DIY Ribbon Spool Storage Organizer / The Best Hack Ever

DIY ribbon spool rack
ribbon spool rack hack

Do you need help with your ribbon spool storage and organizing? No worries, I have the best DIY hack ever.

This organizing hack is simple and ridiculously inexpensive, and you won’t believe how well it works.

Over the years, I have tried several different methods using rods, bins, and different kinds of boxes, and nothing seems to work well.

It always seems to end up a big mess.

I’ve used This ribbon hanger and organizer for quite a while.


My old ribbon spool rack looked nice on the wall, but it wasn’t very efficient.

What I don’t like about these types of ribbon hangers is when you need to take out a ribbon or put a new ribbon spool in, it’s a major ordeal!

Let me show you how you can make this ribbon rack in just a few minutes, and it will only cost you $2.

ribbon spool rack materials


You’ll need your purchase curtain rod that you can find at your hardware store, Walmart, or you can get them online HERE.

  • I used an 18 inch to 28 inches rod, but feel free to get any size you want.
  • You will need the hardware that it comes with.
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wall space that you want to hang it on.
  • A level, if you have one, will come in handy to ensure the rod is hanging straight. (You can always measure from the top of the ceiling and get the exact measurement).


1- Prepare the Wall Space

The first thing that you’ll need to do is prepare your wall space.

2- Find the wall studs (optional)

The screws don’t need to go into a stud, but my husband said that if you can find at least one stud to put it in, that would be ideal.

He marked the studs with painter’s tape, and I used the stud on the right to put hardware into.

ribbon spool hanging

3- Mark Screw Placement Holes with Pencil

Using a pencil, measure, and mark where you want the rod to hang.

ribbon spool hanging

4- Applying Hardware

Place the first hanger hardware in place. 

Using a measuring tape and level, determine where the other hanger must go. Apply the screw into the top holes only.

ribbon spool haning

Before you put the second screws in, attach the rod and stand back to look and see if it is hanging straight.

ribbon spool screwsIf all is good, apply the 2nd screw into the bottom holes of the hardware.

ribbon spool holder


The curtain rod will sit 2 ½ inches away from the wall, allowing small and large spools to sit on top without falling through.

Place the ribbon spools on top of the curtain rod.

ribbon spool holder

A 28-inch rod will hold up to 43 spools of ribbon! Now that is pretty cool, don’t ya think?

Place another rod below, to the side, or make a longer hanger if you would like.


Here is a tip to help keep the ribbon from unrolling.

diy ribbon spool hackI found these little tiny applique pins that work like a charm.

diy ribbon spool hack***The container that the pins come in is not great. I find that a re-purposed mint tin works great.

I use these tins to store all kinds of things.

They’re not as long as a standard sewing pin, so they don’t stick out where you can see them.

mini pins ribbon spool hackFind the end of the ribbon and slide the pin into the ribbon and into the ribbon spool, and it will keep it in place.

What To Do With Ribbon That Doesn’t Have a Ribbon Spool?

Perhaps you have some ribbon that you’ve bought by the yard. It’s not on a spool.

No worries. I have a good solution for that as well.


ribbon spool bolt

You can take comic boards and cut them down into little bolts to wrap them around.

Cut them 5 x 2.5 inches. (6.5 x 13 cm).

Tape the end of the ribbon to the board and start wrapping.

Then, insert a little pin to keep it in place. (I do the same thing with my CUSTOM-MADE BIAS TAPE).

ribbon spool hack binThis is where I store my RIBBON SPOOL BOLTS. These little plastic bins are the BEST!

plastic containers

They have adhesive on the back, and they stick really nicely to the inside of a cabinet door or the wall.


So that’s all there is to it.

This is a good opportunity to go through your ribbon box, or however you’re storing your ribbon spools, and keep the ribbon that you really like, donate or share the ones that you really don’t want anymore.

We all have different sewing spaces, different sewing needs, and supplies, but when you make your sewing space a place where you can enjoy being, it is really important and makes a massive difference in your sewing experience.



Have fun crafting!





Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

5 Simple Ways To Organize Your Scarves | Dollar Tree Hacks

scarves main image
wadded up scarves

If you’re like me and have a collection of scarves, knowing how to organize and store them can be a bit challenging. In this tutorial, I am going to show you 5 simple and INEXPENSIVE ways to organize all your scarves.

My scarves used to just end up wadded together in a wicker basket. They got all tangled and wrinkled and it was hard to find what I was looking for. I have tried several ways to hang, fold and store my scarves, and these 5 techniques seemed to be the most practical and effective.

What I love about these DIY organizing projects is that you can get the supplies at Dollar Tree or you may already have these items already in your home.

1-Shower Curtain Ring Scarves Hanger

I really like this method because

  • It takes up less space in your closet
  • You don’t have to have wall space to hang it
  • The materials and items to make it are inexpensive and accessable
  • If you have a lot of scarves, you can hang multiple filled hangers next to each other
scarves hanger and rings
hanging scarves


  • Apply the shower curtain rings to the hanger (I find 12 per hanger is a good amount).
  • Thread the end of the scarves into the rings and hang so the ring is in the middle of the scarf. **If your scarves are extra long, fold them in half first.

2-Plastic Cups Scarves Organizer

Now, this is as simple as you can get, and it is very cost-effective. Once again, you can pick up a bag of BIG plastic cups at the dollar store. The only drawback to this method is it does take drawer space. You could put the cups inside a short box as well.

What you’ll need:

  • Large plastic cups
  • Drawer or box to put them in
  • Tape to adhere the cups to the drawer (masking tape or duct tape)



  • Apply some rolled tape to the bottom of the cups. This will help keep the cups from shifting around and tipping over in the drawer.
  • Arrange the cups inside a drawer or box. Fold the scarves lengthwise first and then roll them up and place them in the cups. (One scarf per cup)

3-Shower Ring Grid Scarves Holder

This is another inexpensive method and space-saving method.  You can make multiples and hang them in your closet next to each other if you have a lot of scarves.

What you’ll need:

  • 10 shower curtain rings
  • 1 pants hanger
  • Acrylic paint (optional)
  • Sponge brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • E-6000 glue or a Gorilla glue that dries clear
  • Super glue
  • Wax paper



4-Towel Rod Scarves Holder

This is another simple method; however you will need wall space to hang it, and you can’t fit as many scarves on the rack as the others.

What you’ll need:

  • Wooden towel bar
  • White spray paint
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Electric drill/screwdriver
  • Wall anchors


5-PVC Piping Scarves Organizer

This method is similar to the plastic cup method, but a little more durable and sturdy. It does take some more time and a little more money unless you have some PVC pipe kicking around. You will need access to a saw.

What you’ll need:        

  • PVC cut to the height


Have fun getting organized!





Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

How To Assemble and Organize PDF Sewing Patterns

PDF sewing pattern assembly

In this post, I am going to give you some tips on how to assemble and organize your PDF sewing patterns. Using digital PDF sewing patterns can:

  • Save you money
  • They are easy to access and archive
  • Open up a lot of online sewing pattern choices

In a previous post, I showed how to download and print your PDF patterns. Now I’m going to go over how to put them together and store them.

Play Video

I used to have a drawer full of miscellaneous patterns that were pinned together and it was a mess. Then I tried storing them in small white envelopes, and then I put those in a pretty white box with a lid, but that didn’t work so well for me.

Because the envelopes were small, the bundles were BULKY and it took a lot of time to get the cover to look nice. I’m going to show you how I organize my patterns.

Let’s go over how to assemble your PDF sewing pattern

If you’re lucky, the pattern will have a diagram guide somewhere on the pattern on how to put the pages together. Some instructions are more complex than others, depending on how many pages are included to form one pattern piece.

After you have printed out the pattern, there are a few things to look for before assembling the pattern.

