Thursday, January 30, 2014

Scrappy Fish

One day while browsing Pinterest, I came across a cute little project.  This little stuffed fishy tutorial would be a great present, and it would use up some scraps I told myself. I felt like it helped to justify all of those little scraps that I had  been saving for projects just like this one. I made it with my friend Laura during one of our craft days together. It was fun choosing all of the scrap pieces, because I reminisced about why I originally bought that fabric and what was made with it.  The fabrics are from aprons, purses, tote bags and  wedding table cloths. Some of you probably recognize your fabrics from those items mentioned above on this little fishy.

Washable Swiffer "Onefills"

I am pretty conscious of my ecological footprint.  Unsure about yours?  You can take this quiz. (I've taken wayyyy too many quizzes over Snowfest and Snowfest Dos and this is the most serious.  Others are titled, "Which Harry Potter Character are You?" and even the meta-level "Which Buzzfeed Quiz are You?")  Anyway, I love reusable items.  Today I made something that I've been meaning to for a long time!  I made reusable swiffer items!!!  I made a duster "onefill" using this pattern, and a slip-on sweeper pad. (They aren't refills because I'll just use the one from now on.)  I read that the fleece is not the best of dusters, but it'll be a start. In any case, it's progress in at converting more items in my house into sustainable options.

Bird Nest Necklaces

For Christmas, I always like to make some homemade gifts for family and friends.  I wish I could make them for everyone, though!

Of course I found this idea on Pinterest from this blog and tutorial. It was a very detailed explanation of how to make them, including what gauge of wire to purchase.  I timed it so that I could watch Christmas movies while making them.  I used coupons on all of the supplies, so they weren't expensive at all to create.  Each one took about 15 minutes to make at most. Each "egg" combination is different.  Dan even helped to create some of the combinations! :)

Goodwill Dress Upcycle

I went to Goodwill to try and find a dress that I could work with and upcycle.  I found this little jumper, but obviously it was too big.  I loved the fabric of the pattern, though.  Here is my before picture.  Awkward face!!
I used a dress that I got at Target to measure some things, and my dressform was incredibly helpful in this project!  First, I measured and just cut across to my waist.  Then, I attached elastic to the bodice and the skirt.  I measured out in eighths on the fabric and the elastic, so I knew how to line it all up so that the gathers would be even all the way around the waist.  That's what you see below. This is my only process picture, though.

Then, I took in the sides so it fit.  I put it on the dress form inside out so that I could pinch the seams and pin them. I sewed them so that now it wasn't too big. I then measured the skirt length of the Target dress, and measured a similar length onto this skirt. When I had it drawn, I cut it and then I cut and hemmed the skirt. After trying it on and taking a little more in on the skirt and sides, I decided that my dress needed pockets!  I found this pocket tutorial, and used the fabric that I cut off of the bottom to create pockets. You can't see them, but they're there. :)  This was a fun first "refashion" project.  I was able to use the top pretty much as is, and just needed to take in the sides and shorten the hem.  Since it wasn't a giant overhaul, I think it was a good step in the direction of clothing reconstruction.

Peter Pan Collar

Over the first snow day break, I was inspired to upcycle some Goodwill finds. So, I bought a green shirt from Target. I added a collar, using this tutorial. I printed the pattern from this website, but it was too small for the scoop collar I needed it for. So, I made my own pattern by using the general shape of this one as a base. Essentially, I just elongated this one.  I also made it permanently sewn in and not removable like the website.

Wallet Wristlet

This wristlet matches my school bag, which you can see here.  I've used this pattern before, but this time I've included another pocket on the back. I made up the pattern just by measuring and calculating sizes.  It's just a series of rectangles. I plan on keeping it in my school bag, so that when we go somewhere directly after school, now that we are commuting together, I can tote all of my things around easily.  It's not perfect, but I like it.

Laundry Detergent

I love making my own things. About a year ago, I decided to start making my own laundry detergent.  The most recent time I made a batch, I calculated my savings.  Each load costs me $0.04 compared to Tide, which is $0.18 per load.  We are saving about 75% each load.  Here is the link of the recipe I've used the past 4 times.

-1 bar of soap, grated
-1 cup of washing soda
-1 cup of borax
-2 gallons of water (one cold)

Grate the soap.  Add the soap to a large pot.  Add a gallon of water to the pot.  Heat until the soap dissolves. Add the borax and washing soda.  Pre-pour your gallon of cold water and set aside. Stir constantly and bring to a boil.  (Don't forget to stir!  Don't walk away!  It will boil over and be realllllllyyyyy soapy messy all over your stove. This happened to me the first TWO times I made it.)  Once you brought it to a boil, remove from heat. Add the cold water while stirring. Using a funnel, pour the detergent into your containers.  Let it cool and gel for about 24 hours before use.  Shake before use and use 1/2 cup per load.

-NEVER stop stirring or monitoring the detergent after you add the borax and soda.  Like I mentioned above, it will boil over and become a disaster!
-Before you make it, start saving study containers.  Juice containers are perfect!  The gallon jugs are too flimsy for shaking.  It makes more than 2 gallons, so plan containers for that.
-When you pour the detergent, leave some space at the top.  If it's too full, you won't be able to shake it.  You really need 2 people to pour it because the pot is really hot and heavy.  I utilize a strong husband to pour it and I hold the funnel.
-You can add a couple drops of essential oil to make it slightly scented.

This picture was of the third time I made it.  (Note: this picture was taken before the detergent had fully set.  It's more viscous and thick once it's fully set.)

Exit Ticket Poster

I've seen a bunch of methods to manage exit tickets on Pinterest.  I chose to make a poster.  I used pre-cut colored note 3.25" x 3.25" paper for each of the squares.  I numbered each square with a printed number and circle 1-35. (My biggest class is 33 kids!)  I printed letters to cut out and color to glue at the top.  I also decorated it all stickers!  I will have it laminated before I use it in class.
To implement this system, I plan to use desk numbers and post-it notes.  I have each desk numbered for seating charts.  Using a desk number, I think it will be easier to see who has and has not turned in a ticket.  I won't have to worry about remembering each student's number.  So, on their post-it note, students will write their name, the question, and then their answer.  I'll have a student collect them before the next class starts, and I'll clip them together.  I should be able to go through them quickly, and then hand them back the next day.