"Swish!" Was that Kobe? Not this time. That's the sound of your son or daughter making a shot from the bed. You've got the over-the-door setup covered. But she wants more items to show off her favorite sport. You can create a fun basketball themed bedroom for your child without going too commercial or spending too much cash. Go homemade with this simple DIY basketball bedroom décor for kids.
Easy No-Sew Basketball Throw Pillows
To make some simple basketball throw pillows, you'll need orange fleece, black piping, fabric glue, and filler material. How much material you need will depend on how big or small you want the pillows and how many you will be making. Basically, look at the fabric and imagine cutting out two circles per pillow that are slightly wider than your desired size.
Take those two circles and glue them together just around the edges outside in. Leave a small opening to put the filler into. Once the glue is dry, turn the material inside out. Fill it with the material to the desire fullness. Now fold the open edges down and glue them together to line up with the already-glued edges. Once that's dry, take your piping and cut in appropriate lengths to glue basketball stripes on the outside of the pillow. Let those dry and you're done.
Hanging Basketball Lanterns
For these, simply purchase the desired number of round paper lanterns in orange. You'll also need some heat-safe black paint. Hobby paint used for model cars works great for this type of project because it can be purchased in very small amounts or large containers. This way you only need to buy what you need. Take a paintbrush and paint the stripes onto the lanterns to make them look like a basketball.
To create a basketball scoreboard, you'll need a chalkboard in the desired size, some chalk, white acrylic paint, and a paintbrush. Paint the scoreboard template onto the chalkboard and let it dry. Now whenever the kids shoot hoops on the over-the-door net or with paper balls into the trash can, they can use the chalk to keep score.
Basketball Wall Décor
For wall décor, collect any odds and ends related to basketball and frame them. This could be tickets, hats, jerseys, deflated basketballs, and more. Frame each item separately and hang them all around the room. Make it like your child's personal hall of fame if he or she plays the sport. If not, just make it about the game, in general.
Basketball Bed Post Décor
Want to create a basketball bed for your child that doesn't cost you a fortune? You can use your child's bed posts and four basketballs to create this look. In addition to four basketballs, you'll need an air pump and some household glue, such as Goop or E-6000. Deflate each ball about ¼ of the way. Place them over the bed posts. If they don't fit quite right, inflate or deflate until the size is right. Now take some of the household glue and secure the basketballs to the post. Be sure to leave the side with the air hole accessible in case air needs to be replaced at a later date. Allow the balls to dry on the posts 24 hours before disturbing them.
Making Chemical-Free Air Freshener
Did you know that you could make your own air freshener? You certainly can. As one who generally prefers natural products over those made with chemicals, I have experimented with numerous chemical-free materials over the years. Below, you will learn how to make your own air freshener with a variety of different scents. Some versions are even safe for those with allergies or asthma and have been tested on such individuals on many occasions. The scents are listed first, with the instructions following.
Homemade Air Freshener Scents
Vanilla Lemon Spice - This air freshener should be safe for allergy and asthma sufferers. It also seems to clear the sinuses, which could be good during cold or allergy season. Of course, always check with your doctor first. For this air freshener, you will need 2 fresh lemons (sliced), 1 tbsp natural vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp allspice.
Almond Apple Pie - For this air freshener, you will need 2 freshly diced apples, 2 tbsp freshly ground cinnamon, 2 tsp natural almond extract, and ¼ cup brown sugar. This version seems to be safe for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Christmas Joy - For this air freshener, you will need 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 fresh sprigs from a pine tree, and 3 pine cones. If you have pine allergies, you'll want to try the "Fresh Winter" instructions instead.
Spring Lilac - For this air freshener, you will need 3 or 4 lilac bunches, which are fairly easy to find in the spring time. However, you'll have to hand pick them from your yard or a friend or neighbor's yard unless you want to purchase a blooming bush. Lilacs are generally not sold pre-cut in florist shops, as they wilt quickly. If you are allergic to these flowers, you may instead want to try a different scent. These are very strong.