Materials & items needed

  • Any special cutting instructions
  • Seam allowance
  • Size indicator/chart
  • Special tools or equipment needed
  • Fabric and thread recommendations
  • Presser feet or sewing machine attachments needed

Suggested Items Needed To Assemble and Organize PDF Patterns


Before doing anything, make sure the pattern has printed the correct size. Most patterns will have a test square to measure to see if the pattern has printed true to size. VERY IMPORTANT!

Using the diagram from the instructions, line up the sheets of paper in the correct order.

On my patterns, I use a blue box on most patterns to indicate the connecting points on the sheets of paper. To reduce bulk, cut off one side and the bottom of the sheet (on the blue line). I like to use an Exacto knife, but you can just use scissors.

Attach the sheets together by using clear tape or masking tape.

Make sure things are lined up correctly and then cut out the size you need.

The beautiful thing about digital patterns is that, if you are going to make up the same item but need a different size, you can just print the pattern section again and cut out that size needed.

Storing & Organizing PDF Sewing Patterns

There are many ways to organize your patterns. Find the system that works best for your situation, sewing space, and is to your liking.

This is the way that I find works best for me.


I use simple manilla envelopes that measure 9 x 12 inches and have a clasp. You can get it at a good price HERE.

Instead of printing a separate sheet for the cover, I just glue the front sheet of the pattern to the envelope. It will have the title of the pattern, and usually a photo. It’s pretty simple and straight forward.

Then I store them in these cardboard magazine organizers. I suppose if you wanted to get real fancy, you could buy the more sturdy plastic organizers.

If you have a ton of patterns, you can sort them in different containers with the categories written on the boxes. (i.e.: BABY, TODDLER, HOUSEHOLD PATTERNS, WOMEN, etc.).

I hope that was helpful and inspires you to take advantage of the goodness of digital PDF sewing patterns and gives you a few ideas on how to get them organized.


Happy sewing and organizing!






Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Hello Spring – It’s PLANNER Sticker Time

Hello Spring! (It’s about time isn’t it?) For all you PLANNER STICKER people and for those of you who like to place a cute sticker on your notes and letters, here are some fun spring stickers to add to your collection.

I am so excited to finally have these stickers designed and printed! Those of you who use my printable calendars, may recognize some of these images. It was my intention to get these out much sooner than this, but life happens.

There are so many ideas spinning in my head, but I thought it would be fun to put out some fun spring images. I love to watercolor and have been dappling in it for several years hoping someday to create STICKERS. Well, thanks to the Silhouette, I am on my way! The road has NOT been easy. I had to learn the software and all the quirky little things to get it to cut out correctly. Thanks to my wonderful sister, who is a master, for taking the time to tutor me.

I am switching gears a little from pattern design (don’t worry I will be back) to planner stickers and planning systems. My hope and intention are to bring some color and simple unique artwork to the planner sticker world.

Here is a little glimpse of what I have going so far

If you are not a planner, you can embellish your cards, stationery, and notebooks with a little splash of color.

In the near future, I will have printable versions available for those who like to DIY!


The stickers and printable calendars are available in my Etsy shop, jHowell DESIGNS, (formerly AUTHENTIC U).

Here is a coupon to use in my shop

Just add the code WATERCOLORYOURWOLD, for a 30% off discount on any $10 purchase. The best deal is to order the 4 sheet bundle!!!

Stay tuned for more stickers and other fun planning ideas.

Enjoy the spring!




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Painters Tape: 6 Handy Household Uses

painter's tape

Although painter’s tape is mainly used to mask off areas that should not be painted, I have found 6 other handy ways to use it around the house.

Painters tape is a type of pressure-sensitive tape made of thin and easy-to-tear paper that has an easily released pressure-sensitive adhesive.

It is available in various widths and can be found in blue or green, depending on what brand it is.

I use it all the time and I keep a roll in my kitchen utility drawer for easy access.

My husband knows not to mess with my roll of tape.

I told him to get his own or to be sure to return it. Just a little frustrating when I go to use it and it’s not there.

Now I am sure there are many other ways to use this beautiful blue strip of stickiness, but here are some handy ways I use it.

1- Dating and labeling food storage containers

Have you ever put leftovers in the freezer and a week later wondered what the heck it is?

