Super Spooky Fun: Halloween Crafts

You Will Enjoy Making and Displaying These Clever Halloween Crafts

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and fall fun is here! You’ve done your fall cleaning, put away your summer supplies and it’s time to bring out some amazing Halloween crafts and decor.Halloween crafts - pumpkin spiders

Of course, fall festivities start with great pumpkins, spooky spiders, and crafts made alongside a cup of warm apple cider. These spider-inspired pumpkin candle holders make for perfect bathroom, hallway or even desk companions. They’re super easy to create and extra fun for the kids to help make.

Your creepy crawling pieces can be made with ease. Grab your Scrigit Scraper, a few craft tools, and some of cute mini-pumpkins.

What you’ll need:

  • mini-pumpkins
  • 8 pipe cleaners per pumpkin
  • 1 tea light per pumpkin
  • 1 Scrigit Scraper
  • 1 knife

To create:

Step 1. When selecting pumpkins, be sure they are wide and deep enough to insert your small tea light. You’ll find the best deals on pumpkins at local greenhouses vs. large chain stores. Wash pumpkin thoroughly.

Step 2. Insert your knife at the top of the pumpkin, cutting straight down in a circular motion, with a circle slightly wider in diameter than the tea light. If you have a drill, you can also use this to drill a circular hole into the pumpkin. Use your Scrigit Scraper to remove the seeds and debris inside, making surface as smooth as possible by scraping with the flat edge of your tool.

Note: Don’t forget that the hole you insert into your pumpkin must be large enough to hold a candle!

Step 3. Using the corner of the flat edge of the Scrigit Scraper, poke 4 indentations on each side of the pumpkin (where your spider legs will be). Gently press each pipe cleaner into the indentation, forming them to shape bent legs.

Note: If they don’t stay inserted into the pumpkin, make the hole deeper with a toothpick OR simply use super glue or white glue and allow to dry.

Step 4. Insert the tea light into the hole in your pumpkin, light, and enjoy your spooky new fall friends! If young children are in the house, be sure to opt for battery operated tea lights.

There you have it! These Halloween crafts are super simple to create, super affordable, and extra adorable. Create dozens of these spooky spiders to decorate a long driveway, a porch, or countertops inside your home. Fill them with a glass candle holder and candies, or grab a bigger pumpkin and insert an entire bouquet to make a floral critter.

Don’t forget to stock up on handy Scrigit Scrapers to keep craft season mess-free and easy here. The Scrigit Scraper was a featured product in last fall’s issue of Craft Ideas magazine, though the magazine is currently looking for a new publisher.

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Essential Tools for New Homeowners

Ace Hardware Store Owners Pick Scrigit Scraper as Essential Tool for New Homeowners

As owners of two Twins Ace Hardware stores in Fairfax and Arlington, Virginia near Washington, DC, Craig and Jeff Smith were asked to talk about the tools needed by new homeowners. This includes owners of single-family detached homes, townhouses, condominium units and co-op units. They were asked to appear on the WUSA-9 morning talk show called Great Day Washington, which covers Washington, DC and parts of Maryland and Virginia. Their segment on the show was called “Ace Hardware: 5 Tools Every Homeowner Needs” and helped to promote Ace Hardware’s participation in the 2017 Co-op Festival that was held on the National Mall in DC at the end of September. The festival was held to create recognition of the cooperative business model by showcasing a variety of cooperative businesses, such as Ocean Spray, Sunkist, Cabot Creamery, Ace Hardware, and many more.Advice for new homeowners

Twins Ace Hardware owners (and twins), Craig and Jeff Smith were asked on the subject of tools, “How do you get started if you have never owned your own home before?” They identified five essential tools for new homeowners.

