Archive for the ‘Home & Organization’ Category
4th of July happens to be one of my favorite decorating seasons and today I want to show you how to make an easy 4th of July wreath from flag cupcake picks. This 4th of July wreath idea and easy flag bunting were inspired by a picture from a magazine that I found.
This picture from Good Housekeeping magazine caught my eye and I knew I wanted to decorate my front door just like it. Unfortunately, there were no directions on how to create this wreath, what supplies to buy, or how to execute this project. When Walmart challenged me to come up with a 4th of July project for their customers, I just knew that I had to recreate this door.
My husband said I couldn’t do it. His doubt fueled this wreath into its amazing flag glory…even when a little voice in my head wasn’t too sure it would look like the picture. If I can make a wreath out of yarn, out of coffee filters, out of Peeps for goodness sake, how could I fail at a simple cupcake pick wreath?
If you are not crafty this is the project for you. It requires no sewing, gluing, cutting, or any other crafty-type behavior. I think that is why I am most excited about it because it is just so easy to do!
Let’s get started with what you need to tackle this fun patriotic project!
Above are some pictures of the supplies you will need (for visual learners, like myself!) Prices listed are what they are listed at currently at the store!
- 1- 16″ foam wreath form (that is flat on the back)- $6.99
- 6 packages of 120 count flag cupcake picks (Note: These are NOT available at Walmart stores. You can find these, however, at your local party supply store)- $2.99 per box (approximately)
- Jute Rope- $3.24
- 12- 4×6 US Flags (found on the ends of the aisles in the office supplies)- $.68 each
- 2- 20 count packages of mini clothespins (over in the office supplies)- $2.48 each
- Take your flag cupcakes and insert them on a slight angle into your foam wreath form. These will not slide in and out easily so you will have to put a little oomph behind it.
- Continue filling them in, around and around until you can no longer see your wreath form peeking through. About a box of the flag cupcake picks (120 of them) filled one quarter of my wreath.
- Once the front is filled, build up the behind it, but with a thinner layer, just to camouflage the back of the wreath a bit. Make sure not to stack these too deep so that the wreath can still lay flush against your door.
- You can fill in the center of the wreath as well with flags, again adding a thinner layer just to hide any of your wreath form, until all you can see is a sea of little flags. It took 720 flags to fill this wreath form. Yes, your fingers will hurt, but you will be so happy about your wreath, you will forget all about the pain!
Now that you have your wreath done, we can create our adorable flag bunting to go around the outside of your door, to frame your wreath!
- Disassemble your flags from their mini poles. These are stapled on so I just pulled them off, or you can use a staple remover to remove the staples from the flags.
- Take two mini clothespins and clip the flags to the jute twine, spacing them evenly, until all twelve have been attached.
- Leaving a little bit of length, clip the end of the twine to finish your bunting.
This easy bunting could be added to a doorway, dress up a mantle, to frame out your patio doors, or to decorate a ledge for the holiday. I love that it is so sweet and so simple to create.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of my door and the door I spotted in the magazine. I am so proud how this turned out and I love that these decorations can be used year after year for the holiday!
I look forward to sharing more fun patriotic projects in the next few weeks with you! I hope you enjoyed today’s easy 4th of July craft projects!
One walk through the aisles of Goodwill and I guarantee you will find a handful of great lamp choices just begging for a fun DIY lamp makeover that can dress up a corner in your home. To inspire you, I have gathered 9 of my favorite ways to spice up a Goodwill lamp. These lamp makeover ideas are so inspiring, in fact, that I can’t wait to run over to my Goodwill store to snag a lamp for myself!Pin It
Painting furniture can be time consuming that is why I have fallen in love with spray painting my furniture to get a fresh new look with a small time investment. Today I am going to show you how to spray paint your furniture to give an old piece in your home a new lease on life with just spray paint and an easy antiquing and distressing technique.
Choosing a spray paint can be a lot of fun and Walmart asked me to share about a new product line that they are now carrying at their stores that I think you guys will really like. It is the Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X paint.
The thing that makes this paint special is that it can cover twice the square footage of other general purpose spray paints. This new paint contains 44% more solids which creates a higher performance than other paints and gives you better coverage with fewer passes. What makes the paint economical is that one can performs like two cans, so it saves you time and money. The price also fits nicely into a DIY’ers budget at a mere $3.77 per can
I love this corner in our office, but have not loved this side table for many years. These chairs are so fun, but the table added no personality to this corner. I had planned to donate it to Goodwill, but I wondered if I could give this piece a spray paint face lift that would reflect this fun space. I decided to give the table a makeover with a little spray paint and antiquing.
