AWESOME $30 UPCYCLED GALLERY WALL!

$30 UPCYCLED GALLERY WALL

I have mentioned lately, that I love a good DIY, haven’t I? This one was brewing for about three months. Yes, you read that right. I got the idea in my head and started my search for all the various pieces roundabout October. We have a long wall in our living room that has been blank since moving in last March. This post serves as a companion piece to my latest YouTube video – Episode 110 $30 Upcycled Gallery Wall.

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My husband started complaining to me that it looked like we were temporary renters and not homeowners because our walls were so bare. So I started looking around for inspiration. I like farmhouse industrial because, well, we have a farmhouse and I like the look. 

$30 UPCYCLED GALLERY WALL – THE BREAKDOWN

I spent a total of $12 on Facebook Marketplace for all five frames. They are all solid wood. Three were already empty, which was less work for me. One contained the glass still and the other displayed a counted cross stitch piece, which I donated. 

The most expensive item (for me) on this project was the “h” for our last name. I purchased it for $5 from at Home. The wall medallion and jute were from Hobby Lobby. The wall art was 50% off and I used a coupon for the jute. 

The clothespins were from Dollar Tree! They literally just cost me a dollar! I still have most of the package too so if these get lost or I need to display more than planned I’m good. 

The metal basket was part of a Christmas gift from my sister. I plan to eventually display something seasonal in it, like a simple wreath or bow. The chicken wire was given to me by a friend. Her husband had some left over from a project. 

 THE PROCESS OF CREATING OUR $30 UPCYCLED GALLERY WALL

My husband helped (erm, did most of the work) with the actual completion of the project. I really just got the original idea and gathered all the materials. Gathering the materials took more time than I realized because thrift stores and flea markets charge more money for solid wood frames or they have already chalk painted them and put an even heftier price tag on them. It took a while to find a promising ad on Facebook Marketplace in which the seller actually responded.

MY $12 FRAMES

STEP ONE – SAND AND RESTAIN THE FRAMES

The frames were all older, and rather dark and dirty. My husband sanded them all down then restained them using whatever stain he had on hand. I didn’t go out to take a picture of it, but as we have no garage or shop yet at the new house he did all this outside in the cold over his Christmas vacation. He took a week and a half off and I took up his last few days off with this little project.

STEP TWO – CUT THE CHICKEN WIRE

We only had to trim a little bit of rusted wire off. To cut the wire we simply unrolled it on the floor and used the frames as templates to cut out the wire needed. My husband ended up having to sit on the wire to keep it flat. This took about ten minutes. It probably would’ve been faster had our wire cutters been sharper.

CLICK THE PIC TO SEE THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!

STEP THREE – ATTACH THE CHICKEN WIRE AND JUTE

In order to attach the chicken wire to the larger frame, my husband built a frame to go behind it that was a little wider and gave the surface area needed to staple the chicken wire down. He then screwed the two frames together with the wire sandwiched between. The smaller frame with the was wider, and therefore a little easier to attach the wire to.

To string the jute I marked where I wanted it to run and then my husband simply drilled a hole in each side of the wood for each row of jute. Then I just ran it through the frame and knotted on the ends, leaving the knots visible.

STEP FOUR – CHOOSE THE LAYOUT FOR THE UPCYCLED GALLERY WALL

This was one of the most difficult parts. I had worked the entire three months laying them out, taking pictures, and never being quite satisfied. In the end, it didn’t look quite right with just the five frames, so I pulled the wire basket off the dining table and set it in the middle. Then it really started coming together!

After several minutes of me moving stuff around and not being quite happy with any of it my husband suggested the current arrangement and it was just right!

THIS PART TOOK A WHILE…

STEP FIVE – INSTALLATION

This part was again mostly up to my husband. I’m not really allowed or inclined to put holes in the walls. If you were to remove any piece of wall decor at our old house while we lived there and look on the wall behind it you would’ve seen lots of little holes as I kept changing my mind and resituating things. I do not mind not being the one making the holes in the walls!

So I held things and assisted him where needed in-between corralling kids. I am very thrilled with the end result! I wanted an inexpensive, yet visually pleasing way to display our children’s artwork with a few anchor pieces to give it some consistency and that is just what we got!

upcycle a gallery wall

NON-TOXIC DISHWASHER DETERGENT TABLETS

non-toxic dishwasher detergent tablets

Problem: I Want Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent Tablets That Are Affordable

This post is a companion piece to Episode 106: DIY Dishwasher Tablets on the YouTube channel. As promised in the video, I am breaking down the process of making my own non-toxic dishwasher detergent tablets as seen in the video and provide links to the products used.

