Tag Archives: DIY

  • Do you feel like you’ve run out of room to store all your food storage?

    If so, we’ve got another Do It Yourself solution for you. For your next DIY project, consider making a canned food organizer. Now, I know you’ve probably seen a lot b of different DIY shelf organizers on the web that range from flipping wire shelves upside down in a closet to putting Lazy Susan shelves into a traditional pantry.

    So what makes this canned food organizer different than all the rest? It’s a shelf that slides out from the space between your fridge and the wall. It makes great use of wasted space.

    Instead of taking up extra space in your cabinets and cupboards, this shelf creates a totally new space to store your food and other supplies in. We found a tutorial from Mallory at classyclutter.net that shows you a step-by-step process for making a canned food organizer.

    DIY Food Storage Organizer

    Photo courtesy of ClassyClutter.net

     

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    9 – 1×4s cut to 29 1/2″ (top board, shelves, bottom board)

    2 – 1×4s, cut to 64″ (Side boards)

    1 – Thin board, cut to 31 1/2 x 64″ (Mallory used bead board/wainscoting board from Home Depot)

    4 – 1 ½-2″ Metal Casters that hold 50+ lbs (Mallory used 2″, 80lbs)

    7 – 7/16 dowels cut to 30″ long (lumber section of Home Depot)

    Handle or knob

    Paint and Brush, Roller, or Sprayer (if needed)

     

    Tools and Supplies:

    Drill

    7/16″ drill bit for drilling dowel holes

    Several wood screws (purchase a bulk-size bag or box to make sure you have enough)

    Several 2″ nails (purchase a bulk-size bag or box to make sure you have enough)

    Several finishing nails (purchase a bulk-size bag or box to make sure you have enough)

    Hammer

     

    Directions:

    Essentially you’re going to build a ladder-like structure and then put a back panel onto it so that all your food stays in place. Put the completed structure on wheels and put a handle on the side so that you can easily roll the shelving unit out.

    For step-by-step instructions and pictures, check out the article, “DIY Canned Food Organizer Tutorial—Build Your Own.” Or check out this “imgr” food storage shelf tutorial as an alternative technique for building this awesome shelf.

     

    Want more DIYs?

    Check out this list of 60+ DIY Kitchen Shelf projects from diyncrafts.com that can help you organize your cabinets, pots and pans, spices, and much more.

    If you’re looking for more “unconventional” places to store your emergency supplies, check out our “No Room for Supplies?” Pinterest Board and read our article, “Baby Steps: Make Room for your Food and Supply Storage.”

     

    Where do you store your store your food storage and emergency supplies?

     

    Sources

    http://www.classyclutter.net/2012/05/build-your-own-extra-storage-diy-canned-food-organizer.html (Tutorial)

    http://imgur.com/a/nqKrk (Tutorial)

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, DIY

  • DIY Rabbit Hutch Projects

    Once you've decided to raise rabbits for food storage, the next question to ask yourself is where am I going to put them? Since you are raising rabbits for self-sufficiency, and not as pets, it may be helpful to keep them outside to make that distinction clear (easier said than done, I know.)

    Traditionally, outdoor rabbits are kept in hutches. A hutch is a cage that is usually made of wood and is enclosed with wire mesh. Most hutches have tall legs to protect the rabbits from predators on the ground. You can also build a hutch without legs to keep on a table or, in warm climates, directly on the ground.

    Rabbit hutches are fairly easy to build and serve as excellent DIY projects to complete over the weekend. You can make hutches out of pallets, shelves, and even old dressers.

    Here are 5 great DIY rabbit hutch tutorials from the web to get you started:

     

    Tiny Homesteaders.com “Making Yet Another Rabbit Hutch out of Pallet Crates"

    Space is a very important factor when building a hutch. Since your rabbit will spend a lot of time there, it’s important that they have enough room to move around.  This hutch is a great example of giving your rabbits enough space:

     Rabbit Hutch via TinyHomesteaders

    Photo Courtesy of Tinyhomesteaders.com

     

    Mother Earth News’ “DIY Rabbit Hutch from Wood Pallets”

    When building a hutch, it’s important to have at least part of it enclosed so it will be dark enough when your rabbits need to sleep—or so they can hide if they feel threatened by predators.

     Rabbit Hutch via Mother Earth News

    Photo Courtesy of Mother Earth News

     

    Monsterguide.net “How to Build a Rabbit Hutch”

    Since rabbit hutches require regular cleaning (we’re talking on at least a weekly basis), make sure your hutch is built in a way that provides you with easy access to get the job done—like this one.