Fall Frolic - For this air freshener, you'll need a sandwich bag full of dried leaves and small twigs. You'll also need 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon or 2 fresh cinnamon sticks. If you have tree allergies or asthma triggers, you'll want to shy away from this one and try another.
Coconut Breeze - For this air freshener, you'll need 1 tbsp almond extract, 1 tbsp of vanilla extract, and 1 can of coconut milk. This version does not seem to bother asthma and allergy sufferers.
Orange Spice - For this air freshener, you'll need 2 oranges (sliced), 1 tbsp cinnamon (or 2 cinnamon sticks), 1 tbsp of natural vanilla extract, and a few dried leaves and broken twigs. Asthma and allergy sufferers can forgo the leaves and twigs. This version still provides a nice scent without them.
Natural Living - For this air freshener, you'll need some dried leaves, a few broken twigs, and 1 tbsp of vanilla extract. For asthma and allergy sufferers, simply use 2 tbsp of vanilla extract and don't use the leaves and twigs. Some may even be able to tolerate using wood chips instead.
Fresh Winter - For this air freshener, you'll need 1 package of 12 peppermint candy canes or an equivalent amount of another peppermint candy. You'll also need 1 tbsp natural vanilla extract and 1 tbsp ground cinnamon. To make a hot chocolate smell, add 1 tbsp chocolate liqueur (viable substitutions = 1pkg hot cocoa mix or 2 tbsp cocoa powder). This scent seems to be safe for asthma and allergy sufferers and often clears chest congestion, as well as the sinuses.
Natural Wood - For this air freshener, you'll only need wood chips. These can generally be found in the gardening supply section of many stores in the form of mulch. Craft supply stores sometimes sell wood scraps in bulk as well. Pick those woods that are highly fragrant, such as cedar. Also be sure you are picking thin, rather than heavy, woods because you want them to be floating at the surface of your water, not sinking. Put enough in your saucepan to cover the top area and still be floating. Some asthma and allergy sufferers may want to skip this scent.
Instructions For Making and Using the Homemade Air Freshener Scents
These are boiling/simmering air fresheners that will scent a fairly large area, oftentimes an entire house. However, these are not meant for ceramic burners. They are done over the stove. Fill a 2 quart pitcher full with water and 2 tbsp vinegar. Then, check to be sure you have all ingredients for your desired scent (listed below). Lastly, proceed with the following instructions.
Combine your ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Pour in the vinegar/water mixture. Bring this to a boil. Once it has been boiling long enough to melt any candy or other ingredients that will dissolve, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and let it simmer. Keep an eye on the pot to be sure there is enough water. You may have to refill the water every once in a while. This should last you all day if you continue to add water as needed. Be sure not to let the water get too low or your air freshener will burn and it will no longer smell very pretty.
Also, be sure you are not standing directly over the pan or the steam from these air fresheners, as they can be pretty strong. Inhaling them in this way could be dangerous.
*Note: Always ask your doctor before using these, as the aromas that will travel through your house might be naturally inhaled into your body. While they are naturally chemical-free, they still emit vapors into the air. The author is not responsible for any action that occurs as a result of your use or misuse of these air fresheners. Always use your own discretion, as well as the advice of your physician before proceeding.
**I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Vinegar is most commonly used in recipes, but were you aware that it has other benefits as well? Here are ten great uses for vinegar that you may not have thought about before. These are tailored toward regular distilled white vinegar.
Use Vinegar as a Bleach-Free Laundry Disinfectant
Do you dread using bleach to disinfect your clothes? Maybe you can't stand the smell or it makes you sick. Try using one half cup of vinegar and one fourth cup of baking soda along with your detergent in your load of laundry. It whitens, brightens, cleans, and disinfects your clothes.
