Keeping Bugs Out and the Cat In: Replacing Our Window Screens

Suzannah is a serious DIYer, and the creator of the inspiring blog Create/Enjoy. She uses her creativity in every part of her life, from designing her own clothes to transforming her Portland fixer upper home.

Renovating a Fixer Upper


We've been knee deep in reno projects since we moved in in October, so replacing screens has not been on the priority list for most of that time. But, when I got a tour of the Orchard Supply Hardware that opened up in Portland's Central Eastside, I learned that they can re-screen old window screen frames of any kind, and can make new custom screens for our windows!

We were missing ALL of the screens on the ground floor of our house plus one upstairs, and two were broken upstairs. Now that it's summer, we open up the windows and doors wide when it cools off in the evenings, so we had plenty of bugs flying around inside without screens.

It was a HUGE relief to me that I could get screens made nearby, custom, and at a good price--let me share my experience with you!

Ordering Custom Replacement Window Screens at Orchard Supply Hardware

The new Orchard store is right by my work in close-in Southeast Portland and it was a super quick trip over there to order the screens. I think it was 30 minutes round trip including placing the order the first time I went.

I brought measurements for the windows that had never had screens, and I brought in the few old, broken ones I had to the Workbench.

They filled out the screen order form based on sizes of each. Pricing is based on screen material and size. They do have materials there for you to buy yourself and DIY rescreen or even build new, but it can be cheaper to have them do it for you because of waste/efficiency. And, I am all about DIY-ing, but I am not really in the market for learning new skills right now. (Sarcasm.) Some of our screens were less than $30 for a brand new, custom fit screen! I picked them up a few days later.

If you need new screens or just new mesh, I don't know where the heck you can get them at a good price and custom sizes other than Orchard Supply Hardware. But I can recommend them. You can find a store near you here.


Thank you so much to OSH for providing these perfect screens!

You can read her original article here.

Get Out of That Summer Slump With SLIME!

Don’t let the slow days of summer get you down! Grab the kids and try our slime recipe. It’s a fun activity for the whole family.

Ingredients

  • Glass bowl
  • Borax
  • Glue
  • Warm water
  • Food coloring (optional)

Step 1

Grab the glue and squeeze about 4oz (or half a cup) into the glass bowl.

Step 2

Mix 4oz (or half a cup) of warm water with the glue. This will make a 1:1 mix of glue to water.

Step 3

At this point, if you want to make colored slime, add a few drops of food coloring! Be careful though – a little goes a long way!

Step 4

Mix 1 teaspoon of Borax into 4oz (or half a cup) of water. Next, slowly add this solution to the glue mixture you’ve made.

Step 5

Continue to stir in the Borax solution until slime slowly starts to form. You may not need all of the Borax solution to make the slime.

Step 6

Using your hands, knead the slime. It might feel wet and gooey, or even stringy at first. Keep kneading your slime until it holds together.

Once you’ve made your slime, you can play with it all day! Store it in a plastic container to save for playtime later on, too. If you want to make different colors of slime, just repeat the process with new food coloring. Kids will love playing with something they got to make with their own two hands.

Natural Ways to Get Pests to Bug Off

Summer is in full swing and that means spending your days outside enjoying the weather. You’ve created the perfect gathering space. Your garden is in tip-top shape. You’ve mastered your favorite dishes on the grill. So don’t let pesky bugs ruin all your fun. Harsh chemicals and ugly traps can deter anyone from fixing their pest problem. We get it. And that’s why we’ve got great all-natural solutions to send those annoying critters marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah.

Spray the Pests Away
Try an easy, natural spray for all your pest control problems – from snails and slugs to flower-eating insects. We recommend choosing one that is OMRI certified, which means it is certified organic and non-GMO. You can also try an organic insect-killing soap to get rid of unwanted insects naturally without killing the good ones. If you want to go a step further, tackle multiple problems at once with an organic, all-in-one insecticide, miticide, and fungicide to kill all stages of insects.

Get a Little Lucky
They say when a ladybug lands on you, it’s good luck. The same is true for your garden. Keep live ladybugs in your yard to protect your flowers and shrubs from aphids, bugs, and worms without any harsh chemicals. This way you don’t have to worry about your pets or kids being exposed to harmful synthetic substances, and you can enjoy having these bright little creatures right in your own backyard.

Rid Your Home of Rodents
Rodents are not only unwanted pests – they can carry dangerous diseases. Protect your family and pets from moles, gophers, rats, and mice the ultrasonic way. Ultrasonic rodent repellent devices work by emitting high frequency sound waves that cannot be heard by humans or animals of the non-rodent variety. You can place these sound wave generators inside or outside as a humane way to keep rodents at bay.

