Sunday, December 11, 2011

finally made Christmas dresses!

I meant to do this last year and didn't get around to it. This year I was determined. There are so many cute ones on Etsy, but they are at least $35 each plus shipping. I made 2 for that price :) The hardest part was coordinating fabrics and I'm still not thrilled with the green, but it was the best they had and the girls love it so I'm considering the project a success.

me being cheap

Eric's Christmas gift came in the mail this week and I was all out of wrapping paper and tape. I don't like buying paper that is immediately thrown away so I considered other options. The box it was shipped in was filled with brown paper and I had some twine left over from St. Nicholas Day gifts.

The paper was perforated so I didn't need scissors. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

make your own laundry detergent

I have been meaning to try making my own detergent for so long. I just never remember to find all the supplies or I just bought a new detergent and don't need any. I finally got around to giving it a try. There are a few ways to do it and I chose the simple powder for my first try. Here's how it went.

Grate one bar of soap. I used Dr. Bronner's lavender scent, but a cheaper alternative would be Zote or Fels-Naptha which were both available in my local Walmart and grocery store.

Then I added one cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Powder.

And one cup of Borax. Sorry I don't have the box, this is something I've had in the cupboard for awhile.

And here is what we ended up with.

I'm using one tablespoon per load for a regular load in an HE front loader. The first load seems clean and it was bath towels and socks. I have a cold load running now so we'll see if it dissolves and works well in cold water. I'll update in an hour or so :)

If you prefer a liquid detergent you can use the same ingredients and add water. I have enough supplies to try this too so I may add photos when I get to it :)

  1. Grate one bar of soap with cheese grater or food processor.
  2. Put grated soap in pan with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, stirring constantly until soap is completely dissolved.
  3. Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket (available for free in bakeries at grocery stores, just ask them) and stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda until completely dissolved.
  4. Pour soap mixture from pan into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
  5. Cover and leave overnight.
  6. Shake or stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers.
  7. Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load.