Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DIY Hand Soap

It's amazing how a baby can eat away at your blog time! I have written so many posts in my head, my friends, but they never seem to make it to the computer. I've decided tonight that the laundry and dishes can wait (the diapers are done, so it's all good), and I bring to you my latest attempt in the make it yourself department -liquid hand soap.

I had pinned this tutorial link from A Farmer's Nest  awhile back, but never got around to making it. (Somehow I find plenty of time to pin things! This was on my Great Ideas board.) Now that I am officially a SAHM (stay at home mom), I decided the $5.00 for a gallon of soap she listed sounded much better than shelling out the $3.99 for a small bottle of natural soap at the store. Fortunately, I had all of the ingredients at home - distilled water, a bar of soap, and glycerine. Yes, I have a quart of glycerine in my cupboard; I use it for tinctures and bubble projects with the kids. I buy this brand from Amazon. Anywho... I followed her directions exactly, but ended up with runny soap. This may be due to the fact that I used Dr. Bronner's soap, which is a soft bar soap to begin with and probably higher in water content. However, after browsing other recipes on the internet and finding that they used a much lower water to soap ratio, I decided to buy a second bar and add it in. I simply reheated the soap with the new shavings, and let it cool. The cooled soap looked more like the pictures in her tutorial, but when I blended it I found that it was thicker than before, but still thinner than commercial soap. It is more of the "snot"consistency she described. That being said, it works just fine. It pumps out of my recycled containers without squirting everywhere (like Dr. Bronner's liquid soap does) and it doesn't clog up the spout. Even using two bars of soap, you can't beat the savings! I filled two pumps and still have almost a full gallon in the jug! And since  had everything but the second bar of soap on hand, I spent a grand total of $4.45.
The thickened soap after the second bar was added

Here are a few of my suggestions if you are thinking of trying this at home:

1. Use a food processor to grate the soap. It literally took two seconds, and cleanup is a breeze!
2. If you are using a soft, natural soap like Dr. Bronner's or one with lots of conditioners added (go for the natural!), use two bars.
3. Make it in the morning or afternoon and let it cool OVERNIGHT. I let the first batch cool for 10 hours and bottled it, then noticed the next morning that it had thickened a little more. I let the second batch cool overnight and it seemed to "set" better.
4. Use an immersion blender to mix the cooled soap, if you have one. It takes seconds!
5. Next time I might add some lavender essential oil to kick up the anti-microbial properties, and maybe some vitamin E, too.
6. Some recipes add a little honey. Why? I don't know, but since I saw so many with honey, it might be worth looking into.

This is a FAST project. The actual making of the soap, if you use a food processor, takes about ten minutes. The rest is just cooling time. I don't think I will buy hand soap again!

Have you ever made liquid hand soap? Do you have any tips to share?

Update 4/10/13: The soap continued to thicken over the next couple of days. By the time I needed to refill one container, it was so thick I had to thin it with water. I had one container of the original soap, which has since thickened to a good consistency. So next time, I think one bar and an extra day of thickening would make a perfect soap!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lego Towel

This is one of my favorite projects, and it's so easy! I don't have a tutorial, but it's simply an appliqué on a store bought towel (I got mine at Target for $5). I used fleece for the lego head. I chose fleece because it's soft and I had it on hand, but a micro-terry or french terrycloth would work as well. I did a Google search for lego heads and then drew the face on Wonder Bond free hand. I followed this procedure for the appliqué process, but I used a pressing cloth over the fleece (it melts!) and a lot of extra time to get the bond to stick. A little stitching and you have a custom Lego towel! It was Max's birthday present and has endured months of washing and is still going strong.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DIY BooBoo Ice Pack Cover

Whenever anyone gets hurt, no matter what the injury, the first thing my kids run for is an ice pack. Over time, we've lost one and the cover on the other had seen better days. I figured there had to be a way to make your own, and after a quick Goggle search, I found this recipe.

I used the one with rubbing alcohol, and since I had wintergreen, I didn't need to add food coloring (you don't want anyone to mistake it for plain ice!) It works like a charm!
I took a rough measurement by laying some fleece for a warmer side and PUL fabric (which is waterproof, so the sweat from the ice won't go though the fabric) for the cool side, over the ice pack. Quick and dirty folks, since it is going to be draped over cuts and scrapes! You could use cotton for this as well, but the ice will moisten it after a few minutes.
I pinned the fabrics right side together, on three sides, to make a pocket. I didn't even bother trimming the fleece until after I seamed them together.
Trim the seams and cut the corners close to the stitching. Turn right side out.
Pin the open edges under and topstitch closed. Normally, I wouldn't pin PUL to limit the amount of punctures in it, but the ice pack fits below this area.
I added a plastic snap to keep the ice pack in. You could use a sew on snap, button, or velcro as well. I just have an abnormal attachment to my diaper snap setter (and it's fast! You know I love fast).
That's it! I made two, just in case of double injuries:)