Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

How to Paint Laminate Furniture Without Sanding

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024
How to Paint Laminate Furniture Without Sanding

Learn how to paint laminate furniture without sanding! Whether you plan to paint Ikea laminate furniture or a fireplace like us- you need this easy tutorial!

Laminate furniture often has a reputation for looking cheap. Let’s be honest- that faux grain finish does not fool anyone!

However, a simple paint job can completely transform and elevate any piece in your home in a single day, and I would love to show you how.  

How to Paint Laminate Furniture Without Sanding

Today’s painting tutorial is an excellent technique to try on new pieces.

Fresh paint can also cover up scratches, discoloration, and other imperfections on furniture you already own.  

Painting pieces to match can make a room feel cohesive. And as our decorating styles evolve, we can choose any color or finish to match where you are at NOW with your style.

What has surprised me about this process is just how easy it is.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture Without Sanding

For today’s tutorial, we will paint the electric fireplace that I featured in this guide- The Best Electric Fireplaces With Heaters

I’m excited to share with you how to make this laminate piece look more expensive than it is with a coat of paint- NO SANDING REQUIRED.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of painting laminate furniture without sanding, including the materials you’ll need and expert tips for achieving professional-looking results.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture Without Sanding

Here is a picture of our fireplace TEN YEARS after we painted it. There is no nick or chip in sight, so you are in wonderful hands today!

Understanding Laminate Furniture

Before diving into the painting process, it’s essential to understand what laminate furniture is and why it requires special preparation.

Laminate furniture is made of particleboard or MDF (medium-density fiberboard) covered with a thin layer of laminate. This synthetic material mimics the look of wood, stone, or other textures. 

This laminate layer can challenge paint adhesion, as it is smooth, non-porous, and moisture-resistant.

To paint laminate furniture without sanding, you will need a special primer, latex paint, and water-based acrylic to finish. You can scroll down to see the complete step-by-step instructions.

FAQs on Painting Laminate Furniture Without Sanding:

What is Zinnser primer?

Zinsser primer is a shellac based primer that acts as a versatile base primer for various surfaces, including laminate furniture.

This primer sticks effectively to surfaces without sanding, making it an ideal choice for prepping laminate furniture for painting. This is a top coat for your project, but you may need more than one coat depending on your furniture piece.

What kind of paint do you use on laminate furniture?

It’s essential to use really high-quality paint when painting furniture.

Latex paint is recommended for laminate surface painting projects because of its durability and smooth finish, and we have had the best success with the Benjamin Moore brand.

Many of our projects have stood up to over a decade of use without any need for retouching.

Can This Tutorial Be Used With Chalk Paint?

Yes, you can use chalk paint on laminate furniture, but I have yet to do this personally and can only provide instructions on what I’ve read elsewhere. You may not achieve the glossy results that I’ve shared today.

Follow the same steps I’ve outlined.

Once your primer is dry, you can paint your laminate furniture with chalk paint.

Keep in mind this paint will offer a matte finish.  

Be sure to add a protective topcoat to ensure durability, especially if the furniture will see regular use.

What Fireplace Paint Did You Use For This Project? 

This color is Benjamin Moore White Owl, the white paint we use in our home’s trim and furniture pieces. This piece from Architectural Digest showcases the versatility of the color and why it has become such a go-to white paint color choice! 

Do you have to sand laminate furniture before painting?

As we shared in this tutorial, using a product like Zinsser Primer eliminates the need to prime your laminate furniture. This bonding primer is designed for laminate furniture projects like this one and is a great option for Ikea furniture or painting laminate cabinets in your home. 

Can I Use Oil-Based Acrylic On Laminate Furniture?

We learned the hard way that using an oil-based acrylic finish on white furniture can lead to undesirable yellowing over time. 

Two dressers I had finished began to slowly turn yellow, a devastating DIY mistake that meant I had to repaint our pieces to restore the white color. 

Oil-based acrylic finishes contain ingredients prone to oxidation, a chemical process that can cause the paint to develop a yellowish hue when exposed to light and air. 

Additionally, oil-based acrylic finishes may take longer to cure and harden compared to water-based alternatives, leaving the furniture vulnerable to damage and staining during the curing process.

As a result, the finish may not provide adequate protection against everyday wear and tear, making the furniture more susceptible to scratches, stains, and other forms of damage.

I ALWAYS recommend a water-based acrylic finish or clear protective coating to prevent yellowing.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture Without Sanding: A Step-by-Step Guide

Materials Needed:

  1. Zinsser Primer
  2. Latex Paint 
  3. Water Based Polycrylic in Clear Satin (no substitutions- this product will not yellow your furniture)
  4. Drop Cloth
  5. Foam Roller
  6. Paint Brush

Instructions:

  1. Apply Zinsser Primer:
    • Clean the laminate surface thoroughly to remove any dirt or grease.
    • Apply a coat of Zinsser Primer to the surface using a paintbrush or foam roller.
    • Ensure even coverage and allow the primer to dry completely, usually within an hour or two of time.
  2. Apply Paint:
    • Once the primer is dry, apply your chosen paint color (see the suggestion below for my favorite white paint option)
    • Use a paintbrush or foam roller to apply the paint in thin, even coats.
    • One coat may be sufficient, but additional coats may be needed for full coverage or touch-ups.
  3. Finish with Polycrylic:
    • Once the paint is dry, apply two coats of Polycrylic in a Clear Satin finish, giving your piece a slick, smooth finish using a clean paintbrush or foam brush to apply evenly.  
    • Allow each coat of Polycrylic to dry for two hours before reapplying.
    • After applying the final coat, allow the piece to dry overnight before using or moving it.
How to Paint Laminate Furniture from MomAdvice.com
How to Paint Laminate Furniture from MomAdvice.com

How Do I Keep Laminate Furniture Clean?

While painted laminate furniture can be durable, it must be treated carefully to prevent chipping, scratching, or other damage. 

Avoid placing hot or heavy objects directly on the surface, and use coasters or protective pads as needed.

To clean painted laminate furniture, use a mild detergent, water solution, and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, which can damage the finish of your piece. 

I can’t wait to hear how your first project goes!

Paint Laminate Furniture Without Sanding Furniture Ideas

Here are a few examples of furniture pieces you could try as a great beginner project for painting laminate furniture. 

This post contains affiliate links.
How to Spray Paint Furniture

Love this tutorial don’t miss these other fun painting and staining projects:

How to Paint a Kitchen Table– Revitalize your kitchen table with a coat of paint. Discover easy steps to give your dining area a new lease on life.

How to Spray Paint Furniture– Upgrade your furniture with a professional finish using spray paint. Follow simple instructions to achieve a flawless makeover for any piece.”

Stain Picnic Table Tutorial– Enhance outdoor gatherings by staining your picnic table with this tutorial. Explore the process to protect your outdoor wood furniture so you can use it year after year. 

How to Stain Wood Furniture– Bring new life to your furniture by staining it. Follow these straightforward steps to add rich color and depth to your favorite pieces.

TELL ME: Did you have success with this painting project? What has been your experience painting laminate wood?

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My Favorite Things (So Far) This Year

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

The best books, tv, movies, podcasts and products I’ve purchased in 2022!

Hello, my friends! I hope that you’re having a wonderful summer! I thought it might be fun to talk about my favorite things (so far) this year.

Personally, I get bogged down with those end-of-year recaps so I thought a mid-year surprise might be a lovely escape for summer.

Please consider today’s list as INTERACTIVE! Please leave a comment and tell me what’s topped YOUR list this year! It can be anything- books, podcasts, apps, recipes, clothing, organizers- WHATEVER. I love and miss the interactions we share in these spaces.

My Favorite Things (So Far) This Year from MomAdvice.com

My Favorite Things (So Far) This Year

Please keep in mind, these are new-to-me discoveries and may not have been released this year.

The Best Apps of the Year (So Far)

Two apps changed my mental health journey this year and I’m forever grateful.

Loona App

Loóna

I have been struggling with nighttime anxiety and this app came recommended to me by my therapist to help with my sleep anxiety and insomnia.

