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5 Great Ways to Garden in Comfort

Want a great looking garden without breaking your back? Garden in comfort with these tips and tools that will keep your garden—and you—in great shape.

Growing a beautiful garden is no small feat. Not only does it take regular attention, watering, and cooperative weather, but all of that planting, pruning, weeding, and raking can take its toll on your back, knees, and hands. Is it possible to create a picture-perfect garden and stay comfortable at the same time? Here are some pointers—and ergonomic garden tools from AMES®—to help you do just that.

1. STAY STRONG
As any gardener can attest, gardening can be serious exercise. Staying in shape will help you garden more comfortably and effectively. Work out your arms to make short work of hauling a watering can or pushing a garden cart. If you normally suffer from lower back pain after gardening, strengthening your core muscles with abdominal exercises with help prevent future back strain.

2. SAVE YOUR KNEES
If you’re a dutiful gardener, chances are you spend a lot of time kneeling over your garden beds. Protect your knees during your next weeding session by investing in knee pads. There are wearable options or small and portable kneeling boards available for purchase online or at your local garden center.

 

ENTER HERE TO WIN

 

3. STRETCH OUT
Staying in place while you perform gardening tasks can cause muscle strain, so move and move often. It’s easy to lose track of time in the garden, but set a timer if you need the reminder and change your position every ten minutes or so. And even when you’re not stationary, take care. When lifting a heavy pot or plant, be sure to bend from the knees to carry the weight comfortably without damaging your back.

4. THE RIGHT TOOLS
With good quality tools, gardening becomes more comfortable and more effective. Long handled tools like the AMES 5-Tine Welded Floral Cultivator can help save your back by eliminating the need to bend and kneel. Look for hand tools that provide an ergonomic grip to keep your hand and wrist comfortable while you work. The AMES Ergo Gel Grip Hand Rake features a soft gel grip that cushions the hand, providing comfort.

5. CARE FOR YOUR SKIN
Don’t let your skin suffer while you’re gardening. Protect yourself from sunburns with a high SPF sunscreen and keep bugs away with a non-toxic insect repellant. Gardening can be rough on your hands, but gardening gloves will help prevent blisters and calluses from developing. When you’re all done, you can finish up with a lotion designed especially for gardeners in order to combat dry and itchy skin.

For more on AMES’ ergonomic line of tools, check out their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter Bob Vila’s 2nd Annual Great Garden Give-Away today and every day through June 30th (11:59 EST) for a chance at $1,000 in weekly prizes. 


5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Wood Floor

With the variety of woods, colors and finishes available today, shopping for a wood floor can be a bit overwhelming. Here are five things to know and consider when choosing the perfect wood floor for your home.

Bellawood Cumaru Hardwood Flooring

Bellawood Cumaru Solid Hardwood Flooring at Lumber Liquidators.

Homeowners evaluating new flooring owe it to themselves to consider the benefits and beauty of wood. Wood floors are comfortable, durable and surprisingly affordable, and nothing quite compares to the character and warmth they bring to every room in the house. While there are a myriad of choices available, not every type of wood flooring is suitable for every application. If you are shopping for a wood floor, here are five things to keep in mind.

Type of Wood Flooring
There are primarily two types of wood flooring products—solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Solid wood flooring is milled from solid wood logs, and is joined with a traditional tongue and groove along both the long and short edges. Solid wood is available prefinished or unfinished, in strips and planks ranging in thickness from 5/16″ to 3/4″. Strips are 1-1/2″ to 2-1/4″ wide and planks are 3″ to 8″ wide.

Engineered wood flooring is comprised of multiple layers of plywood and composite material, and topped with a layer of solid hardwood. Engineered wood flooring comes in thicknesses ranging from 3/8″ to 3/4″ and from 3″ up to 10″ wide; the hardwood layer on top ranges in thickness from .6 millimeters to 4 millimeters.

