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Insect Repelling Solutions

DIY Insect Repelling Solutions & FREE Labels

How to repel insects

It’s that time of the year when the creepy crawlies invade our outdoor spaces. While we’d like most of them to “bug off,” not all insects are harmful for people or gardens. In fact some insects are GOOD for pest control. 

Here are some easy insect repelling solutions you can try for aphids, mosquitos, slugs and more. Included are mixtures you can make yourself and instructions on making a DIY Citronella Candle– as well as ideas for dealing with insects using items you probably already have on hand. 

Easy DIY Bug Repellents

The following recipes are meant to fill 14 oz spray bottles.

Make your own bug repellents


1. Aphid Off Spray {For Roses}

Ingredients: 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 cups of water, a funnel, spray bottle (14 oz) and old nylons

Directions: Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor. Cut off the “foot” area of and old pair of nylons and strain mixture into a large measuring cup. Set funnel in spray bottle and add pour mixture in. Shake well and use to repel aphids from rose bushes. Test on an inconspicuous area first. Use a couple of squirts on the early morning hours. Remember to spray both the tops and bottoms of leaves.

2. Bugs be Gone Spray (For Decks, Play Structures and Patios)

 Ingredients: 1/2 onion, 4 garlic cloves, 2 cups of water, 2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp liquid dish soap, a funnel, spray bottle (14 oz) and old nylons

Directions: Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor. Cut off the “foot” area of and old pair of nylons and strain mixture into a large measuring cup. Set funnel in spray bottle and add pour mixture in. Shake well and use on decks, play structured and patios to repel bugs.

3. Bug Off Mosquito Spray (For People)

Ingredients: 16 ounce bottle of Witch Hazel, 10 drops of citronella essential oil, 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil, 5 drops of tea tree essential oil and 5 drops of lavender essential oil,  a funnel, large measuring cup and spray bottle (14 oz).

Directions: Pour witch hazel into large measuring cup, add essential oils and blend well. Using funnel, pour into spray bottle.

Test by spraying a squirt or two in an inconspicuous area to make sure there’s no reaction to the oils. If no adverse reaction, you can spray on exposed arms and legs but always keep away from eyes.

Easy DIY Bug Repellents {Label Download}

1. Click this link: Free DIY Insect Repellent Labels by Printabelle

2. Click actions (upper left), then view all sizes, select large and save to your computer

3. Print on sticker paper

I printed the labels on Avery White Sticker Paper from Ben Franklin Crafts Redmond and cut them out with scissors.

DIY Citronella Soy Candle
 DIY Citronella Candle

Keep mosquitos away with this pretty citronella candle.

Supplies: Soy Wax, Containers (I used glass jars from Ben Franklin Crafts Redmond), waxed wicks, wax (to adhere wick to jar– both items also available at Ben Frankin Crafts Redmond) and Citronella Essential Oil. You also need a food-safe thermometer and a microwave safe container. Tip: A glass measuring cup with a spout is helpful. You’ll also need pencils or rulers and tape (for keeping the wick straight).

Click the link for a tutorial on making Citronella Soy Candles. And download these free labels:

Free Citronella Candle Labels

DIY Citronella Candle {Label Download}

1. Click this link: Free Citronella Candle Labels by Printabelle

2. Click actions (upper left), then view all sizes, select large and save to your computer

3. Print on sticker paper

I printed the labels on Avery White Sticker Paper from Ben Franklin Crafts Redmond and cut them out with scissors.

 More Easy Bug Repellents

Here are some ideas about things you probably already have around your home that can also be used to repel bugs.

Fruit Flies: Pour a glass of apple cider vinegar and cover with plastic wrap. Using a pen or pencil, poke a few holes in the plastic wrap. Set near where you see the fruit flies. They will be attracted to the apple cider vinegar and get stuck in the glass.

Slugs and Snails: A squirt of regular vinegar will take care of slugs and snails. Another idea– pour beer into a shallow pie dish and “bury” the dish into ground where you’ve seen slugs. They will be drawn to the beer and drown.

Aphids: Ladybugs are a great “natural” way to deal with aphids. You can buy ladybugs at many garden stores. 

 Bees: Scented dryer sheets can help keep bees away. Tuck one on your pocket or if you are eating outdoors, tape it to your picnic blanket or picnic table.

