Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Cute Jar Lids

I like to keep glass jars instead of throwing them away as they are always useful to keep little things together, but I hate the ugly lids. I had a quick look online for ideas on how to decorate them using paper. I didn't really like any of the tutorials that I found so I did a little trial and error, after all if it didn't work I needed to throw a few out anyway.

So here is how I have made my cute little jar lids - which cost me nothing as I already had all the supplies!


  • Jar Lid/s - I did a production line after my trials and errors
  • Decorative Paper - I used a thick glossy gift wrap with geishas
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Sealer - I used Jo Sonja's Gloss Varnish which I get in the craft section at Bunnings
  • Glue - I stole my husbands super glue as it dries fast and is thin
  • Paintbrush
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Blu-Tack
  • Bottle/Cup/Glass (to trace your circle and also to sit your jar lid on while painting)

Step 1: Start by wiping your jar lid clean. Use your blu-tack to stick your jar lid to the top of a bottle or plastic cup. This will allow you to paint the bottom edges at the same time as the top. Start painting and do as many coats as needed for full coverage. I didn't bother with the centre of the jar lid as it will get covered with the paper.

Step 2: You now need to find a bottle that fits on the inside rim of your jar lid. Now place the bottle on top of your paper and trace a circle. Cut out your circle and check that it fits your lid. 

Step 3: Put your super glue around the centre of the lid, don't put it right to edges, then place your circle of paper down and smooth the glue out to the edges. If you put too much glue on the lid, make sure you wipe the excess away or it will bubble up look like my lid at the top left of my second last photo. Don't be afraid of super glue, just wipe it off with your finger then let it dry on your finger before you touch anything else. You can peel it off your skin later.

Step 4: Stick your lid back onto your bottle and start sealing the lid. Make sure you do the bottom edges as well. I did 4 coats of sealer on each of my lids.

And after your jar lid has dried you can fill up your jar and pop your cute new lid on top!
Now I can have my jars of craft supplies on display on my shelves instead of hidden out of sight.

The blue lid is for my husbands little computer screws - if he asks I can tell him they are in the blue jar!

I cleaned the paper glue from the labels off my jar by soaking them in hot water then scraping off as much as I could using my fingernail. After drying them I wipe off any excess sticky sections using a cotton wool ball and eucalyptus oil. I also removed the best before date by wiping with a cotton wool ball and metho.

I also put bi-carb in my jars with the lid screwed on until I want to use them, this absorbs most of the smell.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Spring flowers

I went outside this morning to feed Trixie and noticed that some of my jasmine flowers have finally opened! I love the smell of jasmine and the beautiful white flowers. My plant is covered in buds at the moment and I hope they all open around the same time as it looks beautiful covered in white.
While I was taking photos of my jasmine I thought I would show you the rest of my beautiful flowers. Most of my plants are still in pots until we get a new fence. And most of those pots are in the fenced off section since Trixie loves to destroy them.

I love these native violets, even without the flowers the leaves look so cute covering the ground.
This is my beautiful hippeastrum, this one was the last of the five buds to open, which is nice as it means I get to see them for longer.

These gorgeous yellow ones are a water iris, so I just have their pot sitting in a big bucket of water. They have taken over their pot and the bottom of the bucket so I really should separate them.

My chillis are all starting to flower and produce fruit. I also have chilli seedlings popping up in pots everywhere. I don't really use chilli unless it is for sweet chilli sauce, I purely grow them for the way they look. The silly puppy eats them - even the really hot ones!

All of the brunfelsia plants in the neighbourhood are flowering at the moment. They look gorgeous and smell great as well. Unfortunately all parts of them are poisonous for dogs so we cut the huge one out of the backyard. This one is out the front so it can stay until we get a new fence.

The last one is a bottlebrush, the birds are loving it which means the cats are as well since it is planted right outside the lounge room window!

All my calla lily bulbs have started to sprout now as well so I can't wait to see what colours I get this year! Love spring time for the flowers, although it already feels like summer here!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Cleaning Jewellery

I have been looking into cleaning my jewellery after seeing a UK show where they cleaned jewellery with alfoil, ‘soda crystals’ and water.

I tried it today and it works so well - one of my bangles has just been sitting for years and was black and now it is beautiful and shiny again.

After looking into it I found out that you are not supposed to do this with any jewellery that has precious stones in it. (I tried it with topaz and the stone looks fine to me, but I wouldn’t do it on an expensive or favourite piece of jewellery just in case.) 

Also you have to make sure it is sterling silver (it should have a stamp saying 925 if it is) – I cleaned my charm bracelet and now it seems the jeweller didn’t use sterling silver solder on one of my charms and that spot has turned black!

This is not a method for regular cleaning – if you want to clean your jewellery regularly just use a jewellery polishing cloth. The more you wear your jewellery the less likely it is to tarnish due to the oils in your skin. 

Leaving them sitting around will cause tarnish due to the air and moisture. Store your jewellery in a velvet lined jewellery box or in little zip lock bags. To absorb the moisture you can use chalk (you know that you write on blackboards with) or those little packs of silica you get in your shoe boxes, vitamin containers, etc.

And of course jewellery is the last to go on and the first to be taken off! Perfume, deodorant, hair spray, etc. is not good for your jewellery.

Please note: While I have researched this and tested it out myself, I will not be held responsible for anything that happens to you or your possessions if you decide to give it a go...

You will need:
  • Boiling water
  • Bi-carb soda
  • Salt
  • Alfoil
  • Heat proof container (I used a pyrex bowl)
  • Wooden chopsticks
  • Sterling silver jewellery
  • Soft cloth
  • Polishing cloth

  1. Boil the kettle
  2. Line your container with the alfoil
  3. Put your jewellery on top of the alfoil (it is best to have each piece on the alfoil, not just a pile of jewellery)
  4. Put in equal parts of bi-carb and salt – about a teaspoon each should be enough depending on the size of your container and how much jewellery you are using.
  5. Now be careful not to breathe in the gases - Pour the boiling water on top and it will start fizzing and bubbling up.
  6. Because it works best with the jewellery being in contact with alfoil you may need to flip the jewellery over or swish it around for things like chains.
  7. Once it looks clean take it out using your chopsticks and rinse it well – PUT A PLUG IN THE SINK!
  8. You will need to dry the jewellery using a soft cloth or by waiting patiently.
  9. Once dry use your polishing cloth to make it shine like new and then safely store it away.

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