7 Apr 2011, 7:44pm
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Home Ec Sewing Course

I have been wanting to learn to sew for a long time.  Well, sew proficiently!  I am a self-taught seamstress (by watching my mom), and am a lazy, rushed seamstress at that.  I seem to think that I can cut  corners and look at something and know how to sew it.  I have lots of projects that can prove me wrong!  

While cruising through the world of craft blogs a few weeks ago, I came across a site dreamed up by three talented women who sew and craft and do things I wish I could do!  They have created a series of tutorials to teach people like me to sew successfully.  It is only $60 for the course and unlimited access to the course…no time limit.  So I definitely count that as a budget friendly expense. My sister even donated a bunch of fabric to my cause. I still haven’t figured out if I need a new sewing machine, or if I should just borrow one…

I definitely recommend you checking them out…and I will let you know how I am doing when I actually start the course!

5 Apr 2011, 9:33pm
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Injury

I am sorry I haven’t been blogging lately, but I went on a quick visit to see my parents and sister and while there I cut off a bit of my thumb. It was bad enough to require 3 stitches…I’m hoping to be blogging again soon!

14 Mar 2011, 11:14pm
$10 Cost Felt Tutorials
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Rose Headband Tutorial

Remember the cute little flowers I made for a headband a while back?  I hope so, because it was only 4 posts or so back!  Anyway, I had this idea forming in my mind ever since I made those and I finally decided to give it a whirl.  I made a giant felt rose to clip onto a headband.

I had gone to Walmart and found some really cool felt.  I typically shy away from Walmart, but this felt screamed “buy me!” so I did.  And the cool thing, it’s recycled from old plastic bottles!

I’m not going to do the entire tutorial again, just tell you how to make the rose and clip.  For more details, click here.

Depending on desired size of rose, cut felt strip.  I made a large one this time so I cut my strips at about 1 inches wide.  I ended up cutting three of these.

Cut semi-circles.  Either free hand, or if you’re design challenged like I am, use a template…I made mine in Photoshop.  It was way more work than I needed to put in because, let’s face it, I could have used a bottle cap and just traced as I went…wow…why didn’t I think of that at the time!

Cut slits in between each of the semi-circles.  Leave about 1/4-1/2 inch of uncut felt.

Now roll!  Don’t forget to hot glue along the way.  Especially when you transition from one piece of felt to the next.

This is the tricky part.  You want to have left the rolling somewhat loose, because now you need to peel back each “petal”.  My rose was a tad tight, and I have had to keep peeling the petals back every now and then, but roses aren’t perfect, so mine fits right in!

I also took one of these nifty clips that I found at Walmart, covered part of it with felt (as shown) (totally not necessary!), and glued it to the back of the rose.  This way, I can change what I clip it to.  Very versatile!

Finished product on the sweetest head I know!

Now, you do not have to use this for a baby craft.  I just can’t pull the look off like she can!

Cost:  Pack of 12 felt – $3.95
Pack of clips – $3.00

Total:                                  $6.95

Obviously, per rose is cheaper, but this is the overall supply cost assuming you don’t already have felt.

9 Mar 2011, 8:09pm
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Homemade Laundry Detergent

Sometimes I do laundry over at my friend Joy’s house.  This is partly because I don’t have a washing machine (I use my mother-in-law’s washing machine…about 1/3 mile away), partly because she has a dryer…and partly because I like excuses to hang out at her house!  The difficult part about not having a washing machine is that laundry really piles up unless you want to cart it back and forth…back and forth…etc.  I am not complaining because my husband offered to purchase a washing machine for me a while back and I wanted to use the money for other stuff.  The biggest pain is trying to wash towels with no dryer to dry them in…they just don’t get soft and fluffy.  So Joy lets me use hers (washing machine) whenever I want and where I am going with this story is just this.  SHE HAS AWESOME LAUNDRY DETERGENT!  It’s homemade…and today she taught me how to make it.

I looked up the recipe and realized that tons of people have already posted it so I don’t know who’s recipe it is originally so I am going to repost it (a few versions combined) here!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
Yields 2 gallons

6  Cups – hot tap water

1/3-1/2  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1/2 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
1/2 Cup Borax
Instructions:
– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is completely melted.
It will look like this!
-Combine melted soap, washing soda and Borax in pot. Stir well until all powder is dissolved.
-Pour 4 cups hot tap water into bucket (at least 2 gallon size).
-Add soap mixture to bucket and stir to combine.
-Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups water (preferably hot) to mixture and stir again.
-Cover and let sit in bucket overnight to thicken and gel.
Finished product (minus the overnight gel process)!
-After letting it sit 24 hours, stir and fill some sort of container with detergent.  My friend likes to use empty gallon milk jugs…which is what I used.
-Shake before each use.
Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled (we added it before it cooled and there was not much scent other than soap).  However, the soap smells really good on its own so only add scent if you really want to.
To use:
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load  (25.6 loads total)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (64 loads total)
*Arm & Hammer “Super Washing Soda” – Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate…see photo below.
You can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile or Zote bars instead of Fels-Naptha if you wish. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.
Cost: Approx. $3.50 per batch. I do not have an itemized list because my friend Joy supplied the …er…supplies.  I will try to update this recipe when I make my own.
4 Mar 2011, 10:30pm
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Cupcake Wars

Anyone watch Cupcake Wars? I watch every now and then, and apparently so does my friend Amy. She and her bakery, AmyCakes have submitted a video to be on their show. Check it out! Good luck Amy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkc2383cQzE

2 Mar 2011, 5:36pm
$30 Cost Pampering Tutorials
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All Natural Sugar Scrub

I came across a very enticing sugar scrub recipe in a natural parenting magazine a while ago and decided to give it a try.  The ingredients were easily available, not expensive, and the directions were super simple.   It was a near disaster!  The recipe was on an advertisement for organic sugar, and I’m not sure if they tried the recipe out themselves, but I couldn’t believe just how wrong it was!  Too much Canola oil meant your hands felt greasy and not enough essential oil meant no scent other than that of the Canola oil.  So I tweaked it and voila, delicious sugar scrub ready for your hands and feet!