While both types offer the same beauty of real hardwood, the primary difference between solid hardwood and engineered flooring is in the floor’s composition. “Since solid wood flooring is subject to expand and contract relative to a home’s humidity it needs to be installed on the ground floor or above grade,” explains Bill Schlegel, Chief Merchandising Officer for Lumber Liquidators. “Engineered flooring, which is more stable due to its multi-ply construction, can be installed on all levels of the home,” adds Schlegel, “making it perfect for basements and bathrooms where dampness and moisture can be issues.”

Select Red Oak Solid Wood Flooring

Select Red Oak Solid Wood Flooring at Lumber Liquidators

Choice of Wood Species
There are many different woods used in flooring, but some are harder and therefore more durable than others. “Day to day wear and tear is what concerns most people when shopping for a wood floor,” says Schlegel, “and the benchmark for hardness in the U.S. is Red Oak.” While Red and White Oak are the most common domestic wood floors, Hickory and Maple (harder than oak) and Walnut (softer) are also popular choices. Top selling exotic woods such as Brazilian Cherry, Brazilian Koa and Cumaru are among the hardest species available. “Naturally, the harder the wood, the better it will be for wear and installation in high-traffic areas of the home,” Schlegel notes.

Grain, Color and Appearance
Because wood flooring comes in so many different species, styles and finishes, it is fairly easy to select a floor to match any room décor. If you have a country-style interior, wide plank floors with highly defined wood grains and a distressed appearance will be a good fit.  For Colonial homes, consider wide, random plank width flooring in Oak and Maple.  For traditional interiors, hardwood flooring in widths of 2-1/4″ to 3-1/4″ in Oak, Maple or Walnut, or parquet flooring, will be smart choices. Virtually any type of wood can be used in a contemporary setting, depending on what stain or finish is used—for example pewter, dark charcoal or whitewash finishes can transform any wood species into a modern masterpiece.

Casa de Colour Select Pewter Maple Hardwood Flooring

Casa de Colour Select Pewter Maple Hardwood Flooring at Lumber Liquidators.

Type of Finish
The finish is the real determining factor in the overall appearance of a wood floor. The same wood species will look completely different finished in a clear gloss, versus a distressed, hand-scraped or wire-brush finish. “There are different gloss levels and finishing techniques that change the overall look of the wood floor,” Schlegel notes. “Our Bellawood solid and engineered wood flooring in a mid to high gloss looks completely different in a low gloss matte finish,” explains Schlegel; the latter imitating the look of an oil-rubbed European finish, but without the constant care and maintenance.  Distressed, hand-scraped or wire-brush finishes will also be something to consider when shopping for a wood floor.

Flooring is sold either “unfinished” or “pre-finished.” Unfinished floors are sanded and finished on-site, which provides for a consistent seal and prevents dirt and moisture from penetrating the seams between boards (floors typically receive one to three coats of sealant). Pre-finished flooring is factory-applied in a controlled setting, and typically receives seven to eight coats of sealant. “I definitely recommend pre-finished flooring, because it ensures a superior and consistent finish, and comes with a warranty,” Schlegel asserts. “All Bellawood pre-finished flooring comes with a 100-year, transferable warranty, which can be a selling point to future buyers—since the warranty transfers to the new owner.”

Cost and Installation
The cost of wood flooring depends on the type, the wood species and the finish. Typically, solid prefinished wood flooring runs from $2.49 to $12.69 per square foot. Prices on engineered prefinished wood flooring range from $1.69 to $8.79. The average cost of installation usually runs about half as much as the flooring but depends on the type of flooring and installation for your home.

Both solid wood and engineered wood flooring are installed by nailing, stapling or gluing planks to a subfloor. There are, however, a variety of new “click” engineered products available that can be installed easily and “floated” above the subfloor.

“Installation can definitely be an expensive proposition, especially with unfinished flooring,” says Schlegel, “but competent DIYers can save money by doing the job themselves and purchasing prefinished flooring.” Lumber Liquidators offers all of the tools and materials that a homeowner would need to install a wood floor.  He adds, “I recommend saving money on installation and buying a better floor.”

 

This article is sponsored on behalf of Lumber Liquidators.  Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Bob Vila Radio: Crabgrass

Left unchecked, crabgrass can run amok and ruin the look of your lawn. Here's how to prevent this pesky interloper—and what to do if it's already competing with your grass.

