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Preview: It's Just that Simple! - Mrs. FIXIT

It's Just that Simple! - Mrs. FIXIT





Updated: 2018-04-04T00:06:43.842-07:00

 



Steel Wool

2013-03-12T11:21:51.649-07:00


Steel wool is in inexpensive and comes in a variety of grades of coarseness and you can use it all over your house, I’ll show you how.

(image) If a screw is too loose, stuff some steel wool into the hole and then replace the screw. The steel wool will give the screw threads a new surface to grip and the screw will stay nice and tight.

Push steel wool into gaps around the foundation of your house, and around pipes and vents.  Critters like mice and squirrels can’t chew through the steel wool so it will keep them outside where they belong.

If you have pets that you bathe at home, or if you tend to get a lot of clogs in your shower, stuff some steel wool into the drain before you use it.  The water will drain through but it will catch the hair before it becomes a clog.


Superfine steel wool will scuff scuffs and imperfections from wood and vinyl floors.  Just get it a little damp and buff in the direction of the grain.

Along those same lines, steel wool is perfect for    removing the gloss layer from paint and stain finishes when you want to prime.  So you don’t need to sand the entire piece. 

Easy ways to put steel wool to use around your home.  I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!



Picture Hanging Hardware

2013-03-12T11:18:57.127-07:00

We’ve come a long way from the classic picture hanging hook, there are tons of options out there – check them out!! When you have a heavier picture, rather than using a big hook, try one of these hooks with a wider top and two nails. It evenly distributes the weight and allows the picture hang closer to the wall. Need to hang something flush against a wall like a mirror or a headboard?   Try a french cleat.  These screw into the back of the piece and then into the wall and slide into each other to hold the item flush and secure. If you don’t want holes in your walls at all, try a removable adhesive strip with a hanger attached. You can put it in place and remove it without damage if you change your mind. Along those same lines – you can use a hook and loop self adhesive and attach one side to the picture and one to the wall.  So the next time you need to hang some artwork, take a look at the variety of hangers on the market. I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple![...]



Mildew on Leather

2013-03-12T11:14:43.440-07:00

I had some leather shoes stored in my basement and it must have been damp because when I pulled them out I found they were covered with mildew.  Luckily, I know how to remove it- and soon you will too!Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and can be purchased at most health food stores.  Mix a teaspoon of oil into a cup of water and use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean the shoes.  When you’re finished scrubbing, dip a soft rag into the solution and go over the entire shoe, inside and out to clean the mold and remove the odor.  As a bonus, the tea tree oil is a natural leather conditioner as well so you will remove the mildew, clean the shoe and condition the leather all in one quick step!If you don’t have or can’t find tea tree oil, mix a half and half mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.  Use that to kill the mildew.  Then wipe with a cloth dipped in clean water and follow that up with a good washing with saddle soap to remove any stains.The rubbing alcohol will kill the spores and the soap will clean the leather. Just a couple of easy ways to save those mildewed shoes that you thought were ruined! I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.   [...]



Handy Helpers

2013-03-12T11:12:17.369-07:00

All of us could use an extra hand now and then.  I have a couple of things you can grab that will really help you out!Carabineer hooks are generally thought of as a sporting item, but I found these large hooks and they’re so handy!  I can hook them around a bunch of grocery bags and use the rubber grip as a handle to carry them all at once. A friend hooks one to her stroller to hook her purse and diaper bag in place. I’ve always loved hook and loop tape for all sorts of things, but it’s a onetime kind of thing. I love the one sided variety that hooks to itself.  I use it to bundle moldings and wrapping paper rolls so they don’t roll around. I also love it for corralling cords, securing items in the car, and keeping electronics and their cords together.  Use your imagination – there has got to be a million ways this stuff is handy. Finally, forget holding a flashlight in your teeth or teetering it on your shoulder.  Grab a flash light that stands on its own.  This one has a pop out tri-pod and a pivoting head so I can point it right where I need it and have my hands free to work.   Now, let’s give these tips a hand for being so helpful!!!  I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple![...]