  1. Hammer – either a full-size hammer or something called a stubby hammer for small jobs, tight work spaces, or if you find a regular hammer too hard to control.
  2. Tongue and groove pliers – Often known by the brand name, Channellock pliers, this versatile tool can be used for a wide range of gripping, tightening and loosening tasks.
  3. Screwdriver – The 6 in 1 screwdriver features six different screwdriver bits with one handle.
  4. Tape measure – A metal tape measure is a compact device that allows you to measure spaces around your home so you buy the right size furniture, drapes, and many other items. The featured model had a durable plastic case around a metal mechanism so it won’t break if dropped.
  5. Scrigit Scraper – There are are always a wide range of small areas around your home that need cleaning, such as corners, edges, grooves, and flat surfaces with small spots of latex paint, food, wax or unknown grime. Instead of using your fingernails, which don’t hold up well, the rounded tip of the Scrigit Scraper is much sturdier, can reach into areas that fingers can’t, and won’t scratch most household surfaces. This tip is also very good for removing those price and product stickers from all the new things you buy for your new home. Instead of using a screwdriver or knife, which can scratch the surface being cleaned, the flat edge of the Scrigit Scraper provides an excellent alternative that will not scratch any surface that would not be scratched by your fingernails.

    Scrigit Scraper on Great Day Washington

    Stubby Hammer, Scrigit Scraper, Tape Measure

Great Day Washington is a live, daily talk show on WUSA-9 focusing on a variety of the latest trends in DC, MD and VA, such as food, fashion, fitness and fun. The show is hosted by Markette Sheppard and Kristen Berset. Craig and Jeff Smith own their two hardware stores that are part of the Ace Hardware cooperative.  For new homeowners and everybody else, Scrigit Scrapers are available online and at many independently owned hardware stores in almost all 50 states. If you don’t see Scrigit Scrapers at your favorite store, ask for them.

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Home Improvement Magazine Features Scrigit Scraper

Scrigit Scraper is Hot Product According to Home Improvement Magazine
Make Scrigit Scrapers Part of Your Tool Box and Tool Belt

home improvement toolsA magazine for DIY home improvement enthusiasts featured the Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool as a Hot Product in their September 2017 edition. On page 80 of the September issue of Extreme How-To magazine in a prime location opposite the inside back cover, the Scrigit Scraper is shown as one of their hot products for the month.

Hot Products article - Scrigit ScraperAs stated in the article, “The Scrigit Scraper is a versatile pen-shaped, non-scratch cleaning tool that provides a safe, quick and convenient way to remove small amounts of unwanted substances from household and automotive surfaces, edges and grooves. The Scrigit Scraper can be used instead of fingernails and metal tools to quickly clean off small areas of unwanted substances, such as grime, caulk, putty, candle wax, latex paint splatters, dried food, adhesive stickers, labels and tape. The tool is two scrapers in one. A rounded tip simulates the the effective scraping shape of a fingernail and is great for scraping off small spots, cleaning curved surfaces, and removing adhesive labels, stickers and tape. A flat-edged tip  is best for getting into tight spaces and cleaning off unwanted materials from flat surfaces, edges, corners and door tracks. It is a useful tool to keep in your pocket and toolbox for all types of home improvement and maintenance projects. Made in the USA of a durable plastic resin that easily washes clean and won’t conduct electricity, the Scrigit Scraper is available in 2-packs and 5-packs at many independent hardware stores and at Amazon.com. Visit www.scrigit-scraper.com.” (If you don’t see Scrigit Scrapers at your local hardware store, ask for them.)

Extreme How-To coverExtreme How-To is a great do-it-yourself (DIY) magazine that caters to the home improvement enthusiast – whether a homeowner or a contractor – by providing information about techniques, plans, new technology, tools, and much more. Articles include tips, advice, and detailed tutorials for repairing and upgrading your property. Content covers topics such as tile work, plumbing, window replacement, deck construction, concrete work, painting, carpentry, landscaping, and even upgrading your workshop. Click here to see the September issue.

