For years I would buy whatever detergent was on sale not thinking a thing about the safety of the product or that it was still costly. I totally trusted manufactures to keep my family safe. Then I learned that manufactures could use whatever chemicals they wanted and they are not regulated by the government (not sure the extent of that truth but it bothered me). The kicker was when we received our foster babies and our tiny infant would breakout in little bumps all over, even with the baby friendly detergent. I switched her to free and clear and while they eliminated some of the problem I also had to switch diapers, wipes, lotions, bath wash, everything and the one company they met all those needs was Honest Company...even her detergent.
At the beginning of 2017 I wrote in My 75 goal board that I wanted to learn to make our own laundry detergent. Actually, in the last few weeks I've decided to research out and look for healthy cleaning products for our home all together too. As a foster family it's important that chemicals be kept locked up but what if the products weren't chemicals but everyday household products? Safety is now the issue. I'm learning folks. Feel free to help me out with advice anytime.
I have pinned lots of recipes on Pinterest and they are all similar but have different ingredients for many different reasons. So for me it came down to what ingredients I could finding where available. With 2 toddlers, bouncing them back and forth for store to store was not my idea fun.
Super Washing Soda $4.99
Baking Soda $3.49
Meyers Laundry Booster $9.99
Fels Napha $2.00
Total: $33.20 respectively
Made 2 gallons of product with approx 500 washes.
that's around $0.07 a load.
My Tide was around $0.20 a load
My Honest Company was $0.13 a load when purchased as part of my bundle.
Let's Get Started
Using my trusty food processor I grated all the bars of soap. 2 Fels Napha and 1 Zote.
Once they were grated down I dumped them into a bowl and then added handfuls back to the processor for chopping.
You can see the difference above.
Once the soap was grated I began layering all the ingredients as shown. I scooped out about a pound of the baking soda into another container for another project because my bag was 5 lbs and I only needed 4. Then I started pouring in a little of each ingredient until it was all emptied into the 2 gallon jar, except for the Borax because I hadn't decided yet if I wanted to use it.
The hardest part is mixing it all evenly. Luckily I own a large paint/concrete stirring tool that fits in my cordless drill. I plunged it down in the mixture and stirred. Stopping to stir by hand with a large spoon to make sure everything was mixing at the bottom.
This was the amount in the 2 gallon jar before the borax. I then decided to add it as well. I've used borax for years and figure the next batch I make I may decide leave it out. This is my first time so I wanted the most bang for my buck.
I have been given some good advice since making my first batch. One, is to use Castile soap bars. I like that, if I can find them. The other is using vinegar and essential oil to soften the fabric and keep residue from building. Plus vinegar prevents any mildew smell of left a little too long in the wash. I'm pretty excited about this little journey of making more homemade things for my house. I will be doing this again and I'll update if there are any changes I make to my recipe.
Next up, toilet bowl cleaner. 😊
I spent some money today buying trinkets and plastic charms and all kinds of tiny goodies and found a new store that I LOOOOOVEE! It's called...Tiny Things Are Cute. I'm seriously in love and I feel an addiction coming on. So, I'm getting prepared to make about 20 of these little suckers.
8 oz of Poly-pellets or white rice
4" x 4" Heave clear vinyl
1 Fat Quarter for back and binding
1 Sheet of Printable Fabric (optional) or
1 Coordinating Fat Quarter
20 or so small trinkets
1 sheet of felt in a solid color
Let's Get Started:
1. To make your own front that is printed on fabric you will need to use a photo shop program. Create a 7" x 7" graphic to work with. Start by giving your graphic a border 1" inside by making a 6" x 6" border. Just inside the border you can simple add text or you can add text and graphics. I found many of the little pictures to match the items going into my bag by Googling for the images. I space the images and text out all the way around, just inside the border. Add a 3" circle to the center and print on your fabric.
If you can't find printable fabric you can try this technique...
To print anything you want to on fabric, cut white muslin and freezer paper 8 1/2" X 11". Iron shiny side of freezer paper to back of fabric. Send paper and fabric through an ink jet printer. Press printing when finished to help set ink.
2. Cut the center circle out very neatly as shown.
3.Place clear vinyl under printed fabric, centered with window. Sew close to the edge to secure vinyl to fabric. Turn over and trim vinyl 1/4" away from the stitch line.