Friends, it has helped me more than ANYTHING we have tried.

In particular, it has helped so much with my racing thoughts and inability to shutdown.

Throw on a pair of headphones and immerse yourself in these gorgeous interactive sleep stories.

The narrator acts as a guide, giving you directions for coloring in images and you tap the screen to fill in the colors.

As you tap, it has ASMR sounds that are beautifully pleasant as an added reinforcement. Sounds like tapping floor boards, paper shuffling, rocking a chair, or spinning a metal toy- that kind of thing.

The music and narration are just beautiful and will transport you somewhere else.

I don’t use this app only for bed though.

In fact, I’m listening to the work/study music while I type this post.

Other musical options include lullabies, sleep songs, music to wake up to, and calming tunes.

We share an account as a family and every family member has tried (and loved) this app too.

Sunnyside App (formerly Cutback Coach)

Sunnyside App (formerly known as the Cutback Coach App)

Last summer I decided I wanted to reign in my evening drinking habit and I used this app to help reinforce my commitment to myself.

Can some people do it without an app?

Sure!

Did I ever honor a commitment that I didn’t invest into and get spelled out to me in black-and-white?

No, I didn’t.

Each week I would make a commitment to the amount I would drink that week and it would coach me every evening to remind me of that commitment I made to myself. It sent me charts on saved money, sleep hours reclaimed, and calories saved.

Gradually, I went from two drinks in the evening (or more) to being a girl who has a glass of wine on special occasions.

Admittedly, the holidays were weird this year and I now notice how I used alcohol to brave social situations.

It was the hardest and best gift I could have ever given myself to feel so aware of my actions.

Alcohol no longer plays a role in my life really at all and it was because of this app.

The Best Podcasts of the Year (So Far)

You know I have to mention the launch of the Book Gang Podcast (subscribe wherever you get podcasts!). The challenge with podcasting has been making shows AND listening to other people’s shows. That said, these are two that I loved this year.

Maintenance Phase Podcast

Maintenance Phase

When people talk about podcast hosts feeling like friends, I never really got that. I have always been pretty grounded in the separation in these feelings…that is until this podcast came along.

Fun fact that might change how you feel about me- I deeply despise harmful wellness culture and dieting fads.

These hosts, it turns out, do too, and they debunk and explore the myths around these topics in their show. They tackle everything from fad diets that we perceive as healthy to the problematic Dr. Oz and don’t mind exposing a few wellness influencers and their dramatic demises.

I have belly-laughed through so many of these episodes and appreciate the extensive lengths to their research they go to on why this culture and how fat-shaming is so harmful.

Sidedoor Podcast

Smithsonian Sidedoor

This podcast is going on its eighth season and I’ve enjoyed every single episode.

This takes you through the side door to learn the stories behind the exhibits from the experts themselves.

Each episode is different and utilizes the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers, and astrophysicists to tell the story behind the story.

I promise, you’ll fall in love with this one too. It’s also (relatively) family-friendly, but you can go through episode-by-episode if you have smaller children to pick topics they might enjoy.

I always learn something new and have fun trivia for any dinner party.

The Best Books of the Year (So Far)

If you thought I could narrow it down to just one, I can’t.

These two books that I’m sharing today transported me to a different time and place that I never wanted to end.

They both are coming out this summer so get those pre-orders in.

Carrie Soto is Back

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Masterful storyteller Taylor Jenkins Reid serves her readers a healthy dose of love and drama on and off the courts in Carrie Soto is Back

Carie fights for all of her tennis titles but refuses to be a media darling.

If she’s tough (shrug), that is on you.

She can’t be friendly and kick your ass at the same time.

Her nickname, Battle Axe, was won through her ruthless game.

After winning every title (and facing an injury), a girl should just enjoy retiring.

Right?

Well, Carrie refuses to take take the easy road.

She jumps back into training and challenges her body beyond its capabilities to try to win Wimbledon again.

She also discovers that it is okay to be loved and needed by others along the way.

This is CINEMATIC in nature and pure book club catnip.

Sweet, but never saccharine. Bitingly feminist-forward. 

It asks us to examine how we think about women in sports.

Why must we be likable?

Why are men held to different standards?

What does it mean to age out?

How can we find joy in the later years?

I held my breath through tennis matches when I care nothing about sports.

I snickered through trash-talk.

I ugly-cried through the ending and then cried again that this was over.

I am trying to be measured with praise and I can’t.

Reid has written another fully fleshed character that makes this book feel like a memoir.

Was Carrie real? Is there a Wikipedia page on her?

Since her debut, I have followed this author and have read her entire backlist in real-time.

I did my homework, and I’m telling you, this is going to be your favorite book too.

This book hits store on shelves on August 30th. Thank you to the publishing house for this sneak peek.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin is a tried-and-true storyteller, but no one could have prepared me for the epic and sweeping journey she crafted for these characters in her latest book Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.

For three decades, we follow two unlikely friends who find each other in a children’s hospital.

Sadie’s sister is receiving treatment for cancer, and Sam is recovering from a series of surgeries after a tragic car accident.

They bond over their shared love of video games in the gaming room of the hospital.

However, when Sam discovers that Sadie has been tallying her visits to fulfill her bat mitzvah service, he feels like her charity project instead of a friend.

It ends the fast friendship abruptly, but they find one another again in college when Sadie shares another computer game she has been developing.

The two decide to develop a game together, which follows their success in the gaming industry with their first game.

It also follows the consequences of virtual world-building when they build a world where all are welcome that ends in violence and the dissolution of their formed partnership.

Sam’s chronic pain from his foot injury are written so beautifully and help us understand the daily challenges of chronic pain and learning to find peace with our disabilities when we face them.

This experience is unlike any other that a reader could imagine because Zevin writes each of the games for this company in beautiful and intricate ways that each feels fully fleshed from idea to execution.

I shared these scenes with my software developer husband, who was equally astounded by this remarkable execution.

One world she built, in particular, left me in a puddle on the ground.

It is a journey within a journey within a journey.

Publishers Weekly put it best when they said this book is a “one-of-a-kind achievement.”

Again, I assure you that this will be your favorite book too.

This book hits store on shelves on July 5th. Thank you to the publishing house for this sneak peek.

Best Movies of the Year (So Far)

I try to see a movie every week (both in theatre and/or streaming).

If you need some inspiration for dating yourself, here is an action shot of me on my weekly solo movie date and you could also try this fun new streaming tradition I’m going to do every year for the awards season.

This is another challenging category to narrow down so I’m going to share three that packed a punch this year.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All At Once (watch the trailer)

I can’t recall the last time that a movie has transported me MORE than Everything Everywhere All At Once. We went into this one knowing very little and I am really glad we did.

This is the official blurb for the film- “An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.”

It pretty much tells you NOTHING.

Keep it that way.

This is one of the most beautiful stories I’ve seen on the challenges of mothering our daughters. It made me laugh and cry- sometimes at the same time.

The film was astonishing and visually spectacular.

It was so visually stunning, in fact, that we felt guilty that we didn’t pay for a live theater ticket to see it.

It also is spectacularly strange as she goes through the different universes.

I loved every minute of it and the statements it made about what it means to be family and to fight for those you love.

Captive Audience

Captive Audience (on Hulu- watch the trailer)

I’ve been obsessed with true crime this year, and this series was one of the best I’ve seen.

Honestly, I’ve been surprised that I haven’t heard more people talk about it.

This documentary follows the life of Steven Stayner and his family, diving into the family’s 50-year journey to unravel the tale of two brothers, one deemed a villain and the other a hero.

Don’t Google anything if you are unfamiliar with the case- allow yourself to be immersed in this family’s story (told by their mother).

What made this one so compelling isn’t just the true crime case itself but the unique use of narration they used to tell this story.

The documentarians brought back the made-for-tv cast to read the scenes from the movie that was made about this case.

It sounds cheesy, but these readings were phenomenal, and they also reminisced on their own experience acting in these roles in a really beautiful reflective exercise about how they felt for their own characters.