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Handy Hints for Getting Back to School Ready

Quickly and Safely Remove Unwanted Stickers and other Back to School Tips

With Summer coming to an end, it means that the days of waking up the kids early are just around the corner. Back to School also means getting the house (and the kids!) ready for another school year. We can help with our Back to School Cleaning List and help your whole family transition back to your regular September routine.Back to school supplies

Go Over Each Kid’s School Supplies
Gather all your children’s school supplies and go over which ones they’ll need in the beginning of the year, such as a few binders, packs of paper, new pencils, and put the rest aside. You will probably need them later in the school year, or save them for the next year. If you’re re-using any supplies from last year such as Tupperware, Thermos, or water bottle, use a non-scratch Scrigit Scraper to get rid of the grime collected along the edges and in the grooves. Using warm water and soap, use the rounded edge of the non-scratch scraper to go around the hard to reach areas that a regular sponge doesn’t clean effectively. Use the Scrigit Scraper to help you quickly and safely remove the annoying price tag stickers from new containers and other supplies without scratching the surfaces. Also use the handy tool to remove whatever unwanted stickers your kids put on containers and other supplies last school year.

bear on bedClean Out the High Traffic Areas
From the mudroom to the bathroom to the bedroom, these areas will probably see the most action – and the most dirt over the school year. Now is the perfect opportunity to give these areas a deep clean. In the mudroom, clear out the closet and give it a deep clean with the mop and vacuum. Use the rounded tip of a Scrigit Scraper instead of your fingernails to remove blobs of dried food and dirt. Use the flat tip of the tool to clean along edges and get into corners and other tight spaces. Don’t skip out on the mudroom closet – with all the coats and clothes coming in and out of the school year, you’ll want to ensure that the mudroom is ready to handle it. In the bathroom, clean out all of last year’s grooming materials! Take a garbage bag for all those stretched out hair elastics and half-used hand sanitizers. Cleaning out the bathroom is no easy feat but a necessity. Also be sure to stock up on any of the necessities such shampoo, conditioner, soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, lip balm, etc. at low back to school prices. The bedrooms are a place that you can get your kids to help! By enlisting them to assist with the basic tasks such as a cleaning up and organizing the closet, putting away their toys, and organizing their homework/desk area. Remember to take time to dust and vacuum especially behind the door and underneath the bed where you might find long lost objects. Remember to bring along the Scrigit Scraper! Chances are, your kids have left you with a surprise or two such as a stickers on the walls and blobs of unidentifiable material on their bookcase shelves. You’ll want the Scrigit Scraper on hand to help do the job without scratching any of the surfaces.Scrigit Scraper cleaning floor edge

Don’t Forget the Car
With all the picking up and dropping off between school, soccer games, and play dates, your car needs some back to school loving too! Give the car a good cleaning by vacuuming and washing. The trunk also needs a good cleaning out. Remember to use the Scrigit Scraper to clean out any gunk that may have been collecting in the cup holders or side door interior storage compartments. You’ll also want to keep an emergency box full of necessities such as disinfectant wipes, tissues, bandages, small snacks, sunscreen, socks, hair accessories, umbrella, etc. It won’t hurt to slide in the Scrigit Scraper into the box as well. Before you go on the road, it’s a good time to schedule an oil change, check tire pressures, replace windshield wiper blades, and maybe do a tune-up for the car to ensure that it’s in tip-top shape for the upcoming school year!

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RV Magazine Recommends Scrigit Scraper

Scrigit Scraper is an Ideal Tool for any RV Owner

A major magazine for RV owners recommends the Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool. The August 2017 issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine featured the Scrigit Scraper in their RV Products article. Here is what they said about this versatile non-scratch scraper tool.RV / Motorhome on road

“When used as scraper tools, fingernails suffer wear and tear, while single-edge razor blades can damage many surfaces. Another option is Scrigit, a plastic tool that can scrape off small amount of dried food, candle wax, putty, adhesive stickers, tape labels, paint, grease, grime, and more.

