Out of a Jam

Brian and I are big fans of Bonne Maman preserves. There are usually no fewer than three open in our fridge at all times. Luckily, this means we always have a steady supply of the adorable little jars around the house. I recently discovered they’re just the right size to neatly store cotton balls, q-tips and more on one of our bathroom shelves. The classic red and white lid, reminiscent of a tablecloth, wasn’t the right look for us, but a quick coat of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch (in Deep Blue) quickly changed that. In less than 5 minutes (plus a bit of drying time) I had custom organization solution.

Out of a Jam by somethingwewhippedup.com

Out of a Jam by somethingwewhippedup.com

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Freshen Up Your Morning Routine

No matter how many times I move the mouthwash to its designated (out of sight) place under the sink, it always ends up back where it’s seen and used most, next to the faucet. And since the typical plastic bottles are less than eye-catching, I knew I needed to come up with a stylish solution. At first, I envisioned a beautiful oversized wine decanter filled with the topaz-blue liquid, but I knew I didn’t have the counter space for that and expected to get few eye rolls from Brian. Then, while out at a bar (where all great ideas happen), I noticed the mixologist pouring syrups from glass bottles topped with open-ended spouts. This was my solution!

Upgrade Your Mouthwash by somethingwewhippedup.com

Upgrade Your Mouthwash by somethingwewhippedup.com

This quick and attractive fix has been great. The pour spout eliminates the need for cups (let’s be honest, who really uses those anyway?), since you can let the mouthwash flow directly into your mouth right from the bottle without ever touching your lips. And, if you have guests, you don’t need to be grossed out by them taking a swig.

Simply wash and dry out a bottle that’s your desired size, fill with mouthwash (a funnel may be helpful) and top with a metal pourer. How fresh!

SWWU Tip 1: You can purchase pour spouts at restaurant supply stores, some liquor stores and possibly even your local supermarket. 

SWWU Tip 2: Make sure you have a snug fit between your bottle and the pourer to prevent leaks. You may need to try a few different combos before you find the perfect match.

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Non-Toxic, All-Natural Wood Stain

Wood staining can be a pricey, messy and stinky project to take on. Let’s not even get into whatever fumes you may be inhaling while taking a plank from a cool blonde to a warm chestnut brown. But sometimes you need to tweak something just a bit, and have no choice but to stain. We were recently given a gift “basket” (really, a wooden crate) full of goodies. The wood was pale and untreated, but the box was sturdy and had good bones. See for yourself:

BEFORE: Non-Toxic Coffee Wood Stain by somethingwewhippedup.com

BEFORE: Non-Toxic Coffee Wood Stain by somethingwewhippedup.com

To help it get a look and feel similar to the vintage wood crates in our house (check out a few on our Stacked In Your Favor post), we headed straight to the kitchen. A few days and a few coats of double-strength coffee later, the box was done!

Non-Toxic Coffee Wood Stain by somethingwewhippedup.com

Non-Toxic Coffee Wood Stain by somethingwewhippedup.com

Here’s how:

Non-Toxic, All-Natural Coffee Wood Stain

  • wood that needs to be stained
  • double-strength coffee
  • tarp or drop cloth
  • rubber gloves
  • rag or cloth

1. Brew the coffee and let sit until it’s cool enough to stick your hand in.

2. Lay out your tarp or drop cloth in a work space and put your gloves on. The coffee will stain your hands (one of us learned that the hard way)!

3. Soak the rag in the coffee, squeeze out the excess liquid and apply to wood in a thin, even coat making sure to keep your strokes going with the grain of the wood. Cover the entire object, being sure to pay extra attention to corners, ridges and crevices that may be difficult to get into. Set aside and let dry.

4. Add more coats, allowing time to dry between each, until you reach your desired finish.

SWWU Tip 1: If your wood has rough edges you may want to smooth it out with a bit or sand paper or some steel wool prior to staining. It depends on how polished you’d like the final look to be.

SWWU Tip 2: Don’t expect to complete this project in one day. Leave it in an out-of-the-way spot and add additional coats of coffee whenever you pass by. Eventually you’ll get the finish you are going for. The crate above took about two to three coats a day for six days. 

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The $2 Mitten Manager

Coats seem to get all the love (or at least a guaranteed place to hang out) when it comes to storing your winter gear. Well, after one too many days of forgetting my gloves, hat or scarf, or having a mitten with a missing partner, I knew I had to find a solution. Our entry hallway is too narrow for a cute basket or bin and while hooks could hold a scarf or hat, my mittens were still getting abused by being stuffed inside jacket pockets. While walking through my local hardware store I discovered suction cup clips and decided with a few simple tweaks, I could transform them into a simple solution.

Two Dollar Mitten Manager by somethingwewhippedup.com

Two Dollar Mitten Manager by somethingwewhippedup.com

Not bad, right? We enjoyed this simple fix so much, that we have now have six of them hanging in our front hallway alongside our coat hooks. The clips have been super handy, easy to use and since we installed them, no mittens have gone missing! And, after a recent morning of sledding we discovered another benefit: It was a great place to hang our wet gear to dry out. In the summer, I plan to keep a floppy hat here or even use it as a place to post reminder notes.

You too can install these cute and stylish hooks in your own home. All you need is:

Use a screwdriver to separate the suction cup from the clip. Next, drill a hole into the wall where you would like the clip to hang. Lightly tap the anchor into the hole with a hammer then line the hole in the top of the clip with the anchor, insert the screw and twist until tight.

SWWU Tip 1: I think it is important to anchor this into your wall. The clips are likely to get a lot of use and you don’t want them to slide around or easily slip out of the wall.

SWWU Tip 2: It might be difficult to screw your clip straight into the wall at a 90 degree angle. If you can’t easily fit your screw driver between the two tabs of the clip, plan to do everything (drill your hole, sink your anchor and screw it in) at a 45 degree angle (downward).

Two Dollar Mitten Manager by somethingwewhippedup.com