Make your own faux succulent wreath and add a little greenery to your home. Use a few supplies from the dollar store and this simple tutorial to make this beautiful DIY Faux Succulent Wreath!

DIY Faux Succulent Wreath

I’ve been itching to add a little more greenery to our home lately. It’s finally green outside, so I wanted to bring some of that green into the house too! I was digging around in my craft stash and found a whole bag of faux succulent stems. These were leftover from another DIY project from long ago and were taking up space in my craft closet.

This past weekend was the perfect time to use up those supplies and add some greenery to our home by creating a simple wreath. Let me show you how easy it is to make your own DIY faux succulent wreath with supplies that can be found at the dollar store or online (or in your stash)!

faux succulent wreath supplies

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

I am using a grapevine wreath that I picked up several months ago from the dollar store, but I decided to paint it white for this project. If you prefer to leave yours natural, feel free to skip step 1.

Instructions:

Step 1- Spray paint grapevine wreath

Spray paint wreath form using a quality spray paint in the color of your choice. The best tip for painting a grapevine wreath is to spray from different angles, using short bursts of paint. This will help get the paint into all of the nooks and crannies. Keep in mind it may take several coats to get good coverage.

spray paint grapevine wreath

Step 2- Attach succulents to wire

If the succulents you are using have long stems you may not need the floral wire in this step. However, the wire does help secure them to the wreath form better.

To attach, simply wrap a piece of wire around the base of an artificial succulent. It may be necessary to use pliers to help with this step. Snip off excess wire with wire cutters. You will be left with something that looks like this.

attach faux succulents to floral wire

Step 3- Arrange larger succulents onto the wreath

Attach the succulents to the wreath by either tucking the floral wire into the grapevine wreath or wrap around to the back of the wreath.

wrap floral wire around grapevine wreath form to secure

It’s best to place the larger succulents first to create a good foundation layout to work with.

Arrange larger succulents on wreath form

Step 4- Add smaller faux succulent stems to fill in empty space

Once the larger succulents are placed, fill in any gaps with smaller succulents. You could also add in small sprays of artificial eucalyptus or even some moss. Be creative!

Smaller succulents used to fill in gaps

Step 5- Finish with a ribbon to hang

To finish off your faux succulent wreath, choose a ribbon to hang it with or just simply use some jute twine. Since my wreath is hanging on our DIY chalkboard, I chose just a simple organza ribbon with no bow. Finish it off how you’d prefer.

Finished DIY faux succulent wreath over chalkboard

Personally I prefer my wreaths to be simple, so less is more. If you prefer filled out wreaths, then by all means, fill that baby up with all of the faux succulents!

One side view of finished succulent wreath

Using multiple colors and styles of faux succulents will give you the best contrast and wow factor, so stock up on several varieties!

Side view of finished succulent wreath

What do you think? Will you be making your own faux succulent wreath for your home?

I’m Amanda, and I am the creator and voice behind the food and DIY blog, Domestically Creative. What started as a place to share updates with friends and family after we moved from Illinois to Tennessee and then to Texas, turned into a passion for finding creative and frugal ways to feed us and decorate our homes.

I have always had the “make it myself” attitude and I’m not afraid to bust out the power tools or get creative when it comes to decorating our home on a budget. You can usually find me scouring the local thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales looking for my next makeover (like this litter box cabinet), or dreaming up ways to make our new house feel more like home. My most recent project was giving my home office a much needed facelift. Some of the plans included creating a fun inspirational accent wall and adding pegboard to store my craft hoards.

I currently call Missouri home, where I live with my husband, dog, and 2 cats in a pretty dull, late 90’s split level. My husband and I both love to travel the U.S and recently purchased a small travel trailer to tag along in our journeys. In our free time together we can usually be found working together on a home project, exploring a new place, or just lounging with our pup, Delilah.

I’d love for you to connect with me on social media via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!

See all of Amanda’s tutorials HERE.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Hello readers, I’m Larissa coming to share with you a nature-inspired DIY project. Today, we’ll learn how to create a special DIY Log Bird Feeder treat for our feathered friends. The best part is that this can be a family fun activity to do AND to give as a gift for anyone who loves bird watching.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY Log Bird Feeder

We are avid bird lovers in our home and were delighted when a friend of mine gave us this bird feeder made from a piece of firewood and rope. How easy is that?

