Posted In:DIY (Do It Yourself) Archives - Pligg

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10 Novel Ideas for Your Christmas Light Installation (The Neighbors Will Be Jealous)

November 16, 2017 - By 

Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing?

Halloween is officially over and therefore the Christmas season has begun.

As you pack up your witch and jack-o-lantern decorations in your attic, you’re probably noticing your Christmas decoration boxes staring at you. You’re thinking about the contents and realizing you want to try something new this year.

Fear not, if you’re out of Christmas decorating ideas and tired of doing the same thing year after year this article is for you.

This guide will break down how to up your Christmas light installation game and make all your neighbors jealous. After all, we know you want Santa to be able to see your house from the sky.

Read on for 10 novel ideas for your Christmas light installation.

1. Snowflake Lights in Your Trees

Do you want to turn your front yard into a winter wonderland? If so, hang snowflake lights from the branches of your trees to enhance your Christmas light installation.

It doesn’t matter if you live in snowy Colorado or sunny Florida, having snowflake lights on your tree branches will make your yard look beautiful and festive.

The more trees you have in your yard the better this will look.

Hanging the lights in the trees in your backyard is also a great idea for holiday parties. You can let guests walk through your magical backyard of lights.

2. Inflatable Decorations

You know when you drive by car dealerships and they have huge inflatable decorations outside?

The reason they do this is that they’re eye-catching. Adding an inflatable Christmas decoration to your front yard is sure to grab the attention of people riding by.

What inflatable decoration should you choose? The possibilities are endless. Inflatable reindeer, inflatable snow globes, or an inflatable Santa are all good choices.

Add spotlights in front of your inflatable decorations to ensure people can see it at night.

3. Put Christmas Trees Outside

There’s no rule that says your Christmas tree must be indoors.

Create your own miniature fir tree forest by putting Christmas trees around your yard outdoors.

You can decorate them all with lights and top them with your favorite tree toppers. This is perfect for those families who always argue over whether to use an angel or a star on top of the tree. If you have multiple trees outdoors you can use multiple tree toppers!

Don’t forget you still need to go out and water your outdoor trees. They’ll look so good that it will be worth the trip outside.

4. Turn Your Home Into a Gingerbread House

Gingerbread houses are a delicious part of the holiday season, but they aren’t just for the kitchen.

Making your home look like a gingerbread house is an amazing Christmas light installation idea.

To achieve this look you will need to get candy shaped lights for the front of your house. Line your sidewalk with candy cane lights and gumdrops.

For the main portion of your house, it’s time to load up on LED strip lights.

Decorate the outside of your house with the same design that you would a gingerbread house. One easy way to do this is do straight lines going from the roof to the ground in different colors.

5. Holiday Light Projector

Holiday light projectors are becoming more and more popular in recent years.

These could be a good option for you if you’re short on electrical outlets but you still want to get a great light display going at your house.

Between buying gifts, sending holiday cards, and preparing for holiday parties, the winter months can be expensive. Getting a holiday light projector will save you time and money.

Holiday light projectors make the Christmas light installation process easy. All you need to buy is a 1-3 projectors depending on how large your house is and set them up so they’re pointing at the walls of your house.

You can also direct the projector to a large tree in your yard and it will look like the tree is covered in beautiful Christmas lights.

Holiday light projectors are available in many different colors, shapes, and patterns. You can get them in white if you prefer a more traditional look or you can get them in star shapes that appear to dance along the outside of your house.

6. The Nativity Scene

The nativity scene is a wholesome and beautiful symbol representing Christmas.

Setting up a nativity scene in your front yard is a great way to remind people that the holiday is supposed to be about love, family, and celebrating new life.

Keep your nativity scene simple and don’t try to glam it up with too many lights or it will look gaudy.

For your nativity scene, you will need the baby Jesus (we dare you to try the glassblowing technique!), a manger, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds, and an optional sheep.

7. Create Your Own Christmas Light Balls

Turn your Christmas decorating into a DIY project with your family.

To make Christmas light balls, you will need chicken wire and Christmas lights. Simply wrap your Christmas lights around your chicken wire orbs to create glowing balls of festivity.

