Who knew making paper lanterns was so easy? It just takes paper, scissors, tape, and a flameless candle or other low-energy light source like LED lights. Check out this video to learn how.
Check out these glow-in-the-dark shelves that Mat Brown made for his kitchen. The shelves are from a piece of chestnut wood. He filled the cracks with resin mixed with powder that glows in the dark, like so:
The shelves were then sanded down and coated in linseed oil. The results are pretty nifty.
Well look at this: Make Your Own Altoids.
It takes gum paste, powdered sugar, and flavored oil, presumably peppermint.
I like Altoids, as you can tell by my post about what to do with Altoids tins. I wonder if making your own is cheaper than buying them. Hmmmm…
I’ve been living with this 1970s wallpaper since I bought my house in 2007. Last week, as the first phase of our kitchen remodel, we finally tackled it.
The wallpaper was thin cardboard that was glued to the wall. The only way to remove it was to replace the wall. So we textured over the top to flatten the wall and painted.
Of course, that meant living for a week with the dining room in this state.
Words cannot express what a relief it is to not look at that wallpaper anymore!
Bubble Chandeliers are so pretty and fun. They can also be expensive, ranging from $300-$7,000, depending on size and where you buy it.
That’s a crazy price when you consider you can buy the glass balls for $2-$4 each. (Possibly cheaper if you shop around–eBay is a good place to start.)
Rachel from Small Notebook made a DIY bubble chandelier for $70 and tells you how to make one too.
She liked it so much, she put a smaller $30 bubble chandelier in her nursery.
Faire Frou Frou made a large 2′X4′ bubble chandelier for their boutique.
They say it cost about 10% the cost of buying the same thing. And it looks pretty easy to make, too!
I’m in the planning stages of a kitchen remodel, and I started thinking how much I dislike my dining room chandelier. I want to replace it, but my taste hovers in the expensive-to-outrageous range.
Maybe the solution is to spray paint the chandelier. It makes it look completely new.
I think I’m onto something here…
Nocino is an Italian liqueur made from green walnuts. It’s sweet, nutty, and spicy. You can mix it with a cocktail, drink it straight, or pour it over vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert.
Like most liqueurs, nocino can be pretty pricey. A small bottle (375 ml) starts at about $30. So last summer, I decided to make my own.
To make the nocino, we first needed green walnuts. No problem, there are California walnut trees all over the place. (I assume you could use any green walnut to make this liqueur.)
Last June, I located a walnut tree on public land that was loaded with green walnuts and foraged away. Here’s what I picked, which is approximately 800 times what I needed:
There are lots of recipes for nocino online. They all say to steep green walnuts with a combination of syrup and spices in liquor–either vodka, wine, or a combination of both.
I tried several recipes and found that Imbibe’s recipe was the best. It was also the simplest. You steep the walnuts in vodka for 40 days until the concoction turns the color of motor oil. Then you add syrup, let it sit for 40 more days, and you’re done.
Once finished, I did a taste test. It was pretty great! It lacked the depth of the store-bought nocino, but it had all the nutty and sweet notes I was looking for. Best of all, my nocino cost a fraction of the price of the one I bought in the store.
Just how much cheaper is it to make your own nocino? I used a 750 ml bottle of vodka that cost $12 and about $1 in supplies. The green walnuts were foraged and the lemon was free from my garden. All and all, it came to $13 for twice the amount of nocino that you can buy for $30.
That means that a 375 ml bottle of my nocino cost $6.50, where store-bought nocino cost $30. Making my own nocino was 79% cheaper than buying it.
Best of all, it was easy. While making nocino takes 80 days, it only takes a few minutes of work. Here’s how to do it.
Make Your Own Nocino
(This recipe is from Imbibe Magazine)
16 green walnuts, quartered
Zest of 1 lemon
750 ml bottle of vodka
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
In June-August, pick green walnuts from a tree. If that doesn’t work for you, you can purchase them online.
Quarter the green walnuts. Use gloves because the walnuts can stain.
Put the green walnuts and lemon zest in the glass jar. Add the vodka. Cover the jar.
Now it looks like this:
(I didn’t have a lid for my flask, so I used a cheese cloth and a rubber band to cover it.)
Put the jar in a dark place and let the liquid steep for 40 days.
After that time, the liqueur will be dark brown, but will taste abrasive. It’s time to add the syrup.
In the pan, combine water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Turn on the heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cool. Throw out the cinnamon stick.
Strain the spent walnuts out of the liqueur. Add the syrup. Cover and let sit for another 40 days.
At the end of that time, strain the liqueur through a cheese cloth to get out the bits of walnut and cinnamon. Pour into a glass bottle.
Ta-da! You’ve got yourself a delicious, versatile liqueur. It makes a great gift, too.
I’ve talked about foraging on here before. I regularly pick blackberries, walnuts, mustard, mushrooms, bay leaves, and fennel from the land around me.
So I was pleased to learn about this Interactive Online Map that tells you where you can forage for food in your area. You can see where the food is growing, whether it’s tasty, and when to pick it. There’s even a street view that lets you see exactly where to look.
Most importantly, the food is either on public land or overhanging on public land. (Always make sure you’re foraging, not stealing.)
I plugged in my zip code and discovered two apple trees and a plum tree on public land in my town that I didn’t know about. There’s a nearby pear tree too.
Do you like to complain that when it comes to household chores, you are the Cinderella of the family? Well now you can double that message by making your very own Cinderella apron.
This is a pretty effective strategy to get your family to help out more around the house, if you ask me. First make the apron, then walk around singing this song.
The rest of the family will pitch in in no time.
In general, sealed sandwiches aren’t the kind of thing I would spend money on, but I can see one exception: road trips. They would be a good way to feed a kid a healthy, frugal lunch without getting a mess all over the car.
And with a little gadget, you can make sealed sandwiches yourself. Unsophisticook explains how.