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Instead of posting links to Making Do Ideas on this blog now (I'll just post my own projects here though they are few and far between now), I'm now posting them on my Pinterest Board named Making Do Stuff.
You do not have to have a Pinterest account to see it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wowser Wednesday - Fancy Yarn Skein Winder

If you are big into yarn craft and want a Tiltaswift, a yarn skein carousel for winding yarn, there are two tutorial on Webecca Says using household items.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Community Give and Take Chest

A lady who recently moved set up a local group I am part of with a community chest. What is that you say?

Well, a person in the group begins with a plastic tote that they fill with unwanted items from their house (how many of us don't need to declutter?). Then they pass it off to the next person. That person takes what they want and adds more to the bucket. When it reaches the first person, they look through the stuff and take out what they put in there originally that still remains (which they will donate or throw away). And then it continues around.

This would be a good thing for a group that meets somewhere regularly, like a knitting club, a Sunday School, a bunch of coworkers, etc. That way they bring it to a place they normally go and can pass it off to the next in line there. We actually are a Yahoo group that live in the same town, but we've set it up so the ones that normally drive past someone else is who they pass off to.

One way it's different than donating to the thrift store is you can put things in there that are still useful that a thrift store wouldn't take. Like half used lotion, makeup colors you don't like, or shelf stable food you may have opened but don't like that's still good.

Things I have gotten from the chest to give you an idea: partially used face soap, an opened bag of dried fruit someone didn't like that I used in cookies, a vase, fabric scraps, clothing for my child, a DVD, toys that a kid got bored of, a garlic peeler, etc.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anti-Static Spray

I can't stand static in my clothing, but I have a ton of those manmade fiber clothing that get static-y. So, I used to squirt myself with water and rub myself down with a dryer sheet on those really bad items. But then I thought about the wrinkle release spray I posted on here. That should work. I scrounged for that sample packet of fabric softner from years ago (pays to hang on to stuff) and tried it out.

1/2 oz. rubbing alcohol
1 oz. fabric softner
13 oz. water.

I sprayed this concoction all over my polar fleece static-y pullover. And it worked! Yeah! I always hated that aerasol can of anti-cling. It made it so you couldn't breathe in the same room you sprayed it, something about that just says that that stuff cannot be good for you.

Best part about it is, if there happens to be wrinkles in it, it should help pull that out too. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Clothes Drying as Humidifier

We mostly use wood heat to heat our house with a lovely soapstone stove my Mother and Stepfather graciously let us have. But it's a dry heat. So! Another reason to dry your clothes inside, put some of that moisture back into the air sans electricity.

(No, I don't put the clothes that close to the fire, they're just their temporarily for the photo op.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Clothes or Noodle Dryer

So, I made my first batch of homemade noodles with the pasta machine I found at a flea market. I didn't realize that the dough had to sit for 30 minutes before going through the machine, so I used boxed pasta for dinner instead of cooking it fresh and I needed a pasta dryer rack that I wasn't anticipating needing at the moment. So, I thought of using my clothes rack.

Don't think I'll even bother making a specific one, this will keep me from having an extra appliance to have to store and collect dust. I'll just wipe it down between different applications if necessary.

(P.S. When I woke up, my noodles were cracking and falling off on their own. My cat (in the bottom left corner of the picture) thought this was amusing and would push on the rack and make more fall. SO, homemade noodle makers out there, does this normally happen? I will admit that these noodles were not made according to a recipe since my little booklet was in another language and measurement system so I just eyeballed the picture and made it, have yet to try them. Plus, if you have a great noodle recipe, please share in the comment section.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Curtain Christmas Tree Skirt

I put up my Christmas tree for the first time in 8 years. I'm lacking a tree topper and a Tree Skirt.

So, when you become known for making stuff out of trash, family and friends pawn their trash off on you. I got this gaudy shiny curtain from my mother who thought I might make a Play dress out of it. Instead, it shall go under my tree.

I cut off the side panels and the ruffle from across the top. I cut the ruffle in half.

Then I am going to pin and sew on the ruffle to the side of the panel that doesn't have a ruffle.

Then I sewed the two panels to each other but only halfway up, the slit will go around the base of my fake tree.