Crabgrass is a pesky interloper that can really ruin the look of your lawn. Left unchecked, it can spread quickly across wide areas as its seed travels. Here’s how to stop it in its tracks.

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Listen to BOB VILA ON CRABGRASSor read the text below:

Crabgrass

Photo: shutterstock.com

The best offense, of course, is a good defense, and that means keeping your lawn thick and healthy and mowing it high. That creates deep shade at the roots, which makes it tough for sun-loving crabgrass to get started.

If you do see a small growth of crabgrass, pull it by hand and dispose of it. Don’t use a mulching mower on a lawn that has patches of crabgrass, as that only spreads the seeds over a wider area.

If your crabgrass is widespread, you’ll need to remove the affected areas of your lawn with a tiller or power rake, then reseed. Keep the newly seeded area lightly watered until the grass comes in, and immediately reseed any bare patches.

If you have persistent problems with crabgrass, come springtime you might want to use a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer on your lawn. That will keep any of the seeds that blow in from your neighbors’ yards from taking root in yours.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.


Pro Tips: Furniture Arranging 101

While there are no hard and fast rules to decorating, there are certainly basics to consider when arranging furniture. Here a professional room-stager and designer offers tips and tricks to help you make your rooms look their very best.

Living Room

Country Living 2003 House of the Year. Designer: Robin Mayer / Photographer: Keith Scott Morton

Stripped of all its furnishings, an empty room can be intimidating—or inspiring! For design consultant Robin Long Mayer, it’s definitely the latter. In her work as an editor for Country Living and New York Spaces magazines and as the principal of Robin Mayer Design, she has learned a thing or two about the optimal placement of sofas, tables, beds, and all the accessories that fill our homes. While the ideal arrangement in your own rooms will depend on such factors as the size and layout of each particular space, there are certain guideposts that can put you on the right path. Mayer offers the following insights.

Find Your Focal Point
There are no hard-and-fast rules in furniture arranging, but if there is a focal point in the room—a fireplace, for instance, or a window with a beautiful view—try to place your furniture around it to draw the eye in that direction.

Keep a Clear Path
You always want to be invited into a room visually, without any obstructions in your path. Be mindful of the number of items you are placing in a room. Use only what you need for comfort, storage, and utility, and find new homes for extraneous pieces.

Avoid the Perimeter
Lining furniture along the perimeter of a room creates a very stagnant look. That being said, we don’t all have the luxury or space to float all our furniture in the center of the room. If a large piece like a couch makes most sense against the wall, float a few smaller pieces—like two comfortable armchairs—in front of it to balance the look.

CL House of the Year 2006 Dining Room

Country Living 2006 House of the Year. Designer: Robin Mayer / Photographer: Keith Scott Morton

Encourage Conversation
No matter what size your living room is, you should always consider seating that lets you share the space with a friend. Positioning a couch and two chairs near a focal point, or even two love seats or two chaises facing each other, is a lovely way to start.

Dining Room Dynamics
As a general rule, the dining table and chairs occupy the middle of a room. If there is a chandelier overhead, be sure it does not obstruct views across the table. A sideboard, hutch, console, or even a chest of drawers along a wall of the room can add much-needed storage for linens and flatware, and also provide a surface for additional ambient lighting.

Kitchen Kismet
To determine what pieces you’ll need here, think about how you use the space. If you love to cook and entertain, an island or movable workstation is a sensible investment. Seating is vital as well. Choose a table and chairs if you have the room, or find comfortable stools that can tuck under a counter when not in use. If space allows, I highly recommend a couch in the kitchen!

Bedroom Basics
It is always nice to wake up to a view outside your windows, so if you have something lovely to look at, place your bed to take advantage of it. Next, consider all the practical things you need in the bedroom—bedside tables and lighting, a dresser or armoire to store clothing, and a chair or bench. Although it isn’t necessary for the furniture finishes to match, I do like the look of soft neutral wall colors, matching lamps on side tables, and linens in natural fibers. Save the color for decorative pillows or throws; even the art can add a little zing to the space, but keep it simple. I also like to have a rug near the bed for warmth and softness underfoot.

