How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler | The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

We have moved a lot for my husband’s job, so the few times I would mark the growth of my boys on the wall of our house, I would end up painting over it before we moved out. :(  My records of their growth came from the pediatricians office whenever they were seen, and I would write it down (when I remembered) in their books.

Yes, I have the record of their growing little bodies, but it is not much fun for them when they cannot see their previous height and compare it to their current height to see how much they have grown themselves.  Well, now they can. And we can take their rulers to any house and have a permanent keepsake for all those years of growth.  How exciting!  Not to mention, the rulers really do look cool in their rooms!

So, you want to make one too?!

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (supplies)| The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

Remember, I made two, so you would only need one board.

Instructions

1. Put down drip protection.  I put an old sheet down and my sawhorses on top to lay the boards across.  You can use an old table, cardboard on the ground, or anything else you can think of.  Just know the stain might drip, so you want to be cautious of that.

2. Lightly sand every inch of your piece of wood, including corners and edges.  Take a piece of your sandpaper and fold it in half and then fold it in half again.  This makes it easier to sand, and you can use all sides (you may have to refold to get to the fresh part).

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (sand paper)| The Happy Housewife

Why is it important to sand before you stain or paint?  Wood is a relatively soft, porous material, which is why we are able to change its color by applying a penetrating stain or a dye. But since it is soft, it can be scratched and dented between the time it leaves the sawmill and reaches our garage or basement workshop.

These dents and scratches actually absorb more stain than does unblemished wood, so unless we sand them out, these dents and scratches will appear even worse after staining. In addition, the final milling process often crushes the top layer of pores in the board, making it more difficult for our stain to penetrate the wood. A light sanding will open the pores so that we can achieve the color we want.

3.  After you have finished sanding, grab your tack cloth. Wipe the folded tack cloth across the wood to remove dust. As each side of the cloth becomes saturated with dust, refold to expose a fresh surface.

Inexpensive tack cloths are available at hardware stores, or you can make your own by soaking a 12 inch piece of cheesecloth in a small amount of tung oil. Store tack cloths in a sealed plastic bag to prevent them from drying out between uses.

4. Stain the wood.  Pour about 1/4 cup of stain into your bowl (you will have to fill up a few more times).  Dab your brush in it and move with the grain, not against it. The longer you leave the stain on, the darker the finish. I used 3 coats.

5.  Make measuring marks. Most homes have baseboards, so depending on the height of yours, you adjust your first foot.  For example: I have 7  3/4 inch baseboards, so I started my ruler at the 8 inch mark, then I had only 4 inches until my 1st foot.

Mark the lines with pencil.  You will have 11 lines in between each foot, the 12th line being the next foot.  Each one is an inch apart.  Lines 3 and 9 of each foot I made 2 inches long.  Line 6 on each foot (half inch) I made 3 inches long.  Each foot line I made 4 inches long and the smaller lines in between them all were 1 inch long.

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (marking lines)| The Happy Housewife

After all the lines are made, go back over them with a black paint pen. Then stencil in each number.

6. Let the paint dry and put a coat or two of polyurethane on, remember to lightly sand the ruler in between coats. Once that has dried, attach the hanger piece, and put it wherever your heart desires!

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (hanger)| The Happy Housewife

That’s it!  Happy Measuring! :)

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler| The Happy Housewife

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How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

Ahhh yes, picnics, pools, lakes, farmer’s markets, BBQ’s ect. It’s Summer! One of my favorite things about summer is spending time with family and friends. I love having BBQ’s in my backyard. Mmmmm, the smell of the delicious food on the grill, the sound of the birds, the kids playing games, and a cold beverage in my hand while enjoying the company of special people. It puts such a big smile on my face!