4. Cut a piece of felt 7" by 7", this will be a solid back ground for your bag. Cut for back and binding 11" x 11". Lay felt centered on the wrong side of the fabric.
5. Fold edges 1" in all the way around so that they lay against the felt edge. This will leave a 1" fold to work with.
6.Lay printed fabric face up centered with felt, fold back fabric over 1" and line up with the 1" border on your printed fabric. Begin sewing fabric down near the center of one side.
7. As you come to a corner tuck in the corner to create a 45 degree angle and stitch down as you go around, just back over it and then forward again.
8. This is how your back will look. When you are about 2" from finishing your binding, stop open up the hole an funnel in your pellets between the felt and the printed fabric. Then add your trinkets and finish sewing up your binding.
If you don't want to print your fabric and just make a list you can add a small pocket on the back fabric before sewing to insert a card but I suggest adding a printed card and applying vinyl over the top of it so that it will never get lost. Then just make a square window with the vinyl on the fabric for the front of the bag. There are many versions out there of this bag but this is my favorite way of making them.
I now have purchased trinkets in bulk and pellets form Hobby Lobby. They can be found in the section where supplies are kept for making dolls and stuffed animals, I've even used pellets out of knock off beanie babies from thrift stores but I think it's just as cheap to by the pellets. Good luck!
P.S. Visit this link for more information on printing on fabric and images.
I've been trying to add more light to my house with lots more white and I was highly curious how shiplap would make me feel. I love the idea of it but is it something I would want lots of? I decided that my laundry room was the place to go for it. I did my best to document the process.
as you can see in this picture I had started painting the laundry room teal years ago with the intention of doing bead board. I also started tiling the backsplash to my counter too. That's another project to share another day. My husband and I "ripped" (or sawed) plywood into long 8" tall strips. The plywood we used was the thinnest we could by. 1/8" Lauan plywood 4x8'. Lowes will cut it for you but usually will charge per cut. It took 6 boards at approximately $12 each. In a small place with lots of nooks and crannies, it seemed like we did s great deal of additional cuts on our own. I imagine a single wall with little interruption would go up really fast.
I applied the first board at the bottom of the wall along the trim and used nickels to create an even gap. Using my nail gun and air compressor I used trim nails to attach tha boards. I angled the nails at different angles to secure the boards more firmly. Below is an example of my handy dandies. These tools will change your life! Or at least open up your home improvement world.
I decided that I was going to have to do something a little different than I had seen before and it would give the boards depth to make them look more authentic.
If you'll notice the bottom half of the wall still shows where I sprayed a dark brown spray paint into the crevices. I tried several methods and this one was the fastest. I used big poster board and wore a mask with the window open. The poster board was great for catching the spray particles on the ceiling and floor and cabinets. The other particles washed off the floor and appliances easily as they dried in the air and were more like a powder. Don't attempt this without a mask and safety goggles.
Using a roller brush made for a smooth finish I painted the entire room white being careful not to over saturate the brush. Drips between the boards weren't what I was looking for.
The hardest parts were in the details I ripped 2 inch wide strips to trim out the corners and had to take down, trim, and reinstall these shelves.
As I finished I found I really loved the look. It reminded me of an old back room in an old farmhouse. I added a few minor details on the wall and window sill
The tile! Oh this was fun and easy. I had to redo places that shifted when I moved the counter top and using s light grey tile really cleaned it all up.
I absolutely love this space
When my boys were little I made them these little chefs aprons complete with hats and oven mitts. It was a year when money was tight at Christmas so I made these to go with a cookbook I bought them and a few colorful utensils. It's been close to 7 years and we still have these hanging and ready to use. The smaller one was passed down and the hats have gone MIA but they still love their colorful aprons.
Chefs hat and oven glove are also available.
A dear friend shared an idea of writing something you are thankful for every week all year long on a little sheet of paper and putting it in a jar to reflect on at the end of the year. I immediately thought of how fun this would be for my kids but with a twist.
A Jar a Full of Stars
Once upon a time I used paper stars in a jar as incentives for my first graders. They loved it when I handed them a little paper star for doing well. I could whip on up fast and their eyes would glow. The could keep them or add them to a jar we were filling for a party day or cupcakes for good behavior. This is a twist on the stars those babies loved.
So, I grabbed some pretty scrapbook paper and started cutting 1/2" strips of paper.
