Monday, January 31, 2011

A Givaway Is Blooming!

We don't know about you, but all this winter has got us dreaming of Spring! And after posting about our Felt Flower Clips, we thought we would spread some springtime cheer by giving away one! The one we've chosen to pass on to one lucky reader was made in shades of pink, red, and white and will be perfect for your Valentine's Day celebration!

So if you would like to be the lucky recipient of this adorable clip (perfect for your hair or even clipped onto your purse or lapel!), we will give you up to three chances! First, simply leave a comment letting us know you want to be entered! For a second entry, become a follower and leave a separate comment letting us know you've done so (if you're already a follower, let us know, too!). Finally, follow us on Facebook and, again, leave us a separate comment.

This giveaway will run from today, January 31st through Sunday February 6th. We will draw someone at random and announce the winner on Monday February 7th! That way we can have it mailed out and in your hands in time for Valentine's Day!

Good Luck!
Pin It!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Felt Flower Hair Clips

This is a great project because it's super easy to make and you can match your felt and embellishments for any upcoming event or holiday!

List of Supplies:
  • 2 sheets of felt
  • Hair Clips
  • Needle & thread (matching the felt)
  • Embellishment of your choice (we used a fun button)
  • Hot Glue Gun










Directions:
Make a template of two petal shapes in two different sizes. Cut six of each shape from your felt.

Once you have six of each sized petals, fold each petal in half and sew a straight (OK - doesn't have to be perfectly straight) line from about half-way from the top down to the bottom of each petal. Do this with both sizes of petals.


Cut a 5 inch circle, using the same felt color as the larger petals (if you used 2 different colors).


Glue the larger petals onto the circle, overlapping each leaf over the edge of the following one. Do the same with the smaller petals.

Hot glue your embellishment in the center of your flower.


Cover your hair clip on the top side with felt, using the same color again as your felt circle. Then glue the hair clip onto the back of the circle.


Ta-Da! Gorgeous Dah-ling!
Pin It!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Be My Valentine


With Christmas over, we have turned our attention around here to Valentine's Day. This year, Maggie's five-year-old Jack decided he wanted to make valentines to give to each of his classmates instead of buying them like we normally would. Knowing how short a kindergartner's attention span can be, we decided to start early and to find a simple idea. We were inspired by this idea, but added some touches to make it our own!

What You Need:
  • Clean kitchen sponge
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper or card stock
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Markers, crayons, colored pencils
First, Cut your sponge into the shape of a heart.

Then using your paintbrush, cover one side of your sponge heart with paint.

Press your sponge paint side down onto your paper (you might want to do a few practice ones first before starting your cards).

Carefully lift it up and admire the beautiful heart! Then let it dry.

Once it is dry, you can add a valentine greeting! Jack wrote "XOXO", "Valentine", and "Be Mine", but you can be as creative as you'd like.

Don't forget to flip it over and let your recipients know who this beautiful card is from!

We then punched two side-by-side holes at the top of our cards and tied a festive ribbon! And we now have fun and festive homemade valentines to give to Jack's class next month!

If you do decide to make these with your little ones, make sure you get a head start and plan on making these well in advance. We've found that although our kids may be excited at first, their attention wanes after the first few. We just did a few each day so as not to make it seem like a huge chore. Enjoy!
Pin It!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Egg Carton Roses

Homemade Mamas love any craft that reuses would be trash
- we have never seen trash look so pretty!.
We thought the possibilities would be endless for these pretty egg carton roses found on about.com, especially with Valentine's Day just around the corner. They would look lovely topping a package, on a wreath, cards or embellishing other crafts. This would be a great craft to do with older children.

What you need:
  • cardboard egg carton
  • bowl of water
  • food coloring
  • scissors

Cut two cups from your egg carton (you will need two cups for each rose you want to make.
The edges of the cups can be slightly scalloped for a more realistic rose. Then soak the cups in water for about 5 minutes.
Cut a slit in one of the cups and open up the cup.
Now roll up the cup and pinch the bottom together to make the center of the rose.Put the center into the other cup and pinch the bottoms together to shape the outer petals of your rose.
It took us a little experamenting to figure out how to color the roses. The directions we found said to drop food coloring onto the rose. We found dropping food coloring and dribbling water on top gave us colors we liked. Painting the roses with water colors might work well too.
***this would be a great time to wear latex gloves!!***
We decided to make leaves to go with our blooms. We cut leaf shapes from the top of the egg carton.
Next we folded them in half and pinched the ends together and colored them with green food coloring.
Let the roses dry. We were too impatient to let them air dry so we put them in the oven at 175 degrees for several hours. A couple of the roses needed a drop of glue between the two egg cartons. Now your roses are ready!


Pin It!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Got Vinegar?

