Ways to Keep the Cold Out This Winter

The weather outside is frightful, but it doesn’t need to feel that way indoors. These fixes help keep the cold air outside where it belongs.
Winter house

LEEMANATOR/GETTY IMAGES

Keep Out the Cold for Comfort and Lower Utility Bills

You could spend another winter feeling chilly inside your home, teeth chattering under a fuzzy fleece blanket. A better option? Spend a little time and money now to fix the things that actually cause your house to feel like the inside of a refrigerator.

Things like drafty windows and doors, exposed exterior crawl space vents or chimneys seem to just invite cold air to seep into your living room, disrupting your Netflix marathon or family game night.

Performing a few keep-the-cold-out tasks will keep you much more comfortable as you wait out the long winter. But that’s not the only benefit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), you’re also likely to save a little money because your home will become more energy efficient.

Here are some ways to keep out the cold this winter.

Thermal drapes

Hang Thermal Curtains

Windows are notorious for allowing cold drafts to enter your home. That’s because glass doesn’t provide much insulation, and window frames and seals tend to wear out over time, letting in cold air.

If new windows aren’t in your budget, try thermal curtains! Unlike standard curtains, thermal curtains contain a thin layer of acrylic foam. This acts as the insulation your windows are missing, keeping you nice and toasty  — or at least toastier than you would be otherwise.

window insulator kit

Place Shrink-to-Fit Plastic Over Drafty Windows

Saran Wrap for your windows? Yes! Along with the thermal curtains, placing plastic shrink-wrap over your windows can help keep cold air from trickling into your home.

To find out if this will help, the DOE recommends closing the window in question over a piece of paper. Then check to see if the paper “moves back and forth.” If it does, you may have a leak. But don’t worry, you won’t need to grab a roll of plastic wrap from your kitchen and wing it — a 3M Window Insulator Kit will do the trick. The kits are pretty simple to use, too, especially if you own a hair dryer!.

Install a Door Sweep

Do your exterior doors have gaps between the bottom edge and the flooring? If so, door sweeps, a.k.a. bottom-mount weatherstripping, are top priority in your quest to winterize your home. The sweeps, available in three basic varieties (strip, bristle and under-door), seal up that gap so cold air doesn’t seep in. Strip sweeps are particularly easy to install — some are even self-adhesive.

Install Storm Doors

Sometimes a door sweep isn’t enough to keep that unwelcome cold air from entering the house. If you need a heftier solution for your exterior doors, considering installing aluminum, steel or fiberglass storm doors, which provide extra insulation by keeping frigid air outside where it belongs.

Be aware, though, that storm doors aren’t ideal for homes with newer exterior doors. According to the DOE, these doors are typically already well-insulated and energy efficient, so adding a storm door won’t help much. Added bonus: Storm doors are great for the warmer months. Many have vents or windows, so you can open your main door and let in some fresh air.

storm-windows_789831
SVETLANA LARINA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Install Storm Windows

As long as you are installing a storm door, why not do the same for your windows? Not only will storm windows help keep the cold out, the DOE reports that in some cases they even generate as much cost savings as new double-pane windows with high-performance glass. We’ll take that!

Storm windows are available with vinyl, wood or aluminum frames, and glass or plastic panels. Before you shop, decide whether you prefer interior or exterior storm windows. Either is acceptable — it all depends on what you want and what will work with your existing windows.

Storm window inserts are another option. These are popped onto the windows from the inside and removed when spring rolls around.

Draft stopper

Place Fabric Draft Stoppers in Front of Exterior Doors

By now you get the picture. Doors (including sliding glass and French doors) are some of the main culprits when it comes to letting cold winter air into your home. Likewise, there are a lot of things you can do to solve that problem.

While some solutions are pricey and/or require some DIY-prowess, we have one that is affordable and super easy — fabric draft stoppers. Sometimes referred to as door snakes, these draft stoppers are filled fabric tubes placed along the bottom edge of a door to keep cold air from seeping in through the gap. If you’re crafty, you might even be able to make your own!

