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2 Creative Uses for Old Vinyl Window Blinds

When trying to update the look of their home it’s common for homeowners to replace vinyl blinds with more sophisticated window treatments. While you might be tempted to throw those vinyl slats in the trash, you might want to think twice before tossing your old vinyl window blinds.

Here are two creative things that you can do with old blinds.

1. Turn your old blinds into roman shades.

If some of the vinyl slats in your old mini blinds are broken, you can still transform these obsolete items into stylish window treatments. Turning your old blinds into roman shades is a simple process. All you need to do is gather some fabric in the pattern of your choosing, fusible hem tape, fabric glue, and some scissors.

Begin by ironing your fabric to remove any wrinkles. Measure your window, and cut your fabric so that the finished piece is one inch wider and two inches longer than your window opening. Fold both of the long sides of your fabric to create a one-half inch fold, and iron down. Add your fusible hem tape to the inside of the pressed fold, and iron again to permanently fuse the tape.

Repeat with the shorter sides of your fabric, and then use some glue to attach the fabric to the top of your mini blinds. Let the blinds out on the backside of the fabric, and cut the cord that supports each individual vinyl slat. Leave only a few slats, and glue these to the fabric. Hang your new roman shades, and enjoy the repurposed look of your vinyl window blinds.

2. Make some bookmarks for your children.

If you don’t want to reuse your blinds to create new window coverings, you can always use the vinyl slats to create some unique bookmarks for your children.

To complete this project you will need to cut some of the slats free from your mini blinds, and trim them to size. Allow your children to express their unique sense of style by applying wallpaper, stickers, or paint to the vinyl slats.

The best paint for vinyl is a water-based 100% acrylic paint, so be sure that you visit your local craft store to purchase some of this paint before beginning your bookmark project.

Finding ways to reuse your old vinyl blinds doesn’t have to be difficult. Try transforming broken mini blinds into stylish roman shades, or creating unique bookmarks for your children using vinyl window slats. If you’re shopping for new blinds after disposing of your old ones, consider looking into local specialists, such as Sylvans & Phillips Drapes and Blinds, to find the right fit for your home and decor.

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3 Tips For Planting A Wildflower Garden

While immaculate gardens might be aesthetically pleasing, a green thumb doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you find that you are having a hard time keeping the flowers in your garden alive, you may want to consider using wildflowers instead. Turning your garden area into a wildflower meadow is an easy way to get brightly colored flowers without expending a lot of effort.

Here are three tips you can use to ensure your wildflower garden is a success.

1. Get rid of weeds.

Too many weeds in your garden means that flowers have to compete for vital resources. If you want to ensure that your wildflower garden is successful, you must rid the area of weeds before planting. If you aren’t interested in using chemical compounds to kill off unwanted weeds, you can turn to vinegar for help instead.

The acidic nature of vinegar allows it to kill off any plants it comes into contact with. For the best results, put your vinegar in a pump sprayer and apply it to your garden area on a warm day. The vinegar is most effective if it is applied when the temperature is at least 78 degrees.

2. Mix some grass seeds in with your wildflower seed mix.

In order to replicate the look of a naturally growing meadow, it can be beneficial to mix in some grass seeds with your wildflower seed mix. When selecting a grass variety to include in your meadow, it’s helpful to stick with native grasses. Grasses that can be found growing wild in your area will be able to withstand the climate conditions more readily.

It’s important to recognize that grass seeds will become denser over time. To ensure that your wildflowers have enough room to germinate, you will need to till up parts of your garden meadow to ensure the wildflower seeds can make contact with the soil.

3. Carefully consider your seed placement.

Although wildflowers may appear in a random pattern when growing in the wild, you will want to think carefully about your seed placement to ensure you enjoy your domesticated wildflower meadow more fully in the future.

Be sure that you plant the seeds for flowers that will be tall when mature toward the back of your garden area, and leave the front of your garden free for shorter flower varieties. This will ensure that you are able to easily view all the flowers growing in your garden-turned-meadow.

Planting wildflowers is a simple way to add more color to your landscape. Transform your garden into a wildflower meadow and enjoy the benefits these hearty plants can provide.

For wildflower seed mixes, click on the link or do an online search. 

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Three Ways To Maintain A Clog-Free Plumbing System

Keeping your plumbing system free of clogs is one of the most important ways for you to maintain your daily schedule.  If your system becomes backed up, there could be a costly time delay before you’re able to get a plumber out to your residence, possibly causing you to miss work and other major activities.  Taking a few preventative measures can help ensure that you don’t have to deal with clogged pipes.  Use these tips to learn more about what you can do to keep your plumbing system clog-free. 

Cover Your Drains with Strainers

One easy and inexpensive technique you can use to keep your clogs running smoothly is to cover them with strainers.  You can find drain strainers at most home goods or hardware stores, and it is quite simple to affix them to your drains.

The strainers are so helpful because they catch things such as hair or soap chips.  If this debris makes it down your drain, you could eventually have a blockage on your hands.