Helpful Hints For Winter

*Ice-proof your windows...with vinegar! Frost on it's way? Just fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one part water & spritz it on all your windows at night. In the morning, they'll be clear of icy mess. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water---preventing water from freezing! *

*Squeak-proof your wipers...with rubbing alcohol! Wipe the
wipers with a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol or ammonia. This one trick can make badly streaking & squeaking wipers change to near perfect silence & clarity. *

*Prevent car doors from freezing shut...with cooking spray! Spritz cooking oil on the rubber seals around car doors & rub it in with a paper towel. The cooking spray prevents water from melting into the rubber!*

*De-ice your lock in seconds...with hand sanitizer! Just put some hand sanitizer gel on the key & the lock & the problems solved! *

*Fog-proof your windshield...with shaving cream! Spray some shaving cream on the inside of your windshield & wipe if off with paper towels. Shaving cream has many of the same ingredients found in commercial defoggers! *

*Keep your headlights clear...with car wax! Just wipe ordinary car wax on your headlights. It contains special water repellents that will prevent that messy mixture from accumulating on your lights - lasts 6 weeks. *



Pin It!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reusable Dryer Sheets

We do lots of laundry. Actually, to say we do lots of laundry is an grand understatement. Because of this never-ending chore, we've noticed how many dryer sheets we use and figured that there had to be a way for us to make them ourselves. Not only were we looking for a homemade option but one that was greener too. After all, all those dryer sheets just end up in our landfills after one use, and we knew there had to be a way to make reusable ones. Turns out we were right! We were first turned on to this idea by "Homemade Nana", and we think she found it here.

What You Need:
  • Strips of flannel (ours were scraps we had on hand but you can also use worn-out sheets or cut up that old shirt of your husband's!)
  • Scissors
  • A medium-sized plastic container with lid (we re-purposed a cleaned-out sour cream container)
  • A favorite brand of liquid fabric softener (we had some from when we made our Wrinkle Release Spray!)
  • Hot water
Pre-wash your flannel and cut it into strips that are about 3x5" (just eyeball it - no one is going to sneak in your laundry room with ruler). At this point you can hem your edges or you can be lazy like us and just cut them with pinking shears.

Place your strips into your container, making sure they all fit comfortably and the lid can go on.

Mix up a solution of 4 parts liquid fabric softener and 10 parts hot water. Pour the solution over the strips of flannel in the container, secure the lid, and shake it up to make sure the strips soak up the solution. Let it sit for at least two days...although to be honest we couldn't wait and used it the same day we made it!

When you are ready to do some laundry, just pull out one strip, squeeze out the excess solution, and throw it in the dryer with your wet clothes like you normally would with a commercial dryer sheet! Used strips can be put back into the container with the solution and used again!
This is a great way to green up your laundry and is the perfect accompaniment to our Homemade Laundry Soap!
Pin It!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Plastic Bag Iron-ons!




Here is a super cool project where you can use all those plastic bags that you always seem to end up with - homemade iron on decals! You can use any kind of plastic bag or plastic table cloth with an image you like on it. Birthday party goody bags and storebags are great for this project. If you are super creative, you can even cut and design your own free form shapes. The decals should be permanent. Our first try at this peeled off by the end of the day. It just needed a little more ironing.

We love how all colors of shirts work with this project (this is a great way to cover up stains). You can see how nice it turned out on a black shirt. You can find tutorials on several different sites, but we liked the one we found here on Filth Wizardry.

What you need:
  • plastic bags
  • iron
  • parchment paper
  • scissors



Turn on your iron to the cotton setting. Then cut out the image you want to iron on. Make sure it is smaller than the base of your iron. This is very important. We'll show you what happens to larger images later. Place your image on your shirt where your want it.

Cover the image with a piece of parchment paper. Hold your iron in the image for 10 seconds. let the paper cool for a minute, and remove the parchment.

Here's what happened when we tried to iron on a image that was too big. It started out like this...
...and ended up like this!

Next we tried cutting out pictures from a plastic table cloth. We traced an index card with a sharpie marker.
Placed them on our shirt and ironed.

Now Ben has a new custom shirt that he LOVES!!!


Pin It!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pomegranate Sugar Scrub



The holidays are over and our hands need some special treatments after all of the wrapping, gifting, eating, and washing dishes! This sugar scrub, from Greenbean's Crafterole, is perfect to soften up your hands and easy to make - you probably have the ingredients on hand!

Ingredients:
  • Dawn (dish detergent) - Hand Renewal w/Olay in Pomegranate Splash
  • Canning Jars (or you can recycle any container with lid that you have)
  • Sugar
  • Butter Knife

Fill your canning jar 3/4 full of sugar. Add a thin layer of Dawn on top - you don't need to fill the container entirely. Use your knife to stir, adding more sugar or Dawn until you get the desired consistency. You don't want it too thick or too thin.

Ta-da! Your hands will be unbelievably soft!


*Dawn Hand Renewal also has a lavender scent - perfect for some relaxation before bed!
Pin It!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy Bath Fizzies

We are back from our little break and are feeling refreshed! We hope you all had a great holiday! We don't know about you, but after all the holiday excitement we are definitely ready for a little relaxation and pampering. We came across this recipe for Easy Bath Fizzies that fit the bill perfectly! While there are many similar recipes out there, we like this one because it does not contain citric acid, which can sometimes be tricky to find. This one uses things you probably already have on hand!

What You Need:
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 drops essential oil (we chose peppermint!)
  • 4 drops lemon juice
  • 8 Tbsp. witch hazel
  • spray bottle
  • silicone molds (ice cube trays are a great size)
First, put your baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Then mix your oil, lemon juice, and witch hazel in the spray bottle (this allows you to better control the amount of moisture you add). Spray the witch hazel mixture onto your baking soda, stirring as you go. Keep adding more until the baking soda starts to sticks together (about the consistency of wet sand).

Press the baking soda mixture into your mold. We chose beach-themed ones - what's more relaxing than the beach?

Carefully pop your new Bath Fizzies onto a plate. Many of ours broke during this step, so if that happens for you simply scoop the mixture up and press into your molds again. We found that simpler shapes worked better. Let them dry for several hours or overnight. Then drop one or two into your bath and enjoy some much-needed relaxation!
Pin It!