I will cut all these in half and stick thing in a smaller jar for the kids take one out when they are ready to write on a strip something they are thankful for that week. Then we will fold them up and make a little star for our jar like below.
You simply start tying one end of a stripe of paper (1/2" x 5.5") in a sort of knot. You don't want one end to be long, so you can tie it closer to the end or tear the extra off. Begin folding the strip around the knot, pretty paper side out. You will have a flat little pentagon with a tail that needs tucking in. Now to make the star.
With your finger nail, press in the 5 flat sides of pentagon. It will puff out the and create a little dent. You now have a star.
We are excited to fill our jar with stars with things we are grateful for this year.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:35
This is one of my favorite patterns. I have made so many of these over the years for other and I still carry the one I made nearly 7 years ago for myself. I hope you enjoy this pattern.
A reverse applique and monogram was PERFECT for this pattern.
DIY Non-slip Covered Hanger Tutorial
It's the perfect gift for the upcoming bride or to hold your items that have delicate straps.
Dress up all your ugly wire hangers that are always getting tangled in the laundry room closet so they'll look pretty and presentable for guests or to give with gifts.
1. Using craft paper, trace your hanger, add 1/2 inch to the sides and 1 inch to the bottom
2. Use the template to cut 2 pieces of fabric.
3. With right sides together, pin and sew the sides, slightly less than 1/2 "or 1/4" in at the seam.
4. Stop 1/2" short of the center at the top to leave space for the hook to slip through.
5. Hem at the bottom all the way around.
6. To make the hanger cover non-slip, add to small buttons to the end of each hanger directly on the seam line. (shown is 1" away from the curve of the hanger at the end.)
I made these as a bridal shower gift years ago.
Thanks Aimee for letting me share this quick and easy tutorial for window paint.
I am excited to be here! My name is Kristy Neeley and I have 4 kids aged 1, 2,4 and 6. We have a good time and they keep me busy! I also write a fun crafty, healthy, DIY blog at www.apronsandapples.blogspot.com .
This particular project is very easy and you may already have all the supplies you need on hand.
We had a lot of fun with this!
To get started all you need are four baby jars, 4 colors of tempera paint and liquid dish soap and a paint brush to mix it all up with.
First start by adding the desired color of paint to the jar.
Now just add a little dish soap.
The more soap you use the thinner the paint will be and the easier it will be to wipe off when it is dry.
We liked a bit more paint then soap since our paints were kind of thin to start with.
Now have a ball! My kids sure did.
This also works great for signs on cars for sale or houses for rent.
A set of a few different colors made up in baby food jars makes a great gift for kiddos. You can even add cute labels to the jar. You can find a huge selection of free printable labels from my blog here.
Hope you have as much fun doing this as we did!
Come visit us anytime for more fun crafty, healthy, DIY ideas!
I am so excited to be guest posting here at HomeSpun Threads! The Summer Soiree posts have been great and have given me many ideas of how to fill the summer days with my two boys. I am Andrea, from Pie Birds, Buttons and Muddy Puddles. I love to craft, cook and create, and find ways to be frugal and make things myself. Today, I am going to show you how to make your own bubbles, wands and blowers at home, for a fraction of the price you pay at the store! And it's fun, I promise. My boys, ages 5 and 3, had a blast helping me make the bubbles and wands, and had even more of a blast playing with them! All the pictures in this post were taken my good friend and photographer, Travis Sharkey. You can check his blog here. Okay, let's get started!
Homemade Bubbles, Wands and Blowers
You will need:
1 gallon plastic jug (recycled from your gallon of milk or water
2/3 cup of Joy dish soap
2 1/2 Tablespoons of liquid glycerin (found in health and medicine area of Walmart or any other drug store)*
plastic bottles (recycled juice or water bottles)
*you can substitute Karo light corn syrup for the liquid glycerin if you can't find it
Measure your dish soap and glycerin in a measuring cup.
Pour into plastic jugs.
Fill the jug with water. Let the suds at the top subside (I let the water help push some of them out of the jug and into the sink). Cover the jug and shake really well. My boys had fun taking turns shaking.
To make your own bubble wands, cut straws in various lengths and make any shape you like. We did triangles, diamonds and squares.
Insert string into the center of each straw to string the straws together into your shape.
Tie a knot to secure, and cut off any excess string. If your string frays at the ends, you can use a lighter to melt the ends to prevent fraying. Make sure an adult does that step.
