Playing Pretend: Reuse For Non-Working Or Outdated Electronics

play pretend with not working computer parts

Is it really necessary to buy plastic versions of the things we have? Children want to play with your cell phone or type on the computer because they see you do it. Pass down your non-working or outdated electronics. Playing pretend is great fun for boys and girls alike.

My kids and their friends were always happy to play with an old cell phone, broken computer key board, even a non functioning remote control. Reusing these hand-me downs can entertain little ones who may not be ready to use the real thing yet. Children might want to play Office. Furthermore, if the kids are into theatre, then reuse these things as props.

play Laptop Notebook Computer

This is my daughter’s version of a laptop notebook computer she made a few years ago.

The above play computer is made from reusing non-working computer parts. The monitor was made from a cardboard try. Any magazine picture can be put on it for the wallpaper. The toolbar and other features can be drawn on by hand.

Use good parental judgment. Some items would not be safe to play with. Also, I’m not suggesting these items be given to very young children.

Chandelier Make-Over: When Switching To Energy Efficient Light Bulbs, Try Frosting Glass Shades To Hide Unsightly Bulbs

DIY Frosted Glass Chandelier Shade

I wanted to “green” up our chandelier but the new light bulbs didn’t look good.

First I tried to achieve a frosted look by using etching cream. (I used Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream. See pictures below.)

Then I thought maybe I could paint the inside but wanted it to be transparent. Also I wanted the resulting look of the chandelier to be neutral.

I found this site ( which describes how they put acrylic wall glaze on windows to give a milky opaque look to increase privacy. I decided to try it on my chandelier shades.

DIY Frosted glass Shade Close-up

I think it turned out terrific!

glass chandelier shade before frosting up-close

This is a before picture.

DIY frosted glass chandelier Shades

chandelier with glass shades before frosting

This is also a before picture. The kids and I like to decorate this chandelier according to the season or holiday.

How to:

Find some acrylic glaze. I went to my local Habitat for Humanity and would you believe they had some. I found Behr brand glazing liquid. You might want to ask around to see if anyone had some in their garage. It only takes a small amount.

Clean the shades and let dry.

Paint a thin layer on the inside of the shades.

The brush bristles left lines in the paint that were noticeable on the top half so I used a paper towel to give it a ragged on look instead. The bottom half has three layers on it. Let dry between coats.

The benefit of this solution is that the glaze can be scrubbed out if you ever change your mind.

etch glass chandelier shades

These shades have the etching cream on them.

etched glass chandelier shade

Here is what it looked like after using the etching cream two times. It has a cool patchy look but not what I want for this project. I tried a third time without sufficient results. At Armour Products website it says that this product is not recommended for large areas. Large is relative; I thought they meant large like a window.

Bedroom Blizzard: Paper Snowflake Decor

Paper Snowflakes; Snowing in bedroom.


Add a little fun to your life by making a winter wonderland in the comfort of your own home.

Pretty Paper SnowFlake

This snowflake was made from an invoice I received. I’ve been collecting these invoices and instead of sending them to be recycled (which is good too) I saved them to make a blizzard. Invoices work because the little bit of writing on the back isn’t overly noticeable. Also, I try to work with the whitest parts.

Paper Snow Flakes

Put a few of the snowflakes directly on the wall. Also, you can hang one snowflake under another.

Bedroom Blizzard: Paper Snowflakes

Hang snowflakes at different levels for a more natural snowing affect. I used salvaged fishing wire to hang some of the snowflakes. I have some fishing wire found during beach clean-ups. Parts that aren’t too tangled can be washed and reused.

Falling Paper Snow Flakes

It’s so lovely to go in that room and look up (or if you are lying on the bed and looking up); it makes you feel like the snow is really falling down all around. I couldn’t capture it in a picture so you’ll have to make it to see for yourself.

How to tips:

Paper snowflakes can be made with scrap paper, invoices, and used printer paper that still has a lot of white left. Have you ever printed stuff from the internet and the last page that prints only has the web address on it?

I save my favorite snowflakes to use again. Store them where they can stay flat such as in an unwanted (salvaged) book. The added benefit is that pressing them in a book flattens them out nicely.

Note: I tried ironing my snowflakes. (That’s not a sentence you see too often.) What I discovered is that some invoices such as from Amazon are printed with a heat printer of some kind; thus, rendering one side of the snowflake black when ironed. Best to test your paper first if ironing.

Don’t Have A Sled: Make Your Own!

Home-Made Sled

Home-made ski sled ready to go!

Isn’t this sled fantastic? Patrick King of Southern Maryland made it himself from a pair of skis he said were slated for the dump. It worked really well too! They looked like they were having a blast.

Why not make your own?

Use a pair of old skis, scrap 2 x 4’s, a scrap piece of plywood and a bit of rope. Plus, padding for the seat would be a good idea.

He said he just screwed the skis to the wood from the bottom. The rest looks pretty straight forward.

I love this kind of clever thinking.

Hunting Rabbits: A Nature Adventure Involving Shooting With A Camera

This was a fun impromptu adventure my daughter and I went on.

Following Rabbit Tracks in the snow.

After seeing rabbit prints on the road, we decided to follow them into the woods.

Following Rabbit Tracks in the snow.

The tracks meandered this way and that way and around trees.

Rabbit Hiding in the woods.

We must have startled him because that’s when we noticed the rabbit dart away.

I took a picture of the rabbit standing very still. See it hiding mid picture?

Found Rabbit after following tracks.

I was able to get closer and then closer still. I took this picture. It turned out that we were tracking an Eastern cottontail. It looked just like the picture in my field guide that I referenced when I returned home.

Rabbit prints/ tracks in the snow

A rabbit’s front paw print is about the size of a grown–up’s thumb print.