Country Living 2006 House of the Year bedroom

Country Living 2006 House of the Year. Designer: Robin Long Mayer / Photographer: Keith Scott Morton

Measure Mindfully
Take accurate measurements of your room (and the doorways and entrances) before you start shopping for furniture. To get an idea of what will fit in the space that you have, you can “tape it out” with masking tape on the floor of an empty room using the dimensions of each prospective piece. Allow plenty of room for walking about, pulling out a chair, and accommodating whatever elements you need in order to function in the space.

Clear the Clutter
I do a lot of work staging homes and apartments for sale, and the biggest words of advice I give are, “Clean out the clutter!” Clutter distracts from the beauty of a room. When guests walk in, all they’ll see is a pile of papers on the counter, toys on the floor, or laundry in the corner instead of that amazing sofa or incredible table you worked so hard for. If you want to display collections or family photos, keep them “stabled” in one place, such as a bookcase, hall table, or dedicated family photo wall, so they look neat and unified.


How To: Clean Chrome

Faucets, towel bars, shower heads, hinges—chrome shows up all over the house, especially in the bathroom. Try some of these cleaning methods to keep your chrome gleaming and blemish-free.

How to Clean Chrome

Photo: shutterstock.com

When it’s clean, chrome glimmers—there’s no other word for it. The downside? Chrome succumbs fairly easily to surface blemishes, and while these blotches and streaks do catch the eye, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Compared with other common household materials, even different types of metal, chrome is not especially difficult to clean. More than anything else, persistence is the key to keeping chrome looking its best. For tips on making your chrome shine, check out the suggestions below.

Soap and Water
One of the most effective ways to clean chrome is also one of the simplest. Add dish soap to a bucket of warm water, dip a soft cloth or nonabrasive sponge into the solution, then get to work scrubbing the chrome. As you go along, rinse the cloth or sponge frequently in order to dispel the dirt that has begun to loosen and break free from the metal. To clean any creases or crevices you come across in the chrome, opt for an old toothbrush; the bristles can work the soapy water into areas you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. Finish up by rinsing the metal with clean water in order to eliminate any residual traces of soap that remain on the chrome.

How to Clean Chrome - Hinges

Photo: shutterstock.com

Vinegar
More potent than dish soap is distilled white vinegar. Using a one-to-one ratio, mix the vinegar with plain old tap water, then apply the solution by means of a cloth or nonabrasive sponge. Again, use a toothbrush for any hard-to-reach areas. Remember that vinegar works so well on account of its acidity, which dissolves even long-established grime. So as not to dilute its strength, take care not to mix the vinegar with too great a volume of water.

Avoiding Damage
The methods discussed here involve neither harsh chemicals nor heavy-duty cleaning tools. That’s because chrome is a soft metal. It can be scratched even by a scouring pad, so avoid the temptation to use a sharp edge on stubborn stains. Also, if you’re intent on using a commercial cleanser, be sure that its label says the product is suitable for chrome.

Now that you’ve done a thorough job of cleaning, you can either call it a day or go one step further to leave the chrome with an impressive shine. Interested? Two words: chrome polish. You can find it at most auto stores. Different polishes require different application processes, so closely follow the directions listed on the container of polish you decide to purchase. Now, instead of noticing fingerprint smudges, you’ll be seeing your reflection in the newly gleaming chrome.


DIY Mason Jar Speaker Set

DIYing your own industrial fab speakers is easier than you'd think. Designer Sarah Pease shares how in this incredible DIY mason jar transformation.

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The humble mason jar can hold nearly anything—including tech gadgets! Designer Sarah Pease converted these canning jars into a set of iPhone speakers using David Mellis’ open-source Fab Speakers design files. The results are incredibly stylish.

