Tag Archives: DIY

Litter Bucket Nest Boxes

My pullets are now about 16 weeks old. Time to install some nest boxes!

(Full Disclosure: The Mister did most of the cutting and assembly for me! I don’t have much skill with power tools.)

First, I found 4 empty litter buckets like this:

credit: http://www.petflow.com

I took the lids off and had The Mister cut access holes. Then I screwed the 4 buckets into a 4×4.

IMG_20130920_122532A frame of 2x4s, a hinged plywood roof, and viola! Nest boxes! All the materials were on-hand, so this project didn’t cost a dime!

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After this picture was taken, I used the smaller pieces of the hinged lids to make a lip on the front, to keep the hens from kicking their nesting material out. I also put hay in the buckets, but the chickens ate it all pretty quickly… silly birds.

Now I can collect eggs without walking through the poop in the run!

How do YOU use repurposed materials around your property?

Frugal Summer Fun: Cloud Dough

It’s already too hot for the kids to be outside during the majority of the day. We’ve hit 113 degrees a few times in the past few weeks. If we want to go outside, we have to do it in the mornings and evenings when it’s cooler. During the day, we play inside, watch movies, draw, and read.

Today, I have been working on a major paper for one of my summer classes, so I needed something the kids would be able to do with minimal supervision.

So, we made cloud dough! After making one batch, the kids seemed to need more, so I made a second batch. I guess it all depends on the size of the container you put it in.

Start with a bowl and 8 cups of flour. I’d suggest white flour over wheat flour because whole wheat flour goes rancid faster.

Add a cup of oil. I also added a citrus blend of essential oil to make it smell nice.

Stir and stir and stir until the lumps become small:

Done! This stuff provides an amazing sensory experience. It’s soft and powdery, yet moldable at the same time.

Silicone cupcake molds, measuring cups, and spoons are all fun with this.

I’d definitely recommend giving this a try! It’s very fun and very cheap – the dough is shelf stable until the oil starts to smell bad. I’ve heard that it will stay fresh in a sealed bag for up to 6 months!

Cloth Diapering: How to Fix a Leaky Cover

I only rotate 8 covers between my two kids in diapers, so they get washed an ungodly number of times fairly often. I usually wash every other day, but there have been times that I’ve had to wash every day.  I would guess that each cover has probably been washed at least 100 times.

If these were expensive covers, I’d probably be more upset about the leaking. But since I only paid $6 each after shipping, I knew I was getting a somewhat cheaper product.

Lately, we’ve had MAJOR leaking issues. Especially with four-month-old Kid #4. And I’m not just talking about moisture on the leg elastic.. I’m talking about WET on the front and the back less than an hour after changing. Instead of buying or making more covers, I decided to take things into my own hands with a can of waterproofing spray.

waterproofing spray, cardboard, and a diaper cover
waterproofing spray, cardboard, and a diaper cover

The first thing to do is to find some good waterproofing spray. I picked this particular brand because it’s silicone-based and meant for clothing.

waterproofing spray
waterproofing spray

Prepare your work area. I used a sheet of cardboard to protect my counters. Also, prepare your diaper cover using duct tape. I covered all the hook and loop tape with duct tape, and added another strip on the top edge to help stretch the cover out.

2013-06-07_13-16-24_616Shake your can of waterproofing spray, then apply an even and thin coat over the entire surface, focusing on leaky areas and elastic.

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Let it dry for about three hours. Mine was dry faster because I stuck it outside in 105 degree weather…

After drying, feel free to test the cover’s new-found water resistance.

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You can see that the water is beading on the cover instead of going through it. This means that the waterproofing worked! If the cover still doesn’t have enough water resistance, you may want to add a second layer of the waterproofing spray.

A cheap can of boot sealant gave my covers a second life. This was definitely a frugal and worthwhile project!