I love when the sun goes down and you have the smell and sound of a fire crackling while being surrounded by the relaxing glimmer of light from Mason jar lanterns. Mason Jar Lanterns really add an ambiance to your get together and are always a good conversation piece! You can buy Mason jar lanterns many places, but when they are so easy and cheap to make, why not make them yourself?! You save some money and get to put your own creativity into it. :)

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

  • Mason Jars
  • Wire
  • Filler
  • Candles
  • Wire Cutters
  • Needle Nose Pliers

Mason Jars

  • Garage sales and thrift shops are always good places to find them.
  • You can also find them at craft stores, but you might pay a little more.

Wire

  • Choose the wire you want to use for hanging your lantern.
  • You can use stainless steel wire, copper wire, floral wire or to add a different look you can use twine floral wire .
  • I like to use a little bit of a thicker wire to keep the lanterns sturdy, and I think it looks better.
  • For the Mason Jars I am showing you today, I will be using a 5 ft/4 gauge braided copper wire. Each individual piece of copper wire in the braid is 12 gauge. It’s perfect for mason jar lanterns! I found it at a Hardware store for about $7.00.

Filler around candle

  •  You can use glass pebbles, river rock pebbles, sand, beads, or whatever you would like!

Candles

  • You can use tea light candles, long thin candles or LED flameless candles. Iwill share this tip with you….the first time I made Mason Jar Lanterns, I just used small short candles that I had on hand. They looked really cute in my lanterns, however they had no glass surrounding them, so all of the wax melted into my rocks making a mess. This time I am using glass surround candles!

Wire Cutters and Needle Nose Pliers

Instructions

Alright, you are set! Let’s do this!

I am going to demonstrate with the smaller blue jar which is 9 inches in circumference, so I will be using 13 inch wire pieces. The larger jars are 11 inches in circumference, so I used 16 inch wire pieces for them.

1. Grab your needle nose pliers and make a loop on one end of the wire.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

 

2. Wrap it halfway around the lip at the mouth of the jar and have the rest of the wire sticking straight out. Cut the wire a half inch from the jar and them make another loop.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

You will be repeating what you just did on the other half of the jar. Make sure when you make your loop, you leave a little bit of an opening to connect to the other loop, then close it up with the needle nose pliers.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

Now that it is all connected, we are going to connect our hanging piece.

3. Use another 13 inch piece of wire (16 if using the bigger jar) and make another loop again leaving some room to connect it to the other loop on the base. Repeat on the other side and also stretch the wire to give it a nice shape.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

 

4. Now you just need to fill it! Pour rocks (or whatever you chose to use) in first, and then place the candle in.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

 

There you go! Your own Mason Jar Lanterns!

One more thing I wanted to share with you!

You can also make a mason jar lantern without the hanging part. Here is one I made to sit on my mantle using an LED flameless candle. I love it!

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

 

Okay….there you go. Run with your ideas or use mine and create some mason jar lanterns!

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How to Care for Your Lawn in the Heat

The following is a guest post by Rodney Southern.

Knowing how to care for your lawn in the heat of August can go a long way toward saving you money in lawn repair costs. With some regular maintenance scheduled at just the right time, your lawn can look amazing right up until it is covered in snow. Here are some tips.

How to Care for Your Lawn in the Heat at The Happy Housewife

Maintain Your Lawn

If your lawn is in good shape by the time August rolls around, it’s a lot easier to maintain. If your lawn is already in bad shape, it probably won’t be able to recover in August. Instead, fertilize it and prepare it to get through the winter. Focus on salvaging the healthy parts through August.

Aerate Your Lawn

It’s best to aerate before August because if August is a dry month, your lawn will have a hard time retaining moisture. By aerating your lawn, you help dew and your watering efforts drain into the ground. If August is a wet month, your lawn may become waterlogged. By aerating it you create a simple draining system to get the water off the top of your lawn and into the roots of your grass and shrubs.

Time Your Watering

There is some truth to the idea that you can burn your grass by watering it at the wrong time. The perfect time to water your grass is near sundown. Water magnifies the sun in a swimming pool, making you burn easier.

