Friday, October 30, 2009

Confessions of a Swifferholic


Yes it's true. We fell under the spell of all the swiffer and swiffer-like products: disposable disinfecting wipes, dusters, swiffers wet and dry. We loved the convenience. We relished throwing away the messy germs that they captured. But now we see the error of our ways. It seems so ridiculous now. We keep spending more money on refills for all these products and filling landfills with our one use cleaning cloths.

As we strive to be greener and cleaner we have found ourselves asking what to do with our swiffers now that we don't want to buy disposable cloths anymore. We have used wash clothes or old rags on the swiffer, which worked ok, but we wanted something better.

We made reusable swiffer clothes out of microfiber dusting clothes and cloth diapers. The microfiber clothes are amazing at caching dust, and the diapers are so absorbent. Put them together and you have a great wet or dry cleaning rag that can be washed and used again and again. Use the microfiber side for dusting your floors and the diaper side for a quick wet mop. We like to spray the floor with our all purpose cleaner spray and then mop away.

We simply cut the diaper into thirds and sewed one third to the center of a micro fiber cloth using the zig-zag stitch of our sewing machine. Three reusable cleaning cloths were made in about 5 min. You don't need to measure or even pin the cloths before you sew them. If you have a swiffer wet jet Velcro can be added to hold your cloth on.



The one thing you should note about the microfiber clothes is that they should not be bleached or dried in the dryer. You should also not use fabric softener on them. If this is too inconvenient use a washcloth instead. We find that they work so well that it is worth the slight hassle.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Homemade Nana

While we were busy creating homemade baby gifts for our friend, we weren't the only ones! Our mom (known as "Nana" to her grandsons) was crafting up a storm as well!

We knew about making diaper cakes, but wanted to try doing something different. We decided to make a diaper wreath instead and handed the project over to our mom! She cut out a circle out of firm cardboard and then wrapped diapers around it, tying them with colorful pieces of ribbon. She then added a cute stuffed animal to finish it off! Adorable, right?





The next crafty project our mom tackled was making a bouquet of "roses" out of baby socks! For one rose, you need:

  • 1 Newborn sock

  • Florist wire

  • Florist tape

  • Silk leaves (optional - she used leaves from old silk flower stem.)

Starting at the toe of the sock, roll it up until you reach the heel or a little beyond, then flip the cuff of the sock over and around the rolled portion to enclose it. The rolled part becomes the center of the rose, and the cuff becomes the outside of the rose. Roll tighter, you have a bud, roll looser and less even and you have full rose. Next, cut a piece of florist wire and insert it through the bottom of the rose. Try to push it through all off the layers so the rose won't come apart.Then twist the two wire ends around each other until you have one piece. This becomes your stem.

Now starting at the top of the wire/sock area, wrap the bottom of the sock and continue down the wire keeping tension by holding the tape roll and pulling as you wrap. As you wrap down the stem with floral tape, add silk leaves along the way.
Stop wrapping when you reach the bottom of the wire. You can wrap several roses together for a corsage or for decorating your diaper cake (or wreath!), or make a bunch for a bouquet.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

And We Have A Winner!!

Thanks to Random.org, we now have a winner for our T Shirt Necklace givaway! And the winner is commenter #2 - Disney! Please send us your mailing info to homemademamas@gmail.com and we will mail your prize out ASAP! Congratulations, and thank you for entering!

We also want to thank everyone who entered our first giveaway, as well as everyone who has been reading our little blog. We get so excited when we read your comments or see that we have a new follower! We really appreciate you all!
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Gussied Up Gourds

Our families have both bought gourds as a way of decorating for fall and the upcoming holidays. So of course we have been trying to come up with ways to put our own decorative spin on them. We have seen others decorate gourds with ribbons, and we thought about doing that, but couldn't bring ourselves to buy ribbon just for this project (we'd like to say that that's because we are trying to be eco-conscious, but really we're just cheap! Ha!).
Instead we got our the pinking shears and scrap fabrics and made "ribbons", layering and wrapping them around the gourds and attaching them with regular school glue. Such a simple and quick project, but the results were so cute. And they weren't just Halloween-themed, but more of a seasonal effect that will work all of autumn!

We want to also remind our lovely readers that our giveaway for the t shirt necklace/scarf ends at midnight! We will draw a winner at random and announce the name on Saturday! Hurry and enter!
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Homemade Brown Sugar


Our lovely friend Benita pointed us in the direction of Aspiring Homemaker and her recipe for making your own brown sugar! How cool is that?? Ok, so maybe some of you out there knew about this, but to us it seems pretty much like magic. But as we've mentioned before, we are easily impressed! :)

To make homemade brown sugar, simply mix together 1 cup of regular, granulated sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons of molasses. How simple is that??

