Tipnut's Creative DIY Archives: Ideas / Resources

As you get older you realize things just aren't made the way they used to be. If you're younger than say 50 years old, you may not know that stuff used to be built from sturdy metal or real wood...not flimsy plastic or "laminate" board. Manufacturers took pride in their products and built them to last a lifetime.

It's a curious thing to realize new products that we pay good money for are actually a step down, a degraded quality, and designed to last only a handful of years...compared to something purchased just 25 years ago. Such interesting times we live in.

Intro

We may live in a throwaway culture (mostly because products don't last), but more and more of us are learning to take a closer look at the "junk" that we used to send carelessly off to the dump. So many great pieces of odd wood furniture, pallets and crates are being saved and transformed with a little paint then put to good use in both home and yard.

We are reclaiming long lost skills, taking hammer in hand and cobbling together some pretty darn nice pieces. There's great satisfaction in that, especially when able to reclaim materials and recycle old bits.

This section on Tipnut archives a lot of different clever ideas that I've found around the 'net, but I've also included some tutorials on how to fix basic things around the home. Plenty here, I hope you'll find it useful and spark your creative juices!

Topics
In This Archive

  • Fixes & How-To
  • Outdoors
  • Projects

TN Recommends

One of the cheapest stud finders on the market, but boy this little tool gets the job done. Has a lot of fans, check out the nearly 10,000 reviews on Amazon.

A fun little paint sprayer that does what you need, attaches to glass Mason jars filled with paint, stains, lacquers & more (just recap & store leftovers). Painting smaller projects goes lickety split with this.


Disclosure

Project Ideas

Transform An Old Dresser Into Something Lovely

Transform An Old Dresser Into Something Lovely You can pick up old dressers from garage sales and thrift stores that are pretty banged up but inexpensive to buy, or maybe you have an old piece or two stashed away just waiting to be freshened up. Here are…

15+ Backsplash Ideas & Tutorials: {For The Kitchen}

15+ Backsplash Ideas & Tutorials: {For The Kitchen} Here’s a bunch of different ideas for updating the kitchen backsplash wall, nearly all come with detailed instructions for how to complete the job yourself. There’s a little bit of everything in this collection (ceramic tile, painted glass, pebbles, brick,…

Tired Cabinet Makeovers On A Budget

Tired Cabinet Makeovers On A Budget Are your kitchen cabinets a little tired or outdated but you don’t have the extra cash on hand to update them? Here are several different ideas for freshening up the space using items such as paint, bead board and decorative…

Custom Furniture Slipcovers & Reupholstery: Online Help

Custom Furniture Slipcovers & Reupholstery: Online Help One budget saver when redecorating your home is to keep perfectly fine furniture that may be a little tired or worn and recover them with gorgeous fabrics (many can be found in your local fabric store’s bargain bin). How to…

20+ Jewelry Organizers For Display & Storage

20+ Jewelry Organizers For Display & Storage Tired of digging through jewelry boxes looking for an earring or taking time to untangle a delicate necklace? Here’s a bunch of nifty projects to help organize and display all your pieces neatly. Some hang on the wall or on…

Pets Love Crafts Too! Here’s A Few To Get You Started

Pets Love Crafts Too! Here’s A Few To Get You Started Here are a bunch of toys and accessories to make for your furry friends, most are for dogs and cats but I do have a couple projects for fish and birds. Some have been previously featured and moved here for…

20+ Mostly Low-Budget Wall Art Projects

20+ Mostly Low-Budget Wall Art Projects Here’s an assortment of clever and crafty ways you can make your own wall decor pieces, most are made with basic supplies and tools. I’ll be adding to this list over time so check back every now and again to…

Making A Custom Designed Clock Is Easier Than You Think

Making A Custom Designed Clock Is Easier Than You Think Making a customized clock for your space is easier than you might think, all you need is a kit or parts from an old clock and a few other supplies (paint, mod podge, wood disk, etc., depending on which one…

20+ Lovely & Creative Mirrors That Shine

20+ Lovely & Creative Mirrors That Shine Here’s a nifty bunch of mirrors you can create for your home, many are very easy to make too! Some feature etched glass, there are a few versions of the popular sunburst, some made with cheap tiles and others offer…

Oh So Crafty! 20+ Bulletin & Memo Boards

Oh So Crafty! 20+ Bulletin & Memo Boards Here’s a bunch of ideas for making a variety of bulletin and memo boards, you’ll find cork, ribbon boards, dry-erase and magnetic versions. Some pretty, some plain, but each do the trick! With Shutters: Lovely message center with shutters that…

Let There Be Light! 30+ Crafty Lamps & Lanterns

Let There Be Light! 30+ Crafty Lamps & Lanterns As part of the ongoing cleanup process here on Tipnut, I decided to remove the DIY Lighting category and organize all projects in that section into one handy sheet so nothing’s lost. There are a couple new ones added to…

A Few Nifty Key Holders & Racks To Make {Plus Tips}

A Few Nifty Key Holders & Racks To Make {Plus Tips} Here are a few different ideas to keep your keys organized and stylish at the same time, many needing only basic supplies and simple diy skills: Decoupaged: Made with 4″ wide pine board, a bit of acrylic paint and decoupaged…

15+ Decorated Serving Trays That Fit Your Style Perfectly!