And here it is under the tree, not exactly a skirt since it's square, but lots less sewing and cutting then if I decided to make it a circle.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Girls Hoodie to Toddler Hoodie Dress

Using my dummy from yesterday for sizing, I took this size 10 girls Old Navy sweatshirt that had been donated to the thrift store because someone didn't know how to mend the split pocket seam . . .

And made it into a toddler dress. Merely sewed up the sides, sewed new thinner sleeves and cut the sleeves shorter. Didn't do anything with the hood. Didn't bother moving the shoulder seams, so they are a bit down her arms, but I think it looks just fine. And she loves her "jacket dress."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Toddler Dress Form Dummy

I am really not a pattern follower, and my toddler won't sit still for me to drape and pin things that I find at the thrift store to refit for her.

So, I made a dummy toddler.

I first cut down an adult turtle neck to fit her pretty tight, it was ugly, had holes in the seams, etc. But she declared it a pretty princess dress. If that wowed her, anything I do from here on out will be splendid!

Then she was thoroughly excited to spin around while I duct taped her arm pits on down, but then got a bit upset doing around the neck because it kept catching her hair. Note to any other mothers attempting this, gel the kids hair/plaster it to their head before trying. Needless to say, she's not having so much fun at the end.

I made a waist line on her by having her bend at the side for reference for later and to tape it back together. Then I cut it off of her down the back. Then I taped it back up.

Then I took the leftover turtle neck material and all the other misc. things I have scrapped and stuffed it halfway.

Then I stuck it on a dowel rod planted in a piece of scrap wood. (This had been doubling for the toilet paper dispenser under the curtained sink in the guest bath, but I kiped it, it was meant to be a mannequin base.) Then finished stuffing up around it. Then I pulled up the excess turtleneck material and pinned it up to keep all the stuffing in. Viola, My 3 year old on a stick complete with pooched out belly.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Extra Shower Curtain Rod

We were tearing down a house and took the extra curtain rod. Or maybe you moved from a house with two baths to one. But keep the shower curtain rods, they come in handy as regular curtain rods in recessed windows or as an extra rod in a closet. (I haven't tested its weight limit to its fullest extent, but in a child's closet I would bet it would be just fine.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken Plucker

May not help too many of you, but if you have your own chickens for eggs and meat and you pluck them (we just skin them whole, I buy skinless chicken when I buy at the grocery store, so what's the point of keeping them with skin), look at this guy's cheap chicken plucker. Now, if you are like a friend of mine and kill a hundred at a time, you might want to invest in something much better, but if you are like us and only kill a handful at a time to put in the freezer and want to pluck them, check this out:

Forum Thread and Video

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snow Paint

I am sure some of my readers have had or about to have snow. When I was a kid, we loved building elaborate snow men. But they needed color. So, in a spray bottle, we mixed up some Kool-aid and sprayed it on our snow man when we were finished. It kind of melts it and makes a glossy colored ice sheen. Here's one we did of Elmo probably when I was about 14 (I'm on the right).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Whole Bunches of recycling T-shirt Tutorials

If you've read my blog very long, you know that one of my favorite things to reuse is t-shirts. Anything from adjustable diapers to cushioned rag curlers, to grocery sacks.

But checking on some links to this blog, I found this great post that gives tons of links to tutorials for how to recycle or upcycle t-shirts. (This is only the first page of the post, he's got 5 pages to scroll through, scroll to the bottom to go to the next page.)

These two transforming t-shirt projects I think I may do in the future, I liked them the best:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Costume Extension

This may not be helpful to all, but it's a way I made do a few weeks ago. My little girl's grandma sent her some Disney costumes. My little one has never watched Snow White, but she knows who she is and was excited for the Snow White costume, but unlike her other costumes, it is two pieces.

I won't post a picture, but she insisted that the skirt's elastic waist sat below her bum. So she was running around in it with her little pink britches poking out the middle. So, grandma wondered if it was because the skirt wasn't floor length that she was attempting a fashion no-no.

So, during her nap, I stole her costume and rifled through my old clothes stash and decided upon this t-shirt material shirt.

Then I laid the skirt on top and eyeballed how long it needed to be on my girl to make it floor length, if she were to leave the elastic on her waist. Then cut straight across.

Then I lined up the side seams and then pinned in haphazard pleats. Then sewed across.

