DIY, Frugal

Book Jacket DIY

My tattered little travel bible.  Its cover is sadly worn.

Have a beloved book that could use a sturdier cover? Have no fear, you can easily (and in expensively ) update your book’s look and also up its durability. I am working on a new cover for my bible. I have two with worn soft covers that are needing a little more protection. My larger one I did a while back and my smaller travel size is getting its make over now. Here’s the process…

Cardboard jacket and my tattered bible.  They are soon going to be best friends!

I cut a cardboard cover to match the size. Hello, stuffing box! I purposely used a thinner cardboard to make sure it was flexible.  I planned on using a thicker fabric and small books can be tricky to work into their jackets when completed.

The chosen fabric.  A simple but sturdy yellow and gray floral print.  I liked the detail and shadowing on this fabric.  Had I thought it through more I would have picked the prettiest section with the most yellow and I would have flipped my cardboard over to the white side to keep the floral print nice and bright on the finished product.

You want to give your cardboard a healthy smear of plain old white glue and then place your chosen fabric on top. Make sure you have some excess on the fabric, especially the cover sides. You need to keep weight on it as it dries to keep it from bubbling up. Make sure your weight is distributed evenly.

Glue, cardboard and fabric sandwich 🙂
I use my DeMarle (BONCook) baking mats to keep all that stickiness in one place and not on my countertop.
The tin is to distribute the weight of the brick so that there are no lumps as it dries.

You can check you cover periodically to make sure is smooth and test dryness. During the drying process you will want to “try on” your jacket by placing it over your book and locating the creases where the cover bends. As you form the jacket around the book it should naturally crease in the right spot. You can use a ruler to neaten the crease and add more pressure. This should be done before it’s fully dry as the cardboard is softer and shapes easier. After you crease it leave it to dry fully (again, weighted)

Next you will cut two pieces of cardboard half the size of each cover and glue them onto the fabric. These will be the flaps that hold your book’s original cover in place. I *should* have spaced these pieces out 1/4″ as it needs a little gap to go around the edge of the book’s cover. Yes, that 1/4″ inch matters. I’ll show you how I “fixed” it but you can leave a 1/4″ gap and not have to fix anything! 🙂

My two end pieces that will become the flap that holds my bible cover in place.


The end pieces have been added and the edges of the fabric glued down.  DO NOT glue the fabric on the sides of the flap.  Those pieces are left out so that we can create the pocket that the book cover will slide into.

Leave to dry. When dried you can trace your book jacket (not flaps) onto cardstock or an old folder and cut it out to make a nice clean inside to your book jacket.  You can just glue it in place and again, weight it to dry.

I used and old folder to line my book jacket and now I am using a ruler to put a crease where the books binding will go.  I want to make sure I have the flexibility to open it!
It’s dry and now it’s time to make our side flaps into pockets.

Almost there! Ok, I’ll show you how I fixed my oopsie and then we’ll finish this book!;) Get the pun? Long post? Book? Hehe…ok, back on task!

I had to force my 1/4″  curve in there and that made my cover off by just the *{tiniest}* amount. Still, if I had spaced the flaps out 1/4″ I would have given the jacket enough room to bend around my book.

Ok, time to wrap it up. Bring in the hot glue!

Fold your excess flap fabric in. And hold it…hold it…!

Add a bit of hot glue. *Pro tip* use a butter knife to get in that tiny space and make it smooth!

One finished corner! Three to go!

Project complete! You can see the bit of fabric at the corner where I miscalculated the curve of the cover.  I’m going to see what I can come up with to dress it up a bit but I’m very happy with it!

So there it is.  Your kinda-long-but-totally-doable book jacket DIY 🙂

Happiest of New Years to you!

Continue reading “Book Jacket DIY”

DIY, Frugal, Sew

I’m SEW happy!

For those of you that sew you know the angst of not having a running machine or not having the time to complete your projects.  Well, I finally had a bit of time on my break where I did not feel like death and got to knock a few things off the list. I made a skirt for me, 1 for middle girl and 2 for little girl. I also made a “sower’s bag” to hold all my seeds and plant markers for my garden. But the project I’m sharing today is this:
This little bag was lovingly created from an embroidered piece that I had been hoarding…um, SAVING for a special little project. I am going to be using my travel size bible more as it fits in my purse and I made this bag expressly to hold bible, pens and index cards for taking notes. I love it!

Here’s how I did it:

I knew I wanted a lined bag so I started by cutting a piece of chambray to the same size and sewing right sides together.
Here it is with the 2 pieces right side out.
Next I pressed it with the iron (*important step*) and did a top stitch all around the edge. I also tucked the open end in and top stiched that so I had a complete square- embroidery on one side and chambray on the other. I don’t have a picture of it but after that I just folded the square in half and sewed up the sides to create the bag.
Almost done! Here the sides are sewn up and it’s time to put in the zipper!
I hand stitched the zipper as this is a smaller project and I have much better control with my hands. And it’s done!
Blurry picture but here is my little bag in use for its intended purpose! Love!