If you like gardening ideas, check out my post on Frugal Gardening Gear Ideas:

DIY Garden Stones

 Disclaimer: These are bug repellent ideas that work for me, I make no claim or guarantee that they’ll work for everyone. Always test in a inconspicuous area. Catch my DIY Diva ideas on KOMO-TV.

Malia Karlinsky DIY Diva KOMO TV 

Revamp Your Kitchen with Home Depot

If you’re looking to revamp your kitchen on a budget, all you have to remember are the three R’s: Replace, Reface and Renew!

The kitchen is the heart of the home– meaning it gets used a ton! All that wear and tear as well as changes in decor trends can leave you longing for a new look… but worried about how much it will cost. When I was looking to update my kitchen, Home Depot was my “Home away from Home.” From choosing hardware to changing cabinets, they have everything you need! Whatever the scale of your kitchen revamp, there are amazing options available to you at Home Depot that won’t break the bank. Instead of feeling overwhelmed you will feel inspired and energized to get started on your kitchen project. The best part is there are ideas and choices that are perfect for every budget.

Check out this video to see why Home Depot is my go-to place for Home Improvement.


7 Fun and Frugal Gardening Gear Ideas

 Welcome KOMO Viewers!

Dollar Store Gardening Ideas

7 Fun and Frugal Gardening Ideas

Spring has sprung—it’s finally that time of the year where we go outside and get our gardens growing. But gardening gear doesn’t have to cost a “bunch.”  These fun and frugal gardening ideas are all under $10 bucks… they start as low as $1!

Painted Garden Rocks

Garden Stones: I saw some small garden stones at a big box retailer, and they were priced at six dollars apiece. Here’s a much cheaper idea. Instead, grab some stones from your garden (or a friend’s), paint them with acrylic paint, add adhesive letters from the dollar store and spray with sealer. You’ll have big beautiful garden stones for a fraction of the cost. 

fly swatters

Fancy Fly Swatters: It’s wonderful to be outdoors this time of year, but many insects can be pesky pests! You can find flyswatters (2 for a buck) and faux flowers ($1 for a bunch) and butterflies ($1 for 3) at stores like Dollar Tree. To make the fly swatters a little but fancy, use hot glue to secure the flowers and butterflies on the fly swatters. It almost makes swatting flies fun!

pretty garden pots

Pretty Pots: You can find “garden variety” pots out there for a steal right now and it’s easy to give them an upgrade. Give them a couple coats of spray paint (you probably have some in your garage) and then use laundry line to coil around the tops, using hot glue to keep them in place. Add flowers or butterflies to give them an extra special touch. The laundry line can be found at the Dollar Tree for a $1. Faux bunch of flowers and package of butterflies also $1 each there.

Cheap Plant Markers

Colorful Plant Markers: Here’s an idea for colorful garden markers that will cost you next to nothing. Pick up a package of plastic children’s spoons (a dollar for a dozen) and a sharpie pen. Voila… cute and economical markers.

Cheap Gardening Gloves

Grippy Gardening Gloves: Gardening gloves from discount stores are great (these were $1)— except the lack the “grip” of pricier pairs. Solution: puffy paint. Dab rows of dots of puffy paint on your gloves, let them set and you’ve got “grippy” gloves!

Easy Kitchen Composting

Kitchen Compost: If you’d like to try kitchen composting but don’t want to make a big investment, consider getting a small garbage can from a dollar store and line it with a BioBag, certified compostable food waste bags. You get 25 bags for under six dollars. This is a great way to add to your garden compost pile or just throw them in your yard waste can when full and you’ll be helping to cut down on garbage waste.

Garden Kneeling Pad

Flower Stamped Kneeling Pad: If you are going to be spending time tending to your plants in the garden—why not do it in style? Get a cheap kneeling pad (yes, this one was a dollar), a bunch of celery and some acrylic paint. Put a rubber band around the bottom of the bunch, dip into paint and stamp on kneepad. The celery makes a pretty flower pattern. You can finish by spraying some sealer on top.

DIY Cleaning Supplies

In case you missed my past KOMO segments here’s a link to my post on DIY Cleaning Supplies.

Frugal Cleaning Supplies.

Let’s Connect!

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Do you have any Fun and Frugal Gardening Tips? 

Share them in the comments!