Stinkbugs

2013-03-12T11:09:36.207-07:00

If you have them, you know…stinkbugs are a problem to have in your home; luckily I have a few easy ways to fight them. To start, never squish stinkbugs.  They get their name because they release a nasty odor when they are attacked, and the odor will attract more bugs.You can vacuum the bugs, but just make sure that you do a whole house bug check, because once you’re done you will need to seal the vacuum bag in a zip top plastic bag and toss it in the garbage.  Another way to get rid of them is to knock individual bugs into a bowl of soapy water.  The soap will kill the bugs so you can dispose of them.  Just dump the water into a toilet bowl and flush.  This will ensure it doesn’t get squished in the garbage.  If you see the bugs on the outside of your house, spray them with soapy water. To prevent the bugs from getting into the house in first place, make sure you caulk around windows and doors, check for holes in screens and insulate around foundations and ductwork.Just some easy ways to get rid of those stink bugs. I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple! [...]



Mail Center

2013-03-11T10:35:55.377-07:00


Looking for a mail center for your home?  All you need is an old window shutter and some simple hardware. 
First, clean up the shutter, a toothbrush or some cotton swabs will really help you reach into the nooks and crannies.

Depending upon the look you like you can either remove the hardware, fill any holes left behind and paint or  refinish the shutter, or leave the hardware in place so that the shutter retains its past history and finish.

 From here you can be as simple or as fancy as you want, you can add embellishments for decoration, hooks or knobs for keys, or labels for different family members.   Then decide which way you want it to hang, vertically or horizontally – it depends on your space. 
Add a hanger or two to the back, depending on the size and weight of your shutter; you may need to screw it directly into the wall.  Mine is really lightweight so one simple hanger will do the trick. 

That’s all there is to it, this also makes a great spot for displaying cards or pictures.  Try it for yourself, I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 



Decor Under Glass

2013-03-11T10:31:51.780-07:00


(image) Adding glass to the top of a dresser or desk can cover damage or protect a finish from damage, but it also gives you a neat space for adding an accent to your décor. 

You can turn an urn or other pedestal into an accent table by adding a piece of wood or cut a piece of cardboard to the size you need and top it with some fabric, wrapping paper or tissue paper. This is an easy and inexpensive way to make a custom piece to decorate your home.

In a home office you can place calendars or lists under a piece of glass and use some dry erase markers to keep track of dates and projects.  Then simply wipe the notes off and start over when you’re done!

If you’re using the glass to protect the top of the piece, try layering some doilies or fabric underneath, or better yet, fill it with family photos and use it for a great visual scrapbook.

Make sure that you use tempered glass that has been cut by a professional and that the edges are buffed smooth so you don’t get cut! 

I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!



Easy Energy Savers

2013-03-11T10:28:46.517-07:00

If you’re looking to save money on your heating and cooling costs,   I have some simple solutions that will take less than a day to do and you can watch the savings add up!Add weather stripping to doors and windows to eliminate the airflow through the gaps between the door and its framing.  Also add door sweeps on all of your doors.  Check out this really handy peel and stick sweep I found, no need for tools at all!Look for areas where there may be gaps ort cracks, especially around pipes.  Fill these areas with some steel wool and d then expanding foam insulation.  This is a twofold solution, critters cannot chew through the steel wool and the foam will expand to fill the entire area and seal off the gap. Add Insulation!  I have open rim joists in my basement.  The rim joist is the area above your foundation and under the floor framing. Simply measure the area that you want to fill and cut a piece off with a straightedge and a sharp utility knife.  Then place it in the space. Don’t shove it in because you want to maintain some airflow.   Make sure that you wear the proper safety gear when working on these projects!  It cost me under fifty dollars and less than one day, and I know I’ll feel those savings!  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.  [...]



