The other week, my family received a bouquet of flowers as a housewarming present. The flowers have been a beautiful centerpiece and they have a wonderful aroma but they also brought with them an unwelcome guest: fruit flies.
Here is an easy way to make your own fruit fly trap to deal with these annoying pests.
- a plastic 1 liter bottle
- glue remover (optional)
Take an empty 1 liter bottle and remove the label:
Remove the lid, and depending on how picky you are, clean the bottle with a glue remover (like goo-gone or sometimes vinegar will work) to remove any remaining bits of the label:
Cut the top off the bottle, just below the bottle neck:
Insert the top of the bottle upside down into the base:
This means the fruit flies will fly in, but not know how to get out.
Finally, place something in the bottom of the bottle to attract the fruit flies. You can use a piece of fruit, apple cider vinegar, or my personal favorite: a small amount of wine:
Place this bottle wherever the fruit flies appear to congregate and, over the course of a couple days, you’ll notice your fruit flies start to disappear.
My husband desperately wants me to call this post “shove it up your flue-hole,” but I’m restraining myself.
Anyway, we are not big users of our fireplace, and with recent colder weather we’ve noticed quite a draft coming from our old flue that doesn’t seal properly. There are several commercially available chimney balloons but it just so happens our flue is a non-standard size and I couldn’t find a balloon large enough.
No problem, though, I decided to make my own!
First, measure the largest part of your chimney and then cut out a piece of cardboard 1″ smaller on each side: (creases in the cardboard are not only OK but also preferred!)
Using bubble wrap or another type of air-filled packaging, wrap the cardboard and tape in place. The bubble wrap should overlap the edges to infill the 1″ space you left in the previous step:
All the sides should look roughly like this:
The end result:
Using the existing creases, fold the cardboard and insert the contraption into the chimney – sorry no photos of this installed as looking up a chimney doesn’t photograph too well. My chimney also happened to have a bit of a ledge for this to rest on, but I’m not sure if that is standard in chimney design- if your chimney doesn’t have a ledge, I had planned on simply using a scrap piece of wood to hold the contraption in place- similar to the commercially available ones.
Holidays are fast approaching and a problem my family often seems to run into is how to hang stockings on a brick wall? This, of course, assumes you don’t have a wood shelf to fasten hooks to, or you have a wood shelf but don’t want to add hooks to it.
Anyway, there are fasteners for bricks available online but they are unsightly and rather expensive for a once a year use. So what’s a good, quick substitute? Binder clips:
Simply use the tension of the open binder to insert it into the space between bricks, and then use it to hang items!
Obviously, this won’t hold anything particularly heavy, so it probably shouldn’t be used for large picture frames or heavy gift-laden stockings, but it works great for a standard Christmas stocking and isn’t nearly as expensive.