    Rabbit Hutch via MonsterGuide dot net

    Photo Courtesy of Monsterguide.net

    Bettaliving.org’s DIY Rabbit Hutch Plans

    This step-by-step guide (with in-depth instructions and pictures for each step) is a great source if you want to build a hutch on the ground. Rabbit hutches built on the ground are better to use in warmer climates, but even then should provide a way for your bunnies to take shelter from predators or rain.

    Rabbit Hutch via BettaLiving.org

    Photo Courtesy of Bettaliving.org

    For Urban Homesteaders: DIY Project: Nicole’s Modern Bunny Hutch

    This hutch is made from an altered dresser. It’s a great method for building a hutch if you live in an apartment or don’t have yard space for a traditional hutch.

    Rabbit Hutch via Design Sponge

    Photo Courtesy of DesignSponge.com

     

    Looking for more tips on building a rabbit hutch? Check out these links:

    http://www.amillionlives.net/build-a-rabbit-hutch-protective-shelters-for-the-bunnies-dwelling.html

    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/getting-a-hunch-about-rabbit-hutches.html

     

    Have you ever made a rabbit hutch? What’s the best setup you’ve found?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: rabbits, DIY, homesteading, raising animals

  • What It is

    A Faraday cage, also known as a Faraday shield, Radio Frequency Cage, or EMF (Electromotive Force) Cage, is simply an enclosure built to protect electronic devices from electromagnetic radiation and electrostatic discharges. It can be anything from a small box to a large room, covered with conductive metal or wire mesh, which prevents surges from damaging the equipment inside.

    The sources of these surges can be powerful lightning strikes, destructive solar flares (CMEs, or Coronal Mass Ejections) directed toward earth, or the effects of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) from a nuclear bomb detonation high in the atmosphere.

    The device is named for Michael Faraday, who observed in 1836 that the excess charge from a conductor remained on the outside of a container and had no effect on the interior contents. He experimented by building a room coated with metal foil and allowed high-voltage discharges from a generator to strike the outside of it. He used an electroscope to show that there was no electric charge present on the inside of the room’s walls. Though the device bears Faraday’s name, Benjamin Franklin is believed to have been the first to discover the principle.

    Faraday cages, or shields, are used all throughout our society. Some are used in the scan-rooms of MRI machines, in which the “cage” effect prevents radio frequency signals from being added to the data from the patient’s image. Some electrical linemen wear “Faraday suits” when working on live, high-voltage power lines to prevent accidental electrocution. Military planners and politicians who have reason to keep their communications private often meet in Faraday-protected rooms that are impervious to electronic “eavesdropping.” In 2013, the Vatican even used the technology to shield the Sistine Chapel from curious listeners during the deliberations to select the new Pope.

    Many people buy Faraday bags to protect their cell phones and laptops both from electrical surges and from unwanted surveillance or tracking.

    According to the National Weather Service, an automobile is essentially a Faraday cage, and it’s the metal surrounding you, not the rubber tires, that protects you from lightning (as long as you’re not touching metal inside the car).[i] A smaller example is a microwave oven, which is a Faraday cage in reverse, trapping the waves inside the device instead of keeping them out. In fact, an old microwave oven makes a good Faraday cage for small electronics!

    Typical items that can be stored in a Faraday cage include

    • Laptop or notebook computers
    • Thumb drives or external hard drives
    • Cell phones
    • Ipads, iPods, and e-readers
    • Portable AM/Shortwave radios, ham radio equipment, and walkie-talkies
    • DC/AC inverters
    • Battery-powered radios

     

    Why You Might Need One

    Why, you may ask, would it do any good for you to have working electronics when everyone else’s would be down or destroyed? First of all, you might still be able to communicate with people outside the affected area (and it may be very difficult at first to determine how large that affected area is).

    Second, you won’t be the only “techie” who thought to protect valuable electronics in a Faraday cage. Some preppers do this as a matter of course, and eventually you would probably be able to communicate with them. (Cell towers, however, would likely be “fried” and need to be rebuilt).

    Communication at such a time would be extremely valuable. Unless there had been well-publicized warnings of impending CMEs in the days before the event, many people would have no idea what had happened to our world. Ham radio operators, who could communicate with other Hams around the globe, might become the new heroes of the day.

    Many AM/FM and shortwave radio stations believe that they’ll still be able to broadcast after an EMP or CME event, and without all the usual “noise” of our plugged-in society, their waves may be able to travel farther than they do now. Hopefully there would be Faraday-protected radios out there to receive their signals! There is, however, a likelihood that the earth’s electromagnetic field would be seriously disrupted by such an event, and it might take quite a while for things to settle down and not cause static on the airwaves.

