This month we hosted an 80th. Birthday Party for my Mom in her Texas home. Guest seating was outdoors and mosquitoes were a concern. To keep these nasty bugs away my mother had her yard man spray mosquito repellent and we incorporated these Citronella Jars in our centerpieces, it worked out well, no one got any mosquito bites that night.
These jars are so simple and inexpensive to make and will fit any party theme or decor. I’ve used them for outdoor barbecues, birthday parties, and pretty much any outdoor event. I find them much prettier than store bought citronella candles and torches, cheaper too! You can use ribbons to match your color scheme or for a more rustic look use burlap ribbon or twine.
I fill the jars with fresh herbs that are have natural mosquito repellent and citronella essential oil. I try to use herbs from my garden when possible making these jars even more economical. Mosquito repelling herbs include Lavender, Mint, Lemon Balm, Basil, Catnip, Rosemary, Lemon Thyme, and Lemon Verbena. There are other plants and herbs that have natural mosquito repellent qualities, but I like to use the ones I listed as I have them in my garden. I like to use 2-3 different herbs and choose herbs with leaves that look good together. I add lemon and lime slices for color and a floating candle at the top to keep the herbs from floating over the jar rim.
If you use homegrown herbs each jar cost about $2 or less to make. I got the Citronella Essential Oil from HEB for just a bit over $5. I made a dozen jars and still have more than half the bottle of essential oil leftover. I got the Mason Jars (about $1 each) and floating candles (6 for $4) from Walmart. If you need to buy fresh herbs you can buy small amounts for about $2 – 3 a package in the produce section of most grocery stores, but if you need to make a lot of jars you will probably get a better deal at your local farmer’s market. If you can’t find a farmer’s market nearby consider buying pots of herbs from the garden department of Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, or your local garden shop; it’s less expensive than buying sprigs from the grocery store and you can plant leftover herbs to use next time.
Here are directions for making your own Citronella Jars, the best part it you can reuse the jars for other events, just change the ribbon to fit your decor!
Quart Sized Mason Jar
Sprigs of Fresh Herbs – Lavender, Rosemary, Mint, or any other mosquito repelling herbs
5 drops Citronella Essential Oil
1 Lemon – sliced in circles (optional)
1 Lime – sliced in circles (optional)
Ribbon or Twine
1 Floating Candle
1. Snip sprigs of herbs to size you want; rinse off any soil.
2. Place herbs in mason jar and fill jar half way with water (herbs will float).
3. Add Citronella Essential Oil to water and shake gently to evenly distribute the oil.
4. Add more water to fill the jar.
5. Add lemon and lime slices.
6. Gently push herbs and fruit slices into the water and place floating candle on top.
7. Tie ribbon or twine on the jar.
8. Light candle when needed.
When it’s very hot outside store jars indoors or in a cool area to keep the candle from melting.
Herbs will last in the jar for several days depending on the temperature. When the herbs wilt just toss them out, wash the jar in warm soapy water to remove oil residue, and make another batch when you need them.
Make these jars in a well ventilated area and avoid inhaling the Citronella Essential Oil, it’s unsafe and has been reported to cause lung problems.
Wear gloves when handling this oil as it can cause allergies in some people.
Keep the jars and citronella oil away from children and pets. It is safe to use around children and pets but ingesting large amounts of the oil is very harmful.
Unicorns seem to be all the rage these days! You see these magical creatures on everything from t-shirts to backpacks to sunglasses. And why not? They’re adorable! I myself have recently gone bonkers making unicorn crafts and selling them on Etsy and Facebook. Any they’ve been selling like hotcakes!
But you don’t have to spend lots of money indulging your love the the magical unicorn there are many DIY unicorn crafts you can make for very little money using supplies you already have at home.
To help you get started here are 5 adorable unicorn crafts you and your kids can make at home.