Plus, it's much safer for the environment. Another bonus is that vinegar can be used on all colors. It's much less expensive than color-safe bleach, totaling about $1.50 per gallon versus 4 or 5 times that for color-safe bleach.
Use Vinegar to Clean the Fish Bowl or Tank
Do you have a fish tank or bowl with glass that is brown in some areas? When you clean the fish's residence, put a generous amount of vinegar on your cleaning cloth with a dab of liquid dish soap. The vinegar clears away the residue and disinfects the tank.
The combination of the vinegar and dish soap makes it easier to slide the cloth around. Your fish will finally be able to see you through his glass and you don't have to be embarrassed at a tank that looks as if its never been cleaned.
Vinegar Makes a Great Window Cleaner
Are you tired of spending money on expensive window cleaning sprays? Just get yourself a good water bottle. Then, fill it about two-thirds of the way with water. Next, put about 3 drops of liquid dish soap into the water. Finally, fill the remaining area with vinegar. Shake it a little bit. Let it sit for a few minutes and then voila!
Now you have a really good window-cleaning solution that costs less than a candy bar to refill and gives you a great streak-free clean for your windows and mirrors. I suggest keeping one in each bathroom, one in the kitchen, and one in each vehicle. With them in reach, you'll never have streaky, dirty windows and mirrors again.
Use Vinegar to Clean Moldy Tupperware
Does your husband tend to leave moldy storage containers and dishes in his work truck? Or maybe you leave it in the fridge too long. That's okay. Just empty them outside and bring them on in. Place them open in the sink. Put a dab of liquid dish soap in each one. Then, put about 2 tablespoons of vinegar in each. Fill the rest of the way with hot water and let them soak.
For the lids, fill the sink only high enough to cover them with a dab of dish soap and about one fourth cup of vinegar and the rest hot water. Once the lids and containers have soaked for at least 20 minutes, wash them as you normally would. I prefer to use the dishwasher as an extra disinfection/sterilization process.
Clean Your Countertops With Vinegar
Vinegar can replace your chemical-ridden kitchen counter cleaners. Just mix half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle. Spray the counters and wipe clean. You can also use hydrogen peroxide for this. If you like to see your cleaners soap up, just add a couple drops of dish soap to the solution.
The vinegar disinfects the counters and takes away odors as well. If you have a really tough stain, put a dash of baking soda on top of it. Then, spray with your vinegar solution and wipe clean. If there is white residue, you need to spray and wipe the vinegar solution until it is gone.
Vinegar Kills Fish Odors in the Microwave
Do you like to steam your fish in the microwave, but hate the smell? Place a cup or bowl of vinegar inside the microwave with your fish. Don't cook the fish in it. It should be beside the container the fish is in. The vinegar absorbs the odor.
Use Vinegar as a Deodorizer While Cooking
This trick is good if you are cooking something that is particularly pungent in odor, such as chitterlings, fish, or fried foods. Boil a pan of vinegar diluted halfway with water. This will help to absorb the odors. Just remember to start it before you start the "stinky" foods. This also works if you are baking something and don't want the smell to go throughout the house.
Vinegar Can Be Used to ease Heartburn
If you suffer from gas or heartburn frequently, you'll want to try this one. Drink a tablespoon of vinegar right before each meal. It helps to dissolve the acids, so there won't be as much left for the heartburn to feed off of.
Clean Your Refrigerator With Vinegar
Cleaning your refrigerator with vinegar frequently helps to kill germs and keep it smelling fresh. Use the same solution used to clean the counters above.
Use Vinegar To Ward off Stinky Feet
This is the really odd one. Do you know anyone who has smelly feet? Most people know at least one person who suffers from this. The person can soak their feet in a tub that has half water and half vinegar. The vinegar takes away the smell, kills germs, and relaxes sore muscles.
So, if you know anyone like this, you may want to hint about it. Try using the muscle relaxer part, though. You don't want to lose a good friend by telling them their feet stink, unless you have the kind of relationship where this conversation would be acceptable.