Keep in mind that you will want to remove the strainers from your drains periodically so you can clean away any debris that has accumulated.  Be sure to empty the strainers into a trash can, rather than run water over them that goes down one of your drains.

Switch To 1-Ply Toilet Paper

Another way you can maintain clog-free pipes is to switch to 1-ply toilet paper.  Using 1-ply toilet paper is a good idea because the tissue is so thin that it readily evaporates once it comes into contact with the water in your toilet bowl. 

Although 2-ply tissue is a popular choice, the paper is thicker and is therefore not as biodegradable as its 1-ply counterpart.  Over time, the tissue that did not evaporate fast enough could gradually cause your toilet to become backed up.

An added benefit of using 1-ply toilet paper is that it is usually more affordable than 2-ply. 

Use The Power Of Hot Water

To keep the leftover grease from pots, pans and dishes from causing a nasty clog, always run hot water down your sinks after each use.  This keeps the grease flowing so that it won’t have a chance to bind to the walls of your pipes and build up.

You have what it takes to keep clogs out of your sinks and toilets.  Start using these tips right away so you can maintain clog-free pipes. And contact plumbing contractors, like Rakeman Plumbing, for any necessary repairs. 

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Beyond Chrysanthemums – Beautiful Fall-Flowering Plants To Brighten Your Landscape

Chrysanthemums have long been the go-to plant for fall garden color, and garden centers are usually overflowing with pots full of their orange, red, yellow, purple and white blooms. As easy and showy as mums are, if you want something different in your garden, there are other plants whose flowers put on quite a show in the fall.

Russian Sage

This Central Asian native sends up voluminous 3- to 5-foot spikes of airy purple-blue flowers on stand-out  grayish-green stems and foliage. A member of the mint family, this is a tough, trouble-free plant that grows well in full sun in well-drained to dry soils. It is hardy to USDA zones 5-9.


A North American native, goldenrod has a bad, but undeserved, reputation for causing hay fever. In actuality, it is dog fennel and ragweed, which bloom at the same time, that are the culprits. Goldenrods come in many varieties that vary in height from 2- to 4-feet. Their gorgeous plumes of golden-yellow flowers look best when planted in masses. They are drought tolerant and care-free when grown in full sun and well-drained soil. Goldenrod is hardy to zones 4-9.

 Red Spider Lily

These striking red spidery flowers emerge from the soil in a burst of color every fall. These sun-loving bulbs grow to 2 feet tall and make excellent cut flowers. When the blooms die back, the leaves emerge. Hardy only in zones 8-10, red spider lilies are a southern pass-along favorite.


Helenium’s yellow, rust and mahogany blooms top 2- to 8- foot tall plants in a long-lasting blaze of fall color. These sun-loving plants are deer resistant, attract birds, and are hardy to zone 3-8. 

Jerusalem Artichoke

This member of the sunflower family not only gives you beautiful flowers, but food as well. Bright yellow blooms grow on stalks up to 8 feet tall. When the plants die back in late fall, it is time to harvest the tubers, which can be eaten like potatoes or pickled raw whole or in chow-chows and relishes.

Toad Lily

Toad lily’s spotted, orchid-like flowers add interest to the garden from late summer to mid-fall. These easy-to-grow plants are perfect for a shady spot in the garden, growing to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Toad lilies are hardy to zones 4-9.

You don’t have to be stuck covering your yard with chrysanthemums for fall color. With a little planning, your fall landscape can be bursting with amazing shows of color from an assortment of easy-to-grow flowering plants. To find out more, speak with a business like Wild Geese Gardens.

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3 Ways To Make Your Patio More Enjoyable

Your patio should be an extension of your house that you can enjoy whenever you want. If you find your patio lacking comfort and protection from the weather, you may be tempted to use it less. If you want to make your patio more enjoyable to use, consider any of these 3 upgrades.

Patio awning

A patio awning from a place like Lehman Awning Co is a material cover you can place over your patio space to protect you against rain and sun. An awning can be retractable, meaning you can roll it out when weather is poor and retract it back when you want to enjoy the sunshine. With a patio awning, you can enjoy being outside even if the weather isn’t agreeable. An awning also helps protect your patio furnishings and plants as an added benefit.

French doors

French doors make accessing your patio much easier. Since both doors open, you can easily move furniture or other items outside to your patio without feeling crammed for space. You can also fit many people through your doors at once, or even opt to leave one French door open at a time for easy access to and from the house. Even when you are out on your patio, you can see and enjoy the activities inside since French doors are known for being completely covered in windows for open views. French doors come in a variety of styles, from antique to cottage designs, so you can find the right doors to match your tastes.

Trendy furnishings

Patio furniture doesn’t have to be all wicker or plastic. There are many modern styles that are strictly designed to be outdoors so you can enjoy your patio in luxury. Choose trendy pieces, such as deep lounge chairs with a side table for relaxing with drinks, or a cushioned chest that you can both use as a seat and to store toys and other items. Consider a loveseat for entertaining guests, or a tall table with bar stools to create a trendy setting when you are having an intimate outdoor meal or drinks.

