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Monday, May 31, 2021

Make Your Own Grit for Backyard Chickens.

Have you joined the ranks of chicken keepers? If so, here is a frugal method for keeping costs down, Make Your Own Grit for Backyard Chickens! Just a few moments and you will have exactly what the girls need!


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Funtastic Friday #334

Old Dresser to Toy Shelf, Easy Cupcake Decorating Fun with DIY Octopus Cupcakes, DIY Rustic Wooden Serving Tray, Upcycling Wooden CD Crates, Yellowstone Summer Tours, and Baked Blueberry Donuts are this week's featured posts!


Encouraging Hearts and Home 05.27.2021

Strawbale Potato Gardening,  How to Make Whole Wheat Self-Rising Flour, How to Make a Homemade Wedge Pillow, and How to Make Easy to Peel Hard-Cooked Eggs are this week's featured posts!   

May Thrift Store Challenge!

 Hello and Welcome to the May Thrift Store Challenge!

The Rules:

  • Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
  • There's no monthly theme.
  • There's no budget to stick to.

Meet the Hosts

Angela | Simply Beautiful By Angela - Melynda | Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household - Beverly | Across the Blvd

Our Thrift Store Upcycle group of bloggers is always looking to expand -- and we need your help! Why not consider joining in our thrift store upcycle challenge on the last Thursday of each month? Make some friends while having fun and share your love of DIY with the world. It’s a win-win! Sound like something you’d be interested in? Just leave a comment at the end of this post with your contact info and a link to your blog. Someone will get back to you right away. We can’t wait to meet you!


How to Make a Rain Boot Succulent Garden. The perfect little garden to greet your guests, share about a special occasion or simply enjoy on the way into your own home!


Turn colorful rain boots into garden planters!

I have always enjoyed taking something and making it into something better, or prettier, or even something fun. I come from a long line of folks taking not very much at all, and turning it into something greater than the sum of its parts. My grandmother never wasted anything, scraps of fabric became quilts, seeds saved from a piece of fruit or vegetable became a crop in her garden. In her home, there was always something more to be made from whatever she had!

My dad use to bring home broken refrigerators from work, and turn them into freezers by running additional copper tubing for the liquid freon/ With more tubes of freon, a simple refrigerator became a freezer (this was back in 1965 before freon restrictions). He would give them away to folks needing a freezer. He also had a knack for finding old Accordions that no longer had working bellows. He would rebuild them, play them for a while and gift them forward. I guess you could say, it is in my blood to be crafty with what I have and make it work, for what I need or want. 


Add a touch of whimsy to your flower bed, add some Rain Boot Succulent Garden Spots!

When I saw the opportunity to be a part of a monthly Thrift Store Challenge, I took it! I knew it was time to have some fun with my ideas and creativity. Last month I worked on Barbed Wire Wreaths, both large and small. In the end, I made two! The big wreath sits at the corner of the root cellar along the walkway to our little apartment door. And while I loved having it there, it needed a touch of color. Or to put it another way, a touch of whimsy! Whimsy is new for me, but I thought "what the heck!", let's go for it!

Here in Montana a lot of folks take an old pair of cowboy boots and use them as garden planters. And while we do enjoy that look, so far I have not found a pair of cowboy boots to use for this project. You see around these parts, used cowboy boots are a specialty item, high enough in price that they won't be used in my yard, honestly, I am way too frugal for that! But I did find these bright cheerful rain boots, and as luck would have it, there were two pairs to play with...


Turn rain boots into garden planters.

Step one: You will want to drill holes in the bottom to let excess rain or irrigation water out, a standard drill and bit work great for this.  Again, "we" worked on this project together, my husband worked on the tool side of things!

Next, you will need to fill the bottom of the boot with small to medium-sized rocks (potato size?) deep into the toe area and all along the inside of the bottom of the boot. With the rocks in the bottom, the boot is bottom-heavy and will stand up better.

Good soil for long term healthy plants, for your Rain Boot Succulent Garden planters!

Step two: Time to fill the boots with a rich mixture of 50/50 topsoil and compost. We had both of these readily available here at home. Fill each boot almost to the top, then make a divot in the center to place the plant, and then fill in around the plant with any additional soil as needed. Press gently downward, to set the plant. 


Step three: I found that they were still a bit tippy. To keep them from falling over and have each pair stand together, I made a connecting wire "U" from some of the old fence wire used for the barbed wire wreaths. 


Step four: Now the fun begins, place them where you want them! Because these rain boot planters are at the beginning of our walkway, it turns out to be the perfect place to share an announcement!

As is the case when completing a project for the first time, you learn as you go. This also means you adjust and repair as you go! It doesn't really show in this photo, but they are still a bit tippy and unstable. The last thing I want is to come outside one morning and find a pile of soil and a mangled plant...at this point, I knew I would need to put a wooden platform under them to sit on. I found some scraps of 2X 6 boards and a bit of plywood and put them down, to keep everything upright and stable. 


Here they are now with a wooden platform to stand on, and rocks over the top of the wood. The boots stand up together and are more stable, and they look just fine. It will be fun to decorate or share a special message in this flower bed. And in a couple of years, the succulents will have grown and begin to tumble down the sides of the boots! 

