Oh-So-Easy Fridge Mats (DIY)

Wow!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  This April marked my blog’s first anniversary.  Thanks to all of you reading my rants and raves on the One Whimsy Housewife blog!!

I have a rave for you today.  Pinterest has once again given me a winner.  (There have been quite a few duds that I’ve tried, too.)

Have you seen these fun things called fridge coasters?  They are so cute and really practical.  Fridge Coasters are mats that line the shelves in your fridge.  So, when you have a spill, instead of cleaning the entire fridge, just remove the coaster and wash it.  Genius!

But…they are not permanent.  They are a cardboard-like material that soaks up the spill, but can only be washed a few times then you throw them away.  A consumable product…great for Fridge Coaster…but not great for me and my wallet.

I found this simple and inexpensive idea from It’s An Organized Chaos blog.  She takes flexible plastic placemats and cuts them to size, then lines her fridge shelves with them.  How easy is that?!

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning, and cleaning the fridge was my weekend project this past Sunday.  Baby steps, people, baby steps.  It’s about all I can manage with a full-time job and an almost 3-year-old.

Fridge Before Here is the lovely before picture of my refrigerator.  Sorry, but this is after I cleaned it.  I’m not quite brave enough to share my family’s messiness with you just yet…  It does make me realize that I need to do some serious grocery shopping.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon some of these plastic placemats at Target.  Originally they were about $2.50 each, not bad.  But they were on sale for $1.88!  Even better!  They only had a couple in each color, but that was okay with me.  I only have four shelves, but I bought 5 placemats, just in case I messed one up.


I took a tape measure and measured the shelves.  Cut the placemats to size (lengthwise) with a pair of scissors. Then placed them on the shelves.  They don’t fit perfectly.  There is still a half-inch or so of glass showing at the back of the shelf, but I’m okay with that.

Fridge After 1 Fridge After 2

I love how it adds some whimsy to my fridge.

Maybe it will inspire me to keep it clean!

One thing that I’m not thrilled about is that it makes the lower shelves pretty dark.  The light doesn’t filter through the plastic very well.  Since this was so cheap and simple, I don’t feel bad about trying other colors and options!

Cost breakdown – 5 placemats at $1.88 each= $9.40!

Like my Facebook page and share your weekend projects with me!



How to Make a Hand Print Keepsake

I love a baby’s hand and foot print.  In my opinion there is nothing cuter, except maybe the baby itself.  I have seen hand print keepsakes everywhere and thought they were just adorable.  But me being a frugal and creative mama, I thought I could make my own.

I have a wonderful book with over 100 helpful hints on how to use baking soda.  In it is a recipe for “Play Clay”.  I like this recipe, because it’s really simple, you can keep it pliable for up to a week, and then dry your creations when your done.

Recipe for Play Clay

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • Food coloring (optional)

Start by mixing the baking soda and cornstarch in a saucepan.  Add food coloring to your water if you choose.  I didn’t add any to mine.  Add water to baking soda and cornstarch mixture, stir to mix, then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes.  Don’t overcook.

Clay should have the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.

Cover with a damp cloth to cool.  Mine took about an hour to cool.

I then rolled out part of the clay with a rolling-pin to about 1/2 inch thickness.  The other part I put in a container and stored it in the fridge for later.  It keeps for a week, but my son doesn’t do crafts so it eventually was tossed out with some left overs.

Then I dragged my son kicking and screaming to his high chair and placed his hand in the clay.  Remember…he doesn’t do crafts, so I only tortured him long enough to get a good print. 😉

Once the print was made, I cut around it with a knife.

I then had a cute hand print in clay that needed to be dried.  Before you dry your print, punch a hole in the top big enough for a ribbon to go through so that you can hang your keepsake up.

There are a few ways to dry the play clay.

  1. Air:  Set on wire rack overnight
  2. Oven: Preheat to 350˚, turn off, then place finished object on a cooking sheet.  Leave in until oven is cold.
  3. Microwave: Place object on a paper towel, bake at medium power for 30 seconds, turn over, bake for another 30 seconds.  Repeat until dry.

I like things simple, but I also like instant gratification.  I opted for the oven method of drying.  Worked pretty well.

Get crafty and let me know what kind of creations you come up.  I like the idea of giving these as a Mother’s Day gift for the Grandmas!