    How to Make a Faraday Cage

    To be effective, a Faraday cage must:

    • Be covered with conductive metal or mesh. Copper is the most conductive metal, followed by aluminum. (Well--gold and silver are better, but we assume you won’t be covering your cage with those!)
    • Be properly grounded (according to some experts, to prevent shocks when touched)
    • Adequately surround whatever it’s protecting.

    In addition, whatever is inside should be adequately insulated from the cage itself, such as being placed on wood, in a cardboard box, or on a rubber mat so that it doesn’t touch any metal.

    Faraday Box # 1—The Galvanized Trash Can

    A Galvanized Trash Can can act like a Faraday Cage

    You will need

    • A galvanized metal trash can with a tight-fitting lid
    • Several boxes of heavy-duty aluminum foil
    • Enough metal screening or mesh to wrap around the top of the can and fit over the lip
    • Cardboard boxes of assorted sizes that fit inside the can
    • Plastic garbage bags or plastic wrap
    • Cloth pieces to wrap items

    Wrap the items you wish to protect first in cloth, then plastic, then 3-4 layers of heavy-duty foil, being sure that the foil is molded to the shape of the item and that each layer completely covers the previous one, with no tears or holes.

    Place your wrapped items in cardboard boxes. Tape shut, then wrap the entire box with 2 layers of foil.

    Line the trash can with cardboard, including the bottom, making sure there are no gaps. The foil-wrapped boxes must not touch the metal of the can. Set the can on wood or cardboard, not touching any other metal.

    Several experts say that simply putting the lid on the can, even if it fits tightly, is an insufficient seal. They suggest folding a sheet of metal screening around the top of the can and over the top lid and then forcing the lid over that to maintain a constant, tight-fitting metallic connection.

    Remember, this is for long-term storage of the appliances inside, not something that you can take your appliances out of to use and then return to the container without a great deal of trouble. A good idea is to look around for good deals on duplicates of things you use every day. Another important thing to remember is that you will need some type of charger—hand-cranked or solar-powered—to power up your devices once a crisis has passed. If you can wrap and store one of these in a protected Faraday container, you’ll be glad to have it. 

    Faraday Cage # 2—A Metal-Clad Box

    Any box made of non-conductive material such as plywood, and then totally covered with metal, metal mesh, or metal screening can serve as a Faraday cage. The metal must touch at all the corners and over and all around any opening for the protection to be complete, as an electrical charge will find its way through any gaps or crevices in the construction. The smaller the holes in the mesh or screen, the better the protection—but either mesh or screen is believed to work better than solid metal. The metal can be attached to the wood with staples or screws, whichever seems to work best for you. You might consider applying the metal mesh so that it folds around the corners. Then let the next piece overlap the edge of the first, securely fastened together and to the wood so that there is no break in the conductive shield.

    Updated: Living Off the Grid

    For those who don’t rely as heavily on electronic equipment for day-to-day life, the idea of Living Off the Grid is more realistic. Those who live off the grid don’t need to worry quite as much about EMP’s or CME’s causing havoc and chaos to their daily routine because they have already given up a lot of the equipment that would be affected by those electromagnetic pulses.

    However, living off the grid doesn't always mean going completely electronics-free.  In this case, living off the grid may not protect you from the aftermath of EMP’s or CME’s even if you produce your own electricity from an alternate source.  Faraday cages can benefit a variety of lifestyles to protect you and your electronics.

    There are many uncertainties about exactly what would happen in the case of an enormous release of electromagnetic energy in our civilized, plugged-in world. We can hope that nothing will happen to damage our electronics, but in case our hopes are vain, we’ll be happy for every measure we've taken to prepare!

    For more DIY projects, check out the articles below:

    DIY Tent Lamp

    Guest Post: Make a Paracord Bracelet

    Baby Steps: DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

    Emergency Essentials' DIY Laundry Detergent

     

    Sources:

    www.ehow.com/info__10047811-things-keep-faraday-box.htm

    www.ehow.com/how_8796313_make-faraday-cage-html

    www.thesurvivalistblog.net/building-a-faraday-cage

    www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

    www.science.howstuffworks.com/faraday-cage.htm

    http://thesurvivalmom.com/2012/10/09/skill-of-the-month-make-a-faraday-cage/

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency power, skills, disaster, preparedness, emergency preparedness, DIY, disaster preparedness, Faraday Cage

  • With our ever busy schedules, sometimes it seems there just isn't time to make gourmet meals, what with the prepping, cooking, eating, and cleaning up. With these food storage recipes, however, you get delicious meals every night of the week with less effort.