Materials list:
  • 2 pair of used rain boots from the local thrift store
  • rocks
  • wood scraps 
  • soil
  • compost
  • succulents, from our local neighborhood plant lady 
  • drill
We did purchase the boots, and the succulents, otherwise it all came from home.

And now for more thrifty goodness!

Check out what my fellow upcyclers created below!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

How to Make A Rain Boot Succulent Garden.

How to Make a Rain Boot Succulent Garden. The perfect little garden to greet your guests, share about a special occasion or simply enjoy on the way into your own home!

Turn colorful rain boots into garden planters!

Our Favorite Dry Rub, so good with pork, beef and chicken.

Are you looking forward to the upcoming BBQ season? We sure are! Make up a batch of Our Favorite Dry Rub, and you will be ready to light up the grill, and cook all of your favorite cuts of meat!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Whole Wheat Ricotta Gnocchi, easy make ahead and freeze!

Make dinner time a family affair with Whole Wheat Ricotta Gnocchi. The whole food family favorite that everyone can help make, and love to eat! Looking for a new Meatless Monday favorite? Whole Wheat Ricotta Gnocchi to the rescue! 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Brown Rice and Beans, Caribbean Style A one-pan side dish to enjoy.

How to make Brown Rice and Beans Caribbean Style, the perfect one-pan side dish that will go with all things grilled this summer!


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Funtastic Friday #333

How to Make a Bee Skep Decoration,  DIY Farmhouse Hutch/Potting Bench, Mexican Street Corn Dip, Red White & Blue Stained Glass Jello Stars, and a New Look for our Multipurpose Garden Shed are this week's featured posts!

Encouraging Hearts and Home 05.20.2021

10 Things I Hate to Do, How to Bake No Sugar Date Oatmeal Bars, A Boho Triangle Coaster (crochet!), and Almond Bear Claws are this week's featured posts!  

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, a springtime classic!

Strawberries and rhubarb are like best friends! And as such, often they are better together than when on their own. This is especially true in this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, where they bake up perfectly with the whole grain crunchy topping. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

How to make Radish Top Pesto, bold and delicious!

Radishes are hitting the markets now! After you have enjoyed the radishes, don't throw away the tops, make Radish Top Pesto, and enjoy summer for many months to come!


Friday, May 14, 2021

How to Make a Barbed Wire Wreath, both large and small

What interesting or off-beat material would you make a wreath out of? As it turns out here lately, wreath-making has exploded with creativity and a fearless attitude! Resulting in some incredible decor to hang in your home or on the front door. True barbed wire might not be your chosen material for a wreath, but come see how it turned out...and why we used it! Creativity is only confined by the materials you have available.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Funtastic Friday #332

Amazon Lately May 2021, Mother's Day Charcuterie Board, Bee King Tiered Tray, Orange You Glad it's Summer Gift Tags, Pallet Wood Wall Decore, and Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu are this week's featured posts!

Encouraging Hearts and Home 05.13.2021

How to Make Gift Bags from Old Books, Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream, How to Crochet on Fabric, upcycle a neckline and Magnesium Oil Benefits, Uses, and a DIY Recipe are this week's featured posts!  


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

House Brand Catsup, because making catsup is easy!

Got Catsup? Fortunately, it is one of those condiments that is so easy to make. Catsup goes with just about everything, and frequently a called-for ingredient in many recipes. Ever thought about making your own? House Brand Catsup is easy to make, calling for basic pantry ingredients, and no more running out for a bottle of catsup ever again! 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Mary's Potato Salad, so easy using your Instant Pot!

Does your family love potato salad? Want a delicious yet easy-to-make potato salad? Here too! Mary's Potato Salad is the potato salad of my youth, with potatoes, eggs, onions, pickles, and a delicious mustard dressing, not made so easy with the help of the electric pressure cooker...



Friday, May 7, 2021

Nem Nuong Vietnamese Pork Loaf, perfect for Bahn Mi Sandwiches.

Nem Nuong...The perfect Vietnamese Pork Loaf to make for bowls of Pho or a Bahn Mi sandwich! Mix ahead of the game and bake as needed for a delicious quick dinner in no time.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Funtastic Friday #331

A Bathroom Refresh, Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, A Chicken and Broccoli Salad, A Daisy Wreath, Easy Succulent Centerpiece, and Curbside Coffee Table Makeover are this week's featured posts! 


Encouraging Hearts and Home 05.06.2021

Best Ways to Use Baking Soda in the Home, a Homemade Fly Trap, a DIY Hanging Propagation Station, and What's Up Wednesday are this week's featured posts!  

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Crust Lovers Fruit Cobbler, light buttery and delicious!

If you are looking for a fruit dessert as delicious as pie, you have found it! Crust Lovers Fruit Cobbler is all about the crust! Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the fruit, but if that crusty topping wasn't there, this would only be a pan of baked fruit...which would change the whole direction of the recipe! 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad with Pecans. Fresh, crunchy, and delicious!

Are you looking for more delicious non-lettuce salads to enjoy? While a lettuce-based salad is always enjoyable, other vegetables make great salads as well. Plus having a variety of non-lettuce salad recipes to enjoy means that a salad is just a few moments away!