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

What a delight it is to see our tree clinging birds (nuthatches, tufted titmice, and woodpeckers) come for a visit and see their excitement at the treat they’ve found, especially the birds that overwinter. Did you know that migratory birds will remember your home the next time they’re passing through and will come back again year after year if you continue to provide nourishment for them? It’s like a reunion each spring and winter. Fun!

So, let’s grab some materials and get ready to create a DIY log bird feeder!

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Picking Your Log:

We are blessed to have a fireplace, so we always have a stash of firewood on hand. For your log, you can use a downed branch or head to your own stash to grab a piece of wood.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The tree-clingers prefer a chunky bark, but any tree variety will do.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Instructions:

Clamp your log and keep your hand clear from the drill bit. Wear appropriate eye protection.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

To start, use a 1″ spade bit to drill a hole approximately 1/2″ deep, 2 inches down from the top.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-to-build DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials.

Drill a second hole on the same face about 6″ below the first.

Roll the log a quarter turn and drill in the next face starting with the first hole about 5″ from the top and then a second hole 6″ below that one. (This does not have to be exact and gives a more rustic feel when randomly chosen.)

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Repeat those steps until you have two sets of matching faces on opposing sides.

Drill your rope hole using a 5/16″ bit. Starting on the face that has the first hole 5″ down, drill your rope hole 2″ from the top, making sure to go completely through the log.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Cut a 2′ or longer piece of rope and thread it into the hole. If you turn the rope in the direction of the braid (counter-clockwise) while inserting it, that will help the rope go through smoothly.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Once through, tie the rope ends together using a basic knot.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

On to the fun part! Birds burn a ton of protein flitting about, so they need to store up as much as they can. We prefer to use chunky peanut butter and then roll it in seeds like this.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Grab a tablespoon of peanut butter and place it in a bowl of birdseed.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Then sprinkle the peanut butter with seed.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

After coating with the seed, press the mixture into the holes using the back of a spoon, or if you’re nutty like me (catch the pun?) it’s more fun to use your fingers.

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The kids love this part!

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You’re done and it’s ready to hang. Yay!

Give your feathered friends a treat from spingtime through winter. Make this easy-peasy DIY log bird feeder with one tool and a few basic materials by Prodigal Pieces for Pretty Handy Girl www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

For a fun twist, and if you’re feeling handy, you could also add dowels for other species to be able to roost at each hole, but for this project I kept it simple.

Got questions? Please feel free to ask.

If you enjoyed this project, do pin and share!

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Liked this project? Then you’ll love these birdhouses:

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

Today’s tip is one that is gentle on your washer (HE and regular), but most importantly it will save you money! If you’ve ever looked at the cost of laundry detergent, you may have choked at the cost. I have a wonderful recipe to make your own Liquid Laundry Detergent for only $1.25 per year! And the detergent is low suds and low residue which will keep your washer and clothes cleaner.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

How to Make DIY Laundry Detergent

If you think this detergent couldn’t possibly work on dirty clothes, think again. I can tell you that in addition to our regular clothing, I’ve been using this recipe for 9 years on my boys’ clothes, on my own work clothes, and my husband’s karate clothing. And it really works. Whatever stains don’t come out in the wash are no match for my DIY Miracle Stain Remover.

The ingredients for the laundry detergent are simple and can be purchased at your grocery store. Just look on the high or low shelves in the laundry detergent aisle. If you can’t find them there, you can also look at your local hardware or home improvement store.

To make the detergent, you only need about 15 minutes and then let the detergent sit overnight. The next morning, you stir, add more water and you are done! Do you think that’s too much time to devote to making laundry detergent? What if I told you that this batch lasts our family of four (did I mention two of them are young boys) six months or more.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

Click Here to Download the Printable Version of the Recipe

Laundry Detergent for $1.25 a Year

Several of you asked me to make a video showing how I make my own detergent. For your convenience you can watch the video, then scroll down to read the directions.

Ingredients:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

DIY Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Please note, you can purchase these items cheaper at your local grocery store or hardware store. The links are here to help you see what the box looks like or to order if you can’t get to the store.