So if you are cruising the thrift store and find a sample of something you love you can create a unique piece that’s all you.

Happy crafting!

DIY, Food, Health

 Trying to Stay Healthy with Fire Cider Tea 

I had made fire cider in the past and even blogged about it. Its basically a bunch of good for you ingredients steeped in apple cider vinegar for a few weeks. It is to be used as a health tonic to build up your immunity. Instead of eating whole cloves of garlic and smelling like an italian restaurant from a mile away you drink a small amount of this and still get the benefits. The ingredients : horseradish root, ginger root, lemon juice and garlic (plus a few spices) make up my fire cider tea. Here’s where I tweaked the original recipe. Normally these ingredients will steep in the vinegar FOR.EV.ER. and I’m not patient. So I decided to can the ingredients in boiling water like a tea and see if that sped up the process. It actually worked pretty well! I’m not sure if it affects the properties of the ingredients but it still has the same firey  bite to it so I’m thinking it’s about the same. Oh, and I add the vinegar to my glass before taking it.

My main ingredients: ginger, garlic, horseradish, lemon
Chopped ingredients ready to go along with rosemary, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and lemon juice

Here lay the humble beginnings of my fire cider tea. Chopped and ready to be canned up.

Into the jar you go!
All canned up:)

After canning I gave it a few day to steep and then tried it out. It seemed just like the regular version that takes weeks so I’m pretty happy. Stay healthy!

DIY, Holidays

Holiday Quick Craft

The completed half

My grandmother used to have a mistletoe up every Christmas.  I always thought it was kinda weird. I would take alternate routes through the living room just to make sure I was never caught under the thing. case. I’m not into PDAs much but I had a cute idea for some holiday photos and I thought this sweet little craft would be super fun for a hubby and me photo. Got a keep on his sweet side if I want him to take a picture with me 😉


1 Styrofoam ball (4″?)

4 dollar store red rose bunches

1 hanging wire- mine was a leftover bit from an artificial tree

Hot glue


Pluck your rose blooms off and hot glue each to the Styrofoam ball

Push hanging wire in and secure with hot glue

Place over your sweetheart

(Last step optional)

DIY, Food, Holidays

Measure Once, Cut Forever

Here is a quick glimpse into the pretty much regular happenings of my life.  Illustrated for you in caramel.  This is what happens when I find a new recipe (or anything) that I HAVE to try.  I search, I find the instructions, I read them 2x, I get proper equipment…and then I dive in! Halfway through I usually forget something and frantically try to ad lib. Apparently if you are making caramel sauce and forget to add water at the end you end up with plain caramel candies.  Not a bad deal really.  Not if you have a proper way to package it and haven’t already poured it from it’s liquid state into jars….

Hurriedly scooping the warmed up caramel from the jar


Thank goodness for my BON COOK Roulpat! I was able to cut the caramel so much faster with the Roulpat and knife.
Don’t let that sticky sweetness fool you – that stuff is as hard as a rock by now!
My fabulous team of Umpalumpas…er, my family, helped me wrap each and every sweet bite (except what made its way into our mouths)

Moral of the story is- it’s always good to give a new project a trial run before the big show!  So now everyone gets caramels, you’re welcome!


DIY, Holidays



These are the bags that contain the goodies to make the crafts that will become the Christmas gifts that Veronica and her kids made.

Today is craftpalooza in which we will foolishly attempt to make every gift for everyone we know in one morning.  Yeah, it’s gonna be fun 🙂 I am addicted to crafting and it is a super fun way to turn inexpensive items into something giftable.  Plus, it’s relaxing…especially if it’s not done in MY kitchen!

Today’s line up includes:

Caramel sauce

Whipped body butter

Homemade hot chocolate

And the packaging to go with said items (minus gift tags and trims)

So yeah, all my family knows what they are getting now.

Happy Holidays!


This was about 2 ish hours and we will be giving these products a full review before sending them to loved ones;)

DIY, Kids

DIY Kids

Sunday afternoon my youngest was begging me to make lip balm with her. If you know our Sunday schedule then you probably also know that I was much more inclined to take a nap than craft. She had been eye balling the lip balm kits at Walmart for a while. (Don’t you just love how they put all those things down the CENTER aisle? ) I refuse to buy her the kit as I already have the ingredients at home. I just lacked the motivation! She was undeterred and insisted on knowing my recipe. I mumbled off the basic ingredients and general process – double boiler is a must! I was amused to see her jotting down notes in her mini notebook. How cute.

Next day… I come in from a walk and she presents me with my very own tube of her homemade chapstick.  Yes, I’m a proud mommy! She made 6 total and they are pretty good quality too. That shea butter really helps moisturize.