You can vary the colors if you choose, making some red, some green, and some blue and then place them around your lawn. This is a great way to add some color to the ground level of your house.

8. Don’t Forget the Roof

Your roof will be the focal point of your Christmas light installation display.

You want to make sure you put something on the roof that will be eye-catching and interesting for people to see.

What you choose to put on the roof depends on your personal Christmas tastes.

Want to do something funny? Maybe put a spotlight on a Grinch who’s trying to steal the presents out of the chimney. Want to do something classic? Get a light up sleigh equipped with reindeer and put a hearty Santa inside of it. Want to do something cute? Try a light-up Frosty the Snowman who’s waving at everyone who passes your house.

The most important thing is that you don’t neglect the roof thinking that the lights and decorations on the front of the house will be enough.

And, as always be mindful of your safety! The roof is inherently dangerous. Always be careful when using ladders and let a family member know you’re up there in case you need help getting down.

9. Decorate Your Mailbox

When planning their Christmas light installation, many people forget about their mailboxes.

Your mailbox is the closest thing to the road and, therefore, the first thing people see when they drive by your house. You want your mailbox looking just as festive as the rest of your property. Best of all, it’s really easy to decorate!

A good idea for your mailbox is to hang a beautiful wreath on it. Or tie a red velvet ribbon around it and attach jingle bells.

You can also wrap your mailbox with Christmas lights to make it even more eye-catching and add to your light count.

10. Spell Out a Word in Lights

Christmas is the time to spread joy and love to your neighbors around you.

So why not spell out joy or love in your own front yard?

“Joy”, “Love”, or “Peace on Earth” make great letters you can spell out with lights in your front yard.

You can either buy letters that already light up, or you can make your own by cutting them out of food and then wrapping Christmas lights around them.

Putting out a nice message into the world will make people feel good and get them into the Christmas spirit when they drive by your house and see your Christmas light installation.

Make Your Christmas Light Installation Fun

The holidays are all about spending time with the people you love, so make your Christmas light installation process a group project.

Get your family outside to help you hang lights and bounce ideas off of each other about how you want your house to look this year.

Let your house’s Christmas lights reflect each person who lives inside by giving everyone input. When you divide the job, things will go faster and you’ll get to spend quality time together.

Remember, if you want to avoid the process of untangling lights then the holiday light projector might be for you.

For some overachievers, the process of hanging up your own lights might be half the fun.

If you run into any electrical problems while hanging your lights you may need an electrician. Check out our article on knowing when to call an electrician for your electrical issues.

Have fun and Merry Christmas!


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3 Qualities to Look for in a Great Access Door

November 13, 2017 - By 

Having a great access door means more than just providing entry for plumbing or electrical units. It can offer safety and security when used as a safe.

There are many purposes you can use an access door for but it ultimately ends up being an easy way to conduct necessary maintenance repairs. Whether that’s what you intend to use it for or want to convert it into something else, we have advice on the qualities a good access door should have.

Ready to find out what they are? Here we go!

Hidden Hinges

Concealed hinges are great if you’re wanting the door to be flush with the wall. That way, it doesn’t stick out awkwardly.

They also come in handy if you’re using your door as a safe. When the hinges are located within the door itself, it’s impossible to be tampered with. Crooks looking to gain access won’t find a way because they can’t locate the hinges.

Not only do they offer security when used that way but they’re easy to install. Whether you do it yourself or have a professional do the install, most concealed hinges work like a puzzle. All that needs to be done is to click one piece inside the other.

Fire-Rated Access Door

Since most doors are used to conceal electrical units, it’s best to invest in a door that’s fire-rated. Why?

If a fire were to happen, one that’s fire-rated limits the amount of smoke that’s produced. Also, it has properties that prevent the fire from spreading past the doors.

These types of doors prove themselves useful because when installed, it creates a tight seal against the wall. When used in the kitchen, for example, the material it’s made out of won’t become hot to the touch. All that’s heated inside the door won’t transfer onto the door itself.

Companies like Best Access Doors understand consumers want to keep their home protected. Therefore, they offer a wide variety of fire-rated access doors.