Spray foam

Fill Holes and Gaps With Foam Sealant

You probably don’t think about the under-sink pipes in your bathroom or kitchen very often, unless a problem comes up. But the gaps around these pipes can let in quite a bit of cold air. You’ll know there’s an issue if the gap is visible and/or you can fit your finger between the pipe and the wall.

The most straightforward way to seal these gaps? Spray-in polyurethane foam sealant. You simply spray, let it expand to fit the gap, and you’re done. Be sure to pick up a compatible dispensing gun along with your sealant. Also, read the labels. There are many types of spray-in sealants and insulation, and it’s imperative you use the right one the correct way for safety and efficacy.

Article by Dawn Weinberger

Source: https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/ways-to-keep-the-cold-out-this-winter/

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for This Halloween

Oh my gourd—you won’t believe these amazingly creative DIY ideas.

From pumpkin recipes and spiced beverages to jack-o’-lanterns and mums, everyone knows that fall and pumpkins are practically synonymous. You might not know, though, that you can truly transform the bright orange seasonal staple into absolutely anything you please, from lanterns to votives to, yes, even a wood-burning stove. Let your crafting skills shine this October 31 and think outside the box with these genius Halloween pumpkin decorating ideas.

painted stencil pumpkin

Brian Woodcock photo

Painted Stencil Pumpkin

We’ve brought old school country to the pumpkin! Get your paint pens out and get drawing.

Make the pumpkin: Lightly draw a stencil pattern around the center of a medium- size white pumpkin. Use black, orange, and yellow paint pens to cover drawing.

washi tape plaid
Brian Woodcock

Washi Tape Plaid

Layer different colors, widths, and patterns of washi tape to create a simple plaid pattern.

Make the pumpkin: Layer different colors and widths of washi tape vertically and horizontally on a medium-size orange pumpkin to create a plaid pattern.

mummy pumpkins

Mummy Pumpkins

Wrapped in gauze with differing sized eyes, you better watch these little stinkers. They might just wiggle over and steal some candy.

Make the pumpkin: Wrap a small white pumpkin with strips of gauze, holding strips in place where necessary with hot-glue. Attach two differently sized black buttons with hot-glue to create eyes. Tack down a length of thin black twine with staple-gun staples to create a mouth.

rickrack spiderweb with fake spiders

Rickrack Spiderweb

Creepy crawly spiders love to make home in a pumpkin adorned with a rickrack web.

Make the pumpkin: Attach horizontal lengths of large gray rickrack around the top three-fourths of a medium-size white pumpkin with hot-glue. Attach vertical lengths, allowing them to sit in the pumpkin’s natural grooves, with hot-glue. Attach mini plastic spiders with hot glue.

button spiders

Button Spiders

Creepy spider made from buttons, string, and pipe cleaners slither about pumpkins. The very idea is sure to make your skin crawl!

Make the pumpkin: Thread red string through the holes of a large or medium-size black button in a crisscross pattern; knot or glue in the back to hold in place. Cut eight 1- to 2-inch lengths of black pipe cleaner and glue to the back of the button with hot glue with four on each side; shape into legs. Attach a smaller black button with hot-glue to make a head. Repeat as desired. Attach a black string to the back of the larger button with hot-glue, and hang spider around stem or attach directly to a pumpkin with hot-glue.

There are many more idea’s for you here:

https://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/g1350/pumpkin-decorating-1009/?slide=20

10 Tips for Soundproofing Your Home Office

By Glenda Taylor for ©Bobvila

Sound Effects

Sound waves carry through air and, to a lesser extent, through certain types of construction materials, such as metal and wood. While good construction practices will reduce sound transfer, they won’t completely eliminate it. The solution to a noisy room is to incorporate sound-dampening objects and materials, which will help absorb sound waves and keep them from becoming irritating or overwhelming.

