Reverse Applique T-Shirts

I wanted to get back in on 11th Heaven’s Homemaker Mondays so thought I’d give you 
the “recipe” for these Fourth of July T-shirts I made for the kids…
Kids on Navy Pier for the 4th!

  1. I bought 3 t-shirts at the hobby store for $2 each. 
  2. Looked for a striped or starred t-shirt in my give-aways but didn’t have one, so went to the thrift shop and got a t-shirt with both for $2.

 3.  I printed a star template (just did search for a star image) and printed it out,  then cut them out of  the paper.  I transferred these to some sticky iron-on paper I had, but didn’t iron them on, just used it like a sticker to place them on the shirt.

4.  Turn shirt inside out and position star however you like.  Pin in place.  I kept paper on the star, it was sort of like freezer paper (I’m sure there is a better way but this worked for me on my first try.)

5.  I used a straight stitch to sew them on.  (Be careful on points of stars. Make sure to keep needle in fabric while turning.  I didn’t know this at first and some stars were messy.) Tie off ends of fabric in knots to prevent from coming out. 

6.  Turn shirt right side out and with embroidery or small scissors carefully cut through first layer of fabric so that material on back shows through. 

It was pretty easy, but not I’m not as skilled on my machine as I’d like yet.  I want to keep making some of these to see if I get better!  The test was in the washing, and they did wash well!  YAY!

Flip-flop/Chancleta Remake

I saw some adorable flip-flops at Target for $13. 
(Sorry, but there is NO WAY I’ll spend that much on a pair of flip-flops.) 
They were really cute though, and instead of plastic between the toes (I honestly hate ANYTHING between my toes, except sand) they had straps made from satin.

I wanted to make some cheap beach shoes for our Cape San Blas trip

At the dollar store I found some flip-flops for the kids for $1.  (You could use some you already own also, but we had none.)
Also found a pack of bandannas (2 for $1)
and a crazy tie for (yes) $1
You could use any old scraps of fabric you have too.
Grand total on my son’s flip-flops (or chancletas as we say in Panamá.)

I cut the plastic straps out of the bottom of the shoe.  I saved this to use as a measurement for
the straps I made.

I cut strips from the bandanna about 1/2 or so wide.  (You could use any width you wanted but this was for my 5 yr old.)  I took three of the strips and braided them together into a stronger strap. 
Using the Y strap I cut out I constructed a similar one out of the braided straps by taking two braids and knotting them right where the two met.  I wasn’t sure what to do under the shoe, but ended up just knotting it once under and cutting pretty close to the bottom.
It worked!

(Sorry the quality on the picture is so bad.  I took it with my phone, and for some reason my phone won’t upload my pics!  I had to email it to myself to get it off the dumb iphone…)

They lasted, which was what I was worried about, and even in the water on the beach.

I’m going to make my daughter some from the old tie, and will post pics if they are cute!

Green Homemaking Ideas

Not much exciting happened this weekend to write about, so I decided to give you some of my green house-keeping hints and participate in 11th Heaven’s Homemaker Monday.   (I love her blog! She always has the best recipes!)

Some things I do:

  • Make my own cleaning products!  Cheaper, easier, greener, (and did I mention cheaper?)  So far I make my own laundry detergent, glass/general purpose cleaner, tub scrub.   I haven’t perfected an automatic dishwashing soap yet.  I use either Seventh Generation or try and find the lowest phosphorus content brand at the grocery store.   Does anyone have a good recipe?  Also, I can’t figure out what to use on the hardwoods that is all-natural and not store-bought.  Now I use Method’s Good for Wood, supposed to be natural but the smell bothers my hubby to no end.  (It is pretty strong smelling.)   I am saving SO much money on laundry detergent alone.  One bottle of my old standby, All Free, costs the same as the ten or so I get from this recipe!  I use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach in the whites.  (Safer and cheaper!) The other recipes are cheap too, just buy big bags and bottles of rubbing alcohol, borax, baking soda at discount stores and you’ll be set!   Pure rubbing alcohol works wonders on stainless steel!
  • Compost!  (I’ve composted for a long time, but starting to get more serious.  My honey bought a cool rotating composter last summer and we’ve been composting more- all table scraps, leftovers (with no meat,) bread that is moldy, egg shells, peelings, leaf cuttings, yard waste…  I am hoping I get something good out of the composter this spring! (It’s getting very full!)
  •  Recycle!  We are lucky.  Our town has curbside recycling for almost everything.  (paper, plastics up to #7, aluminum, tin, cardboard, even yard waste!)  Makes life easier.   Also recycle all those things you don’t use anymore or the kids have grown out of by donating them to your favorite local charity!  
  •  Eliminate the unnecessaries!  We don’t buy paper towels (although before I party I have been known to get a roll or two, and just found a new brand that is 100% recycled.)  We use rags instead.  Don’t buy paper napkins either (cloth are prettier anyway!)  Do you really need all those new dust gadgets they keep coming out with?  A good microfiber cloth is nice though, I must admit. 

If you have any good tips, please comment and leave them for us! 

Good Stuff

I just got a box from our friendly, neighborhood UPS man. (He really is the happiest man I’ve ever met!) It’s an awesome Citizen Pip lunchbox I won on Kellie’s Greenhab blog. I was only expecting the lunch box itself, and lo-and-behold it’s the entire kit (canteen, napkins, 5 containers, lunchbox with tag!)

My kids will be fighting over this. Maybe it’s all mine!

My middle guy started group guitar lessons yesterday. I wanted to get him in something while we were waiting for E to get out of dance, and went in to ask. We ended up coming back in an hour and starting lessons! He really enjoyed it. There were 5 boys and they got to play Guitar Hero, talk music, and jam!

It’s Easy Being Green (sometimes)…

I am a greenie-mom. I admit it. In college my friends called me “Hippy Chick” because I just tend to slide to the natural side of things. I recycled and composted before it was easy to do. I try and shop responsibly, organic, and local. Saying this, my kids new school has gotten me in a dither.
I personally think this is one of the worst sins considering how easy it is to do in our county. Little Rock and North Little Rock both have curbside recycling programs that are fantastic (North Little Rock started it of course.) We have containers and can recycle pretty much anything now- plastics to #7, aluminum (which I actually take myself and get the cash for,) tin cans, paper…

I signed the school up for a program called “The Drink Pouch Brigade” by Terracycle where we collect the drink bags from Capri-Suns, Kool-Aid, Honest Tea, etc. They make neat purses, wallets, and pencil pouches from them. In three days I collected two huge garbage bags full! The point is that the plastic is kept out of landfills, AND the bonus is that Terracycle gives the school $.02 for each pouch we send in. Not too bad, except that I am sticky from washing little Capri Sun bags and smell like apple juice (which I am very allergic to.) I also signed us up for cookie bags (Oreos, Cakesters, etc.) but haven’t gotten that started yet.

Well, better get counting juice bags…