Quick & Easy DIY 4th of July Wreath

The 4th of July is right around the corner, and it’s one of my favorite summer holidays. I have lots of patriotic decor that I put up mid June and keep up for the rest of the summer. The red, white and blue colors are cheery and instantly make me think “summer”. It also happens to be my mom’s birthday. Her mom always told her that the fireworks were for her. And one of my favorite things to put up is my DIY 4th of July wreath that I made a few years back.

I found the instructions for this DIY 4th of July wreath while looking through a magazine. I am not a crafty person, so for me to attempt something like this is out of my comfort zone. This wreath is the kind of thing I’d usually overpay for in a craft store. 

I already had a straw wreath I had bought back in November when I was going to make a DIY Thanksgiving wreath that Jill created at Baby Rabies. It didn’t ever happen, so the only thing I had to buy to make this wreath was tulle, ribbon and the stars. I think it came out pretty good!

This quick&simple DIY 4th of July wreath is incredibly easy to put together, even for someone who's not crafty like me! Can be used for other holidays, too!
It only took me about a half hour or so to make it, and was so simple even I couldn’t mess it up. And because it was inexpensive to make (less than $10 since I didn’t have to buy a wreath), I can’t wait to make one for each upcoming holiday!

Quick & Easy DIY 4th of July Wreath

So here is how to do it:

Cut 35 – 45 strips of red and white tulle (I actually used wire ribbon for the red!). Each strip should measure about 6 by 15 inches. I bought a 2-1/4 yard piece of 54 inch wide tulle for each color. Using a 12 or 18 inch straw wreath (leave the plastic on top of it to avoid a mess), knot the strips around the wreath, alternating colors every 10 knots. Line up the knots so they are even and fluff the tulle at the ends.

Next, using festive colored garland (I used one with blue, red, and silver starts about 8 feet in length) wind it around the wreath. I used white tulle to tie the garland on  in a few spots.

I also got a long piece of red tulle and tied it to the top to hang from my wreath holder. It took longer to cut all the strips than to put the entire thing together!

The best part about this DIY 4th of July wreath is that you can easily remove the stars and reuse the wreath for other holidays – think pink and red hearts for Valentine’s Day or maybe adding ornaments and some green ribbon for Christmas.

What are some of your favorite simple and quick crafts to make for the holidays like this DIY 4th of July wreath? Since I had such a fun time doing this one, now I’m looking for others to make too!

What To Do With a Ripe Banana

We go through lots of bananas here. The kids drink them in a smoothie every morning, they eat them for a snack, and take them in lunches. And then? They stop. And I have a whole bunch of ripe bananas. So I’ve got a fun idea about what to do with a ripe banana – write on them and stick them in the kids’ lunch boxes. They’ll eat them for sure!

What To Do With A Ripe Banana

Remember when I told you that the girls asked me to write them notes and put them in their lunches and Ethan wanted jokes and tongue twisters? Well this is perfect for that!

Have a ripe banana that you don't want to throw out? This idea is easy to do and the kids will be happy to find it in their lunch boxes!

You just use a toothpick, knife, or safety pin to write on the skin of a banana! You don’t have to push too hard, but you do have to break the skin. As it sits, it gets darker and darker. This is the one I did for Lila. She wanted me to write a note with her name in cursive. This was a fun way to do it.

Have a ripe banana that you don't want to throw out? This idea is easy to do and the kids will be happy to find it in their lunch boxes!

Mia asked for “xoxo”…

Have a ripe banana that you don't want to throw out? This idea is easy to do and the kids will be happy to find it in their lunch boxes!

Ethan wanted a tongue twister. Sorry about the shading, but it says “Three Free Throws.”

It’s such an easy way to let your kid know that you are thinking about them.

With Halloween coming up, why not write “Boo” and let them find it? Kinda spooky, right? I’ve also got some ideas for what to do with all of the leftover Halloween candy that the kids get.

I’ve got some other recipes that are perfect for ripe bananas…even over-ripe bananas! This is a favorite recipe – Oatmeal Banana Muffins. Or how about some Nutella & Banana Won Tons? And of course, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Or throw them in a smoothie. Or freeze them to use later…or to eat just like that!

Looking for other fun ideas for school time? Check out my board on Pinterest.

Do you have some fun things that you add to your kids’ lunch boxes? Please share!

World’s Best Shower Cleaner (Make It Yourself With Just 2 Ingredients!)

