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Best Tested Pinterest ideas

Ah Pinterest, how would I survive without you?  Pinterest is now my go-to site when I’m looking for creative inspiration, a recipe or how to D.I.Y almost anything.  Unfortunately, with the popularity of Pinterest and the sheer number of pins out there, it’s hard to know whether some of those pretty pictures lead to quality information, or pipe dreams.  Here’s a round-up of ideas I found on Pinterest that I have actually tried and would recommend.

By: Julia Madill

PINS FOR THE CRAFTY SET TISSUE PAPER LANTERNS This one is from that crafty ex-con we all know and love, Martha Stewart.  I made two of these lanterns when I lived in an apartment with atrocious lighting fixtures and wanted a inexpensive and temporary way to jazz them up.  This project delivered ten-fold.  The materials cost less than $10 and it only takes about an hour to make one.  These lanterns are the very definition of cheap and cheerful!



Martha’s lanterns above, my attempt below.



I made a few cards with tree images similar to the ones above from 60+North (sorry, forgot to document with a picture!), but I could see this idea being used for any occasion.  All you need is some card stock, yarn or embroidery thread, a needle and you’re set to go!  I think geometric shapes would work best, but you could even experiment with simple cross-stitch patterns.  I definitely want to try this one again some time.



I jwashing-lego-2ust recently brought home all of the childhood Lego my brother and I acquired throughout our respective childhoods. My parents saved it for future generations (and I’m glad they did), though for the past 30 years it has sat in a wooden toy chest in a damp basement. I was afraid to lift the lid thinking a family of mice, or a least a few spiders must have taken up residency in there (after all, the box contains the instructions to make a pretty kick-ass castle).  Turns out the worst inhabitant of said toy chest is a stubborn musty smell.  I thought maybe I could throw it in the dishwasher, but after seeing this pin (originally from the Gettin’ By blog), I gave those musty bricks a spin in the old front-loader.   I used regular laundry detergent but added baking soda to combat the odour and a towel to attack the horrible clattering of a million tiny plastic bricks. It worked quite well, but the drying part is tricky. You’ll need space (away from tiny hands) to lay the pieces out to air dry. I don’t need to tell you not to put this in the dryer, do I?


fad6d3d7b45dd71be88e05ffc49499f0Allright, so homemade baby wipes might induce eye-rolling, but I was a new mum all concerned about harsh chemicals and perfumes in cleaning products when my daughter was born.  Now that she’s two and a half I’ve relaxed quite a bit (What’s that?  You ate a crayon?  Enh… you’ll be fine). I still think this is a handy tutorial.  The toughest part to this D.I.Y is finding the specific paper towel (they are serious when they say Bounty works best) and an appropriate-sized container. I used a few drops of Burts Bee’s baby wash and some coconut oil for my baby wipes. You can control the amount of cleanser and moisturizer in your wipes and customize them for cleaning off your make-up, washing sticky toddler hands or wiping a newborn bottom.



DepthOfFieldEffect I think one of the nicest effects you can achieve with a good camera is a shallow depth-of-field.  If you don’t know much about photography, this is a setting that basically keeps your subject in sharp focus and blurs the background (or foreground as it may be). I don’t have a great camera, but I have photoshop so I gave this cheater tutorial from a try to fake a shallow depth of field. It worked pretty darn well!

ThreeQuarter1ThreeQuarter1 copy

My photo before and after.

Yes, I know Instagram has us all adding vignettes and tilt-shift effects at the click of a button, but this simple to follow tutorial gives you a lot more control over your effect.  Of course, you need Photoshop to do this and for the cost of the software you might as well by yourself a fancy camera!


ringtone Ok, I have an iPhone 4S which is practically prehistoric at this point, so forgive me if newer technology has surpassed this tutorial from  All I know is the instructions worked, and I now I get to hear Joan Jett sing “Bad Reputation” every time someone calls me.







PipeCleanerBeads I got this simple ornament idea from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen and it ended up being fun activity for my two year old. She wasn’t big on making candy canes, but the idea of stringing beads onto pipe cleaners to make bracelets was a big hit. The supplies are cheap and easy to find at any dollar or craft store.  As well as a fun craft activity this can also be a teaching opportunity to explore colours, counting, and work on those fine motor skills. Just be careful of the sharp ends on those pipe cleaners and expect to find little pony beads underfoot when you least expect it.




As a working parent, I’ve got to say the morning routine is the hardest part of my day. Two-year-olds have zero sense of time and a lot of opinions.  Despite the morning rush,  I  still insist on sitting down for breakfast.  The morning is a lot easier when there is a fast and healthy breakfast option at the ready. I’ve found two great make-ahead oatmeal recipes on Pinterest that I’ve made many times with great success and toddler approval.


Overnight Refrigerator oatmeal  from is a great option for summer when fresh berries are cheap and a cold breakfast is welcome. Best of all, when packed in mason jars like in the picture, it keeps for days and is highly portable.  I mostly made mine with fresh blueberries and maple syrup, but I’ve had great results with banana/cinnamon combinations as well as frozen berries.


Overnight Banana Steel cut Oats from might not sound like something a kid would like, but man-oh-man, this stuff tastes like dessert!  I found I needed to add a little more water to the recipe (about 1/4 cup) to prevent it from getting too thick and I topped it with a little maple syrup for some extra deliciousness. This is a slow cooker/crockpot recipe which makes time-consuming steel-cut oats a breeze as they literally cook in your sleep.

I hope you find these ideas as useful as I have. Don’t forget to pin great ideas from the Motherboards too! Julia.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. liesbeth #

    great post. I am getting on washing that Lego right now. Never thought about tossing it in the washing machine. Also went through the photo shop tutorial on creating the blur. Very helpful indeed!

    January 21, 2015

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