That seems to have been the problem. Now she has a "real princess" length skirt that she willingly wears above her rear.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crayon off of Furniture

My child just drew on her grandmother's table. What to do? I consulted a book in my library and chose the cheapest method first, and it worked easily.

To get crayon off of furniture and walls without destroying paint, wet a washcloth and dab it in baking soda, scrub off.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fabric Gift Covers

I like to use towels, blankets, dishcloths, tablecloths, etc. to wrap up gifts when possible. You could also just use scrap fabric. Here is a link to Furoshiki, the art of wrapping gifts in fabric that you can print out. It gives you many different patterns based on what you are wrapping.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reader Help - Baby Wipes Containers

Jill wrote in asking what to do with her extensive stash of baby wipe containers.

Here are some of my ideas:
If they are the boxier kind, building blocks for kids
Barbie Clothes Trunk
Snow or Sand Fort Brick Molds
Car First Aid Kit, fill one for each vehicle with bandaids, alcohol wipes, etc.
Car Kleenex Holder - Kleenex boxes always get smooshed in my car, so take the kleenex out of the paper box and put them in baby wipe box for durability in the car
Drawer Organizers
Craft Item Organizers
Ribbon Holder - Get a small dowel rod slightly longer than the baby wipe box, cut two holes in the opposite sides of box for the dowel rod to fit through, thread spools of ribbon onto the dowel rod and then insert it in the holes and now you have a box of ribbons where you can just pull the ribbon off the spool without getting tangled messes
Planters, using 2, Cut one in half (cut off top half) and the other one cut some holes in the bottom. Nestle the holey one in the cut one and fill it with a plant or herb garden for kitchen window.
There were a few things I already wrote on the blog in the past about how to use them.

Do you have any ideas on how to use a lot of baby wipe containers besides the above? Leave them in the comment area.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Milk Carton Reusable Lunch Box Holders

If you haven't checked out the magazine, FamilyFun, you really should. Seriously, I am not fond of paying for magazines, but I do pay for this one. I got this idea from them. My hubby takes lunch to work, (You didn't think our cheap selves would eat out for lunch now did you?).

So, FamilyFun suggested this instead of lunch baggies, plus it is tons more durable so it will keep your items from getting smashed.

Take a gallon milk jug and mark off three of the sides small like in the picture and one tall side up to the top. (FamilyFun shows a milk jug without the divets, if yours don't have them, even better, you have to fiddle with it if you do.)

Cut it out. If you have divets, cut the interior flaps down until they don't touch it when folded, otherwise it doesn't close securely, lets in too much air although this will never be well sealed. Place a piece of sticky velcro on the top long interior flap and on the corresponding bottom flap.

Place in your bread.

And fold in the flaps and velcro it closed. No more squished sandwiches. Wash with the dishes when yucky.

P.S. My poor hubby's coworkers shake their heads in pity that I send the man to work with lunch containers made from trash, but I promise there is a reason behind my madness! Tupperware would do the same thing, look prettier and clean up easier, but my hubby's lunch pail is too small to accommodate a bulky sandwich container. That's why we use this, it fits.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tshirt Laminate Floor Underlayment

We took out a fireplace downstairs and it left us with hole in our floor. One day, I want to redo the entire downstairs flooring, but that time is not now. So what to do with the floor?

I went to our local cheap house fixtures and flooring place and asked if they had any mismatched laminate flooring in the back. There was a pallet of left over laminate flooring. I found one that was super close to the piece I had brought in and so instead of paying $1.78 sq. ft for the closest match up front, I paid 50 cents a square foot for last 3 boxes that was enough to cover my hole. (Now they don't totally match, but my plan is for it to make it just a few years until I decide what I want to do with the floor and save the money to do so.)

But, you don't get the underlayment cushion when you buy out of the scrap pile. I thought we could just do without, but it made a crunchy sandy like noise when you stepped on it. So, instead of going out and buying a big roll of it on special order since I didn't need flooring with it, I cut up t-shirts and an ugly flowery t-shirt material scrap to fill the hole. Just cut to cover the majority of it, gaps were fine.