If you are highly sensitive, the storytelling is compassionate and beautifully told.

The Best TV of the Year (So Far)

I am REALLY having a hard time today with this category because television has been so exceptional this year.

I’m narrowing it down to the best in ensemble casts and outstanding women’s lead performances today.

I do want to give two honorable mentions to The Righteous Gemstones & Physical this year.

The Thing About Pam

The Thing About Pam (on Peacock- watch the trailer)

This true crime tv series is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that resulted in her husband, Russ’ conviction. All along, Russ swore his innocence, but who else could have done it?

Well, it turns out this brutal crime was committed by her weird friend, Pam Hupp, who has felt MORE than entitled to a few of the finer things in life.

Again, narration wins for this one as it utilizes Keith Morrison, the journalist who first covered the mystery in a 2016 episode of Dateline as the narrator for this saga.

This dark comedy of errors could not be illustrated better and Zellweger deserves every award she receives for playing this role.

Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary (on Hulu- watch the trailer)

My friend Kelly recommended this show as one of her favorites, and we devoured this first season.

This adorable mockumentary series follows a group of teachers as they navigate the financial challenges of one public school.

This has so much heart and humor to it.

You can really tell that Quinta Brunson has been a powerful observer in her own mother’s teaching career.

It mimics, I’m sure, the challenges that so many of today’s teachers face. It also showcases brilliantly creative ways teachers work around budget constraints in the show’s thoughtful details.

The Dropout

The Dropout (on Hulu- watch the trailer)

Our fascination with con artists knew no bounds this year, did it?

I think I’ve watched every single con documentary and film that has come out this year. This is the one that I enjoyed the most though.

This limited tv series, chronicles Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ attempt to revolutionize the healthcare industry after dropping out of college and starting a technology company.

Thanks to all of this coverage on the case, I felt like I knew this story inside out.

Still, nothing prepared me for the performances of these actors or the way that they would tell this story.

It is such a binge-worthy series that you will have a hard time stopping once you start it. The writing of this story is so thoughtful and there are jaw-dropping performances in this cast too.

Amanda Seyfried could not have been more perfectly cast as Elizabeth Holmes.

The Best Purchases of the Year (So Far)

We continue to embrace minimalism. The purchases that I make and share about will always be authentically chosen. These are the things that have made my life better this year.

Conway AirMega Air Purifier

Conway AirMega Air Purifier

For the record, I’ve never owned an air purifier, but since I bought this I cannot imagine a day without it.

This gadget came highly rated by NYT and has done a phenomenal job not only reducing the odors in our home, but it also has reduced our difficulties with allergies.

The biggest glow-up from this device is when I am cooking. It has an eco-friendly setting that kicks on to clean out detected odors quickly. While I’m cooking, it efficiently cleans up smells before we have even sat down to dinner.

It also does a stellar job with pets, teenagers, sweaty workout smells, and trash.

Thirdlove Classic Uplift Plunge Bra

Thirdlove Classic Uplift Plunge Bra

I had been dealing with unbearable shoulder pain this year and never thought a poorly fitted bra could have contributed so much to this pain.

I had one bra, in particular, that was my go-to, but they went through some pandemic manufacturing changes that really affected the quality (and my body, it turns out!).

This company boasts half-sizing on bras and smart inclusions like a soft-back detail that doesn’t hurt and ways to adjust pads if you have two different cup sizes.

I can’t believe how much better I feel and imagine there might be a few others out there who haven’t seen a bra update since the pandemic that might benefit from a switch too.

Florence Cream Blush

Florence Cream Blush

I’m not sure why it is so hard to find a cream blush with staying power, but my quest ended when I discovered this product this year.

Do you recognize this brand owner? (I had no clue until my daughter told me this fun fact today)

The hue (Glowing G) adds a natural flush that lasts all day. Although it is a little bit pricier than my usual drugstore options, the tiniest bit goes a long way without any need for a second application.

Home Edit Organizers

The Home Edit Organizers Sets (from Walmart)

Our home has been so disorganized since the pandemic and part of the problem is that so many of our organizing systems have been failing us.

I implemented some of these organizing systems in our poorly functioning bathroom closet, pantry, and laundry area with REAL success.

Particularly, we had been stockpiling a lot of canned food during these past couple of years and these stacked tiers have stopped me from buying repeat purchases.

Dishwasher Sign

The Dishwasher Sign

It’s all about communication-free communication at our house. This magnetic dishwasher sign lets everyone know if things are clean or dirty, reducing the stacked dishes with people claiming they couldn’t figure it out.

If you need one more communication-free communication strategy, here’s my final hot tip.

Tell me, what have been your favorite things (so far) this year? Are you going to try anything from today’s list? If you love this list, be sure to sign up for my newsletter for a weekly dose of this fun!

this post contains affiliate links

other things we are loving this year:

The Best Beach Reads For Your Summer Stack from MomAdvice.com
11 beach reads that I loved for your summer
join my book club for a great read year of reading

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

Have you been looking for an online book club to join? Check out the 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections and join our book club today! Learn more about how you can join our virtual book chat for these next 12 selections and our exclusive bonus offers this year for our community 

Do you want to have the best reading year ever?

If one of your goals for 2022 is to join a book club or read more, I’d love to introduce you to the MomAdvice Book Club today. Our virtual group has now grown to over 4,500 bookworms and is (truly) one of the kindest and coziest communities on the internet. 

Each year, there is so much love that goes into each of our selections. Not only do I hope to introduce you to a few under-the-radar reads, but I also love to cast a wide net of genres to hopefully expand your reading life in big and beautiful ways.

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

This year has been a big year of new endeavors and one of my biggest new endeavors has been launching the MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast. This ended up being the perfect format to share with you what our book club is all about and a little bit about each of these books I’ve selected for you.

You can listen to today’s episode below to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on what I’m offering for your stack this year. If you are planning to join in on the fun, this episode is essential to understand how our club works and why I have chosen these books, in particular, for you.

The other two endeavors that I’m proud to launch are just for our new book club year. 

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

This year we have a partnership with my local bookstore to allow our readers to shop an independent bookshop for your reading this year. Fables Books, located in Goshen, Indiana. We are linking to their shop below with our book club picks. If you join my Patreon, they will give you a 15% discount on our book club books through our exclusive partnership.  (Note: Patreon members, please check your inbox for this exclusive coupon code)

THANK YOU, FABLES!! We love, love, love you! 

a sneak peek at my interview with Allie Larkin- look at that video quality, folks!

If you want to really immerse yourself in this year’s picks, your Patreon support will also give you access to our MomAdvice Book Club Author Interview Series to learn more about the stories behind the stories.  These video interviews are another brand new endeavor that I’m proud to share. I’m so thankful for these writers and how generously they are sharing their lives with us.

Let’s quickly run through some frequently asked questions (for those that don’t have time for the podcast today!):

MomAdvice Free Online Book Club

How Do I Join the MomAdvice Book Club?

Request to join HERE for our free community.

When Do Book Club Chats Happen?

The Book Club Chat is held on the last Friday (of the month) at 8 PM EST. An event invite is sent out to members at the beginning of each month.

Once you RSVP to an event, Facebook does its thing and sends out reminders to you.

This year’s discussion will be a typed chat. 

Discussion questions are posted throughout the event and you can hop on at any time during the evening (or when you finish that book) to answer the questions at a time that is convenient for you.

What New Book Club Features Can I Access in the MomAdvice Patreon?

Membership to access ALL of our online book club features is just $5 a month (or prepay for an annual membership for a ten percent savings). These bonus features allow you to immerse yourself fully in this year’s book club year.

Your membership offers these curated benefits:

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors. Learn the stories behind each of their stories and what they hope you will walk away from each of their books.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts. Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to both paperback and hardback selections. 

Exclusive MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast Episodes & Early Access Book Reviews. Your stack will be toppling over with my real-time reviews each month. These reviews are available in both audio and printable formats. Sneak peek 

Monthly Themed Playlists & Digital Downloads. Pair your favorite thriller with my spooky playlist. Brew some tea and listen to an instrumental mix with your favorite classic. Embrace short story songs with my favorite storytellers. The playlists are endless and digital downloads are available for your reading journals.