    Chicken A La King

    Make a savory meal of chicken, mushrooms, and noodles in a rich white sauce and you’re sure to make your evening gourmet without taking up the whole night to cook it.

    Food Storage Meal: Chicken A La King

    Easy Hearty Beef Stew

    With winter touching down all over, warm yourself up with a steaming bowl of hearty beef stew full of succulent beef and warm vegetables. Just put the ingredients together and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

    Linguini Chicken with Vegetables

    For a refreshing and filling pasta dish you won’t soon forget, try this combination of chicken, noodles, vegetables, and cheese with a tangy Ranch flavor. 

    Spicy Chicken

    Adventurers, when it comes to the world of food, get your taste buds ready for a spicy kick tonight! The Spicy Chicken combines jalapeño peppers, hot pepper sauce, onions, and chili powder to create an explosion of flavor on your plate.

    Food Storage Meals: Spicy Chicken

    Tropical Turkey Salad

    Transport yourself to paradise with the Tropical Turkey Salad—a refreshing blend of sweet, citrus fruits with the crunch of vegetables, all mixed in with succulent turkey. The meal itself will feel like a vacation.

    Breakfast Burrito

    A simple, yet delicious meal to eat morning or night (breakfast is always a good idea, no matter the time of day). The Breakfast Burrito combines sausage and refried beans with your basic egg, cheese, and pepper burrito. You could even add some additional breakfast side favorites into your burrito like hash browns or bacon. 

    Tuscan Tomato Soup

    Traditional, flavorful, and warm—this hearty tomato soup combines pork sausage with vegetables, cheese, and Italian seasoning for an unforgettable flavor. It's a fantastic meal by itself or to complement grilled cheese sandwiches (don’t forget the Yoder’s bacon on the sandwich!).

    Food Storage Meals: Tuscan Tomato Soup

    Easy Beef Stroganoff

    Using your food storage, you can easily make this hot, filling Beef Stroganoff in a matter of minutes!

    Oriental Chicken Salad

    Relish in the flavor of sweet fruits, green vegetables, and chicken with a sweet and sour dressing, served on a lettuce leaf.

    Food Storage Meals: Oriental Chicken Salad

    Provident Pantry Garden Omelet

    Add a healthy variety to your breakfast omelets with crisp vegetables from your food storage. Broccoli, green peppers, green onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes combine with your favorite omelet recipe to help you reach your daily vegetable servings. (Feel free to substitute any vegetables you dislike for ones you do).

    With 10 food storage meals that are this easy to make, you get to spend more time doing what you love.

    Do you have a favorite food storage meal or recipe that’s fast to make?

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, preparedness, emergency preparedness, DIY, gourmet meals, food storage meals

  • Looking for a unique DIY present? Why not give the gift of soft, sweet-smelling laundry all year long . . . (and no, we unfortunately don’t sell a laundry-scented 100-hour candle . . .)

    Last summer, we wrote a post about how to make DIY Laundry Detergent, so we decided that we needed to make something for your dryer, too. DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls are a great present to give to your family, friends, and neighbors. I think they’re meaningful gifts and something that is useful to everyone.

    DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

    The benefits of DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

    • They reduce your drying time
    • They are free of chemicals often found in store bought dryer sheets
    • They reduce allergic reactions because they don’t include fragrances or chemicals
    • They fluff your laundry and reduce static cling
    • They are inexpensive to make (It only cost me $5.49 for the yarn. I already had the other supplies around my house)

    What You’ll Need

    • 100% Wool Yarn (not labeled ‘superwash’ or ‘machine washable’)—I found my wool yarn at Hobby Lobby. The brand was called “I Love this Wool.” Check your local craft store’s website for 100% wool yarn before making a trip there.
    • Scissors
    • A pair of old pantyhose
    • A blunt-tipped needle or crochet hook (a pen cap or tooth pick would work as well)
    • A little string or acrylic yarn (optional)
    • Essential Oil (optional)

