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DIY Diary

First hand DIY experiences, tips, and suggestions from an average DIY family!

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If you have any form of social media, you’ve seen a plethora of “life hacks” from sites like 5 Minute Crafts or Nifty. Some of these hacks look genuinely useful, so I tried them. There are some great hacks out there, but this list won’t have any. Instead, these are the hacks that I failed at the hardest.

DIY Clorox Wipes


The “Hack”: I tried to create DIY wet wipes from squares, cut from an old towel. The idea is that these “wipes” can be used, washes, and reused, cutting down costs on traditional cleaning methods. I whipped up my own recipe to moisten the “wipes,” this would be the actual cleaning agent. I used vinegar, baking soda, Tea Tree Oil ,and dish soap. This was an excellent cleaning remedy! You can always count on Teat Tree Oil and dish soap to get the job done, and vinegar is a gentle way to clean delicate surfaces. The first use of these wipes was incredible. The wipes really did clean up all my messed, even better than Clorox wipes, but my glee was short lived.

The Issues: The trouble began when I tried to wash these wipes. They completely fell apart in the washer, and they could never be used again. Because the rags I used were knitted together (most are), when I cut the seam, the rags completely unraveled. Buying new rags each time would be a waste of time and money.

How to make it work: This hack could still totally work. All we need to do is use full sized rags, or a different piece of fabric that wouldn’t unravel.

Tie Organization

My husband has gobs of ties, and I have tried everything I can think of to make his collection more organized.

The “Hack”: This isn’t so much of a hack as it is my blatant failure at organization. I tried two methods of tie organization: first, I made a makeshift tie rack from a clothes hanger, and second, I tried actually using a tie rack. The clothes hanger was actually more effective than the tie rack, if I tied the ties in knots. The tie rack didn’t have any traction, meaning the ties just slipped off the rack and hit the floor.

The Issues: No matter how I arranged these ties of clothes hangers or tie racks, the ties would inevitably find their way in a pile at the bottom of the closet. The only resemblance of success was when I tied the ties onto the clothes hanger and tie rack. This worked in theory, but in reality, it only held up for a few weeks. The issue was not so much the idea, but my husband. Sorry! My husband would not, for the life of him, tie his ties back up. He would just drape each tie of the tie rack hook, and soon, they would be back in the floor.

How to make it work: We have ended up designating a specific dresser drawer to his ties; this is effective, but not as storage friendly. A more expensive tie rack might work if each bar had something to hold the ties in place.

DIY Hanging Laundry Basket

A very successful option of this hack by Karisa. Learn from my mistakes and try this, instead!

I tried to make a hanging laundry basket on the fly, because my bathroom is tiny. We have no room for a laundry basket, and, at that time, we were broke. Man, was that project a disaster! Learn from my mistakes.

“The Hack”: I used a hula hoop, an old set of black out curtains, and a sewing machine. I sewed the curtains together and turned them inside out to make a basic bag. Just this bag pattern probably wouldn’t have been an issue. I, then, sewed the edge of my, now, bag around the hula hoop. It was easy, and it was finished within 30 minutes. It was not, however, high quality, long lasting, or safe spacing.

The Issues: The hula hoop made the opening of the bag entirely too big, and because it didn’t have any handles, it was a real pain to carry back and forth to the laundry room. Not only was it a bit inconvenient, it was also hideous. We used it for several months before finally purchasing a more ideal and ascetically pleasing at Target for $3. Worth it? No.

How to make it work: Sometimes, it is just better to spend a few bucks to use something that will do what you want it to, rather than struggle with an ugly, bulky laundry basket, that still ended up costing me $3. If you must try this, I would not use a hula hoop as the opening. Use something smaller and included handles. You could always try this pattern. It turned out 1000 times better than mine!

Clear Labels from Packing Tape

Gather and Flourish

Months ago, I saw a “labels from paper and packing tape” hack. It is, ideally, very easy. The above picture is not, however made from packing tape. This hack is meant to be a cheap alternative to Cricut labels, which is how the above label was made. In my opinion, this”hack” ends up just being a sad, obvious reproduction.

The “Hack”: Most “hack” websites instruct you to print out your labels on plain printer paper with normal black ink. You are then supposed to place packing tape over your paper, and cut around the tape. In a bowl of water, you place the “label” in the water, and begin rubbing off the paper. The paper section is the back of your “label.” Eventually, you will rub off the paper, and you will have a clear label.

The Issues: This was not the worst “hack” I’ve tried. It did technically make a label, that would stick to glass if you placed it immediately and never moved it again. The issue arose when I tried to readjust the label. This label has almost no adhesive after being dampened. It is also nearly impossible to completely remove all of the paper off the back.

How to make it work: Though this “hack” technically works, it is not a high quality reproduction of the Cricut labels. With the internet so readily available, I would rather purchase glass labels online. Here is a link where you can find some for less than $15.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my “life hack” failures! Comment yours below, and don’t forget to like, share, and follow this page for more.

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