Category: DIY

Clean your wellies!

clean Hunter boots DIYIt’s time on the wet, west coast to get prepared for the rainy season. It lasts about 10 months here – ha ha – actually only about 9 1/2! There are a couple of things it’s hard to live without: a gore tex jacket and welly boots.
I was lucky enough to inherit a pair of gorgeous Hunters from a very generous friend who was abusing them wearing them on her farm while collecting eggs from the chicken coop and mucking out the goat barn, *yikes*! These boots are so nice, with rubber around the foot and tweedy fabric on the uppers and totally out of my budget. I set out to give them a good cleaning for Fall because, in these parts, we wear them as fashion boots too. Totally acceptable in my workplace to don wellies with a skirt.
clean Hunter boot DIYclean Hunter boots DIYclean Hunter boots DIYThere’s a special cleaner for Hunter boots to take care of the ‘fogginess’ that develops on the rubber but I was pretty confident I could live without it. I used good old Armor All and a Tide pen on these babies and I’m thrilled with how they spruced up. I sprayed the Armor All onto an old clean towel then thoroughly rubbed it into all the rubber parts of the boots. The Tide pen got out the worst of the dirt stains from the tweed fabric in no time! About 15 minutes effort and I’m all set to prance around in trendy boots AND stay dry. Win, win.

Rustic tray DIY

rustic frame DIYAfter hunting high and low for the perfect little tray to sit on my kitchen counter, I abandoned the search and made my own. Guess what?…it’s exactly the size and color I was looking for. That, my friends, is the glory of DIY. You get just what you want and I’m all for that. Why not whip one up for yourself? Here’s how I got my finished tray which is 14″ long by 10 1/2″ deep:

  • 1″ x 4″ x 4′ pine ($2.76 at Home Depot, I had it cut to 3 pieces, 14″ each)
  • 1″ x 2″ pine, 2 pieces 10 1/2″ long (donated from my brother’s shop, thanks Steve)
  • 12 – #6 x 1 1/4″ wood screws ($2.19 at Canadian Tire)
  • 2 drawer pulls ($2 each at the Restore)
  • sandpaper, paint, screwdriver, drill and bits (I had all these on hand)

rustic tray DIYSand all the pieces of wood just to make them “hand friendly”, as in you don’t get slivers when you pick them up.
Lay your 3 boards edge to edge lining up the cut sides. Lay the shorter pieces on top and on each side creating your tray’s sides. Flip this all upside down keeping all your boards lined up…well, actually just re-align them in the same pattern.
I predrilled 2 holes on each of my boards, also drilling through to the side pieces. Pine cracks and splinters easily so pre-drilling will take care of that risk. See the blue tape on the drill bit? – this is a trick I learned to make a marker where to stop drilling so you don’t go all the way through both layers of wood.
Screw the boards and sides together using the screws and predrilled holes. Tighten them up. Flip it over and you’re almost done!
Paint your tray using 1-2 coats of acrylic paint (the craft stuff is fine). I used chalkboard paint left over from my door project. The door and tray both live in the kitchen and match perfectly, my OCD heart loves that!  Once the paint dried, I lightly sanded the edges and a few spots on the boards to give it a bit of a rustic look – this is completely optional.
The final step is to attach your drawer pulls to create handles on your tray sides. Depending on which you choose, you may need to drill holes from the bottom through the whole tray to attach them, or screw down into your tray handles from above.
I added thick felt pads to all the corners to keep any metal screw heads off my countertop (again with the OCD). And here she is….
rustic tray DIYThis project took an hour-ish and cost under $10. Cheap and easy, just the way I like. Obviously you can customize it by changing the sizes of your boards, side bits, handles and paint choice to get a tray that suits your needs. I’m really happy with how this turned out and have big plans ahead for the wee one…Intrigue!

Hosting a fruit fly party

fruit fly trapThis post comes with a sensitivity warning. If you’re reading this with your morning coffee, stop now. Really, come back later for this one, say during your afternoon tea break. There will be deception, carnage and unsavoury comments. You’ve been warned.

So, a “fruit fly party” is actually a euphemism for bait/trap/death. I don’t know how it happens but one day things are going along swimmingly and the next day I’m sharing my home with a flock of fruit flies. I can’t stand it. Does this happen to you too? I mean, I know I’m bringing delicious produce into my kitchen but the idea is to enjoy it myself, not with creepy flyers. Enough already…they’ve got to go!

Here’s my tried-and-true method for fruit fly termination:

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • 1-2 tablespoons liquid dishwashing detergent.

fruit fly trap DIYPour the vinegar then the water into a small glass. Top up with a generous drizzle of dish soap. Leave on your counter near your fruit bowl or anywhere you notice flies hanging out. What happens is the flies are attracted to the sweet fermentation of the apple cider vinegar and they dive in for a taste whilst inviting all their cousins to join them – teeny tiny brains, folks. They get caught in the sticky detergent and drown in the water. I warned you it was grizzly. I like to believe they go happy though…swimming, with a fermented drink and all their friends.
fruit fly trapWait as little as 5 minutes and you’ll see the carnage. Within 24 hours it’ll be a full-on blood bath. And it works. Enjoy having your home and produce back without the uninvited guests!

Thoroughly wash the glass out after, run it through the dishwasher and/or send it to recycling.