If you’re like me, you want products in your home to be as non-toxic as possible. If you’re also like me you’re not willing or able to pay an arm and a leg for said non-toxic items. I am on a budget after all. I love using plant-based, non-toxic, and essential oil-infused products wherever possible.

Sometimes to make that fit in the budget I have to DIY my own solutions. One such solution I found myself needing was a good dishwasher tablet. That’s okay since I happen to love a good DIY. I prefer tablets to powder and finding what I wanted in my price range proved difficult. Here is my DIY recipe for non-toxic dishwasher detergent tablets.

Solution: I DIYed My Own Essential Oil-Infused Dishwasher Detergent Tablets!

DIYing is often a great solution for getting what you want in your budget. We DIY everything from storage solutions to home decor to antibacterial hand soaps and shower gel around our house. So making my own non-toxic dishwasher detergent tablets wasn’t much of a stretch for me.

The bonus is I decided to build my recipe around cleaning products I already employed to begin with or had other uses for around the house. No one-off products in this recipe for me. I wanted more bang for my buck. I already make my own non-toxic laundry detergent and decided to add washing powder to boost the cleaning power of an already satisfactory product. It was in all the recipes online the first go around, but I didn’t have it on hand. I also didn’t have any Thieves® detergent left and a lot of laundry piling up. I made do with what I had! It turned out well and I used the whole bottle up. I recently whipped up a second batch with the washing powder and have been very happy with the results. You can read the updated post on that here.

I already use Castile soap for hand soaps and body wash, so I had some of that on hand as well. It is very gentle on the skin and all-natural. I just add Thieves® oil and a little water (for easier pumping) to my hand soap pumps in the bathrooms for non-toxic and alcohol-free antibacterial hand soap.

I also had Thieves® Household Cleaner on hand and use it to clean, well… everything. That bottle of concentrated cleaner is just so effective AND economical! Using the Household Cleaner instead of several drops of the oils seemed like a more cost-effective approach to me. You can skip the Household Cleaner and add several drops of lemon and or Thieves® essential oil if you so choose. So, this recipe only involved buying two items I did not use or plan to use previously; citric acid and a silicone ice cube tray.

To Make Your Own Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent Tablets:

non-toxic dishwasher detergent tablets

Ingredients (Fills 2 Trays)

Silicone Ice Cube Trays

2 Cups Washing Soda

1/2 Cup Citric Acid (I used Lemi Shine)

1/2 Cup White Distilled Vinegar

1 Tsp Unscented Castile Soap

1 Capful Thieves® Household Cleaner

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients and Thieves® Household Cleaner well
  2. Slowly mix in vinegar (it will be frothy)
  3. Scoop mixture into ice cube trays. Pack tightly. The mixture should remain moist throughout packing. Add more vinegar if needed.
  4. Let set for 24 hours then carefully remove the individual cubes from the trays.

Store them in a glass container and then use one per load in the dishwasher as you would a typical detergent.

Tips from My Experience Making My Own Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent Tablets

It is very important to mix the solution well and pack it into the ice cube trays while it is still moist. It will need the full 24 hours, so don’t get excited and check it too early. When you do remove the tablets from the tray I recommending pushing up from the bottom until the majority of the tablet is free of the tray. You cannot squeeze them much or they will crumble.

The good news is even if they do crumble some the soap is still good to use! You definitely need silicone; I do not believe I could’ve gotten any tablets out in one piece had I used a traditional plastic ice cube tray.

Overall, I am very happy with these ingredients in the dishwasher and using tablets that are premeasured and easier to load will make things run smoother. I definitely plan to buy another silicone ice cube tray in the future in order to make a full batch each time.

Please check out the video and give it a like/subscribe if you haven’t already! I’ll be back on the blog tomorrow with a regularly scheduled post. See you then frugal friends! And let me know in the comments here or on the video if you try these! I’d love to hear how yours turn out! Happy DIYs!

A FRUGAL AND ALMOST FREE DIY: LAUNDRY FOLDING STATION

My husband was nice enough to whip up a quick and free solution to lack of counter space in our laundry room with this free DIY. He built it a couple of months ago and I just got around to stencil painting it this week. This was an almost free and frugal DIY with a total cost of about $4. Yes, you read that right.

**This page contains affiliate links. At no cost to you I earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking my links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.**

Original Plans for This Frugal and Almost Free DIY

We are big fans of Ana White. Her website is full of free (yes, free!) woodworking plans. My husband has modified her plans to make our farmhouse dining table and chairs, our daughter’s storage bed, her armoire, my console table, and my laundry cart just to name a few items. When he went looking for a solution to our lack of counter space in the laundry room he browsed plans on her site. He found this outdoor serving station plan to use for our frugal and almost free DIY.

