Monthly Archives: December 2011

Homemade Christmas gifts 2011


For Christmas this year We were tight on funds and I decided I would put some of my talent to work for gifts. I made gifts for my Grandmothers, my Mother, my Father and my Mother-in-Law. My Creativeness was curved by the new pin board web site, Pinterest. That website is amazing, but well leave that for another day.

For my Mother-in-Law I searched Craigslist for weeks to find a decent wicker set. I finally found one at an incredibly reasonable price that didn’t need too much work. This set of chairs and the table needed some repair on the legs and a fresh coat of paint. I had no idea that I couldn’t purchase reed (wicker) locally, so I had to find a company that would be able to ship it to me quickly and at a good price. Once the Reed arrived in the mail I watched a DIY video tutorial on how to repair wicker furniture and got to work. In just a couple of hours I fixed and painted (well the Hubs helped paint) the chairs and table. Here is the finished project :)


For my father I made a padded hammock cover. I purchased Hobbs Heirloom cotton batting from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon and got the fabric on sale at Ikea. I never follow a pattern and have never quilted before so this was also a first time project for me. I measured the hammock and cut the batting. I then cut the top and bottom pieces of the fabric to be one inch larger on every side. I folded the batting in to the bottom layer and then folded the top and pinned it all together. I took the extra fabric and made ties for the cover. I pinned them in and sewed the whole thing together. I then quilted three lines horizontally in the cover. This hammock cover was a lot of work. This one took me a couple of days to do and finish, but so worth it. Here it is.


For my mother, I made her a cushion for the bench in front of her house. I think this was the hardest project for me. Like I said I do not follow patterns well while sewing. (I really need to work on So after doing all of the work I was hoping it would fit on her bench. I was really worried about this one. I already had the fabric that I used on this cushion, I wanted to use it on my dad’s hammock cover but there wasn’t enough. But I was so happy I got to use it on this one. I purchased a big piece of Smart Foam cushion fabric from Hobby Lobby and again used the 40% off coupon. They sell this foam by the yard. This cushion came out looking really good and I was very happy with it. Now I just have to help her repaint it, I wish I could have done that without her knowing but I think she would have noticed it missing.. lol Her is a picture of the cushion!


I am so happy with how all of my projects / gifts turned out. I would like to make my gifts from now on. Maybe that can be one of my New Year Resolutions ;)

Happy Crafting!!


My adventure with a Hand Soap recipe : )


So while searching on Pinterest I found this cool tutorial for making hand soap. In the tutorial it also says you can use it as body wash and shampoo. I was intrigued. So I made an ingredient list and went out to get the supplies I didn’t already have on hand, which only ended up being the glycerine. I had some Dr. Bronner’s lavender bar soap on hand so I used it instead of the Mrs.Meyers Soap. I added two other ingredients to my batch of hand soap. I was planning on using it as a body wash and shampoo as well so I added things I felt it needed for that. I added some coconut oil for moisturizing and tea tree oil for my hair. I really like this recipe as a hand soap, especially since my three year old son has become fascinated with washing his hands. We were going through a lot of soap.
I did not like this recipe for body wash or shampoo in spite of the fact that it cleaned my body and hair. I think it was the lack of long lather on the loofah and no lather in my hair. It lathers very well in our hands and leaves them soft and smelling very nice. I will definitely be using this recipe again. Try it out and let me know what you thought :)


One Gallon of Water

One – Eight ounce bar of Soap grated (I used Dr. Bronner’s, the original recipe called for Mrs. Meyers)

Two Tablespoons of Liquid Vegetable Glycerine

Two Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

Ten to Twenty drops of Tea Tree oil (or any essential oil, Use your judgement on how much you want)




Step One: Add one gallon of water in large pot and out on medium to high heat.

Step Two: Cut the bar of soap and pulse it in a food processor (or grate with cheese grater if you do not have a food processor)

20120111-154135.jpgStep Three: Add grated soap to the one gallon of water on the stove top and stir until dissolved.

20120111-154147.jpgStep Four: When Soap is dissolved turn heat down and add the glycerine, coconut oil and tea tree oil. Mix well and remove from heat.

Step Five: Set soap off to the side and let sit for 12-15 hours. It will become cloudy and clumpy.

Step Six: Mix with wisk or hand mixer and you have liquid hand soap. :)

20120111-154156.jpgThis soap is a little snotty in consistency, I think it has to do with the Dr. Bronner’s Soap instead of Mrs. Meyers. I am going to try this recipe again with Mrs. Meyers or hopefully some Homemade Lye Soap and see what the outcome is. The soap works so well and is very cost effective. :)

20120111-155035.jpgStep Seven: Pour soap into old store bought soap disperser or a reusable soap dispenser. And go wash your hands :)