Manage Those Mosquitos (and Flies)
Nothing is more annoying than a mosquito buzzing in your ear or a fly landing on your food. Traditional mosquito and fly management methods can be harsh and unappealing to the eye, but we’ve got a few all-natural solutions that will also enhance your backyard décor. Try a trendy citronella candle and make a style statement while you repel mosquitoes. Or plant lavender around your yard – mosquitoes hate the smell, but to humans it can be relaxing and fragrant. Flies are obnoxious, but fly traps don’t have to be. Try placing a few decorative fly traps around to discreetly collect bothersome flies with a non-toxic formula.

Whatever your pest problem may be, choosing an all-natural solution is the safest option for your family and pets. Got a more specific problem? Don’t hesitate to stop by your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware and we’ll be happy to help you solve it. Wishing you the happiest, pest-free days this summer.

4th of July Paint Stick Flag

Fly Your Flag

What better way to celebrate your independence this 4th of July than by making your own flag? This project is easy and won’t take all day. It’s even fun to do with the kids. We suggest customizing it a bit. Think about an alternative for the stars (perhaps bolts, starfish, beads or gems). For a polished look, finish with a coat of varnish. Or if you live by the beach, sand paper will give it that weathered look. Have fun. Be creative. Make it yours.

Supplies:
• 12 Orchard Paint Sticks
• Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Spray Paint (red, white, blue)
• 3M Scotch Painter’s Tape
• Gorilla Wood Glue
• Items for Stars: metal washers, buttons, seashells, your child’s handprint, you decide!
• Steel Wool or Sand Paper
• Twine
• Xacto Knife
• Tape Measure or Ruler
• Cardboard (for painting surface)


Let’s Get Started

1) Cut three of your sticks at 14”. Be sure to cut the handles off so they are nice, squared up rectangles. Put them aside for now, we will use these on the back to hold everything together.

2) Using spray paint, paint 5 sticks red and 4 white. Be sure to paint around the edges slightly, but don’t paint the backs. Separate each stick from each other and allow to dry.

3) While you wait, gather your stars. Be creative with it. We’ll use metal washers and buttons in different sizes, but consider using something unconventional, like seashells or your child’s handprint.

4) When your sticks are dry, flip them over and line them up, making sure they alternate red-white-red-white, etc. Create a little space between each stick. Place a dot of wood glue on each stick in three straight rows. Attach the cut paint sticks vertically on top of the wood glue and let dry.

5) Flip your flag over. Put a line of tape approximately 8 inches from the left of the top four sticks, tape off everything from the 6th stick down. Spray this area blue and let dry.

You’re almost done!

6) If you like a weathered look, use steel wool or sand paper and run it along each of the four edges.

7) Attach your stars with glue.

8) Tie your twine through the first stick, tying a knot on the left side and the right side to create a hanging loop.

Now fly your flag with pride and have a Happy 4th of July.



Independence Day Your Way.

Summer’s most memorable holiday is coming up and you might be surprised at how easy it is to create an unforgettable 4th of July in your own back yard. From the little details to the simple essentials, here are our tips to make your party easy, happy, and oh-so-American.

Set the Stage for Celebration

Throwing the best 4th of July party is all about setting the right mood. Surround your guests with Americana décor and celebrate why you’re proud to be an American. Add a little American charm with classic Adirondack chairs, and update your patio pillows so your guests can relax in style. Liven up your table settings with red, white and blue napkins and festive plates to spread the charm.

Americana All Over

Why not embrace the Americana spirit from floor to ceiling? Start by livening up your porch. Grab a plain coir doormat, tape off stripes or a pattern of your choice, and brush on some red, white and blue latex paint. Next, sprinkle decorative American flags anywhere and everywhere. Stick them in your plants, put them in drinks, or even in mason jars filled with red, white and blue candy for Americana-style centerpieces. Super simple, but your guests will eat it up!

Raise a Glass (or a popsicle) for Independence

Add a splash of patriotism and keep your drinks cold in the summer heat with fruity, festive ice cubes. Fill a few ice trays with water and drop blueberries and raspberries in to each cube. You can do the same with the kiddos by making your own popsicles too. Once frozen, keep everything cold with an ice bucket or add a little retro style with this Coca Cola cooler. It’s a fun conversation starter and keeps the Americana theme rolling.

But just keep in mind, throwing the best Independence Day celebration doesn’t have to be complicated. At the end of the day the most important thing is taking this opportunity to get together with friends, family and loved ones. No matter how you decide to celebrate or decorate, your neighbors at Orchard are here to help and wish you a very Happy 4th of July!