Slide 2 of 11: Hollow-core doors are found in many of today’s homes because they’re affordable, but sounds easily pass through these doors. If you have a hollow-core office door, consider swapping it for a solid wood door that will provide a better sound-absorbing barrier to block noise that originates on the other side.  Related: 9 Top Tips for Blocking Out Noisy Neighbors

© istockphoto.com

Switch to a Solid Door

Hollow-core doors are found in many of today’s homes because they’re affordable, but sounds easily pass through these doors. If you have a hollow-core office door, consider swapping it for a solid wood door that will provide a better sound-absorbing barrier to block noise that originates on the other side.

Slide 3 of 11: In addition to swapping out a hollow-core door with a solid one, you’ll get better noise reduction if you seal the space under the door with a sweep such as the Suptikes Soundproof Under Door Seal (available from Amazon). This will dampen the sound that sneaks under the door. You can further reduce sound transfer by installing weatherstripping around the sides and the top of the door.

© amazon.com

Install a Door Sweep

In addition to swapping out a hollow-core door with a solid one, you’ll get better noise reduction if you seal the space under the door with a sweep such as the Suptikes Soundproof Under Door Seal (available from Amazon). This will dampen the sound that sneaks under the door. You can further reduce sound transfer by installing weatherstripping around the sides and the top of the door.

Slide 4 of 11: A well-built wall offers moderate sound reduction, but if it has holes, such as gaps that are commonly found around outlets or ducts, you’ll be more likely to hear sounds that originate on the other side of the wall. By sealing the holes with all-purpose caulk, you can reduce the amount of sound that enters your office.  Related: 10 Fast Fixes for Annoying House Noises

© istockphoto.com

Seal Wall Holes

A well-built wall offers moderate sound reduction, but if it has holes, such as gaps that are commonly found around outlets or ducts, you’ll be more likely to hear sounds that originate on the other side of the wall. By sealing the holes with all-purpose caulk, you can reduce the amount of sound that enters your office. 

Slide 5 of 11: One of the best ways to damper excess noise is to install acoustic panels on one or more of walls in your home office. Bare walls create an echo chamber, but by installing sound-absorbing panels, such as these ADW Acoustic Panels (available from Amazon), you can update the look of your office while reducing the noise level in the room.

© istockphoto.com

Install Acoustic Panels

One of the best ways to damper excess noise is to install acoustic panels on one or more of walls in your home office. Bare walls create an echo chamber, but by installing sound-absorbing panels, such as these ADW Acoustic Panels (available from Amazon), you can update the look of your office while reducing the noise level in the room.

Slide 6 of 11: Sound waves bounce around in rooms with hard flooring, such as tile or laminate, but you don’t have to install wall-to-wall carpeting to get some soothing sound relief…just add some rugs. One or more area or throw rugs—the thicker and softer, the better—will absorb harsh noises and prevent a resounding effect so you can concentrate on getting some work done. Related: 12 Reasons Hardwood Floors Might Not Be Right for Your Home

© istockphoto.com

Add Rugs

Sound waves bounce around in rooms with hard flooring, such as tile or laminate, but you don’t have to install wall-to-wall carpeting to get some soothing sound relief…just add some rugs. One or more area or throw rugs—the thicker and softer, the better—will absorb harsh noises and prevent a resounding effect so you can concentrate on getting some work done.

Slide 7 of 11: Just as insulation offers noise-reduction, so will hanging a quilt or an ornamental rug on a wall in your home office reduce sound transfer into the office from the other side of the wall. The thicker the item, the more sound-absorbing ability it will offer. Think creatively with this one, a snuggly baby blanket or even a crib comforter can make a big difference in reducing unwanted noise.

© istockphoto.com

Soft Wall Hangings

Just as insulation offers noise-reduction, so will hanging a quilt or an ornamental rug on a wall in your home office reduce sound transfer into the office from the other side of the wall. The thicker the item, the more sound-absorbing ability it will offer. Think creatively with this one, a snuggly baby blanket or even a crib comforter can make a big difference in reducing unwanted noise.

