Thursday, July 19, 2018

Six Inexpensive Summer Crafts!

This post is provided by Heather Bradford.

Summertime projects are a great way to welcome in the new season with some creative flair. Not only do these crafts add character to the spaces that they fill, they also present a fun opportunity to spend time with your loved ones as you put together any number of projects yourselves. These projects can be as simple and easy as drinking glass umbrellas or as elaborate as a firepit. Along with the time commitment required, there can also be a financial price to pay when trying to complete these summertime projects. Taking that factor into consideration, the following are some projects that you will get a lot of enjoyment out of but would not break the bank. 

Bird feeder 

Bird feeders are great for bringing little friends from all over to your backyard. Even better than how easy it is to create feeders yourself is how inexpensive it can be. For this project you do not need more than an old plastic soda bottle, two wooden cooking spoons, a tiny screw eye, some string and bird food. Take the bottle and cut a pair of holes across from each other on one level. You want these just wide enough that you can slide a wooden spoon in and it can remain, but poke one a bit bigger to let some food spill out. This will be the side you want your spoon head coming out of. Do the same thing just below it and insert your other spoon, then the food. Screw your screw eye into the soda bottle top and hook the string through it. Tie it off with a knot and hang your new feeder in a place where you will be able to greet all of your little visitors.

Blog post

One inexpensive project that could actually earn you money this summer is starting your own blog. Especially if you have something that inspires you or that you are passionate about, your own blog will give you the freedom to discuss it, share regular updates, and engage with a variety of different people from diverse backgrounds who may hold similar interests. You can adorn the pages of your site however you see fit and get creative with your posts and the topics you discuss. And if you are feeling a little uninspired one day, you can invite fans of the site or other bloggers to provide guests posts discussing agreed upon topics from their perspectives. And even if blogging does not become an everyday habit as it is for some, it is still a fun and creative way to express yourself. 

Place mats

Making place mats is a great starter project for those who are beginning to venture into sewing. The only materials you will need are two pieces of rectangular fabric, an iron, some scissors, a sewing machine, and some thread that can blend in with the color or the fabric or is coordinated with it. From there you will lay the fabric pieces on top of each other so that the patterned sides face each other. Sew the pieces together, making sure you are sewing straight and giving your machine a ½ inch seam allowance. Be sure to leave tiny hole(3-4 in) as you sew so that you will be able to later to flip the placemat inside out. Once it is sewed up you can either snip the corners with your scissors or leave it as is. From there you will flip the mat right side out and iron it to get it to lay flat. From there, go back through and sew the entirety of the mat once more with a ¼ inch seam allowance and you will have yourself a new mealtime companion.   

Mason jar lights 

Mason jars come in several varieties, but the quaint and subtle appearance of smaller jars can transform your backyard deck or patio into a warm space perfect for summer nights. To get started on this project, all you need are several mason jars, wire clothing hangers, flameless LED candles, some small wire cutters, and some needle nose pliers. Be sure to wear something over your eyes to protect them before shaping the hangers. From there you are going to use the pliers to cut foot long segments of the hanger. Use the needle nose plier to create a loop in the middle of the segment. Once that is done, you will wrap it around the mason jar and finish off the other end with a loop. With the other straight hanger segment, you will curve it into a U with smaller inward curves at either end. These shapes will be slid into the initial loops created around the jar, making a handle for it. From there, insert the LED candles and find a nice place to hang your new outdoor light fixture.
Pail Lanterns

This is quick and easy project that is sure to brighten up your summer. All it requires is a small to medium sized tin pail, along with a candle or a flameless LED light, whichever you want to use. Using a hammer and a nail or a hand drill if you are more comfortable with that, simply begin punching tiny holes throughout the pail. Start by spreading them out to see if you want slightly fewer holes and go back in and add more if you desire. Once everything is to your liking, simply insert the candle or light into the pail and find a place for your new lantern. Smaller sized lanterns are great for providing light on the table, while slightly larger ones can be placed within the yard. Using lanterns or other self-sustaining sources of light are a great way to give your home an inviting ambiance and also saving on lighting at the same time. 

Tie Dye Shirt

To get started with this classic summertime activity, all you will need is a white shirt (preferably cotton to help the dyes show up better), a basic tie dye kit that can be purchased for about $15, something to bind the shirt like large rubber bands, and a large plastic bag. Throw your shirt in the washer before you begin. You are going to want to skip drying it when it is done because you will need the fabric damp when it comes time to dye. What you will want to do with the wet shirt is twist it up and then bind it depending on the technique you want to use. From there, you will want to begin applying your dyes. When that is completed, cover the tie-dyed shirt with a plastic bag to help keep it damp. You will end up leaving it like that for several hours, as it is important to let the colors set in place. Once the time has passed, you can remove your shirt and begin sporting it off to the world. 

Bio: Douglas Keller has been a financial expert for 20 years, helping people reach financial stability. Today through he is writing on Payless Power, he continues to help others save money on their bills every month.

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