Candy Stains

2013-02-28T10:22:20.899-08:00

Kids love candy, but let’s face it; it can make a big mess! So how do you get rid of those stains? Well here’s how.  Chocolate.  short of dressing your kids in chocolate brown odds are if they eat chocolate they are  going to end up with stains, well, don’t worry, everyone has the best stain fighter for chocolate and you probably don’t even realize it!  Plain old dish soap applied directly to chocolate stains will remove them in short order – even older stains.  Rub it into the fabric and then launder in cold water! Lollipops are a sticky mess, but luckily are water soluble. So just run hot water over the stickiness to dissolve the sugars and Remove the film.  If there is a colored stain left behind, rub white shaving cream onto the stain with a toothbrush and then launder.  The warm water will also help loosen lollipops and hard candy that are stuck to household surfaces. How about gum –the worst of the candied messes! Really the best line of defense is to dissolve the gum.  Lubricating oil will dissolve the stickiness and loosen the gum.  Once you’ve removed it, pull that dish soap back out to break up the oil residue, and then launder it as directed!  Taming the candy stains!  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s Just that Simple.           [...]



Faux Oil Paintings? Yes!

2013-02-28T10:20:26.717-08:00

Oil paintings can add a touch of elegance to your home, but they can be pretty pricey, so what do yaw do?

(image) Well you can “paint” your own.  Or rather faux paint your own. I’ll show you how!

Part of the beauty of an oil painting is the way that the brush strokes catch the light and give the painting depth. So look for recreating the brush strokes on an art print!

Pick out a nice quality print, poster, map or even calendar page, beyond the print you’ll need some gesso that you can pick up at any craft store or some water based polyurethane and some brushes. 

Start by tacking your art work to a flat surface so it doesn’t move around while you’re working.

Then start by adding brush strokes to the whole print. A cross hatch motion will give you the depth that you want. It goes on thick and white but it dries clear.

Let it dry a little and then go back with a few different sized brushes, and add some flourishes where the painter might have highlighted something’s like fruit or flowers.

Once you’re happy with your embellishments, let it dry completely and then frame the piece. 

I’m going to let these dry. But this is one that I did earlier and notices the brush strokes it looks like a real oil painting. For a fraction of the cost. I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.



Morning Madness

2013-02-28T10:17:34.235-08:00


I don’t know about your house, but mornings around here are solo hectic. But if you take a little time to “prep” it can be a lot less stressful.

Take an hour on Sunday and pull together the kids school clothes for the week.  From shirts to socks- find, iron and lay them out.

This way you’ll know if there’s anything that needs to be washed and there’s no yelling – mom, dad I can’t find any socks!

Have a place near the door to keep backpacks, shoes, boots, coats, and hats, whatever everyone needs.  This way when you’re trying to get out the door in the morning and everyone’s rushing around you don’t have People looking for their stuff!

You should also keep your keys and bag or briefcase in the same space. Remember kids learn what they see!

 Every night, while you’re making dinner, pack the kid’s lunches or put lunch money in their backpack another way to cut out of the morning chaos.

You can also take the downtime in cooking to sort papers from school, fill out permission slips or check homework.   

After the kids are in bed, take ten to twenty minutes or so and walk around picking up clutter, this way when you get up in the morning you won’t be starting your day by walking into a big mess and it will make your day alot calmer!  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.



Reuse Projects

2013-02-28T10:05:23.919-08:00

Some of my favorite projects to tackle are those where I take something that was headed for the dumpster and make something new out of it!  If you have any of those projects that you would like to share - please let me know I would love to share them on the blog and facebook!  Go fixits!



Let some Light In

2013-02-28T09:59:37.459-08:00


Did you know that light affects your mood and well being?  If you or your family has winter drag, check your lights, you may be able to help.

First and foremost, open the blinds during the day.  We all need sunlight to be productive, so let the sun shine in.  Painting woodwork and moldings a shade of white also brightens a room because light bounces off of the whites.

