea.

Couple things that I've found with these....  Sometimes they come out without any crystals on them.  I think that happens when you don't use enough Borax - or when you disturb them while they're soaking.  Be sure to use lots of Borax, and once you submerge them, don't touch them until the next day when it's time to take them out.

Also, after a few months, the crystals will turn all white and powdery.  I just toss them at that point and make new ones.

Sparkle on, friends!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Crap-Tastic Crap Baskets!

So I got another idea off Pinterest.  This one is brilliant I tell you, BRILLIANT!  Now, typically, whenever I attempt to mimic a craft or a recipe I've seen online, the outcome is.... shall we say..... less than what is seen on the internet.

You'll notice that I just said "less."  I didn't say how or, in what way it was less.  The reason is because it's just less.  It's just freakin' LESS.  In EVERY way.  Less attractive, less tasty, less cost effective and certainly less easy.  (click here to see a sad and dark example of my experience with "Less").

My projects simply never turn out the way they look online.

Until this one.

This one, I dare say, turned out just as good and I'm super thrilled!

First let me give credit where credit is due.  I found a wonderful blog, filled with all sorts of fun ideas - and I took the Crap Basket idea from her.  If you get a chance, check out her blog - it's wonderful.

Okay, so on to the project.  First, the backstory.

We live in a smallish house - certainly big enough for us to be comfortable - while at the same time -certainly small enough for us to get buried alive in our clutter.  I can't count the number of hours I've spent hauling various pieces of clutter to their proper places.

But all of that is about to change.

Allow me to introduce, the Crap Basket.
Every member of the family has one.  Throughout the day as I (or anyone else) comes across someone else's crap, they pick it up and put it in the respective Crap Basket.  Sadly, I've had to change the name of these to Junk Baskets.  I don't have any issue with the word, Crap - but I don't want my 5 year old son to get a color change at school for saying Crap.  (Even though I've given up any hope at being named Mother of the Year, I still have to put forth the illusion that I'm an ongoing contender for the title).

Hope and I made them together and they were really easy (and even pretty cheap). I got the baskets for 75% at Michaels.

And then I bought little oval shaped woodies for .89 each and the pack of stencils was $3.  And then of course I had to add the daisy clips for .99 each.  The daisies are my attempt to make them look a little more feminine (the baskets felt a little masculine to me, what with the name crap and being brown and all)...

Hope painted the woodies and I did the stenciled letters.  Then I just hot glued them to the baskets along with the flowers and voila! Craptastic Crap Baskets!

We had a family meeting and told the kids that they have to empty their basket each night before bed and bring it back to the living room.  Of course, where they put the crap in their room is a different story (hey, we have to crawl before we can walk...).  

The kids are actually excited about picking up their crap!  Of course I realize that the novelty will soon wear off, but hey.  I'm going to bask in this moment as long as I can.