Optional: Essential Oil for Scent (see below for scent ideas)

Instructions:

  1. Cut Fels Naptha Bar in quarters. Grate one quarter of the Fels Naptha Bar using a fine cheese grater.
  2. Boil 1 cup of water. Pour grated Fel Naptha into pan of boiling water. Stir continuously until the soap has dissolved. Meanwhile, pour 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water into a large container or bucket. Pour dissolved Fels Naptha into the bucket of water. Stir.
  3. Add 1/4 cup Super Washing Soda and 2 TBSP Borax to the bucket.
  4. Add 2 1/2 quarts more water and stir.
  5. Cover the mixture and let is sit overnight out of reach of pets or children. Uncover the bucket and stir the gelatinous mix.
  6. Add 5 Quarts (20 cups) of water to the bucket. Stir.
  7. Add 15-30 drops of essential oil of your choice.

Some essential oil scents you may like:

Citrus scents: lemon, lime, orange, bergamot, or grapefruit
Herbs scents: peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, basil
Other scents to try: Eucalyptus, chamomile, cypress, lemongrass
Want to fight mold & mildew? Use Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)

Blends to try:

  • basil & lemon
  • lavendar & lemon
  • orange, bergamot, and lemon
  • chamomile, lavender, and orange
  • lemon & tea tree

Miracle Stain Remover Recipe:

If your clothing gets stained, try soaking in this miracle stain remover a day or two before laundering. You’ll be amazed how the stain lifts out effortlessly.

miracle stain remover

How did I figure out my cost per year?

I had to do a little guestimating to figure out my cost. In the nine years I’ve been making this recipe, I’m only on my second box of Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.

Each batch of DIY laundry detergent consists of at least 4o cups. If you use the required 1/4 cup per load (do not use more, as more detergent won’t get your clothing cleaner) you can easily get 160 loads from each batch.

All this to say, I came up with a very conservative estimate that I pay $1.25 for laundry detergent per year!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

Storing Your Laundry Detergent:

When I first started making this recipe, I used my empty laundry detergent container. But, it was often too small for the batch size. Next, I used an empty 2.5 Gallon Water Jug. But, several years ago I bought a big glass drink dispenser and a smaller bottle with a flip top stopper. The smaller bottle is filled and used for dispensing detergent into the 1/4 cup measuring cup and then added to the washer. The large drink dispenser holds all the excess detergent. This is a prettier solution to storing all the detergent.

DIY Laundry Detergent | Pretty Handy Girl

Gift Idea:

Once you try this DIY laundry detergent, I know you’ll love it. And then you’ll want to share this recipe with everyone you know! I like to share the recipe with a small sample amount in a laundry themed basket.

DIY Laundry Detergent |Pretty Handy Girl

If you want more uses for that big box of Borax, check out my 2 Ingredient Ant Killer!

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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

 

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If you want professional-looking tile floors (regardless if you want to do it yourself or hire someone), you must read this article to find out what tiles to buy, how to avoid cracked tiles, and risk a finished tile floor that is less than professional-looking.

11 Must See Tips for DIY Professional Looking Tile Floors11 Must-See Tips for Professional Looking Tile Floors

I’m here to tell you, YES, you can lay your own floor tile and achieve professional-looking results if you learn a few tips and tricks. First, can I share a secret with you? Seven years ago I thought I had to hire a tile installer when we had our mudroom tiled. I wish I knew then what I know now because I would have kicked that installer out of my house immediately. I still have to look at some of the issues he left behind pointing to a less than professional looking tile job. (Insert Angry Face Emoji!)

But, I completely understand if you still want to hire a professional tile installer for any number of reasons:

  • No time
  • Don’t have the tools
  • Physical disabilities (tile-setting is tough on the back and body)
  • No desire to install tile

Did I miss any reasons? If I did, leave me a comment below letting me know why someone wouldn’t want to embark on a DIY tile flooring project.

Before we get to my tips, I want to give you a little education on tiles. Especially if you had problems previously and thought it was your fault the tile job didn’t look professional. Believe it or not, your issues may have been caused by cheap or poor quality tiles. Say what?!

