3 DIY Christmas Ornaments

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:30 am on Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making your own Christmas ornaments is fun and frugal and look great on the tree. Here are three DIY Christmas ornaments:

This Half-eaten Gingerbread Man from Elsie Marley looks easy to sew and is pretty funny.

Or turn an old Scrabble game into these Scrabble Christmas Ornament from My Sweet Savannah. (Sorry for the music on this site. Scroll down to turn it off.)

Finally, to make this Hot Air Balloon Ornament by The Cheese Thief, attach a tiny basket to a regular glass Christmas ball. Clever!

Sew Your Own Camera Accessories

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:51 am on Thursday, December 8, 2011

When I discovered how much the local camera shop was charging for camera bags, I promptly made my own. I would put a picture of it up here, but it’s just a simple drawstring bag made out of quilted material–nothing fancy.

But the point is, making your own camera accessories is easy, cheap, and a great way to infuse personality into something that tends to get carried around quite a lot.

Plus they can make great Christmas gifts for the camera geek in your life.

Here are three camera accessories you can make yourself:

Wood & Faulk shows you how to make this wool camera wrap. While I’m not sure how well this would work for a big camera, it looks like it would be a perfect for a smaller one. And it even has a nifty leather strap for a touch of manliness.

Or you can pretty up your camera strap with this Strap Cover from Little Big Girl Studio. Comfortable to wear, attractive, and there’s even a pocket for the lens cap.

Finally, this one is my favorite: a camera purse/bag insert from Vanilla & Lace. This pattern allows you to convert a regular bag into a camera case by adding a foam insert. It looks great and costs under $20 to make. A similar bag in the store would cost between $100-$300.

3 DIY Advent Calendars

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:55 am on Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When I was a kid, the Advent calendar was the most exciting thing ever. The best was the year where my mom put a chocolate behind each day. Since I was already counting down to Christmas (what kid isn’t?), it was very exciting to get those chocolates, let me tell you.

If you want to start your own Advent calendar tradition, here are three examples you can make yourself:

Country Living has the great idea of making an Advent calendar out of matchboxes. With some hot glue and Christmas paper to decorate, each box becomes a drawer that can hold a treat.

Or you can make these pyramid Advent boxes like these from Julie Ree. She used to have her template up for sale on Etsy, but it doesn’t look like it’s available anymore. However you can get free, similar templates here or here. Fold the boxes, decorate, attach ribbons, and hang your own Advent calendar in the house.

In a similar vein, here’s printable Christmas stocking Advent calendar. Each one is made out of red paper, trimmed with white fake fur, and contains one awesome piece of candy, of course.

Retro Space Age Stockings

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:00 am on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Check out these awesome Retro Space Age Stockings by Tried & True. There is a free pattern, so you can make them yourself too.

My favorite is the robot. [Craft]

$5 Pizza Oven

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:00 am on Friday, November 11, 2011

I usually make my own pizza instead of getting it delivered. It not only saves about $20 a pizza, Mr. Savvy and I have gotten so good at making pizza that we generally like our homemade versions better than the ones offered at most of our local restaurants. (Plus we like to experiment with unusual pizza toppings.)

To make our own pizza, we invested in a $13 pizza stone–essential for making good crust–and a $10 pizza peel, which you need to get the pizza in and out of the oven. These two items have paid for themselves many times over in the $20-per-pizza savings, but Instructables has a way to save even more with its $5 Brick Oven. The concept is simple–get two unglazed ceramic quarry tiles and use them in your oven to reflect heat and make better crust.

This isn’t a new idea. I remember when Mr. Savvy and I were first learning to make our own pizza, Alton Brown on the TV show Good Eats suggested a similar concept. We looked around for some tiles but couldn’t find ones that were big enough or that we knew wouldn’t break from the heat, so we bought a pizza stone instead.

However, I still think the ceramic tiles would work. You just have to make sure you get a tile that is unglazed and can handle 500 degree temperatures before trying it. Also, remember to get it nice and hot. The instructions say to preheat for 45 minutes. And–bonus!–you can use it in making bread too.

Dog AT-AT Costume

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:29 am on Monday, October 31, 2011

This Star Wars’ AT-AT costume for a dog looks great. Katie Mello, who works as a stop-motion character fabricator at LAIKA/house, made this for her greyhound named Bones. Read more about it here. [Craft]

Happy Halloween!

3 DIY Shoes

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:44 am on Monday, October 17, 2011

Lately it seems that people are interested in making their own shoes–or at least upgrading a pair that already exists to look more fashionable. Not only are these fun projects, given the cost of shoes these days, they could save you a bit of money too.

Here are three examples of DIY shoes, with more to come in the future:

Corinne’s Craft Closet on Craft took a pair of shoes and “bedazzled” them with iron-on crystals. What a great way to make a pair of cheap shoes look a whole lot cooler. There’s a video too:

Similarly, LizTough took a $20 pair of Payless shoes and added a knit panel, which made them look just like a $99 pair she was coveting. In fact, I think I like hers more.

Finally, Paleotool made these high-tops all himself. Even the laces were made from brain-tanned elk hide that he processed himself. Pretty impressive, really.

Have you ever improved or upgraded your own shoes? I’d love to hear about it.

Hen Pecking

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:54 am on Monday, September 19, 2011


[Courtesy hans s]

Chickens can be mean. They often fight for domination and pull each other’s feathers out, and will even peck each other to death if given the chance.

This video helped me understand how the pecking order works with chickens:

I’m dealing with this right now with my flock. Olivia has a bald patch on her back from the other chicken, Penny, pulling out her feathers. To be fair, Olivia will attack or peck at anything, which seems like it would be annoying to live with. Maybe, if I were a chicken, I would want to put her in her place too.

There has been no blood so far, but to prevent that from happening, I’m thinking of getting some anti-peck lotion–something nontoxic that tastes bad and will deter, or at least reduce, the pecking.

I’m not sure what to get, so would appreciate any suggestions you have.

Make Your Own Drum Shade

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:18 am on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kim from A Girl and a Glue Gun wanted to make a drum shade for her kitchen, but couldn’t find a shade in a thrift store. So she made her own drum shade and put up a tutorial on her blog.

Since Kim rents, she couldn’t take down the light fixture, so she sat the drum right one top of it. She even dyed the fabric herself. Looks great. [Craft]

TV Remote Automatically Mute Celebrities

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:26 am on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I’ve talked about how I don’t have TV before on here, and one of the reasons is because of overexposed celebrities, like Snooki or Kim Kardashian or Charlie Sheen. It’s annoying to hear about the same person (or event) over and over again, especially if you don’t care about it in the first place.

So I love this hacked remote control on Make that automatically mutes celebrities. It’s called Enough Already.

The way it works is, a hacked piece of computer hardware called an Arduino automatically reads the closed-captioning transcript as it airs and then mutes the TV for 30 seconds when it picks up certain words.

That way, you can tell it to avoid the word “KARDASHIAN,” and whenever that comes up on the programming, the TV automatically goes quiet.

The whole thing cost $70 to make.

If you are technically inclined, here’s more on the project from Make:

Is this the remote of the future? I hope so.

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