Tag Archives: cheap

Fun and affordable things to do in New Jersey…

Years ago I discovered a fun and surprisingly cheap way to spend a day, one that has left my family with years of memories and a few rather durable souvenirs. This was back when my daughter was smaller and all things prehistoric fascinated her beyond compare, and while she enjoyed museums I knew she might enjoy something a bit more ‘hands-on’.  That’s when I discovered an amazing but little known detail about certain regions of New Jersey: they’re brimming with Late Cretaceous era (that’s roughly 67-74 Million Years Old) fossils!  And not ‘bake in a desert with picks and brushes’ fossils, but wade in shady ankle deep brooks and pick them right up fossils. Yes, readers, it’s true. Spots such as Big Brook, Ramanessin Brook and surrounding brooks in Monmouth County, right off the Garden State Parkway, will provide small (and not so small) children more fossils than they’d ever imagine. The majority of these fossils are shark teeth and other marine fossils exposed as the brooks and creeks cut down into the fossil beds, revealing an ever-changing layer. It’s a wonderfully cool way to spend a hot summer day, peaceful and tranquil aside from the squeals of “I found another one!” and I can promise it will become a favorite tradition, one your children will remember even after they’re grown.

The only ‘tools’ we brought were plastic colanders picked up in the grocery store and large serving spoons for scooping river gravel into the colanders. Half the time we didn’t even need them, we spotted fossils right in plain view.  As with sea-shells and beach glass, the rule was we would each only take our five favorite treasures home, the rest were returned to the brook. Do use caution as some areas of these streams can become deep… just stick to the shallows, that’s where you’ll find the most. Bring a small first aid kit, there are overhanging branches and there can be sharp bits in the gravel and an occasional, unfortunate piece of broken glass. My advice: Wear comfy old sneakers you don’t mind mucking up, jeans to protect your legs and a tee shirt. Don’t forget your bug spray, some towels and a change of dry clothes for the trip home.

There are a number of resources online to guide you both in where and how to look and to identify what you’ve found.
For more information, here’s a start:
http://www.njfossils.net/cover.html
http://www.fossilguy.com/sites/bbrook/body.htm
http://digsfossils.com/fossils/nj_shark_navesink.html

A Duct Tape Kindle Cover…

Duct tape is a versatile and useful substance, from temporary repairs to leaky hoses, (garden and engine) to mending torn jeans, canvas, holding interior parts in place on POS cars and trucks, removing cat fur from clothing, repairing book bindings and making book-covers, keeping assorted things and people properly restrained. Oh, yeah, and even occasionally sealing duct work. There was an old joke around the boatyard that all you needed for most repairs were two things: duct tape and a BFH. (For those unfamiliar with the term, a BFH is a ‘Big F#cking Hammer.) The theory was simple: If it wouldn’t move, hit it with the BFH. If it wouldn’t stay put, use some duct tape… or hit it with the BFH, depending on what ‘it’ was.

Everything you need to make a duct tape kindle cover

Everything you need to make a duct tape kindle cover

I’d like to add to that list of uses creating a duct tape Kindle cover. It’s not for me; actually, a friend asked if I’d make her one. I’m taking a moment out from a much bigger and far more complicated project on the boat (which doesn’t involve duct tape; posts to follow,) to do this. And while I can attest that making a duct tape Kindle cover is not a difficult process, I figured I’d add it to the list of DIY kindle covers I’ve featured on my blog as one more option.

Step 1: These poly file folders are still an excellent starting point, as Command Strips hold to them superbly but let you remove the Kindle at any time. Cut the folder to a size that will easily cover your Kindle. You can use scissors, though I prefer cutting with a straight edge and razor on a cutting board. This folder has holes in it for clipping inside a binder, so I placed some tape on the inside to cover them and keep the tape adhesive from sticking to the Kindle once tape is added to the outside.

Step 2: Lay the folder flat on the cutting board and begin taping. I told you it’s not complicated. If the tape goes down crooked you can pull it up and straighten it. Lay the tape beyond the edges, which will make it easier to lay each row neatly, then simply trim the excess with a razor or scissors.

cutting the duct tape

Cutting the duct tape

Step 3: While duct tape has a silvery charm all its own I’ve come to appreciate an even better substance… Gorilla tape. Think of it as duct tape on steroids. While duct tape will eventually wear and break down when exposed to sun and rain, Gorilla tape is weatherproof, stickier, tougher and all around amazing. I’ve actually used Gorilla tape to wrap dock-lines as chafe gear before hurricanes, and found it still holding strong a year later. On this cover I’ve chosen to trim the edges with some Gorilla tape both for added toughness and style. To lay it straight a few discreet guide marks are a great help; once Gorilla tape goes down you won’t find it willing to move so you want to get it right the first time. Now, just attach your Kindle with some Command Strips and you’re good to go!

duct tape kindle cover

duct tape kindle cover – complete

There you have it. A duct tape Kindle cover. Stylish, simple and cheap. What more could you want?

