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Finally- Homemade Laundry Detergent

I’ve been meaning to do this for a very long time, but I’ve somehow ended up with free or crazy cheap detergent for the last two years. (Tough life, right? ūüėČ ) I actually still have some from the store, but I got impatient.

I made this in the beginning of December and this is how much I have left.¬†Most of the recipes I read said¬†1 tablespoon per load, but I always 2 because that seems so teeny. The second picture is of my tablespoon scoop to give you an idea of just how much detergent is left. I’ll be using this forever! That said, my laundry always smells so fresh now. It’s been especially nice for my towels, which I always felt like I was fighting the water funk smell with. Not anymore.

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

This is what I ended up doing after reading- I don’t know how many recipes.

 

  • 1 4lb? box Arm & Hammer Washing Powder
  • 1 4lb box Borax
  • 3 bars Fels-Naptha
  • 1 3lb box of oxi-clean

 

I wish I had written down the exact pricing, but as I recall, the total came out to something under $20 and I figured out that using 2 T would make it 2 1/2 cents a load. It would be even cheaper if I had used off brand oxi clean or had a coupon, but I was afraid to try on off brand for something I knew nothing about, on a project that would produce this much stuff I would have to use….

Anyway, I grated the bar soap in the food processor, and then I send it through again with the blade to make it powder. After that I poured it, along with everything else into a trash bag and mixed it up. Don’t do this in the kitchen, by the way. No reason, other than the powder that will try to escape everywhere.

That’s it! It was very fast, and I LOVE the final product.

 

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The Painted Dresser and the Bread Jar

I can’t tell, is this a little girl’s room?

That blue dresser is the fruit of my white feet. She adores it

And just could not be stopped from putting her clothes away in it

I spray painted this time. I loved that it was fast. Not only because I, like the rest of the fast food nation, love immediate satisfaction, but because it¬†disrupted family life a lot less than dragging out the paint can everyday. I got this all done in one afternoon. However, I did not like that no matter what you do, the paint will get everywhere. Everywhere. I may or may not have had blue snot for days, despite wearing a mask. Eeeeeeeeeew. I’d spray paint again though.¬†Convenience¬†for the win. Blue boogers tolerated.

I’ve been making our bread for a bit now. In a bread machine. I’m not Betty Crocker. Anyway, since this has become our only bread, I’ve had a conundrum- How to store the bread. Should I use a new gallon ziploc every week? Try to wash it? Use an old grocery sack? Most weeks the bread sat under a hand towel on a cutting board while I pondered this. I was experiencing an undo amount of worry (and crumbs) over this issue. One day the solution hit me though.

Bam, bread in the cookie jar.

Takes up less space on the counter than a gallon sized plastic bag or a cutting board draped with a makeshift cover, and looks about a hundred times better.

You’re welcome.

A Few Projects

I started making our fabric softener some time ago. It was one of those, hit-me-at-11pm-most-do-now things. It tends to happen around here.

I wasn’t worried about this because I have been using just vinegar forever, so I figured, how could a little water and conditioner ruin it? I made it from this website, but I use half the conditioner. The first time I tried to skip the whisking step. Don’t do that. You’re only making more work for yourself:)

Without further ado- cellphone pictures.

I use an old gallon vinegar bottle and it works perfectly.

I also ripped up an atlas from 1926 to put it on my wall. Don’t look at me like that, it was already in pieces and I saved it from the trash bin

I have a desk that I reeeeeeally didn’t want to repaint. It has a hutch (so much to paint!) and it looks just fine in my room! Except for the drawers. The previous owner tried to paint the¬†recessed¬†part a different color and it was ugly. Very ugly. Even without the sharpie marks. So I got creative to avoid having to paint the whole thing

Turns out we DO use that menu board. Go us.

And I painted the toddler’s dresser today. Pictures, not of my feet, to come.

And do you see that paint covered bandaid on my toe? That’s from stepping on a nail that fell out of the dresser (GHFMSNWKGHJEK!!!!!) and dangled from my foot for a little bit while I stared in shock. ¬†And if you can believe it, I forgot that if a nail was wedged into my foot- it might bleed. I stepped down after I took it out, thinking to get on with my project… only to bloody the floor.

I might be the most ridiculous person on the planet.

Crafting gives me hives… and oh look, a menu board

Sometimes I get crazy ideas. Once a crazy idea has formed, I pretty much can’t be relied on to focus on anything else until I have satiated the beast. This time, I decided I should make a menu board. Actually, I decided I needed a menu board. Obviously, a menu board was the answer to all dinner dilemma woes. And I would save money because it would make weekly menu planning all the easier if I could just pick up my most commonly used meals and thumb through them.

And oh pinterest, how you egged me on by directing me to an example of how perfect and easy it could be.

I did have a few moments of sanity. In these moments, I remembered that I’m a tad ocd without any artistic abilities, so I looked all over the web for an acceptable (read: cheap and not make-your-eyes-bleed ugly) stand-in that I could just purchase. Alas, it was not meant to be.

So I stared at paper and stickers for 30 minutes, I started feeling itchy and anxious about halfway through, and I burned my finger. Though in all fairness, you kind of get what you deserve if you are wielding  hot glue at 1:30 in the morning.