You seriously think you will remember, but when food freezes, it takes on a new look. Right?

I rip off a little blue tape, grab my Sharpie marker, and write on it.

I write what it is and sometimes I write the date.

Not only is it good to know what it is, but it comes in handy to know how long this food item has been hanging out in the freezer or fridge.

2- As a chip bag clip

If you don’t down a bag of chips in one sitting, a little strip of blue tape actually works really well to close it back up.

I will admit I was a little doubtful about whether it would work or not, but it does.

The same tape will keep working even after opening and closing it multiple times—no more need for all those random chip clips.

I used to use a close pin, but this works better.

3- Label plastic bins and tubs

If you are not picky about how your storage tubs are labeled, painter’s tape is a great quick way to tell you what’s inside.

I use this method when I am organizing. If it is a bin that I will be keeping long-term, I go back and make a more professional label.

Using the tape makes it easy to peel off if I use the bin for something else.

4- Sewing guide

For those of you who sew, painter’s tape will now be your new friend.

When the seam allowance is much broader than your sewing machine guide displays is a great time to rip off a piece of painter’s tape.

Simply measure the width and apply it to the sewing machine arm.

Works like a charm.

It works really well to mark where you need to topstitch.

Instead of using chalk or a fabric pen, you can mark the fabric nicely where you need to sew.

You can also mark on the tape where you need to apply elastic or buttons.

5- Sticky note replacement

Instead of using a sticky note pad, grab a piece of blue tape.

Leave a little message to someone you love, or leave a little reminder for yourself of something you need to do.

What I love about this tape is that it doesn’t leave any residue, and it can be moved and used again.

You can even use it on paper without tearing it when you remove it.

6- Household product dating

You may be wondering why you need to put a date on your household products.

Well, this is something that I have been doing for many years.

  • It helps you know how long it takes to go through something.
  • You don’t overstock your storage. Have any of you kept buying a particular item in fear of running out, only to find out you only go through it six months or even yearly? I have. Not only do you get stuck with a bunch of product, you have wasted money.
  • Awareness. It may be very enlightening for you to see how long items last.
  • Helps with budgeting.
  • You won’t have to go without something you need.

I am all about having good food storage and items on hand.

However, I have lightened up a bit because I was overbuying and, in many cases, waiting for food and products.

This method of dating products has helped.-

You can apply a strip of painter’s tape to the box or container or write the date on the package with a marker.

I hope this has given you a few ideas on how to be a little more organized and thrifty by using painter’s tape.

Enjoy your day!




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

How To Fold and Organize Socks Efficiently

If you find it challenging to find a pair of matching socks from your drawer, I am going to show you how simple it is to fold and organize your socks quickly and efficiently.

In what state is your sock drawer?

They say, “the way you do something, is the way you do everything”. So, what is that saying about you if your sock drawer is a heap of unmatched socks? Most likely you will find this same thing showing up in other areas of your life. Something to think about! If you want to change your life, start with your sock drawer. I know this sounds crazy, but seriously, if you do something as simple as organize your sock drawer, it will change the way you do everything!

Besides feeling a sense of ahhhhh every time you open your organized sock drawer, by organizing your socks you will:

  • save time by not having to search for a matching pair of socks
  • save money (because you will know how many socks you have instead of having a stray sock floating around somewhere in the house and having to buy new ones)
  • you will have a sense of clarity and order

This technique I am going to show you below is simple, quick, and does NOT take a lot of time.

here is how it is done

  1. Find the match to your sock and place them on top of each other, matching heels and toes.
  2. Fold toes up 1/3 of the way, then fold the cuff over that.
    For longer socks, fold in half, then in half again.
  3. Stack and put them in your drawer right away.

The key is to find some kind of little box to keep the socks contained. There are a lot of options. It doesn’t have to be fancy or cost a lot of money! The option above is very affordable and is available here.

There is a plastic type that folds up like the one above. You can get them here.

Or Ikea sells a set of drawer boxes like this one. (I love Ikea)!

