Tutorial: Non-committal Curtains from Bed Sheets.

Description:
This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make non-commital curtains from bed sheets.  The button holes at the top allow you to change the look of the curtains by simply changing what hangs the curtains on the curtain rod.  You can move the curtains from room to room without having to make whole new curtains.

Materials:
queen size flat bed sheet
*Ensure the width and length of your flat sheet will be large enough to cover your window.  I like my sheet to have about 1.5-2 times the width of the window.  For this tutorial, I used a flat sheet for an extra deep bed, which was 84″ — the perfect length to cover many windows!

ribbon, rope, or other material to attach the curtains to the rod — have a look around your house and get creative!

Directions:
1.  Cut sheet in half lengthwise.  The original top, bottom hem (unless you choose to make shorter curtains), and outer finished edges of the sheets will remain in tact, leaving only a couple of seams to finish yourself.

2. Turn raw edge toward wrong side of sheet and press.  You should be turning the edge the same width as the outer finished edge.

3. Turn pressed edge again and press.  Stitch close to edge along entire length of folded edge.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with other half of sheet.
5. Using a dissapearing ink pen or pins, mark approximately 1″ from top side edge of each panel.

6. Fold panels in half lengthwise and mark the top middle.

7. For each panel, fold the middle and side markings together to again find the middle between the two.  Repeat with middle and other side marking.  You should now have 5 evenly spaced marks on each panel.

8. Stitch buttonholes at each of the marks, 1/2″ from top edge, and approximately 1″ long.  I always do a practice buttonhole first on some scrap fabric to ensure that my placement will be correct.  Buttonholes are not fun to unpick :).

9. Unpick the center fabric of each buttonhole.  If you would like to make your curtains shorter than the sheet length, now is the time to cut and hem them to your desired length.  You can also add pennies or drapery weights to the hem if needed.  My sheet was quite heavy so I chose to leave the curtains without weights.

10. Now it’s time to get creative…

Grab some rope if you’ve got a little Buckaroo like I do…

Or ribbon if you’ve got a princess in the house…

Or anything else you find that can hang on a curtain rod. 
Have a son that loves rock climbing?  Use some large carabiners!

…Tie or attach whatever you’re using to each buttonhole, leaving enough space to slide the loop or object around the curtain rod.

11. Hang your new non-commital curtains on a rod and change up the tops in a few months when you get bored of them!

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Tutorial: Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have tried a few different recipes I found online for homemade laundry detergent, and ultimately decided to make my own powdered recipe that works best for me.  Most ingredients online are similiar, so feel free to adjust quantities to suit your own needs and preferences.

Description:
This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make your own homemade powdered laundry detergent.

Ingredients:
1 bar Fels-Naptha bar soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup Baking Soda
*All of these items are found in the laundry isle next to the laundry detergents.  If you live in Utah — I had best luck at Winco for all the supplies, I was not able to find the Fels-Naptha soap or washing soda at the Walmart or Target in my area, but you may have better luck.
*If you try this recipe and like it, you can double or even triple the ingredients the next time you make it to get a larger batch.

Directions:
1. Grate the Fels-Naptha bar soap finely.  I grated mine first using a hand grater, then put it in the Magic Bullet to finish it off.  A food processer works great too.  Coarsely grated, this equals about 2 cups.  Finely grated measures less, of course.

2. Add 1 cup Borax.

3. Add 1 cup washing soda.

4. Add 1/4 cup baking soda.

5. Find a helper and stir well (that is banana on his nose, if you are wondering — no need to be grossed out).

6. You should have a nice powdered mixture that looks like this:

7. Place in an airtight container.  Use 2 tablespoons per regular load of laundry. 

Here’s a label you can use for your container.  Click on the image below, then right click to save it.  I recommend opening it in Word or Publisher and printing it from there.  That way you can resize it to fit your own container. 

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Tutorial: Reusable Swiffer Sweeper

reusable swiffer sweeper pad

Like I said earlier, I LOVE cleaning products, but have been trying to be a little GREENER when it comes to some of my favorites. I think my favorite cleaning product ever is the Swiffer Sweeper. I just hate buying the refill cloths for the sweeper all the time, and really wanted something I could wash and use over and over again, like the reusable Swiffer duster that I made. The tricky part was figuring out what would “grab” the crumbs and clean the floor the best. Leave it to a sock to save the day! Using a chenile sock and an old t-shirt, you can have your new (and your last!) Swiffer sweeper cloth in less than 30 minutes!

