DIY Reusable Cloth Cleaning Wipes

In my ever-growing desire to be more and more waste free, I have found an excellent reusable solution for yet another disposable that I thought I couldn’t live without. The disposable was: the clorox wipe. They are so extremely convenient and good at what they do! I used them all over the house to wipe up small messes. But then, I threw them away! Ugh. For a month or so, we’ve been trying out using reusable cloth wipes instead. And it turns out, they aren’t just as good – they’re even better!

the containerHere’s how it works; I’ve got a clear plastic container with a watertight seal. I really wanted something that it wasn’t gross to reach down into the bottom of. Clorox wipes that lost their little catcher to hold them up at the top were always a nuisance, and these cloth wipes wouldn’t work that way anyway, so I knew I’d need something I could put my hand in to the bottom of comfortably. We just had one of these around already, but I am making a set for my mom and found the same container at Walmart.

DIY Cloth Cleaning WipesIn the container, I fold up a bunch of squares of fabric that I’ve hemmed the edges of. I used an old painters cloth that I had laying around because I thought the durability would be nice when scrubbing the counters or sink. It’s turned out to be excellent fabric for the job, but if you peruse the rest of the blogosphere you’ll find people who use old t-shirts, cotton, and all kinds of other fabrics. The squares are cut to about 8 or 9 inches. It was important to me that the square be at least as big as my spread flat hand so when I’m wiping up sticky messes I don’t have to touch the sticky-ness. I used a serger to hem the edges of mine, but any kind of hem will do. If you do go with a regular zig-zag stitch on this kind of fabric, make sure it’s tight. These tended to fray a lot before I gave them a proper hem.

DIY Reusable Cleaning Wipes

With the wipes in the container, I add a small amount of a multi-surface cleaning concentrate. Right now I have Mrs. Meyers Clean Day in honeysuckle scent, but Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile soap would work, as would plain old white vinegar. It just takes a little, and then I add enough water to moisten all of the wipes and dilute the soap.

Now the wipes are ready to be used! They are especially nice because you can shake crumbs out in the sink and give them a rinse and keep going. Once you’re done with a wipe, just add it to your laundry pile. I wash mine along with my towels, but they could go in any load. As they come out of the wash, I’ve been stacking them in a little container. It turns out they are kind of nice to have on hand dry too! You can use them to dust, or wash windows, and for other stuff you might do with other kinds of cleaners. When the wet ones are all used up, I throw the stack of what’s clean in the plastic container and start over. You could also just put the clean ones right in the container and keep it going that way, adding water and surface cleaner as needed.

 

Do you have reusable cleaning wipes in your home? Any pro-tips? Are you dead set on clorox wipes? Would you give these a try?

 

refrigerator pickles

My mom taught me how to make refrigerator pickles several years ago when her garden exploded with cucumbers. We made a huge jar of them and ate them all summer. So when I found these adorable little sweet gherkins at the farmer’s market last weekend, I had to have them. Despite the fact that they are in canning jars, they are not canned. They won’t last more than a few weeks because they just keep getting more and more vinegary.

pickles

Want to make your own? It’s super simple. All you need is:

1 part water
1 part white vinegar
pepper corns
a dash of salt
a teaspoon of sugar for every 2 cups of liquid
cucumbers!

Any kind of cucumber will do, and you can cut them any way you like! Just wash and chop your cucumbers, stick them in the jar with everything else. Shake it up and stick it in the fridge. They will be ready in about 4 days and should keep for about a week after that or longer depending on your preference for vinegar!

Also, I sanitized my jars (by dipping them in a pot of boiling water for about half a minute each), but only because I use them all the time and felt like they needed it if they were going to sit in the fridge for a month.

my diy calendar

I made this calendar during my freshman year of college (a lot of years ago) and used it for a couple of years. It evolved a lot over that time, and I added some fresh numbers last week when I resurrected it from the zipper-bag it’s lived in since I stopped using it. Getting my first iPhone made the whole thing kind of obsolete, iCal was in my pocket so why bother with the wall? But now that there’s two of us in the household it’s super helpful to put things that are going on up somewhere for Brooke to be reminded of. It’s super nice to be able to see a full month at once even if that means half of the weeks are in one month and half are in the other and it’s all made by me so if I don’t like something I can just print or create a new number! What do you think? Is this the kind of calendar you would use? What’s your non-tech choice for keeping up with dates? How do you communicate what’s going on with your partner/family?

see through postcards

I love a diy project that’s so quick and easy that I can skip pinning and go straight to crafting. These packing tape postcards took no time at all and were a lot of fun to make. The idea came from Angry Chicken, and I believe she found it in a book by Todd Oldham. So we can’t take credit, but we totally recommend giving it a try!

mail

I picked some flowers from our porch, pulled out little bits of paper and things that I’ve held on to for years because they are too cute or cool to get rid of, but had no purpose for. An old thesaurus with the same idea behind it and some string topped the project off.