And after all that?

Blammo!

Ignore how weird the picture is. Looks better in person…

I haven’t written on the cards yet, but the basic idea is that I will start with all the cards in the top (a .25 crayon container), pick 7 for the week, at the end of the week they go into the bottom container. Rinse and repeat. That way you cycle through your meals. I’m in love.

Chalkboard Backsplash Part 1

My kitchen had no backsplash. I found this very odd. How does a ten year old house make it through life without acquiring some kind of backsplash?

Maybe the previous owners had the same issue I did, which is that I didn’t want to bother with tiling it when I knew I would replace the counter… someday… No way I was going to tile the backsplash only to possibly have a good portion of it destroyed if and when the counter had to go.

I needed something temporary, that I could do, that would bring a little extra something to my kitchen, and possibly more durability. It was a tall order. I googled many variations of “diy backsplash” before I struck gold. Chalkboard paint. Colored chalkboard paint.

I set out to get rustoleum chalkboard paint in garnet. I’m typing that out with the hopes that google bots will eventually find it, because I couldn’t find pictures of it. Aren’t garnets lovely? The picture on the box was a nice deep red. ¬†Little darker than this.

Apparently that picture actually meant this color

It was awful. I’m only exaggerating a little.

Once I got my paint, fresco red is what we went with, I did it the lazy man way and taped everything up. My mom paints to perfection without tape, honestly. I threw on tape and plastic tarp like it was going out of style though. Even if I was feeling brave, I don’t even know what brand of paint was used on the rest of the house, never mind have a bucket on hand for touch-ups, should I accidentally paint some of it fresco red…

Here’s after one coat. This is the time where you would freak out if you don’t realize that dark colors will look like garbage after the first coat. It’s normal. This paint also has a different texture than regular paint, so that adds to it.

And after the second coat

I’m doing one more coat today, and I think we should be good. I can’t draw on it for some ridiculous amount of time though. Three days, I think. So that’s when you get to see it with its third coat, without the blue tape, the stove back in place, and what the heck, we’ll draw on the walls a little.

The Nativity- Toddler Style

I want to start this off by saying that I’m kinda drugged right now (wasn’t while making the blocks). I have been having nothing short of a beastly time sleeping lately and hubs has been begging me to take a sleeping aid for… some time. I finally did, but didn’t tell him. (shhhhhh) I am loooooooooooooopy. Don’t mind the grammar, spelling, words, placement. Just dond’t mind anything, got that! I especially don’t want you blowing my cover. I want to see how long it takes him to notice that my cheese slid off my cracker. [Note from hubs: I found out. And good thing, too. You should’ve seen this post before she asked me to proof-read/edit for her.] [Sorry to ruin the fun, but it really wasn’t fit to be read… unless you also had taken a sleeping pill so it would make sense to you, too]

Right! Tutorial! Don’t let the appearance fool you. There was nothing crafty about this. This was a cheap mom, with no skills, seeking out something cute.

Supplies. I chose building blocks in two sizes, mod podge, cheapest acrylic yellow I could find, nativity stickers (could be just printed paper if your printer rocks the colors), sponge applicators or paintbrushes, scissors.

This pile shall be beautiful. Just you wait;)

My thoughts on the star are that it can be used as a backdrop ¬†with the stable on it, or the plain side can just lay on the floor while we stack on and around it. I painted it with $0.30 acrylics from Michaels. Sorry star, didn’t mean to cheapen you…

I cut the white from around the sticker for personal preference reasons and then slapped them on their blocks and started gooing them up with mod podge. I found it very surprising how long after the first coat  you could smooth out bubbles and remind shepherds where they were supposed to be. I have become a believer in the Cult of Mod Podge.

To be clear, this is not a craft. No special skills were involved in the cute-ifying of this child’s toy! And even if it was, I can’t claim to be the¬†originator¬†of this idea.

Settle down for the great¬†reveal. I did several coats of mod, especially on baby Jesus, because let’s be honest, that’s always the piece that gets¬†hammered the most by LG. “BABY!”

And this is what you’re left with!

oror…

You get the point. How cute are those?! And they are easy, and cheap. And not going to break next week.

Homemade Cleaners

This is right up my alley because it saves money, and it saves plastic (someone stop my bleeding heart). However, it wasn’t either of those reasons that finally convinced me to read about a hundred different “recipes” for homemade cleaners. It was straight up being wary of spraying chemicals all over my house.

Seems like we need ten different bottles of formula this, and extra strength that, but as often at not, we don’t even know what we’re spraying around. I don’t want to get into that though.

I still have several bottles hanging around that I’m going to slowly make my way through (can’t let the stuff I already have go to waste), but you’re about to see my main bottle stash. The things I prefer to clean with, in the bottles I will refill instead of throwing out.

Everything you need

First I filled up my “all purpose cleaner” bottle with all purpose cleaner. No confusion that way. This is what I clean counters, mirrors, windows, etc, with. Are you ready for my special mix?

