DIY: St. Patrick’s Day Scrap Paper Banner

DIY: St. Patrick’s Day Scrap Paper Banner

St. Patrick’s Day décor for your home does not need to be complicated or expensive. In fact, by using some of your crafting scraps you can whip up a simple scrap paper banner such as the one below. A scrap paper banner is a great way to use up those scraps that really aren’t good for anything else and may otherwise end up in the trash. So this St. Patrick’s Day season, get your space looking good for less when you give this easy banner a try!

DIY: St. Patrick’s Day Scrap Paper Banner


Supplies needed:
2 different patterns of green or St. Patrick’s Day themed scrap book paper

We were able to use scrapbook paper we had leftover from when we made napkin rings. A little really went a long way. You can also opt to use scalloped scissors as we did to give your pennants a little extra flare. The choice is yours. As far as ribbon, check your scrap bin as well or make a quick trip to your local dollar store where they carry a wide selection for just $1.

1. Begin by cutting out 5-7 large triangles. Set them aside.
2. Cut out another set of 5-7 triangles, this time of a smaller size and in a different color or pattern of paper.
3. Using your craft glue, glue the smaller triangles on top of the larger ones.
4. Lay your ribbon out flat. This will make it easy to apply your pennants.
5. Add a dab of glue to the back of each pennant and press it firmly to the ribbon. Press until the glue is dry and you know the piece has adhered well.

Now all you need to do is find somewhere to hang your banner! There are so many options and it is such a great way to add some Irish charm for less.

Gather your supplies and give this St. Patrick’s Day scrap paper banner a try. You are sure to see lots of green while saving yourself some gold.

Be sure to drop by the Living Frugal with Erika’s Deal Group! There is always something new and you can chat personally with me and others! Great place to show off your shopping trips, ask questions, and so much more!

DIY: St. Patrick’s Day Treat Bucket

DIY: St. Patrick’s Day Treat Bucket

Are you having a hard time finding St. Patrick’s Day home and party décor? Stores seem to offer pretty slim selections for this holiday, and as a result you may find your home looking a little bare. Well this year, why not make your own frugal St. Patrick’s Day décor? This St. Patrick’s Day treat bucket is a cinch to make and looks like something that would come out of a custom craft shop. It is easier to make than you may think, so take a look below to see how you can get started on your own!

DIY: St. Patrick’s Day Treat Bucket

Supplies needed:
Small clay flower pot
Black craft paint
Green ribbon
Green glitter foam or craft paper
Gold glitter
Craft glue

We were able to find all of these supplies except for the flower pot at our local dollar store. You can find basic clay pots at hardware stores, gardening centers, even Walmart for around $1. You may even have one in the garage or shed so take a peek before you buy one!

1. Begin by applying a coat of black paint to your flower pot. Allow it to dry completely. Apply a second coat if needed.
2. Wrap a length of ribbon around the pot and secure it with glue.
3. Cut a square out of your craft paper or glitter foam. You want it to be about 2 inches by 2 inches in size. Fold the square in half, cutting another square out of the center. This will give it the appearance of a belt buckle like leprechaun would wear. Apply some glue and place the buckle over the craft ribbon.
4. Fill the bucket with gold garland or tinsel. This will resemble the gold in the leprechauns bucket.

You can now fill the treat bucket with candy such as chocolate gold coins or mint meltaways! It is the perfect touch of Irish charm to add to your home or office, or to use for party décor.

Who says St. Patrick’s Day décor needs to be pricey? Give this simple DIY project a try and see what you can create!

Be sure to drop by the Living Frugal with Erika’s Deal Group! There is always something new and you can chat personally with me and others! Great place to show off your shopping trips, ask questions, and so much more!

DIY Lovely Lace Pumpkin

DIY Lovely Lace Pumpkin

If you love the look of lace, you will love these easy to craft lovely lace pumpkins. We made our own in just minutes using supplies from our local dollar store! These lovely lace pumpkins are perfect for crafting on a girl’s night in. This is also a fantastic alternative for children that are too young to carve pumpkins. Check out how simple these are to make and get started on your Lovely Lace Pumpkin today!