Sneak Peek Upcoming Content. You will know before anyone else what to expect in upcoming podcast episodes and what I’m researching for our next shows. Be bookishly curious with me and give your input for these MomAdvice Book Gang podcast shows.

Head HERE to join the Book Gang today and gain immediate access to the full digital catalog of materials.

Grab Our Official 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Shirt (or MUG, or TOTE, or MASK!!)

Are you planning to read with us? I have created a brand new book club shirt with our new stack on it.  We are so thankful to Bonfire for their hard work on this adorable design that captures our reading together! 

We have long sleeve, short sleeve, crewneck sweatshirts, and hoodies for this year!  

In addition to these items, we added a few more merchandise items for our book club members. Shop totes, mugs, and face masks this year too! 

Enough waiting! I’m thrilled to share these twelve 2022 book club selections with you today! I can’t wait to hear what you think about this year’s list. 

MomAdvice 2022 Book Club Selections

January- The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

(order through Fables Books)

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections February- In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

(order from Fables Books)

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections March-The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

(order from Fables Books)

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections April- The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

(order from Fables Books)

May- The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness by Sarah Ramey 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

(order from Fables Books)

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections June- The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers

(order from Fables Books)

July (Reader’s Choice)- Fire Keeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

(order from Fables Books)

2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections August- The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade

(order from Fables Books)

September- The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

(order from Fables Books)

October- A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

(order from Fables Books)

November (Reader’s Choice)- The One Hundred Years of Lenni & Margot 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

(order from Fables Books)

December- A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers 2022 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

(order from Fables Books)

 

thank you for letting me be your book mom! 

Other Mentions on the Podcast Today! Thank you to my co-host Mary for the phenomenal job talking us through our next year of reading:

MomAdvice Book Club Facebook Group

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

Paris Architect Book Club Post on MomAdvice.com

MomAdvice Patreon

Fables Books

Book Gang Podcast Episode 9: The Book Shortage Dilemma with Kristin from Fables Books

Patreon App

Pizza Hut Book It Program

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

Meagan Francis from The Mom Hour

Meagan Francis The Mother of Reinvention Podcast

New Adult genre

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How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium Header

Looking for the perfect indoor gardening project? Today I’m sharing how to make your own succulent terrarium. This budget-friendly diy project has a picture tutorial to show you how to layer your soil and create that perfect humid environment for your plants.

As regular readers know, I have a black thumb.

I have never been successful at growing anything and my lawn can prove it.

Succulents are my kind of plants because they are so low maintenance and they don’t require a lot of water.

Today I want to show you how to make a succulent terrarium and how I made it as budget-friendly as possible.

Sweet!

First, here are a few answers to a couple of frequently asked questions about making your own indoor terrarium. These step by step directions should you walk you through this entire process.

Where Can I Get Fresh Succulents Delivered Online?

Before we begin this project, you may be wondering how to obtain the supplies you need for your projects.

Many of the garden and home improvement stores are offering curbside pick-up right now.

Many companies also these in bulk and a bulk order would be perfect for making a few special Mother’s Day gifts for someone in your life.

This is one of those plant purchases that require little upkeep and are enjoyed all year-long.

Here are a few other options for getting fresh succulents online.

How Can I Save Money on Making My DIY Terrarium?

  • Fairy gardens are very popular right now. Ask your local nursery if they have smaller bags of pea gravel or moss available for purchase. I was able to get small bags of these items for a lot less.
  • Look to see if there are any succulent arrangements that are already prepared and the pricing and compare it to individual succulents. At my nursery, succulents individually were $4 each, but for $20, I was able to get double the succulents AND it helped to know which ones worked and looked nice together.
  • Thrift shops or Facebook Marketplace are two great places to look for containers. You also can shop your own house and see what serving pieces you have, that just might be gathering dust in your own home.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium from MomAdvice.com

We are going to be making our succulent terrariums with a product called Ecoscraps.

I’m so excited to share about it because the company’s mission is so awesome and really aligns with our family values.

EcoScraps recycles food scraps and turns them into organic and sustainable lawn and garden products.

They recycle by collecting wasted food from from stores and restaurants andconvert it all into natural garden products.

Simple switches will do so much for our world.You can find out more on the EcoScraps website and find their products on Target shelves.

Now that you know the company’s mission, let’s make a succulent terrarium with their eco friendly potting soil!

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Supplies Needed for a Succulent Terrarium

Supplies Needed

Glass Trifle Container

Pebbles

Charcoal or Perlite

Sphagnum Moss

EcoScraps Potting Soil (link is to Walmart, but you can also obtain this product on Target shelves too!)

Succulents (See Above for Sources)I like to choose an odd number for arranging. Mine had 7 of various sizes)

Garden Trowel

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium from MomAdvice.com

Creating a terrarium is a lot like creating a layered cake or trifle so that is why I thought this container was so fitting!

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium Header

Layering Soil in a Terrarium

Pebble Layer in a Succulent Terrarium

Directions

1. Begin by adding your pebbles to the bottom of your container. This is to create a false drainage layer so water can settle and not flood the plants. You will want to add one inch to two inches of stone, depending on the size of your container.

Charcoal or Perlite Layer

2. Next, we will layer our activated charcoal or perlite. The charcoal can come in granules or shards (the type I am using is shards). We will spread a layer of this over the rock to help reduce bacteria, fungus, and odors in our terrarium.

Moss Layer in Terrarium

Moss Layer in Terrarium

3. Next add a layer of moss to create a barrier between the potting soil and charcoal.

4. Prepare your plants for planting by removing them from their pots and loosening up the root ball and exposing the roots. If the roots are particularly long, you can trim them down a bit.

Potting Soil for Terrarium

Potting Soil Layer in Terrarium

Layers in Soil for Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

5. Add a layer of dirt to your terrarium. Gently place your plants inside and then top them off with a bit more dirt, using your hands to gather the dirt firmly into place around each of the plants. Be mindful where you are planting them, mixing up your plants of varying heights and foliage, to fill your jar.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Siri Reminder To Water Plants

5. Finish by watering your terrarium lightly, being mindful not to overwater it because succulents do not like to be soggy. Caring for your terrarium is easy, especially if you are a terrible gardener like me. I’m so terrible, I put Siri in charge. Feel the soil weekly to see if it is dry and add water if it is.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium from MomAdvice.com

Here is another view of what our terrarium should look like from the side. Make sure to place it in a spot that gets a little sun on their beautiful leaves, but not scorching hot spot in your home.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

These are beautiful to keep or to give to someone special in your life.

Thank you, EcoScraps, for letting me share about your amazing mission to reduce food waste in a really wonderful way.

I hope you guys can try their products!

This post was sponsored by EcoScraps.Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help support our site!

This post contains affiliate links.

Don’t miss these other great spring project posts on MomAdvice.com:

How to Make Slushies With Kool-Aid learn how to make slushies with inexpensive kool-aid packets

Herb Wall & DIY Garden Markers make these adorable diy garden markers out of popsicle sticks

fabric floral wreath turn scrap fabric into a spring wreath for your front door

DIY Grilling Seasoning Mix mix up some burger seasonings with these adorable free printables for grilling season

DIY Slow Cooker Citronella Candles with Printable Tag make diy citronella candles in your slow cooker to keep the bugs away

plan an outdoor movie night with the kids with these fun tips

Happy Gardening Friends!

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium Header Pin It

Gluten-Free Pad Thai With Shrimp

Friday, February 21st, 2020

Pad Thai Recipe Header

Did you know you can make this takeout favorite at home? Try my gluten-free pad thai recipe for an easy weeknight dinner at home that your whole family will love!

When I went gluten-free I never realized how exciting it would be to recreate some of my favorite gluten-filled dishes at home.

Today I am sharing a Gluten-Free Pad Thai with Shrimp recipe that you can create in your own kitchen. The best part is that your guests will never guess that this delicious dish is gluten-free!