DIY Mason Jar Speaker Set - after

Photo: Sarah Pease

MATERIALS
- (2) 66 mm 0.5W speakers
- TPA701D amplifier
- audio cable (3.5 mm stereo plug to wires)
- battery holder
- switch (SPDT, 0.1″ pitch)
- capacitor (2.2 uF, 1206)
- capacitator (0.47 uF, 1206)
- capacitator (1 uF, 1206)
- resistor (49.9K, 1206)
- resistor (10K, 1206)
- AAA batteries
- (2) mason jars
- 2-part canning lids
- diamond drill bit
- soldering iron
- wire strippers
- sandpaper
- hammer
- spindle sander (optional)
- cork (optional)

DIY Mason Jar Speaker Set - Inside

Photo: Sarah Pease

STEP 1
Using David Mellis’ documentation for Fab Speakers, solder together the electrical components using a soldering iron, making sure the speakers will fit into your jar—the 66 mm speakers should fit a small mason jar.

Alternative: Instead of creating your own, you can hack apart existing speakers. These days, you can usually find cheap portable ones that will work perfectly.

STEP 2
Now, drill your holes into the bottoms of your mason jars—a diamond drill bit will do the job. Take care and be sure to wear protective eye wear before you start drilling. Make sure the glass is wet while you’re drilling the holes—one hole in the bottom of each jar.

Note: This is the trickiest part of the assembly.

DIY Mason Jar Speakers - Detail

Photo: Sarah Pease

STEP 3
Once the holes are all set, it’s just a matter of putting the electronic components inside the jars. The speakers will fit perfectly inside—hold them in place using the metal bands of the two part mason lids. I opted to use batteries so the only cords coming out of the jars are the 3.5mm audio cable that connects to my iPhone and the wire that connects each speaker to the circuit board.

The battery pack is soldered directly to the circuit board, which fits in one of the jars.

STEP 4
If you want to make the speaker stand, you’ll need some extra materials. I made the little cork stands by drawing the shape I wanted onto the cork and using a spindle sander to shape it. And voila! Your very own DIY mason jar speakers.

DIY Mason Jar Speaker Set - Glass Vignette

Photo: Sarah Pease

Thanks, Sarah Pease!


DIY Outdoor Chandelier

Upcycled canning supplies get a new and improved look in this DIY mason jar chandelier project.

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Mason Jar Chandelier DIY

Photo: thislittlemama.com

I just love candles in mason jars. A few summers ago I bought a package of half-pint jars and some light wire and made wonderful little candleholders to hang among the trees; however, when I went to go set them out I got really nervous that I might set my trees—and from there my house, and from there the entire desert—on fire. So I put them away. It has recently occurred to me that replacing the tea lights with LED lights would solve that problem (note to self).

We’ve been having dinner outside every night for the last few weeks and I’ve been feeling like we need a little boost in the lighting. I’ve seen some cool candle chandeliers made out of mason jars and canning racks in articles about wedding style, so on Saturday Mr. Little Mama and I made two ourselves! Easy peasy!

Mason Jar Chandelier DIY - Materials

Photo: thislittlemama.com

MATERIALS
- (8) 4-foot lengths of chain
- “8″ hooks (like S hooks, but fully closed)
- 2 eye hooks
- 1 canning rack
- Box of pint-size mason jars
- Light steel wire
- Pliers
- Wire cutter
- Drill

Mason Jar Chandelier DIY - Assembly

Photo: thislittlemama.com

STEP 1
First we took the handles off the canning rack. Place mason jars into the rack; it will hold six jars around the side and one in the center.

STEP 2
We looped the wire around each exterior jar and twisted it onto the rack just to make sure each jar was at least slightly secure. To hold the center jar on we looped the wire around the lip and then secured it across to each side; the wire is fine and inconspicuous so you really don’t even notice it.

STEP 3
Mr. Little Mama supplied the tools to hang the fixture: a couple of pliers and a wire cutter. He drilled holes into the patio roof to secure the eye hooks, then manhandled the chain into place. By opening the last loop of the chain and re-closing it around the rack in four places where the bottom frames attach to the side frames our hanging mechanism was secured. We then opened an 8-hook, attached the free end of all four chains to one loop, and hung the apparatus from the eye hook with the other.

Mason Jar Chandelier DIY - Complete

Photo: thislittlemama.com

We made two of these babies in less than 90 minutes (including a break to wash the dogs after Little decided to sprinkle them with dirt) with under $100 in supplies. If I had jars and a canning rack lying around the house, or sourced them from Goodwill or something, they would have been cheaper, but for me time is money so store-bought it was. The extra pint jars came in handy for the batch of Peep-infused vodka I made for Easter.