Supplies Needed to Spray Paint Furniture
Spray Paint Primer (gray if doing a dark color or white if doing a light color)
1-2 Cans Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X, any shade (I am using Moss Green), available in the Spray Paint aisle of your local Walmart Store
Rust-Oleum Standard Spray Grip (in the same aisle)
Rust-Oleum Decorative Glaze in Java Brown
Hardware (optional) or spray paint to paint it
How to Spray Paint Your Furniture
- To begin, prepare your surface by wiping the entire piece down with a clean cloth. Disassemble any drawers and hardware to prepare it for painting.
- Next, give the entire piece a good sanding to smooth out any imperfections. Sand any edges with a piece of sandpaper and use a sander to smooth the top of your piece.
- Once the piece is fully sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth to prepare it for priming.
- To help prevent drips and to make sure we get into every crevice of this piece with paint, we are going to start with our piece INVERTED. I promise, it is going to help the painting process go so much smoother than if you start with it upright.
- Starting with your piece inverted, begin spray painting it with your primer. Be sure to give your primer a good shake and begin priming your surface well.
- Hold your can 8 inches away from your surface and spray your primer in a sweeping motion side to side with a slight overlap. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.
- Put the piece right side up and finish priming the top. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.
- Repeat the same process with your choice of Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X in your favorite shade. Once the piece is fully painted, allow it to dry overnight before glazing.
- Using a coarse sandpaper, begin roughing up the edges on your piece to create a more antique look.
- Using a clean rag, dip your rag in your glaze and then begin applying in a circular motion to your piece.
- With a clean and damp cloth, remove as much of the glaze as you would like. I again, removed this in a circular motion from the piece until it added a hint of variation to the piece, but didn’t look sponged.
- If you desire, you can spray paint your hardware. As you know hardware can be expensive to replace and sometimes older pieces have more custom fitting hardware so spray paint can be a great way to freshen it up. We chose to replace the wooden handle with a black hardware piece and then spray painted the old gold accessories black with a can I had in my craft supplies. We have spray painted many a handle in our home and you would never know it wasn’t that color originally.
Here is my finished piece. I am so darn proud of it and love how vintage this piece looks thanks to the glazing and sanding process that I did on it. In full disclosure, there were some missteps along the way.
Temperature Changes Effect Spray Paint
If you live in Indiana, you know that the drops and changes in temperature can be quite dramatic and that is just what happened when I painted this. I put a final coat on my perfect table before I went to bed and woke up to a table and drawers that had bubbled in the night. Try to pick a time of day when the temperature is warmer and will hold steady (nothing below fifty degrees) to prevent bubbling of paint. I used the advice provided by Kate, at Centsational Girl, on what to do if your spray paint bubbles and it worked like a charm.
Shake Your Spray Paint Can Well
Having that handy trigger on the spray paint makes it easy to paint quickly, but I forgot to shake the can every so often to keep my paint looking even and glossy. You definitely will want to make sure you shake it very well at the beginning, and shake it every so often when painting with it.
Who Knew You Needed to Be So Tidy?
Make sure after sanding that you really have a nice clear surface to begin your painting, otherwise you will have a crummy surface…literally. The same can be said for choosing a nice clean rag when doing glazing and keeping the piece as clean as you can, which is super difficult if you are in your filthy garage like me!
Distressing Can Hide Flaws
Distressing the piece more not only helped me minimize the bubbles, but it also added character to the piece. For my first spray painted furniture piece, I would definitely recommend it the first time to help you get the hang of how to paint with spray paint.
Practice Makes Perfect
This piece isn’t my best work, but I love it in spite of its flaws. As with all skills, it takes a little practice to get the hang of spray painting furniture. Even though I struggled a bit with my first project, I can’t wait to paint my record cabinet in our office next in the same shade and now I know what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to spray painting my furniture.
What a difference a day makes? Isn’t she lovely? She has certainly brightened up this corner of our home! I highly recommend giving this new paint a try! Fast coverage and an inexpensive way to add a pop of color in your home!
Have you ever spray painted furniture before? What is your advice?
If there is one thing our family loves to do it is spoil our teachers. Today I am sharing how to make book page flowers out of old books to brighten a teacher’s day. I hope you will enjoy this book page flower tutorial and be able to use our free printable to create your book page flowers.
As you know, book page crafts are something that I have recently grown fond of and I wanted to create a bouquet of book page posies that you could share with a favorite teacher. A great way to build upon this thrifty gift is to pair it with a gift card to a favorite local bookstore for your teacher.
1 old book/textbook (I picked one up at Goodwill for $.50- it was WELL loved with loads of notes, yellowed edges, and bent corners.)
