bomb bib-bity

21 03 2007

I spent Friday afternoon making bombs in my kitchen. Bath bombs that is. I took pictures of the process.
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Supplies:
1c. Baking soda
1/2c. citric acid*
2 1/2 tbsp. oil (I use olive oil – not pictured)
2 tsp. essential oils or fragrance oils
3/4 tsp water
2-3 drops color (I use food color – not pictured)
1/2 tsp Borax** (optional)
witch hazel in a spray bottle
molds

*Citric acid can be bought online from several places. I found that Craft Lobby had the best price, especially for molds! Plus they were the only ones who would ship to me without charging me twice what the purchase cost. I think it is also sold with canning supplies, at nutrition type stores and wine/beer making supply stores.

**Borax is to soften the water. Its a natural detergent sold on the laundry soap aisle of the grocery store.

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1. Mix the dry ingredients (baking soda and citric acid) in one bowl and mix everything else (including borax) in another bowl.

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2. Slowly pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Mix as you pour. If you get the mixture wet too fast, the fizzing will start. Chances are that you will not use all of the wet mixture. I only used about half.

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3. When mixed together, the texture should be a little grainy, only slightly moist. If you squeeze it in your hand, it should stay clumped together.

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4. Pack it tightly into a mold. You can see I used a rounded measuring cup. I have also used plastic easter eggs, plastic fruit cups, and soap molds. You can buy molds that snap together to form a sphere shape, but they’re hard to find.

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5. Flip the mold over, and tap it out. Spray very lightly with witch hazel. This helps form a crust to keep it from crumbling. If you spray too much though, they will be ruined. If you mess up, just repack your mold and tap it out again. I always line the area I’m working on with waxed paper for easier cleanup. Your house should be well ventilated while working only because the smell can be overwhelming for a few days. Hey, fragrance is better than smelly boys, right?

Let it dry as long as can, overnight if possible, then wrap tightly with saran wrap.  I’m not sure how long they last.

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Here is one all wrapped up and package pretty. I gave them out as favors for a baby shower I hosted this weekend.

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Here they are all together.

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I also made melt and pour soap. Much easier, but just as much fun! It really is as simple as melting and pouring. I added fragrance and coloring as well though.

And here’s what I made for the baby shower until the real gift can be made:
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The real gift will be a quilt. The fabric is taking for.ev.er. to get here though. So I made three bibs, quilted patchwork, embroidered linen, and patchwork on linen. The embroidery design is based on one I found from this image over at Hoop Love. I had to move stuff around to better fit on the bib.

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How to make throw pillows on the cheap

13 01 2007

A few weeks ago I became obsessed with making new throw pillows. I had seen some pillow inserts at a local store for cheap so off we went to buy them. We got there and I was heartbroken to find that they were indeed cheap… And flat as a pancake! I had already decided that they were about the size I wanted though. I walked around the store looking for a solution. All of the readymade throw pillows were too small (and also pretty flat) and all cost about $12 each. But I really hate stuffing pillows! What was I going to do? Then I strolled down an aisle with bed pillows and I remembered an episode of Trading Spaces where they took bed pillows and cut them in half to use. At the time, I thought it was ridiculous (why didn’t they just go to Joann’s and buy inserts???) , but now I see it as genius. By the way I didn’t order any because I wanted them NOW, not 2 or 3 weeks from now. Plus I have no way that I’m overpaying for more flat pancake pillows. And I’m cheap. Have you priced those things?

So I went to our little store on base (kind of like a tiny crappy WalMart- with a housewares section like a crappy Family Dollar) and looked around.
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The cheapest pillow ended up being the firmest. So I bought 2 in King size so I could get 2 throw pillows out of each bed pillow. I also bought 2 packs of standard size pillow cases. I think all together this was about $30.

pt. 2
Take it out of the plastic wrapper and cut that baby in half. Its a little harder than it looks.

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Next, sew it together. This is also harder than it looks. I tried sewing with both my machine and serger, but sometimes a simple needle and thread is the best solution!

Then make covers. I’ve made 4; 2 use mostly a whole pillow case, 2 just use it for the backs. Somehow I only managed to get pics of all, but 2 are still being worked on anyways.
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Here’s one all put together, a patchworked log cabin pillow.

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This one isn’t done yet. The main part is patchworked together. The tree is stenciled and the flowers are embroidered. There will also be leaves embroidered on the brown part.  So with little cash, but lots of creativity, new pillows were made.

No fabric was bought for this. Everything was from the stash. If you don’t have a stash, but would like to build yours up here’s a few ways:

  • Fat quarters and charm packs.  Fabric stores have these sold seperately and in packs.  Can also be bought online.
  • Remnants.  Most stores have little bins for this.
  • Sheets.  Don’t dismiss sheets as inferior!  In some cases, they’re better quality than the quilting fabric!
  • Sales.  I always check the clearance section for interesting fabrics.
  • Solids are inexpensive.  I recommend Kona Cotton.
  • Thrift stores.  With the linens, there is normally a section of fabric.  Sometimes hidden between the polyester doubleknit is a nice cotton fabric with a pretty print.  Clothes can also be used.  A muumuu in a pretty print should be looked at as a few yards of fabric.

My favorite online shops:

Here’s a few that I’ve never ordered from but probably will in the future!  Look at those prices!