Description:
This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make a reusable and washable Swiffer Sweeper pad using a chenille sock and some knit scraps. It is an easy project, perfect for a beginner or experienced sewer.

Materials:
chenille sock
knit scraps (old stretchy t-shirts work great) – can use other fabric with moderate amount of stretch

Directions:
1. Cut sock open along back, from top of sock to toe area. Make a small cut on each side of toe area to allow the chenille to lay flat.

2. Cut a rectangle approximately 6″ x 12″ from chenille. Depending on the size of your sock, you may have to stretch the chenille slightly to get a large enough rectangle, and that is okay. Your piece should be approximately 1.5″ larger than the Swiffer on all 4 sides.

3. From your t-shirt or knit fabric, cut one piece 6″ x 12″ and two 6″ x 8″ pieces.

4. Fold each 6″ x 8″ piece of knit in half, matching the 6″ sides. Align the 6″ sides with right side of the chenille piece 6″ sides. The folds will be towards the center of the chenille.

5. Place the 6″ x 12″ piece of knit over folded knit pieces, right sides together, aligning edges with folded knit pieces and chenille. Pin in place along all four sides (if you had to stretch your chenille to get a large enough rectangle in step 2, your top knit piece may be bunched slightly after pinning as is pictured — this will stretch out later).

6. Stitch around all four sides using a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 3″ opening in the center of one of the 12″ sides.
7. Trim corners and turn fabric right side out.
8. To check fit, place one end of the Swiffer sweeper into one of the pockets you have created. Slide other end in to other pocket, stretching the knit around the sweeper. It should fit fairly snugly.
9. Remove sweeper pad. Fold raw edges of opening under 1/2″ and topstitch around entire pad, close to edge, and stitching opening closed. This can be extremely bulky to stitch through — I used the hand wheel rather than the foot pedal through those areas to reduce the chances of the thread breaking.
10. Slide the sweeper pad onto the Swiffer sweeper and get to work! Great job!

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Reusable Swiffer Duster Cloths Tutorial

swiffer duster cloths

I hate to say it, but I LOVE cleaning products. Not cleaning, just the products. Even more, I love DISPOSABLE cleaning products. I hate that they’re full of chemicals and are wasteful and expensive, but I love the convienience. Somehow having the latest cleaning gadget helps to motivate me to clean. It makes it more fun. Not that it’s fun to begin with. I’ve wanted to make some changes to my habits when it comes to cleaning for a while now. Enter today’s project, DIY reusable duster cloths!

One of my favorite cleaning products is the Swiffer duster. They’re so handy and work so well. If only it weren’t for the disposable duster cloths they use (and use, and use). I’ve been wanting to make a reusable Swiffer duster cloth for a long time but hadn’t gotten around to it. I guess I was saving it for Go Green Month. I love the reusable flannel duster cloth. It can be washed over and over again, and really does a great job dusting. I HAD to share the tutorial so you can all make your own!

reusable swiffer duster cloths

Description:
This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make your own reuseable Swiffer duster cloth. The best part is that the more it’s used and washed, the better it will work! From start to finish, you should have your new duster made within 30 minutes! If your duster handle is different than the one I have, just adjust your own stitch lines to match up with your handle!

Swiffer Duster Reusable Cloths Tutorial

 

How To Make Reusable Duster Cloths

Materials:
(affiliate links below)
Update: You can now download a free pattern HERE rather than measure and mark your own pieces as instructed in the tutorial. Please note that the markings are for a handle similar to the one pictured in this tutorial.

4 7″x7″ pieces flannel – this solid flannel would be perfect and is super affordable
4 4″x7″ pieces flannel (can be coordinating color)
Duster handle
Thread

Note: I found that flannel works best at dusting. I also tried using microfiber (you can get microfiber cloths at the dollar store for a couple of bucks), but personally didn’t like it as much as flannel. It didn’t seem to hold as much dust, and made a HUGE mess as I was cutting it up. Polar fleece may also be a good alternative, but I would still prefer flannel, in my very humble opinion :).