How to Spot Poor Quality (Cheap) Tiles:

Did you know those tiles you are saving a boatload on may not be quality tiles? Did you even know there were inferior quality tiles? Yes, it’s true. A few years ago I hired a tile installer to help me tile some of the bathrooms in the Saving Etta project. (Yes, I could have done it myself, but I’d still be tiling if I did everything myself.) When I first met the installer, he asked me about the tiles I had purchased. I showed him the boxes and he opened several to inspect them. This is what he was looking for to determine if they were cheap tiles:

  • Color – Pull tiles from several boxes (if possible) and check to see that the color is consistent for one color tiles. (Obviously, if they are supposed to vary in color and pattern that’s okay.) Regardless, you should always pull tiles randomly from several boxes when laying tile.
  • Size – Pull random tiles from several boxes and stack them together. They should be identical. Poor quality tiles can vary up to 1/8″ in size. This will cause issues especially if you are using a small grout joint.
  • Printing – Many ceramic or porcelain tiles are printed to look like real stone today. Take a close look at the surface. Is the printing evident? Do you see small dots like a printed newspaper photo? If you can’t see them easily, the printing was well done.
  • Thickness – In addition to the overall dimension of the tiles, you should check the consistency of thickness.
  • Warping – Are your tiles perfectly flat or do they bend? See below for a picture of two 4″ x 12″ tiles that show some bowing in the center of the tiles.

(To eliminate accentuating this defect, you wouldn’t want to install these tiles with a 50% offset (shown below). Instead, a 25 or 33% would be a better staggered joint pattern.)

bowed tiles at 50% offset shows shadows and lippage

  • Wedging – Square and rectangular tiles should be cut square. Out of square tiles could would impact your tile job and show up especially in the grout joints.

Typically you can expect good quality from tiles that are labeled as Standard or First Grade. Second grade tiles will have more variations in appearance. Independent tile shops are the best place to purchase good quality tiles. They typically sell to designers and tile installers, but also sell to the general public. Granted, you will likely pay more. But, you know the old saying, you get what you pay for.

Picking Tiles:

Tiles are tiles, right? Wrong, there are many tiles that would not be suitable for a floor. And some tiles are not good for high traffic areas. Finally, some tiles are not a good fit for showers. How can you tell which tiles are best for use in specific areas?

Floor Tiles vs. Wall Tiles:

Floor tiles must be strong enough to handle walking on and an occasional dropped item. Did you know there’s a rating for tile strength? It’s called a PEI rating.

A PEI of 1 is ideal for walls. PEI of 2 is best for bathrooms and kitchens. And a PEI of 3 is appropriate for all residential applications. Meanwhile, PEIs of 4 and 5 are applicable for commercial and heavy commercial applications. When shopping for tiles, they may not have the PEI rating displayed, but there should be a notation if they are acceptable for floors and walls. If you don’t see a notation, ask a salesperson or check with the manufacturer.

Avington Black & White Cement Tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com

How Slippery Are Your Tiles?

Floor tiles must meet certain criteria for COF or coefficient of friction (basically how slippery the tile is.) But, different areas need different COF values. Let’s talk strictly for residential purposes (because commercial and business sites are a whole other beast). Floor tiles in a bathroom with a shower or tub must meet a greater than .42 DCOF test.  Tiles that score less than .42 would only be appropriate for areas that will be kept dry or walls.

Polished tiles tend to be more slippery. Tiles that have texture usually score better on the DCOF test, but depending on how textured, they can be harder to clean.

Are marble and natural stone tiles good for floors?

Oh the beauty of real marble! I know, I know, I love marble too, but would it be a good choice for your floor? This depends on several factors. The first being the use of the room. If using in a kitchen or room with a lot of traffic and opportunities for spills, you’ll want to steer clear of marble and stone products that can wear or stain easily. Of course, you can seal your tiles, but the upkeep will be a lot more than porcelain or ceramic tile. But, if you are okay with your floors showing off natural wear and patina, go for it.

Porcelain vs. Ceramic – What’s the Difference?

Porcelain tiles are stronger and more dense than ceramic tiles. They don’t absorb as much moisture as ceramic tiles (Porcelain tiles must be tested and absorb at 0.5% or less to be certified porcelain.) Because they absorb less, porcelain tiles are more ideal for shower floors or areas that stay damp or humid. While porcelain tiles will usually be stronger, thicker, and less porous, they can be tougher to cut and more expensive. Ultimately you can use ceramic tiles on your floor, as long as they meet a 3 or higher PEI rating (as discussed above).

How Many Tiles Should I Order?