Can Withstand the Elements

Most doors can be used indoors and outdoors. While it’s great to have one that can do both, it’s best to consider the type of weather in the area you live in if the door will be on the exterior of your home.

If it’s strictly indoor, sticking it outside won’t put it to good use. It’ll slowly deteriorate from the outside elements.

Harsh winters or even blazing sunlight can cause damage. When shopping, be sure to pick up one that’s specifically for the outdoors.

It can also withstand mildew and warping caused by weather. It’s worth the investment so you don’t have to replace the door three years from now.

Wrapping Up

When picking out an access door, it’s best to remember these three qualities. Your door should be able to withstand the outside elements and keep your valuables safe.

Whatever you decide to use it for, make sure it fits your needs. There’s plenty of options to choose from so you won’t be stuck with one that’s useless.

For more information on a plethora of topics, check out our recent blog posts!


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How a Home Design App Can Turn You Into an Interior Designer

November 8, 2017 - By 

Whether you are a new or seasoned homeowner, redecorating is something that usually happens more than once.

But paying a professional interior designer can become very expensive. Do you still want that professional look without the high price tag? Enter design apps.

Read below for some fabulous ways a home design app will help you achieve your goals all by yourself!

Choosing Colors

Paint is often the first step in any redecorating plan. It can also be a scary choice to make. Fear of a color being overwhelming once on a wall prevents many people from beginning at all.

Luckily there are apps that can help you see what a color will look like. Many paint brands have their own apps that once you upload a picture of a room, you can apply any paint color to one or more walls.

This process will help you have an idea of how a color will actually look before you take the plunge.

Color apps can also help you figure out what a color is. Did you damage a wall and need to do some touch ups? Unsure what the paint color is? Snap a photo and most apps will be able to find you the exact color or a close match.

Get Inspiration from a Home Design App

If you have the urge to redecorate but lack inspiration, a design app may become your best friend.

These apps can provide you with different types of rooms all decorated in different styles. There is something for everyone regardless if you like modern furniture or country styled pieces.

Try Out Layouts and Furniture

Rearranging the furniture in your home is an easy way to bring new life and a new look to any room.

But sometimes the thought of moving heavy couches and tables sucks.

If you want to only rearrange once, consider using apps that let you create a 3D image of your room. These let you pick room shapes and put windows and doors where you have them.

Once you have a shell that matches your room, you can place images of furniture pieces in the space. When you move furniture, you can be sure it will look how you want!

Some apps even let you customize floor materials or window treatments.

For example, with a home design app, you can sometimes test out some blinds and designs to find something that works perfectly for your space.

Stay Organized

Staying organized during home renovations or redecorating is important. Managing your time well will ensure your project will help increase your home’s value.

Find an app that can act as a virtual assistant. Create all your tasks that need to be done and create reminders for cleaning tasks that will help you maintain

Start Creating Your Dream Home

As you can see, a home design app can really help make your dreams come true with your home.

Have some friends who want to do some redecorating? Be sure to share this article with them.

Also be sure to check out some other home decorating resources!


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5 Pro Tips to Keep Your Bike Working

July 5, 2017 - By 
bike maintenance

Regular bike maintenance is critical to enjoying hassle-free rides and prolonging the life of the bike. Who wants to go out and buy a new bike every few years? Not many!

When a bike’s squeaks, rattles, clicks, and clangs are ignored, performance suffers and it can become a safety hazard.

You don’t always have to take your bike down to the local bike shop, however, when some work needs to be done. Many maintenance techniques can be done right in your garage with an iced tea in hand.

Here are 5 at-home pro tips to help keep your bike in perfect working order for years to come.

1. Keep an Eye on Those Brake Pads

With regular use, brake pads begin to glaze due to the friction and heat between the pads and rims. Failing brake pads can turn an enjoyable ride into a scary one!

Just like in a car, glazed brake pads fail to stop a bike’s momentum at critical times. Simply put, they are not safe.

A cyclist’s first reaction is to buy new brake pads. This isn’t always needed.

Before spending unnecessary money, use some sandpaper and gently scrub the surface of each smoothed-out pad. Most of the time you’ll end up with like-new pads using this inexpensive, easy procedure.

2. Simple Frame Protection

Keeping the bike frame in good shape is key to a bike’s longevity.