Lovely Lace Pumpkin

Here is what you will need:
White pumpkin, either real or faux
Peel and stick white lace butterflies (Dollar Tree, $1 per package)
Black spray paint
Craft glue

If you can’t find a white pumpkin, feel free to color a regular pumpkin with white spray paint. You can do this with both real and fake pumpkins and they still look great!

1. Lay your sheet of lace butterflies on a piece of newspaper. Apply a coat of black spray paint directly to the sheet.
2. Allow the butterflies time to dry. During this time, you can wipe the pumpkin clean so the butterflies will adhere well.
3. Peel the butterflies from the sheet. Take your finger and apply a thin layer of craft glue to the back of each. This will help them adhere better to the pumpkin as well.
4. Press the butterfly to the pumpkin, making sure you apply them firmly. Be sure to press the entire butterfly, especially the edges.
5. Repeat the process until the pumpkin is covered. You can arrange the lace butterflies however you wish.

Your lovely lace pumpkin is now ready to be displayed. If you wish you can add some black ribbon to the stem, or give it a sprinkling of glitter. Either way, it is a fun spin on the traditional pumpkin, and is sure to add some spirit of the season to your home.

Gather your supplies and give this lovely lace pumpkin a try. It is too lovely to pass up! Once you have created your pumpkin, be sure to show them off on our Facebook Wall or in the group! I may even show them off in a blog post!

Be sure to drop by the Living Frugal with Erika’s Deal Group! There is always something new and you can chat personally with me and others! Great place to show off your shopping trips, ask questions, and so much more!


How To Raise pH Without Raising Alkalinity

How To Raise pH Without Raising Alkalinity

It is so difficult to raise the pH without raising the alkalinity of your swimming pool. However, there is a way you can accomplish that, as you will see from this piece.

What is pH?

pH shows the alkalinity or acidity of your swimming pool. A pH of fewer than 7.0 means that your pool is acidic, while that of over 8.0 means it is alkaline.

pH is an important element of your pool, as chlorine can only work if the pH is between the recommended level of 7.2 to 7.6.

What is Alkalinity?

Alkalinity measures the alkaline material in your swimming pool, and that lets you know how effective the water can resist change in pH. If the alkalinity is high, the pH will be hard to change.

If it is too low, then the pH can easily bounce and make it hard to maintain or control. The recommended alkalinity level is 80 to 120 ppm.

Steps to Follow to Raise pH without Affecting Alkalinity

How To Raise pH Without Raising Alkalinity

Here is how you can raise the pH level without affecting the alkalinity of your pool.

1. Taking pH and Alkalinity Readings 

Use the best test kit to do that. Here we can assume the pH to be 8.3 while the alkalinity is 280 ppm. 

Note that you can get higher or lower values.

2. Set Target Alkalinity Value

Let’s assume we set our alkalinity at 100 ppm. You should note that both the pH and TA will decrease when you add acid. 

A target of 80-90 ppm is also fine, but the pH might drop below 7.0. You can use an online pool calculator to compute the amount of acid to add to achieve 100 ppm of alkalinity.

3. Dilute Acid and Add it

Note that we are using muriatic acid. Assume our pool holds 20K gallons of water, then we need to add 2 quarts of this acid to hit 100 ppm.

4. Test pH and Alkalinity after 6 Hours

Keep an eye on the pH and alkalinity every six hours.

5. Take Reading After 24 Hours

The alkalinity might hit 100 ppm within 24 hours, but the pH will be below the recommended level. You will need to raise the pH without affecting the alkalinity. 

Use Aeration to Raise pH

You expose the water to more oxygen when you aerate it – that removes carbonic acid and raises the pH level. You can use an air compressor to increase the rate of aeration.


You can raise the pH level without affecting the alkalinity using the aeration method. It is that simple and good luck doing it.

Read More: Best robotic pool cleaners on the market

Pool Cleaners and Maintenance of Water Quality of the Swimming Pool

Cleaning Swimming Pool Water and pH Maintenance

Maintaining your pool means to maintain water pH and security of you and your loved ones. For this reason, borax is used in the above ground pools. It is a salt or chemical made of boric acid and is used in cleaning purposes and maintain the pH of pools water. It can be purchased affordably from a local shop and can be used as the best alternative to soda ash.