Passing on the DIY life to the next generation; )

DIY, Life, Random

Handy Hints – Life Hacks

20170622_114537.jpgI love life hacks- those odd ball little tips that can cut your chores in half… the more the merrier! Here are a few that I have employed in our household:

Use a straw to hull strawberries. You can see this hack in action 🙂  It works!  We got a flat of them and my helpers had so much fun helping me they had those berries done in no time! Extra bonus- they get to eat the strawberry “worms” that get pushed out of the other end of the straw and I get free entertainment!

Dryer sheets- keep them in the bathroom to scrub the bath or the toothpaste splatters off the sink. Wet the sheet, scrub and rinse surface. *BONUS* Smells fab

Wet wipes- stash some at the kitchen table.  Grab those spills and outfit messes before they get a chance to do real damage :/

Old (water proof) sunscreen- this stuff may not have the SPF power that it used to but it is still handy to coat hands when you have piles of hand washing or any other chore that requires hands to be soaked for long periods. Also good for long winters when frequent hand washing dries skin. It has more staying power than most lotions and will last through a washing.

Email- if you need to remember an important date email it to yourself and invite your spouse.  This will give  you an extra little insurance.

Text- same deal as above.  My friend has a running text with her hubs for the grocery list. They both chime in and add on items as they think of them so when it’s time to shop they both have the list at their fingertips.  Beautiful idea.  Whoever is available can do the shopping or they can both go and split the list in half to divide and conquer. Brilliant!

Specific Containers- designate a container for specific places.  I have a school bag.  It travels from home to school but that’s it.  It is not allowed to be anywhere else.  It keeps me from searching for that *one item* that I need for class tomorrow.  Repeat process for the library, running errands, pool or any other task specific activity.

Photo shelf- I had my hubby make a plain board shelf with a small 3/4 edge on it.  He added some cute brackets and I stained the whole deal.  I can rotate every single framed print that I own (or any other small display item) without redecorating the whole house and making new holes in the walls.  This is super easy for seasonal changes too.  I can just remove the pix and replace with any of the other 5 million I have stored away.  My favorite thing is to add silk leaves for fall, fake pine branches and twinkle lights for winter and silk flowers for spring and summer. Extra bonus- no crooked photos!

Suitcases- I have a suitcase for fall decor.  The suitcase is a nice mellow gold color and it reminds me of fall.  I can pull that baby out and whip out fall decor in minutes.  I just stand my sweet little suitcase nearby and as it matches the season I can keep it in plain sight! Yay! I hope to have a spring/summer suitcase too.

Keep a bucket of hot water handy on those heavy cleaning days.  You could also just fill half of the sink with hot water.  This works well for days when I am speed cleaning and I can just toss whatever needs washing in there and let it soak. When I go to wash it everything cleans up easily.  You can also take the bucket with you from room to room and clean up whatever needs a good scrubbing.

I recently had to clear the frost from my car windshield but was out of washer fluid. I have done a vinegar/water solution in the past but my eye landed on the “sore muscle soak” solution I bought to help sore feet on our camping/hiking trip.  It was a dollar tree item so it was cheap and we had already gotten our use out of it.  Plus, it contained the ingredients I was looking for, alcohol and salt.  I thought, why not, so I diluted it with water and added it to the reservoir. It worked pretty well! Considering it cost 50 cents I was pretty happy.

Hope you have a beautiful Saturday!


I Craft Because…Life

Today’s crafts-because when you get out the spray paint you might as well go all out!

Yellow monogram for my fall wreath. This was a nice, easy one and done! Yay!

Aqua plaques!

Here the profile photos are being added. I inked the edges of the matching scrapbook paper in blue. I inked the Aqua plaques in green. I love the result! Simple, coordinated and super sentimntal-sweet!


Laundry Soap DIY

You will need:

Bar soap of your choice- 2bars

Cheese grater or food processor

Wooden spoon

Large stock pot


Washing soda

2 5gal buckets with lids

Shred that soap!

Add shredded soap to hot water in large stock pot. Heat and dissolve soap shreds. No need to boil, the point is to get all the bits evenly distributed and fully dissolved.

When it is fully dissolved you will divide soapy mixture evenly between your 5 gallon buckets.  You can add essential oils at this time if you wish.

I meant to post this tomorrow as the soap has not already set up and I wanted to do a “final product” photo.  Somehow I managed to post it early…oops!

Anyhow, the soap will gel up and feel a lot like Jello jigglers.  You will mush it up to remove clumps and then add hot water to fill the bucket.  Then stir, stir, stir!

This recipe works for HE washers and top loaders.  I have  used it for both. I calculated the total cost once and it was something like $10 for 10 gallons… pretty cheap!  It is great if you are sensitive to fragrances.  The soap you use can have a bit of fragrance and it will not leave a scent on your clothes.

Hope you give it a try!