To test it out, we made cookies using our brown sugar...and they turned out GREAT (although the picture doesn't do them justice - we were impatient and cut them while they were still too hot)! Even our little test subject said, "these are the bestest cookies EVER!" High praise indeed!
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Time For A Giveaway! *CLOSED*

We were so tickled with how the t-shirt necklace/scarf from our last post turned out that we decided to make more, including one to give away to our great readers! Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to give away one in a lovely shade of pale pink! And no, the tattoo is not included! Haha!

So if this looks like something you (or someone you know!) might like leave us a comment by midnight (central time) on Saturday October 24th and you'll be entered! Want a second entry? Followers get another chance - just leave a second comment and let us know you are following!
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Friday, October 16, 2009

T Shirt Necklace

We've seen this great "necklace" all over the place, and it looked so simple we just had to try it! We were able to make this in a matter of minutes and the results were better than we could have imagined! We were going to make a step-by-step tutorial for this, but when we were looking around for instructions we found that other bloggers who had posted how-to's had to take them down "for legal reasons" (apparently there is a patent pending on this, so telling others how to make it is a no no). That didn't sound like something we wanted to mess with, so here's a link to Cucumbersome's instruction's for making a bracelet the same way. We just followed her instructions, using the body of the t shirt (up to the armpit) instead of the sleeves.

Again, this was an incredibly easy project but the end results are quite dramatic! We hope you love it as much as we do!!
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boxes To "Bags"!

We saw this great idea on Blah To Tada and thought it fit our goal to shun commercial gift wrap quite nicely!

We started with a few empty boxes that were headed to the recycling bin.








We then cut off their top flaps and covered them in papers (one was covered with a grocery bag, one with an old envelope, and one with a sheet of computer paper - but we also think that fabric would be cute, too!). After that you can pretty much decorate them however you'd like! Then, using a hole punch, make holes in the sides and tie on ribbon for handles.

It is a great way to recycle and we think it's pretty fun!
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy One Hundred!

Yay! We were so tickled to pop on our little blog this morning and see that we now have 100 followers! Thank you so much for your interest in our (sometimes goofy) projects! We started this as a way to amuse ourselves, but it's so nice to see that we are giving others enjoyment as well!

Thank you again! Happy crafting!

P.S.
We've been tossing around the idea of doing some sort of giveaway to celebrate...we'll keep you posted!
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oatmeal Bath

Our boys have sensitive skin and are prone to itchy skin and eczema. We've found that colloidal oatmeal baths (or "Goo Baths" as the boys call it) like the one made by Aveeno help to sooth them, but they can get pricey. We were sure we could make our own, and thanks to Sharon of Good, True, & Beautiful we did!

We've wondered what exactly does colloidal mean? As Sharon says, "A colloid is a type of chemical mixture in which one substance is dispersed evenly throughout another. The substance doesn't dissolve, but is suspended in the mixture (unlike a solution in which the particles are completely dissolved). In this case, the oatmeal is pulverized into small, powder like particles that interact with water to create a milky substance." Cool!

First, buy plain, unflavored oatmeal, then grind it up in a blender or food processor until it is as ground as finely as possible. To test to make sure you have the right consistency, Sharon recommends that you add a tablespoon of the ground up oatmeal to a glass of water then stir it up. You should have a milky liquid without too much of the oatmeal settling at the bottom of the glass. If there is, continue to grind. She also recommends sifting the ground up powder to make sure you eliminate any stray big pieces.

Now you are ready or your bath! Just add a cup or so to your bath as it is filling, stir it up, and enjoy! And we found that a clean, empty Parmesan cheese container with the shaker top works great to store it in.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Pretty Pops

An important addition to any party (at least in our family) is the food! And for our friend's baby shower, we wanted to make sure it was extra-special. Instead of making your regular, run-of-the-mill cake, we wanted something fun and different. So we turned to the ever-inspiring Bakerella! Instead of making a big cake we decided to make her cake pops! We made two batches, one with dark chocolate cake and one with yellow cake. Then we dipped them in colors that matched the polka dots on the shower invitations. To display them, we placed them in an arched votive holder. They were pretty easy to make, and our guests were really impressed!

The father-to-be was especially delighted, calling them "driving cake" (meaning cake you can eat while driving - love it!!).
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