Saving money by making stuff yourself is really trendy right now. And I don’t hate it. A lot of my life I have taken pride in myself when I didn’t do something just because it was trendy. (Rainbow flip flops anyone? Or leggings. Yikes.) But now that DIY is trendy, I’m making myself right at home in the bandwagon. I’ll just surround myself with cupcakes, bunting, yarn wreaths, and mason jars and call it a day.
I’ve been wanting to try out handmade laundry detergent for awhile. (Handmade sounds so much better than homemade, right?) But I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of recipes floating around Pinterest. Then a lovely lady from my church who owns a shop in our town gave me some to try. It smelled like heaven and worked great, so I resolved to finally make some myself.
After much searching, I settled on this recipe from How Does She. It is good for regular machines and HE machines. It includes Borax, baking soda, washing soda, Zote/Fels Naptha, and Oxiclean. It also explains how to add those fabric softener crystals, but we chose not to do that. And by we, I mean my mom and I. It was a family effort.
My dad kind of got pulled into helping because he was just so talented at grating all that soap. Seriously. He could do two bars in the time I could do half of one. It must be all the sanding he’s done over the years. Ha! So my mom just reminded him of how much she would be saving and that she would be washing his clothes, and he grated away. Timothy took this nice iPhone pic of us and then resumed telling us about some new surgery he saw on YouTube. Sadly, a true story.
The whole process was really easy. We used that big tub to mix it all in and it worked like a charm. My mom had a ton of jars from canning, and we just divided the mixture into those. This particular recipe filled nine and a half of those giant mason jars.
I’ve already started using the detergent and I’m loving it. It smells great, our clothes feel clean, and it looks so cute! I’m loving how much money we’ll save also. Since marrying a
smelly man, I’ve had a LOT more laundry than I thought. I mean seriously. I’m kind of afraid of the amount of laundry I’ll have when we have children.
So this is one DIY that I’m so glad we did. Have any of you made your own detergent? Any different recipes that you use? I’d love to hear!
Have you all seen the site Handmade Ryan Gosling? A few bloggers are taking pictures of The Notebook star and are then adding pick up lines on them. But not just normal are-your-feet-tired?-because-you’ve-been-running-through-my-mind-ALL-day kind of pick up lines … lines that appeal to crafters.
I’m not a Ryan Gosling fan (have you seen my handsome husband?! Yowza.), but these just crack me up so much.
(all photos from Handmade Ryan Gosling)
I die. These made my day.
I found tons of inspiration on Pinterest for felt ornaments. I had planned on making version of all my pins, but one night I just started crafting and went a totally new direction.
These were inspired by this pin. I cut out the smallest shape and then cut out the larger shapes to compliment it. I borrowed my mom’s amazing embroidery floss collection and kind of winged it. And, yeah. I think I love embroidery!
I think I would like it even more if I tried it on regular material and with a pattern. My stitches are a little crazy. But I still like the way these turned out! I made a few other ornaments that turned out quite a bit less than spectacular.
These are my favorite ornaments ever! They were a breeze to make and very repetitive and soothing to the mind.
The longest part of the process was cutting out all the circles and ironing them. I cut all the circles and ironed them in one night and then took all the pieces on a road trip with me. A few hours of sewing was all it took to make some cute ornaments!
The only thing I changed from the original tutorial was making a larger template for my circles. I wanted these to really fill in the tree. I took these pictures at night so the color is kind of wacky, but the black looking ornaments are really navy blue.
The next felt decoration I made was a tree topper. I was going to make smaller ones to use as ornaments, but my poor fingers and brain couldn’t take it. Again, I got the tutorial from The Purl Bee. I had such high hopes for this guy.
For one thing, it’s HUGE. Like 18 inches across huge. And my hand sewing lacks a little finesse … and talent.
The seams are really wavy and it just screams handmade, but not in a good way. It’s proudly displayed on our tree, however. I told Timothy that I didn’t care how much we laughed at it, the crazy thing took three whole nights to make. We WERE going to use it and we WERE going to be happy about it. Dying starfish or not.