I am using LED tea lights because I am still terrified of burning down the house. A girl can’t be too careful!

Thanks, This Little Mama!


DIY Blue Mason Jar Chandelier

With some blue mason jars and some creative thinking, this uninspired lighting fixture was transformed into a DIY chandelier.

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I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this project with you. I’m so in love with blue mason jars. I’ve been wanting to make some sort of mason jar light fixture for a while now but couldn’t decide what to make. I took a look at the hideous chandelier in my dining room and knew I could transform it into something amazing. Because blue mason jars make everything amazing. So I made my very own mason jar chandelier.

Blue Mason Jar Chandelier - Complete

Photo: herecomesthesunblog.net

Here is my chandelier before.

Blue Mason Jar Chandelier - Before

Photo: herecomesthesunblog.net

UGH. If that doesn’t scream builder grade I don’t know what does. IT HAD TO GO. Three years of looking at this thing was enough for me.

MATERIALS
- Old chandelier for repurposing
- Blue mason jars (with lids)
- Metal snips
- Gorilla Glue

STEP 1
First we unwired it and took it down. Actually, first we turned off the breaker. THEN we unwired it and took it down. With a few unscrews we were able to remove the glass part and we were left with the basic chandelier. After cleaning the dust off, it looked great. You’ll notice it is pretty filthy in the picture above.

STEP 2
To fit the mason jars over the lights, we used the “candle holders” on the chandelier as a guide and drilled holes in the lids.  Then we used metal snips to cut the hole bigger so it would fit over the “candle holder” on the chandelier. We used Gorilla Glue to attach the lids to the rings. Just a few small dots of this stuff will be plenty.

STEP 3
Before placing the lids onto the chandelier, we rewired the chandelier and hung it back up. To attach the lids, I slid the candle holder back into place and the lid rested on the base of the chandelier. I then screwed the lightbulbs in and screwed the jars onto the lids. I didn’t use any glue to attach the lids to the light fixture base and it seems to be holding ok. I didn’t want to use any glue since I will need to put the original chandelier back together when we move but if your fixture is going to be permanent, then go ahead and use some glue. I’m always trying to make my projects renter friendly.

Blue Mason Jar Chandelier - Steps

Photo: herecomesthesunblog.net

I so love my new chandelier!

Blue Mason Jar Chandelier - Detail Installed

Photo: herecomesthesunblog.net

Thanks, Here Comes the Sun!


DIY Mason Jar Windchime

If you like the idea of cutting glass, you'll love this DIY mason jar windchime that reinvents a summer canning staple into a charming rustic accent.

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It was only a matter of time before I tried out my bottle cutter on a mason jar. Here’s how I pulled off this mason-jar-turned-wind-chimes upcycle, just in time for warm weather outdoor decor.

Mason Jar Wind Chimes - complete

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

This project is a great stash buster for those beads and charms you’ve been stockpiling. There will be some cutting and drilling of glass, but don’t fear, you can do this!

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Detail Outdoors

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

MATERIALS
- Mason jar with lid
- 2 eye screws
- Piece of scrap wood about 1/2 inch thick and smaller than lid
- Fishing line or other clear string
- Scissors
- Beads, chain, charms and connectors of your choice
- Bottle cutter
- Butane micro torch or candle and lighter
- Dremel or other rotary tool
- Measuring tape
- Shallow container with cold water for drilling your jar (this will make sense later)
- Bucket of cold water deep enough to submerge jar
- Protective mask and goggles
- E6000 Glue adhesive
- Diamond bits for glass; I used a bit from this set
- Permanent marker
- Medium-grit sand paper
- Glass beads or wine bottle rings

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Cutting

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 1
Place the mason jar on the cutter.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Cutting Detail

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 2
Mark the jar so you know when you have made a complete rotation.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Cutting Detail 2

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 3
Once the score line is made, it is time to apply heat and cold to it. I like to do this with a butane micro torch while rotating the bottle on the cutter jig. I have moved the blade out of the way and am just using the cutter jig to hold the bottle and give me a way to rotate it easily with one hand while holding the torch with the other.

