Ten Unconventional Ways to Make a Wreath

Looking for ways to make a wreath without breaking the bank? Here are ten types of wreaths, made from items almost every household has. The results are impressive.

Shelf Liner Wreaths

The dollar store has a plethora of shelf liner colors for every season. Six rolls are used for 14″ wreaths. Images courtesy of Tracy Tobias.  A video on how to use shelf liners in a wreath can be found at Debi’s Wreath and Things on YouTube.

Pool Noodle Wreaths

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Remastering Jack Skellington

 

The new remastered Jack with Sally.

I don’t know what it is about The Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC) that caught my attention. But since the movie came out, I’ve wanted to make every character for Halloween.

Jack Skellington was one of my first attempts. Now when I say attempts, I can honestly say, I’ve spent more time and effort making, remaking, and eventually, rebuilding him completely. Continue reading

An Easy Skeleton Horse for Halloween

An easy Halloween prop. Cover a horse (or any animal) black, then paint on their skeleton. All rights reserved, Debbie Morrow

Scouring garage sales and thrift stores is a favorite past time for this frugal gal. Finding this horse made my shopping day. Originally, it was an average white and black patched horse. But what I saw was something entirely different.

A Halloween prop in the making:

  1. Cover your horse (or other animal) entirely with black acrylic paint ( or black spray paint could work too)
  2. Google skeleton images of horses (or animal of your choosing)
  3. Paint out the skeleton with white paint. Don’t worry about mistakes. You can always go back and use black paint again to fix.

Probably the shortest tutorial on my blog, but kinda cool results. Don’t you agree?

 

Lock, Shock, and Barrel Join The Nightmare Before Christmas Clan

An Easy DIY – Lock, Shock and Barrel masks. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. (c)All Rights Reserved.

Anyone who is familiar with The Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC), knows these trick or treater masks were used by Lock, Shock, and Barrel (DSB). It had been a few years since I added other characters to my NBC clan because of the lack of free time. So the plan is to make the masks this year, their body props next. But many enjoy the masks on a wall, as is. Here’s the tutorial on how to make them: Continue reading

Bugs Ruining Your Picnic? Try These Homemade Hacks

Homemade fly paper. Courtesy of Liesl Clark of Trashbackwards.com

 

 

 

If you are someone who enjoys spending time outdoors, you’ve probably already been accosted by a bug or two already this summer. Now you may want to reach for bug spray, but before you do, why not try some of these less toxic suggestions:

No More Ants

Ants can be bothersome or even harmful with their bites. Here are a few suggestions for keeping them away:

Vinegar and Windex Spray – According to Melromanczak on HomeTalk, this little mixture works instantly. They measured a half a bottle of Windex with a half a cup of vinegar to kill them on contact.

Create a Barrier: Sprinkle one of the following around your patio: Cayenne pepper, Cloves and Cinnamon, Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, Lemon Juice,  and more are suggested from Mother Nature Network.

Tell Bees, Wasps, and Flies to Buzz Off

Stinging insects flying around can ruin a day of outdoor enjoyment. These tutorial hacks can trap them, deter them, and even kill them.

Keeping Wasps at Bay: Although Science World is still undecided in this technique, many people believe if you hang a puffed up lunch paper bag nearby, certain types of wasps will be deterred. Bob Villa offers a tutorial on building a trap from a soda bottle and Natural Living Ideas suggests using spearmint or peppermint oil on cotton balls and placing them strategically around your area.

Deter Bees Instead of Killing: Since bees are now on the endangered species list, it’s better to deter them, or even have nearby hives removed for free. Bees and other insects are known to dislike mint scents. Many people have suggested spraying the yard with dollar store mint mouthwash before a gathering. PestKill suggests sprinkling generous amounts of garlic powder.

Block Flies From Ruining Your Picnic: EHome Remedies offers over 15 solutions for your fly problems, including burning camphor candles or making a yard and patio spray of 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper to 1 1/2 cups of water.

An Ounce of Prevention

Taking steps to ensure your yard is not a bug magnet is half the battle. Make sure your area is clear of garbage, empty beverage cans, and standing water. Tightly lid garbage cans and remove them from the area of your social gathering. Strategically plant herbs that deter bugs: Eucalyptus, Lemon Grass, Mint, Citronella, Lavender, Basil, are a few to mention.

With a little prevention and planning, you’ll be able to focus on friends and family, rather than shooing insects.