Jar or Vase
Hot Glue Gun
Book Page Flowers Template
1. Cut out your five flower petals from the provided flower petal template
2. Begin by pulling out five pages of your book and leave them stacked. Using one of your flower petal templates as a guide, cut out your first petals. Since you are cutting through the stack of papers, you should have five petals cut. Repeat this process with the other four petal templates until you have five of each kind.
3. Using your grill skewer as a paper shaper, roll each of the petals to create curving of the petals around it. I simply rolled these around the skewer, then released them.
4. Pull out another page from your book and tear a strip lengthwise from the book. Just as you would with floral tape wrap, pulling down gently, the skewer with the strip from your page. You may need two strips to cover the entire length. (pictured above).
5. Tear another strip lengthwise and roll this at the top of your skewer to create the center of your flower (just ignore that bare stem!). I just add a bit of glue at the beginning and then a bit of glue at the end to hold it together. Now you are ready to start adding your petals.
6. Add a drop of glue almost at the edge of the bottom of your petal and begin with the smallest layer. Add these petals all around the flower center. Repeat this process with the petals the next size up. Repeat again, again, and again until all of the petals are attached to your flower. If the base feels loose at all, add a little dab of hot glue around the bottom of the flower with your hot glue gun.
7. Finish by placing them in a thrifted jar or vase and spread and fluff the petals of your flowers. Give these to your favorite teacher with a gift card to their favorite bookstore.
Be sure to check back this week for more fun teacher gift ideas!Pin It
Ever wanted to tackle making a family cookbook with your kids? I’m so excited to show you how we made a scrapbook of our favorite foods and food traditions together. Making a cookbook with your kids is a fun activity that any family can do together and we are so excited to show you how we created ours.
If you know us, one thing that our family is big on is traditions created around the dinner table. Whether it is our pizza night on Fridays, our waffle tradition on Sundays, or the way we commemorate every little occasion in life, we somehow find a fun food tradition to surround the event. Today I want to showcase a way to truly document those food traditions by creating a family cookbook with your kids that can be a fun project to create together as well as a legacy of your family traditions to pass down to future generations.
Join me over on Kenmore today to learn how to create this beautiful family cookbook with your kids.Pin It
For years I have been making my own DIY fabric softener sheets and today I wanted to share an easy process for making your own homemade fabric softener sheets for your laundry. These DIY fabric softener sheets will stretch your bottle of fabric softener much further, there is nothing to throw away, and when they finally begin to lose their effectiveness, you simply repeat the process and can continue using them again. Pairing these with a jar of my homemade laundry detergent really can keep your laundry budget down!
How Can I Make My Own Fabric Softener Sheets?
When making your own fabric softener sheets, visit the housewares aisle of your favorite store and look for the brightest colors of washcloths to use. By picking bright fabrics, it will be easier to spot the softener sheet to pull out and reuse after you are done with your load of laundry.
Choose your favorite fabric softener and pour it into a bowl. Soak your washcloth in the softener and then wring it out well. Hang the washcloth to dry overnight.
That’s it. Done.
How Many Times Can You Reuse Your DIY Fabric Softener Sheets?
You can reuse your dryer sheets on up to twenty loads of laundry before you need to repeat the process. If you make a set of these and alternate them with your loads, they should last a long time. The best part about this sheets is that they perform better than putting fabric softener in your washer compartment and you don’t have to worry about any staining on your fabrics.
Are There Any Green Alternatives to Fabric Softeners?
Seventh Generation (affiliate) offers a green alternative to fabric softeners and could be used to create your own DIY fabric softener sheets. The best part about that one is that it still offers a scent, but this version is better for the environment over the other commercial brands.
I also was sent a bottle of the Method fabric softener (affiliate) and used that with fairly good results on my loads of laundry, although I did find that my loads still had a little bit of static in them, particularly if they needed to be refreshed. The unique thing about the Method cleaner was that you sprayed it directly onto your fabrics and the tumbling of the dryer dispersed the softener throughout the load. It never stained my fabrics and also offered a fresh scent to them.
If you are looking for a frugal and green method for fabric softener, you can use vinegar to replace your fabric softener. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar in your fabric softener compartment of your washer or during the Rinse cycle of your load.
Using vinegar will help to soften the fabric, but it doesn’t always perform effectively in reducing the static in fabrics. You can either crumple aluminum foil into a ball and use that as a dryer ball, buy a store-bought dryer ball alternative like this one (affiliate), or even make dryer balls from yarn.
What Should I Not Use Fabric Softener On?
This might come as a surprise since those fabric softener commercials always seem to be about fluffy towels, but you really shouldn’t use fabric softener on your towels. Fabric softener can reduce the absorbency of your fabrics so avoid using it on your towels.