Or you can just use a simple shoe box without the lid. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something to keep the socks contained and in a smaller area.

Fold, stack and store!

Simple as that.

Give it a whirl and see how your life changes.

By the way, how is your utensil drawer?  That is next ha, ha.






Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

HOLISTIC LIVING: Healthy Travel Tips

holistic living

I went on a little vacation this week, and as I was gathering all my goods, I thought it would be a fun idea to show you some things I do and some things I take along with me. Here are some healthy tips and tricks that I do to maintain SOME holistic living while traveling.

holistic living

Notice that I said “some”. When you are out of your routine and in a different place it can be challenging to do all the things you normally like to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  I suggest you back off a little and do the BEST YOU CAN and enjoy yourself.  Don’t freak out because maybe you had to resort to eating a little “fast food” or that you didn’t get your daily run in.

Know and trust that your body is very resilient and it will bounce back quickly once you get back to your normal routine. I say this like I don’t worry about this stuff, well I still do somewhat but have learned to not let it ruin my vacation.

I bring with me and implement the things I can, and then enjoy myself.  Yes, you will have to adapt a little, but that is good for you!

Here are a few tips & tricks:

Medications, Supplements, and Tinctures

Make sure you have all your needed medications and supplements! I learned this the hard way. On the last trip I went on I ended up getting food poisoning. Without going into too much detail, because of a particular condition I experience, I am supposed to up my dose of hydrocortisone significantly if I experience any kind of illness or food poisoning. My doctor had given me some shots with cortisone in them in case this ever happens. (I ended up in the emergency room when I had food poisoning before, pretty much because I couldn’t keep the cortisone pill down).

Anyway, I forgot to pack the shots for this trip. DANG, I was sooooooo sick. I would rather go through childbirth than this. Not fun being that sick in a hotel room.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

If you have a “daily” supplement container, it is a good idea to tape it closed like I have done here in the photo. I have had it open up and spill all over my purse way too many times before I learned to just tape it closed. I use painter’s tape.

holistic living

Don’t forget any NEEDED medications, supplements, or tinctures. To save room, I get the small snack zip bags, label them, and put the capsules in there. If I think I may need the whole jar, I will just take the whole thing. Put them all in a BIG zip bag.

holistic living

Healthy Snacks

Throw a few snacks in a little zip lock bag for those times at the airport or in the car when your sugar levels may drop and you need something to eat. If you have something handy, you will be less tempted to buy junk food, and save some money.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

If your hotel room has a fridge in it, go to a grocery store and buy a few healthy snacks to have on hand. I like to get some string cheese, rice crackers, apples, nut & seed mix, carrot & celery pre-cut mix, bottled water, and grapefruit.  Yep, that is sauerkraut in there. I got that for a little extra probiotic action for my gut this week. It was a small bag so even though I didn’t finish it, the little I had served me well.

Even if the place you are staying has breakfast available, it is nice to have some of your own alternatives. (The snacks you bought at the store are probably better for you than the instant pancakes, powdered eggs, or sweet rolls they have available). Now, if there is no other option, do the best you can. They will usually have oatmeal packets or yogurt and perhaps some fruit if you are lucky.

If you are really feeling vigilant, I know some who take their blenders with them. I really don’t want to be hauling my Blendtec on the plane. Although I did consider taking my son’s Magic Bullet. Oh, how nice a green smoothie would taste on vacation!

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living


What about grapefruit? When traveling, most likely you will be eating out more frequently than normal, and perhaps eating foods that are a little more heavy, rich, and fatty. Grapefruit is a good source of fiber, and it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber both of which can help improve digestion and constipation. Who wants to be constipated while traveling?

After eating a heavy dinner, I like to come back to the hotel and have some grapefruit. I peel it just like an orange. You are going to love the aroma as you peel it. Now some of you may never have eaten a grapefruit like this, but trust me, it grows on you and is quite a yummy snack. There are VERY good properties in the pith (white stuff around the grapefruit) so don’t pull it all off, eat it. When I eat a grapefruit, I don’t get bloating, or indigestion, and I feel much lighter.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living


It is so important to stay hydrated and so easy to forget to drink water while you are traveling. I bring along my own water bottle and pack it empty, so that when I get to the hotel I can fill it up and have it handy. It helps me to remember to drink water if I have my water bottle there.