Have you ever had Pad Thai? It is one of my favorite dishes to order at thai restaurants.

If you haven’t, you are in for a delicious treat. Pad Thai, according to Wikipedia, is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand.

It is made with soaked dried rice noodles which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar. It is then served up with with lime wedges and often chopped roasted peanuts.

Pad Thai With Sriracha and Peanuts

 


Pad Thai Recipe (Gluten Free)

If you have made fried rice at home, you will understand the concept of adding veggies and then scrambling eggs to your dish.

If you lack the coordination to scramble the eggs on one side of the pan and keeping your cooked veggies on the other, you can simply remove the veggies and scramble them separately.

While I love the delicateness of the rice noodle, I prefer a more linguine-style noodle in this dish to balance the lightness of the shrimp and because these hold up well to a lot of reheating.

I rely on Tinkyada noodles to create this dish because their texture happens to be my favorite in the gluten-free pasta world. You are looking for the Fettucini Style Pad Thai Noodles at your grocery store.

Here are a few commonly asked questions about this dish!

Pad Thai

Are soy sauce and fish sauce gluten-free?

Be sure that you are using a gluten-free soy sauce and fish sauce.

Personally, I rely upon the La Choy Lite Soy Sauce as my soy sauce substitute, but there are reports that some people have a reaction to this. I have not, but be sure to do your own research on what product will fit your gluten-free needs best.

If I don’t want to make the sauce, do they sell prepared pad thai sauce?

You can definitely purchase a prepared sauce, but be sure to read the label if you need a gluten-free pad thai sauce.

I don’t like shrimp, what other options can I put in my pad thai?

You definitely don’t need to put shrimp in your pad thai.

This is one of those recipes that you can customize with what’s leftover in your fridge (proteins or veggies) and what sounds good to you.

Feel free to switch it with chicken, tofu, bell peppers, carrots, extra garlic, chives, or anything else that you need to use up or are craving.

I prefer a peanut sauce. Do you have any recommendations?

The addition of peanut butter always makes everything better, doesn’t it? Check out this sauce for another fun option.

I love these peanut ginger chicken noodles for a different spin on an asian noodle recipe.

The best part about that recipe is that they are delicious hot, cold, or room temperature.

Pad Thai

What are some fun toppings for pad thai?

The fun part about sharing this with your family and friends is that you can also create a variety of toppings so everyone can personalize their dish. I love roasted chopped peanuts, sriracha, fresh limes, and cilantro on mine.

I hope you love this dish as much as we did and can enjoy this during the Lent season…or any season, really! We polished this dish off in no time at all and I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks to these sturdy noodles, the dish reheats beautifully and can be eaten for your lunches or a late night snack!

Gluten-Free Pad Thai With Shrimp
 
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Author: Amy Clark
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Did you know you can make this takeout favorite at home? Try my gluten-free pad thai recipe for an easy weeknight dinner at home that your whole family will love!
Ingredients
  • 1 package (14 ounces) Tinkyada Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 12 oz frozen peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed (raw not cooked)
  • Sriracha Sauce (to taste)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Cook the noodles, in boiling water, as directed on package.
  3. After they are done cooking, drain and rinse with cool water; set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir lime juice, ⅓ cup water, the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of the oil until well mixed; set aside.
  5. In nonstick wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat. Cook shrimp for approximately three minutes and remove from pan; set aside.
  6. Next cook mushrooms and then set aside.
  7. Using the same oil, cook garlic for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until starting to brown. Add eggs. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring gently and constantly, until scrambled but still moist.
  8. Stir in noodles and lime juice mixture. Increase heat to high. Cook about 1 minute, tossing constantly with 2 wooden spoons, until sauce begins to thicken.
  9. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, tossing with 2 wooden spoons, until noodles are tender.
  10. Place on serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro and garnish with additional chopped dry-roasted peanuts, and lime wedges.
 
 Recipe Adapted from Betty Crocker 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Love this recipe? Check out our other favorite meat-free and seafood dinner ideas!

Shrimp Scampi Recipe Header gluten-free shrimp scampi

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com shrimp fried rice

10 Minute Fish Tacos Recipe Header

10 minute fish tacos

Happy cooking!

gluten-free pad thai recipe

 

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

How to Spray Paint Furniture Header

Some of my absolute favorite transformations in our home have come from simple paint – it’s amazing the difference it can make! Spray paint dries quickly and creates a beautiful satin finish. Check out this picture tutorial on how to get that high gloss look with a touch of antique glazing.

Painting furniture can be time consuming that is why I have fallen in love with spray painting my furniture to get a fresh new look with a small time investment.

Today I am going to show you how to spray paint your furniture to give an old piece in your home a new lease on life with just spray paint and an easy antiquing and distressing technique.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Paint

Choosing a spray paint can be a lot of fun!

For this project I chose the Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X paint.

The thing that makes this paint special is that it can cover twice the square footage of other general purpose spray paints.

This new paint contains 44% more solids which creates a higher performance than other paints and gives you better coverage with fewer passes.

What makes the paint economical is that one can performs like two cans, so it saves you time and money.

The price also fits nicely into a DIY’ers budget at a mere $3.87 per can

How_To_Spray_Paint_Furniture_1
I love this corner in our office, but have not loved this side table for many years.

These chairs are so fun, but the table added no personality to this corner. I had planned to donate it to Goodwill, but I wondered if I could give this piece a spray paint face lift that would reflect this fun space.

I decided to give the table a makeover with a little spray paint and antiquing.

Check out my video tutorial and picture tutorial for spray painting wood furniture below.

 

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Supplies Needed to Spray Paint Furniture


Spray Paint Primer (gray if doing a dark color or white if doing a light color)

1-2 Cans Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X, any shade (I am using Moss Green)- make sure the one you choose is a spray paint for wood

Rust-Oleum Standard Spray Grip

Rust-Oleum Decorative Glaze in Java Brown

Sander

Sand Paper

Rags

Hardware (optional) or spray paint to paint it

Spray Painting Furniture Paint Supplies

 

How to Spray Paint Your Furniture

To begin, prepare your surface by wiping the entire piece down with a clean cloth. Disassemble any drawers and hardware to prepare it for painting.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding Next, give the entire piece a good sanding to smooth out any imperfections. Sand any edges with a piece of sandpaper and use a sander to smooth the top of your piece. IT is important to take your time when you sand your furniture, so you have a great base for painting.

Once the piece is fully sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth to prepare it for priming.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Invert Piece

To help prevent drips and to make sure we get into every crevice of this piece with paint, we are going to start with our piece INVERTED.

I promise, it is going to help the painting process go so much smoother than if you start with it upright.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

Starting with your piece inverted, begin spray painting it with your primer. Be sure to be in a well ventilated area and give your primer a good shake to begin priming your surface well.

Hold your can 8 inches away from your surface and spray your primer in a sweeping motion side to side with a slight overlap. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

Put the piece right side up and finish priming the top. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Painting

How to Spray Paint Furniture Painting

How to Spray Paint Furniture Paint Drying

Repeat the same process with your choice of Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X in your favorite shade. Once the piece is fully painted, allow it to dry overnight before glazing.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

Using a coarse sandpaper, begin roughing up the edges on your piece to create a more antique look. Be sure to distress those edges so your antique glaze has somewhere to go!

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glazing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antiquing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glaze

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Using a clean rag, dip your rag in your glaze and then begin applying in a circular motion to your piece.

With a clean and damp cloth, remove as much of the glaze as you would like. I again, removed this in a circular motion from the piece until it added a hint of variation to the piece, but didn’t look sponged.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware

If you desire, you can spray paint your hardware. As you know hardware can be expensive to replace and sometimes older pieces have more custom fitting hardware so spray paint can be a great way to freshen it up.

We chose to replace the wooden handle with a black hardware piece and then spray painted the old gold accessories black with a can I had in my craft supplies.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware Black

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware Black

We have spray painted many a handle in our home and you would never know it wasn’t that color originally.

Be sure to let this FULLY DRY before you slide those drawers back in!
How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Here is my finished piece.