    How You Make it

    1. Wrap a strand of wool yarn around the index and middle fingers of your non-dominant hand about 20 times. Pinch the wrapped yarn in the middle and pull it off your fingers. Wrap 4 or 5 loops of yarn around the center of this bundle to hold it securely. Using the bundle as the center of your ball, continue wrapping yarn around it in different directions, turning to achieve a fairly-tight ball shape. Continue until the ball is at least the size of a tennis ball.
    2. Use a blunt-tipped needle or crochet hook to tuck the end of your yarn under several layers of wrapped yarn until you can no longer see the end. Repeat the process described in steps 1 and 2 until you have 5 or 6 balls.
    3. Cut one leg off of an old pair of pantyhose (or use a knee -high stocking). Put one ball into the toe of the stocking, followed by the other dryer balls. Use the little string or acrylic yarn to section off each ball from one another (or just put one ball in the stocking at a time and tied a knot between them with the pantyhose). Tie off the open end of the stocking so that you have a “yarn-ball caterpillar.” Make sure you tie them tight! You don’t want them coming out in the washing machine.
    4. Throw the “yarn-ball caterpillar” into the washing machine with a load of whites or towels in hot water to begin the felting process. Then throw the caterpillar into the dryer.  You will want to wash and dry the caterpillar at least 2-4 times so that the yarn will felt and won’t come apart.
    5. Remove the dryer balls from the stocking. Then toss the balls into your dryer with a load of wet laundry. If you’d like, you can add 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil to the balls to scent your laundry as they work.

    How do they work?

    For each load of laundry, the dryer balls will bounce around in the machine, separating your clothes, and allowing more hot air to circulate through the clothes. This excess air will allow your clothes to dry faster and the tumbling dryer balls will help to make the laundry soft and decrease wrinkles as they hit the clothes.

    How long will they last?

    This is the biggest question I had while making my own dryer balls: How long will they last? I scoured the internet for an answer to this question. The common consensus seemed to be 5 to 8+ years—they’ll last you for quite some time. However, if you use Essential oils, you’ll need to re-apply them regularly to the dryer balls to infuse that scent into your laundry.

    Wrap Em’ Up!

    These DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls would be an excellent present because they are the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year (and beyond!)

    Place your wool Balls into a small wrapped basket or box and include a batch of our Emergency Essentials DIY Laundry Detergent to make a complete present. You can even leave a little note explaining how to use the dryer balls and what their purpose and benefits are.

    -Angela

    P.S. Speaking of laundry . . . top off your present with a Mobile Washer (hand operated washing machine). The Mobile Washer is perfect for washing clothes during a power outage or on a camping trip. All you need is a bucket, a little bit of your DIY Laundry Detergent, and a little bit of muscle to get your clothes clean. Check out how the Mobile Washer works in the video below.

     

    Sources:

    http://erinslittlesecrets.blogspot.com/2012/05/homestead-challenge-3-making-felted.html

    http://bodyunburdened.com/diy-wool-dryer-balls-natural-fabric-softener/

    http://www.diynatural.com/how-to-make-wool-dryer-balls/

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, gifts, baby steps, DIY

  •  Homemade Baby food from food storage

    Here’s a unique way to use your food storage: make baby food! If you’ve got little ones, having a supply of homemade baby food on hand could help you save money and assure you that the food you’re feeding your baby isn’t full of preservatives. Since many freeze dried foods come chopped, sliced, and peeled, cooking baby food with food storage will cut the prep time at least in half.

    The best part is that you can use this pre-made baby food every day or store it for an emergency. If you make and can your own baby food, you can have supplies ready to toss in a grab and go bag if you need to evacuate, or ready at home if you have to shelter in place.

    Here are some recipes and tips for making baby food from food storage.   

    Mango Blueberry Puree (ages 6 months +)

    1 ½ C Provident Pantry® Freeze Dried Mango Chunks

    1 C MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Blueberries

    1 C Provident Pantry®  Freeze Dried Banana Dices

    Reconstitute ingredients following the directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve.

    Variation for adults: Put all reconstituted ingredients into a blender with 1- 1 1/2 C reconstituted Provident Pantry Non-fat Dry milk for a smoothie. Add milk until smoothie reaches your desired consistency. (The smoothie is rather tasty! I HIGHLY recommend making it for yourself as a treat.)

    Blueberry, Spinach, and Apple Puree (ages 6 months +)

    1 C MyChoice™  Freeze Dried Blueberries

    2 C Mountain House®  Freeze Dried Apple Slices

    A Handful MyChoice™ Freeze Dried Spinach

    Reconstitute ingredients following directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve.

    Spinach, Apple, and Blackberry (ages 6 months +)

    1 C MyChoice™  Freeze Dried Spinach

    2 C Mountain House®  Freeze Dried Apple Slices

    1 C MyChoice™  Freeze Dried Blackberries

    Reconstitute ingredients following directions on the can. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve.

    Tip: Make sure that the Blackberry seeds are blended well. Also, be aware that the Spinach has a strong taste. Consider adding more apples if needed.