But if you are looking for more cover ideas, check these out!

Fun, easy (and Cheap) NO-SEW KINDLE COVERS
FOR THE FRUGAL DO-IT-YOURSELFER

by Evie Grundler

Would you like a beautiful new one-of-a-kind Kindle cover, but without spending lots of money, and without needing to sew? Then look no further! I’ve put together four super-cheap books that show, step-by-step, just how easily you can create your own stylish, one-of-kind covers, simply and inexpensively, using materials you already have and easy-to-find supplies. Make your covers as stylish, playful, elegant, or rugged as you’d like.

These covers are really quite simple and easy to create — all you need are the basic crafting skills you learned in kindergarten. Over 200 photos accompany detailed descriptions guiding you through every step of the process, and these covers can be as simple or complex as you’d like.

The possibilities are endless—your only limit is your imagination. And they aren’t just for Kindles — these customizable designs work for all models of e-Readers and tablets, so once you’ve made your own, you can create wonderful personalized and unique gifts for family and friends as well.

VOLUME 1 – THE SUPER-EASY COVERS, guides you through every step from start to finish to make A Super-Simple, Ultra-Cheap DIY Kindle Cover, A Duct Tape Kindle Cover, The Padded Placemat Cover, and The “Phone Book” Stealth Cover. Only $0.99

Make Your Own Kindle Cover - VOLUME 1 - THE SUPER-EASY COVERS, Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer, diy kindle cover, cheap kindle cover, easy kindle cover, no sew kindle cover, duct tape kindle cover, duck tape kindle cover

VOLUME 2 – THE SLIGHTLY MORE CHALLENGING (BUT STILL SUPER EASY) COVERS, guides you through every step from start to finish to make The Upcycled Hardcover, An Old Jeans Ipad (Or Other Device) Sleeve, A Durable Yet Elegant Fabric Cover, and A Stand-Up Cover. Only $0.99

Make Your Own Kindle Cover, VOLUME 2 - THE SLIGHTLY MORE CHALLENGING (BUT STILL SUPER-EASY) COVERS, Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer, diy kindle cover, cheap kindle cover, easy kindle cover, no sew kindle cover

VOLUME 3 – THE SILLY AND ADORABLE PLUSH KITTY-CAT COVERS guides you through every step from start to finish to make a Kindle cover like no other. And if you’re looking to give a younger Kindle reader a one-of-a-kind gift, what could be more amusing and unique than their own plush cover. Instructions show how you can add a strap, so it can be carried like a shoulder bag as well.

Make Your Own Kindle Cover - VOLUME 3 - THE SILLY AND ADORABLE PLUSH KITTY-CAT COVERS (Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer) [Kindle Edition], diy kindle cover, make your own kindle cover, easy to make kindle cover, no sew kindle cover, kindel cover, make my own kindle cover, funny cat kindle cover, cheap kindle cover

And finally, for only $1.99, you can get all the tutorials listed above in NINE DESIGNS – LIMITLESS VARIATIONS.

MAKE YOUR OWN KINDLE COVER - Nine Designs - Limitless Variations (FUN, EASY, (AND CHEAP) NO-SEW KINDLE COVERS FOR THE FRUGAL DO-IT-YOURSELFER, make your own kindle cover, kindel cover, duct tape kindle cover, easy kindle cover, cheap kindle case, make a kindle case, no sew kindle case

Super Easy, Super Cheap (under $3) DIY Kindle Cover…

There is much I can say about how I’m enjoying my Kindle… but that’s not the subject of this post. When not in my hand the Amazing Kindle resides in my favorite old messenger bag, a space it shares with my wallet, netbook, digital camera, digital recorder, Ipod and, on any given day, a random truck or boat part in transit to or from said truck or boat. It’s a simple fact of life that all things in my bag must all coexist and though there are separate compartments to prevent gadget scuffles, a bit of protection is good insurance. However, there were two things holding me back from buying one of those Kindle covers you see on Amazon: 1. I’m too cheap frugal, and 2. It just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t somehow come up with my own jury-rigged version, one more specific to my own use.

homemade kindle cover

Simple, easy and cheap homemade kindle cover

As for that use, I dislike anything that bulks up some nice slim gadget — with the collection I carry ever bit of bulk adds up. And more important, all those lovely fancy covers attach in a way that, by all appearances, look as though it would obstruct me from holding the Kindle in my left hand and pressing the left side ‘next page’ button while cooking or holding a cup of tea/eating chips/whatever with my right hand. I came up with a solution using a rugged plastic 2 pocket folder I bought in Staples and some 3M Command strips.  Here it is — it’s simple, easy, sturdy, cheap and removable, and the whole thing cost less than $3.

