Monday, June 26, 2017

How to make fun pencil pouch from duct tape

fun pencil pouch

It’s almost July and pretty soon it will be time to purchase school supplies.  You can personalize a fun pencil pouch from a plastic zipper storage bag and some duct tape.

There are literally hundreds of different color duct tapes available.  So there is a personalized design for every taste and color preference. And duct tape is very sturdy. You can even punch holes in the bag to add to a binder. 

This fun pencil pouch is fun to make for kids.  So you will never  be at a loss when they come to you saying they are bored.


One gallon sized slider style storage bag

Duct tape in desired print or color

Plastic cutting mat-- optional (helps with cutting the duct tape)

Ruler, marker, scissors

Three-hole punch or regular hole punch

1.     Measure and cut 3 inches off the bottom edge of the storage bag.  Discard the cut off piece.

2.     Measure and cut 5 pieces of duct tape to 10 ½” each.

Cutting duct tape is easy to measure on a plastic cutting mat

3.     Starting at the upper edge attach a 10 ½” piece of duct tape over the plastic of the bag and across. Press to adhere.  Repeat with three more pieces of duct tape overlapping just a bit where the edges meet to cover the bag. Overlap the bottom edge of the final piece and press to the opposite side.

4.     Turn over to cover the other side.  Cut 4 pieces of duct tape to 12” each.  Start as you did on the first side except fold the extra length on each side (about ½” on each side) to the back. (Already covered side)  

5.     When you have completely covered the bag, you will need to reinforce the sides and bottom edge.  To do this cut 2 pieces of duct tape 7 ¾” each.  Press half the tape on one side covering any uneven edges and turn the excess to the opposite side.  Repeat on the other end.  For the bottom, cut another piece of duct tape 10 ½” and attach part to one side and fold the rest to the other side. (Bottom reinforced)

6.     Use a three-hole punch to make holes for the loose-leaf binder along the bottom edge.  If you do not have a three-hole punch, use a piece of loose-leaf paper to trace where the holes should be and punch with a regular hole punch.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Chipped beef recipe you can make quick and easy

chipped beef

If you’d like a change from the usual bacon and eggs breakfast fare why not make some quick and easy chipped beef.  You can serve chipped beef on toast, English muffins, or biscuits.

 I'm always surprised when I hear people say they love having chipped beef in a restaurant but they've never made it at home.  I've been making it on occasion for years and everyone always thinks that it's harder than it really is, when, in fact, it's super easy!  Guess that was my little secret until now since I'm sharing it with you!

And you can make it with 2% milk and even 1% for a lighter version or use whole milk. Try it and you will wonder why you ever bought the frozen version.


Package of chipped beef (regular or low sodium version)
Two tablespoons butter
Tablespoon of flour
1 cup whole or 2% milk
Whole wheat or white toast
Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Fresh ground pepper

In a small saucepan melt butter.  Slice the chipped beef into some smaller pieces and add to the melted butter.

Cook on medium heat till the edges slightly curl.  Now add the flour mixing it into the beef.

Then slowly add the milk stirring well.  Add the Worcestershire sauce to taste, about a tablespoon.  Continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens. 

Remove from the heat and add to the top of toasted bread of choice.  Add some fresh ground pepper and Serve.

There you have it, simple ingredients and simple recipe, but delicious results.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to easily make a fresh, yummy Santorini salad

I recently vacationed on several Greek Islands.  While on the Island of Santorini I stumbled upon the crisp, fresh Santorini Salad.  This salad is so crisp and fresh that I had it several times and each time while a little different contained basically the same basic ingredients.  When I got home I just had to come up with my own recipe variation for a Santorini salad. 

A Santorini salad contains no lettuce.  It does, however, have other common salad components such as cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and green peppers.  Whip up a simple vinaigrette dressing and you can have your delicious Santorini salad to take you back, if only in mind, to that beautiful Island.


Large green pepper, sliced
1 pt. cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
1 large English cucumber sliced in 2-inch by ½”sticks.
Small red onion, sliced thin
3 oz. jar capers
Kalamata Olives
Feta Cheese
Sun-dried tomatoes


3 tbsps. Balasamic vinegar
2 tsps. Dried oregano
2 cloves minced Garlic
3 tbsps. Extra virgin Olive oil
Juice of one small lemon
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl combine the sliced green peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. 

In a jar or bowl mix together the vinegar, oregano, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Shake or whisk well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the dressing with the vegetable ingredients and stir well.  Add a good amount of capers and sun-dried tomatoes.  Top with crumbled feta cheese.  Toss well and serve.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

How to easily turn junk mail into a cute wastebasket

If you have a lot of junk mail lying around instead of tossing it in the wastebasket, try putting it on the wastebasket!  This cute wastebasket is so easy to make with some Modpodge decoupage glue, some strips of junk mail and a little time. 

When you are done you will have a colorful quilt-like and very cute wastebasket!  The paper may wrinkle a bit when you add the strips. The wrinkled look adds texture and gives it a quilt-like appearance.  So much fun that you can even get the kids involved! 


A small round wastebasket, any color

A pile of junk mail, flyers or advertising media

Tacky craft glue

Scissors or paper cutter

Mod Podge decoupage glue


Turn ordinary junk Mail into a cute wastebasket

1.     Cut the junk mail into strips.  Vary the thickness but a good start is ¼”.  It is easier if you stack them together and cut the strips with a paper cutter but you can use scissors.  You can even use a shredder.

2.     Spread some tacky glue around the edge of the wastebasket.  Begin adding strips around.  Overlap and connect each strip.  Continue adding glue and strips working your way down the wastebasket.  If a strip doesn’t meet connect with smaller strips.  Being perfect doesn’t matter and you can’t do it wrong.  Let dry.  You may notice that the strips may wrinkle slightly; this is desirable since it adds texture to the wastebasket.  You can smooth the wrinkles down with your fingers if desired.

If strips don't meet cut smaller pieces to connect

3.     When the wastebasket has dried use the paint brush to spread some Gloss Modpodge over the entire surface and let dry.