This week on Hey Riley: Saving space, adding privacy, and repelling mosquitoes! Plus more homesteading tips and tricks you’ll love…
This is our very first installment of Hey Riley! You send us your questions, your tips & tricks, your trial & errors, and we’ll sort through and post them so everyone can share in the advice giving!
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Homesteading Tips and Tricks
Hey Riley – Session 1
Wood Stake Hack
Hey Riley: Last time I went camping I was trying to drive a small wooden stake into the ground with a hammer. Let me tell you, this is not as simple as it looks because you’re already at an awkward angle, and you’re trying to get the aim just right. I amended this issue by placing a larger scrap of wood on top of the stake, and then hitting it. I basically increased the size of my target, and had no issues at all. All the stakes were easily driven into the ground without being damaged. You can do the same thing for plastic stakes too. – B.F.
Find a Stud
Hey Riley: I am a new homeowner, and I have a lot to learn! A recent trick I learned was for stud-finding. We wanted to hang some pictures, but didn’t have a stud finder, so we used a compass instead! You can hold the compass against the wall and run it across the area. The magnetic pointer will point in the direction of nails or screws in the wall, allowing you to identify where your studs are. -D.K.
Saving Your Woven Chairs
Question: I have an old pair of cane seat chairs. One is gorgeous, but the other has a gaping hole. I am considering restoring them. Do you think it is possible? Do you think this something I could do myself? -S.M.
Answer: The process of caning is on the difficult side, and it is extremely time consuming. If you want to give it a go, by all means please try to restore it! You could find a caning kit online. You could also look into getting it fixed professionally if you would like to pay for it. (It gets expensive). My only other solution for you is to refinish it by alternative means. The chair won’t look “good as new,” but you could finish the seat with a different material and still be able to use it. I think you’d like this DIY Woven Chair Tutorial!
Add A Filter
Hey Riley: My garage has clear windows. I don’t want anyone snooping inside so I covered them with a nice window film so that light can still pass through. Bonus, these films come in solid print and in pretty designs!
Reinvent The Wheel
Hey Riley: I have this great big plastic storage bin that I lug around whenever I have a project. This bin needed wheels, so I poked some small holes in the sides and used cable ties to attach them. It worked! I can now wheel around the bin just fine, and my days just became that much simpler. Cable ties can fix so many things, I just love them. -W.E.
Hey Riley: I’m happy to report that our move went smoothly! We saved a lot on packing materials by using our clothes and soft linens to protect all the breakables. I have an abundant supply of t-shirts, so I wrapped up each and everyone of my goblets, mugs, and glasses in them. This saved on space, padding materials, and not a single thing broke. -J.K.
The Man in the Mirror
Hey Riley: The other day I thought I saw a leak in my faucet. It was either my faucet or the garbage disposal… either way I had to crawl on my hands and knees to go back and fix it. It was dark and cramped, so I ended up having to use a flashlight and a hand mirror to get to the problem. After this struggle, it was an easy fix! -A.R.
Plant some Privacy
Hey Riley: I was in need of a little privacy for my apartment balcony so I decided to grow an all natural one! I used some fast-growing vines to quicken the process. Green beans or morning glories work well for this. You can also use little trees, or larger plants. Whatever you like! – B.A.
Question: It is summer and I plan to spend the whole entire season outdoors. Are there any flowers, herbs, ANYTHING that will keep mosquitos away to make summer a little more bearable?
Answer: Mosquitoes do love that summer heat… Fortunately for you they do NOT like nicely scented things. I’m talking about nice natural scents, like peppermint, lavender, and even basil. Plant some aromatic herbs in your yard to keep mosquitoes at bay. You can read my full list of Natural Mosquito Repellent Ideas here.
Hang Me Up To Dry
Hey Riley: I keep a clothesline out in my backyard. It actually serves many useful purposes! Not only do I dry clothes, but I also use it to prop up my yard tools while I’m working (they hit just at the right height to keep me & my old back from bending down). I’ve also recently started collecting clothespins because those have so many extra uses too! I like to use them as chip clips. I have even glued a few to the inside of my pantry wall to hold coupons and sauce packets. I’ll let you know if I think of more! -M.O.
Got a question or a handy tip of your own? Send it to editor (at) homesteading.com and it may appear in the next column!
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