I am so darn proud of it and love how vintage this piece looks thanks to the glazing and sanding process that I did on it.

In full disclosure, there were some missteps along the way.

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Temperature Changes Effect Spray Paint

If you live in Indiana, you know that the drops and changes in temperature can be quite dramatic and that is just what happened when I painted this.

I put a final coat on my perfect table before I went to bed and woke up to a table and drawers that had bubbled in the night.

Try to pick a time of day when the temperature is warmer and will hold steady (nothing below fifty degrees) to prevent bubbling of paint.

I used the advice provided by Kate, at Centsational Girl, on what to do if your spray paint bubbles and it worked like a charm.

Shake Your Spray Paint Can Well

Having that handy trigger on the spray paint makes it easy to paint quickly, but I forgot to shake the can every so often to keep my paint looking even and glossy.

You definitely will want to make sure you shake it very well at the beginning, and shake it every so often when painting with it.

Who Knew You Needed to Be So Tidy?

Make sure after sanding that you really have a nice clear surface to begin your painting, otherwise you will have a crummy surface…literally.

The same can be said for choosing a nice clean rag when doing glazing and keeping the piece as clean as you can, which is super difficult if you are in your filthy garage like me!

Distressing Can Hide Flaws

Distressing the piece more not only helped me minimize the bubbles, but it also added character to the piece.

For my first spray painted furniture piece, I would definitely recommend it the first time to help you get the hang of how to paint with spray paint.

Practice Makes Perfect

This piece isn’t my best work, but I love it in spite of its flaws.

As with all skills, it takes a little practice to get the hang of spray painting furniture.

Even though I struggled a bit with my first project, I can’t wait to paint my record cabinet in our office next in the same shade and now I know what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to spray painting my furniture.

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

 

What a difference a day makes?

Isn’t she lovely?

She has certainly brightened up this corner of our home!

I highly recommend giving this new paint a try!

Fast coverage and an inexpensive way to add a pop of color in your home!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This post contains affiliate links.

Looking for more ways to refresh your living space?

Check out these other great DIY projects for your home!

 

How to Paint a Kitchen Table

How To Paint a Kitchen Table

 

How to Stain Furniture

How To Easily Stain Wood Furniture

 

How to Reupholster Chairs

 

Happy painting, friends!

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glazing Pin It

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Try this easy DIY with simple styrofoam floral cones and your favorite patterned cupcake liner for ruffles. While this craft is showcasing a Valentine’s Day tree, you can make these for ANY holiday!

Valentine’s Day is one of those tricky holidays that can quickly become awfully cheesy. Although we don’t do a lot of decorating, these cupcake liner trees have a way of making it into our decorating every year.

I thought it would be fun to share this craft with you today because it is such an affordable one that would be perfect to do with your family to celebrate the season.

If you have a mantle or coffee table that could use some festive décor, then you will love this easy and inexpensive project.

What I love about projects like this is that it is such an easy template to follow with so many other holidays. Decorate these foam tree trunks and turn them into Christmas trees, St. Patrick’s Day trees, Easter trees, birthday trees, or whatever else your heart desires.

Can I get a Mom’s Day Off tree to put out so I can get a break?

All you need are $10 in materials and you will have two festive trees in less than thirty minutes. Now that is a craft that I can get behind.

Best of all?

This one is SO EASY that it is a fun one to do with your kids each year. Whether you are on the hunt for Valentine’s Day or a Christmas craft, this one checks all the boxes.

Let’s get started!

Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees Supplies

 

Supplies List:

2- 3-7/8 x 8-7/8 inch Styrofoam floral cones

2- 3-7/8 x 11-7/8 inch Styrofoam floral cones

Printed Cupcake Liners (holiday cupcake liners in one color or you can do layers of alternating colors and patterns)

Straight Pins

Scissors

Festive floral pick (I split one between two trees)

Directions for Holiday Cupcake Liner Trees:

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees Supplies

Cutting Edges Off Cupcake Liners

Cupcake Liner Edges Cut for Tree Remove one cupcake liner from your package and cut off the ruffled edge. For the small trees, you will need 12 ruffled edges and for the larger trees you will need 14-16 ruffled edges.

Attaching Cupcake Liners

Attaching Cupcake Liners Starting from the bottom of your tree, attach a ruffle and pin into place. For the base of the tree, you will be overlapping two ruffled edges to cover the base. Make sure that you secure the pins right at the top of the ruffle so they do not show.

Ruffling the Cupcake Liner Trees

cupcake liners to the top of tree

Repeat the ruffling until you have reached almost the top of the base, leaving just the tip of the base exposed.

attaching top cupcake liner to tree

finishing the top of a cupcake liner tree

scrunching cupcake liner down on tree

Now it is time to finish the top of your tree. Using a full cupcake liner, place it on top and press down to shape it on the top of the tree.

final ruffle on cupcake liner tree

Add an additional ruffle (with no top) around the outside and then pin into place with a pink or red pin.

valentine's day floral picks for top

Finish with a Valentine’s Day floral pick (or a holiday floral pick of your choosing to match your theme). You can now display these on your mantle or place on a cake stand or tray for a unique addition to a coffee table.

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

I hope you can diy this easy craft and add a little Valentine’s Day festivity to your home. I plan to get these out every Valentine’s Day, they are just that cute!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Love these holiday cupcake liner trees? Here are a few other great craft projects we think you will like!

DIY String Art Pattern Free Heart Template Header diy string art with free heart template

The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from MomAdvice.com the easiest burlap wreath you’ll ever make

7 Easy Scarves and Cowls to Knit from MomAdvice.com 7 scarves and cowls to knit (free patterns)

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com diy an affordable chunky knit hygge blanket

Happy crafting, friends!

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees Pin It

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat (Video)

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

DIY Roll-Up Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

 

This no-sew felt puzzle mat is the perfect foundation to build your puzzles on, allowing you to relocate your puzzle when you need to. Check out this fun DIY in honor of National Puzzle Day! 

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

What shows your love for someone more than something handmade by you?

Today I am sharing a tutorial for an easy no-sew DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat that I created for my family.

This mat makes it easy to relocate your puzzle projects when you need to use your table and it’s made with just a few inexpensive materials!

Are you addicted to jigsaw puzzles like us?

My kids are at a fun age right now where we are really enjoying playing board games and assembling puzzles together.

Right now we are tackling 1,000 piece puzzles which feels so ADULT. We haven’t had the courage to go beyond that size yet, but I’m sure we will get there.

Even after our kids have headed to bed, the hubby and I spend time together listening to podcasts or good music, while piecing together puzzles. I find it be quite therapeutic after sitting in front of a screen all day. It helps me decompress in the evening while giving my brain a break from my to-do lists.

To maximize our jigsaw puzzle collection, a couple friends and I trade puzzles after we finish them which has been great because we always have something to work on, while keeping it rather frugal in the process.

Trading puzzles has been a great way to keep our collection fresh and continue to keep our kids interested in putting these together with us.

My only gripe with puzzles is where to relocate them when we need to eat at the table.

We also happen to have a, “helper,” in our house who likes to flip puzzle pieces when her mother is ignoring her (we love you, Lulu the Cat!). I thought a mat might be a great way to discourage our helper and could be a quick way to clear the table for the dinner hour!

Let’s create this easy no-sew roll-up jigsaw puzzle mat!

DIY Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat Tutorial

 

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

1 yard of Waverly Inspirations Fabric  (check out the fresh new Valentine’s Day prints,  I picked a classic pink gingham!)

1 yard of felt fabric (any coordinating color)

1 package of Waverly Inspirations Ribbon (any coordinating color)

Cardboard tube (you can use a durable mailing tube, gift wrap roll, or even use plastic PVC pipe)

Razor blade (if cutting to size)

Hemming Tape or fabric glue

Scissors

Waverly Chalk Paint in a coordinating color  and paint brush (optional, but you can paint the cardboard roll to coordinate- I decided to leave mine in its natural state!)

PUZZLES!! (check out my suggestions below for a few of our faves!)