Unicorn Mason Jars
These are one of my best sellers. They make great centerpieces for unicorn themed parties! They’re easy enough to make at home all you need are mason jars pretty much any size, I usually make them in pint and quart sizes, or any empty jar you have at home like a pickle jar, rubbing alcohol, acrylic paints in any color you want, I use Apple Barrel paints, a paint brush, and craft foam to make the horn, ears, and flowers, I use foam sheets with adhesive backs but you can use regular sheets and just glue them on.
All you do is clean the jar’s outside surface with rubbing alcohol (this allows the paint to stick better) and let dry completely. Paint the jar in the color you want, you may need to do 3 or more coats but let paint dry between coats. Then cut out the horn, ears, flowers, and eyes and stick them on the painted jar. How easy is that! It’s a great way to recycle those jars you’ve been stashing in the kitchen!
Unicorn Gift Bags
Here’s another best seller that’s so easy to DIY. Unicorn gift bags! Who wouldn’t love to receive a gift wrapped in this adorable gift bag? You can use any size bag, yes even a lunch bag! Or a plain kraft bag with handles you can buy at the craft store. Just cut out the horn, ears, eyes, and other embellishments from card stock or construction paper and glue them on the bags.
Hey these unicorn bags make great favor bags for unicorn parties too!
Unicorn Book Marks
These book marks are too cute!
Here’s a tutorial from The Inspiration Edit!
I’m sure you and the kids will end up making a bunch to keep and to give away!
Hey it’s a great activity at a unicorn party too!
Unicorn Pencil Holder
Here’s a great way to recycle tin cans. Turn them into Unicorn Pencil Holders!
Here’s a tutorial from Crafts On Sea.
Here’s a fun craft from Simple Mom Project. Unicorn masks!
Click here for instructions and template!
Cleaning the toilet bowl is probably one of life’s most unpleasant tasks. I know I hate cleaning my toilet bowl and am always looking for ways to make the task easier, faster, or at the very least a bit more pleasant.
That’s why I decided to try this DIY Fizzing Toilet Bowl Cleaning Tablets. They’re pretty easy to make and doesn’t really need a bunch of costly ingredients. In fact most of the ingredients are already in your kitchen or can be purchased inexpensively at Walmart or other discount store.
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After trying these toilet bowl cleaning tablets I can safely say that they aren’t really going to leave your toilet bowl spotless without any effort (elbow grease) on your part. They will however leave the toilet bowl and the bathroom smelling very nice.
These toilet bowl cleaning tablets work best if your toilet bowl isn’t super dirty and have rings around it. Trust me if you have built on rings inside the toilet bowl no tablet, spray, or cleaner will magically remove them. The only way to get rid of those rings in my experience is a good old fashioned scouring with a pumice stone! I prefer using a Pumie, that’s a pumice stone attached to a handle so you can scrub without getting your hands too close to the toilet bowl surface. So before you toss in one of your DIY fizzing toilet bowl cleaning tablet don a pair of disposable gloves , grab a Pumie and scrub!
Once you’ve got the rings out of your toilet bowls these DIY Fizzing cleaning tablets will easily keep the bowl clean and fresh when used weekly. In short they’re a great way to maintain the freshness of your toilet bowl and bathroom! I keep a jar in each bathroom and toss them into the toilet every few days just because I love the smell! I used Neroli essential oil to scent my tablets because I love the citrusy scent of Neroli, but you can scent your tablets with your favorite oils!
Other essential oil scents that would give your bathroom and toilet bowl a fresh scent would be: bergamot, lemon, and orange blossom for a citrusy scent; eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint for a minty pine scent; or lavender, ylang ylang, or rosemary for that calming scent like you find at the spas. Or you can mix and match these and other oils to get the scent that you love!