    Tips for Cooking Baby Food from Food Storage

    • Many baby food recipes for fresh produce suggest boiling the food before you puree it, and using the water it was boiled in to preserve nutrients.
    • Once you rehydrate the fruits and veggies, they’ll already be soft, so you can skip the boiling step (unless boiling is called for in the directions to rehydrate the food) to preserve nutrients.
    • Use a little bit of the water that you drain from the fruits and veggies after re-hydrating to put into your puree to add nutrients.
    • You can make baby food in a blender or food processor. You may want to also consider getting a hand-operated food processor like this Food Strainer or the Kitchen Plus 2000 so you can puree baby food quickly and easily—with or without electricity.
    • Be adventurous and try new combinations—add or subtract ingredients to your taste.

     

    How to Store Baby Food from Food Storage

    • If you store your baby food in an ice tray, it will last in the freezer for up to three months! You can also use Ziploc bags, breast milk bags, or Tupperware to freeze your baby food in and to take with you on the go.
    • According to the USDA, it is safe to can homemade baby foods made from fruits that are highly acidic. The [USDA website] provides a chart for canning pint size and half pint size jars using a boiling water bath.
    • Do NOT can pureed veggies, low-acid fruits, or red meats or poultry meats using a boiling water bath (even tomatoes that are high in acid and considered a fruit). You will have to use a pressure canner like the All American Pressure Canner to preserve baby food recipes with these ingredients.

     

    Other Baby and Toddler Friendly Food Storage Items to check out: Food storage items are also great for toddlers because they’re great finger foods  and snacks that are soft and easy to eat. Here are some other food storage items that are good for babies and toddlers.

    Provident Pantry®  Yogurt Bites

    Provident Pantry®  Fruits and Veggies

    Provident Pantry®  Pudding

    Provident Pantry®  Dairy, Eggs, and Meat (depending on your baby’s age, items like white chicken meat dices could go over well)

    Have you ever made baby food from food storage? What’s your favorite recipe?

     

    Recipe Sources:

    http://weelicious.com/2012/03/21/mango-blueberry-puree/

    http://tinypaintedfingers.blogspot.com/2013/02/blueberry-spinach-and-apple-puree-baby.html?m=1

    http://lacewineanddrool.blogspot.com/2013/10/baby-food-smorgasbord-homemade.html

    Sources for Making Homemade Baby Food

    http://mychicbump.com/2013/05/the-baby-food-breakdown-by-hello-little-scout/

    http://prepared-housewives.com/2013/10/06/make-baby-food/?preview=true

    Sources about Canning Homemade Baby food Safely

    http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/general/baby_food.html

    http://nchfp.uga.edu//publications/publications_usda.html

    http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/tipcanning.htm#.UmaWTNJDsuc

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, recipes, preparedness, emergency preparedness, freeze dried food, DIY, baby food

  •  DIY Mummy Costume could be made using emergency supplies like First Aid gauze

    Since Halloween is coming up, we wanted to give you some helpful tips, tricks, and costume ideas that use emergency supplies to prepare you for All Hallows’ Eve!

    Baby Step One: Use Emergency Supplies for Safety, decoration, and warmth

     

    Emergency Supplies for Safety

    Lightsticks- This 12 hour light-source will light the way as you walk the streets this Halloween. Also, imagine the fun you could have with these on the dance floor at a Halloween party . . .

    LED Glow flashlight-Doubles as a traditional flashlight and glowstick. The flashlight’s handle glows and blinks red light (with the option to turn it off, of course).  A fun way to get into the holiday spirit and to see into dark passages for ghosts . . . or unfriendly people lurking about.

    LED Glowstick-a festive addition to any Halloween costume and perfect for locating your kids in a sea of Spiderman, pirate, or princess costumes. Create a necklace of glow sticks to hang around your child’s neck, arms, or wrists, or to pin to their costumes.

    Goal Zero Life-a-Light LED Lanterns guide trick-or-treaters or party guests to your home safely. Hang these solar powered lanterns across your front porch, balcony, windows, or doorways.

     emergency supplies like this flashlight can help keep you safe on Halloween

    Emergency Supplies as Decorations

    100 hour Candles create a perfect melancholy glow or mood lighting for a creepy Halloween party or scary movie marathon. Just pop the Red Globe Attachment onto your candles and instantly create a red spotlight. Then dress up like a vampire. Your party guests will be horrified when they see the red candles glowing . . . (I’d die on the spot if that ever happened to me . . .)

    Carve a scary pumpkin, and drop a green, red or blue glowstick inside to create a creepy glow from inside…

    Make a creepy Jack-O-Lantern with the most basic of emergency supplies: the humble glow stick

    Emergency Supplies for Warmth

    Hot hands or Hot Spot hand warmers- Keep yourself or your kids warm this Halloween. Stick these hand warmers in your pockets so they don’t get in the way of the festivities. The Hot Spot will keep you warm for up to 2 hours!

