Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Steel Wool

Steel wool is in inexpensive and comes in a variety of grades of coarseness and you can use it all over your house, I’ll show you how.

If a screw is too loose, stuff some steel wool into the hole and then replace the screw. The steel wool will give the screw threads a new surface to grip and the screw will stay nice and tight.

Push steel wool into gaps around the foundation of your house, and around pipes and vents.  Critters like mice and squirrels can’t chew through the steel wool so it will keep them outside where they belong.

If you have pets that you bathe at home, or if you tend to get a lot of clogs in your shower, stuff some steel wool into the drain before you use it.  The water will drain through but it will catch the hair before it becomes a clog.

Superfine steel wool will scuff scuffs and imperfections from wood and vinyl floors.  Just get it a little damp and buff in the direction of the grain.

Along those same lines, steel wool is perfect for    removing the gloss layer from paint and stain finishes when you want to prime.  So you don’t need to sand the entire piece. 

Easy ways to put steel wool to use around your home.  I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Picture Hanging Hardware

We’ve come a long way from the classic picture hanging hook, there are tons of options out there – check them out!!

When you have a heavier picture, rather than using a big hook, try one of these hooks with a wider top and two nails.

It evenly distributes the weight and allows the picture hang closer to the wall.

 Need to hang something flush against a wall like a mirror or a headboard?  

Try a french cleat. 

These screw into the back of the piece and then into the wall and slide into each other to hold the item flush and secure.

 If you don’t want holes in your walls at all, try a removable adhesive strip with a hanger attached. You can put it in place and remove it without damage if you change your mind.

Along those same lines – you can use a hook and loop self adhesive and attach one side to the picture and one to the wall.

 So the next time you need to hang some artwork, take a look at the variety of hangers on the market.

I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Mildew on Leather

I had some leather shoes stored in my basement and it must have been damp because when I pulled them out I found they were covered with mildew.  Luckily, I know how to remove it- and soon you will too!

Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and can be purchased at most health food stores. 

Mix a teaspoon of oil into a cup of water and use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean the shoes.  When you’re finished scrubbing, dip a soft rag into the solution and go over the entire shoe, inside and out to clean the mold and remove the odor. 

As a bonus, the tea tree oil is a natural leather conditioner as well so you will remove the mildew, clean the shoe and condition the leather all in one quick step!

If you don’t have or can’t find tea tree oil, mix a half and half mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.  Use that to kill the mildew. 

Then wipe with a cloth dipped in clean water and follow that up with a good washing with saddle soap to remove any stains.

The rubbing alcohol will kill the spores and the soap will clean the leather.

Just a couple of easy ways to save those mildewed shoes that you thought were ruined! I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 


Handy Helpers

All of us could use an extra hand now and then.  I have a couple of things you can grab that will really help you out!

Carabineer hooks are generally thought of as a sporting item, but I found these large hooks and they’re so handy! 

I can hook them around a bunch of grocery bags and use the rubber grip as a handle to carry them all at once.

A friend hooks one to her stroller to hook her purse and diaper bag in place.

I’ve always loved hook and loop tape for all sorts of things, but it’s a onetime kind of thing. I love the one sided variety that hooks to itself.  I use it to bundle moldings and wrapping paper rolls so they don’t roll around.

I also love it for corralling cords, securing items in the car, and keeping electronics and their cords together.  Use your imagination – there has got to be a million ways this stuff is handy.

Finally, forget holding a flashlight in your teeth or teetering it on your shoulder.  Grab a flash light that stands on its own.  This one has a pop out tri-pod and a pivoting head so I can point it right where I need it and have my hands free to work.  

Now, let’s give these tips a hand for being so helpful!!!  I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!


If you have them, you know…stinkbugs are a problem to have in your home; luckily I have a few easy ways to fight them.

To start, never squish stinkbugs.  They get their name because they release a nasty odor when they are attacked, and the odor will attract more bugs.

You can vacuum the bugs, but just make sure that you do a whole house bug check, because once you’re done you will need to seal the vacuum bag in a zip top plastic bag and toss it in the garbage.

 Another way to get rid of them is to knock individual bugs into a bowl of soapy water.  The soap will kill the bugs so you can dispose of them. 

Just dump the water into a toilet bowl and flush.  This will ensure it doesn’t get squished in the garbage. 

If you see the bugs on the outside of your house, spray them with soapy water.

To prevent the bugs from getting into the house in first place, make sure you caulk around windows and doors, check for holes in screens and insulate around foundations and ductwork.

Just some easy ways to get rid of those stink bugs. I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Mail Center

Looking for a mail center for your home?  All you need is an old window shutter and some simple hardware. 
First, clean up the shutter, a toothbrush or some cotton swabs will really help you reach into the nooks and crannies.

Depending upon the look you like you can either remove the hardware, fill any holes left behind and paint or  refinish the shutter, or leave the hardware in place so that the shutter retains its past history and finish.

 From here you can be as simple or as fancy as you want, you can add embellishments for decoration, hooks or knobs for keys, or labels for different family members.   Then decide which way you want it to hang, vertically or horizontally – it depends on your space. 
Add a hanger or two to the back, depending on the size and weight of your shutter; you may need to screw it directly into the wall.  Mine is really lightweight so one simple hanger will do the trick. 

That’s all there is to it, this also makes a great spot for displaying cards or pictures.  Try it for yourself, I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 

Decor Under Glass

Adding glass to the top of a dresser or desk can cover damage or protect a finish from damage, but it also gives you a neat space for adding an accent to your d├ęcor. 

You can turn an urn or other pedestal into an accent table by adding a piece of wood or cut a piece of cardboard to the size you need and top it with some fabric, wrapping paper or tissue paper. This is an easy and inexpensive way to make a custom piece to decorate your home.

In a home office you can place calendars or lists under a piece of glass and use some dry erase markers to keep track of dates and projects.  Then simply wipe the notes off and start over when you’re done!

If you’re using the glass to protect the top of the piece, try layering some doilies or fabric underneath, or better yet, fill it with family photos and use it for a great visual scrapbook.

Make sure that you use tempered glass that has been cut by a professional and that the edges are buffed smooth so you don’t get cut! 

I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!