To make these fresh smelling Fizzing Toilet Bowl Cleaning Tablets here’s what you’ll need:
2 Glass bowls – 1 large and 1 small
2 Cups Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Citric Acid powder (you can find this in the canning section of most markets or order it from Amazon)
1 Tsp White Vinegar
2 Tbs Hydrogen Peroxide
30 drops of essential oil – your choice – I love Neroli Essential Oil
Candy or soap molds – I prefer silicone molds that come in various shapes and sizes like hearts and roses. (I usually use the baking or candy molds but keep a set to be used just for making non-food items and one set I use strictly for food like the wine gummy bears I love! – I guess you can use a set to make everything just be sure you thoroughly wash them between uses.)
Once you’ve gathered your supplies it’s time to make your fizzy tablets! Here’s how!
- Place baking soda in the large glass bowl and using a fork or whisk break up any clumps. You want the powder to be fine and powdery not hard and clumpy.
- Stir in the citric acid powder and set the bowl aside for n ow.
- In the small glass bowl mix the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
- Slowly, and I mean slowly like one drop at a time, add the vinegar mixture to the baking soda mixture. Again do this very slowly, just a little liquid at a time. If you add too much of the liquid mixture you the baking soda and citric acid will react and you will have a big mess on your hands and no cleaning tablets. That situation is not salvagable!
- Add the essential oil of your choice and mix gently. Again add oil drop by drop.
- Scoop powder into your molds. Don’t overfill the mold as the powder will expand as it dries. So fill it about 3/4 full and gently press the powder into the mold with your finger.
- Let dry overnight.
- Gently pop out each tablet and store in a sealed glass jar. Be sure you label them and keep them out of children’s reach! Keep the jar in your bathroom and pop one in your toilet whenever you want to freshen it up!
I’m so excited about the beautiful weather we are having lately. I want to get outside and do fun educational things with the kids. Here are 6 Outdoor Crafts for kids!
Warmer weather is coming, and with all the awesomeness of vacation come the inevitable whines. Create endless spring and summer fun with these 6 outdoor craft you can do with the kids.
1. Nature Collage
To start, we squirted a few colours of paint onto a piece of white cardboard. We then placed the cardboard into a plastic bag and smooshed the paint to create a colourful “canvas.” As the paint dried, The Hooligans collected plants, seed pods, leaves and flowers from around the yard and garden. They then glued their garden treasures onto the canvas to create a beautiful work of art.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to get outside and discover the joys of nature-play with your little ones. If you’d like more ideas for good, old-fashioned crafts and activities, pop over and visit us at Happy Hooligans!
2. Shaving Cream Twister
Twister is already a hit, but add shaving cream to the mix and this feels like an instant party – good clean, messy fun.
3. Fairy Garden
Fill a plant pot with gardening soil, and encourage kids to add pebbles, moss, small figurines, twigs and greens from the garden to create a miniature “fairy garden.” Succulent plants like hens and chicks and sedums work well, as they require very little maintenance, and will survive for quite some time in your small fairy garden.
4. Yard Yahtzee
Just like Yahtzee – only bigger, more colorful and suitable for your yard. Also, this project only costs $5.
5. Activity Stones
Activity stones can provide hours of open-ended play opportunities for your children. Take a stroll along the beach or lake or in the park and collect smooth rocks. Back home, decorate them with acrylic paints to create dominoes, letter and number stones, X’s and O’s or story stones. For a bit of shine, polish with bees wax or add a coat of craft varnish.
6. Gutter Canal
You don’t need a fancy water table to make a splash with your kids. Try this trick using a piece of gutter and create an awesome water way for toy boats. Just be sure to protect wee ones from any sharp edges.
Should your baby shower have a theme? Here we’ll help you find the perfect theme to kick off your new life with your baby as you explore dozens of creative baby shower theme ideas.
Picking a baby shower theme should reflect the personality and interests of the parents, but narrowing down all of the options can be a hassle. Depending on if your shower is a neighborhood potluck, a gender reveal or a simple Sunday brunch, we’ve gathered hundreds of baby shower theme ideas that will delight any parent-to-be.
This gender neutral baby shower theme features vintage toys, sweet baby’s breath flowers, and white decorations.
Elephants make great baby shower themes for girls that your guests will never forget!