15+ Decorated Serving Trays That Fit Your Style Perfectly! Here’s a great mix of serving trays to make featuring different techniques and ideas. Some use ready-made trays, others use repurposed items (like picture frames and cupboard doors). With a little paint and creativity, you can make a lovely and…

20+ Budget Friendly Headboard Ideas

20+ Budget Friendly Headboard Ideas If it’s time for a new headboard but there’s no money in the budget to buy one…or you can’t find the exact thing you’re looking for, try designing and making your own. You’ll be surprised how many different, clever ways…

Fixes & How-To

Instructions For Hanging, Displaying & Arranging Artwork

Instructions For Hanging, Displaying & Arranging Artwork I’m not very confident when it comes to hanging pictures on a wall. Will they be straight? Too high? Too low? Does the arrangement look good or wonky? If you’re like me and a little shy about taking out the…

Get That Tar Off: Lard Will Do It! Plus More Tips

Get That Tar Off: Lard Will Do It! Plus More Tips Here’s a list of items I’ve collected over the years that can help remove splatters from vehicles, upholstery, soles of shoes and other items. Before Getting Started: Ensure that a surface’s paint, color or finish won’t be damaged by first…

Quick & Easy Homemade Ice Packs

Quick & Easy Homemade Ice Packs Here are a few different options for having ice packs and bags on hand for first aid as well as frugal ideas for keeping your lunchbags and camping coolers nice and chilled. Reuseable gel type: Method #1 2 cups water…

Wallpaper Care & Repair Tips

Wallpaper Care & Repair Tips For grease spots apply a paste of cornstarch and water to the stain and allow to dry. Brush or vacuum off the cornstarch after a day, the grease should be gone. If you have a little nic or tear, you…

How To Repair CD Scratches – Tip Sheet

How To Repair CD Scratches – Tip Sheet There are plenty of tips found online for how to clean and fix CDs, some debunked and some debunking the debunkers (oy!). Here is a list of three methods (light, moderate and extreme) that should cover all the bases. First…

Painting Walls & Interiors – Information Sheet

Painting Walls & Interiors – Information Sheet Ready to pull out the rollers and brushes? This page is loaded with tips and inspiration to help you get the job done (including a gallery of ideas and recipes). Have fun! How To Tell If Oil Or Latex Was…

An iPod Survives The Washing Machine

An iPod Survives The Washing Machine Major catastrophe in our home a few months ago: my son’s iPod nano was left in his pants pockets–which were washed & dried with the rest of the laundry. Here’s what we did to bring it back to life, you…

Tips For Clogged Sinks & Homemade Drain Cleaner

Tips For Clogged Sinks & Homemade Drain Cleaner Here’s a tip sheet listing a few methods to clearing out drains in the kitchen sink (plugged bathtubs can benefit from these too). At the bottom you’ll find a suggestion for monthly maintenance and a homemade recipe to keep them…

Help For Fixing Floor Scuffs, Stains, Nics & More

Help For Fixing Floor Scuffs, Stains, Nics & More Scrub (for scuffs & stains) Cornstarch or Baking Soda Water Mix cornstarch and water to make a paste, apply paste to wet sponge and scrub out the marks. Remove Wax Buildup Drizzle or spray club soda over the floor, leave…

30 Helpful Items To Remove Sticky Adhesive Goo

30 Helpful Items To Remove Sticky Adhesive Goo Things like price stickers and labels, different types of tape (packing, masking, scotch tape) can leave behind a sticky, gooey residue that’s a tricky mess to remove. Here’s a list of items that can help make the cleanup job a…

21 Crayon Busters: How To Get Scribbles Off From Walls

21 Crayon Busters: How To Get Scribbles Off From Walls Have a little scribble artist nearby? No worries, they’ll grow out of it eventually ;). In the meantime, here is an organized master tip file that I’ve gathered over time. Keep in mind some paint finishes may be dulled or…