 

10 Ways to Make Frugal Firestarter

Firestarter image courtesy of motherdaughterproject.com.

With campfires and grills in full swing, I’ve watched people struggle to start a fire. Some think it is as easy as pouring lighter fluid on wood or coals. But often that flash fire dies quickly, and more lighter fluid is sprayed on smoldering – or worse, on a small fire. Find out why that method is dangerous.

As an aging Girl Scout and Cadet, I’ve seen many types of homemade firestarter. I can attest that the following recipes and instructions are tried and true. So make them ahead and enjoy the fruits of your efforts. As always, remember to use caution working with melted wax and lighting firestarter.

Lint on left, Cotton on right. Both make good bases for firestarter. Image courtesy of AmericanPreppers.com

Wax and Lint Egg Carton Cubes

Push dryer lint (or cotton) inside a empty paper egg carton. Melt wax on low/med in a small pot, pour over carton. Note: wax can come from broken or leftover pieces of candles or Paraffin wax. I have even used broken crayons. When cool and hardened, break into pieces.

  • FYI: a double boiler is not necessary, just keep temp. on stove lower for regular pot.

 

Wax and Mini Newspaper Rolls: Fold a single page of newspaper accordian-style, then roll into a circle akin to a cinnamon bun. Tie a small piece of wire around the roll to secure. Dip each roll into melted wax and let dry.

Pinecones and Wax:  Melt wax in a pot over low/med.heat. If wax starts smoking, lower the temp. With tongs, dip each cone long enough to absorb melted wax, then lay them down in muffin tins to dry.

Toilet Paper Tubes and Lint : Fill a toilet paper tube with lint, and either dip in wax or cover in wax paper, twisting the ends like a candy wrapper as shown in Sadie Seasongoods.

Candle Roll-ups: Find leftover candles (birthday, tapered, tea light), cut small pieces of wax paper about 2 inches bigger than candle piece, and wrap each one like a piece of candy, twisting the ends closed (see link above). * If using birthday candles, bundle them in groups of 4 or 5, then wrap in wax paper.

Although I haven’t tried the below ideas, a plethora of people stand by their success:

Herbal and Orange Firestarters

Vaseline and Cotton Ball Firestarter

Sawdust Firestarter

Wax Shredded Paper

Wine Cork Firestarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Say “I Love You” Beyond Valentine’s Day

Love and gratitude are priceless gifts. Image courtesy of ChineseMedicineLiving.com.

Love and gratitude are priceless gifts. Image courtesy of ChineseMedicineLiving.com.

 

 

With Valentine’s Day less than 48 hours away, some of us are still scrambling to get our loved ones a gift. But why do we have to wait for a holiday to show people how much we care? It doesn’t cost a penny to show kindness every day.

 

Ideas That Change People’s Lives

When we are grateful each day, the people around us thrive. Our smiles can engage strangers to pass on the goodwill and although it may seem like a small gesture, for others it will be huge.

Examples of Showing Love Without Pulling out Your Wallet

  • Offer to drive an elderly, disabled, or just any person without a car to the store.
  • Invite someone who is single/divorced/widowed to dinner.
  • Shovel a neighbor’s driveway or rake their leaves when you do yours.
  • Call someone you haven’t spoken to for awhile ~ and really listen.
  • Spend time with family members instead of on your devices.
  • While cooking for yourself or family, put aside a meal for a friend and delivery it.
  • Volunteer at your local charity or child’s function.
  • Surprise your loved ones with breakfast in bed ~ even if you can’t cook.
  • Use your unique talents – e.g. wipe someone’s computer, fix something, etc.
  • Help with chores – parents/spouses will rejoice.
  • Use your crafting talents and re-purpose an item for gift giving. Nothing says I love you more than homemade ingenuity.

So without a penny spent, show your family and friends how much they mean to you ~ everyday. Tomorrow is not promised and money cannot buy love.

To help get your creative juices flowing, see the links below:

 27 Weekend Breakfast Ideas

221 Upcycling Ideas that will Blow your Mind

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

Snowfall and Ice Calls for Creative Southerners

Transform your pool float into a sled. Image courtesy of Funboy's video, found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkd0j658dfQ

Transform your pool float into a sled. Image courtesy of Funboy’s video, found at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkd0j658dfQ

 

 

The move is over and little did we know how much snow was possible in the South. Thankfully, we kept the winter gear to visit family in New York. But now it’s here, we need to have some fun.