If you are using a torch, one minute is plenty of time for applying heat. Sometimes this is enough to break the score line. If not, submerge jar into cold water, covering score line. That is all it took for me on this mason jar. If yours doesn’t separate, repeat the heat and cold until it does.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Cut Complete

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

This is what my break looked like. Not bad! Now it is time to sand and smooth the edges.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Assembly

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 4
Sand lightly with medium grit paper. Get the inner and outer edges of the break. This is pretty quick.

You will notice after a minute or two of sanding that the edge is smooth to the touch and won’t cut you.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Marking

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 5
I measured the diameter of my jar and it was 12 inches. I marked every 3 inches for drilling a hole. This gave me 4 holes evenly spaced around the jar for stringing beads and charms.

Mason Jar Wind Chime- Hole

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 6
Before drilling, put on eye gear and mask!

Place jar in shallow container of cold water. I use a square baking tin.

To begin drilling, come in at an angle to start an indentation.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Hole 2

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 7
Once the indentation is started, move drill to 90°. Every 30 seconds or so, stop drilling and rotate jar so that hole gets rinsed out and glass where your were drilling gets cooled. This prevents the glass from breaking due to high heat. Continue until you have drilled all the way through.

Do this at each mark around the jar.

STEP 8
Use fishing line or beading string to string various beads, charms, found objects, and chain to your liking in each hole.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Eye Hook

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 9
I wanted to use the old lid that was on this jar in the design, so I needed to have a way to hang the chimes by it. I used a hammer and small nail to make a hold in the top center.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Eye Hook 2

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 10
Next I screwed in the eye screw as pictured.

Mason Jar Wind Chimes - Fishing Line

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 11
I drilled into the wooden disk and screwed the remaining eye pin to the other side as shown. I later added E6000 to the wooden disk on the side that contacts the jar lid for added strength. It gets pretty gusty around here in the spring!

I cut a length of fishing line to the eye screw and tied the other end to a wine bottle ring, tied another ring to that one, and another ring to that one for a total of 3 hanging down from the middle of the jar.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - AFter

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 12
To finish, put the lid on the jar and add chain to the eye screw on top for hanging. Hang and enjoy!

Thanks, Saved by Love Creations!


DIY Mason Jar Solar Lamp

Country style meets eco-smarts in this spectacularly simple DIY mason jar solar lantern.

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When the words mason jar and solar lamp come together in the same sentence, I don’t care who you are—you get excited. Because this jar is awesome. And adorable. And did I mention you’re saving the planet too? So get excited, yo.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Banner

This is a great project for people with minimal crafty skills, (like me). Once you wrap wire around it and hang it in your yard, you don’t have to think about it ever again. Evening light + powered by the sun = awesome.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Complete

Photo: weedemandreap.com

Let’s get to it, shall we?

MATERIALS
- Quart size wide-mouth mason jar
- 16-gauge baling wire
- Solar-powered mason lid

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Lid

Photo: weedemandreap.com

STEP 1
Cut a piece of wire to 12.5 inches. Wrap around the lip of the mason jar and loop together— but leave it loose.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Wire

Photo: weedemandreap.com

STEP 2
Cut another piece of wire to 14 inches and loop the ends around the first wire.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Wire 2

Photo: weedemandreap.com

STEP 3
After you’ve tightened both sides of your handle, you can go back and tighten the front loops on the first ring of wire.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Wire 3

Photo: weedemandreap.com

STEP 4
Now all you need to do is put a battery in your LED solar light lid and screw that puppy on!

I have found that the solar lights need at least 6 hours of full sun to light up well at night. So as long as you hang them in a place where they can get recharged for half of the day, you’ll always have light in the evenings! After your initial investment in the supplies, it really is the gift that keeps giving. I’m thinking of placing these all around my outside table—can’t you just picture the amazing summer evenings with these to light our conversations with family and friends?

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Night Detail

Photo: weedemandreap.com

Thanks, Weed ‘Em And Reap!