Saturday, January 10, 2015

MORE Things to do with Zip Ties

Two Minute Tactical Upgrade Using Zip Ties style
Kitchen Organizer. styleKnife zip tie mod. styleThese three examples are from  They were honorably mentioned in a weekly contest for good ideas and I think they certainly deserved the mention.  Top left is a two minute tactical upgrade accomplished by adding light and securing it with zip ties.  The knife upgrade is a reminder that we are all getting older and a little zip tie on the blade makes it easier to grip and open.  Color coding also tells you what kind of blade is hidden when closed.  The last is my personal favorite.  I have purchased measuring sups and spoons in sets that are connected with a ring to keep them together.  You can create sets of similar items and hang them in less space by connecting them with a zip tie.  They are together when you want them not taking up space in a drawer.


     Stop using wire (rusting) ornament hangers.  One time, attach a zip tie loop and it's there forever.

     Create your own Pre-Wired tree by tying in the lights.  Set up the tree.  Hang the lights.  Zip them to the branches keeping the plugs in back (Use green or whatever color your tree is to make the ties and wires disappear.).  Hang the ornaments and enjoy then at the end of the season, unplug the lights, deconstruct your tree folding the branches in to the trunk.   Done.  You will have an easier time setting up next year because the lights are already there.

     For camping/hiking:  Zip tie your pants over your boots to keep them from flapping around.(If you didn't tuck and blouse them, that is!)
Zip tie sheathed knives to the outside of our travel pack.  the sheath remains when you need the knife.  Use it and return it to it's easy to get to sheath on the outside of your bag.  
Make a couple of zip tie loops on webbing or zipper pulls.  Clip on anything that has a D clip attached to it, like a flashlight or multi tool or even keep ALL your D clips hooked on a loop.
Make a snare with a zip tie loop for the foot of your prey.

Marking the length of a chain like an anchor chain?  paint will wear off.  A zip tie will last almost as long as the chain.

Keep some Zip Ties in the med kit in case you need to keep a splint in place.

Temporarily keep kids out of cabinets with zip ties.

Organize the broom closet with zip tie loops through those holes that used to be for a nail!  Hang multiple items on one hook.

Zip tie curtain rings to a thick plastic hanger and organize ties, scarves, belts, jewelry or even web gear in your closet!      

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Winterizing Doors and WIndows

     Gaps in doors and windows, tiny gaps can let cold air in, warm air out and blow the top off your electric bills.  Closing these gaps, insulating windows and doors can keep the home a constant temperature in your control and reduce payments to energy companies.  Seriously, if you don't own stock in power corporations, why put money in the pockets of those who do?  

     I always recommend taking first steps at home with items you may already have or can obtain at a very low cost before calling in the glaziers.  Double paned windows are a great investment.  They are energy efficient but replacing existing windows is costly.  

     Start by caulking all windows and doors.  Fill gaps that allow air to pass through.  Use a silicone that stays flexible and if you have already painted the walls, use the clear caulk.  While you have the caulk and gun handy, caulk the baseboards as you go from window to window.  I have titled this post "winterizing windows and doors" but you will find that this one little step of caulking and sealing the doors windows and baseboards will also pay you in the summer as it keeps the air you have cooled in the house with you.  

     I have posted this tip to add insulation to windows with bubble wrap.  It's so easy and affordable it wants to be posted again!  I have also found that Dollar Tree (so, almost any 'everything for a dollar" store) has an office supply aisle with shipping materials.  You can get a roll of small bubble green packing material for a dollar!  The color adds a glow to the room during the day and as well as insulation, adds additional privacy in case your curtains are drawn.  The best part is, it actually works.  

     Windows can be insulated with window tinting used in cars.  I have personally used aluminum foil one year as a back drop for our family Christmas tree.  The neighbors went wild.  They thought it looked ghetto.  Then they saw the living room from inside and said yes, it was lovely reflecting the lights, but they still were in a fit about how it looked from outside.  So, I suggest you may find window tint at your local hardware store, but Limo tint is what you want when you want no one to see in at all.  A black back drop is just as stunning as the foil, but it allows you to see out.  As a side note, the tinting will spare all furnishing and drapery from the destructive rays of the sun.

home sewn drapes
     So, while we are on the subject, don't overlook insulating the door.  Many doors have a widow or glass side panels or are actually mostly glass.  If you are concerned about what the neighbors may judge when they see your front door covered in insulating material, it doesn't have to be bubble wrap.  Windows can be insulated with Glass tint, usually seen on car windows, curtains and something I just found online called door dressings. is a new website that makes custom sewn door coverings.  The coverings hang to the outside to amuse your neighbors and express who you are.  They hang over the top of the door and are weighted on the inside to stay put.  I met Mitzi the other day at the local Hobby Lobby.  I think she has a clever idea that turns out to be more than just another pretty face.  These door dressings really are unique and lovely but they are also multi purpose as they insulate and give privacy to those windowed doors.  Give her a click see, she does custom fabric work!

Friday, November 28, 2014

There are baskets and gifts everywhere.
     Look around your home.  There are baskets and gifts everywhere.  Why wait until after the funeral for the will to be read?  Give the kids the inheritance now while you can all still enjoy it together.  Box up the china tea set they have loved since childhood. Fill the cups with a selection of different teas.  wrap liek the one here or box it up and add a bow.
     If you have tea cups that have no sentimentality attached, make them into a bird feeder for the gardener.  This is an easy craft.  this blog offers instructions.

     Share some of those salt and pepper shakers you got from your grandmother.  For your prepper, you might want to give a bag of salt and a big box of pepper with the shakers.  You can jump start someone's collection and free up some shelf space while giving a gift that reminds the receiver of someone past.   A gift that gives more than it's contents is more than a gift.  

     Maybe you have some large apothecary bottles filled with colored water.  Empty them, wash them and fill them with peppermint hard candies or butterscotch or even M& Ms. tape the lid on securely and add a bow.  It's a gift "basket".  No wrapping needed.  

I found two of these stackable aluminum 'lunch boxes' at different yard sales for no more than a dollar.  You can get them online on Ebay or Etsy or this site to the right.  Gift baskets don't have to be wicker or even a true basket.  Imagine receiving a gift stacked in one of these containers.   You can use them to make an emergency med kit or a sewing kit to go.  Maybe you plan to do some massive baking.  Stack the containers full of goodies and add a bow.  Get the kids in on the fun and use up some of the stash of stickers you may have, letting them decorate the gift container.  

     Clear out your craft room.  Bag up some of those opened packages.  If you are a crafter, you know the ones I mean.  You bought a pack of 200 sequins because they only come in packs of two hundred and you used around fifty.  Put the remainder in these little zippered baggies and give them to a friend.  Make several packs in similar colors or at least enough to create n ornament.  Maybe you can type up instructions and give enough pieces parts to make an ornament or other project.  Give home made craft kits as you thin your excess.