If you have rooms without a lot of windows, or you just don’t like opening the blinds, brighten the inside light, there are all sorts of light bulbs that you can buy, to brighten a room choose a crisp sunlight type of bulb.  The brighter light will simulate sunlight and trick your mind.

Mirrored accents help too. These accents will bounce the light that you have making rooms seem brighter than they actually are.

Brighten dark corners, dark pockets take light out of the rest of the room, if you have accent lights in those corners you’ll find that rooms are brighter.

A couple of steps to brighten your home and make you more productive.  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.

 



Mirrors

2013-02-28T09:52:20.989-08:00


Sure mirrors can help you with your hair and make-up; but did you know they can help brighten and decorate your home too?

If you’re having a dinner party, use a long mirror as a runner on a table top, add candles, flowers, and what ever you’d like and then turn on the lights. 

 The mirror will reflect the overhead lights and the candle light adding sparkle to the whole room.

Mirrors are an inexpensive substitute for art.  A large mirror costs a fraction of what you’d pay for a large painting or picture and it fills the space and adds depth to a room.

Along those same lines you can group several smaller mirrors together to create a really interesting display.

you can also use mirrors to help make home repairs, a hand mirror and a flashlight will let you see problems in hard to see spaces so you know what you need to fix and how you’re going to get there.

Don’t have a hand mirror? Try a make-up compact.  Its “compact” size will reach right where you need it!

That’s it for now, I’ll let you reflect on these ideas for mirrors, I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple



Color Palette

2013-02-28T09:50:21.844-08:00



Whether you’re thinking of painting or wallpapering you still need to think about the colors and flow from room to room. Well it could be a daunting task but I have some ideas to help you out.

 When you’re looking for a jumping off point for a color palette, look around your house, odds are that you have favorite items that you can take your color cues from, match your paint chips right from the inspirational items and you’re ready to go!

Next, think about flow, if you can see from one room into another you need to take into account how those colors look next to each other.  If you can see into two rooms, think about both of them!

Once you start choosing paint colors or wallpaper, staple sample chips

Together so that you can easily take the whole palette with you if you need to shop for accents or fabrics. 

Making this palette can also help you to better visualize how your colors will look together.

 These little prep steps can really help make the whole painting and decorating process a lot less stressful.  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 



Can It!

2013-02-28T09:48:46.657-08:00


Can it be done?  Can we find alternative uses to these empty tin cans?  Of course we can!   
(image)
First off – make sure that if you’re re-using a can that you used a can opener to get into, use a sturdy pair of pliers to crimps the outside edge of the can, and this will press down any sharp edges so you won’t risk a cut.

 A big coffee can near your stove top is the perfect spot to corral frequently used cooking utensils.

Use a smaller coffee can to stash cash and valuables, and then hide it in the back of the pantry!

 Line up cans on a desk, craft table or a workbench to store everything from pencils to screwdrivers. Several tin cans lined up across a window sill can make for a cute herb garden.

 And if you need to shampoo a carpet, slip some tin cans under the feet of the furniture to protect those feet from water and shampoos!

 If you need to put two card tables together for a party, slip the touching feet in a can to keep the tables from coming apart.

 And speaking of parties put votive candles inside tin cans and lines them up outside your house to illuminate the walkway.  The high sides of the cans will protect the flame from the wind.


Can do tips to help you out around your home!  I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple

 
 



0 Comments

2013-02-28T09:38:12.959-08:00


Wainscoting means different things to different people.  Traditionally it means wood paneling on the lower part of the wall that can be really pricey to have

Installed.  I have a method to give you the same look without the price tag.

I am going to make boxes on the wall out of this simple wood trim and then paint the whole area with one paint color to make it appear as though the entire wall is covered in wood. 

Measure the area and determine the size of the “panel” boxes that you want to create, and then use a miter box to cut all of the pieces to size.

For more information on mitering check out my website.
 
Once your peices are cut, sand down and rough edges.

Use an adhesive on the back of each peice to help hold it in place, and then tack along the length of the molding with small brads. A level will keep you in line while you're working.
 