Scrigit is about the size of a pen and is held like one. On one end is a round-edged scraper, based on the shape of a fingernail; on the other end is a flat-edged scraper. Scrigit can remove substances from many household and vehicle surfaces, whether flat or curved, including Plexiglas windows. (It should not be used on hot surfaces.)”

The Scrigit Scraper is ideal for motorhomes where space is limited and weight is always a consideration. The plastic tool is about the size of a pen, so it takes up little room and weighs very little. In addition, the scraper has a wide range of uses, which is ideal for anything carried in a motorhome. The scrapers are made in the U.S.A.

One buyer had this to say about the tool. “Cool gadget that saves your nails when you want to scrape something up. It’s plastic so it doesn’t harm metals, porcelain, etc. I have used it to scrape grime from the bathroom sink on porcelain and the kitchen sink on metal. The two different ends work well depending on if you have need a straight edge or curved one. Love it!”

Family Motor Coaching magazine cover

Family Motor Coaching magazine is the leading publication covering the motorhome lifestyle.The magazine is published by the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), an international organization of families who own motorhomes and enjoy their recreational use. The term motorhome is often used interchangeably with motor coach, RV and campervans, though the terms are not entirely synonymous.

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Helpful Time-Saving Bathroom Cleaning Tips

Use These Bathroom Cleaning Tips to Remove Mold, Mildew & Hard Water Stains

Your bathroom probably sees the most foot traffic. Not only do you start your day there but you come full-circle to get yourself ready for bed and sometimes, a few times in between. It’s important to keep this room clean but it’s easy to forget how dirty the bathroom gets in a short amount of time. During the warmer months, mold and mildew stains add to the cleaning challenge. Here are some time-saving bathroom cleaning tips speed you through the process.bathroom cleaning tips

Bathtub and Shower
As the humidity level tends to fluctuate the most in your bathroom, it is easy for mold and mildew to form along edges and stain the caulking and tile grout. In order to avoid this from occurring, it is imperative to clean all those nooks and crannies. Using the sharp flat edge of a Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool, it’s easy to clean the edges of your bathtub to get rid of any soap scum, grime and mold that formed. Use the rounded tip to clean soap scum from the rounded surfaces of soap dishes. If you have a shower caddy, use your Scrigit Scraper to clean all those hard to reach areas that your towel or scrubber sponge might have missed. Be sure to go through the areas where your shampoos and soap bottles sit as that area tends to be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Use a grout brush or a toothbrush dedicated to cleaning tasks to further clean the tile grout.

Removing Mold and Mildew Stains
If your caulk and tile grout already have black stains, here is the secret for getting rid of the stains. Put equal amounts of chlorine bleach and hot tap water in a plastic cup. Start with ¼ cup of each. While wearing rubber gloves, quickly dip sheets of toilet paper into the bleach mixture and press elongated blobs of the wet paper onto the stained areas. Be careful not to get the bleach on your clothing or any other fabric. Turn on the bathroom fan or open a window. Let the blobs of paper sit on the surfaces for about a half-hour. Then carefully lift off the paper to see if the stains are completely gone. If they are still there, put the wet paper back on. You can also move the wet paper to other stained areas. Dispose of the used wet paper in the toilet or plastic bag to put in the trash.bleach soaked toilet paper

Sinks, Countertops and Toilets
After cleaning the sink with a wet rag or scrubber sponge and a liquid bathroom cleaner of your choice, take the flat edge of a Scrigit Scraper to go around the base of your faucet. Next, go around the countertop paying close attention to the edge close to the wall. Then use the rounded end of the tool to clean around the base of the toilet and the toilet seat hinge.

Hard Water Stains
If you have hard water in your area, you likely will have buildups of crusty white calcium carbonate around your faucets and drains. This is also known as hard water stains or lime scale. Use the same technique as described above for removing mildew stains but substitute white vinegar for the bleach. The vinegar soaked toilet paper will soften the crusty build-up. A Scrigit Scraper will then remove the softened lime scale without scratching the surface. Also, remember to clean the faucet aerator with the vinegar. See post.

