January 07, 2015

I Tried It…. DIY Body Wash {Success}

Oh boy, I'm on a ROLL.  I recently tried another pin from Pinterest.  This time it was DIY Body Wash by the blog "One Good Thing by Jillee" -- here is the link to her directions.  Some might say this method is cheating… after all, you are creating soap from soap.  But bar of soap just doesn't compare to the lathering effect of a body wash. And besides… I am so not a fan of sharing a bar of soap, even with the hubs!

The blog lists two different methods to make body wash.  One method involves grating soap as shown in my picture below.  This method totally counts as your daily exercise because it is one heck of an arm workout! But the grated soap melts and blends very nicely with you pot of water. The work is worth the results. For the record, I also tried the no-grate method and it did not turn out well for me.  The soap clumped when I poured it into my hot water.

For my experiment, I used two bars of soap and four cups of water. This equation resulted in just over 32 oz of body wash.  I was able to fill up my existing body wash container and still have reserve for at least another 1/2 bottle.

I purchased my Dove bars of soap from the Dollar Tree….and if you must ask, they were $1 each. I know you can find bars cheaper when buying in bulk and with coupons.

Anyway, a year supply of DIY Dove body wash will cost approximately $20. A year supply of pre-made Dove body wash will cost you around $50.  So, okay….it isn't huge savings, but a savings nevertheless. And projects like this keep my mind doing something different than the 9-5 job.

It took me 5 minutes to grate a bar of soap… yes, I timed myself. On both bars. Both times, 5 minutes.

It firms up after it cools down. I promise. 




December 28, 2014

I Tried It…. Shrink Wrap a Christmas Tree {Success}

Recently, I was inspired via Pinterest - specifically this blog - to shrink wrap my Christmas tree. 

The steps are easy... 

Shrink Wrap a Christmas Tree

Step One:  Buy plastic wrap and wrap your tree. Saran Wrap works or you can buy the plastic wrap wand from Home Depot or Lowe's. After using the wand, I can't imagine I would prefer good old Saran Wrap for this task.

Step Two:  Remove all decorations, except for the lights. I saved a whole $50 not getting the pre-lit fake tree. Big mistake. A pre-lit tree is worth the extra $50 and I have been reminded of it for the past 3 years. Please, if you have this option - BUY PRE-LIT.

Step Three:  On to wrapping. Hold up the branches and wrap tree. We lifted every other branch and wrapped ourselves down the tree.




Until next year Mr. Mummified Christmas Tree!

December 14, 2014

Baby Shower Quilted Keepsake


Four (very short) years ago, the shower for my baby girl was held. I remember trying to figure out exactly what craft to do at the shower. I absolutely wanted something crafty, but I also wanted a valued keepsake for my daughter to treasure. ZERO offense to all the crafty onesie baby showers that occur…. and ZERO offense to those that attend those showers and create the ugliest onesie known to man… creating onesies are fun, but I don’t think they make a valued keepsake.

My stepmom – the Martha Stewart of our family – came up with a fantastic idea! My baby shower guests would each design a quilt block with a quote and a flower. To help keep quality assurance, flower “parts” and quilt squares were prepared ahead of time.  All the guests had to do was design their flower using the flower parts – iron the flower in place and then write their quote using fine-tipped fabric markers.

The results were creative and beautiful!! 



Baby Shower Quilted Keepsake
Colorful Fabric for Flowers
Muslin
Heat n' Bond
Freezer Paper
Flower Templates (Google Pictures of Flowers)
Iron
Fine-Tipped Fabric Markers
Fantastic Quilter!

Step 1: Find the fabrics to create your flowers. Fat-quarters or the fabric sample packs in the quilting section work fabulously for this project.

Step 2: If you aren’t using the sample pack of fabrics, then cut your fabric into squares – around 6” x 6” would work well.  Remember, you are going to cut designs out of this fabric – the square is just to get it to a manageable size.

Step 3: Iron on the Heat n' Bond. 

Step 4: Using muslin, cut out lots of 12” x 12” squares.

Step 5: Iron on freezer paper to the back of the squares.  This just makes them more manageable for the baby shower guests and for storage / mailing purposes.

Step 4: Using pictures of flowers as a template (Google: Flower Templates), cut out petals, flowers, leaves and stems. Make sure they will fit on a 12” x 12” quilt square!!

Now you are ready to have your baby shower guests create quilt squares!!!

Step 1: Have each guest create a flower on a square – have them leave about ¼ inch on all sides of the design. Once they are happy with their flower, iron it to the square.




Step 2: After flower is securely ironed on the square. Each guest should write their quote and sign their name.

Step 3: Magic happens!  Okay, not really – it is more like “stepmom magic quilting” happens.  If you are a quilter, then fantastic – sew together and quilt away.  If not, find yourself a fantastic quilter to finish the project for you.

The finished project is a quilt filled with quotes for my daughter. It was designed and handcrafted by her grandmothers and mother as well as many other women in her life.  A true keepsake that I hope she values for many years.