Your patio should be a location of your home that you enjoy hanging out in. If weather or space are a bother to you when it comes to your patio, you can handle these issues easily. A patio awning protects you in many weather elements while French doors make accessing your patio much easier. Complete your patio transformation with beautiful, comfortable furnishings you’ll love, and you will be amazed at how much more fun your patio can be.

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Learn How To Identify And Safely Remove Poison Ivy From Your Yard

If you are concerned about lawn care and some plants growing in your yard and think that they may be poison ivy, learn how to identify them and safely remove them with the following steps. Once you have finished the project, clear the section where the poisonous plants were once growing and plant grass seed in it so that your property looks nicer.

Identify The Plants

Poison ivy plants have leaves that are shiny and dark green. The leaves grow in groups of three and are pointed. The plants grow as a vine or shrub and have small, yellow flowers growing between the leaves. In the fall, the leaves turn a reddish color and small yellow berries are found between the leaves. 

Use The Following Materials

  • long sleeved clothing
  • rubber gloves
  • safety goggles
  • face mask
  • pruning shears
  • trash bags
  • large shovel
  • weed killer
  • rubbing alcohol
  • cleaning cloths
  • heavy duty detergent
  • soapy water 
  • water hose
  • rake
  • grass seed

Remove The Plants

Before removing poison ivy plants, it is very important to cover all exposed parts of your body. Put on a pair of pants, long sleeved shirt, pair of rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask that covers your mouth to keep yourself protected. If the plants are growing closely together, use a pair of pruning shears to trim the bottom of each stem as close to the ground as you can. Place the plants inside of a trash bag.

If only a few poison ivy plants are in your yard and they are spaced apart, use a shovel to loosen the soil around each one so that you can easily pull the plants upwards and remove the roots from the ground. Secure the bag and dispose of it immediately. Spray weed killer on any remaining stems, being careful not to spray the product on any grass or plants that are growing nearby. The chemicals that the weed killer are made out of can harm any plants that it comes into contact with.

Clean Your Tools And Clothing

The resin that is inside of poison ivy may be on your tools and clothing after you have finished removing the poisonous plants. Disinfect the tools and safety goggles by wiping them off with rubbing alcohol. Rinse each one off with soapy water, followed by plain water. Remove all of your clothing and wash it with heavy duty detergent and hot water. Dispose of the rubber gloves, and face mask. Use a scrub brush and soapy water to clean your shoes. Rinse them off well with a water hose.

Plant Grass Seed

After a few days, the remaining poison ivy stems will have wilted and can easily be pulled out of the ground. Wear a pair of rubber gloves while removing them just in case there is still any resin left on some of the stems. Use a rake to clear the areas where the poison ivy plants once were growing. Sprinkle grass seed liberally over each section and water them with a hose.

Continue watering the grass seed a couple times each day until new grass begins growing. Soon, your lawn will be attractive and you will be able to enjoy spending time in the areas where the poison ivy once was. 

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How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Hardwood Or Tile Flooring

You may think that if you don’t have carpeting that you’re protected from a flea infestation, but the tiny pests can invade hardwood and tile floors as well. If your dog or cat has fleas, it’s important to treat all of your home’s flooring so that you kill the insects in all four stages — eggs, larvae, pupae and adult — of their lifecycles.  Treat the flooring while treating your pets with medication to eliminate the flea infestation.

Here’s how to get rid of a flea infestation in non-carpeted flooring:

Vacuum the Floors

Adjust your vacuum to the bare flooring setting, which is usually the lowest one, and run the appliance over the floors to suck up any fleas in their various stages. Equip the vacuum with its brush or nozzle attachment to thoroughly reach all corners.

If you have area rugs, vacuum both sides of them as well. After vacuuming, either take the disposable bag off and throw it away immediately, or empty the canister into a sealed bag and wash the part with warm soapy water.

The jarring action of the vacuum cleaner should kill most of the fleas, but you don’t want to risk any living and reproducing in the appliance.

Wash the Floors

After vacuuming the hardwood or tile flooring to remove any loose debris, it’s time to wash it with warm, soapy water. Add a few drops of a mild dishwashing soap to a sink full or bucket of water and mix.

Use a mop to wash the hardwood or tile floors, making sure to reach the corners of the room as well. The soapy solution will help to remove any remaining fleas. After going over the floors one or two times, rinse them with plain water to remove any soapy residue.

Allow the floors to thoroughly air dry before going on to the next step.

Treat the Floors with Boric Acid or Diatomaceous Earth

Apply either Boric Acid or food-grade diatomaceous earth, both of which are less toxic to children and pets than traditional flea-killing powders. Both powders kill fleas by damaging their fleas’ waxy exoskeletons, which results in dehydration.

Sprinkle either powder, not both at once, onto the hardwood or tile floors and allow it to rest for up to 24 hours before vacuuming it up.

Keep children and pets away from the area during the treatment. Repeat the entire process, starting with vacuuming the floors, if the flea infestation isn’t gone after two weeks. 

To learn more, contact a pest control supply company like ASE Pest & Weed Supplies

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