 

How to Make a DIY Jigsaw Puzzle Mat

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

1. Much like our reversible seat cushion project, we are going to begin by lining up the two fabrics with the right-side of the fabric facing INSIDE towards each other. That means the wrong sides will be facing out!

Trim your fabric and felt to the same size.

Remember, this mat can be ANY size that you want.

If you want it be the size of your kitchen table, for example, measure that first and use this as your guide for creating your mat. I created a generous mat for our large puzzles!

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

2. Once your fabric has been trimmed, use your fabric tape and line all the sides , making sure to leave an opening so that you can turn the mat out once you have sealed all the seams.

Using a very hot iron, carefully and slowly, begin ironing to seal the seam (you can see another example of what sealing this seam looks like over here!).

Typically doing this requires pinning, but I did find that the felt held the tape in place and made it an easy project to do without pinning.

Do this along all the sides (make sure you left that opening to turn it out!!) until the two pieces are fused together.

Carefully, turn the right sides out and then finish by sealing that last opening with fabric tape or a little fabric glue.

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

3. Trim your cardboard tube to the length of your finished mat.

If you want to paint this, you can! I finished each end with a little tied ribbon that can be used to tie the entire mat up when we are storing it.

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

As you can see, you can roll up those puzzles (take your time and roll carefully!) when not in use.

Please keep in mind, it is not recommended for  long-term storage since it can damage your puzzle pieces, but it is recommended for a quick relocation so you can use your table when you need it.

I am so excited to break this in and I’m guessing it is going to be a smart item to take when we rent our summer cottages too!

Looking for a few great jigsaw puzzles? Here are a few of my favorites!

I had one of those puzzle

great classic books puzzle

story time puzzle

nancy drew puzzle

harry potter puzzle

nevertheless she persisted puzzle

harry potter puzzle

 

video games collection puzzle

old bookstore puzzle

color me puzzle

 

 

 

PS- Seriously, start a puzzle exchange with your friends. You won’t regret it!

Looking for ways to store those jigsaw puzzles? This strategy works so well at our house!

Happy crafting!!

diy-jigsaw-puzzle-mat-9

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

DIY No-Sew Hand Warmers

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

15-Minute Scrappy Fabric Trees

Kid Craft: Easy Technique for Painting Gift Wrap

DIY Phone Charging Station

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

DIY Roll-up Puzzle Mat

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MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

Monday, December 16th, 2019

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

Have you been looking for a free book club to join? Check out the 2020 MomAdvice Book Club Selections and join our FREE book club today! These 12 selections have all been read and loved, by me.  I look forward to our free book club chats, interactive book club crafts, and our interviews with this year’s chosen authors.

This is one of my favorite days of the year. I am so excited to reveal our MomAdvice Book Club selections with you today. 

I have read each of these selections and couldn’t be prouder of the gathering this year. Not only do I love them, but I think that they will lend themselves well to a great book club discussion.

Why?

Well, each of these books have challenged my viewpoint, in some way. I really believe that this is one of the BEST side effects to being a reader. It expands your world in a new way and reminds us that we all have the capacity to grow.

After reading each of these, I contacted each of the authors (with the exception of Betty Smith, of course) to let them know that their book had been officially selected as our official monthly selection.

I admit, I am no Reese, Jenna, or Oprah, but I do believe that I have gotten many to read books that they never would have picked up.

I consider this one of my superpowers.

I am hoping there will be a few on this year’s list that will be new to you and that they will top your list of favorites too.

If one of your goals this year is to join a book club or read more, I’d love to introduce you to our FREE book club you can join. This is  an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group filled with almost 3,000 (!!!) readers where we all share in a monthly discussion together.

MomAdvice Free Online Book Club

What Will Be Different in the MomAdvice Book Club This Year?

This all has been a big learning process, for me, on how to expand and make the book club even more beneficial to you.

In the past, I selected novels based on awards, authors that consistently delivered great reads, or anticipated buzz books for the year. 

This strategy ended up working a lot, but there were books that I wasn’t as crazy about that ended up on our list.

This year I made it a goal to read all the 12 selections to (hopefully) deliver consistently great books that you will, truly, love. 

I also  contacted the authors to let them know that their book had been officially selected as our official monthly selection.

With their help, we will be having interactive discussions, reviving the author interview series, and we will have a copy of each book to giveaway to a reader.

In addition to our chats, this year, I am partnering with MJ, at pars caeli, to craft a project around each read. 

MomAdvice Book Club Chats

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?  

Scroll down to see my list of the twelve books that we will be discussing.

The Book Club Chat is held on the last Friday (of the month)  and an Event invite is sent out to members at the beginning of each month.

Once you RSVP to an event, Facebook does its thing and sends out reminders to you.

Discussion questions are posted throughout the event and you are able to hop on at anytime during the day (or when you finish that book) to answer the questions at a time that is convenient for you.

This year, we will have many authors also participating in our chats.

How fun is that?

Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do YOU Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals (sign up for our daily deals newsletter to receive these directly to your inbox)  and I share our book club picks through something called an affiliate link.

What is an affiliate link? 

Great question!

Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website.

The web hosting currently costs me approximately $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you. This year, I will also have the additional expense of mailing giveaway books and the cost to hire a designer for our crafts.

Thank you for helping me make this book club great with your purchases.

I promise that I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I do try to pick books that I think you will enjoy.

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed.

MomAdvice Reading Retreat

How Do I Meet People from the MomAdvice Book Club?

Did you know that we hosted our first MomAdvice Reading Retreat this year?

I can’t begin to tell you how magical it all was and how thankful I was to meet these incredible women.

You have to be an active member in our club to participate in our face-to-face weekend retreats so be sure to join!

Enough waiting! I’m thrilled to share these twelve 2020 book club selections with you today! I can’t wait to hear what you think about this year’s list.

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett January- The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali February- The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica March- The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

When All Is Said by Anne Giffin April- When All Is Said by Anne Giffin

Dominicana by Angie Cruz May- Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Formation by Ryan Leigh Dostie June- Formation by Ryan Leigh Dostie

The Warehouse by Rob Hart July- The Warehouse by Rob Hart

We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop August- We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson September- Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

October- The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

November Road by Lou Berney November- November Road by Lou Berney

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith December- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (my favorite classic!)

MomAdvice 2020 Book Club Selections

 

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site!

Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads

You can also sign up for the MomAdvice Daily Book Deals Newsletter with the latest book news!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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How to Make a Homeless Care Package (Free Printable Supplies List)

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

Blessing bags for the homeless are such a beautiful act of kindness for those in need. Today’s post will show you how to make homeless kits for those in need. These hygiene kits are handy to keep in your car, for those that live on the street, or can be given as gift bags for your local homeless shelter. Be sure to print out our free printable supplies list for your homeless care kit.

One thing that you may not know about our family is that we are really passionate about caring for the homeless.

Creating a homeless care package (also known as a Blessing Bag) can be one fantastic way that your entire family can be involved in caring for those in need.

Today we want to provide a checklist of supplies for the homeless bags, a local resources sheet you can print out (if you are in our area), and some tips for involving the whole family in this project.

After all, homeless gift bags are a great idea to help teach your children kindness.

These homeless packs have been replicated by so many people and are the perfect activity for volunteer organizations you may be part of.

By involving others, you can alleviate some of the expenses by asking everyone to bring the materials to craft these bags.

Distribute the list and allow each attendee to bring travel size items, food, socks or bags to help the homeless in your area.

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

I also appreciate that these homeless care packages can be prepared for your local shelters or kept tucked away in the trunk of your car for those you may see on the street looking for your help.

I love feeling armed in these situations and these kits are a simple way to show how much you care.

Over the past couple of years, I have also had the opportunity to work at our local food bank and food pantry. What many people don’t realize is that many of these items cannot be purchased using food stamps.

Items that are not food (like toothpaste, paper products, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes, etc…) are not eligible and that is why these items are often in high demand at church community pantries.

It is why these are the items that I choose to donate to our shelter each year.

