DIY Flag Photo Collage Frame

Want a cute and patriotic way to display all those photos from 4th of July festivities? Look no further! This DIY flag collage frame is inexpensive and easy–and one that the kiddos could even help with too (if you’re not too perfectionistic about even stripes)!

To make, you’ll need 4 wooden frames (6 would be really cute too for a more traditional, rectangular flag shape), red, white, and blue paint, paintbrush(es), mod podge, stars (you could use stickers, free hand cut them, or use an electronic cutter like a Cricut or Silhouette).

STEPS:

1. Gather your supplies. Remove back and glass plate from frames.

2. Paint the frames. Start with the blue one since you’ll want it to dry first. Then, paint the flag stripes. It helps to paint the lower two quadrants together so that the stripe lines are more even. You could get extra detailed & use painters tape for the lines if you want. After painting, make sure you give them adequate drying time.

3. Once the blue frame is dry, decide on your star layout.

4. Mod podge on the stars. Let dry.

5. Attach frames together. This could be done in a variety of ways–staple gun, wood glue, hot glue, or any combination of those supplies. Really, it doesn’t matter what you use as long as it will hold the frames together.

6. Decide on your photos, put the glass and backs in, then display on the wall!

7. (optional) If your frames don’t have a hanger, then you can attach wire to the back and hang that way. Use a bow or some other embellishment to cover the wall hanger.

Enjoy displaying your favorite 4th photos in such a festive way!

Hope everyone has a very fun and safe 4th of July weekend, celebrating this great country of ours!

*This post was written by Sara, a contributing writer for the Happy Housewife. Read more from her at Mom Endeavors.


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SpinBrush ProClean: Switch and Save Challenge

Can I just admit that I really dislike going to the dentist? I’ve never had a bad experience or even had many cavities, but I just dislike going.

When Arm & Hammer asked me to try the SpinBrush ProClean I was pretty excited. Anything that keeps the dentist from spending too much time in my mouth is automatically a winner in my book!

The SpinBrush has two brush heads; one moves in a circular pattern and the other goes back and forth in a line.  The toothbrush comes in an assortment of colors, so if you share a bathroom you won’t brush your teeth with the wrong one. The head and batteries are replaceable and the unit appears water-tight.

I was impressed with the quality and value afforded by this unit. It worked so much better than a manual toothbrush and seemed to work as well as systems costing 10-15 times more. I can’t see a down side to using this brush. The unit is inexpensive (less than $9 for the most expensive one I could find on the internet) and both the heads and batteries are replaceable.  If you are looking for a “just came from the dentist” clean and don’t want to pay $100 dollars or more, then this toothbrush is for you.

This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Get a $4.00 coupon for ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush then head over to The Switch & Save Challenge where you can enter to win $25,000.

 


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Sustainable Summer

Turning the DIY compost bin.

Now that school is out consider working on a sustainability project with your children. During the school year we are so busy that we don’t always have time to make sustainable living a high priority. I’m hoping to start some good habits this summer that will carry over into the school year.

Challenge your family to increase the recycling and decrease garbage every week.

Have your kids count how many garbage bags you have on garbage day and challenge the whole family to reduce by one bag a week or one bag every two weeks. For each bag reduced the kids get a treat, like family movie night or an extra trip to the park.

One way to greatly reduce garbage is to cut out processed foods. Challenge the kids to make and eat more “from scratch” items to help decrease waste.

Start a recycling project.

If your neighborhood doesn’t offer recycling have your kids research where the closest recycling center is to your home. Make a list of the products they accept and then have your kids start a neighborhood recycling program.

Use Freecycle and Craig’s List.

When your kids want to buy something have them check Craig’s List or Freecycle first. Chances are they can find the item listed on these networks for significantly cheaper. The same goes for selling something. Instead of throwing it away help them put an ad on one of these sites to give it away or sell it.

Start a compost bin.

Do you know it is ridiculously easy to make your own compost bin? It is a great project for kids and you can start composting for next year’s garden. This reduces kitchen waste and saves money on fertilizer.

Take weekly trips to the library or set up a PaperBack Swap account.

Get your kids into the habit of borrowing books instead of buying them with weekly trips to the library. This is a great way to try out books before you buy. If your kids have too many books set up a PaperBack Swap account and list books to swap. Once you mail off a book you can pick a new book!

Reduce video games/ computer time.

Video and computer times use energy. Encourage your kids to reduce their screen time and find activities that are unplugged.

Plant a garden

In some parts of the country it’s not too late to start a garden, or at least grow a few herbs in pots. Smockity Frocks currently has a great Frugal Gardening 101 series on her site and Homeschool Creations has a free downloadable preschool pack about gardening.

Challenge your kids to use less water/energy.

Summer’s here and the utility bill is creeping up for many of us. Challenge your children to keep outside doors shut and lights off when they aren’t in a room to help decrease the electric bill. Remind them to shut off the water while brushing their teeth and take shorter showers. Put the utility bill savings in a “fun day” account and treat them to dollar ice cream or movie with the savings.

What are some ways you can encourage your children to have a greener summer?


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Inexpensive Way to Clean the Dryer Vent

A blocked dryer vent can cost you extra money every month. Clothes take longer to dry which means more money on laundry and in extreme cases a blocked vent can cause a fire. If you think you might have lint clogging your vent here is an easy way to remove it.

  • Disconnect the vent from the dryer.
  • Place a leaf blower at the opening of the vent.
  • Turn on the leaf blower.
  • Have one of your kids stand outside and watch the lint volcano exploding from your vent.

Remember this technique only works for dryer ducts that are clogged with lint (or a nest). It will not fix poor ductwork, crushed ducts, or other dryer problems. But, for a simple lint clog this works great and is better than trying to snake out the line or run a vacuum hose six feet into the duct.

 


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