Make Your Own Mod Podge

Anyone who likes to decoupage or do crafts that involve sealing images onto furniture, bottles, and other objects, you’ve most likely come across Mod Podge. It’s a great glue/sealant and can be used on all kinds of projects.

The only problem with it is that at around $8.00 for a small jar, it can get expensive if you use it a lot or have a larger project.

I’d heard of making your own and thought I would give it a try.

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All you need is:
1 clean, dry jar with a lid
1 bottle of white glue
Water

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Pour your glue into your jar and add water. Many of the recipes out there called for a 50/50 mixture of glue to water but I found that to be a little too runny. I preferred a ratio more like 2 parts glue to 1 part water.

Shake Well.

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That’s it!

Apply just as you would your Mod Podge.

I wanted to test my new concoction out on a simple project. For this decorative jar, I just put a layer of glue right on the jar and then placed a strip of pretty paper over it. Then I just applied more glue on top of the paper and along the edges to seal it down.

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I wiped off any excess glue left on the glass and let it dry.

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This formula makes a matte finish, which I really love.

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I’m used to the glossy look of Mod Podge, but I thought the matte looked great. You can’t even tell there is a sealant there.

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If you want to try this and get started right away, here are some ideas of different ways to use your new mixture.

knobs

personalized wine bottlesdoily wall

DSC04025 summer sippers 4th of july bowl final-veggie-jars-inside-with-logo

I’d probably stick with real Mod Podge if you’re doing a special project that might involve family photos or sentimental items. I’m sure it has ingredients that produce a longer lasting finish. But for fun little projects like the jar above, this DIY alternative is great!

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Trick for removing pen from surfaces

Even though they are young, I try to tell my kids that the world is their oyster and they can do and be whatever they set their minds to. Normally, messages like these are great, except when they get lost in translation.

For example, my daughter misunderstood, “The world is your oyster” to be, “The world is your canvas.”

Or more specifically, “Your chair and your walls are your canvas.”

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When you are used to washable markers, dealing with a ballpoint pen (or Sharpee) can be a little disheartening. I remembered hearing about rubbing alcohol for pen and decided to try it.

Here is the chair before.

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I just soaked a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and rubbed it on the pen marks in a circular motion.

The drawing immediately came out but then it looked like the ink was smearing lightly around the spot leaving a purplish hue. This worried me.

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I was too far gone to stop at that point so I finished rubbing it out. When all the pen was gone, I went over the entire area again with a soaked cotton ball to erase any of the leftover traces of ink.

I had a wet spot for a short time (alcohol evaporates quickly) and then when I went back in to check on it….

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It looked better than new. Since no water was involved, there were no water marks left. There wasn’t a trace of pen or discoloration. I was amazed.

I took this excitement over to the walls hoping for the same miracle.

Dealing with paint is a little different. No matter what you use, you risk stripping the paint. I started out with the same method with the alcohol and it worked but it was painfully tedious. Her artwork was more of a mural than a picture. She covered a lot of territory.

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I looked into it and found some other suggestions and hopefully tried them all. None were magical. I tried hair spray but the fumes were awful and not worth it. A magic eraser worked just as well as alcohol but wears down quickly making it a more expensive route.

The end result is that if it were in a small area, alcohol or a magic eraser would have worked. Since her artistic vision was more grandiose, it was just too much territory.

I ended up painting over it in the end. But not before I gave my daughter a rag with water (for effect) and had her wipe the walls until she was miserable.

I’m praying she learned a lesson because I’ve decided if anyone draws on the walls again, we are just going to move.

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pen removal collage

Homemade fruit fly trap

fruit fly trap

If you’re wondering if there is anyone or anything that might love fresh fruit more than you do, I think I have an answer for you.

Fruit flies.

This time of year is great because of all the fresh produce, but along with that comes those annoying gnats that seem to come out of nowhere and invade your kitchen.
As much as I love a good game of Mr. Miyagi-style kill-the-gnat, I figured there had to be a better way to get rid of these guys. A quick search online and I found a perfect solution. It uses ingredients I already had and is non-toxic.
All you need is a container, apple cider vinegar and dish soap.

Fruit fly trap

The flies are attracted to the strong smell of the vinegar and the dish soap breaks the vinegar’s surface tension so when the fly lands on the mixture, it immediately sinks and drowns.

If you don’t like the look of a yogurt container or if you’re using a glass container and you don’t want a display of fly corpses on your counter, you can just cover the container with a pretty paper.

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Then just pour about a cup of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap into the container and swirl it together.

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Some yogurt containers come with a nice plastic lid that you can cut a large hole out of with a blade knife. The hole needs to be large enough to encourage the gnats to come in but small enough that your whole kitchen doesn’t smell like vinegar. If your container doesn’t have a lid, just cover with foil or plastic wrap and cut a large hole in it.

fruit fly trap

Then just place it near your fruit bowl or wherever works in your kitchen and let it do all the work.

fruit fly trap

fruit fly trap

Check it often and change the mixture once you have a little cemetery like this going on.

fruit fly trap

This is such an easy, simple solution and it’s exciting to see the proof of how well it works!

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Resurrected Sweater

Save a Sweaterawwww, don’t throw out your poor sweater just because it has a hole in it. Rather than end its life, let it start a new life with a quick patch job.

I actually have to credit this project to my husband. I showed him the hole disappointedly and he said (jokingly), “Why don’t you just slap a patch over it?”

I’m sure he wishes I would just laugh at his jokes. Instead, I take them very seriously.

On the bright side, I called him a genius and left him alone for an hour while I worked on this.

Here is the sad state of the sweater before…

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First I sewed along the edges of the hole just to clean it up a bit. I don’t know if this was really necessary, but it felt like the right thing to do.

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Next, I cut a circle out of red felt just large enough to cover the hole and pinned it in place.

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With a zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine, I sewed around the edge of the red patch (twice for good measure) and that was it.

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Since the patch is on the back of the sweater, it definitely is a different look, but I like it.

You could also do this with clothes that have a stain that won’t come out. Just cover the stain with a patch and sew it on in the same manner.

Now go grab your Goodwill bag and see what you can resurrect!

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Easy fix if photo is too small for mat

If a photo you want to use is too small for the opening of the mat you are using (leaving a gap), I have a simple fix for you.

Photo frame fix using fabric

Measure the opening in your mat and then choose a fabric that matches the colors of the room you’ll be hanging the picture.

measure opening to cut fabricPhoto frame fix using fabric

Cut the fabric about one inch longer and wider than your opening and tape it to the back of your mat, right side of the fabric facing outward through the opening.

Photo frame fix using fabric

Tape your photo with double-sided tape in the center of the right side of the fabric on your mat. The photo I used was printed with a white border on it, but any photo will work.

Put completed mat back into the frame and there you go! The nice thing about this is you can change the look as often as you like just by changing out the fabric.

Photo frame fix using fabric

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