If you are a big fan of cleaning with microfiber cloths, like I am, you should also avoid using fabric softener on those. I just wash them with my towels so I know they won’t get mixed up into my other loads.
- Brightly colored washcloths
- Fabric Softener (your favorite variety)
- Pour fabric softener into a bowl.
- Submerge your washcloth in the fabric softener and soak it for a few seconds.
- Wring the washcloth out and and hang it to dry.
- Allow the washcloth to dry overnight.
- To begin using, just throw it in your dyer with freshly washed cloths.
- You can reuse the same DIY fabric softener sheet on up to 20 loads before you need to repeat the process again.
One of the biggest questions that I get asked is, “What exactly is your job?” It is one of those things that people are often curious about, and admittedly are confused about, since my job is so difficult to explain. Today I wanted to offer a behind-the-scenes look at what it is like to run a niche blog.
I have been blogging for 9 1/2 years now which makes me a dinosaur in this business! The blog that you see today is very different than the blog I started out with. The site has grown a lot over the years and many of you have been through all of its growing pains. For those of you that have been following our journey, I wanted to share with you what my business has evolved into.
What is a Typical Day Like For You?
I am a busy mom of two kiddos so my day-to-life is probably a lot like yours. I handle the day-to-day routines and schedules of my kids. I take my kids to their extra curricular activities, I volunteer weekly at my kid’s school helping with kids that are struggling with reading, we go to worship once a week, and I do my best to workout at the gym three days a week.
Every pocket of time that I have beyond that though is spent working on projects for one of the many freelance clients I write for. I am either shopping for my clients, creating tutorials for craft/diy/food, photographing projects, or writing for them. Since many of my clients are running on magazine calendar deadlines, you will often find me shopping for Easter supplies in the dead of winter or working on Christmas crafts in the Fall.
Even my free time is often accounted for because I share it with you. I try to read four books a month for our reviews and you will rarely find me sitting still when I am watching television because I am usually working on a craft project at the same time for the blog.
Much like you, I am sure, I am pretty beat at the end of the day! By the time the kids go to bed, I am ready for bed myself. I usually head to bed pretty early so I can start the whole routine again!
Who Works With You?
I think one of the things that people have found most surprising about our site is that I was the only writer & contributor on my site for over nine years alone. My husband did all of the coding and design of our site and I managed all the content.
When our site experienced a lot of growth from Pinterest, I realized that there was no way that I could manage all of this on my own. My email inbox had over 50,000 unopened emails, my taxes and paperwork for my business were a mess, and I had been treating my work like a hobby rather than a business.
This last month I hired a virtual assistant to help me with some of the things my readers had come to expect here, but didn’t really showcase my personality- the weekly freebie list, our weekly notebook, and our giveaway link list. She got my inbox down to zero within two months and I finally felt like I could breathe a little bit. She is, in one word, amazing, and has brought back a quality of life that I felt like I had been lacking.
We also hired an accountant to handle our taxes this year, something that had burdened us greatly over the years, and I also started using FreshBooks (affiliate) to help me keep track of my accounting better (a recommendation made by my amazing friend over at Dine & Dish). Invoicing, following up on payments with clients, and paperwork for them takes up a good portion of my day so any people/products I can use to make my day go smoother really helps me.
embroidery thread egg for Kenmore
Why Do You Work For So Many Brands?
I write a lot of content for brands because, frankly, it helps pay the bills. I write professionally for five to six clients monthly and those projects help our family financially, but much of the earnings go towards keeping my site up and running.
When our site was smaller, we had an inexpensive web host and I was able to do everything on my own. Our site grew by 100,000 users this year alone, which is incredible and awesome, but our web host couldn’t handle the traffic! It was time to invest in the business and move to Liquid Web (affiliate), who can handle anything we throw at them. We currently spend about a thousand dollars a month to pay for web hosting, photography props/equipment, our accountant, and my assistant. Many of my projects that I write for just go towards keeping the business afloat and paying my self-employment taxes.
No, I Was Asking How Much You Make?
Yup, I get asked that all the time although I have NEVER asked anyone what their salary is. It is such a weird job that people are always dying to know how much you make. I make a full-time income thanks to the companies I work for as a content writer/creator, ambassador, and spokesperson for. If I was living on our ad revenue alone, we could pay for our web host and maybe a bill or two. In all honesty though, my income fluctuates a lot because it depends on what jobs come through for me for the year. This past year all my time was devoted towards my book which was a rewarding experience, but also prevented me from taking on a lot of paying jobs.
How Do You Do It All?