Don’t Have a Sled? No Problem!

Many of us don’t have a sled taking up space in our non-basement houses or apartments. Fear not! Instead of trying to find a store that has one, transform what you already have.

Idea 1:

Use your beach and pool gear to ride the hills. Blow up plastic rafts, alligators, Boogie Boards, and even a hard shell (or blow-up) kiddie pool can offer a quick fix when a sled isn’t available.

In NY, we used our blow up, glow-in-the-dark chairs on big hills at night. They provided a cushion to the often unexpected rugged terrain and when “charged” correctly under a lamp, provided visibility. If you have a fabric-coated beach raft, just add a large garbage bag and you’ll be slipping and sliding ASAP.

Idea 2:

I wish I could say this was my idea, but a friend mentioned she saw kids riding cookie sheets. Those large ones would work pretty good for a single, small child. Think of them as smaller saucer sleds. To make them really take off, I bet you can use the techniques from Living Strong to make them glide faster.

Idea 3:

Cardboard sleds can be made from leftover pizza boxes, refrigerator boxes, or even a leftover school project made on foam board. To lengthen your use time, cover the cardboard (multiple sheets stacked are best, but not necessary), with a large garbage bag or plastic from gardening/window insulation. Take duct tape and secure it together.

Idea 4:

If you lack cardboard, beach toys, or large cookie sheets, all is not lost. Big pieces of plastic used in gardening or insulation can be used on their own in a bind. Just sit on them and roll the front up like one of those plastic roll-up sleds. But be prepared to feel every bump.

Warning to Newbies About Sledding

People who are not seasoned snow daredevils need to heed these words: Getting hurt while sledding is easier than you think. Even with real sleds. If you’re unfamiliar with the terrain of the hill (rocks/holes hide easily under snow) or are not gauging the speed of your descent, you may find yourself seriously injured. This is not to scare people off of the idea of sledding, but just a fair warning to use any sled with caution. Especially when you don’t know how your sled will react to the snow conditions(yes, it varies).

The first few trips should be taken on a small hill. Jump or roll off your sled if you see a head-on collision about to occur with things such as trees or people. I’ve seen a few accidents over the years that necessitated a call to 911.  With that being said: Be safe, dress warm, have fun, and don’t forget cups and a Thermos of hot chocolate!

Looking for other solutions for sleds? Check out Bob Vila’s DIY Sled Making.

 

An X-File Investigation Needed? Not Quite Yet…

No, I've not been abducted. I moved. Image courtesy of Fox and Daily Mail.com.

No, I’ve not been abducted. I just moved to another state. Image of Mulder on the Xfiles courtesy of Fox and Daily Mail.com.

Didn’t Fall Off the Face of the Earth – Just Moving

Many of my followers and friends may be questioning: Where is Debbie from Frugal Frights and Delights? Did she fall off the face of the earth?

It sorta felt like that when I took the challenge of moving from one state to another.

deb cast

The lovely cast acquired. Copyright D. Morrow.

Imagine packing about 4000 sq. feet of household and hobby supplies, such as Sally, the Mayor, and props – with a cast on (that’s another story, LOL) and mainly by myself. My husband had to quickly leave for another job, which left me with moving and selling a house – not a small task, indeed!

The Bright Side

We’re slightly settled into our temporary apartment until we buy a house ( oh no, another move? LOL). Yet, it is in a warmer climate which has many perks. Almost every prop I brought with us survived. Jack Skellington and Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin did not make the trip and will be remade from scratch. So I look forward to making them even better than previously created.

I’ve already been eyeing new ideas for future projects; I’m just waiting for the space to do so. I hope my faithful followers will still check back at my sites from time to time. I should be up and ready to begin new feats by early Spring/Summer.

I’ll shortly start adding content that many of you will still enjoy. So fret no more. Thanks!

A Humble Honor is Added to Frugal Frights and Delights

Samara from "The Ring" prop. She still scare me. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

Samara from “The Ring” prop. She still scare me. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

It has come to my attention that this Frugal Gal ( under my old website name DebsDreamThemes) has been highlighted in Haunted Attraction Magazine and Inventorspot.com has recognized one of my props as 10 Epic DIY Halloween Decorations Sure to Make Your Guests Freak.  For me, this is like getting an Emmy. Continue reading