College Gear for Camping?

When my oldest son went to college out-of-state I purchased the extra long mattress pad and sheets.

I still have the mattress pad and I use it to cover an air mattress when my granddaughter comes to visit. I found the extra length allows the elastic to rest in the seam on the sides of the air mattress.

College is in full swing now, and you may be able to find the extra long bedding at a deep discount.

You will be glad you picked it up when you use it camping next summer. You cannot feel the vinyl when you use the mattress pad like you do when you are only using a sheet.

Extra long twin mattress pad designed for college dorm beds used on an air mattress.

Extra long twin mattress pad designed for college dorm beds used on an air mattress.

Use It, Don’t Organize It

I am too organized.

You may not think that is a problem, but where others would give or throw things away, I find myself trying to find some organizer in which to store them.

I was cleaning off the rusty, metal shelves in the basement where I keep my houseplant supplies. On the bottom shelf was a roll of contact paper with watering cans on it. I thought someday I would use it.

The last time I cleaned the shelves I realized the time was now! The shelves were rusty and putting that contact paper down not only protected what I was storing…they look pretty.

“Use it or lose it” is also a good motto. If you don’t use it, get rid of it.

I stored this contact paper for several years.

I stored this contact paper for several years.

 

Couch Charging Station

While scrolling through Pinterest, I saw a cord organizer using large binder clips. I tried using them on my side table, but the wood was too thick.

Then I noticed the back of the couch had a flap. I clipped my husband’s phone charger to the end of the flap on one side.

Looking behind my couch from the side will show you the charger to my husband's phone.

Looking behind my couch from the side will show you the charger to my husband’s phone.

On the other side, I clipped the charger to my Chromebook.

If you look down behind my couch, you will see the charger to my Chromebook.

If you look down on my couch, you will see the charger to my Chromebook.

My couch is now a charging station!

©2009-2014 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

Bookshelves Become A Bookcase

I have been looking for a side table that is 18″ wide, 24″ tall, and 8″ deep. I was moving some wood in the storage room and saw three 8″ laminate shelves. Two were 24″ long and the third was 38″ long.

I asked my husband if we could build a box out of them and use it as a side table. Not only did he agree, he pulled a matching 24″ shelf out of the laundry room. They are all walnut stained.

I was so excited. We could make a bookcase for a side table to house the remote controls, etc. I drew a picture and wrote down the measurements I wanted and he took them to the lumberyard.

When it was finished, it didn’t look right. The center shelf had been mounted vertically, not horizontally. It measured 24″ wide and 18″ tall! It didn’t work at all; but David said he could fix it and he did.

I set it next to the love seat and went to soak my feet, sitting in the chair by the front window. The CD case I had next to the chair was too tall and I bumped it, spilling my glass of water.

I moved everything to the recliner and put a new glass of water on the new bookcase. The recliner rocked…or something…and I spilled that glass of water! My husband told me it was too narrow for the space.

I got out the table that was formerly there. The top was large enough for two glasses, the phone, answering machine and a flame-less candle.

I decided to replace the “too tall” CD case with the bookcase. I tried it next to it, but it didn’t leave three feet between it and the TV stand. We needed a three-foot walkway from the front door.

Then I tried it perpendicularly and there was the required three feet…but the lumberyard did not put a piece on the back of it and you could see the unfinished edges. I fixed that with Old English.

Staining the unfinished edges with "Old English."

Staining the unfinished edges with “Old English.”

I was glad they failed to install a back when the weather here cooled off. The air is still able to circulate through the bookcase from the window behind it…and it is the perfect height for that chair.

My new bookcase made from four bookshelves.

My new bookcase made from four bookshelves.

Storage Everywhere

My granddaughter outgrew her wooden puzzles and we purchased some cardboard puzzles. They come in a cardboard frame and I needed a new place to store them.

I found there was just enough room under the TV stand to slide them in and I can easily pull them out. There are storage places everywhere if you just use your imagination.

Cardboard puzzles slide easily under the TV stand.

Cardboard puzzles slide easily under the TV stand.

Put Your Tub to Work

The first day of summer has arrived and I did not finish my spring cleaning. I fully intended to wash the windows but that didn’t get done.

There are some items that are especially difficult to clean…like my step stool with a grooved top.

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Not only is there dirt in the grooves, there is paint splattered on it. I dumped a half a cup of dishwasher detergent in the tub, filled it with hot water and let it soak overnight.

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Since it kept floating to the top I used the lid to my hamper to stabilize it. They both came out sparkling.

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I have tried to scrub the dirt in the crevices of both these items several times and one overnight soak removed all traces of dirt.

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It even removed the paint spatters.

Recliner Treadmill

My sister called and apologized for being out of breath. She had a question about something she read on Facebook. She would only read Facebook while walking on her treadmill.

She is a genius!

I hate to exercise and decided Facebook would be a good incentive to get me up off of my seat! (I tried walking around inside the house, but at 640 square feet, it only took a minute.)  Unlike my sister, I do not have an empty nest with a spare room for a treadmill…or a treadmill.

