Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shopping Bags

We were inspired to make our own homemade bags after learning how easy they are to make from Wisdom of the Moon. After making hers we modified the design to hide the triangle on the side and make a more square bottom. That's what is so great about making your own bags. You can change them to fit your own needs. Larger bags are great for large light items like paper towels or toilet paper and smaller ones for heavy small items like cans and produce. We like to use recycled materials like vintage table clothes, shower curtains and sheets. This makes the project very earth and budget friendly.

Once you choose your material wash, dry and iron it. Cut the material into a 36 x 19 inch rectangle.

Fold the rectangle in half with the right sides facing each other. Sew the sides using a zig zag stich. This will make your basic bag shape.

Now fold the top down 2 times about an inch. Iron and then topstich the top and bottom of the fold to make a sturdy place to attach the handle.

To square the bottom, line the two side seams up with each other.
This will make a triangle shape in each of the bottom corners.

Sew the bottom of each triangle at the point where the triangle measures about 7 inches.

Now turn the bag right side out and it should look like this. Now you are ready to attach the handles.

We used straps that were 24 inches long. They can be attached on the outside or inside of the bag. We bought webbing for the straps but you can also make your own using the scraps from your bag. Fold the ends of the strap 2 times and sew them on about six inches in from either side of the bag. Sew them on securely using a box with an x pattern.

You are now ready to shop!

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Monday, April 27, 2009


This past week has been very busy for the Homemade Mamas...but when are mothers not busy? The latest project we have been working on was a piñata for Maggie's son's fourth birthday party. We could have just bought one, but thought that the desired fish shape was one that could easily be made. And we were right!

We took a large balloon, and taped on a top fin and tail that were made out of cardboard. Then over the course of a few nights (sometimes the only time to craft is at night when the kids are in bed!), we proceeded to cover the balloon with layers of paper mache. After a few layers, the piñata was ready to decorate!

Since all that work went into it, we didn't want the kids to just whack it and break it, so we made it so that they could pull ribbons to make a flap that was cut in the bottom of it open and release the candy. We cut a flap in the bottom and securely attached one ribbon in the flap so that it would be the one that opened the piñata. Then we filled it with candy and toys. Other ribbons were then lightly attached with tape so that they would fall off when pulled, and taped the flap shut. Then we cut out various strips of colorful tissue paper to look like fish scales.

Once the glue dried, it was party time!
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Old Bottles, New Beauty

As Earth Day is tomorrow, we wanted to post about a project that is good for the earth. We also wanted one that would be fun for the kids, since we feel it's important for them to learn about recycling and the environment as well. We decided to take old bottles (yes...three of the four pictured are beer bottles...) and turn them into vases! We took the washed and dried bottles and covered them in paper maché (strips of paper dipped in a mixture made of equal parts glue and water). Once they dried, we primed them and painted them with brightly colored acrylic paints. When the paint dried, we covered them with a coat of polyurethane so they would be water-proof! The paper maché game them a neat texture, and the kids LOVED getting all gooey!

Once they were done, they made a pretty addition to our home's decor! Plus, we were able to find a new use for something we would normally get rid of. Happy Earth Day!
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tee-Shirt Redo

So this project may not exactly fall under the category of "homemade", but it is a great way to reuse an old tee-shirt! We found this idea for a shrug, and thought it was the perfect solution to an old shirt with a stain on the front. The steps are super-simple and easy to follow - and we think it looks great! What a cute way to recycle!
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rainbow Crayons

Today we found a great use for all those tiny broken crayons that the kids don't want to use. We melted them down in muffin cups to make rainbow crayons.
First we preheated the oven to 300 degrees. Then we took the paper off the crayons and broke them as small as we could. Next we lined muffin tin with cupcake liners and filled the tins about half way full with the crayon pieces. We placed the tins in the oven for a few minutes until the crayons had melted. After they cooled we peeled off the papers and had a great time coloring rainbow pictures!

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just in Time For Easter!

Tina, a friend and Homemade Mama, turned us on to this cute Easter idea from Alcademics! While we haven't had a chance to try it out, it looks adorable and we can't wait to make some for tomorrow's Easter celebration!

Happy Easter!
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Friday, April 10, 2009

All Purpose Cleaning Spray

We found this all purpose cleaning spray on It cost only pennies to make and works great. Our stainless steel appliances sparkle and are completely streak free.

1/2 t washing soda
2 t borax
1/2 t liquid dish soap
2 cups hot water

Simply mix ingredients in an empty spray bottle and get cleaning!
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Lavender Linen Spray

We love the idea of linen spray! We see it in stores, smell it, and ponder buying it....but we never do. It just seems like one of those lovely things that we'd love to have, but is a bit too frivolous to actually buy. So we wanted to find a good recipe for making our own, and we did at We made lavender, but any relaxing scent would do.

2 Tbsp. vodka
20 drops essential oil (again, we used lavender)
distilled water

Mix the vodka and oil in a spray bottle (one of the small, cute ones they sell in the drug store), then add enough distilled water to fill the rest of the way. Cover and shake well. Set aside for 48 hours. Shake well before using, then spray your linens when you make the bed, and again when you turn it down at night. Also is great on towels!
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Sand Playdough

Here is a great alternative to regular play dough! All the fun of making sand castles indoors!

4 cups clean sand
3 cups flour
1 cup water
1 cup salt
1/4 cup oil

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead until it becomes a ball. You may need to add more water or flour as needed. Stores easily if kept in a ziplock bag in the fridge.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Orange Sugar Scrub

As busy moms we need to remember to slow down and pamper ourselves once in awhile. This sugar scrub is a great way to do just that! This particular recipe is a culmination of the many recipes out there. It's great rubbed on your hands or even all over your body in the shower! Play around with the amounts of the ingredients to find a combination that works for you. And Enjoy!

Orange Sugar Scrub

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest

Mix all of the ingredients together. Rub on your hands (or whole body!) and rinse off with warm water. Pat dry and enjoy your new soft skin!

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