Sunday, March 1, 2015

Kit Kat Jacob's Ladder Toy

Are you looking for an idea for something fun to put in the Easter baskets? This idea is both a toy and a treat! It's also easy enough that kids could also make it.

I was going to make a Jacob's Ladder toy out of wood. I was deciding on the size to make the blocks and I realized that a Kit Kat is the perfect size to make the toy. I decided to make a Jacob's Ladder out of Kit Kats.

See a video of the Kit Kat ladder in action here.

Needed Materials:
6 Kit Kats - I found Easter themed Kit Kats, but regular Kit Kats will work fine.
Paper or 1/2" Ribbon

Step 1: Cut 15 Strips of paper. They should be about 1/2" wide and about the length of two Kit Kats. I used two different colors to make it easier for the tutorial. You may choose to use only one color or multiple colors. You could also use ribbon cut at the length of two Kit Kats. 

Step 2: Tape the pieces of paper to the Kit Kats as shown below. Tape three strips on five of the Kit Kats. Leave one Kit Kat with no strips attached. I used the pink strips taped to the front side and the green strips taped to the back side. I did this to help explain the process. This will also result in the all the front sides being on one side of the ladder. It really does not matter which sides you tape the strips.

Step 3: Place your Kit Kat with the taped side down and fold the strips over the top. You will have one short strip each on the top and bottom of the bar extending one way and a short strip in the middle extending the other way. I taped the strips down to take a picture, but you should not have to tape them down.

Step 4: Place the next Kit Kat with the taped strips facing down on top of the bar with the folded over strips. Make sure that you place the bar so the end that has the two long strips attached to the top and bottom is the on top of the end with the middle short strip.

 Step 5: Fold the short strips over the bar. Be sure to pull the strips tight to prevent them from slipping off the bar and tape them down.

Step 6: Fold the long strips over the top of the bar like you did in step 3. Again, I taped them down to take the picture, but you do not need to do this. Just be sure the strips do not cross. If they cross, your ladder will not work.

Step 7: Put the next Kit Kat with the taped strips facing down. Fold over the short ends and tape them down.

Step 8: Fold the long ends over the bar. Continue on in this manner until you get to the Kit Kat that does not have any strips taped to it.

Step 9: When you get to the last bar, place the bar on top. You will just have the three short strips extending.

Step 10: Tape the short strips down.

Your Kit Kats should now look like the below.

Step 11: Have fun! It's time to play with your new Jacob's ladder. To get the ladder to work, hold the ladder extended with your fingers on the sides of the bar. Then, rotate your wrist forward and backward. It will look like the Kit Kats are cascading down the ladder. To see it in action, you can see a quick video here. Once you are done playing with it, simply remove the paper strips and enjoy the Kit Kats!

You don't have to use Kit Kats for this. You can use any similar sized, flat candies. Something like Orbit or Five gum would be perfect.

I will be posting a tutorial of a traditional Jacob's ladder using wood blocks, soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

DIY St. Patrick's Day Cat Toy

DIY St. Patrick's Day Cat Toy

My cats love to play with anything that involves a string. They needed a new St. Patrick's Day toy, so I made them a shamrock toy. I already had all the needed supplies, so it was completely free and they love it. You can make one, too!

Needed materials:
Sturdy dowel 3-4 feet long
Small amount of felt
Small amount of string or yarn

Step 1: Draw up a template. I drew a simple shamrock. You could make whatever shape you want. If you want to use my template, you can find it here.

Step 2: Cut the shamrocks out of the felt. You may find it easier to pin the shamrocks to the felt prior to cutting them out. I cut out four shamrocks.

Step 3: Thread the string through the shamrocks.

Step 4: Tie a knot below each shamrock to keep them spaced out.

Step 5: Drill a hole through the dowel.

Step 6: Thread the string through the hole in the dowel and securely tie it.

Step 7: Play with your cat!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DIY Charging Station With a Power Strip Compartment

I live in a 120+ year old house. If you have ever been in an old house, you will notice that there is a severe lack of outlets. Obviously, when electricity was first put into homes they did not have all the gadgets that we have now. However, the shortage of outlets leaves my counter looking like this while I alternate each thing that needs to be charged.

You can make this charging station to house all your electronics for under $5. The best part is that it is made so a USB charging multi-port or a power strip can fit inside and only one cord needs to be plugged in to the wall! This is also completely customizable to fit your electronics.

Friday, January 2, 2015

How to Remove Chap Stick Grease Stains from Clothing

Last week, I managed to wash TWO tubes of Chap Stick with my laundry.The worst part is that I did not notice it until after the clothes had gone through the dryer and the grease stain was set it. All my clothes in that load looked like this.

I gathered up a bunch of supplies and experimented to see what would get the grease stains out of the clothes. There were 2 pairs of jeans and 4 t-shirts that had the most grease stains, so I used them for my tests.

I tried baking soda and Oxi Clean, Borax, Dawn, Tide Oxi, Goop, Oxi Clean, Kids 'N Pets, chalk, Dawn Platinum, clarifying shampoo, and Shout Advanced Grease Busting Foam. After each treatment, I washed the clothes in the warm water with Tide Simply Clean. I let each item air dry until I knew if the stain came out. If the stain was still there, I did not put it in the dryer.

Here is what worked and what failed!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Knit Z-Man Sweater

Happy New Year's Eve! Here is another project that I made for Christmas. I made this sweater for my nephew.

I found the pattern in Zoe Mellor's book Adorable Knits for Tots. A couple years ago, I made this sweater for his older sister from this same book.

I found this cute Ships Ahoy! sweater pattern and I knew I wanted to make one for Zach. I had intended to make it with the boat and fish. I ordered the yarn online. The yarn looked more blue on my computer screen. When I received the yarn in the mail, it was more green than I wanted. I decided to alter the pattern to have a Z on it, but I really like how it turned out.

If you want to see more details about this pattern, please see my Z-Man Sweater project page on Ravelry. Be sure to take a look at some more of my knitting and crocheting projects on my Ravelry project page.