How To Boost A Car Battery

How To Boost A Car Battery Here are step-by-step instructions for how to boost a “dead” vehicle, feel free to print them out, put in a plastic sleeve and tuck into your car’s glove compartment. First: You’ll need someone with a running automobile to give a…

DIY – How To Remove White Heat Stains On Wood Table

DIY – How To Remove White Heat Stains On Wood Table We have an old wood table that has been used and abused for years. I brought it out over the holidays for card playing and commented how badly stained it was–while quickly covering with a cloth. These white cloudy marks…

How to Get Permanent Marker Off From Walls & Surfaces

How to Get Permanent Marker Off From Walls & Surfaces Did the kiddos get a little “creative” with their coloring? Cleaning things up isn’t so hard with this tip: Try covering the stains with toothpaste then scrub off with a damp cloth (just plain–not the gel kind). I’ve tried this…


Spray Painting Tip: For smaller items, place a large cardboard box on its side, flaps open. Set item to be painted inside the box (about 1/3 of the way in). Spray with paint as desired. The box will shelter from wind & debris plus contain overspray. You can use an old baking sheet to rest item on & then pull it out & in as needed to check progress.


Wooden Kitchen Pieces: I had a bit of an obsession with handmade wooden spoons & spurtles (check out Etsy for examples); keep them in good shape with wood butter. Recipe: Fill a small canning jar with 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil and 1 oz of beeswax. Place jar in a pan of simmering water (don't let water inside the jar, keep water level up the sides). Once melted, remove from heat & stir. Allow to cool & set in jar. Once solid, cover with lid. Use the butter to rub into pieces as needed.

If you purchase a new bike for your child, tuck their picture inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen & later recovered, remove the grip & there is your proof who owns the bike.

How do you carry several yards of duct tape without even noticing? Tightly wrap strips of the tape around an old credit card until it's about the size that will still fit comfortably in your wallet. Rip off pieces as you need them.

Favorite CD is Skipping: Carefully hand wash with a bit of gentle liquid detergent & dry it then try gently rubbing a bit of toothpaste (use a cotton swab) to polish out any noticeable scratches. Wash & rinse again before playing.

Preparedness

Outdoors

Outdoor Living: 35+ Projects, DIY & Smart Ideas

Outdoor Living: 35+ Projects, DIY & Smart Ideas Now that summer’s finally here, it’s time to enjoy our decks, patios and backyards…love it! Along with grilling, gardening and puttering around the yard, who doesn’t want to take advantage of the pleasant weather and just chill outside for a…

Creative Bird Bath Projects & Tutorials

Creative Bird Bath Projects & Tutorials Here are a bunch of ideas for making bird baths using a variety of bits and pieces from around the house. Most are quite simple to make with some pretty similar to each other, they are included to show how…

Birdhouse Tutorials & Plans

Birdhouse Tutorials & Plans Whether you’re wanting something simple that’s more suited for beginner woodworkers or a project that’s a little more advanced and decorative, this collection of birdhouse tutorials has you covered. Lots of ideas in this bunch, some including free plans to…

13 Lovely Water Features That Will Add A Splash

13 Lovely Water Features That Will Add A Splash If you don’t have the space or the time to devote to a pond, consider a small water fountain or container garden, they’re easier to maintain and just as lovely. Here is a selection of free tutorials that I’ve handpicked…

Simple & Functional: 15+ Ways To Make A Trellis

Simple & Functional: 15+ Ways To Make A Trellis Here’s a bunch of ways you can make trellises for both vegetable and flower beds, many are simple in design (and to make) while others are more detailed and fancy (with a bit of woodworking skill required). Quite a selection…

How To Build A Fire Pit – Tips & DIY Resource Guide

How To Build A Fire Pit – Tips & DIY Resource Guide One of the things I enjoy most during the summer is sitting around a fire pit at night visiting with family and friends and having a nice fire going. Marshmallows and hot dogs always seem to taste better when they’re…

Crafty Gadgets & Gear For The Garden

Crafty Gadgets & Gear For The Garden Here are several different projects and ideas you can make to either help you with yard work or decorate the space a bit, most are DIY but there are a few that involve sewing. Many of these have been featured…

Building A Raised Bed For The Garden: Plans & Tutorials

Building A Raised Bed For The Garden: Plans & Tutorials Here’s an assortment of free tutorials and plans for building raised beds, especially useful with the square foot method (wonderful for both vegetable and flower beds). Most of the online projects I came across seem pretty similar to each other…

Dreaming Of A Greenhouse? Look Here For Ideas

Dreaming Of A Greenhouse? Look Here For Ideas Want to extend your growing season but aren’t willing to spend the big bucks on a pre-built option or DIY kit? If you’re handy with a hammer (or know someone who is), here are a few projects that can help…