Slide 8 of 11: Get rid of hard wooden chairs and bring in a padded desk chair and an overstuffed chair or loveseat (if you have the room) to further reduce annoying noises. While you’re at it, dress up your office furniture with a couple of soft pillows for added sound absorption.  Related: 7 Simple Soundproofing Solutions for Your Bedroom

© istockphoto.com

Opt for Upholstery

Get rid of hard wooden chairs and bring in a padded desk chair and an overstuffed chair or loveseat (if you have the room) to further reduce annoying noises. While you’re at it, dress up your office furniture with a couple of soft pillows for added sound absorption.

Slide 9 of 11: If your home office is tucked away in a basement, sounds from overhead are likely the biggest noise culprit. For permanent noise reduction, consider installing a drop ceiling and fill the space between the old ceiling and the new dropped panels with high-density insulation, which will create an instantly quieter office.

Noise-Proof the Ceiling

If your home office is tucked away in a basement, sounds from overhead are likely the biggest noise culprit. For permanent noise reduction, consider installing a drop ceiling and fill the space between the old ceiling and the new dropped panels with high-density insulation, which will create an instantly quieter office.

Slide 10 of 11: Having an office with a window that looks out on a busy street, can be a major source of unwanted noise, especially if the window is an older single-pane model. If it’s in the budget, consider replacing the old window with a newer double- or triple-pane unit, and hang thick draperies or install interior window shutters to block even more sound.

Soften Window Noise

Having an office with a window that looks out on a busy street, can be a major source of unwanted noise, especially if the window is an older single-pane model. If it’s in the budget, consider replacing the old window with a newer double- or triple-pane unit, and hang thick draperies or install interior window shutters to block even more sound.

Slide 11 of 11: If you’ve taken the previous steps to reduce noise but you still find yourself being distracted by sounds, consider investing in a white noise machine, such as the Homedics White Noise Machine (available from Amazon). Unlike erratic noises caused by cars driving by or planes overhead, a white noise machine emits a continuous soft stream of soothing sound, such as falling rain or the surf breaking on the beach, which helps you tune out unwanted sounds in your environment.

© amazon.com

Consider a White Noise Machine

If you’ve taken the previous steps to reduce noise but you still find yourself being distracted by sounds, consider investing in a white noise machine, such as the Homedics White Noise Machine (available from Amazon). Unlike erratic noises caused by cars driving by or planes overhead, a white noise machine emits a continuous soft stream of soothing sound, such as falling rain or the surf breaking on the beach, which helps you tune out unwanted sounds in your environment.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/home-and-garden/10-tips-for-soundproofing-your-home-office/ss-BB17r4Jf?ocid=msedgntp#image=11

Happy 4th of July

Patriotic Starburst Bouquet

By: Annabelle Keller, CPD for STYROFOAM Brand Foam

Patriotic Starburst Bouquet: Celebrate your patriotism with this Red, White, and Blue craft project. This festive bouquet makes a great quick and easy Fourth of July decoration or the perfect outdoor picnic table decoration.

Celebrate your patriotism with this red, white and blue craft project. This festive bouquet makes a great quick and easy Fourth of July decoration or the perfect outdoor picnic table decoration.

Materials:

  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam:
    • Sheet, 1″ x 12″ x 36″
    • Stars: 9″ x 1/2″, one; 6″ x 1/2″, one; 4 x 1/2″, three
  • Clay pot, 5″
  • Wood dowels, 36″ x 1/8″, two
  • Multipurpose acrylic sealer
  • Acrylic paints: white; bright red; denim blue
  • White dimensional paint
  • Satin varnish
  • Metallic red shredded Mylar
  • Paintbrushes, 3/4″ and 1/2″ flat wash
  • Serrated knife
  • Five wood skewers
  • Disposable palette
  • Paper towels
  • White, thick craft glue
  • Transparent tape, 1/2″ width
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Sea wool sponge
  • Paraffin or candle stub

Steps:

  1. Apply sealer to clay pot and let dry. Paint clay pot, excluding rim, and wood dowels white. Paint pot rim blue, extending color 1″ to inside top. Let dry. Sponge paint white portion of clay pot with blue, let dry, and then repeat with red (refer to photo).
     