    Baby Step Two: Use Emergency Supplies for Halloween Costumes

    With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can make a pretty cool Halloween costume out of your emergency supplies. The best part is that you can still use your supplies again later. Store them in your emergency kit or with your emergency supplies when you’re done.  Here is a list of emergency supplies that could make whole outfits or accessories for your costume. Click on Orange costume names to see how to create the costume.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: safety, baby steps, DIY

  • iStock_000003789903XSmall_Overalls on ClothesLine

    Back in the good ol’ days when DIY was just the way we all lived, people made soap with lye and ash and pig fat. Well, thankfully, DIYing has transitioned into something a little less time consuming, still as satisfying, and probably more effective. Of course, this DIY is not completely from scratch. You’ll still purchase the ingredients for this DIY laundry detergent. But you’ll have the satisfaction of learning a new skill and making a good detergent for less money than you can buy it.

    The benefits of DIY laundry detergent? It’s cheaper and uses less harmful chemicals. And it smells so darn good…

    We suggest mixing everything in a 4.5 gallon bucket and then keeping some in a 15.9 cup Snapware container on your laundry shelf. Here are our two "recipies" for laundry detergent; one powder, one liquid.

    POWDER LAUNDRY DETERGENT

    Mix:

    -          2 boxes (or 32 oz) of baking soda; Approximate cost = $1.24

    -          2 boxes (110 oz) washing soda; Approx cost = $6.34

    -          1 box borax (76 oz); Approx cost = $11.35

    -          3 Castille Soap bars (12 oz), grated (or substitute with Ivory soap. It smells better.); $5.97 (Castille)

    -          1 Fels Naptha Bar (5.5 oz), grated = $.97

    Tips:

    1. We recommend using 2 TBS per load of laundry, you can add more if you feel like it. This recipe makes a lot, so if you just want to test out one load’s worth, cut the recipe accordingly. (One load = 2 TBS of washing detergent.)
    2. Chopping soap bars up is easier and faster than grating, but you’ll have chunks of soap that won’t dissolve as easily as grated pieces. Consider dedicating a grater to soap (ie don’t use it on your cheese!).
    3. You can make your own washing soda. Here's how.
    4. You can tailor this recipe to your family’s favorite scents with add –ins like essential oils.

    You’ll find everything you need in the laundry detergent aisle, except for the baking soda which you’ll find in the baking aisle. And, yes, this homemade detergent can be used on front-loading and HE washers. Some users say you can add it directly to the drum, others say to mix it with a little hot water first and then add it to the drum, and another suggested removing the liquid detergent tray and then putting in your homemade powder detergent normally.

    According to my friend Alissa, this DIY laundry detergent will do at least 2 months’ worth of laundry, depending on how many loads you do. She’s washing for a family of five (including one newborn) so she’s doing one to three loads of laundry daily. If you’re washing less frequently, expect a batch this size to last longer.

    LIQUID LAUNDRY DETERGENT

    Mix:

    -           1 Fels Naptha Bar (5.5 oz), grated  

    -          1 cup washing soda

    -          1 cup borax (8 oz)

    -          5 gallons HOT water

    Directions: 

    Add grated Fels Naptha to one quart hot water. (Make sure it's hot.) Mix until soap is softened, then blend 1 cup at a time in blender on low to mix well. Fill the 5 gallon bucket half-full with hot water. Stir in the blended Naptha mix; add the washing soda and Borax. Add the rest of the hot water (to fill the bucket) and stir again. 

    Tips:

    1. Mix everything in a 5 gallon bucket; make sure it has a lid!
    2.  Use a long handled mixing spoon, large paint stick, or other suitable item for stirring.
    3. This liquid mixture will thicken, so don't worry when that happens.
    4. Fill a jug with half of the liquid laundry detergent and half water. Keep it on your laundry shelf for easy access.
    5. Or, don't dilute with water and use half of the amount recommended below.
    6. This liquid detergent works well in HE machines because it doesn't create suds.

    To Use:

    1/2 cup per load for top loaders

    1/4 cup per load for front loaders

    Let us know how it turns out for you or if you’ve got a favorite DIY laundry detergent “recipe” you’d like to share!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: DIY, laundry detergent

  • DIY Tent Lamp

    |4 COMMENT(S)

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    I love ingenuity – how cool is this improvised tent lamp? Really cool, right? It reminded me of this video, Plastic Bottles Light Up Homes in Manilla Slums, which really moved me. I love invention. It’s so great when someone comes up with a money and resource-saving device.