Related: See more posts of our DIYs.

It also doubles as wall art and the sole decoration in the room so it is positioned on the wall as high as possible while still serving its purpose. The materials he used in the build were all on-hand so the actual build was free. I like free; free is very frugal!

frugal and almost free DIY
The actual cost to build the laundry station was $0

Finishing Up the Project

Finishing this project required a trip to Hobby Lobby, my first trip of the year was in September! This is very hard to believe if you knew me a couple of years ago; I was in there on a weekly basis scouring sales to find all sorts of home decor to display on surfaces and hang on the walls. I found what I wanted online, but it wasn’t a big enough item to warrant the shipping cost. So to the store I went with our two-year-old in tow and we walked out with the one item we came for! I also downloaded the 40% off coupon on my phone, so the stencil cost about $3 with tax.

I wasn’t sure if I had the right shade of white paint at home for the project so I waited to make that purchase. And waited. I played with the stencil placement for a bit and left it stuck on for a few days before making another trip to a store that carried craft paint. It was 50 cents at Walmart. I went with antique white. Below is the finished product in action.

Have you had any almost free DIYs you’d like to share? We love a good DIY around here. In fact, I have a few more little projects in the works I can’t wait to share here on the blog and on the YouTube channel!

DIY laundry folding station

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MY 4 INGREDIENT BORAX-FREE DIY LAUNDRY DETERGENT EXPERIMENT

frugal diy laundry detergent

The Dilemma…

So what’s a frugal gal to do when the laundry piles up and the last drop of her beloved essential oil-infused laundry detergent is gone and it’s still another week till her Essential Rewards order ships? I could quick order more, but since I picked YL Go instead of YL Go+ (I was cheap, not frugal- remember frugal isn’t cheap) I have to pay for shipping on quick orders. I’d rather Remember, just because something is in the budget doesn’t mean it’s in the bank account yet! I smell a DIY! For this frugal DIY laundry detergent I googled some and then did my own thing with what was on hand.

*This page contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking my links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualified purchases.*

Time for a Frugal DIY Laundry Detergent

I chose my trusted Dr. Bronner’s unscented Castile soap, Thieves Household Cleaner, and lemon essential oil. I don’t have baking soda and from my (limited) research using in a front load washer is a bit of a science.

I don’t have washing soda either, but I read you can pour straight castile soap in the wash, so I know I’ve improved upon it by adding Thieves Household Cleaner and lemon oil. Tea tree oil was also recommended, but I’m running low after other oily DIYs, so I’ll stick with lemon. It smells clean, will complement the Citrus Fresh laundry scent booster, and has excellent cleaning properties of its own.

The Process

frugal DIY laundry detergent
  1. I opted to use the empty Thieves detergent jug; if it’s good enough for Young Living to hold essential oil-infused products, then it’s good enough for me. I heated a small pot of water on the stove and removed from heat before it came to a boil.
  2. Then I added one capful of Thieves Household Cleaner and 10-15 drops of Lemon essential oil. I’m terrible about counting oil drops accurately!
  3. I used a funnel to pour the water mixture into the empty detergent jug then poured approximately 1/2 a cup of Castile soap in. All I did after that was to close the lid and gently swish it around inside the jug.

That is all it took to make my frugal DIY laundry detergent! Three steps and four ingredients later I was ready to wash some clothes. The best part is I was out no additional money to make it because I used only what I had on hand!

The Verdict on this Frugal DIY Laundry Detergent

I loved making my own! I can customize it by using different oils to change the scent and make it more or less concentrated as needed. That and I can’t get over how much money I can save by making my own! I’m only a few loads in and it works well so far. If If I have any issues with DIY detergent and my HE washing machine I will go back to buying Thieves detergent, but this month. I’ll keep you posted after several more loads.

I think I’ll focus my efforts on stocking up my medicine cabinet and finding more new oily products to fall in love with! Honestly, I haven’t met an oil I don’t like yet! I already have my next frugal and oily DIY picked out, so stay tuned for that! The details haven’t quite come together on it yet, but I’m excited!

**UPDATE** I am running the last load from the original batch now and have been very pleased with the results! Today I am adding about half a cup of super washing soda laundry booster to my latest batch. It was recommended in most recipes and I bought it for another DIY (more info on that coming soon)!

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FRUGAL & OILY DIY: COCONUT AND ESSENTIAL OIL HAIR MASK

hair mask

Give Your Scalp and Hair Some Love!

