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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.
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Monday, May 31, 2010

Sheet and Pillowcase into Mommy/Daughter Work Dresses

Ok, these things aren't going to win me any fashion awards, but I wanted a comfortable long dress that I could make in less than an hour that I can wear around the house when it's hot and I'm not intending to go anywhere. And because most of my clothing is too tight at the moment.

I have one of those dresses I picked up from the thrift store, laid it out on a twin flat sheet I picked up somewhere and hacked around it and sewed for an hour (mainly b/c of my dumb machine's bobbin kept tangling)

And then, I couldn't resist making a "matching" dress out of the pillowcase for my kiddo. Basically on that one, I cut off the top, cut down about a quarter way for arm holes, hemmed the arm holes, made a casing on the two tops and strung ribbon through the casings and tied at the shoulder. The material is rather thick, think it will look better on her tiny body with a thinner pillowcase.

So, we both look like we are wearing a trash sack as my hubby so gently put it, but we match and we'll be in the garden with them anyway. I call it good for about an hour and a half. Boy do I hate sewing.

I tried to make it less sack-like with some more of that ribbon, but it just showed off my pregnant belly. Not that much better considering I'm just showing but I look 6 months pregnant. I guess that's the horizontal striping for you.

But hey, some of you sewing people out there could make a better stab at it using a sheet and pillowcase.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Duct Tape your Window AC's Accordian Vinyl Panels

Do you use window AC units? We do in the upstairs in our bedrooms at night. We program the thermostat to turn the AC to a much higher temp for the whole house at night and only use the bedroom AC window units for sleeping.

(Well, currently, we're trying to go as long as possible without it, so it's a toasty 85 in the house, but with the windows open it feels not so bad)

So that cuts us down from trying to cool 2500 square feet to 200 square feet for about 10 hours.

But, those accordion panels on the sides let in outside air and let out cool air. Not good, so how can you make that better? Duct tape. And what's nice, is duct tape comes in colors, pick the color right for you (most likely white) and seal that puppy off. No more tacky than the accordion thing. Energy efficiency goes up the less drafts you have coming from the outside (see my caulking post)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reader Suggestion Friday - Uses for Yogurt Containers

Sheri, a mother of eight, was kind enough to share some of her tips for reusing yogurt containers. Hope you get some ideas.

When people come to my house and wonder why we have a tall stack of these 1 quart containers, we show them! We stack them like blocks too! We make walls and castles for Ezra to knock over. (He's our youngest.) All my children have fun making the castles and walls with the cartons.

I also use my yogurt containers for drinks on the go! I mix up my protein drink in the blender and pour it into my 1 quart yogurt container and put the lid on, with a small hole cut in the top for my straw. It's kinda' my signature... I will reuse these containers until they are beyond use. With this recycled container, I don't mind if someone tosses it in the garbage. Which can happen when I am out and about. I have tried other containers, but they were too tall for my straw to reach the bottom and be able to drink out of it.

We have also had loads of fun with the yogurt cup lids! They are safe indoor flying disks! And easy for little children to make fly! I think we had about 20 lids that we were flying at each other one morning. We were laughing so hard, we got our morning exercise!

The smaller 6 oz and 8 oz yogurt cups can be used like those stacking cups and they are are free, once you eat your yogurt! If you want to reuse those smaller yogurt cups, some yogurt companies will send you the reusable plastic lids for free if you ask. Then I put my husband's daily yogurt into one of those cups for his lunch from the larger 1 quart container. I think I need to learn how to make yogurt! When we take yogurt in the car, I put a hole in the top and stick in a straw for less messy eating! It works most of the time. Some of those yogurts with bigger chunks of fruit might get stuck... I can even cut the straws in half for a more convenient size.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Free Fast Food Popsicles

I don't eat out often enough anymore, but if you go to a fast food restaurant that lets you have free refills, fill up before you leave with lemonade, fruit punch or whatever fruity drink they have. Go home and pour it into popsicle molds. A lady from Dollar Stretcher says that you can get about a dozen popsicles from a medium sized drink. Free popsicles!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thrift Store Clothes into Prairie Dress Up Clothes

So, I've been looking for thrift store clothes that I can make into fake late 19th century clothing. Why? Because my bathroom is decorated in my families old sepia photos from that era and my color scheme fits those old photos (browns), but the middle photo frame across the wall is blank. That's for us. If I ever get us dressed appropriately. The blank (ghost filled) frame has been there for almost 3 years.