Your favorite iconic children’s toy is great inspiration for a baby boy shower theme, like the classic sock monkey.
Skulls and cactii from the desert are the ultimate decor for a modern chic themed baby shower right now.
An amazing boy baby shower always includes adorable decorations, sweet printable details, a delicious assortment of desserts (cake, cookies, and candy) and charming details. This yellow vintage baby shower features the cutest duck printables, old children’s books, gingham checks and vintage glassware. You will be smiling over all of the bright, cheerful details.
A new baby definitely calls for tossing some confetti in celebration! This confetti baby shower is a unique theme and fun way to honor an expectant mother. Recreate the look by incorporating plenty of confetti inspired dots throughout the decorations and treats. You can DIY paper circle garlands by punching circles of varying sizes in party colors and sewing them into strings for hanging. Wrap boxes in polka dot paper to display a variety of delicious treats like cookies, cupcakes and cake pops.
May the Fourth be with you! Today is, you guessed it, Star Wars Day! Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise back in 2012 pretty much ensured that there will be many more Star Wars films in our future. Along with installments of the final trilogy of the Star Wars saga we’ve been treated to a couple of stand alone movies such as Solo and Rogue One. Of course this has sparked a new generation’s interest in the franchise and is creating many new fans.
The new Star Wars movies have sparked lots of conversations and speculations in our family, such as “is Rey somehow how related to Luke and Leia?” or “who is Finn? Is he Landau’s son?”. I’m sure these conversations are occurring in many households, after all every household has at least one Star Wars fan, right?
As a rule Star Wars has always been popular pretty much since it first opened 40 years ago. But the new movies make the Star Wars franchise soar to even higher levels. Specially given that Disney now owns it and has been marketing each movie months before they premier.
This past Christmas we ran into many Star Wars toys, puzzles, shirts, and other merchandise. In fact we bought some for the boys. I thought with the renewed popularity of Star Wars it would be a great idea to round up a few crochet ideas for Star Wars themed projects. There are many out there!
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So if you’re a big Star Wars fan, or knows someone who is, these ideas will come in handy.
I love this blanket by Not All Who Wander Are Lost 32! I’m sure it’s a labor of love! But what Star War fan wouldn’t love it? Click here for pattern.
Courtesy of Pops de Milk
This Death Star Throw Pillow from Pops de Milk is another one of my faves! It would be awesome with the blanket! Click here for pattern.
If you don’t want such a big project this cute Yoda Coffee Cup Cozy from Unwrapping Mommy is a quick project. All Star Wars fans will love it! Click here for pattern.
Your little Star Wars fan (or maybe not so little) will love this BB-8 Hood by Crochetverse! Click here for pattern.
Everyone loves R2D2! Here’s an amigurumi of our favorite droid from Mia’s Atelier. Click here for pattern.
R2D2 is a popular guy, here’s a beanie by Jen Spears on Ravelry. Click here for pattern.
Here’s something practical for Star Wars fans, a Light Saber Pencil case from Dearest Debi.
Click here for pattern.
Another idea from Dearest Debi are these Light Saber Hilts, perfect for holding light saber ice pops! Great idea for a Star Wars themed party! Click here for pattern.
Storm Trooper Throw Pillows are super cool! Here’s a pattern by That Farm Girl Teacher on Ravelry. Click here for pattern.
Your little Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader will love this Light Saber by Alli Hartley on Ravelry!
Click here for pattern.
One of my favorite characters is Yoda. I love this baby Yoda hat from The Happy Hooker! Click here for pattern.
Here’s a cute Yoda baby blanket to go with the hat by Alu Ka on Ravelry. (They call it a blanket, I would call it a snuggly) Whatever you call it, it’s still super cute! Click here for pattern.
Han Solo Amigurumi from Geek Central Station for Star Wars fans of all ages! Click here for pattern.
You can’t have Han without Leia! Here’s a Princess Leia Amigurumi also by Geek Central Station.
Click here for pattern.