I don’t think I do more than many of the other working parents that I know, but people constantly ask me this. I think the main reason is because when people do these types of projects around their house they aren’t pointing a bunch of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram traffic over to it like,
“LOOK AT ME! I MAKE THINGS! LOOK HOW AWESOME I AM!”
Here is an example of a typical month of projects for my clients.
I knitted a scarf for a new yarn line that Walmart was carrying.
I painted vases with my kids for Kenmore.
I took my kids over to the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit at Brookfield Zoo to write a review for a local magazine I write for.
I gathered up ideas for things to do with old books for Goodwill.
I made homemade laundry detergent for Walmart.
I made a cookbook with my kids for Kenmore (post coming soon!)
I made whole wheat toasted tarts with Walmart.
There are several other projects, but this gives you an idea of what I am up to. If I look at it as a whole, I am completely overwhelmed. On any given week I could have anywhere between two to four projects for clients. Since I do all of the shopping, crafting/cooking and then my own writing & photography for these projects, each project is very time-consuming.
I also am maintaining the writing that I do here on my blog like sharing yummy recipes for pecan-crusted chicken fingers, whipping up Peep-tinis, & sharing all those fun book reviews and making sure we have plenty of content for the rest of the week. All of that, and I haven’t even touched on the social media side of things which is just as consuming now that my readers can connect with me through every available social media channel!
Usually the most surprising amount of time I spend is on the shopping and the staging for photos. I will get a brilliant idea for a client and then get to the store and find out that the items I need aren’t sold there or that I have to completely rethink a project. What’s worse is if I spend a whole day on a recipe and it flops.
Although it appears I take every opportunity given to me, I take about half or less of the projects offered. If you look at the projects above, you might be surprised they were even for companies because they are just the types of projects I would want to share with you anyway. Since the companies supply a budget for supplies, it helps to offset some of the costs to crank out this many projects monthly.
Time management is a tricky terrain with a juggle like this. I have learned that is better to tackle a few recipes in one day and then edit & write the content the other days. Many days it looks like a bomb exploded in my house because I am in some stage of creation for someone. It doesn’t make my Type-A heart very happy, but it is one of those things that comes with the job. I try to look at it the way I see my kids LEGO’s all over the floor or all their art supplies out, I am just proud they are creative and they are making something. I want to always be surrounded by creativity.
Basically, I take it all day by day.
How Does Your Job Impact Your Family Life?
I am so thankful for my job because it usually has a positive impact on our family life. My kids and I see these projects as opportunities to spend time together and the recipes that I create in our kitchen are enjoyed by all at our family dinners. How many people get to craft all day long and call it work? Not many! It almost sounds too good to be true sometimes.
I have gotten to travel to places that I thought I would only read about in books, I got to fulfill a life goal to write a book, my kids have gotten to go to places we couldn’t have afforded, and I’ve met a lot of truly amazing men & women who blog that my life would have never crossed paths with.
Let me be honest though, there are positive and negative aspects about my work. For example, since our holiday content is written months in advance, I am usually not sitting around making rainbow cakes with my kids on St. Patrick’s Day or being a super creative parent like I want to be. By the time the holidays roll around, they are usually lucky if I dye their milk green because we have already done those projects together ages ago and I am on to the next holiday.
Traveling can be hard especially when my jobs end up interfering with family events. One year I had to travel on my daughter’s birthday and I cried a lot over that. It didn’t matter that I had thrown three parties for her, I was not there on the actual day. Inevitably, some kid gets sick or they have a fancy holiday show and I am off promoting the latest product for a company or have a speaking engagement for my work that has been planned months in advance. I am thankful for Skype on days like those so that I can see their faces and feel like I am there. I am sure every working parent feels that way sometimes.
Operating at a frantic pace each week can also have negative impacts on me and my health. I was two years overdue for a lot of routine check-ups for myself this year, my stomach issues have increased, and there are times where I feel completely overwhelmed or just don’t want to do all of this. It is hard to escape your work when it is always there!
We are not celebrities by any stretch of the imagination, but our family does not have an anonymous life. Some of us thrive better than others with this and there are days where we miss that.
There are times where I want to be political or snarky, but I worry how that might reflect to my readers so it definitely censors me in my social media life.I am sure this is a good thing in the long run.
All in all, the positives have outweighed the negatives though. If it starts to turn the other direction, we will have to make a decision to continue or not as a family. We operate under the, “All for one, one for all,” family motto. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Have a question for me? Feel free to ask it!
Homemade laundry detergent is one of those things that is both easy to make and can save your family a lot of money at the grocery store. Today I wanted to share with you my recipe for homemade laundry detergent. Making homemade detergent is easier than you might think and the cost comparison makes it worth the small amount of effort required to make this.