Typically most tilers would suggest you order anywhere from 15% -20% extra for your job. If you are using small tiles, you can order as little as 10% overage. Usually, I order 15% because it’s better to have a few left over to keep on hand should you ever have to replace a tile. Besides, it’s a real pain if you run out of tiles mid tile job.

Know Your Finished Height:

If you are picking out tiles, be sure you know the difference in height of adjoining rooms. Choosing your floor tile can mean the difference between perfectly matched floor levels or the need for a transition strip (or worse, a step up or down!) Luckily there is a transition strip for most floor differences.

Tools:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

I’m a big advocate of having good tools. Having a good tile cutter means the difference between flying through a tile job or having it drag on for an eternity. A good tile cutter also reduces waste because they cut tiles cleanly.

When possible, I prefer cutting the majority of tiles with a scoring tile cutter. It’s quicker, a lot less messy, and clean up is as simple as brushing off the platform.

Occasionally I’ve run into tile that resisted cutting on my scoring cutter (thick porcelain tiles usually fall into this category). For those tiles, I use my wet saw. A wet saw can also cut angled and corner cuts into the tiles. I’ve used the same inexpensive wet saw for years, but when it dies I’ll upgrade to a bigger wet saw.

Recently I started using an angle grinder with a diamond blade for more precise intricate cuts or to knock off a small amount. It works faster and is less clean up than the wet saw for those intricate cuts.

Finally, if you are tiling a shower, you’ll inevitably need to cut a hole in your tiles around a pipe. For that task, I use a drill with a diamond hole saw.

My Tile Cutting Tools:

Now it’s time to learn my top tips for a professional-looking tile floor. If you are a newbie and want to learn the basics of tiling, you’ll find these two lessons helpful: Learn How to Set Tile

and Learn How to Grout.

Okay, let’s learn how to get those professional tile results that will even fool the pros!

11 Must See Tips for Professional Looking Tile Floors:

Over the years I’ve taken several courses on tile setting and worked directly with several professional tile setters. From each experience, I’ve learned a lot and now I want to share the things I’ve learned with you so your next tile job comes out beautifully.

In my video you’ll get to see the progress at the Millie’s Remodel project as I tiled the kitchen floor. I decided to incorporate the tiling tips I’ve learned into the video for you.

Watch the video for the tips and how I install floor tiles:

You can also watch the video on YouTube if you prefer (especially if you want to click on the links to the other videos I mention).

1. Flat and Sturdy Subfloor:

Like building a sturdy house, your foundation is super important. When you walk on your floor does it flex, bounce, or squeak? If so, you need to solve these issues now. Use a level and rest it in several different areas (and directions on your subfloor). Are there low spots, high spots, or a slope? If you have dips or valleys in your subfloor, you can’t get a good tile job that will last. If your floor isn’t sturdy and flexes, you will have cracked grout, or worse cracked tiles.

As specified by the TCNA (Tile Council of North America), you want no more than 1/4″ difference in 10′ and no more than 1/16″ within 12 inches. If your subfloor isn’t flat, you can learn how to level your floor here.

If you have a wood subfloor, make sure your wood substrates have the manufacturer’s recommended spacing (typically 1/8″ gap between plywood sheets.) Backer board or uncoupling membranes should be laid onto the subfloor before tiling.

Never tile directly onto new concrete. In fact, keep reading to learn why I use uncoupling membranes and how to prevent your tile job from being ruined by expanding or contracting concrete.

2. Consider Using an Uncoupling Membrane

In another previous post, I shared how to apply the orange Schluter Ditra waterproof membrane before tiling. The Schluter Ditra material also acts as an uncoupling membrane which prevents cracks in your tiles and/or grout.

After taking the Schluter workshops, I will never tile a room without an uncoupling membrane again. As a bonus, their membranes are waterproof. No more need to worry about water soaking into your subfloor and causing mold to build up.

3. Use a Good Tile Cutter

Using good tools will help your tile job go smoothly and it will keep your tile cuts from looking like a jagged mess. If you can’t afford to buy good tools, look into renting some, or ask a fellow DIYer if you can borrow theirs. (Always clean their tools before returning them. Nothing irks me more than dirty tools.)

4. Layout Tiles Ahead of Time

If you’ve heard that spending time doing the prep work will save you time in the long run, nothing could be more true than when tiling. Before I start any tile job, I always lay out my tiles first. I dry lay them out to see what I’m dealing with. First I layout a run of tiles along the length of the room and position the tiles to avoid having to cut a small sliver of a tile at either end. Then I layout a run along the width of the room making adjustments to avoid the same situation.