If you don’t want to pack your own, make sure you at least buy some bottles of water to have handy. I buy a few gallons of water and bring them back to the hotel. Most likely you don’t want to be drinking the water from the bathroom tap!

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living


Although you may not be able to attend your favorite yoga class or go for a bike ride, there are some ways you can still move your body while traveling or while on vacation.

  • Skip the elevator and take the stairs
  • If the hotel you are staying at has a gym, use it
  • Go for a walk and do a little exploring
  • Take an online yoga class in your hotel room

It can be so easy to go several days without exercising while on vacation. It doesn’t have to be a serious workout, just move your body in some way. You will regret it if you don’t.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

Herbal Teas

This is another thing I bring with me. I always take some Yarrow tea with me. This is one of my “go-to’s” when it comes to any kind of illness. Also good to help detox.

When I travel I take a little zip package of a blend of herbal teas that I like, usually Yarrow, Peppermint, and Raspberry leaf. I know it looks like I am smuggling some drugs or doing crazy stuff, nope just herbs.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

Sometimes, the hotel will have some herbal teas, but not always. What I do is go down to the lobby and get some hot water where they have it for coffee, and fill up a cup. I take it back to my room, put in about a teaspoon of dried herbs, and let it steep for a few minutes. Then I get out my trusty stainless steel straw that filters out the herbs and viola, a nice cup of tea.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

Essential Oils

I saved the best for the very last. As some of you may already know, I LOVE ESSENTIAL OILS and I don’t travel without them.

essential oil case I have a little mini case that I have in my purse at all times, but that is not enough. I like to take as many as I can, AND my diffuser.

Go HERE if you want more information on this little travel case.

There is nothing like being cramped up in a hotel room that is stuffy. Why not diffuse your favorite oils to make it feel and smell a little more like home. I have a small travel diffuser that I pack.

When packing my oils, I have a difficult time deciding which ones to bring. I take the most essential ones and pray I won’t need any of the others. Trust me; these oils have come in handy. On this trip, I was so glad I brought the big bottle of lavender because I got a little too much sun on my back and was able to have my husband apply some on my back. Works wonders.  You never know when there will be a need for them physically or emotionally. LOVE EM!

Hopefully, this will be helpful for those of you who want to maintain some kind of healthy balance when on vacation.

What is a tip you have learned and do to stay healthy on vacation? I would love to hear about it!


Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

26 Day Detox – Getting Rid Of The Clutter


Here I am on day 21 and into PHASE 4 of the 26 day detox. Still going strong and feeling pretty good even after the liver and gallbladder flush, which I will tell you about in more detail below. I just wanted to point out that doing this detox is not only clearing toxins from my body, but I am also getting rid of clutter around the house. I have been feeling an urge to get rid of the clutter, throw away stuff, and get rid of the crap I have been holding onto for years in my house.

It started with my spice cupboard. I pulled everything off the shelves, wiped them down and sorted through it all. I filled up half of the garbage can with stuff I have had for years, old spices, stale herbs and I also threw out all the stuff that wasn’t healthy and had chemicals or food coloring in them. Ahhhh, it feels so refreshing every time I open the cabinet door to get something out.  STILL NO SALT though! Ha, ha. I WANT SALT!

The next thing I attacked was my herb, supplement and medication stash. This took a lot longer. I got out all my containers from all over the house and put it ALL on the counter top. It was amazing how many duplicates I had of things, and items that had expired like 10 years ago. SERIOUS! I kept those things I know I will use, but the other stuff I just pitched.

Ya, I have spent a lot of money on supplements over the years, and it was hard to throw some things away because I had spent a lot of money on them, and have held onto them thinking “what if I need this someday”. Does this sound familiar? But the fact is, if I don’t plan on using them, or they react adversely to my body, why keep them. It’s all good, a learning experience and part of the journey, but time to say goodbye to the crap I’ve been holding onto, and for WHAT? Isn’t it like that with everything? I love this detox. SO…….WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ONTO?