Walmart challenged me to take on a fun Spring project and today I want to share with you a recipe and some ideas for spring cleaning your laundry routine by making your own homemade laundry detergent.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Homemade Batch of Laundry Detergent?
Homemade detergent is made up of three ingredients: Fels-Naptha or Ivory Soap, Washing Soda, & Borax. The current pricing on these three ingredients is:
Fels Naptha Soap- $.97 per bar
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (55 ounce box)- $3.24
Borax (76 ounce box)- $3.38
One batch of laundry detergent takes one cup of the borax, one cup of the washing soda, and one bar of soap. Dividing the total materials required to make one batch of soap means that it would cost $1.81 total to make a batch. At one to two tablespoons per load, it comes in at a mere $.04, compared to $0.17-.0.21 per load like the other name brands. That’s a pretty impressive savings! When you multiply that savings by a billion loads a week (if you live in our house), that is some serious savings!
Where Do You Find Borax, Washing Soda, & Fels Naptha Soap?
These supplies are all right in a row in at your local Walmart and are located on the opposite side of the laundry detergents, over by the stain removers! Why am I sharing this information? Simply because I could not find it and wanted to save you the trouble of walking up and down the detergent aisle like a lost little child like me!
Is Laundry Detergent Hard to Make or Time Consuming?
Some of the most time-strapped people I know are making their own detergent. I was able to make a triple batch of this soap in about fifteen minutes and that is along with taking pictures for this tutorial. The real time-consuming process of it is grating the soap, but if you have a food processor, that can be accomplished in no time at all.
How Do you Grate the Soap?
You can definitely use an old-fashioned cheese grater, but the soap can clump up and not completely dissolve in your load unless you grate it extremely fine. I allow my food processor to do the work for me because it is much easier to do and gives you the opportunity to also double or triple your batches of laundry detergent, in no time flat.
The process of grating the soap is easier than it sounds. You simply want to cut your bars of soap in half lengthwise so that you can feed them through the shoot of your processor. Assemble the processor with your cheese grater attachment and feed your soap in slowly and gently through the top shoot. Once all the soap has been grated, dump it into a bowl and remove the cheese grater attachment. Reassemble the processor with the basic blade and then put the grated soap back in. Spin it again until the soap resembles fine small pellets. That is it! Your soap is ready to be incorporated in your laundry detergent!
Is Homemade Detergent Safe to Use With High-Efficiency (HE) Washers?
The true beauty about this homemade detergent is that it doesn’t have a lot of suds. The main reason you can’t use laundry detergents not made for HE washers is because of the suds factor. Thanks to the small amount of suds and the minimal amount of soap you need to use to wash your loads, it is the perfect detergent to use with your HE washer! You can use this homemade laundry detergent with confidence!
Is This Homemade Laundry Detergent Septic Friendly?
The ingredients in this soap contain zero phosphates and zero fillers (like montmorillonite clay) that cause commercial powder detergents to clog lines. I am sure other items that you have lurking in your home are less septic friendly than this one so this is a perfectly safe product to make and use.
Now that you know all about it, let’s get started on our project!
1 box of Borax
1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Bar of Fels-Naptha Soap (or more if you plain to double, triple, or quadruple your batch)
Jar for Storage (found in the kitchen supplies)
Coffee Scoop (found in the kitchen supplies aisle, optional, but is great for perfect measuring of your detergent)
How to Make Your Detergent
- 1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of shaved bar soap (Ivory, ZOTE, Fels-Naptha)
- 1 cup of borax
- 1 cup of washing soda
- Shred your bars of soap as shown in the tutorial above.
- Mix one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda and the grated soap in a large bowl until incorporated well.
- Use 1 tablespoon per load (or 2 tablespoons for heavily soiled loads).
- Store in a glass jar or well-sealed plastic container.
Do you make your own laundry detergent? What is your winning recipe for the perfect homemade laundry detergent? Feel free to share your tips!
Sorry! This giveaway is now closed! We would like to congratulate entry #2 (Stephanie) and entry #10 (Heather) on winning these prize packs!
With spring comes all of the beauty of the changing season. We finally began to see our grass; we enjoy seeing the new buds on our trees, and the sweet smell of a good April shower. What also comes is the time for spring renewal and spring cleaning inside our homes to bring the freshness and sunshine into our space.