Perfect, no more crunchy noises.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Milk Carton Skeleton

Wanting to get the Halloween decorations up this weekend? How about recycling your milk jugs and making a hanging skeleton? Directions here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vacuum Cleaner Pudding

Got this recipe off of starwish on a yahoo group I'm with. Thought I would share it here, this is like the ultimate making do with leftover desserts recipe.

My Mother used to make this for the family. With meals and packing lunches, she had an odd assortment of leftover cookies/cake/pie bits 'n pieces. She saved everything (including the crumbs in the cookie jar). When she had "squirreled away" enough (in the freezer) to feed the family (usually once or twice a month) she made her "famous" Vacuum Cleaner Pudding ("You never know what you're gonna' git." Forrest Gump).

Vacuum Cleaner Pudding Oven: 325 / 30 min.
Microwave: 50% power / 15 - 20 min.

Broken cookies (including crumbs)
Misc. leftover cake and pie
one package of instant pudding/pie filling (flavor your choice)
Milk (see pudding instructions)
2 whole eggs
vanilla flavoring to taste (optional)

1. Press cookies/cake/pie into greased loaf pan
2. Mix milk, eggs, and vanilla
3. Warm the milk mixture until it is hot - but not boiling
4. Pour pudding powder into milk mixture and blend
5. Pour liquid over the top of the dry ingredients in the loaf pan
6. Cook until set up (check by inserting knife point)

Cut into squares and serve warm, topped with whipped cream/ice cream or even warm milk.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wowser Wednesday - Fitted Sheet Bubble Dress

Kate emailed me to see if I had ever heard of how to change a fitted sheet into clothing while taking advantage of the elastic already in it. I hadn't but I found this lady, Ivy Frozen, on Threadbanger had. Here is her tutorial video as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sock Cuff Paint Helper

I painted my living room and dining room awhile ago and I like to freehand paint, but sometimes I got it where it wasn't supposed to go, normal stuff. So, I had a rag with me, but I kept leaving it behind or it wouldn't dry in my pocket so I'd pull it out to use and just smear wet paint, etc.

So, I found a really handy type rag for this. I have a whole bunch of sock tops left over from my make a rug out of socks project in my rag box. So, I put it on my wrist and it was immediately available to pull up and use to wipe off excess paint and dried quickly. I think I used three of these, one per gallon of paint. Then I just threw them away.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hassock Cover

With my new couch and pillows, my unmatched hassock stuck out like a sore thumb. So I had to cover it. I took more of the bedsheet I used to cover one of the pillows. I took the measurement of the top of the hassock across the top and to the middle of the sides. So my top was 20" x 23" and from the sides down to under the hassock cushion was 3", so I added a 1/2" seam allowance and cut out a 20 1/2" x 23 1/2" top piece and then (2) 3 1/2" x 20 1/2" pieces and (2) 3 1/2" x 23 1/2" pieces.

Then I sewed the small edges onto the big piece making a box. I then stuck the fabric "box" inside out on the hassock cushion. At the corners, I pinned the material so that it was tight fitting.

Then I took tit off and sewed using the pins as my guide. I tried it on the hassock to make sure it fit, then cut off the extra fabric. And put it on to complete my living room.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rescue Couch - Cover It

If all else fails in making the couch presentable, I intended to buy a slipcover. (I'm really not good with sewing huge fabric pieces and I'm really bad at cutting big pieces too, so I intended to buy one.)

But if you are a better sewer than me, here are 3 sites with slipcover sewing directions. One, Two, Three.

But, with such huge pieces of fabric, my guess is it may be a better deal to buy a slipcover from a discount place anyway. Here are four sites I thought seemed to have good deals on slipcovers. One, Two, Three, Four.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rescue Couch - Cover Pillows

The people who sold me the couch took off $18 from the original price and threw in two zebra pillows to entice me to take it. (They had another shipment coming in and needed the room.) Obviously, zebra pillows don't go with a brown and black checked couch, but no problem, I could make them match.

I took a brown turtleneck from my scrap clothes pile and a lone bedsheet.

For the first pillow, I took the turtleneck, turned it inside out and sewed up the bottom closed. Turn it back right side out and I squished the pillow in through the neck hole.

Then I tucked in the neck to lay flat and then tied the arms across the chest.

For the second one, I made a coverslip for the pillow from the bedsheet. The pillow was 19"x19" So I cut a piece of fabric 20" tall and 30" wide. (To get 30" I took the main size across, 20", and added two halves, 10" to come up with 30"). I should have only made it 19 1/2" tall since it came out a little loose.

