Saturday, August 20, 2011

Homemade Deodorant

 I've been on the hunt for the past several months trying to find an alternative, natural way of making deodorant for a few reasons.  For one, there is such a strong connection about aluminum with Alzheimer's and cancer that is concerning. Second, the higher the aluminum content, the more dry, red and itchy I became. It would get so bad that I had to stop using deodorant for several days to heal. And lastly, since I recently had my second child, I've noticed that when I hold my baby and he falls asleep, his head can be near my armpits.  Or when I hold him when he's awake, since he is moving so much now, his arms go everywhere. So I don't want him to breathe or touch this stuff, my personal feeling.  Now you might be asking, "Why don't you just use Tom's of Maine?" Well, I have and still have it in my bathroom, but it doesn't work that great on me. Listen, I am a girly-girl but this girl NEEDS help, or you don't want to be next to me. Ladies, lets be honest,we all don't want B.O. but do. It happens, so why not find a natural way?
So I've been asking people with no luck, then decided to search the Internet. I came across several people raving about this homemade coconut deodorant. Now I already knew coconut oil in general is great, but using it as deodorant?  Well, the only way I would really know the truth is to try it out myself and husband.
Here's the recipe that I found:

5 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda

*Mix well all ingredients in a bowl till it becomes a creamy paste. Done!

I cleaned out an old deodorant container and put the new in. Please take note that this will not stay solid in hot places. So I actually have mine in the fridge!
The real question now, does it work? Well my husband has been using this for a few weeks and he said for a natural non toxic deodorant it works pretty good. Now it doesn't last all day, maybe 6-8 hours. So if you plan to go out for dinner, I highly recommend to reapply.
If you have very sensitive skin like me, you will need to adjust the recipe because you will get a red irritation due to the baking soda I believe. What I did for me was to reduce the baking soda to 2 Tablespoons and use virgin, unrefined coconut oil.
Conclusion, it really works. If you want something natural, non-toxic to use, this is it. You have nothing to lose because you probably have the ingredients all ready in your kitchen!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pillow Cover

Who doesn't need extra pretty pillows on their sofa or bed? Well, thats what I always say, so when JoAnn's had a sale for 50% off pillows I purchased 2, 16" X 16" for $6.49 each.  I had some Robert Kauffman fabric that I purchased for $5.00 a yard. Total, this project cost me about $8.00 for each pillow. Which is a very good deal considering I was finding pillows at places like TJ Maxx and Ross for $15.00 to $20.00, and the selection was horrible.
I needed an easy way to make a cover without zippers or buttons! I hope I made it easy to follow. If I can do it, yes you can too! Trust me. Well this is my version of making a pillow cover...........

This is the pillow I purchased: 16"X16"
Since I purchased a 16"X16" pillow, measure and cut a piece of  fabric 1/2" wider. For example, cut one piece of fabric 16 1/2" X 16 1/2". This will be the front of the pillow. Do the same for back of the pillow but I like to add another four inches. So the measurement will be 16 1/2" X 20 1/2". Please notice in the picture I accidently added an inch to the numbers. I noticed after I took picture and forgot to retake. But that doesn't mean you couldn't add an inch. Honestly, it is a little too big. If anything, going less is better!
Next take your fabric that will be the back of your pillow and cut it in half and fold in 1/4", then fold in again 1/4" and pin.

Now sew the part you just folded. I sew a 1/4".

Put right sides together. Notice on the part of the fabric that is the back of the pillow that they overlap. This is what you want because this is the opening of the pillow cover. Now you want to pin the two sides together and sew all the way around the fabric a 1/4".
Don't forget the cut off the corners of your fabric! It makes the ends look nicer on your pillow.
Turn your pillow cover right sides out and insert your pillow form inside. This is my finished product! The whole project took me about an hour to make. So you could make this while your kids are taking their naps.

And as you can see they are already being used quite well by my very active daughter! I hope this tutorial was understandable because this is the way I do them, so I don't know if it the 'correct' trained sewing way to make pillow covers. I'm new to this so bare with me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bedding for Baby

With the arrival of the newest member of our family in March, I decided, "How can I save more money?" Jump to crazy idea #22 and make your own baby bedding. I could save at least a hundred dollars, right?  I mean, how hard could it really be. I have a brand new baby, plus a three year old, a pug and husband. No problem. So once I received my newest Jo Ann's advertistment, I headed out to the store.  I, at least have the colors blue and brown in mind. I bought everything cheap.  Ribbons and bumper pads stuffing were stuff I already had around. Not bad! So this is the result...two months later.

The bed sheet is the most easiest.  Anyone can do this. I used 2 yards of cotton flannel. I highly recommend that you pre-wash this fabric because it does shrink. Cut an 8x8 square or 9x9 square off of each corner. I think 8x8 is better, but it also depends on the size of mattress. Surge the right sides of each corner together. Then surge all the way around the sheet. If you use flannel you most likely won't need an elastic band because it is such a nice snug fit. By the way with the left over squares you can make a small baby blanket like the one I did in the first picture.
 The only thing I would have changed would be to use a thicker padding for the bumper. I used a 50% organic bamboo and 50% organic cotton blend which is nice but very thin. It would be great in a blanket or quilt.
What a great way to practice for my sewing business!