5 Minutes or Less: My Favorite Quick Projects

February 19, 2013 | by Jocie (email) |

“5 Minutes or Less”  is an ongoing series dedicated to quick and fun crafts and DIY projects that you can do in five minutes or less. This segment came to being because in our busy life it was difficult making the time for the involved and time-consuming projects that I love. I have done a bunch of projects in this series over the past couple years, but wanted to share with some of our newer readers my favorites: Homemade ModPodge, Personalized Nail Polish Keys, Homemade Vanilla, Beer Bottle Vases, Scrapbook Paper Clothes Pin!

Great Projects To Do Under 5 Minutes: OPC The Better Half

Also, we are constantly on the look-out for new 5 minute projects and would love your ideas or would love to feature you, if you have done a 5 Minutes or Less Project.

Homemade ModPodge

This is my absolute favorite, most used, most money-saving project I have ever done. I’m serious, it’s that awesome! It’s also probably the easiest.

5 Minutes or Less - HomeMade ModPodge - OPC The Better Half

I mixed 1 part Elmer’s Glue with 1 part water and shook until I couldn’t shake anymore. DONE!

It gives a nice matte finish and works just as well as the name brand ModPodge. I like to stock up on Elmer’s Glue in August when Walmart is having their back to school sale and its only $0.29 a bottle. Crazy, right?

I have used my home-made ModPodge for a ton of different projects including:

DIY Wooden Owls – This is my all-time favorite. Its simple wood working that doesn’t require fancy tools and we provide the stencils.

DIY Wooden Owls - OPC The Better Half

Custom Spice Rack – Ethan built this custom spice rack for our kitchen and then I painted it and ModPodged scrapbook paper to the back.

Custom Spice Rack - OPC The Better Half

EAT Kitchen Letters – I made these for our kitchen, but the same technique can be used for really any wooden letters or phrase.

Scrapbook Frames – I made this as a gift for a friend and have made similar versions with different colors and accessories. They make for cheap and personal gifts!

Be sure to check out my original post on Home-Made PodPodge.

Personalized Keys

I have about a million keys floating around in my junk drawer, in addition to bunches on my key ring. I couldn’t keep them straight, especially as I was fumbling with groceries as a tried to open the front door. So, I grabbed my giant bucket of nail polish and blinged them out.

PersonalizedKeys - OPC The Better Half

The cost was almost free, and without adding a lot of design, it truly is a 2 minute project.

I blinged out my keys almost a year ago.

Personalized Keys with Nail Polish - OPC The Better Half

Since then my house key has lost a gem (the first day because I was too impatient to let it dry) and has a little wear around the edges. I used to have a store-bought designed key and it wore at about the same rate.

Blinged Out Keys, One Year Later - OPC The Better Half

Find out how to personalize your keys in 5 Minutes or Less!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract is one of my only 5 minutes or less projects that is more of a recipe than craft, however, it makes for wonderful gifts and saves tons of money over time. But when I said “5 Minutes or Less,” I should have said 5 minutes plus several months! lol.

Beer Bottle Vases

I love beer bottle vases because it’s a quick way to add color or decor without a lot of time or money. Also, even though I say “beer bottle” you can really use any type of bottle – root beer, wine, condiments, jars, anything glass.

I only use Rust-Oleum spray paint because the other paint tend to spray unevenly and sort of spit. I am not paid to say that, I really just love them. Also, Rust-Oleum recently gave us a little preview of some spray paint colors and I am so excited I can barely stand it! I can not wait!

Dressed Up Clothes Pins

You may be wondering how Personalized Clothes Pins made my top 5 list. I know, it’s a strange pick…but I use them ALL. THE. TIME! For closing our pretzel bags, hanging reminders on the fridge, affixing our Advent calendar to the wall. I need to make more of them because we really do use them a lot. Plus they are so cute and add a little cheer to whatever we are using it for. Yes, I am a weirdo who is happier when things look pretty.

Personalized Clothes Pins - OPC The Better Half

What do you think? Any suggestions for future 5 minute projects?

As always, thanks for reading!

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linked up at Designed Decor, Shaken Together

23 Responses
  1. I love quick and easy projects and I’m glad you shared these as I had not seen some of them! I think the key on is my favorite! Or maybe the clothespins. But then I love owls!! Oh heck…they’re all fabulous!

  2. paintergal says:

    I love the keys too. What a great idea for a newlywed couple’s first home together.

  3. Megan says:

    These are awesome ideas, Jocie. 🙂 I really like the key idea. Megan

  4. Brady says:

    I like the simplicity of the scrap paper over plywood. I think I’d dress up the edges as well, but what to use? Maybe white paint or a matching scrap paper sheet or glued on wood veneer.

    • Jocie says:

      I have done some projects with painting the sides white – I think the EAT letters are painted white on the sides, actually. Very pretty look! 🙂

  5. JustME says:

    It was fun seeing these cute ideas again Jocie, reminding me of a couple I’d like to try. I especially like the Mod Podge frame. It made such a darling gift.

  6. poiboybf says:

    Still need to try that vanilla recipe. Thanks for reminding me of some good projects. I am just as impressed by your 5 minute projects as I am by your longer term undertakings. You both are so talented; I enjoy both sides of this website equally.

  7. trebor says:

    That vanilla recipe is pretty awesome–I never saw that the first time around. I would guess it’s a pretty good money-save, too.

    Have you tried using different vodkas? Meaning, would a really cheap kind work okay?

    • Jocie says:

      I used pretty cheap vodka and it turned out great. I’m not sure the difference it would make, but since vanilla extract is usually used in cooking (and is a small ingredient by comparison) I doubt thee would be a huge taste difference by using cheap or expensive vodka. My guess, the biggest difference comes from the beans.

  8. jami says:

    I want to do each one of those great ideas!!! If you haven’t already had a chance, I’d love for you to stop by and share them at the 100th Tuesday To Do Party over at The Blackberry Vine!

    The Blackberry Vine

  9. Anne says:

    Great tip on the mod podge!Your bling keys are so cool!Cute scrapbook paper frame too! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Ahhh Those Keys- I love em.. so easy easy– Great post girl! Loads of goodies up there!

  11. lucy says:

    How much fun! I love all of these projects! I need to make more gifts! I have a craft studio comparable to Michael’s!

  12. Pinned this! What a great roundup of non-terrifying crafts. 🙂 I want to try the mod podge!

  13. I seriously want to try all of these! They are all perfect to get done during nap time. Pinning immediately.

  14. mom2kaelyn says:

    Quick and easy! That’s what I have time for. Hahaha. Going to dress up my clothespins today-made a banner for a baby shower and these would totally dress them up more. Excellent. I also need to bling out my keys…

  15. So many fun ideas! Love them! Pinned!

  16. Crystal says:

    I never in a million years thought to personalize keys! That is awesome!

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