When you’re finished, fill the nail holes with some spackle and then let it dry.

Finally paint the entire area, molding and wall with a paint that is suitable for woodwork. If mitering and cutting isn’t your thing, you can find pre-made molding boxes at your local home improvement center, just adhere them to the wall and paint, I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 



Clothing Care

2013-02-28T09:00:49.417-08:00


(image) To keep clothes looking their best they need care beyond cleaning.

If your clothes have pilling on the fabric and you don’t have one of those fuzz removers, grab a pumice stone.  Run the stone in one direction over the pills, it will grab them and gently pull them off the fabric.

No pumice, no problem, use an emery board or the hook side of a piece of Velcro to remove those pills.  Always work in one direction so that you don’t damage the fabric.

If you left a tissue in your pocket and your clothes come out of the wash covered in lint run them through again, and rather than using laundry soap use a cup of white vinegar in its place, it will release the lint from the fabric and your clothes will look like new again.

 If you’re dealing with regular lint, try the loop side of the Velcro you used for the pills.  The soft nap will grab onto the lint.

You could also use a vegetable or fingernail brush to remove that lint.

Some easy ways to keep your clothes looking their best. I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple!



Sandpaper!

2013-02-28T08:56:18.042-08:00


Sandpaper is a handy tool outside the work shop, grab some.

If you have some stubborn grout stains fold a piece of sandpaper in half

So that there is a crisp edge, then carefully run the sandpaper along the grout line. 

The grit will remove the stains.  Just be careful not to scratch the surrounding tile while you’re working.

 If the soles of your new shoes are a little slick, you can stop yourself from slipping and sliding by roughing up the soles with a little sandpaper.  This is especially handy if you’re going to be dancing on a slick floor.

And speaking of shoes, a little sandpaper can help revive the nap and remove some stains of a pair of suede shoes.  Very gently scuff the sandpaper over the area.

If your sewing needle keeps snagging your fabric run it through a piece of sandpaper to remove any little burrs and sharpen it up.

The same is true of scissors, cut through folded sandpaper, or for utility knives, hold the blade at an angle and run it over the paper working in one direction.

Just a few easy ways to bring sandpaper out of the toolbox.

I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple



Alternative Uses for bed Sheets

2013-02-28T08:53:30.049-08:00


Bed sheets aren’t just for a cozy night’s rest anymore, I have some alternative uses to bed sheets so gather them up.
 
If you have a closet where you store out of season or seldom worn clothes they can get dusty.  The solution, simply drape a flat sheet over all of the clothes and the closet rod. 

You can lift up the sheet if you need to access the clothes, but any dust will settle on the sheet!

A flat bed sheet and some drapery clips make a super easy no-sew window treatment!  As a bonus, it makes it easy to coordinate your bedding and windows.

You could also cut up one of those sheets to make matching throw pillows or lampshades.

 The next time your favorite store has a big bedding sale, stock up on some flat sheets that match your dining room décor, the sheets are perfect for building up and layering table’s capes.

 If you have a lightweight bedspread and you find that your blankets show through the spread, simply layer a flat sheet in a coordinating color over the blankets under the spread, it will block the color from showing through.

 Some simple ideas for re-using bed sheets, I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 

 



Leather Care

2013-02-28T08:51:18.672-08:00


A lovely piece of leather furniture is a beautiful addition to any home, caring for it is pretty straightforward, I’ll show you how.

During your weekly cleaning routine, wipe leather with a clean, dry cloth.  Micro fiber is a great choice because it grabs dust and lint rather than just moving it.

Place leather furniture at least a couple of feet from any heat source, like a radiator or fireplace.  Too much heat will dry out leather and make it brittle.

 You should also keep leather out of direct sunlight; if your room is sunny make sure you use drapes or blinds to keep the suns rays off of the furniture to prevent fading and drying.
 