Bye, bye. I combined duplicate herbs into one container, which freed up a lot of room in my containers.

I wrote down on a 3 x 5 card all the items in that bin. So when I need something, I can pull out the card and check to see if  I have it already before going to buy new. I do that all the time because I cannot clearly see what I have. I intend to continue on with the decluttering process with other areas of my home. On on a roll.

Now back to the detox details. For two days I had to drink 1 quart of apple juice throughout the day and  2 quarts of green smoothie. Doesn’t sound too bad, but for someone who has not had ANYTHING with sugar for 18 days, it was extremely sweet and almost nauseating. The apple juice is a gallstone, kidney stone, and crystalline solvent. The day of the flush I couldn’t eat anything after 2:00 p.m and then drank 1/2 cup of olive oil with the juice of one lemon right before going to sleep. I think this was one of the hardest days for me. I was soooooooo hungry and so tired of green smoothies. I really did dread drinking this concoction, but it wasn’t all that bad. Kind of like drinking a cup of salad dressing. I have had to drink worse.

I shot it down and hopped into bed and prepared for the worst. I was told you may be quite nauseated and may even throw up. I was to lay on my right side all night. This step forces contraction of the gallbladder’s duct with an excess of fat and helps the body get rid of gallstones. I did not see any stones the next day in my urine or stool. In previous cleanses I have done, I did see some stones.

I was a little nauseated that night in bed, but nothing unbearable or to cause me to throw up. The next morning I felt a little achy and tired and VERY READY TO EAT SOMETHING. How about a green smoothie?

From here on out I will be adding foods slowly to see if I have any sensitivities while continuing to drink green smoothies twice a day. Before I started this detox I knew I didn’t do well drinking green smoothies everyday. So I have tried to start juicing once a day to replace one of the smoothies.  Seem to do better with that.

I did make some nice corn chips from non GMO corn tortillas and had some lovely guacamole and salsa with my lunch. So nice to crunch something! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. YEA! By the way, I have lost 14 pounds. This wasn’t my main focus, but I sure feel so much better in my clothes!




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

How To Print And Bind Your Own Weekly Planner

I have always been intrigued with making my own booklets and binding them myself.  I used to do it as a child, punching holes in pages of artwork and tying them together with strips of colored yarn. Over the years I have tried several methods of binding and have come up with another one, and of course, it involves wool sweaters.

I just recently designed a fun printable compact weekly planner and I had a thought…….this would be so cute bound with a colorful felted wool strip. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how easy it is to print and bind your own weekly planner using felted wool sweaters.

So I gave it a whirl, and look how fun they turned out!

This little planner:

  • Is great to throw in your purse or bag
  • Measures 6.75 x 3.75 inches.
  • Fits a filoFax compact or personal binder
  • Has editable form fields to add your favorite quotes.
  • Has editable fields for months and year making it a perpetual planner.
  • Easy to print and bind.

You can put these planner pages in a compact binder or bind them like this.

Get your downloadable PDF file here.

Let me know if you have any questions about how to bind or print your pages.



Happy Planning!





Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

How to organize and store felted wool sweaters

store felted wool sweaters

I am on a quest to organize, DE-junk, and clear the clutter from my home and my life.  The first thing I did was clean out my closet and have worked from area to area in my home letting things go and organizing.  I will post about this later as it is quite amazing some things I have learned.

As you all know, I love felted wool sweaters and I have acquired just a FEW over the years. (Ha, Ha)  I must say my SWEATER STASH was getting out of control. Every time I started a wool project, I hauled out my bins of sweaters (six and one mega size bin), lined them up in the hallway, and would dig through them all, trying to find just the right piece and color.  WHAT A MESS!

Not having my supplies in order caused PROCRASTINATION.  The thoughts of the mess, and the bother of hauling all those bins out, kept me from moving forward and getting things done.  Do any of you find yourself feeling like this?  It was time to MOVE ON.