Thankfully, I had gathered my materials, but not the time. But the local homeschool group wants my hubby to come for their pioneer day to demonstrate blacksmithing and they are dressing up. Yeah! A fire under my butt.

So, Hubby was easy. Add some buttons to his jeans for suspenders and move the button on his old rendezvous shirt from high school.

Me: Unfortunately it was yellow (hate yellow) but this sundress was easy. Took off the straps and pulled the elastic gathered bodice down to my stomach to make it floor length and then I found a shirt that looked old fashioned (a little too much plunge in the front, but I'm just faking this)

The kiddo was the hardest, I took an old ugly grandma's dress that had old fashiony front and a man's pink oxford. And happily, an already-made sun bonnet (that I'm sure won't be worn very long).

No tutorial because it was all eyeballing and using my toddler's fake double. Basically I cut the collar off, the torso down and shortened the skirt, flipped over the elastic casing (like I did in the dress into skirt refashion from last week) and reattached it to the bodice. I didn't put sleeves because a) I suck at sleeves and b) it's summer and my child is known for taking off clothes and running in her underwear, so I figured I'd try to combat the attempt with making it quite summery.

Now, no more ghosts reside in my bathroom. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Free Dress=Free Skirt

I found this dress on the free rack, didn't try it on, but it looked like it would be a good swinging skirt.

So, first I ripped out the zipper, then I cut it off right above the elastic casing. It was too big to stay up on its own, so I unpicked the seam holding in the elastic and pulled it out until it fit me. Then I sewed the elastic in place.

Then, I folded the casing over, pulled the elastic tight to make the fabric flush as I sewed it with the machine along the cut off edge.

Then I sewed up the zipper slit and now I have a new skirt.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Runny Mashed Potatoes Fix

If I accidentally put too much milk in my mashed potatoes and it's more like soup than fluffy potatoes, I don't panic anymore. I have an emergency stash of cheap instant mashed potatoes and I just take small scoops out of there and throw them in until the consistency returns to fluffy clouds.

Maybe I should add milk only a little at a time instead of relying on my recipe measurements since potatoes don't have a definite measurement, but I like the simplicity of throwing in the 1/8 cup of instant potatoes that fix it right up.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Use Less Makeup or Makeup Less

Ok, this hint may be more useful for those out of the teenage/early 20s and mothers (after you've found out you have baby poop on your shirt but go into the store anyway, you've really gotten over how you look).

I have gone to only wearing makeup to church and other really big functions (not that I attend many of those). Sunday I was just taking inventory of my makeup and man it's been a long time since I bought any and I still have a long way to go before I need any. Saved Money!

If I'm going out and think I look a little blah but my face is fairly unblemished, just blush and lip gloss.

Now about a year ago, I saw this lady advising to use a salmon colored concealer for dark circles under the eyes (I have horrible raccoon eyes) and watched her tutorials for how to apply makeup. My hubby says that this is the best makeup application he has ever seen on me.

Anyway, the lady's name is Eve Pearl (her makeup is expensive!! So I use the Abbot's Perk me up from Everyday Minerals instead, plus you can order for free from this company samples to make sure it works for you)

And here are some of the tutorials I watched. But you can watch tons of them at youtube, just type in "Eve Pearl Makeup Tutorial" and there will be all kinds of videos to pour through. Just changing how I apply blush and eyemakeup according to this lady's advice really helped. (I don't do the fake lashes though). I don't use as much makeup as she does but understanding her contouring tricks helps know how to make the best use of what you have, I think.