When to Use the Borax

Borax can reduce the algal growth in the pool water and give a shiny and sparkling look to the pool water. Mainly it can be used when there is a drop in the pH of the pool water. Borax is added to the pool water to raise the pH of the water to the desired level. For this purpose, you will need a kit for testing the pH of water, borax chemical, and hand safety gloves. When you check the water of your pool has the pH in the range of acidity, it is needed to raise the pH of the water. Usually, 7.4-7.6 pH is considered safe and ideal for the pool water. This level of pH can be maintained by addition of the borax to the water.

Technical Calculations for Borax

To increase 0.5 pH of the pool, 20 ounces of borax is needed for 5,000 gallons of water. This amount of the borax can be added to your pool with the help of the pool pump for at least three days. After three days the pH of the water should be check, and it must be in the ideal range such as 7.4-7.6. If the desired pH is not yet maintained, extra borax can be added to raise the pH of your pool water. In case the pH is higher than the recommended ideal level, there is no need to worry as the pH goes down naturally in a few days without treating the pool water with other chemicals.

Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaners

To clean your pool from debris, you can use any of the three types for the cleaning of your pool. These are suction side, the pressure side, and robotic cleaners.

Robotic cleaners have an advantage over the suction
side and pressure side automatic cleaners, and it only needs a power source for its operation. While you don’t need to hook your robotic cleaner to your swimming pool as in case of suctions side and pressure side cleaners.

Features for Buying Robotic Cleaners

Robotic cleaners work on the ground-fault circuit
interrupter (GFCI) outlets. Some of the features while purchasing the robotic cleaner should be kept in mind are

  • Consider the weight of the robot for ease in handling and working operation (to get into the pool and out of the pool water). It should not be too much heavy ass to carry it to the pool become hard for you.
  • High-quality hard brushes are needed in the robotic cleaner to clean the stubborn debris, dirt on every side of the pool
  • Need a programmable timer to clean your pool as set instructions. Also, it can be cleaned easily.
  • Your robot must have the ability to climb on the sides of the pool to get the
    cleaning done of the whole pool. Such as cleaning the water line, walls of the
    pool and stairs of the pool.
  • Energy efficient robotic should be utilized for your pool cleaning. Small cleaners utilized 200 watts of power in one hour while larger units use more. Those robotic cleaner models should be avoided for cleaning purposes having the higher use of power above 1000 watt per hour as this will cost more to operate during the cleaning process.

Best Robot Pool Cleaners

Some of the best vinyl pool cleaner of 2019. They are:

  • Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
  • Polaris F9550
  • Hayward Poolvergnuen 896584000-013
  • Polaris Vac-Sweep 360
  • Hayward RC9740WCCUB

Installing Pool Cover: Solar Pool Covers Bubbles Up Or Down

The best solar pool cover on the market doesn’t just keep dirt and debris out of your pool; it also heats the water. It collects the heat from the sun rays and takes it into your swimming pool to warm the water.

Depending on your area, this gear might not keep your facility as warm as an electricity or gas heater, but the cover saves you money by minimizing evaporation. With that said, there is one main question that all pool owners ask: to install solar pool covers bubbles up or down?

Bubbles Up or Bubbles Down

Does it make any difference to install the cover bubbles facing up or down? First, note that you should always install your pool cover bubbles facing down. Some people will argue that it’s better to have a cover with bubbles facing up than having no cover at all.

Why do we say bubbles down? Before we look at the reason for installing your pool cover bubbles facing down, ensure that you get the best pool algaecide for green algae for your pool to ensure it is free of these algae.

Back to the cover! A pool cover works by the rays from the sun heating the air inside the bubbles. The heat is transferred into your swimming pool and this why professional recommends the bubbles to face down when being installed.

As well, the cover works by trapping warmth in your swimming pool, so on chilly days; your swimming pool’s water will keep the heat that was gained during the hot warm days – the bubbles will come in handy when trapping this heat.

This cover employs a simple but effective mechanism that will allow you to dive into your pool comfortably during the cold days.

Bubbles Facing Up

If you install your cover with its bubbles facing up, the process of warming your pool will take longer and the sun might even destroy the bubbles. The reason behind this is that the bubbles are not facing your pool’s water directly.