  2. Insert a wood skewer into edge of each foam star at center bottom to use as a handle while painting. Insert opposite end of skewer into foam sheet while paint dries. Paint stars as follows: one 4″ and one 6″, red; one 4″, white; one 4″, blue.
     
  3. For flag pattern on 9″ star, paint two left points blue and three remaining points white (refer to photo). Use tape to mask off eight white stripes on star, continuing pattern onto edges and back. Paint unmasked white portion of star red, creating nine red stripes. Let dry and remove tape. With white dimensional paint, paint seven 5-point stars on blue field. Squeeze paint in center of each star and pull out to points with bottle tip. Let dry thoroughly.
     
  4. Apply varnish to clay pot, stars, and wood dowels. Let dry.
     
  5. Using a utility knife, cut one each of following lengths from white wood dowels: 12″ dowel (flag star); 8″ dowel (large red star); 11 1/2″ dowel (blue star); 8 1/2″ dowel (white star); 6 1/2″ dowel (small red star). Replace skewers in stars with wood dowels as indicated and glue.
     
  6. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Cut pieces of sheet foam to snugly fit clay pot. Layer and glue foam inside pot. Arrange stars in pot, gluing wood dowels into foam (refer to photo). Glue shredded Mylar, covering top of foam.
     

®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.

Source: https://www.favecrafts.com/Fourth-of-July/Patriotic-Starburst-Bouquet

5 Easy DIY Ideas for Your Ho-Hum Terra-Cotta Pots

Want a fun weekend project? Dress up your terra-cotta pots! HGTV Magazine has some DIY ideas.

Add a Decal

Paint the pot with paint and let dry. Apply a face decal to the front of the pot, following the package instructions.

Stencil a Pattern

Attach the stencil to the pot with repositionable spray mount and pieces of delicate-surface painter’s tape. You may have to cut the stencil into a couple of pieces to help it adhere to the rounded surface. Fill in the stencil with paint. Let dry slightly, then remove and reposition the stencil pieces. Fill in, repeating until the entire pot is covered. Let dry.

Layer on Fringe

Starting at the bottom, hot-glue rows of fringe to the pot, layering each additional row on top of the previous one as you go.

Ombré It

Working from the top down, divide the planter into three equal sections — use a pencil to lightly mark dashes around the circumference. Spray-paint the top part. Then spray-paint the middle section with a different color, slightly overlapping the area you just painted. Repeat for the third section with another shade. Let dry.

Wrap It With Rope 

Starting at the bottom, wrap rope (we used cotton clothesline) around the pot, securing with hot glue as you go. When you get to the top, wrap a few rows on the inside, too. Then paint a pattern on the rope. Use painter’s tape to mark off the design you want to paint. Lightly outline it in pencil, remove the tape and fill in with paint. Let dry.

Photo credit: Philip Friedman

https://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/easy-diy-terra-cotta-pot-ideas-pictures

Bathroom Makeover– Chalk Painted Linoleum Floors

BATHROOM MAKEOVER | AFFORDABLE DO IT YOURSELF HOME PROJECTS | CHALK PAINT MAKEOVER INSPIRATION

how to paint linoleum, how to paint tile, painted bathroom floor, diy painted floor, bathroom makeover, tile stencil, affordable diy home project, bathroom makeover, bathroom inspiration, chalk painted floor, how to chalk paint a floor

This is a great way to update any room really.  This article shows how to update a bathroom floor by painting it with stencils.  You can see the result.  The article is long with many pictures, so I’ll post a link to it (Otherwise I’ll be here all morning cutting and pasting, and there’s snow that needs shoveling so…)  I hope you enjoy this and perhaps use this idea on one of your floors.

https://www.bbfrosch.com/blog/2018/12/10/bathroom-makeover-part-2-chalk-painted-linoleum-floors