Category Archives: Homemade

DIY Teacher Gift with Essential Oils: Room Spray and Stress Ball

Finding a unique gift for teachers is tough. This DIY Teacher Gift with Essential Oils is easy to make, inexpensive, and something all teachers can benefit from!

In minutes you can put together a Mood-Boosting Anti-bacterial Room Spray to help keep those special people happy and healthy. Also, add a quick and easy Stress Ball for those rough days.

This works for teachers, coaches, bus drivers, etc. and it is a gift that is great for both male and female recipients. We’ve got it covered!

DIY Teacher Gift with Essential Oils: Mood-Boosting Antibacterial Room Spray & Stress Ball

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Homemade Laundry Soap

I finally did it! I’ve been talking about it for months and I finally made my laundry soap!

After looking at many recipes, I went with this one. I like that it is a dry detergent, and I didn’t have to deal with boiling a huge batch and the mess of it all.

The recipe:
I found all the ingredients in the laundry aisle at Walmart.

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax – $3.38
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – $3.24
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean – my mom had a bottle of this that had been sitting around for years so this was free!
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap – $0.97/ea
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda – $2.24 – the recipe I followed said to get this in the baking aisle, but you can find the larger 4lb box in the laundry aisle next to the Super Washing Soda
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener – I bought the small size quite a while ago when I had a coupon, I’ll guess the price to have been around $3

Total cost: $13.80 (more like $12.80 because I had a $1 off two arm and hammer laundry items)
The website I followed estimates this to last about a year, I believe, and estimated the cost to be about $28 a year.  I’m not sure if I got better prices or my interpretation of how long it lasts is off…  The difference in price could be due to my free OxyClean, and that I used a smaller bottle of Purex Crystals (she used 2 large).

I decided to try a half batch just in case I didn’t like it.

I used one soap, my smaller bottle of Purex Crystals, and used this guy to measure half of the boxed ingredients.

It would have been a lot easier to just do the full recipe because I could have opened the whole top of the box instead of dealing with those maddening perforated punch out spouts!

I grated the soap with my new grater and it went very smoothly and worked much better than expected. I layered each set of ingredients about three times and used my grater as a paddle to stir – it worked much better than a spoon.

A word of caution: Don’t layer your ingredients in a small space or with kids around. I never thought about the dust that would fly when layering all these powder ingredients. My (almost) 2-year-old wanted to watch and I felt like world’s worst mom for letting him breath the chemicals and then even worse for keeping him away when he wanted to watch. I don’t know if I needed to worry, but I wouldn’t want to chance it.

After mixing everything, I took a narrow but deep spoon and filled my Purex bottle.

… And then I realized I forgot the OxyClean…

So, I dumped it out, re-mixed everything, and re-filled the bottle. There was still quite a bit left in the bucket, but the small size and easy-pourability (new word???) of the bottle make it nice.

And, check this out! The recipe I followed pointed this out – there are three lines in the Purex Crystals cap. The middle line is about 2 tablespoons – and that’s all you need!!!

That’s it! It smells great and even looks pretty!

I was so excited to try it out! My husband is the laundry guy because he’s pretty fanatical about it. I was worried he wouldn’t give it the thumbs up, so I kept bugging him about it until that first load was done. He approves!!!

I might get two more small bottles or one of the big bottles of the Purex Crystals when I finish the second half of the recipe. He’s all about the smell, and even the small bottle makes it smell pretty good. Did I mention that he tested this out on his work clothes!?! If that isn’t a resounding recommendation, I don’t know what is!

Not your grandma’s sachet

First, I have to admit. the word “sachet” just came out as I was writing this title, but I had to look it up and make sure I was using the correct word. 🙂

sa·chet (s-sh)
A small packet of perfumed powder used to scent clothes, as in trunks or closets.
[French, from Old French, diminutive of sac, bag, from Latin saccus; see sack1.]

Yep, I was right.

 So, obviously, I am a bit of a stranger to the grandma-esque trick of using a smelly pouch to scent clothing. However, I did find myself in need today!

I have a bag of old clothing, that had been sitting at my parent’s house and is now taking up space in my closet, that I decided to look through.  I was inspired by MadMama and the Refashionista to take a peek and see if there is anything I could try my hand at refashioning.

Now, let’s be honest.  I don’t know if I’ll ever take that leap and start cutting or sewing any of those clothes, but I did realize that I had to fix the musty smell of clothes that had been stored away since high school.

Luckily, I had this!

Yummy smelly stuff!
I have the perfect little bags to put this in too!
 …. But I couldn’t fine them…
So, I improvised with this.

A tiny little sock that my kiddos have outgrown and is missing it’s pair anyway.

I filled it…

And twisted it…
And folded it over.
There you have it! Super simple, but very effective!