I bit the bullet and turned on an audiobook, got a chair, and a pair of scissors, and got to work.

store felted wool sweaters
This is what some of my bins looked like.  Most of them were worse off.  So crammed I could hardly get the lids on them.  Who knew what was in there???

Here are a few tips on how to organize and store felted wool sweaters.

I am going to show you a technique that I have found that works really well in storing the sweaters so they don’t take up so much room.

1. WASH AND FELT THE SWEATER.  (Instructions here on how to felt and shrink sweaters).


Right after you acquire a sweater and have washed it, disassemble the sweater.  Cutting the sweater up like this will make it easier to cut out items for your project, and will save so much room when storing.  Here is a step-by-step guide on how I disassemble my sweaters.

store felted wool sweaters

Cut up the side seam to the arm pit.

store felted wool sweaters

Cut the sleeve off.

store felted wool sweaters

Cut through the shoulder seam.

store felted wool sweaters

This sweater has a turtle neck.  So cut off the neck piece if it has one.  This could come in handy for a lot of good things.

store felted wool sweaters

Cut the other shoulder seam and the other sleeve off.  DO NOT CUT THE
OTHER SIDE SEAM.  This will allow you to have more intact yardage if
necessary for larger pieces.

store felted wool sweaters

If the sweater has a good cuff.  Cut the lower 4-5 inches of the sleeve
off.  These cuffs work well for the cuffs of mittens and slippers!

store felted wool sweaters

Cut down the sleeve seam.

store felted wool sweaters

Open the sleeve piece up and fold.

store felted wool sweaters

If the sweater has a good cuff along the bottom of the sweater.  Cut the
lower 4-5 inches off in a long strip.  Once again, this cuff fabric is

If the sweaters have any cool accessories on them, BUTTONS, ZIPPERS,  POCKETS, etc. save them. 
Here are a few zippers that I have saved from sweaters.  The reason I saved these zippers is because of the cool zipper pulls they have.  This can really add charm to a project.  Yes, I know it will take some time to unpick the sweater from the zipper, but something you could do while watching t.v or riding in the car.  (As a passenger, of course).

store felted wool sweaters


store felted wool sweaters

Doesn’t this look so much nicer than a wad of wool?

store felted wool sweaters
This is a flatter bin about 6 inches tall, that I store all my cut-out cuffs in.  Easy to find and easy to see what colors I have available.

If you are just starting to explore the world of FELTED WOOL SWEATERS  and you don’t have a big surplus YET, just find a nice bin with a lid to keep your sweaters in.

BUT, if you have been into this for a bit, you most likely have several sweaters of many colors kicking around.


To make your life easier when it comes to felted wool sweater projects, get yourself several bins, preferably the same size for easy stacking.  I get mine at Costco.  I used to have a big old mongo bin that I would throw some of the sweaters in, but it was way too big and hard to organize.  So, that bin is now being used for sleeping bags.

I cut my bins down from 6 regular plus the mongo bin, to only 6 regular size bins.  Yea!  It feels so nice.


Depending on how many sweaters you have, sit and figure out what colors need to go where.  I use a whole bin for greens, and one bin for blacks and grays.

Label the bins so you can easily see at a glance where things are.

I just got a Silhouette Cameo machine a while back and was able to make some fun vinyl labels.  You can make a paper label and tape it to the box or even just stick some masking tape on and write what colors are inside.

Establish a box for SCRAPS.  After you have cut things out you are going to have pieces that are too small to fold.  DON’T THROW THEM AWAY.  There are so many projects that require only a small piece of wool. Balls, hearts, and so many other things.

I also keep smaller box, or you can even use a bag, for the tiny scraps of felted wool scraps.  These I save for laundry dryer balls.  For more information about making these gems, check out this blog post.  

So, there you have it.  I hope this LONG post was helpful to you in some way.

If you have a great idea or have questions, please feel free to chime in and leave a comment.
Sometimes I feel like I am just talking to the wind.

Have fun sorting, sewing, and of course, SMILING!

Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More