This year, I have vowed to “spring clean” all year long rather than trying to set aside a specific time to do this. With a very busy family schedule, it can often feel daunting to just keep up the daily maintenance of my home. If you are anything like me, try and incorporate these tips into your daily routine so that you can relax while everyone else is tired and haggard from their day of spring cleaning. Here are a few ideas for getting these tasks done:
- Begin by making a checklist of everything that you would normally do during your spring cleaning. Things like washing all the linens and drapes, wiping down baseboards, washing windows inside and out, cleaning out your pantry, washing your shower curtains, organizing your linen cabinets, wiping down walls, and cleaning doorknobs and light fixtures.
- Take inventory of your cleaners and the tools that you will need in order to accomplish all of the necessary cleaning. Nothing is worse than getting ready to do it and then finding out that you are missing that one component needed to complete your task. Put the items that you will need on your shopping list and get them on the day that you perform all of your errands. Some items I like to always have on hand are microfiber cloths (for dusting and wiping down electronic surfaces), newspaper for a lint-free swipe on my mirrors, dusting spray, and a good all-purpose cleaner. I love the Windex® Touch-Up Cleaner for easily and effortlessly cleaning your home’s surfaces. Use this cleaner for wiping down sinks, counter tops, toilets, the outside of your appliances, stove tops, sealed granite, sealed marble, glass, chrome, glazed ceramic tile, finished wood and more.
- Continue doing your normal daily routine, but add an extra hour each week towards accomplishing just one of these tasks on your list. Check off the items that you accomplish and press on to the next one. By just devoting one hour a week towards your spring cleaning goals you will have a more manageable deep cleaning routine.
- Clear out as much clutter as you can. Make a box for trash and a box for charitable donations and fill these with all of the unnecessary clutter in your home. By donating these items to those less fortunate you will gain so much. Not only will someone who needs these items more benefit from your donation, but you can receive a tax break and reclaim space in your own home. My theory is, if you don’t like to dust it and aren’t in love with items in your home- donate it!
- Try keeping a cleaning schedule that fits with your life and your family’s life. Some people work better during morning hours while others of us would rather be snoozing and do better in the evening. Take advantage of the times that you work best.
- Put your spring cleaning task on your calendar each week. It sounds silly, but don’t you remember your appointments and engagements better when it is written on your calendar?
- Enlist your helpers to help you on these tasks. Your children and your husband can be active participants in getting your home organized just like they help to contribute to the clutter. Schedule dad for clearing out the garage, taking inventory of the tools you will need to do your gardening, cleaning out the basement, or other tasks inside and outside of the home. Children can aid in cleaning their own rooms by helping to remove some of the clutter in the house. Involving your family can be beneficial in showing them all that you do to keep your house running smoothly.
If your children need an extra incentive, be sure to print out our free handy chore punch cards to motivate your kids to be involved in the cleaning process!
For product details, visit http://www.windex.com/ and check out the Windex® Facebook page at www.facebook.com/windex for information, coupons and more; additionally, don’t forget to check out the Shineboard for creative cleaning ideas!
Disclosure: I have partnered with Windex® and am being compensated for my posts. However, my opinions are my own.
GIVEAWAY: Two (2) lucky readers will receive tools to make spring cleaning a breeze as well as samples of Windex® Touch-Up in Multi-tasking tool-kit!
To Enter: Leave a comment below telling us how Windex® Touch-Up Cleaner will help you spring clean!
*If you are a winner, please leave a testimonial here once you’ve tried it out!*
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT POST OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OR, PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
1. Eligibility:Mom Advice’sWindex® Touch-Up Product Giveaway (“Sweepstakes”) is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including the District of Columbia) who are at least eighteen (18) years of age. Employees of Mom Advice (“Sponsor”), Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., and SC Johnson & Son, Inc. and any of their parents, subsidiaries. affiliated companies and their advertising and promotion agencies, as well as the immediate family (spouses, parents, siblings and children and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and household members, whether or not related of each such employee are not eligible to enter or win. The Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
2. Agreement to Official Rules: By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrant fully and unconditionally agrees to and accepts these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor which are final and binding in all matters related to the Sweepstakes. Whether an entrant receives a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
3. Timing: The Sweepstakes begins on April 9, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”) and ends on April 16, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. PT (“Promotion Period”).
4. How to Enter: During the Promotion Period, there is one way to earn an entry: 1. Leave a comment on this blog post answering the question, “How will Windex® Touch-Up Cleaner help your spring cleaning routine?”
All online entries must be received (comments posted) by 5:00 p.m. PT on April 16 to be eligible. Limit one (1) entry per person, per email address and per household, regardless of method of entry. Entries received from any person, email address or household in excess of the stated limitation will be void. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. In the event of a dispute over the identity of an online entrant, entry will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the blog post and he/she must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses.