For spills on your leather furniture, use a barely damp cloth to clean it away and then buff the area with a clean dry cloth to be sure the stain and moisture are gone. 

 Wondering if your leather has a protective finish on it?  Find an inconspicuous spot and put a couple of drops of water on it, if the water is absorbed you should check the care labels to see if you can seal the leather with a protective repellant.

Along those same lines a good leather conditioner will protect the furniture and buff out small scuffs and scratches from your leather, use it every six months or so to keep your leather looking its best.  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple






Twist Ties

2013-02-19T12:01:39.313-08:00


(image) Saving even the smallest things can really come in handy around the house when you need them.  I have some alternative uses for twist ties!

Tip 1:    Use twist ties to manage the wires under your desk or behind your media equipment!

Tip 2:   If you lose the screw to your eyeglasses, peel the paper off of a twist tie, the little wire inside is the perfect fit for the hole until you can get the glasses repaired.

Tip 3:   If you’re worried about your suitcase zipper coming undone on a trip, thread a twist tie through the holes for a makeshift luggage latch.

Tip 4:  A twist tie can make a handy zipper pull when the zip tag disappears!

Tip 5:  In a pinch, use a twist tie for a hangar on the back of a wreath.  

Tip 6:  Twist ties are also helpful in the garden.  Use them to secure a climbing plant to a garden structure or trellis while training the vines. 
They will also secure small plants to their stakes when a little extra support is needed.

Tip 7: Finally, a handy bit of trivia.  If you’re looking for the freshest bread at the grocery store check the twist ties.  Monday is blue, Tuesday green, Thursday red, Friday white and Saturday yellow! 

That about ties it up! I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple!



Use it Again

2013-02-19T11:59:40.539-08:00


(image) When something is no longer useful for its original intention, take another look, because it might fill another need.

Tip 1:  Old game boards make great lap desks for paying bills when you’re watching television, or for the kids to color on during a long car trip.

Tip 2:   Refill plastic bottles about three quarters of the way with water and store them in your freezer.  They make great cold packs for picnics and tailgates as well as a contoured ice pack for sore knees or backs.

Tip 3:    Way too many golf tees?  Take a scrap of wood and screw small holes about every inch, half near the top of the board, half near the bottom in a zig zag formation.  Then tap your golf tees into place for a stylish tie or belt rack.

Tip 4:   Keep old candle stubs around for waxing sticky drawers and windows and for lighting fires in the fireplace without scorching your fingers.

Tip 5:  Winter tights that have passed their prime are perfect for filling with rice or lentils and putting at the base of a door to keep heat or cooled air inside!

These are just a few easy ways to re-use household items. I’m Mrs. Fixit and its just that simple! 



Puppy Power

2013-02-19T11:57:31.633-08:00


(image) A puppy is a special addition to any home and needs nurturing and care. I have some tips to make your home safe and sound for your new friend.

Tip 1:   Kennels will send a puppy with a blanket or a toy to remind them of something familiar when moving into a new home. 

Tip 2:     In the nights before you bring your puppy home, sleep with a white bath towel.  Put the towel in the crate with the puppy when you go to bed to help her get used to being close to you, and since it’s white, you can easily bleach it when needed.

Tip 3:   If your puppy whines when you put it in for the night try covering the top and front of the crate with a sheet.  This will train the dog to know that when the sheet is up it is time for bed.

Tip 4:    Think of your new puppy like a small child, curious.  Put child safety latches on cupboards where you store chemicals and cleaners, put up a child safety gate to keep the puppy away from stairs, and pick up any knick knacks and items that will fit into their mouth that they could choke on.  Don’t forget to keep toilet seats down and bathroom doors closed to prevent accidental drowning.

Tip 5:     If your new puppy has an accident, clean it with warm soapy water and then spray it down with some white vinegar.  Once it’s dry, sprinkle some baking soda on it and leave it overnight then vacuum it up in the morning.

Easy care tips for your new best friend. I’m Mrs. Fixit and its just that simple!