So that almost sums up the ornament DIYs of the year. I’ve got one other DIY up my sleeve! And for a little hint, it was inspired by this ghetto fabulous pin.
As I wrote recently, last year I made all our ornaments with candy. It was a lot of fun, but the decorations didn’t last. This year, I wanted to get some decorations that I can use year after year.
With a small decorations budget, I knew DIY would be the best (and the most fun!) option. I searched on the beloved Pinterest for some ideas, and fell in love with the idea of a felt Christmas!
Here are some of my favorite inspirations:
buy them here at etsy
buy them here at etsy
tutorial here at bhg
buy the kit here at purl bee
tutorial here at stumbles and stitches
Cute, right? I bought the felt to make them (and several other decorations) for under $20 – sweetness! I planned to make a whole bunch of ornaments inspired by these pictures, but I kind of veered off these ideas and did some of my own things. That’s the whole point of DIY, right? Making it your own.
So if you’d like, come back tomorrow to see some handmade ornaments inspired by these designs! Or check out this post about a cute and simple felt garland.
What about you guys? Anyone planning on doing some DIY decorations? I’d love to hear your ideas!
I’m still busy working on getting our house decorated for Christmas. Well, actually, I’m still busy making the decorations – I haven’t even started putting them up!
I’m sure a lot of you have already started and are in the midst of spreading Christmas cheer around your house. I thought I’d share with you some of the decorations I did last year in case anyone would like to incorporate some candyland fun.
I hit up all the dollar stores in our area and bought all the candy I could find.
I made a gummy bear-covered ornament with hot glue.
I also did a gumdrop-covered ornament. This was one of my favorites!
I bought a package of gingerbread men and thought that they’d get moldy or crumbly on our tree, but they lasted the whole time! And I kept our tree up for ages.
Here’s a ring pop and a sour tape ring thing. The sour tape fell apart about two seconds after I took the picture.
This is a foam “G” from Hobby Lobby, covered in jawbreakers.
A dried orange slice a’la Young House Love.
These glass balls were half off at Hobby Lobby, so I grabbed 8 of them for $4! In retrospect, I would have chosen the plastic ones instead of the glass ones. I filled them with M&Ms and wound up breaking half of the ornaments. Sad days. This one shown is actually broken and held together by tape! Hard candy is definitely a no no with these guys. I filled the remaining ornaments with gummy bears.
I picked up three of these nutcracker lollipops for a dollar at the dollar store. Isn’t he cute? Though I don’t know who in their right mind would want to actually eat him.
And lastly, here is our tree topper. It’s a huge lollipop, three candy cane circles, and some Pixy Stix all hot glued together. Looking at it now, I think it looks like an alien head. Oh well. I liked it at the time!
That covers the candy tree.
I carried the theme throughout the rest of our living room.
I filled some vases with candy and pom poms. By the time Christmas was over, my brother had eaten most of the Smarties. Just the lollipops were left and it was kind of hard to get all of them out of that vase afterwards!
I pretended our little bar/ledge thing was a mantle and covered it in a whole bunch of random stuff. My mom gave me the red and blue runner, I bought the star garland from Target, and I already had all the glass and books.
I made the trees from a Martha Stewart tutorial. I really loved them, but they were pretty hard to store in our small house without getting smooshed or getting glitter everywhere. If we had a garage or an attic where we could safely store them, I would definitely have made gazillions of these.
So there are the Candyland decorations from Christmas 2010! I think the total cost of the candy and a few ornaments was about $40. Not too bad, if I say so myself!
This year I don’t have a decorations theme. But I am having to do new things because most of those candy decorations got yucky. I’m trying to DIY some ornaments and stuff that I can use for years and will never get moldy or attract ants. Ha! So stay tuned, some tutorials will be coming soon!
I’m curious – how do you all decorate? Do you go with a theme? Or do you use the same decorations every year?
I'm honored that you took time to stop by my blog! My name is Whitney, and I'm a diy loving, piano playing, sewing obsessed, thrifty, non-house cleaning, crafty newlywed. I love God, my husband, and life as a wife. If you'd like to know more, just check out my About Me page. Much love!
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