Entrants must comply with guidelines provided by Sponsor. An entrant’s failure to comply with the terms and conditions and/or guidelines, as determined by Sponsor, may result in disqualification and all associated entries will be void. By submitting your name and email address, you agree to receive relevant promotional emails and contest follow up communications from Sponsor.
Blog posting must (i) be entrant’s own original work and reflect the true opinions and experiences of the applicable entrant, (ii) be in English, (iii) cannot be previously published or submitted in connection with any other promotion, (iv) be in keeping with the Sponsor’s image and (v) not be offensive or inappropriate, as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, nor can it defame or invade publicity rights or privacy of any person, living or deceased, or otherwise infringe upon any person’s personal or property rights or any other third party rights. Sponsor reserves the right to remove any blog post and void the associated entry that it determines, in its sole discretion, is offensive or inappropriate, not in keeping with Sponsor’s image or that is otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules.
By posting a blog post, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor may obtain blog posts under this Sweepstakes or have developed on its own or through other third parties’ ideas and material and blog posts that may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to others submitted under this Sweepstakes and/or other promotions sponsored by the Sponsor or submitted for other reasons on the website, and entrant waives any and all claims he/she may have had, may have, and/or may have in the future, that any other blog post accepted, reviewed and/or used by Sponsor may be similar to his/her blog post.
5. Winner Determination: Potential winners of prizes will be chosen from all eligible entries received in a random drawing to be held within five (5) business days after the close of entries by Sponsor whose decision is final and binding in all matters. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
6. Winner Requirements: Potential winners will be notified by email on or about twelve (12) days from April 9, 2013. The inability to contact the potential winner within a reasonable time period, the return of the prize or prize notification as undeliverable or non-compliance with these Official Rules will result in forfeiture of prize.
Winner, by acceptance of prize, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, address (city and state), photograph, voice and/or other likeness and prize information for promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide in perpetuity, without notice or review or approval.
Winner, by acceptance of prize, agrees to review the product received in the prize package and post a product testimonial on Windex.com (click on the link to be directed to the review webpage).
7. Prizes: A Multitasking Prize Package including instant coffee samples, face cream with SPF, multi-bacterial hand cream, one bathroom Windex® Touch-Up Cleaner and one kitchen Windex® Touch-Up Cleaner. Approximate Retail Value of prize is $75.00 USD and will be given to two (2) selected winners. Prize is non-transferable and no substitution or cash-redemption is permitted except by Sponsor, in its sole discretion, which reserves the right to substitute the prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value. Winner is responsible for all federal, state and local taxes (including income and withholding taxes) and any other costs and expenses associated with prize receipt and/or use not specified herein as being provided. Prize is awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by Sponsor. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion.
8. Release: Entrants agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., S.C. Johnson & Son and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliate companies and advertising and promotion agencies and their respective officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, out of participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of the prize.
9. Ownership/Use of Blog Posts: By submitting a blog post, each entrant agrees Sponsor shall own the blog post submitted (including all rights embodied therein) and that it and its designees (including S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.) may exploit, edit, modify, and distribute the blog post and all elements of such blog post, including, without limitation, the names and likenesses of any persons or locations mentioned therein (including the use of the blog post for promotional purposes in connection with this Sweepstakes and for the promotion of Windex® products, except where prohibited by law), in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity without compensation, permission or notification to entrant or any third party.
10. General Conditions: Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Sweepstakes, or any part of it for any reason, including if virus, bugs, worms, unauthorized intervention, or any fraud, technical failures or any other factor impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Sweepstakes, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In the event of cancellation, Sponsor reserves the right to select the winner from among all remaining non-suspect entries received as of time as such cancellation. Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or those of any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and all associated entries will be void. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Twitter and Facebook are not affiliated in any way with the Sweepstakes.
11. Limitations of Liability: The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information in any Sweepstakes-related materials, whether caused by entrant, printing or typographical errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines, or failed computer, satellite, telephone, cable, or network/computer hardware or software, or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (4) technical, mechanical, network , electronic, computer, human or other errors which may occur, including any errors that may occur in connection with the administration of the Sweepstakes, the processing of entries or blog posts, the announcement of the winner or in any other Sweepstakes-related materials; or (5) late, lost, incomplete, misdirected, delayed, garbled, illegible, postage-due, undeliverable, damaged or stolen entries or blog posts or mail. Released Parties are not responsible for damage to any computer system resulting from participation in, accessing or downloading information in connection with this Sweepstakes. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes.
12. Winner’s Name: Winner will be available after twelve (12) days from April 9, 2013, at http://momadvice.com/. The winner’s name will be available until on or about April 20, 2013.
13. Sponsor: Amy Clark