mail

I made and mailed three, one has for sure reached it’s destination, so no troubles with the mailmen. (That blur was an address, it’s much cuter than this.)

mail
Brooke and I really like to color (yes, we are grown ups, no we don’t have kids) and this was a fun way to get our colored things off of the fridge and not throw them away! If you’re into coloring too, or you have kids, Mady By Joel is a really fun place to get printable coloring sheets and a super nifty blog too.

my diy hula hoop

hoopThe hoop is made from a type of lightweight tubing called PEX. I was able to get a 10′ piece at my local Home Depot, which happened to be the exact length I needed (more on that in a second). We found a male to male connecter, used a hair dryer to loosen up both ends of the tube and pressed the connecter in which we then taped over for extra stability.

I then wrapped the hoop in black electrical tape, to give it some more fun. The hoop was really slippery though, and so I ordered some gaffer’s tape in teal which adds some grip to the hoop.

I mentioned in last week’s post that the hoop my mom had was not the right size for her. The right size hula hoop should, when standing on it’s end at your feet, reach your belly button – or near there. To find out how long the tubing needed to be we measured straight up from our feet to our belly buttons and used a bit of geometry to find the circumference of a circle with that diameter.

hoopMy mom’s needed to be 6″ shorter, so we used my dad’s pvc cutter to snip that off before making her one. We didn’t make my dad one, but his would have had to be 11.5′ in circumference.

home made gluten free dry mixes

cookies

My parents have requested that I make them a variety of gluten free cookie mixes. I started with a layered oatmeal raisin mix that fit well into a large jar, but only when the recipe was halved. My next attempt was chocolate chip, and the above is what happened.. I had to use two jars.

So, I seem to be having trouble getting any of my mixes to fit into my mason jars. My frustration is that I want to use my own recipes, not those designed to fit into a jar.

I think perhaps I should just invest in some bigger jars.muffins

Until then… Here is my oat bran muffin mix not fitting in a jar.

Do you make these jar mixes? How do you get them to fit? Help!

diy business cards

I’m so excited to be sharing the details of my handmade business cards with you all today! I made these for local blogger meetups that I attend every so often. Below are a few of the designs I made recently, but what’s fun about a business card is that it can be anything you want it to be! My mom has a degree in graphic design and makes her own cards that are constantly evolving. It’s not like any one person ever gets multiples of your card, so it can totally change to fit your specific needs.

cardsI just used my sewing machine to stich some thick red thread across the cards. I sew, so it’s relevant to me. I’ve seen some really great diy cards with washi tape, watercolor, etc. Think about how you can incorporate your talents, business, etc. into your cards! Ps. you totally don’t have to have a business to have a card! Brooke’s great idea was to put your name on one side and leave the other side blank to write the contact info that you want to give out at that particular time. Sometimes your email and phone number are necessary, and other times you just want to give someone your twitter handle! For these cards I included my twitter handle, blog address, and etsy address. It seemed the most useful for other bloggers to see what I do and contact me.

I love how each one is a little bit different! Granted, if you were going to a larger conference, this would not be practical because I only make about 10 at a time. But really, at a smaller event or in every day life that’s all you need in your pocket!

If you make some, share the link in the comments! I would LOVE to see what you guys do with this tiny bit of inspiration!! Or, if you already have a really nifty card, handmade or not, share it with us! What’s on your card and why?

a traveler’s guide

I made this cute little guide book for a trip went on a couple of days ago. It’s just a stack of 3×5 cards with different things I wanted to be sure and check out while I was there. I digitized it into a little book to share here, but the paper copy is pretty gosh darn cute itself!

Now that I’m back from my trip, I’ve printed pictures to go with each card and used double sided tape to stick them to the backs of each card (the cards were all one sided, which my flip book above does not demonstrate well). Below is a quick instagram of each page with photos and binding. Pretty cute eh? I love how we used the book to remember what we wanted to do and where each of those things were and then it turned into a sort of scrapbook/keepsake when we threw the pictures in there!

How do you plan the things you want to see and do when you travel? Do you write them down somewhere? Next time you should make yourself a little personalized guide book!

introducing the stringy bracelet of friendship

braceletThese fun stringy bracelets are so simple to make, and are a super cute way to tell the world that you’re crafty (it’s the rik-rak).
braceletMake your own for yourself and your friends by cutting bits of string, yarn, trimming, etc. about the length of three times around your wrist. Double them over and tie a knot, forming a loop, at the doubled over end. Tie a knot in the loose end and slip it through the loop.

Did you make one? Share it with us with a link to your photo wherever you’ve posted it in the comments, we’d love to see your handiwork!
braceletOr, if you don’t happen to have a drawer full of doo-dads, skip all of the work and buy some of the super cute combos we’ve already made here.