Recipe:
1 – 1 1/2 cups Organic Sugar (or regular sugar)
1/2 – 3/4 cup Canola Oil (start with 1/2 and work your way up)
About 1/2 teaspoon vitamin e oil
10 drops essential oil…or more depending on how scented you want it.
1 16 oz jar

To Assemble:

I used 8 oz jars because I was making these as gifts so 2 8oz = 1 16 oz
The essential oils I used were Sweet Orange and Vanilla and I mixed equal parts to create a creamsicle scent that is out of this world!

Step 1:  Combine all ingredients

This is what your mixture should look like when all ingredients are combined.  The tricky part is getting the ratio of oil to sugar correct…and enough essential oil to make the scent right.  So start with the amounts I list, and add more of each until you get a mostly sugar mixture with a bit of oil floating on the top.

Step 2:  Scoop mixture into jar.

I really like mason jars because they’re easily reusable and they look neat as well.  I picked these up at my local Walmart.

That’s it!  As I mentioned above, I made these as gifts in a swag bag for a girls Oscar night I was hosting at my house.

What more could a woman ask for?  Sugar scrub, bath bomb, candle, chocolate…what a relaxing bath that would be!

You could always dress the sugar scrub up with pretty ribbon or custom tags, but I was trying to keep it as budget friendly as possible!

Cost:  This all depends on what you have on hand.  It could be as cheap as free because you already have all of these on hand, or it could cost you as much as….

Jars:  1 – 4 pack mason jars – $3.95
Vitamin E Oil – $6.99
Essential Oils (multi-pack) – $19.99
Organic Sugar – $7.99
Canola Oil – free (already had on hand)

Total:   $38.92         This total is for all ingredients.  I did not use the entire amount of any of these ingredients so the total does not reflect per jar, just per supply.  I do not possess the math skills                                               to determine what the total cost per jar would be.

8 Feb 2011, 8:59pm
Felt Tutorials
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Mini Flower Headband

Recently I came across a cute tutorial through homemadebyjill for a cute, easy, and cheap little girl headband.  She had found the tutorial here at I am Momma – Hear Me Roar.  It was originally a grown up girl project, but Jill made it into a headband, and I have taken it one step  further.  It was really cute as a giant flower, but even more adorable as a cluster of small flowers!  I am going to attempt to show you how to make the mini flower headband here!

Step 1:  Gather your supplies.  I believe I show all of the necessary items.

You need: 2 or more (or less) felt colors for flowers, 1 piece of green felt for leaves, 1 headband, scissors, pinking sheers, a ruler, a hot glue gun.

Step 2) Cut out your felt!

Here I have cut three strips of my felt, one side with pinking sheers, about 3/4 inches wide and the full length of the fabric.  I bought my felt at Hobby Lobby in the kid’s craft section.  It was 4 for $1…can’t get much cheaper than that!  I also cut out a rectangle about 3 inches by um…2?  I kind of eyeballed it.  You want it to be big enough for everything to be glued to.  You can see that at first I made three lavender strips which I later corrected with one pink.  Also, eyeballed five little leaves but you could easily print out a photo or use a template if you have one.

Step 3) Cut notches all along your felt.

In between each and every “peak”, you need to make a slit.  Leave about 1/4 inch or so at the bottom.  Repeat with other two strips.

Step 4) Roll your strips.

I forgot to take a photo of this step…Basically, you start rolling from one end to the other, hot gluing every 3 inches (on the non cut end) to secure the roll.  Only a little glue is necessary.  Once finished, set aside and roll the other two.  I am sorry I forgot to show this but the end photos show what they should look like!

Step 5) Begin assembly!

Glue your leaves on in any pattern you wish.  I cut slits in the bottom of the leaves as I am Momma – Hear Me Roar suggested.  Don’t worry, you are going to trim the purple felt so just make sure to put the leaves a little inside the border so that the flowers with cover the ends.

Step 6) Arrange the flowers and trim excess felt.

This is a bottom shot after I arranged the flowers and trimmed the bottom.  The bottom doesn’t have to be pretty, just trim as close to the flowers and leaves as you dare!

Step 7) Finishing touches.

At this point, you are basically finished.  If you want to attach it to a cute outfit, or bag, just stitch it on, or pin it.  You could also attach a clip to the bottom so that it is easily removable from whatever headband you choose.  I hot glued it to a black headband and realized that it matches the Easter dress I just bought for my 6 month old girl!

That’s all there is to it!  Enjoy!

Felt: 4 for $1, Headband – $1.49….total project cost – $2.49 (felt can be used for more than one headband which will cut down on cost!)

Oh, here is a photo of the single, giant flower version!