Know of any other awesome uses for vinegar? Comment below!
Decorating the home can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. There are many ways to enhance the inside of the home without draining the wallet. I've always been quite cheap...frugal, I mean. Plus, I've worked at a large craft supply store (one that included home decor), as well as a home improvement retailer. Based on my experience, here are five cheap decorating ideas for your home.
Portrait Walls Are Great For Decorating a Home
This may sound costly, but it doesn't have to be. Low cost frames from discount and dollar stores work just fine for this. Cheap decorating doesn’t always equate ugly. In fact, those cheap frames are often better because they are usually easier to paint and glue things onto for customization purposes.
For a bright look, try gluing the buds of silk sunflowers around the edge of the photo frames. These can be found at dollar and discount stores as well. To bring a room together, try painting the frames to match the furniture or using glued-on silk flowers and other items to match the mood and colors. Digital photo copies and prints can be done at home or sent to a printer for a nominal fee.
Throws and Decorative Scarves
Throws and decorative scarves are a great way to add some color to a room without spending much money. Check thrift stores and bargain bins for these cheap decorating accents. They can be draped over a couch or chair. They also can be placed on coffee tables and stands. If you have a piece of furniture you're getting tired of or one that's worn out, cover it with a throw or scarf and beautify it once again. It's almost like having a new piece of furniture.
Decorating Ideas Using Fresh Flowers
Many people have gotten so used to silk flowers that they've forgotten about the fresh ones. Fresh flowers can be found right in your own backyard or a nearby field. Be careful not to pick flowers where you're not allowed.
Stick to wild flowers (not purposefully planted ones) on public property or those you’ve planted yourself. Flowers are often free and placing them in a vase on a coffee table, stand, kitchen table, or counter top can really brighten a room.
Stenciling Ideas for Decorating the Home Cheap
No, I'm not talking about hiring some specialist to come stencil an elaborate design. Head to your local craft store, pick out a simple design that fits the style of your chosen room, and grab the appropriate paints. You can stencil things like wooden chests, dressers, stands, and more.
You may even want to try stenciling a border on your walls. Stenciling is relatively low in cost if you do it yourself and it can really enhance the look of a room or piece of furniture. The paints can be found on discount at craft supply and home improvement stores.
Homemade Masks as Wall Decor
Wall masks can add an interesting new look to a room. Choose from Native American, African, theater, clown, and many more. You can make the masks yourself out of papier mache or plaster of Paris. It's easy to find instructions for many different types by doing a simple web search.
I've also found cheap, but still great looking masks at dollar stores, thrift stores, and craft stores.Remember that you can always glue on items or paint over any designs you don’t like if you find plain or decorated masks for cheap.
The season has quickly changed from summer to fall and it's time to start decorating accordingly. Flowers are easy to incorporate into any theme and can be used in a variety of interesting ways. There is no limit to the decorating possibilities with seasonal fall flowers. Here are five fun ways to decorate with seasonal fall flowers.
Decorate Door Frames With Seasonal Fall Flowers
Seasonal fall flowers can be used to create strands that can be hung around door frames. This can be done with both silk and fresh flowers. When using fresh flowers, be sure to dry them first and spray them with a floral acrylic coating to protect them. Sunflowers are great for decorating door frames, as they accommodate the large space. Because of the yellow color, they also can brighten a room.
Make Your Table Fun With Seasonal Fall Flowers
These, of course can be used to make great table arrangements, but there are more ways to use them on the table as well. Flower garlands can be wrapped around the table legs. Also try sprinkling flower buds and stems around the tabletop. Marigolds and daisies in varied colors are great for this. Fresh or silk can be used.
Fun Ways to Decorate Countertops With Seasonal Fall Flowers
Seasonal fall flowers can be put in a simple vase on the countertop. Also try laying out a flower garland and winding it around existing countertop decor. Just as on the table, another fun way to decorate with seasonal fall flowers is by sprinkling them around the countertop. Be sure you do this in a designated are, of course. You still need some counter space for other things.