The same concept applies to your lawn, unless you are using a system that places the water directly into the dirt. The systems that water the dirt itself rather than the top of the grass work well any time. By keeping them at a slow drizzle you can offer plenty of water to your lawn without the worry of burning your grass.

Cut Grass to Match the Weather

If it is a dry season, let your grass grow a little longer than usual. Longer blades of grass can hold more dew to give your lawn a natural morning mist. Your grass does get nutrients through its roots, but it also goes through photosynthesis using the rays of the sun absorbed through the blades. Longer blades allow for more absorption.

During seasons when there is more rain than usual, keep your grass trimmed a bit shorter. You don’t need the extra dew in the mornings because the grass is getting plenty of moisture as it is. As an added benefit, shorter grass can help you significantly cut down on the insects that will disturb you as well as your lawn.

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Rodney Southern is a long time content writer specializing in a wide array of niches both online and in print. His work has been featured on sites such as Yahoo.com, The Sporting News and numerous others over an eleven plus year career. He also runs his own website on diabetes called Dashing Diabetes. He was the National Call for Content Winner for 2008. Southern resides in Greensboro, NC with his wife, Julie, and identical twin daughters, Valerie and Brooke.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

How to Prune or Remove Problem Trees

The following is a guest post by Rodney Southern.

Knowing how to prune or remove problem trees is a vital part of being a homeowner. Trees are a wonderful part of having a lawn. Your children may enjoy a tire swing while you take advantage of a nice shade tree to create a reading nook. But trees are constantly changing and growing, which means you have to take care of them, if you want a healthy yard. Trees can also create problems in certain situations. What do you do then?

How to Prune or Remove Problem Trees at The Happy Housewife

What constitutes a problem?

Tree branches that extend over your roof will drop leaves that can clog your gutters or break and damage your roof. Trees with dead branches could be dangerous if they break and fall on children or pets. Overgrown trees take up too much space and create too much shade. There are many reasons why you may decide it is time to either prune those trees or have them removed completely.

The first step is knowing what kind of trees you have on your property and what is causing the problem. Some trees are subject to a variety of diseases and molds, which make it nearly impossible to prune and save the tree. Insects may have destroyed the structure of the tree, leaving it to die from the inside out. Other trees, like the Lombardy Poplar actually send off what are known as suckers which create a poplar-like small shrub several feet away from the actual tree. Other trees may just be overgrown and unruly. Once you know what you have, you can begin to research the best way to handle your issue, whether you need to learn how to prune or remove problem trees.

When should you prune?

If your trees simply need pruning in order to grow better and fit better within the space you have for them, you can either tackle the job yourself or hire a professional. Pruning should be done very carefully and with the proper tools to prevent injury to yourself or the tree. Typically pruning is done at the end or beginning of the growing season. This is the opportune time to trim back growth, cut away dead areas, and treat for diseases and insects. During the growing season, any pruning performed should involve nothing more than trimming back fast growing branches to keep new growth contained.

Can you remove a tree?

In the process of researching how to prune or remove problem trees, you may find yourself wondering whether you are really qualified to remove that 100 year old oak tree that sits at the corner of your yard near your house. Unless you are an experienced tree worker, the answer is probably no. Amateurs should only remove trees that are located far from buildings and electrical wires to avoid damage, injury, and even death. Safety is a major concern when removing trees as well as getting rid of the unsightly stump. Most of the time it is best to hire a professional for tree removal.

Once you have figured out what the problem is and decided on a solution, deciding how to prune or remove problem trees is the easy part of your conundrum.


Rodney Southern is a long time content writer specializing in a wide array of niches both online and in print. His work has been featured on sites such as Yahoo.com, The Sporting News and numerous others over an eleven plus year career. He also runs his own website on diabetes called Dashing Diabetes. He was the National Call for Content Winner for 2008. Southern resides in Greensboro, NC with his wife, Julie, and identical twin daughters, Valerie and Brooke.

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.