Oftentimes the brake and gear cables that run along the frame begin to rub against it, causing damage. When this happens, find the points of contact and put small pieces of electrical tape between the frame and cables.

This helps protect the frame from long-term damage.

To cover existing nicks and dings, use an appropriate shade of nail polish (find that 50-shades-of-everything basket in the house) — but do so sparingly.

3. Keep Lubrication Levels in Check

More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to lubricating a bike chain.

If too much oil is applied to the chain, it can begin to accumulate dirt, dust, and debris. It can also cause excessive chain slipping and shorten the life of the bike’s drive train.

When too much oil has been applied, you’ll see areas of it beading up and gathering on components. Take a clean cloth and run it over the chain to rid it of the excess lubrication.

4. Properly Fit the Front Wheel

Tire punctures are frustrating, but they happen to the best of us.

Many times, after replacing the front tire, a rider will put the wheel back on the wrong way. This is common after experiencing the frustration of lost ride time.

We’re always in such a hurry, aren’t we?

The problem with attaching it backward is that the tire is now essentially rolling the wrong way. This results in less overall grip and performance.

How can you tell if the front wheel is fitted properly?

Simply match the quick release side with the quick release of the rear wheel.

Then be on your way to a high-performance ride.

5. Maintain the Seat Post

A seat post left in the same position for long periods of time can get permanently stuck in position. This turns the bike into a one-user-only proposition.

To avoid this, every month or so take a few minutes to remove and re-insert the seat post into the slot.

If you have a metal post and frame, use a bit of grease to keep it lubricated. If the bike has a carbon post and frame, dab on some friction paste.

Conclusion

These 5 tips will get you well on your way to keeping up with regular bike maintenance.

If your bike needs more work, a bike repair manual can save you loads of money. Plus, websites like the Inflation Zone can give you the lowdown on the best bikes out there, if you’re in the market for a new one.

Happy riding!


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8 Easy Steps to Make an Amazing Recycled Hummingbird Feeder

June 13, 2017 - By 

Summer is time for making memories with those you love.

It can also be a time for life lessons that your child will carry with him or her into adulthood. Among them:

  • The importance of sustainable living
  • Appreciating nature
  • Using his/her hands to build things
  • Valuing time with family
  • Working together (for siblings or friends)

Those hummingbirds move fast, so let’s not delay learning how to make a recycled hummingbird feeder.

What You’ll Need

An Empty Bottle

You can use glass or plastic. If your kids are younger, plastic is likely your best option to avoid dangerous breaks.

Look for a bottle with interesting features your child can decorate. And, to keep in line with the purpose of recycling, don’t buy a bottle just make your feeder. Reuse something.

Here are some to consider from the ordinary to the unique:

  • Sports drink bottle
  • Olive oil or alcoholic beverage bottle
  • Wine bottle
  • Water bottle
  • Hot sauce bottle
  • Test tube
  • Spice jar

Plus you’ll need:

  • A cap – Look for a cap similar to a cap off of cooking spray, spray paint or something of the like.
  • A screw on cap, a little smaller that fits your bottle snugly
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Very sharp scalpel or craft knife (for your use only)
  • Glue gun
  • Tweezers or needle nose pliers
  • Beads or other decorations (optional)
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • String or rope for hanging
  • Eye protection – Rarely drills can throw plastic shrapnel into the air. Sunglasses or prescriptions glasses should suffice.

Making Your Recycled Bird Feeder

Step 1

Choose appropriate attire. You and your child will be working with paint and glue so choose kids clothes that are comfortable and okay to get messy.

Step 2

Cut out the middle of smaller cap. The safest way to do this is to poke holes in it with the drill or screwdriver. And then punch the middle out. It doesn’t have to look pretty. This piece goes on the inside.

Step 3

Very carefully cut around the larger cap to shorten it to about 1.5 -2 inches tall.

Step 4

Warm up the hot glue gun. For those of you, who are new to crafting, hot glue guns work best because the hot glue bonds better to the materials and dries very fast creating a strong bond.

Borrow one from one of your crafting friends if you don’t own one.

For very small children, please note that glue guns and the glue that comes out can burn skin.