Cleaning your bathroom is no easy feat. These bathroom cleaning tips will make the process faster and easier. Goodbye mold and scale, hello cleanliness!

 

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BBQ Grill Cleaning Made Easy

Helpful Hints for BBQ Grill Cleaning

With warm weather arriving, get ready for BBQ season. It’s time to take out the old grill and give her the good ol’ scrub down in anticipation for the upcoming grilling season. Although your brush, soap, and scrub sponge will do the job, the Scrigit Scraper will take it to the next level – getting into all those nooks and crannies collecting grime since the last BBQ grill cleaning.BBQ grill cleaning

1. Grate Cleaning. Clean your grate or grates and any racks with your grill brush, such as Amazon’s best seller, and follow up with a Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool. Make sure you get the middle part of the grates where it is hard for the brush bristles to reach. It helps to take out the grates and set them on several layers of newspaper or paper towels on a table to go through them with the Scrigit Scraper to make sure all the char is off. Of course, this is where you’ll want to be the most diligent in your grill cleaning to ensure all the residue build-up from last year is gone and you’ll have a grill that looks as good as new.

2. Burner Protectors. Remove and wash the protectors (heat tents) that sit over the burners with some soapy water and a scrub sponge. Give the burners a good wash and the grime will come right off. This process will get the sponge quite dirty.

3. Burners. After going through the burner protectors, it’s time to clean the burners themselves. Again, with a little soap, water, and sponge, the grime will wash off. Make sure the openings where the gas comes out are not clogged. A toothpick can be used to clean any clogged openings.

4. Bottom Pan. Finally, it’s time to give the bottom of the inside of the grill a good cleaning. Use damp paper towels to remove large pieces of char and other loose material. Toss out the chars from the bottom and then follow through with the Scrigit Scraper to get all the remaining chars off the bottom pan. After a good grill cleaning, you’re set for a whole new season of grilling.

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Canadian Living Magazine Features Scrigit Scraper

Top Women’s Publication Canadian Living Magazine Likes Scrigit Scraper

The “Editor’s Home Advice” section of the May 2017 issue of Canadian Living magazine includes the non-scratch Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool as one of the editor’s favorite products. Here is what the editor said.

“If you think peeling stickers and price tags off household items is a pain (and you want to preserve your manicure), the Scrigit will be your new best friend. The pen-size too has both a flat edge for flat areas and tight spot, and a rounded tip for curved surfaces and crevices. It not only safely and quickly scrapers away labels but also works on dirty metal stovetops and opens shrink-wrapped packages.”Canadian Living magazine featuring Scrigit Scraper

Canadian Living is the #1 lifestyle brand for Canadian women. The magazine and associated digital media feature the best recipes, advice and inspired ideas for everyday living.

In Canada, Scrigit Scraper 2-packs are available through Lee Valley stores and website. Lee Valley is a family-owned business that initially specialized in woodworking tools but now also offers a wide range of home and garden products, hardware, and gifts. A U.S. website featuring their products in U.S. dollars is also available. Use the search function at the top of the page to find Scrigit.

Learn more about Canadian Living magazine and look under Subscriber Services for print and digital subscriptions.

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Best Way to Clean Sliding Door Tracks

Intentional Mom Blog Features the Scrigit Scraper for Cleaning Sliding Door Tracks
“This has become my new favorite tool.”

Big sliding glass doors are great for letting a lot of light into a room and creating a bright open feeling. The doors also make it easy to enter and exit a room without a swinging door creating unusable space needed for the swinging motion. However, the sliding door tracks catch all types of dirt and debris. This creates an ugly mess that can eventually impair the sliding of the door,  and the tracks are difficult to clean.Scrigit Scraper cleaning sliding door tracks

Jennifer, author of The Intentional Mom blog, has come to the rescue. In her blog post, “Clean Your Slider Tracks with No Scrubbing,” Jennifer describes nine simple steps to clean the tracks with a minimal amount of effort and great results. Only a few items are needed for cleaning the tracks, such as white vinegar, baking soda, paper towels, rags, a vacuum cleaner, and a Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool.