They can easily overheat from the sun’s rays since they don’t have a place to take the trapped heat. This also means that the heat needs to travel through a third layer, the cover before it reaches the water.

To ensure that you cover lasts longer, always cover it with a sheet that reflects the rays when not in use or put it in a place with a shade like a shed or a garage. These gears retain a lot of heat and if not transferred to the water, they can easily “bake” themselves and reduce their life.

In Conclusion

If you didn’t know whether to install your solar pool covers bubbles up or down, you have now understood what to do. Think of your pool cover as a thermal sheet for your pool. As the rays from the sun heat your cover, it begins to warm the water under it and depending on the amount of time it remains in your pool, it will trap the heat even if the temperature drops.

Read more:  How To Raise pH Without Raising Alkalinity

Spring DIY: Chenille Carrots Tutorial

Spring DIY: Chenille Carrots Tutorial

When creating your spring and Easter décor, why not add some chenille carrots to the mix? These carrots can dress up an Easter basket, Easter Scape, or just add a little spring to your décor. They are so easy to make, and you can make tons of them for around $1 total. Take a peek below at the fun step by step tutorial so you can get busy crafting your own.

Chenille Carrots Tutorial

Supplies needed:
Orange and green pipe cleaners
Pencil (optional)

Don’t you love when a craft requires only two supplies? I sure do! You can find a package of pipe cleaners at your local dollar store or craft store for just $1, making this a frugal craft you just can’t beat. This also makes this a great craft to do with classroom parties or large groups of children if you wish.

1. Begin by cutting your orange pipe cleaners into 3 inch strips.
2. Cut the green pipe cleaners into 1.5-2 inch strips.
3. Take the orange pipe cleaner sections and twist them around a pencil for some curl. You can also use your finger if you wish.
4. Take the green pipe cleaner and make it into a V shape.
5. Twist the V around the top of one of the orange spirals.
6. Take your finger and adjust the pipe cleaners to perfect their shape.

Your little chenille carrots are now ready to roll! How cute would these look hung on the white Easter trees at the dollar store? Or gathered in a basket? Kids will love making some as will adults, so gather your pipe cleaners and give this easy and super inexpensive craft a try.

Be sure to drop by the Living Frugal with Erika’s Deal Group! There is always something new and you can chat personally with me and others! Great place to show off your shopping trips, ask questions, and so much more!

Dollar Store DIY: Valentine’s Day Cupcake Lights

Dollar Store DIY: Valentine’s Day Cupcake Lights

Who doesn’t love an easy and inexpensive craft? These simple Valentine’s Day cupcake lights are so easy to make, so sweet to display, and so easy on your wallet! With just a few dollar store supplies, you can make a set of your own and add some glow to your Valentine’s Day décor. Take a peek below and get inspired, as the season for sweethearts is almost here!

Dollar Store DIY: Valentine’s Day Cupcake Lights

Supplies needed:
Valentine’s Day themed cupcake cups/liners, large
White cupcake cups/liners, small
Strand of white twinkle lights

We were able to find all of these supplies at our local dollar store, making the final cost of this project just $3. Plus, we had tons of leftover cupcake cups perfect for using for our baking needs.

1. Begin by turning your patterned cupcake cups inside out. You want for the decorated side to be on the inside of the cup, and the plain white to be on the outside.
2. Unravel your strand of twinkle lights. Use a pencil to poke a hole in the center of each cup. Place the large cup over each light bulb until it is snug in place. For extra ruffle, you can apply several cups if you wish. For our sample picture, we used two large cups per bulb.
3. Add an inner layer to the cup by poking a hole in the center of the smaller, plain cupcake cup. Add it to the center of the larger cup, sliding it over the bulb until it is also firmly in place.

Three steps and you are done! Now all you need to do is plug your strand in and watch it glow. These Valentine’s Day themed lights look lovely draped on a mantel, hanging over an entry way, or anywhere else you can use a pop of color and light. So head to your dollar store and give this simple craft a try! It is one sure to add some Valentine’s Day charm to your space!

Be sure to drop by the Living Frugal with Erika’s Deal Group! There is always something new and you can chat personally with me and others! Great place to show off your shopping trips, ask questions, and so much more!