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?

 

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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