Accent Furniture With Seasonal Fall Flowers
Seasonal fall flowers are fun to use in various places around the house. Try wrapping seasonal fall flower garlands around assorted pieces of furniture. Lamp posts and chair legs are great spots for this. Also experiment with wrapping them around the edges of tables and stands. Yellow fall flowers are great for rooms that need brightening. Orange fall flowers can balance an extra bright room. Choose red for a more romantic feel.
Use Seasonal Fall Flowers to Make Your Walls More Fun
Seasonal fall flowers can be used on the wall in all sorts of fun ways. Create swags and hang them in various places. It can also be fun to wind flower garlands around wall sconces, picture frames, and other wall decor. Try letting seasonal fall garland strands cascade over other decor for a natural look. This can be especially fun to do in between picture frames and other grouped wall decor. Don't be afraid to experiment.
You're trying to relax in your zen garden when you start seeing dots. Wait, those aren't dots at all. Those are aphids and they are coming from the precious plants you have been giving love and care to. This is supposed to be your relaxation zone. Not to mention how your plants might be feeling about this unwelcome invasion. So, how do you get rid of these pesky aphids without dousing the poor plants with harmful chemicals? Below are 10 eco-friendly ways to rid, reduce, and prevent aphids, also called plant lice.
Neem Oil as a Natural Aphid Pesticide - Pure neem oil, an oil derived from the neem tree, has long been used in many natural remedies, including pest control. The oil, or Azadirachtin, acts as a repellent and growth regulator. To the insects, the neem oil has a bitter taste, so they will not eat the leaves treated with it. Also, if the insects do come in contact with the Azadirachtin, it prevents the larvae from growing into adults. Neem oil can be purchased at various online stores or made from neem trees.
Homemade Lemon Spray to Get Rid of Aphids Naturally - This natural aphid pesticide works as an instant remedy, killing the aphids on contact. To make this natural pesticide, grate the rind of a large lemon. Boil it in enough water to fill a garden spray bottle. Let the mixture sit overnight. Drain the liquid into the garden spray bottle. Spray the aphids and larvae directly. It will cause them to convulse.
Using Homemade Vinegar Spray as Defense Against Aphids & Larvae - Get out a spray bottle and fill it 1/3 of the way with distilled white vinegar and the rest of the way with water. This will kill the aphids and larvae on contact. Some plants react badly to the vinegar. It's important know which plants you can and cannot use this method with.
Aluminum Foil is One of the Unexpected Natural Aphid Pesticides - Place a square of aluminum foil around the base of plants affected by aphids. This causes light to bounce around to the underside of the leaves, which repels the aphids. It is also good for the plants, as it brings them more natural sunlight.
Calcium Powder is a Good Aphid Repellent - Sprinkling calcium powder around the base of the plants is another natural aphid repellent. The aphids do not like the calcium and will generally stay away from it.
How to Use a Yellow Plastic Bowl to Trick Aphids - Aphids are naturally attracted to the color yellow. Place a yellow plastic bowl filled about 1/3 of the way with water in the center of the infested area. Many of the aphids will be drawn to the bowl and will go into the water and die.
Banana Peels Repel Aphids Easily - Burying shredded banana peels around the base of plants is an odd, but effective remedy. It has been around for ages and many gardeners will swear by it.
Smash Aphid Buddies as a Warning. It works! - Squashing a few aphids near the infested area will signify to the other aphids that it is time to go. It's a chemical reaction.
Ladybugs Are an Aphid’s Enemy - Ladybugs can be purchased at garden and home improvement centers. The ladybugs feed on the aphids and if you purchase enough, the aphids will be gone in no time. Ladybugs are also good for the garden in other ways.
Garlic or Onions Are an Aphid Deterrent - Planting garlic or onions is another natural aphid deterrent. They do not like garlic or onion and will not likely come near an area they are in.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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