reusable swiffer duster clothsreusable swiffer duster cloths

Directions: 1. Place two pieces of 4″x7″ flannel on two pieces of 7″x7″ flannel, centering smaller pieces on top. Repeat with remaining flannel squares.reusable swiffer duster cloths 2. Join small and large pieces together by stitching down center of all four layers of fabric as pictured. Stack the two sets of flannel on top of each other, with the small pieces on the top and bottom. reusable swiffer duster cloths3. Next, make the casing for the Swiffer duster handle. Fold the small pieces of fabric to one side, align the base of the prongs at the edge of the fabric, and center the prongs over the middle seam where the small and large pieces were joined together. reusable swiffer duster cloths4. Trace close to side edge of prong all the way to the edge of fabric, leaving spaces where the curved areas of the prongs are. It is better to leave a little extra space where the curved areas are than to leave too little space. Fold small piece of fabric to opposite side and trace prongs again the same way. reusable swiffer duster clothsreusable swiffer duster clothsreusable swiffer duster cloths5. Fold top and bottom small pieces to one side and stitch along traced lines, through all four layers of flannel. reusable swiffer duster cloths 6. Fold top and bottom small pieces to opposite side and stitch along traced lines, through all four layers of flannel. reusable swiffer duster cloths 7. Open up top and bottom small pieces at middle seams and lay flat. Slide Swiffer duster handle into the casing you have sewn, in between the 4 large pieces of flannel. Curved areas on prongs should slide into the spaces you left when you stitched the casing in step 6 and hold the handle in place. reusable swiffer duster clothsreusable swiffer duster cloths 8. Beginning with top layer of large flannel piece, trim approximately 1″ of fabric from edge on both sides. reusable swiffer duster cloths 9. Continue trimming each layer approximately 1″ shorter than the layer beneath it. reusable swiffer duster cloths 10. Turn duster cloth over and repeat steps 8-9 with opposite side. reusable swiffer duster cloths 11. Beginning with narrowest layer, clip edges of flannel at 1/2″ intervals along length of duster. reusable swiffer duster cloths 12. Repeat with the next flannel layer beneath. reusable swiffer duster cloths 13. Continue clipping edges of all layers on each side of duster cloth. reusable swiffer duster cloths 14. Ruffle up all clipped edges, and this is what you will have: reusable swiffer duster cloths 15. Throw your new reusable Swiffer duster cloth in the washer and dryer to let the edges fray. You may need to clip some loose or dangling strands of thread. reusable swiffer duster cloths 16. Let your kids, husband, and even you (ya, you) fight over who gets to do the dusting! Want proof that your new reusable Swiffer duster cloth works? Here ya go. reusable swiffer duster cloths

Tutorial: Fabric Flower Valentine Wreath.

Description:
This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make a Fabric Flower Valentine Wreath.  Beginner sewing skills are required, and anyone from a new crafter to a “Martha” will enjoy this project.

Materials Needed:
Sewing machine and thread
Glue gun and 8-12 glue sticks
1 yd 45″ wide red broadcloth
1 yd 45″ wide pink broadcloth
Heart shaped floral foam
2 yd 1-2″ wide ribbon

Fabric to Cut:
Red broadcloth: cut 25-30 2″x30″ strips
Pink broadcloth: cut 25-30 2″x30″ strips
Note: the longer the strips are cut, the larger the flowers will be.  The larger the flowers are, the less you will need to cover your entire wreath, so adjust your strips accordingly.  The wreath pictured used strips varying from 15-22″ in length.

Directions:

Make Fabric Roses
1. Fold each fabric strip in half lengthwise and press.


2. Using a basting stitch, stitch 1/4″ from raw edge along entire length of each fabric strip.  Leave threads long on each end and do not backstitch.

3. Gently pulling on TOP threads only, gather strips slightly.  Tie off threads at each end to secure gathers.
4. Using glue gun, fold one end of each strip 1/4″ toward rest of strip and glue.  Place thin line of glue along basted stitch line and wrap strip around itself, a few inches at a time.
5. Continue placing glue and wrapping strip around until rose is complete.
Attach Roses to Foam Heart
6. Beginning of front face of heart, glue roses to wreath one at a time, alternating pink and red colors.
7. Glue roses to outside edge of wreath, alternating pink and red colors.  As you place the roses, be sure to tuck them into place to cover any voids where the heart foam is visible between the roses.
8. Glue roses to inside edge of wreath, alternating pink and red colors.  Again, be sure to tuck the roses into place to cover any voids.
Attach Ribbon
9. Cut ribbon into two 1 yd lengths.  Glue one end of each piece to back of wreath, slightly angling towards the midline of heart.  Let glue set firmly.
10. Tie two ribbons together into a bow at desired length.  Cut off excess ribbon ends.  Using a match or lighter, quickly sweep ends of ribbon near (not through or you may start a fire!) flame to seal fibers and prevent fraying.
Have a Wonderful Valentine’s Day!
11. You are done!  Great job!