Use tweezers or needle nose pliers to place the smaller cap inside the large one without allowing the cap to touch on either side or underneath.

With glue dots from your gun, create little bridges between the little cap and the big cap. The goal is to hold the little cap in place without completely blocking the flow of liquid from one cap to the next. Let the glue dry, which takes less than a minute before you can let go. But wait another 10 before screwing the cap on to be sure it’s dry.

Careful not to get glue inside the little cap or the cap won’t fit the bottle.

Step 5

Remove any labels from the bottle and clean thoroughly.

Step 6 (optional)

If the bottle is plastic, rub sandpaper around it before you paint so that that paint will stick.

Paint the bottle. Let it dry.

Step 7

Decorate the bottle. Use the hot glue again to attach foam flowers, string or beads as desired. Get creative and whimsical. Hummingbirds are drawn to red, so use as much red as possible. Let everything dry.

Step 8

Add humming bird solution, which can be made with sugar and water. Avoid food coloring, which can be harmful.

Screw on the cap and hang the feeder upside down in a tree.

Enjoy!


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5 Incredibly Easy DIY Pest Control Solutions

December 19, 2016 - By 
Got pests? No problem. These DIY pest control tricks are your ticket to getting those bugs off your back. Before you call the calvary, give these a shot.

It’s Friday night. You’ve got a hot date coming over. You’ve cleaned the house. Shoved your dirty laundry under the bed (hope he doesn’t look under there). And you’ve lit a few romantic candles while you fixed him dinner.

It’s going to be a fantastically romantic evening. And then you see them. Your biggest nightmares. A cockroach, a horde of ants, and a mouse trooping across your kitchen like satan’s army.

It’s too late to call the pest control services. What do you do? Your hunk of a date is going to be here anytime.

Don’t scream. It’s going to be ok. There are some easy things you can do to take down the pests in your home.

1. Garlic Mint Spray

This could also work as vampire repellent. But it’s really for bugs. Blend some mint leaves and garlic cloves. You were just cooking, right? So you should have these. Add some cayenne pepper and some dish soap. Boil the stuff.

Now, if you need it this instant, you could probably just pour some on the sucker right away. But it will make a mess. But for future use, chill it overnight in the fridge and then strain it into a spray bottle.

2. Coffee Grounds

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Until they encounter coffee grounds. Then they run away. Really. They do.

All you need to do is put on a pot of coffee then sprinkle the used grounds around the house. Find out where the ants are coming from. Your date won’t think it’s cool to step on coffee grounds all night.

3. Hot Pepper Spray

Even the mice will run away from this one. But it’s really just for bugs.

Take one gallon of water. Mix it with three tablespoons of hot pepper flakes. Heat it in a pan on simmer for about fifteen minutes. This brings out the hellfire in the spray i.e. pepper oils.

This is another one you will have to let sit for about 24 hours to let the flakes release all of their torment into the spray.

Once you’ve let it sit, strain it. Drop some dish soap in. Put it in a spray bottle. And now you have the cruelest insect repellent on the planet.

Spray it on plants or in cracks where ants and cockroaches might come in.

This is also a great way to keep squirrels from getting into bird seed. You see, birds don’t have salivary glands and thus they can’t feel the heat of the peppers. But squirrels sure do. Spray down that bird seed with a dish soap-less version and watch the squirrels freak.

4.  Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

Really, any kind of alcohol will work for this one.

But fruit flies are the worst infestation. They are gross. Just nasty. And you will always have a hard time getting rid of them.

First, put all fruit in the fridge. Don’t leave any out.

Then, get a salt shaker, fill the bottom with apple cider or rum. Drop in some dish soap to break the water tension. And then set it out. Watch them flock to it. They’ll crawl into their sweet and drunken death.

5. Borax And Sugar.

Certainly not sugar and spice. But ants sure think it is. Until they die!

Take 1/2 cup of sugar. 1 Cup of warm water. Mix the two with 2 tablespoons of borax.

Put it in a shallow lid of some sort and place it where the ants march. They’ll even take some of it to their next and kill more over time.

Conclusion:

So, now you can enjoy your Friday night. Just don’t let the bed bugs bite!