If I have printed tiles, I separate them into piles by their individual print design. Then when I pull tiles later I pull from different stacks. I also step back to make sure two of the same tiles aren’t next to each other (like in the example below thanks to that so-called professional I hired).

Nothing screams rookie tiler louder than two printed tiles being installed next to each other. And in the same orientation!

5. Leave an Expansion (or Movement) Joint

Despite what you might think (especially if you have perfectionist tendencies), you do not want to cut and install your tiles tight against the wall (or other objects in your room like columns, pipes, or walls.) You must leave at least 1/4 inch around the perimeter of your room or around immovable objects. Not adhering to this rule can lead to your tile floor popping up or tenting (See this article for a photo of tenting tile.) Additionally, you need to install a movement joint in any interior room at every 25 feet in each direction. However, if this room is exposed to direct sunlight or heat, you’ll need an expansion joint at every 12 feet in each direction.

6. Use Recommended Trowel Size

Tiles come in all shapes and sizes and therefore they require a variety of trowels. Be sure to check with the specifications on your tile to find out the trowel size. Or ask your tile shop representative for their recommendation. Using a too-small trowel with large tiles would cause the tiles not to adhere to the surface. And too big a trowel with smaller tiles will make it difficult to level the tiles.

7. Back Butter Large Tiles

When tiling a floor with large tiles, back buttering is a must. Typically I’ll spread the thinset mortar onto the floor and trowel through it. I’ll use the excess to scrape a thin layer over the back of the floor tile. This accomplishes two things:

  1. It keys mortar into any voids on the back of the tile.
  2. It ensures full coverage on the back of the tile.

If you don’t back butter large tile, you run the risk of having air pockets behind your tile which can sound hollow when walked on or cause the tile to pop up.

8. Use Leveling Spacers

Leveling spacers are a relatively new product, but I will never tile a floor without them again. I’ve tried several brands but prefer the wedge-shaped leveling spacers. The wedges are inserted into the tile spacer and ratcheted tight to bring tiles to the same height as the adjacent tiles. You can see how they work and how to remove the spacers in my video above. (It’s a lot of fun removing them as you’ll see!) Using leveling spacers virtually eliminates lippage on tiles.

wedge shaped tile spacer leveling two tiles

9. Clean Thinset Off Tiles

Anyone who has had to clean dried thinset mortar off tiles will never make the mistake of letting it dry on tiles. When tiling, keep your area clean. Be sure to clean off any mortar on surrounding tiles. In addition, make sure to clean thinset that squeezes up between the tiles. You want to make sure you have enough room for grout to set on top of the mortar.

10. Use Grout with Sealant

Grouting is the final step for any tile job, but if you didn’t add a sealant additive to your grout, you will need to seal the grout after the fact. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after tiling a floor is hand paint sealant on all the grout lines. And if you skip sealing all together you’re going to hate keeping the grout clean.

11. Plan Your Transition Pieces Ahead of Time

One thing that will truly set your tile floor job a notch above is using sleek transitions. Personally, I prefer using Schluter profiles strips for my floor transitions. There are a variety of finishes, sizes, and styles. Some of the profile strips are laid under the tiles for a stronger bond. Others are installed after the grout has cured. In the Millie’s Remodel kitchen, we had a big change in height between floors. I ended up using the the Schluter Reno-V profile which has an L shaped piece that slides under the tile edge during installation. (You can see the way it works in my video.)

However, in the Saving Etta house, I used simple Schluter Schiene profile strips between tile and wood flooring.

How to Speed Up Your Tile Job:

It helps to have a helper when tiling. Once you mix thinset or grout, you’re on the clock. Both will harden within a set time. If you have a helper, you can give your helper the task of cutting tiles or changing out your dirty water buckets, or mixing more thinset mortar. Speaking of mortar, never mix more than you can spread before hardening. As an experienced tiler I try not to mix more than 1/3 of a 50 pound bag of mortar. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a big boulder of thin set when it hardens.

If you can’t get a helper, make sure to fill multiple buckets with clean water before you begin. It also helps to cut some of your perimeter tiles ahead of time.