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • fill the rest of the bottle with water. This one is about 24 ounces.
I know the smell bothers some people, but that diluted, it’s really not strong, and the smell is gone quickly. Vinegar is a favorite of mine in the cleaning world. I also use it as my fabric softener. It’s effective, and works as an antibacterial, without going overboard.

My second bottle is my heavy duty cleaner, for bathrooms and such.

This is a smaller bottle, about 20 ounces. In here we have:
  • 2T borax
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 t liquid soap (OK, this was a squirt, I wasn’t about to bother with measuring that!)
  • Fill with water, stopping half full to swish until the borax¬†dissolves
  • Few drops of food coloring to make it look dangerous;)
I personally wouldn’t use this on my counter, but I did try it out on my stove. You know how it’s always getting nasty by the burners? Yeah, it’s amazing actually.
So there you have it. And it took me longer to write this post than to make and try out my new cleaners.

All purpose, heavy duty, water.

I like to hang my bottles over the washing machine.

Painting Old Dressers

These are my craiglist score. I got two dressers and two nightstands for…

wait for it

wait for it

just a little longer

$50

I was beside myself with giddiness. Even their mirrors in the front could not make me less pleased about this purchase. Below is the craigslist pictures, and just like I”m not going to bother with picturing both nightstands, neither did they…

image 0

image 1

image 2

I didn’t sand. I’m a rebel like that. OK, I’m not a rebel, I just used an awesome, oil based primer that could make dry spaghetti stick to the wall. I believe it was Zinsser bin. Two coats of that, and then two coats of my lovely green. I used behr eggshell. If I weren’t going to gloss it though, I would have wanted the semi-gloss, for this project, it just didn’t matter.

After that I used behr faux glaze mixed with some brown paint. Sometimes it was fifty fifty, sometimes it was more glaze. Just work with it. Some people only paint over the crevices and wipe away, leaving the color only in the gaps. I had started with that intent, but I found like I really liked the look of painting it on everywhere, and leaving a good bit of color behind as I wiped it down with a rag.

Also, I kept a bucket of water next to me and rinsed (wring it out really well) my rag regularly, then switched rags every so often. You’ll know when to switch rags!

Here she is. I think the green is a little washed out by the flash, but what can you do? (It’s only two of the pieces, but I think you get the idea…)

Now to get to that bare wall behind it.

Showing the glaze

Side note, I tried using a brush, using a traditional roller, cheapy sponge brush, and a foam roller. I’ve heard foam rollers are the best for furniture, but I prefer the brush, and it’s what I would have stuck with if I hadn’t been painting four pieces of furniture at the same time.

But how nice would a paint sprayer be?

Would I do this project again? Absolutely. In fact, I’m starting to feel like I need a red kitchen table.

What would I do differently?

I would not paint four pieces all at once again. Supposing you have a family to take care of, I would give you the same advice.

Bar to Liquid Body Wash

I get LOTS of free samples. Honestly, I’ve had to cut back on what I will order for free because it was starting to clutter up my house. I also coupon, so I have lots of cheap to free shampoos, conditioners, and lotions hanging around. I’ve noticed that body wash isn’t free or hanging around just for pennies very often though.

Well, maybe if you’re willing to store hop, which I am not. I think you spend more money on gas and time then it’s worth. Personal opinion from a lady with a toddler.

So body wash. I saw a bar soap to liquid hand soap recipe on pinterest and I thought, why the heck couldn’t I do that for body wash? We currently had a very nice, homemade bar of soap in our shower getting washed down the drain, because you can never quite keep it out of the line of fire.

I started googling around, and I mainly followed this blog. It’s the one I recommend because she has fairly exact directions, measurements, and she answers questions in her comments section.

I, however, did not measure exactly, but here’s how it went down.

Hubs grated what was left of the bar (about 2/3 of a bar, I think) from the shower into the pot. When he got down to about a square half inch nub, I encouraged him to throw it in the pot and be done. This was a mistake. It took forever for that nub to melt. (Although my hands still smell quite nice from stirring for so long)

The dog wanted to eat it. Seriously, that’s some good smelling soap.

I added about (I think) 8 cups of water, not really knowing how much soap I had in there, and about 1 tablespoon of glycerin. The glycerin was in the pharmacy at publix. About $2 for six ounces, and what did I use, half an ounce? So it will get you pretty far.

I may have used the grater to stir just a little bit.

Once is was all melted, I just turned off the stove and left it over night. It will be more runny than syrup at this point, but don’t be discouraged. It has to be left to cool for at least 8 hours.

I’ve read a lot about people having trouble with it coming out in a “snot”¬†consistency, which I wondered to myself about. Well, wonder no more because mine did.

This picture doesn’t do it justice, by the way. If I’m being honest, ¬†it was kind of nauseating to look at as I moved the pot.

I whipped it up with a whisk though and voila! However, I probably should have let it settle a little after that before pouring into containers…

It got the seal of approval after its trial run.

Most people have bar soaps hanging around the house, so we’re talking a $2 investment in glycerin to make ? gallons of body or hand wash. After I’m done with the homemade bars, I plan on using those bars you pick up at hotels. I plan to add a little coconut oil to those because I’m suspicious of them. I cook with coconut oil, so this is another thing just hanging around my house.