An Assortment Of Compost Bins & Boxes For The DIYer

An Assortment Of Compost Bins & Boxes For The DIYer Here are several different projects (all free of course) that I’ve collected from around the ‘net. I also tucked in a few tips at the bottom to help you get the most out of your composting efforts. DIY Bin: A…

Crafty & Clever Bird Feeder Ideas

Crafty & Clever Bird Feeder Ideas Here’s an assortment of recipes and projects to treat our feathered friends, don’t miss the teacup and pine cone tutorials at the bottom of the page. Wreaths: Nice craft for our feathered friends, complete with homemade bird seed treats. Cakes:…

Inspiration For Making A Cold-Frame: Extend The Season

Inspiration For Making A Cold-Frame: Extend The Season I mainly use my cold frame to start seed pots and to harden off bedding plants a little earlier than my zone normally allows. They do work like a charm for that purpose. Some folks also place them right in…

Grow 100 lbs. Of Potatoes In 4 Square Feet: {Instructions}

Grow 100 lbs. Of Potatoes In 4 Square Feet: {Instructions} Quite the clever method here folks! Today’s feature includes tips from three different sources for growing potatoes vertically (in layers) instead of spread out in rows across your garden. If you have limited space or want to try some nifty…

Get Rid Of Wasps: Traps & Tips

Get Rid Of Wasps: Traps & Tips If you’ve ever been stung by a wasp, you know they live up to their reputation of being aggressive and having painful stings. When you regularly spot them in your yard, chances are there’s a nest on your property or…

20+ Potting Bench Plans: {Free DIY Projects & Tips}

20+ Potting Bench Plans: {Free DIY Projects & Tips} Looking for somewhere to sow seeds, transplant a few plants or maybe just putter about? Working with a potting bench during gardening season is pure luxury and you’ll find yourself looking forward to keeping all your tools and supplies organized…

35+ Camping Tips, Tricks & Treats

35+ Camping Tips, Tricks & Treats Summer holidays are just around the corner and if you have a camping trip or two on your agenda, you might just find a new trick or two in this bunch! I’ve put together a list of projects and ideas…

Reclaim an old chair with a bit of milk paint then distress with some sanding. Glass canning jar is painted a pretty blue, twine wrapped around the neck and voila! a sweet vase to hold fresh cut flowers. Tuck into a corner near the entryway and you have a handy spot to hold a visiting guest's bags and accessories. Two simple ideas that don't cost a lot to make and yet adds so much charm to your home.



For Cold Climate Dwellers: We find that keeping a 5-gallon pail full of sand or salt, a large scoop & tight fitting lid is just the ticket. We tuck it back in a corner & take a scoop out for the sidewalks & driveway as needed. No more salting by lugging around an awkward bag!


Linear Measure:
1 foot = 12 inches
1 yard = 3 feet
1 rod = 5 1/2 yards
1 mile = 320 rods
1 mile = 1,760 yards
1 mile = 5,280 feet
1 international nautical mile = 6,076.1155 feet
1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour
1 furlong = 1/8 mile
1 furlong = 660 feet
1 furlong = 220 yards
1 league = 3 miles
24 furlongs = 3 miles
1 fathom = 2 yards
1 chain = 100 links
100 links = 22 yards
1 link = 7.92 inches
1 hand = 4 inches
1 span = 9 inches


Theory: You can determine how close lightning struck to where you are by counting in seconds after you see lightning until you hear thunder. Divide by 5 for miles, divide by 3 for kilometers. (Source)

For Example: You see lightning; You count 12 seconds and then you hear thunder. The lightning struck and the storm is approximately 4 kilometers or 2.4 miles away (12 seconds / 3 = 4 kilometers away; or 12 seconds / 5 miles = 2.4 miles away). Huh?

The speed of light travels faster than the speed of sound (that's why we see the lightning first) & it takes approx. 5 seconds for the sonic boom to travel one mile.

If you count less than 30 seconds: Practice the 30-30 rule: Take appropriate shelter when you can count 30 seconds or less between lightning and thunder. Remain sheltered for 30 minutes after the last thunder.

Glass Bottle

A few nifty ideas for using old glass bottles & some craft paint.

Bottle

Sand Art

I saw these being made while traveling in the Holy Land, do a search online for "sand art bottle" and you'll find some videos on how to make them (more simple designs).

Clever Tip: You'll never lose track of what type of paint was used by labeling the cans and/or using labels to document the info. Here is a free printable that you can either print & cut out to affix on top of lids or tuck into project books. So handy! Click image below to download.