Tip for Working with Grout: You can slow the curing time of your grout if you set your mixed grout into a second bucket filled with ice water to slow the curing process. I show this in more detail in my grouting tutorial.

Best of luck tiling your floor.  I know you can do this.

An idea for making your own hummingbird feeder! Great kids craft and perfect for Spring.

Happy Spring Everyone! What a difference a few weeks can make. Like many of you, I am grappling with the uncertainty of this challenging time. My children are now home with me every day, for the foreseeable future. In Seattle, life has completely changed. Almost everything is shut down, even playgrounds are closed at the moment. And so, I’ve been focused on creating little projects that my kids and I can do while stuck at home. Let’s talk about DIY Hummingbird Feeder.

I came across these DIY hummingbird feeders with jelly jars and was instantly inspired! I’ve had a hummingbird feeder on my Amazon wishlist for quite some time. I’m not sure why I never considered making my own instead. This turned out to be a very kid-friendly project and they even learned a little bit about hummingbirds.

Make your own hummingbird feeder out of spice jars

The only issue was, I didn’t have jelly jars. So I improvised a bit and used these 1oz McCormick spice jars. I emptied out the contents and washed them out thoroughly. These little spice jars are the perfect size for those dainty hummingbirds.

Materials:

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DIY Hummingbird feeder from little spice jars

Instructions:

Follow these steps to make your own hummingbird feeder.

Step 1: Prepare your spice jars

Wash your spice jars with hot soapy water - they are the perfect size for little hummingbirds!

Thoroughly wash your spice jars and lids with hot, soapy water. You don’t want any lingering spice odors or tastes that will turn off potential hummingbirds. I also removed the stickers from the jars with a little goo gone.

McCormick spice jars have a lid with holes in it, covered by a snap-top. All you need to do is rip off the snap-top section, we don’t need it. Hummingbirds will use their long beaks to drink the nectar from each hole.

Step 2: Make Hummingbird Nectar

Make Hummingbird nectar - recipe in post - then pour into your jars!

The recipe for making Hummingbird nectar couldn’t be easier. It’s just sugar water – but you need to know the correct ratio. Too much sugar can be harmful to hummingbirds and too little sugar doesn’t provide enough calories for them.

I followed the recipe from the Audubon website.  It’s ¼ cup of refined white sugar and 1 cup of boiling water. Mix until the sugar dissolves. Cool the mixture and then fill your spice jars to the top. Now, just replace the lid with holes in it.

Replace the spice lid on your jar - hummingbirds feed on the nectar through the holes.

Step 3: Attach Jute Twine for Hanging

Tie some string or jute twine to your jars for hanging on a tree!

I used some jute twine to create a little loop for hanging. Tie your knots tight and make sure the lid is secure.

Cut excess string from hummingbird feeder jars before hanging.

Now just hang it up somewhere outside and wait for those hummingbirds!

These spice jars make a great hummingbird feeder and it's the perfect activity for kids

Hang your feeder from a tree, where you see hummingbirds visit

We haven’t had a visitor yet that I could photograph, but I know those hummingbirds are on the way.

Hummingbirds love the nectar that you put in these jars

DIY Hummingbird Feeder from old spice jars!

Thanks so much for reading and being here today. Stay safe, stay healthy!

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~ See More of Karen’s Tutorials ~


karen from decor hintHello!  I’m Karen, the creator of the Home Decor and DIY Blog: Decor Hint. I’m a Native of the East Coast, but I currently live in beautiful Seattle with my hubby, our two wonderful children, and our spunky wheaten terrier.

You can usually find me with some sort of craft in one hand and a coffee in the other. And I’m always rearranging furniture or moving lamps from room to room. I have a passion (read: obsession) for decorating, DIY, and gardening. In short, I love making my house into a home.

Like many, I’m inspired by what I see in home decor magazines, but I’m not so inspired by the price tags.  Consequently, I love finding and creating beautiful budget-friendly home decor items. In a head to head competition, I bet you’d never know the difference between the designer items and my DIY creations!  Many of my DIY projects focus on sewing, crafting, upcycling and organizing. Some of my favorite projects have been making pretty wreaths, sewing my own tassel hand towels, and crafting these trendy wood bead garlands. I can’t wait to inspire you and spark your creativity through my DIY projects.

You can always connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.

 

Liked this project? Check out these DIY Hanging Beaded Vases for another upcycled craft!