Yes, Jennifer discovered that the non-scratch pen-shaped Scrigit Scraper, with a different shaped scraper at each end, makes cleaning sliding door tracks faster and easier. The handy tool is just the right size to remove stuck-on gunk from the narrow track. The rounded angled tip, similar in shape to a fingernail (but much sturdier), works like a small v-shaped plow to break through hardened blobs of gunk. The flat-edged scraper end of the tool is ideal for quickly cleaning along the edges of the tracks and getting into the corners. Toothbrushes are not very effective for cleaning corners. Butter knives and other metal tools, like screwdrivers, can scratch the tracks. The flat-edged tip of the Scrigit Scraper is the best way to clean the corners of the tracks without scratching them.

Scrigit cleaning sliding door tracksIn the blog post, Jennifer describes the Scrigit Scraper as, “Super effective, budget friendly, and a time saver for so many projects around the house. This has become my new favorite tool.”

As a busy mom of 8, yes 8, from 15 years to under a year, Jennifer as a writer, author and blogger helps women and moms (and dads) handle the bustle of everyday life and to live with intention every day. Whether it is maintaining a budget, putting affordable healthy meals on the table, tackling a cluttered home, or cleaning sliding door tracks, The Intentional Mom is a wonderful resource. Please check it out.

 

 

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Spring Cleaning: Best Way to Get AC Ready

Clean Your Outdoor AC Unit for Greater Efficiency

Chances are, your outdoor air conditioning unit or heat pump isn’t cooling nearly as well as it could. A year’s worth of dirt, debris, and random gunk is clogging your machine. An outside AC unit with a dirty blower fan and cooling coils will reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner and wear it out faster.Outdoor AC units

Help boost your machine’s cooling power before the summer heat hits: This chore will take you less than an hour and extend the life of your unit.

Step 1. Clean up the area around your outdoor AC unit or heat pump. Leaves, trash and branches from the fall and winter often accumulate around the unit due to wind patterns near your house. These AC units work by drawing air in through the sides and blowing it out the top. Any debris nearby will be sucked into the sides and reduce airflow. Also, pull up any weeds or other plants (dead or alive) that have grown up within a foot or two of the unit. Good airflow around the unit is essential.

Step 2. Turn off the power! Safety first, folks. You’ll typically find this box right near the unit on the outside of the house. If you’re unsure, simply turn off power to the unit at your main electric panel.

Step 3. Vacuum away excess debris. Grass, leaves, and assorted gunk will be caught in the exterior fins of the unit. Grab the soft brush attachment for your vacuum (a shop vacuum is best) and gently brush them away.

Step 4. Grab your Scrigit™ Scraper! Improve airflow into the unit by straightening any bent fins with the flat end of the tool using gentle pressure. The Scrigit™ Scraper fits perfectly between each fin, but don’t push too hard!

Step 5. If you are comfortable doing this type of project, remove the fan by unscrewing the top grille. Then, slowly lift out the fan and carefully set it aside or have somebody hold it – making sure to not pull out any electrical wires. Pull out any additional debris that you uncover and gently wipe the fan blades and interior with a clean, damp cloth.

Step 6. Finally, spray the unit’s cooling fins using your hose. Be sure to angle the hose spray from the inside – out. No special cleaning solution is needed. Then, reinstall the fan and turn the power back on.

Most AC units aren’t maintained during the fall and winter months. Opting out of a springtime cleaning will reduce cooling efficiency and create unreasonably high energy bills. Get ready to clean! You’ll thank us when the summer’s scorching heat hits.

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