Friday, January 25, 2013

DIY Laundry Soap

One of my goals for 2013 is to get my house as chemical free as possible. What I'm quickly learning, oddly enough, is that this is actually putting extra bucks IN my pocket, rather than taking more money out. 

I do at least 3 loads of laundry a day, and go through laundry soap like crazy. So when I learned that I could not only make my own, but save some money, I was eager to try it out.

My last batch lasted me 4 months for a family of 6! And guess what? It only cost me about 25 bucks. I spent that easily in 1 month of purchasing my name brand laundry soap in the past. 

Here's what you will need:

2 Tubs of Sun Oxygen 
1 76 oz box of Borax
3 Bars of Fels-Naptha Soap
2 Cups of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
1 55 oz box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 64 oz bottle of Purex Crystals (Optional, but worth it!)
(All of these items you can find in the laundry soap isle. I got everything at my local walmart)
A food processor, OR a cheese grate 
2 Garbage bags (Doubled bagged)

Step 1: Food Processor: Open and dice each bar of Fels-Naptha soap, place in your food processor. I used our magic bullet, and it did the job easily, grinding them into small beads. Set the soap aside.

Step 1: Cheese Grate: If you do not have a food processor, or just dont want to use yours, instead of dicing your soap, simply shread it with a cheese grater. I did this with my first batch, it was quite the work out, but it works just as well. Set the soap aside.

Step 2: On top of a table spread out your double bagged garbage bag. Start adding all ingrediants into the bag. Once finished, make sure you tie it up really well so nothing escapes while mixing.

Step 3: MIX! Roll your bag around on the table several times (It will be very heavy). Go in all directions to be sure it is mixed evenly. 

Step 4: Put into containers. I used a measuring cup to help scoop the detergent out of the bag and into my tubs. I save my Sun tubs and use them to store my detergent in. Exactly 4 tubs will hold this entire batch. 

I use the scooper from the Sun tubs as my measuring tool. I pour 1 cup directly into the laundry machine, then place my laundry and then a scoop on top. My kids are really dirty! 

*This laundry soap is HE safe

* Your soap may start to seperate in the tub over time due to the different weights of mixed ingrediants. All you have to do is just shake up your tub every now and again :)

*The Purex Crystals are optional, and the detergent will work just as well without them. However, these give your laundry such a sweet aroma that fills your entire house every time you wash. I like the lavender scent as well as the ocean breeze. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Salt Dough Ornaments

I have been wanting to post this for a while now. Since the new year we've been passing around a yucky bug and I haven't had much of a chance to post. But don't fret! I am now back :)

     Who remembers making salt dough ornaments in kindergarten  I do! And now I'm making them with MY kindergartner :) Time flies....

To make your own salt dough you will need:
1/2 cup of salt
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of flour

     Mix salt and flour in a mixing bowl. Slowly add in the water while mixing. You might not need all of it. You want it be kinda dry, but if it gets too sticky, then add a little more flour. Once its the right consistency, knead the dough and then roll out and use cookie cutters to make your shape. Be sure to use a pencil and make a small hole at the top so you are able to make a tree hanger.

     There are several ways to cook the dough. You could simply let the dough sit out for about 3 days to harden. You could also set your oven to it's lowest temp and bake for 3 hours or until hard. OR, if you are really impatient, LIKE ME, you can just pop 'em in the microwave for 3 minutes! If they are still wet after 3 minutes, continue cooking in 20 second intervals until hard. Allow to cool.

     I made star ornaments covered in gold glitter. Using Modge-Podge and a sponge brush, I coated each star and then covered with glitter. Once dried, I applied a second coat of Modge-Podge on top to seal the glitter on. We had a lot of fun!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Photo Book

I love getting the photo Christmas cards in the mail. I like to save them and look at them through the years. I especially like seeing kids that I don't get to see as much anymore grow through the years. I started having so many that I decided to make a cute little book with them. I organized them by size and put a whole punch through them. Then I just loosely tied some ribbon so I could add more as the years go by! Now I will proudly display every Christmas :)