Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quick Crafty T-shirt Aprons (for kids)

This was ALL my husband. I own two aprons. I have two children, when I cook with my apron on, they both want to join in my apron wearing. That tends to create a bit of a problem when I'm cooking something really messy. I had been planning on making them aprons for Christmas gifts, and I probably still will. However, one day, to avoid fights or fits, my husband put his engineering skills to work.
Start with an adult sized T-shirt. We took them from our closet, ones that we don't/can't wear anymore. (Making these aprons FREE!)

Cut 1:Starting just below the center back of the collar, cut around the collar in each direction towards the shoulder seams. (This will create the neck strap.)
Cuts 2 & 3: Continuing from cut 1, make a diagonal cut from each shoulder seam to the side seam just under each sleeve.Cut 4: Make a straight cut across the back to connect cuts 2 & 3.

Cuts 5 & 6: Make a cut from the bottom of the shirt along each side seam (I recommend cutting just to the front of the seam in order to eliminate it from the apron.) stopping 1 1/2 to 2 in. from cut 4.

Cut 7: Cut straight across the back to connect cuts 5 & 6.

Cut 8: Cut the remaining strip of fabric between cuts 4 and 7 in half to create the ties for the apron.

And you have yourself an apron! From here, you can easily add any embellishments and finishing touches you want. Or if you just need a good crafting apron for the kids, it works well as is.

As you can see, my little princess has no embellishments on hers right now, I mean it was designed and developed by a man, but both kids love them. And, my man was pretty proud of himself. Like I said...ALL him. Ingenious!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Laundry Soap

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap. A great money saver, estimates range from 1-2 cents per load. I've been using it for about 4 months, and it works well for me.

4 cups hot tap water
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap grated (Or soap of your choosing)
1 1/2 cups Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
5 gallon bucket with lid
1 long paint stirring stick

-In a saucepan combine hot water and grated soap. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill bucket half full of hot tap water. Add soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved.
-Add in soap and water mixture.
-Fill bucket to top with hot water. Stir, cover and let sit 24 hours to thicken.
-After 24 hours, stir well. (Mine had the consistency of a thick custard on top before stirring, but stirred into a nice liquid-gel after a few minutes. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I had to stay at it until it was smooth.)
-If desired, fill a washed, used detergent bottle for easy dispensing. Shake/stir before each use as detergent has a tendency to separate.
-Use 1/4 - 1/2 cup per load for top loading or approx. half as much for front loaders.
-Optional: You can add 25-40 drops essential oil per batch. Add once soap has cooled. Or, I've never tried this myself, but I'm told that adding a bottle of Febreze (or equivalent) works well to add a fresh scent.

-Make sure you use Washing Soda from the laundry isle (Arm & Hammer is the only brand I've found).
-If you feel it's too harsh, you can decrease both soda and borax by 1/2 cup. I found that for some of the more heavily soiled articles the formula listed worked better.
-Fels Naptha is found in the laundry isle as well. Other popular soaps include Zoot and Ivory. Different soaps with produce different consistencies.
-I got my bucket/lid from Home Depot for around $3. And I just went to the paint counter and asked for the long stirring stick and they just gave it to me.