Pretty, isn’t it? A bit too pretty, in fact, for my tastes but I’ll either live with it or cover it with bumper stickers. What you see here is one of those flexible plastic ‘2-pocket’  folders you find in Staples. The next picture shows the remains of the original folder and the cover I cut from it. That wasn’t too difficult, I traced around the Kindle (adding in 1/2″, you can always trim it smaller once it’s around the Kindle) with a pencil and cut the folder with scissors. (For the Kindle 2, that’s roughly the size of a standard 8.5 x 11 paper folded in half.) Real tricky indeed.

diy kindle cover

It’s easy to make a Kindle cover!

So how did I manage to keep the Kindle within the cover? I considered Duct tape, but that can get a bit messy over time. I wanted something cleaner and more inclined to stay put… like those nifty little 3M ‘Command Strips’ that allow you to hang hooks on anything and then remove them. Four Command Strips tucked strategically between the Kindle back and the inside of the cover and Whala! (I know, voila!) we’re not going anywhere!

diy kindle cover

And here you are, a simple homemade Kindle cover!

And best of all, aside from being wonderfully sleek and exceptionally cheap while protecting my screen from scrapes and scuffs, is that the cover can be flipped completely around, as shown below, allowing me to read in the comfort of my left hand!

diy kindle cover

Your diy Kindle cover is good to go!

If you’re interested in something padded, you can check out my daughter’s fancier cover. She’s taken my idea a few steps further, and the results are beautiful. The Kindle case she designed involves a bit more work, but not much, it’s super pretty and fun to make.

For those of you trying to determine what I’m currently reading, it’s Donald Westlake’s ‘Get Real’, a book I highly recommend.  Westlake was a brilliant writer and one of my all-time favorite authors.

And if you’re looking for more cover ideas, my daughter has put together a few ebooks with her beautiful designs. Here’s a bit about them:
__________________________________________________

Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers
For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer

by Evie Grundler

Would you like a beautiful new one-of-a-kind Kindle cover, but without spending lots of money, and without needing to sew? Then look no further! I’ve put together four super-cheap books that show, step-by-step, just how easily you can create your own stylish, one-of-kind covers, simply and inexpensively, using materials you already have and easy-to-find supplies. Make your covers as stylish, playful, elegant, or rugged as you’d like.

These covers are really quite simple and easy to create — all you need are the basic crafting skills you learned in kindergarten. Over 200 photos accompany detailed descriptions guiding you through every step of the process, and these covers can be as simple or complex as you’d like.

The possibilities are endless—your only limit is your imagination. And they aren’t just for Kindles — these customizable designs work for all models of e-Readers and tablets, so once you’ve made your own, you can create wonderful personalized and unique gifts for family and friends as well.

VOLUME 1 – THE SUPER-EASY COVERS, guides you through every step from start to finish to make A Super-Simple, Ultra-Cheap DIY Kindle Cover, A Duct Tape Kindle Cover, The Padded Placemat Cover, and The “Phone Book” Stealth Cover. Only $0.99

Make Your Own Kindle Cover - VOLUME 1 - THE SUPER-EASY COVERS, Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer, diy kindle cover, cheap kindle cover, easy kindle cover, no sew kindle cover, duct tape kindle cover, duck tape kindle cover

VOLUME 2 – THE SLIGHTLY MORE CHALLENGING (BUT STILL SUPER EASY) COVERS, guides you through every step from start to finish to make The Upcycled Hardcover, An Old Jeans Ipad (Or Other Device) Sleeve, A Durable Yet Elegant Fabric Cover, and A Stand-Up Cover. Only $0.99

Make Your Own Kindle Cover, VOLUME 2 - THE SLIGHTLY MORE CHALLENGING (BUT STILL SUPER-EASY) COVERS, Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer, diy kindle cover, cheap kindle cover, easy kindle cover, no sew kindle cover

VOLUME 3 – THE SILLY AND ADORABLE PLUSH KITTY-CAT COVERS guides you through every step from start to finish to make a Kindle cover like no other. And if you’re looking to give a younger Kindle reader a one-of-a-kind gift, what could be more amusing and unique than their own plush cover. Instructions show how you can add a strap, so it can be carried like a shoulder bag as well.

Make Your Own Kindle Cover - VOLUME 3 - THE SILLY AND ADORABLE PLUSH KITTY-CAT COVERS (Fun, Easy, (And Cheap) No-Sew Kindle Covers For The Frugal Do-It-Yourselfer) [Kindle Edition], diy kindle cover, make your own kindle cover, easy to make kindle cover, no sew kindle cover, kindel cover, make my own kindle cover, funny cat kindle cover, cheap kindle cover

And finally, for only $1.99, you can get all the tutorials listed above in NINE DESIGNS – LIMITLESS VARIATIONS.

MAKE YOUR OWN KINDLE COVER - Nine Designs - Limitless Variations (FUN, EASY, (AND CHEAP) NO-SEW KINDLE COVERS FOR THE FRUGAL DO-IT-YOURSELFER, make your own kindle cover, kindel cover, duct tape kindle cover, easy kindle cover, cheap kindle case, make a kindle case, no sew kindle case