To make your own bubble blowers, cut the tops off of recycled juice or water bottles. You might have to poke the center of the bottle with a knife to get an opening, and then use kitchen scissors to even the cut all around. You can make these any length you want. We cut ours pretty short. Again, this step is for adults.
We used a couple smaller water bottles, and one big water bottle. Now we are ready to play! Head outside with your homemade bubbles, wands and blowers.
Pour some of your homemade bubbles into a tray or pan (an old round cake pan works perfectly).
Dip your straws into the solution and blow.
Making homemade bubbles, wands and blowers is so easy and super fun! Now go raid your recycle bins and have a great summer! Come and visit Pie Birds, Buttons and Muddy Puddles for more fun kid activities and plenty of great summer recipes.
Thanks Aimee, for letting me participate in the Summer Soiree at HomeSpun-Threads.
This week has been physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Do you ever feel that way too? Like you can't fit it all into your schedule, that the unexpected circumstances that arise are deflating your will power, that the more you feel you are doing good for others you in turn feel depleted and tired? Yeah. (long sigh) Me too.
I sometimes feel like I have too many irons in the fire. I have a direct sales business, an Etsy shop, I take orders, sew clothes, enjoy home improvement, love to cook, have laundry on a rotating schedule, hired a house keeper to help clean (praise!), shuffle babies back and forth to visitations, kids in AWANAS, choir practice, church, Bible study, and at some point I need to find time to shower. Didn't that just exhaust you reading it?
There's even more when you talk about the kids school and exercise and shopping. Geez!!! No wonder I threw my tired self down on the couch last weekend and checked out.
Custom jewelry orders are coming in. That's just God showing out. He promised me the marketplace was where I would find my provision for my family. He is true to His promises. I'm truly blessed!
I love working with my hands and I keep them busy for sure! Only tonight as I laid in bed and all was quite and dark I felt a real stirring deep inside me. I was being called to my prayer closet. It gets real deep in there. I sat down, read my devotional, 2 chapters in my Fervent book, filled out 3 prayer cards, then closed my eyes. I took a deep breath that traveled to my soul and back. I exhaled my prayers spilled out. Every hurting friend who had asked for prayer, for all the tired mommas, for my children, my husband, for myself, for everything I asked Him for wisdom. For myself, I cried that I was overwhelmed and not feeling sufficient and asked for guidance. Do I slow down? How? Do I rest? When? Am I really over loaded? No! I'm just not careful. I'm not focused. You can't be in the world and have it all together. I can't worry about elections or arguments on Facebook. I can't keep scrolling through videos and newsfeeds. I can't keep reading status updates from every person on my list who has a thought or checks in. I can't worry about those things.
The work is never easy. However no matter what I do or how hard I work 1 Corinthians 3:7 says....
"...but God who gives the increase."
1 Corinthians 3:8 says....
"One will receive his own reward according to his own labor."
I labored. I shiplapped my laundry room, painted, and tiled that sucker this week. I worked hard. My hands hurt and my feet hurt but the effort was worth it. Even if it is just a laundry room.
I shared all this to say...
I am tired...
So I prayed with a weary body and a weary mind tonight. Lord, am I doing too much. Am I? Sometimes it feels amazing to accomplish so much and sometimes it is plain exhausting. The Lord gave us all gifts and talents. I give Him glory for anything I accomplish. As I prayed over my Bible for words of wisdom I opened right to this well known passage.
The Virtuous Woman
I read through Proverbs 31 and took a deep breath. A sigh of relief this time. Every single verse made me feel better about how I have so much that I am doing for my family. How can anyone of us live up to this "Virtuous Woman" role described here?
Many of us already do.
I encourage you to read through it. When you're feeling overwhelmed read this passage. It is encouraging. It's not about living up to this expectation. It's about slowing down and being careful and thoughtful towards whatever role you have.
It's about being deliberate and thinking through what needs to be done. Picture it, a woman quietly rising early and starting her day, providing, caring for, offering herself at all times to help her family and others. It's almost like a dance through life. One that is fierce and gentle.
I picture a ballerina and how graceful she is. How she floats through the air and her points are perfect. What I didn't see was all the hard work and bloody feet it took to create the illusion of grace and weightlessness. When she bows out, the audience applauds. Behind the curtain she is proud and exhausted; energized and worn.
I can do this. You can do this.
Praise God we were built to do this!
I am sufficient.