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Monday, March 18, 2013

Easy DIY Curtains

We needed some curtains. Badly. All of our windows were bare because we couldn't either 1) find a curtain to match our stuff or 2) agree on one that kinda/sorta did match our stuff.

I thought it would be easier to find a material we both liked & then I could make the curtains myself.

There are lots of fancy ways to make curtains, but honestly, I just want something to cover my windows. The material I picked for the kitchen was pretty busy so I wanted it to be the focus, not some fancy way the curtain hangs on the window. The ones I did for the living room & bathroom are simple too because of the decor in those rooms.

You'll need:
double-folded bias tape
sewing machine
coordinating threads (one to match the fabric, one to match the bias tape)

First, measure the window you'll be covering. You'll need to measure width & length according to what you want the curtains to be when you're done. For example, if you want the curtain to reach to the floor, measure from where the curtain will hang on the rod to the floor. In other words, measure from where the curtain will hang on the rod to where you want the curtain to stop. When you pick out your material use these measurements, but add 5 inches to the length.

clicking on any image will enlarge it
You'll also need to figure out the perimeter measurement of your material. For example, in the image above, I will have 2 panels that are 55 inches long and 20 inches wide. 55+55+20(for one panel) x2(for the other panel)=260 inches. This is how much bias tape you will need. Most is sold by the yard so divide by 3 to get how many yards you'll need.

Once you get the material cut, take the bias tape & open it up on just one fold.

 Place the material inside the fold &, using a coordinating thread, sew along all but the top edge.
To get the top of the curtain, you'll need to follow the next 2 steps using the other coordinating thread:

I used this technique to make curtains for my guest bathroom (after we changed the decor...more on that later):

And my kitchen:

I also made a table runner using the same basic concept:
I'm covering the candles next week!
Happy sewing y'all! If you need any clarification on any steps, just leave a comment!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

How To: Subway Art

Subway art is kind of a big deal, if you didn't know. I think it's a cute, fun idea to showcase favorite quotes, house rules, etc. You could go out and buy something that sort of fits your home or you could do it yourself...let's focus on the DIY aspect of it.

These instructions are for Photoshop, btw. I tried to keep it as simple as possible so I present: Subway Art in 10 steps or less! (It's really 10 steps so you can see how the whole thing came together.)

First, create a new canvas by going to "File", "New", and then creating the actual canvas. I started out with an 8x11 72ppi blank canvas then used the paint bucket tool for the background color.

Then I used the Text Tool to create each layer. I created a screen shot of each layer I created so you could see the text and font size of each layer. These images can be made larger by clicking on them.
To create the sideways text, I simply typed in the text box then used the arrows to turn the text box.
Using different size fonts is key. You want to make it look random without it actually being random. Plan it out in your head & make changes as necessary.

I wouldn't suggest using more than 3-4 different types of fonts. If you use more than that it looks less like subway art & more like a 3rd grade collage.

 I made "stand out" in a different color because I thought it would look appropriate. I mean, it would make the words, ya know, stand out.
The last step is cropping and flattening the layers. This is the finished project.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Penny Pinching: DIY laundry detergent

I decided to try my hand at making my own laundry detergent. First though, I needed to make sure it was going to be worth the effort. I mean, why go through the hassle if I'm only saving a few dollars. So I did the math:

Made detergent:
I would get 271 loads
The cost would be $17
I would end up spending $0.06/load


Bought detergent:
The detergent I buy cleans 30 loads
It costs $5/bottle
That means I spend $.16/load

I'd have to buy 9 bottles of regular detergent to get 271 loads. That means I'd have to spend $45 for the same amount of detergent.


I decided that it was worth it. An extra $28 can give me 1/2 tank of gas! I wish I could make that on my own for cheaper!

You'll need:
4lbs box 20-mule Borax (laundry aisle)
3lb, 7oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (laundry aisle)
4lbs baking soda (I found it in the laundry aisle as well, but you may have to venture to the baking area)
2 16oz oxygen cleaner (I got mine from Dollar Tree)
2 7oz bars Zote (laundry aisle, I used pink, but there are others, find the one that suits your needs)
Optional: 28oz bottle fabric softener crystals (I used Purex, but Downey also makes one)

Grate the Zote bars into a 5 gallon bucket. I got mine from Lowe's in the paint aisle.
Add all the other ingredients and mix.
I bought a 2 1/2qt bucket from Lowe's as well so I didn't have to worry about storing it all in my little laundry area and to make it easier to handle.

You'll only need 2Tbsp per load. I kept the scoop out of my oxygen cleaner since it was 2Tbsp (I measured) so I can just tell the hubster 1 scoop per load. Makes it easier.