Then you hem the short 20" edges and then fold them in, the edges overlapping each other until the width is 20" with the right side of the fabric on the inside facing each other.

Then you pin across the top and bottom and sew straight across these seams.

Turn that rightside out and slip it over the pillow, the overlapping fabric keeps the ugly pillow from showing through the seam and lets you take it off for washing. So here's the end result.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rescue Couch - Stain and Pet Hair Removal and Tears

The next problems were small ones.

There were stains on the couch bottom were liquids had dripped down between the cushions, so I used my homemade oxi clean and a white rag to clean that.

For the dog hair stuck in the cracks, after I vacuumed, I used duct tape to pick it up. It works better if you scrape the hair off by rubbing the tape across the hair rather than press and pull.

There was a "tear" at the seam of the back, it looked like it had torn, but really it had just pulled away, so I squished the metal holding strip back into place by stretching the fabric back where it went and then hitting the metal gripper with a hammer to keep it stuck.

I had one small tear on the bottom flap that I whipstiched closed with a matching thread color.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rescue Couch - Make Your Own Febreeze

The next major problem with the couch was someone let their dog lay on it, so it smelled like a dog.

First, I took off the cushion covers, washed them and put them back on. But the unwashable rest needed dealt with.

So, I decided to make my own febreeze. All the febreeze recipes I googled had fabric softener in the ingredients which I don't have, so I read a whole bunch of recipes and made one myself with the ingredients I had and thought would be helpful.

1 c. distilled water
1/4 c white vinegar
1 T rubbing alcohol
1/2 T baking soda
(essential oil drops if you want it to smell like somthing, but I just prefer smell of clean over perfume)

I put that in a spray bottle and shook it up. Then sprayed it lightly on all the surfaces and let dry overnight.

Success! It no longer smells like a dog!

If you start expirementing with making your own cleaners, always check and make sure the items you are mixing together aren't dangerous when mixed. Here was a sheet I consulted when I made the above mixture.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rescue Couch - Fix Cat Scratch Damage

At my yard sale, I had a money goal. If I made so much, I got to move my futon into the office for a guest room and get a cushy couch. I had seen one at the second hand furniture store, and it was in good shape and long enough for my hubby to lay on.

Well, I made my money goal, but the couch was sold when I went in on Monday. :( But I had been so psyched for getting a couch, I went searching for another. I found one in a bit worse shape but for only $5o and in a color that would go with my other furniture (the other one would not have matched, so I had intended on buying a slipcover for it.) But, it had some cosmetic flaws, so this week, I'm showing you how I rescued the couch.

The most glaring problem was that a cat had used it as a scratching post. So I cut off the really long strings with scissors, but then I got out my sweater shaver.

And shaved off the cat thread pulls.

Before After

Friday, October 9, 2009

Food Bag Waterproof Barrier

Use animal feed bags anytime you need a waterproof barrier, like:

Under indoor plants so the water doesn't seep into the object it's sitting on
As a crib protector between the mattress and the sheets
As a drop cloth
Under messy kid paint projects
Under a sand box to make a barrier between the sand and the ground so weeds don't come up through

Can you think of other similar uses? Put them in the comments to share.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Food Bag Arrow Target

Are you an archer? Turn a feed bag into a target. Get together an animal feed bag, cushions or old clothing, duct tape and a sharpee.

I have cushions from an old couch, long story on why I still have them, but I do. But clothing or leftover carpet padding (Oooo! I have leftover carpet padding, that's what I am using next time!) or something similar will work I am sure. Turn the bag inside out to show off the white plain surface. Then cut your material to size if it's a cushion or pack it with your material until it's tight.

Then, fold up the top and secure close with duct tape and draw on whatever kind of target you want.

Then have at it. I had to go take it for a few shots to see how it went. I did poorly since I couldn't find the arrows that went with my bow. (I know excuses excuses, but got to brag on hubby, they were both hand made, I just didn't want to wield the 60 pound bow that went with the arrow I found that evening.), but you can see the holes. It's not exactly self healing, you will have to redo it in the future, but I think you will only have to replace the bag, the inside would be just fine to reuse.