How to Make a Homeless Care Package from MomAdvice.com

I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t tell you that my husband inspires me every day with his giving heart. Last winter, he was coming home late from work because he would see people in need and run to stores to get them supplies and gift cards.

That is his heart.

That is why I love him.

If there is one thing I firmly believe in, it is that giving should be a family affair.

We have to lead our children by our example.

I want my children to remember that what made our family special is that we always gave with our whole hearts.

My kids assisted in every aspect of this project.

My son came with me and did the number crunching on a good old-fashioned calculator, my daughter helped sort and organize all of the items we bought, and both kids helped fill the bags with all of the necessary items.

Here Are My 3 Essential Elements to a Great Homeless Care Package

Feed Their Needs

One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone who is homeless is personal hygiene items and food to nourish their bodies.

Begin by picking up items that will satisfy this area in their life first.

Simple items like shampoo, a razor, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, a bar of soap, and tissues are all great items to keep on hand.

Food like granola bars, crackers with peanut butter, beef jerky, trail mixes, dried fruits, and a bottle of water are also great items to tuck into your bags.

If you have the funds, small denominator gift cards (we did $5 Walmart gift cards) can also be great to give so that they can pick up a meal or item(s) they might need.

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

Provide Warmth

We live in Indiana and the winters here are brutal for homeless people.

I can’t imagine how cold it would be to stand on the streets without the proper items

I need for warmth.

Add items like thermal boot socks, gloves, scarves, and hats to your gift bags.

Items like these may seem out of your financial reach, but I found all of these at the dollar store and the sets of gloves were a mere $.50 each.

Feed Their Souls

I am sure it goes without saying, but feeding someone’s soul is just as important as feeding their needs.

You can feed their souls in a variety of ways depending on your families beliefs and resources.

We created a local resources list (available for local residents to download) that they can tap into for further resources in our town.

A note that lets them know that they are on your prayer list, a note of encouragement by your children, or a scripture that you find comforting can also be excellent additions.

If these are not enough ideas, I encourage you to spend a bit of time browsing through the comments on this post.

Many people regularly volunteer at their shelters and food banks and have some great ideas to help.

Please also know, that we are real people (sometimes that doesn’t seem that way on the website, am I right?) and we did OUR personal best to put these together so we appreciate your KIND words on this post and definitely encourage you to share your own must-have items in a care package while being respectful of others in these comment threads.

How Do I Order My Homeless Care Package Supplies in Bulk?

Did you know that you can purchase items from Dollar Tree IN BULK.

Looking to save even more? Consider using this incredible rebates app to get cash back on ALL your holiday purchases.

We were able to place a bulk order with Dollar Tree and pick up the items we needed for these kits from our local store.

Don’t have room in your car?

No worries!

They can ship all the items directly to you.

How cool is that?

What Our Readers Suggest Adding to Your Hygiene Kits for the Homeless

I love seeing what contributions YOU recommend for these packs! Here are some of my favorites you shared!

“My husband and I travel a lot when he’s working on contract.

I save all the little complimentary shampoos, conditions, soaps, etc and when I have quite a few saved, I sew up pretty drawstring bags, divide the items I’ve save between the bags and then donate them to our local women’s shelter.

I’ve also started adding toothpastes and toothbrushes that I purchase to the bags.

Many times women arrive with nothing but the clothes on their back and this way they can be given their own personal care kit. I make each bag different so that they don’t feel like they are getting something that is assembly line, but something that was made just for them.”

“Many homeless also have dogs.

Perhaps you could add some things like treats, small pouches or pop-top cans of food, grooming supplies and toys.

And with the winter months coming, both owner and pet need to stay warm and dry…some large trash bags to put on the ground to keep from getting wet and even colder.

And I have seen fleece throws just recently at Walmart for like $2!”

“I currently make and deliver hot chocolate to a few homeless people I see on my way home from work (I work in downtown Chicago) and I pass out cold cans of pop in the summer.

I also make plates of food from leftovers after work luncheons and pass them out after work. (I don’t consider this stealing because I know that by 4:30 anything left in the kitchen will be thrown away.) I

know it isn’t not much, It won’t make a huge difference in the world, but it might make a world of difference to the person I’m helping.

Thanks for the list. I’m glad to see there are others out there who are concerned for the homeless and actually do something about it.

I hope the care package(s) I pass out, make the receiver(s) feel loved, thought of and cared for.”

“This is a wonderful idea! I got so excited when I saw this-I immediately began to think of other items that might be added, such a bar of soap or bottle of body wash, plastic glass and mug, plastic cutlery and plate, tissues, pen and notebook, small clock, personal wipes, instant oatmeal packets, instant soup packets, hot chocolate packets, instant noodle packets, towel, facecloth, thermal blanket, and in the summer, a sun hat, sunscreen, inexpensive umbrella and a fly swatter!

Many of these things can be found on sale, at Walmart, and the dollar store. They don’t have to be bought all at once and do lend themselves as a project for a family, like yourselves, or amongst a group of friends, a Sunday School class, a school class or a Brownie troop.”

“You might also check with your school district if they have children.

All our local schools have a homeless liaison who works to get food, clothing and housing for homeless families.”

“I regularly carry around coupon books from various restaurants, but this goes even further.”

“As truck drivers, my husband and I see many people standing on the exit ramps of the interstate highways.

We give ziplock bags with toiletries, (in a separate bag) and foods like you mentioned, plus single serve packages of oatmeal, grits, hot cocoa, ect. I add pack of sugar, jelly, peanut butter, plasticware, napkins, whatever we get from the take out and fast food restaurants.

I also pick up dollar store gloves, hats, socks, ect. We have added stamped postcards, Christmas cards and candy canes in season.

Notepads and pens are welcomed as are throws we get at thrift stores.

We were giving the gift books from the fast food places, but now they’ve gone to gift cards.

Chapstick is a good idea, as are deodorants, comb, sanitary items for the women, (yes, we see homeless women and children too).

We give small toys, stickers and tattoos for the kids. We stay in motels a lot and always ask housekeeping for extras.”

“I love this post. I am in the middle of coordinating a SOCKS party here in Nashville.

We are getting the big, thermal socks, and filling them with different items for the homeless.

We’ve been fortunate to have my dentist donate the toothpaste and floss, and McDonald’s donated 1,000 Cards for a free dollar menu item.

We also have tons of shampoo, conditioner, and soaps from hotels.

We’ll stuff it with snacks, hand warmers, and other items (many on your list).

We are getting together for our SOCK party and letting the kids stuff the socks and make the tags, which will say “I care”.

The kids are excited and I love what it’s teaching them. Thanks for inspiring others to give back!”

Aren’t my readers incredible? Just think of the possibilities with this one!

God has been so good to us, but 10 years ago we were in a very different place than where we are now.

My husband was unemployed for almost an entire year, our financial situation was a house of cards, and my heart was in a bad place.

Although I don’t like to admit it, I wondered what my purpose on this earth even was.

I never have forgotten that dark place and it is why we still try to be so careful with the resources we have been given and why I have such a tender place in my heart for those who are struggling.

If you would like to read more about it, I encourage you to read my book where I share how we recovered from this difficult financial period in our life.

Being careful though doesn’t mean that you can’t be a giver.

There are fantastic ways to give, both big and small, around the holidays.

Be sure to check our list of ten painless ways to give back to charities to help you get started.

I call these smaller ways to give the, “scraps of life giving.” I have talked a lot about that with my partnership with Pure Charity as well!

We want to help you give back to your community! Here are some resources to do just that!

Grab our Free Homeless Supply Checklist for your your care packages.

Don’t just click on the picture, head to this link to grab a full-size PDF version!

Grab our Local Resources List for your care packages (if you don’t live in Michiana, you can use this as a template for your own sheet)! Don’t just click on the picture, head to this link to grab a full-size PDF version!

Looking for more great ways to give back? Here are a few other great ideas!

diy no sew hand warmers

cabled ear warmer pattern diy cabled ear warmers

diy chunky knit blanket pattern

How do you give back in your community? How do you teach your kids to be givers?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

this post contains affiliate links.

How to Make a Homeless Care Package from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com Pin It