I’ve shared with you before my favorite Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner, and now it’s time for me to share the world’s best shower cleaner that you can make yourself.

My sister recently said to me “You have got to try this shower cleaner! It’s the best stuff EVER!”, which of course meant that I would go right home and make it and try it. With just two ingredients, this shower cleaner is truly amazing. It’s also super cheap to make.

If soap scum is your enemy, than this shower cleaner is perfect for the job. The longer it sits, the better it seems to work.

World’s Best Shower Cleaner

12 ounces white vinegar
12 ounces liquid Dawn dish soap (the blue colored regular one)
24-ounce squirt bottle

Heat the vinegar in the microwave until hot and pour it (carefully!) into a squirt bottle. I used a large measuring cup to do this.

Add the Dawn soap. Put the lid on and gently shake to incorporate.

Spray it all over your shower walls, floors, and glass. Spray it on everything! Let it sit a few minutes, and then wipe off. It won’t even take much scrubbing on your part because this shower cleaner does all the work for you! For really, really tough built-up soap scum, spray the shower cleaner on and let it sit for hours or even overnight. Then, scrub and rinse.

You might think there would be a ton of bubbles and a huge mess but surprisingly, there’s not. It’s really easy to clean up.

You can also use this shower to clean tubs, sinks, appliances and anything else in the bathroom.

Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Make Your Own Cleaning, Beauty, Household Products on Pinterest.

Pretzel Cookies Recipe: A Sweet and Salty Treat

We have so much leftover Halloween candy, and I’m trying to get creative with how I get rid of it! Last night the kids were asking for more candy, and I’m at the point where I just want it gone. While digging through the pantry I stumbled over some pretzels, and thought I could use them to make an easy pretzel cookies recipe using some of that Halloween candy.


Pretzel Cookies Recipe

Pretzel Cookies Recipe: The Easiest Recipe Sweet Treat Ever
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image


  • 20 pretzels
  • 20 Hershey's Kisses
  • 40 M&Ms


  1. Place the pretzels on a cookie sheet.
  2. Unwrap the Kisses. Place a Kiss on each pretzel.
  3. Put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 3 minutes (just long enough for the Kiss to soften)
  4. Take out of oven, and top each Kiss with a couple of M&Ms.


And that’s it! The kids loved helping make the cookies.

These were so simple to make (the kids did most of the work.) This pretzel cookies recipe makes for a sweet and salty treat and takes about 5 minutes to make. You can use any chocolate candies that you’d like. Not a fan of Kisses or M&M’s? Top with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Instead…yummy!

Natural House Cleaning Recipe: Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner

For years I’ve been making my own all purpose cleaner using this all natural house cleaning recipe from Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly LifeLet me also say I love the book, and that if you are trying to do any kind of green living, it’s a must have.

A Natural House Cleaning Recipe that will allow you to make your own all purpose cleaner.

What’s great about this recipe is that it is made with all non-toxic ingredients. So if the kids get into it – or the pets – you don’t have to worry about them getting hurt. Sick? Maybe. But not hurt.

This all purpose cleaner really works. You can spray it on refrigerators, countertops, walls, doorknobs, toilet seats and sinks. It’s safe to use (according to the book, not me!) on acrylic, ceramic tile, wood, marble and granite.

Use it in the kitchen and the bathroom. I actually make a bottle for each. It will cut through grease, get rid of germs and grime and it will save you money.

Now when you go to buy the essential oils, you might freak at the price for such a tiny bottle. Those bottles last a long, long time. I’ve been making this cleaner for me and my mom for years, and I think I’ve only had to buy one or two replacement bottles of the oils. All the other ingredients are cheap to make, and you probably have them at home already.

Natural House Cleaning Recipe: All Purpose Cleaner

Natural House Cleaning Recipe: All-Purpose Spray
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image


  • 32-ounce plastic spray bottle
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure castile soap
  • 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 20 drops tea tree oil
  • 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil. Or try using lavender essential oil in the bathroom


  1. Fill the plastic spray bottle with the water.
  2. Add the vinegar, castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, and the essential oils.

Another reason I love this natural house cleaning recipe is because you can also make the recipe and add 10 drops or so of citronella essential oil to it to make it a non-toxic insect repellent. We spray it around our barbecue area and tables when we eat or entertain outside.

I have other natural house cleaning recipes, tips, products and more that I’ll be sharing soon!

Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Make Your Own Cleaning, Beauty, Household Products on Pinterest.

Do you have a natural house cleaning recipe that you make yourself?