    I tried it myself, with variations:

    • 16 oz plastic water bottle. I took the label off. It’s pretty directional and not much better than the headlamp on its own. Apart from the pretty effect of dappled light on the wall.
    • 12 oz glass water bottle. Even more directional than the 16 oz plastic bottle.
    • 2 liter plastic soda bottle (label off). Better than the 16 oz, but the spread of light was not as amazing as expected.

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    • Emergency Essentials Mixer Pitcher. (See picture below.) I think this was my fave. The opaque container diffuses the light nicely and leaves enough light for a decent reach.

    If you don’t want to DIY, check out our emergency lighting options. (Our 100 Hour Candles are especially awesome.) But if you do want to build one on your own, all you need is a headlamp (or other light like a flashlight or glowstick) and a plastic water bottle or jug.

    Step One: Fill a plastic bottle or jug with water.

    Step Two: Pour in bleach (optional).

    Step Three: Adjust headlamp to fit securely around container. Or if you’re using a flashlight, place it on the ground next to the container. I aimed the headlamp up, rather than down, because I figured I didn’t need light on the ground.

    Step Four: Bring people over to admire your creation!

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    From what I can figure out, the water diffracts and diffuses the light (or spreads out the beam). These guys agree with me. I read that it works better if you add bleach (but I also read that the bleach is just there to kill bacteria).

    My conclusion is, the more you can diffuse the light, the more of a “lamp” effect you get. A plastic milk jug works really well because it’s large, stable, and portable. Think of all the possible variations…

    Ooh! A five-gallon water storage jug would be awesome!!! You could put one of these big flashlights next to it.

    Quick, somebody try putting a flashlight in a SuperPail (without water) and see if that works. Is it too opaque?

    Here’s to unique, innovative lighting solutions! You never know what you’ll be able to invent in a pinch. Go preppers!

    ~ Steph

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: essential gear, DIY, Lighting, Headlamps

  • Flowers in an old boot

    “If you feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash,” the Internet recently told me, “you live in Washington.” As a native Northwesterner, I can personally vouch for this. Yes, we wear sandals with socks; yes, we assume you’re a tourist if you’re carrying an umbrella; and yes, we can be a little fanatical when it comes to the environment. Which is why this Seattle times article from a few years ago, titled “Turn your old junk into garden treasures,” struck a chord in my rainy little heart. Recycling? Gardening?! And DIY?! Swoon!

    Of course, the trend of repurposing rubbish for use in container gardening is hardly brand new. Home and garden magazines have been telling us for years how cute our herbs would look peeking out of old bathtubs and galvanized watering cans. And using containers you already have on hand both reduces waste and saves money. But before you go ransacking the woodshed, here are a few points to consider.

    Materials. Growing food in containers requires some extra diligence. According to the University of Louisville’s Center for Environmental Policy & Management, one major consideration in safe container gardening is chemical leaching. Fantastic flea market furniture could contain lead paint; galvanized metals may contain zinc or cadmium; and even salvaged lumber has sometimes been treated with creosote or asbestos. Additionally, the container’s color can affect soil temperature (darker = hotter), which might harm small shoots. And materials not meant for outdoor use could break, rot, or dry out.

    Succulents growing in rusty oil can

    Size. Yes, your husband’s collection of Scooby Doo lunch boxes could be put to better use than taking up space in the coat closet. However, a tall tomato or deep carrot won’t really thrive in something so shallow. Consider the size and depth of the container in relation to plants’ needs. The University of Maryland’s Home & Garden Information Center offers a handy set of recommendations by plant. (P.S. They also have an ingenious how-to for a self-watering container out of a five gallon bucket!)

    Drainage. No matter what container you find, be sure it will stand up to a quarter inch drill bit. Proper drainage is crucial and can get tricky with containers not originally meant for garden use. Drill, poke, or punch enough holes to allow for quick drainage; consider lining the bottom of the container with gravel; and, if possible, mount the container on blocks—even one or two inches is better than setting it flush on flat ground.

    So, even if you’re not the sock-with-sandals, guilt-ridden-because-you-threw-paper-away type, think carefully before making that next dump run. And if you think that “reduce, reuse, recycle” needs to be your new gardening mantra, here are a few other ideas to make your greens even greener. Look for later posts on these!

    • Seed harvesting
    • Natural pest deterrents
    • Foraging for mushrooms and edible weeds
    • Sprouting beans and seeds
    • Re-growing from kitchen scraps

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, garden, gardening, recycling, DIY

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