Fall is finally here and the weather is slowly but surely changing. Cue the pumpkin spice lattes, comfy sweaters, and dry skin. Dry skin hit me a little faster this year so I decided the weekend was the perfect time to try out a DIY hair mask. I googled my little heart out and then came up with my own simple DIY recipe with items I had on hand.

*This page contains affiliate links. At no cost to you I earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking my links.*

How I Made my Hair Mask

I grabbed a jar of organic coconut oil (I buy mine at Aldi), took a big spoon, and plopped some in a microwave and oil-safe bowl. I heated it for about 30 seconds to get it to liquid form. Fractionated coconut oil would remove this step. I then added several drops of Tea Tree essential oil.

I use Young Living oils. You can see more about why I love YL and choose them over other brands on my More on Oils page.

It is important to note that if you are new to essential oils or have never tried a particular oil do not apply it to your skin without diluting it first.

I chose tea tree oil for my hair mask both for its cleansing properties and the added shine it can give your hair. It also has a very refreshing scent. I added a few drops of tea tree oil in my vanilla copaiba shampoo right after purchasing and use it diluted in my kids’ shampoo as well. Last-minute I also decided to add in a couple of drops of lavender simply because it is my favorite oil and if you follow me on Instagram #irunonlavender.

Hair Mask Application

I applied the oil directly to my scalp and combed through my hair with my fingers. In the future, I would consider buying an applicator brush to make it easier to apply the hair mask. I also dye my hair so I would be sure to get regular use out of the brush.

After applying the mask roots to ends and massaging into my scalp (I even used it on my forehead and eyebrows to soothe my dry skin) I clipped my hair back for 15 to 20 minutes and went back to typing up my next Monday Meal Plan post.

After waiting I rinsed my hair in the shower, washed with vanilla copaiba shampoo and conditioner, then allowed my hair to air dry. It feels so soft and luxurious and my dry skin feels soothed. Then I poured the remaining hair mask oil in this glass jar for future use. I will definitely try this again!

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A FRUGAL & OILY DIY: LAUNDRY SCENT BOOSTER

In the past, between my sensitive skin and our oldest child’s eczema, I thought we were stuck using unscented “free and clear” laundry detergents. The clothes were clean but didn’t really smell like it. In fact, they didn’t really smell like anything unless they had a strong, bad smell prior to laundering. Then it was just a faint, bad smell. It never occurred to me to use or make a laundry scent booster. The scent was bad, right?

*This page contains affiliate links. At no cost to you I earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking my links.*

Then I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living last year. In March I took advantage of the monthly Essential Rewards promo and stocked up on the rest of the Thieves line- laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and more household cleaner.

thieves laundry soap

I use Thieves toothpaste now as well. I love using Thieves laundry detergent so much more than the unscented free and clear alternatives. My clothes are clean and I understand all the ingredients. Plus, one bottle goes a long ways, even if it isn’t diluted.

But sometimes the laundry still needs a little something extra to take care of the smell. I have a husband who works outside all the time and two kids who play hard. Laundry can have a bit of a funk. I did some Googling last month and found several DIY laundry scent booster recipes and knew I just had to try one. The only problem was what container would I use to store it once it was mixed?

Laundry Scent Booster DIY

For a few weeks, I made small batches and left them in a stainless mug on the laundry room shelf. We try not to buy a lot of glass after our son’s accident this summer and stainless steel is a little more than I wanted to pay for this little project. Then I found this little bamboo saltbox on Amazon. I double-checked it was an acceptable vessel for a product mixed with an essential order, then added it to my cart.

How to make your own DIY Laundry Scent Booster:

Items Needed:

  1. Unscented, All Natural Epsom Salt (I got mine at Dollar Tree!)
  2. A sealable container (preferably glass, stainless, or bamboo like this one)
  3. An essential oil of your choice (think Citrus Fresh, Purification, lemon)
  4. Bowl and spoon for mixing

Directions:

  1. Measure enough Epsom salt to fill your container. Pour into the bowl.

2. Add several drops of essential oil of your choice. I used Citrus Fresh.

3. Stir until oil is well blended into the salt.

laundry scent booster

4. Pour into saltbox. I use the second scooper from the Thieves dishwasher detergent to add my laundry scent booster to the wash.

laundry scent booster

It’s Frugal, Oily, and EASY!

The total cost on this little project is less than $10! That’s right! $10. I paid $6.99 for the saltbox and $1 for the epsom salt. As a bonus, this project was both frugal AND sustainable; when this runs out I still have plenty of salt left and I will reuse the saltbox. I repurposed a scoop and the Citrus Fresh was free in the August Essential Reward promo! Not on Essential Rewards? Check out the More on Oils page to see why I use Young Living and feel free to contact me if you have any questions! This one is a winner in my book!

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