I am the “Queen of making something out of nothing” and decided to improvise. I put my Chromebook on the back of the recliner and started walking for fifteen minutes a day while I read Facebook.

The back of my recliner and a Chromebook substitutes for a treadmill.

The back of my recliner and a Chromebook substitutes for a treadmill.

Later, I started using a laptop desk under the Chromebook to ensure it did not overheat. I have willingly exercised every day. I also do not dawdle on Facebook anymore.

It was the best, and most stupid, thing I have ever done. The stupid thing was to re-set the timer and keep walking until I finished reading when I haven’t exercised for years.

I did that twice and woke up in the middle of the night with my muscles aching. I could feel each muscle in my toes. I had to apply “Icy-Hot” from hip to toe-nail just to go back to sleep!

(I do recommend contacting your doctor before starting an exercise program and taking it slowly.)

My soldier boy son stopped by…after a 4-mile run…as I was walking. He asked me what I was doing and I explained.

He responded, “Mom, you are not walking…you are marking time.”

After that, I started listening to songs on youtube.com. That got me going a little faster.

When I’m bored doing that…I think I will switch to the NatureValleyTrails.com. They look interesting.

©2009-2016 frugalfish.org. All rights reserved.

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From Bed-Skirt to Ottoman Cover

I shared on Tuesday how I reinforced a bed-skirt of my mothers. She didn’t want the material I cut off and I decided to use it to make an ottoman cover.

The material I cut off of the bed-skirt and the ottoman I wanted to cover.

The material I cut off of the bed-skirt and the ottoman I wanted to cover.

The first thing I did was to pin the bed-skirt material directly into the seam of the ottoman. I formed corners the same size as the original corners on the bed-skirt. This way I did not have to hem the cover.

Pinned bed-skirt around base of ottoman.

Pinned bed-skirt around base of ottoman.

I basted the seam at the top and basted all of the corner pleats shut.

Side of the ottoman cover with the pleats basted shut and basting where the seam would go.

Side of the ottoman cover after basting.

I lay a piece of fabric over the top of the ottoman and cut it a few inches larger. I used a scrap piece of quilt batting to strengthen the top fabric.

Pinned quilt batting to the top piece of fabric.

Pinned quilt batting to the top piece of fabric.

I took the side piece off and placed it back on the ottoman inside out. Then I pinned the upside-down top piece to the basted seam on the side piece.

Pinned the top to the side pieces.

Pinned the top to the side pieces.

Moving the ottoman up on a table to make it easier to handle, I basted the pinned seam on the top piece to the basted seam on the side piece.

I basted the top piece at the pins to the basted seam on the side piece.

I basted the top piece at the pins to the basted seam on the side piece.

I turned it right-side out to check the fit on the ottoman.

I turned it right-side out to check the fit on the ottoman.

Sewed along the basting.

Sewed along the basting.

I trimmed the excess material off.

I trimmed the excess material off.

I used a zig-zag stitch on the edge of the seam to prevent fraying.

I used a zig-zag stitch on the edge of the seam to prevent fraying.

I sewed the pleat shut where the material came together.

I sewed the pleat shut where the material came together.

I removed the basting on the pleats.

I removed the basting on the pleats.

I pinned the seam to face under the top piece and top-stitched it down.

I pinned the seam to face under the top piece and top-stitched it down.

I washed it to make sure it didn't shrink and then sewed the top seam to the seam of the actual ottoman with my curved upholstery needle.

I washed it to make sure it didn’t shrink and then sewed the top seam to the seam of the actual ottoman with my curved upholstery needle.

I kept this ottoman because it fits under this chair when I don't want to use it.

I kept this ottoman because it fits under this chair when I don’t want to use it.

When I am using the chair the ottoman slide right out.

When I am using the chair the ottoman slides right out.

I made this over the course of two days. I had fun because I was watching John Wayne movies while I worked on it!

 

 

 

Hide Cords and Outlets

I placed a chair next to my TV to cover an outlet. I don’t like exposed outlets and I hide them whenever possible.

This chair hides an outlet.

This chair hides an outlet.

For years, I looked at the cords running from this particular outlet to the box on the TV. I tried putting a plant there to hide them, but the plant did not get enough light and I had to move it.

We do not have a coffee table, due to some unfortunate incident my husband had when he was eight, but I had several “coffee table” books. I always meant to browse these books, but never got around to it because they were banished to a bookshelf in the bedroom.

I moved them to hide the exposed cords between the chair and the TV stand. They look pretty and have a much greater chance of being read!

 

The are around my TV.

The area around my TV.

Clever Quilt Storage

I like keeping a few quilts in the front room where we watch TV the most. They are great to use on cooler days in the spring and fall when you don’t want to run the furnace. I can’t leave them on the floor because of dust mite allergies.

My solution? Roll them up and put them on a shelf in the TV stand.

Two quilts in my TV stand.

Two quilts in my TV stand.

 

I roll the pretty side in, and the dark blue material blends in with the black of the TV stand. Most people never notice them.

The are around my TV.

The area around my TV.