DIY Picture Stand

This is an original by me. (I’m sure other people have done something similar, but what I mean by “original by me” is that I came up with this on my own and made it without getting ideas elsewhere.) It’s so simple! It all started when my kids’ pictures came in and we needed 2 small easels for the storyboard collages we ordered. Could I find any little tiny artist-looking easels? Nope. Seen them all the time before, but, as always, they were not to be found when I actually needed to buy them. So after being disappointed in Hobby Lobby, I went over to the wood stuff and bought what I needed to make my own creation to hold the storyboards. I spent a grand total of $7, and that let me make 2 picture stands with tons of materials left over for other projects. To buy 2 of the cheapest plate stands as an alternative to the easels would have been $8, and I wouldn’t have anything left over for other stuff.

What you will need:

  • Toy wooden wheel
  • Finial cap
  • Dowel that fits snug into both the wheel and cap
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Tiny clothespin
  • Hot glue gun or wood glue
  • Ruler
  • Pen or pencil
  • Saw (I used a hacksaw)

What to do:

  1. Place your wheel in front of you and hold the dowel and ruler together so that you can read the numbers on the ruler. Hold your picture up and figure out about where you want to picture to be when you finish. Measure enough room on the dowel above the picture for the finial cap and clothespin.
  2. Mark for your cut. Remember, “Measure twice, cut once!” Cut the dowel to your desired length.
  3. Assemble the stand. Squeeze a dab of glue into the hole in the center of the wheel. Push the dowel in so that it is snug and secure. Squeeze another drop of glue into the whole in the finial cap and press the cap on the top of the dowel.
  4. Spray paint the stand if you wish to do so.
  5. Attach the clothespin with hot glue or wood glue.
  6. Clip on your picture and admire your handiwork!

Tips & Variations:

  • Tie ribbon, raffia, or yarn around the top. The colors should complement¬†either your decor or the picture.
  • Beads, sequins, glitter, or metal lief add extra appeal.
  • Make a small tag with a title, caption, or the names of people in the picture and clip it along with the picture to the stand.

Pumpkin Centerpiece

This is a great decoration that will last through October and November. You can even spookify it for Halloween and then remove the ghoulish flare to make it Thanksgiving-worthy. It’s super quick, super easy, and looks fantastic as a centerpiece on your table, on the mantle, or on a side table.

What you will need:

  • Variety of pumpkins, gourds, leaves, and pinecones (it’s all really up to you–whatever you want to use)
  • Bowl or basket
  • Empty plastic container or piece of foam that fits in the bottom of the bowl

What to do:

1. Place the plastic container upside down into the bowl, or place the foam into the bowl if that’s what you are using.

2. Lay leaves facing out along the inside of the bowl. It’s great if the tips stick up above the edge, but they don’t have to. Their main purpose is to hide the container/foam.

3. Add pinecones between the leaves. I found it’s easiest to place them with the bottoms against the bowl with the tops pointing inward.

4. Arrange the pumpkins, gourds, leaves, and pinecones as desired. Just play with it and rearrange until you’re satisfied and all of the filler is covered.

Tips & Variations:

  • For the filler, the idea is just to use whatever you have on-hand. You could wad up paper towels, use an old rag or t-shirt, socks, whatever.
  • You can also do this with Christmas ornaments or Easter eggs.
  • Place a candle in the center.¬†Never leave it lit while unattended.

DIY Plug-ins

I love a nicely scented room, but buying plug-in after plug-in adds up. I never knew you could refill them yourself and that you can get 3-4 plug-ins for the cost of one by doing so! A little bottle of $2.50 potpourri oil will fill about 4 plug-ins. A bigger bottle is about $5 and will fill at least twice as many, if not a little more. And it only takes about 2 minutes to do. Another good reason to do this is that the store-bought plug-ins contain VOC’s whereas essential oils do not, so refilling these with essential oils means you are not releasing pretty-smelling toxic chemicals into your home.

What you will need:

  • Empty plug-in
  • Potpourri or essential oil
  • Pliers
  • Small funnel

What do do:

~ I actually have step-by-step pictures this time!

1. Hold onto your plug-in securely. You can use any plug-in as far as I am aware. I’ve refilled Bath & Body Works Wallflowers and Glade.

2. Using pliers, pull the wick from the plug-in. You may have to pull hard to get it out, but it will come out.

3. Insert the funnel into the plug-in and add your oil. Only fill it 2/3 – 3/4 full so as to leave room for the wick. Think about how full they are when you buy them–that’s your goal (or a little more because, honestly, they aren’t that full brand new!).

4. Reinsert the wick and plug it in!

Tips & Variations:

  • If there is any remaining oil in the plug-in before you add more, you can either dump it out or reuse it. Since my refill oil was close to the same scent as what was originally in there, I just left it in and added mine to it.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix oils if you have single scents. Say for example you have a cinnamon scented oil and an apple scented oil. Put a little of each in to make a combined scent.