Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lavender Info and Uses


Lavender buds are a safe and natural freshener. Lavender is also a natural insect and moth repellent.  This herb has been used throughout time to relax, comfort and sooth.  The aroma is stress relieving and calming without being overpowering.

Lavender Buds from Simple is Pretty Shop

Try making your own lavender sachets.  Lavender sachets have many uses and can be used in many areas throughout your home. Place the lavender sachets in your dresser drawers, closets, and clothes storage containers to keep your clothes and linens smelling fresh. Since, lavender is a natural insect and moth repellent they are perfect closet sachets. Use lavender sachets in children's clothes storage totes which store their seasonal or outgrown clothes. When you open the plastic totes you will smell lavender, instead of the plastic smell. Lavender sachets are perfect for placing under your pillow for a restful night's sleep. 

Wedding Favor (Lavender Filled Cotton Muslin Bag) from Simple is Pretty Shop

Lavender can be used in many ways in your wedding.  Use it as a wedding toss or sprinkle it in the middle of your table to accent your centerpieces.  Small bags filled with lavender buds make great wedding favors.  Lavender makes a great wedding toss as it is not harmful to birds.  Place the dried lavender buds in a bowl and using paper cones or handfuls they can be tossed over the newly married couple after the ceremony.  Lavender buds can also take the place of flower petals in the flower girl's basket.  Simply pour the lavender buds into a flower girl basket before she walks down the aisle.  Don't worry about the clean up, lavender is easily vacuumed up and also will give off a lovely scent as you vacuum it up. 

Lavender Filled Muslin Bags from Simple is Pretty Shop

Store your unused lavender buds in an airtight container until use to retain their freshness. I recommend storing your lavender in glass mason jars.  Keep lavender out of sunlight and away from heat, as this also helps retain the scent. The lavender scent usually lasts a few years. To refresh the lavender sachets, give them a light squeeze or shake to redistribute their natural oil.

Sandra

Friday, April 10, 2015

How to Fight Static in Your Clothes

If you use store bought dryer sheets which eliminate static by coating clean laundry with a film, you will notice an increase in static when changing to a natural laundry alternative.  How can you fight static naturally and without chemicals?  Try these tips!

Simple is Pretty: How to fight static in your laundry. Tips to prevent and reduce static naturally!


1) Separate your synthetic fiber clothes from your natural fiber clothes.

To reduce static, try hang drying your synthetic (artificial) fiber clothes.  Examples of synthetic fibers are polyester and acrylic.  If you are unable to hang dry these synthetic fiber clothes, try separating them from natural fiber fabrics like cotton before drying.  Usually synthetic fiber clothes need less time in the dryer than natural fibers.

Be careful not to over dry as over drying can create static cling.  Try adding a damp/almost wet wash cloth to your synthetic loads when tumble drying and the added moisture will help to distribute existing moisture and keep the clothes from over drying.  Alternatively, you can add a damp/almost wet with white vinegar cloth and it will have the same effect.

2) Use wool dryer balls and use less time to dry your clothes in the dryer.

Organic Wool Dryer Balls - Simple is Pretty Shop
With using wool dryer balls in your laundry, you can decrease your drying time.  The wool dryer balls absorb moisture and work to circulate and fluff your clothes as they dry.  If you use a timed dry setting, you will have to decrease your drying time.  When clothes are dried for less time in the dryer, they have less time to rub together and create less static electricity.

3) Use vinegar instead of fabric softener.

Try replacing your store bought fabric softener with vinegar.  Not only will you save yourself a ton of money as vinegar much less expensive than fabric softener, you will also see a reduction in static.  Don’t worry about the smell, the vinegar smell will be washed out by the time the washing machine cycle is complete.

Use Vinegar to Stop Static - Simple is Pretty
I especially recommend using vinegar instead of fabric softener for bath towels, kitchen towels and dish cloths.  The vinegar will work to soften your towels without all the chemicals of store bought fabric softener.  If you choose to use fabric softener on your towels, it will leave behind a film.   This fabric softener film will make the fibers of your towels less absorbent, which is the exact opposite effect you want to happen.

Essential Oil Starter Kit - Simple is Pretty Shop
Want to scent your laundry before hang drying it?  Try adding essential oil to vinegar in your fabric softener compartment.  For an energizing scent, try pink grapefruit essential oil.  If you would like a relaxing scent, try adding lavender essential oil.

Sandra

Friday, October 10, 2014

Behind the Scenes: Shop Studio

I’ve wanted to do a post about my Etsy shop studio for a long time now.  After finally taking photos of the space, here it is!  My studio is always a work in progress because I am continually adding stock to my Etsy shop and need to move things around to get the best fit.

Here is a tour of my studio…

My Etsy Shop Studio
One of my favorite things about my studio is the space gets lots of natural light.  Working in natural light makes it enjoyable and easier to work.  My office in the old house was in the basement and I’m so thankful that in this house we had space available above ground for my studio area.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Desk
My studio functions as my home office, sewing room, paint studio, shop stock room, inspiration and creating area.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio China Cabinet
I use my grandmother’s old china cabinet to hold essential oils.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Lavender
On top of the cabinet, I keep my lavender in sealed glass jars to preserve the freshness.  I use lavender in sachets and I sell it by the pound in my shop.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Pom Pom Vines
Hanging above the china cabinet, I have my paper pom pom vines.  Sarah from Paperwhite Designs created them for me, and I LOVE them!  I originally got the vines to help decorate my table for my next craft show, so until then I have hung them above the cabinet until they are needed.  I love the colors she suggested, thanks Sarah!

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Shelf Styling
I used gift wrap to line the back of the cabinet to brighten it up a bit.  I used the same process I used in the kitchen.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Inspiration Board
My inspiration board is in between the storage/filing cabinet and the desk.  I recovered the tack board on the desk with drop cloth earlier this year.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Light Box
Here is my light box and I use it photo shoots for my shop and blog.  To make your own light box, check out my tutorial here.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Light Box Setup

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Serving Tray Tower
I use my DIY serving tray tower to hold my thread and other sewing items.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Packing Area
Don’t get me wrong.  My studio is not always this neat and tidy.  I admit I picked up and dusted to take these photos.  But I do find that I work better in a clean and organized environment and this photo shoot gave me a push to take a look at my space in a new light.

I find it easier to snap some pics and then take a look and see what is looking “off” in a space.  Photos don’t lie and if you are looking to restyle a room I always find that taking a few pics and then analyzing them helps to find out what is working for a room visually and what is not.  Don’t be afraid to move things around in a room.  If the item is not working in its new home, you can always move it back.

Here is what the studio looked like shortly after we moved in:

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Before Photo

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio Before Photo
After a year of living with our new office furniture, I love how the space turned out.

Simple is Pretty Shop Studio After Photo
Sandra

Monday, July 7, 2014

Gift Wrap Kitchen Cabinet Update Part 2

In my last post, I used gift wrap to brighten up a kitchen cabinet by my microwave.

How to use gift wrap to update your kitchen cabinets

I decided to take this project to the next level and try a larger cabinet.  To check out how what you need to complete the project, click here.

By Keurig before
I decided to try the cabinet that is above our Cuisinart Keurig coffee maker.

By Keurig before close up

First, I took everything out, including the shelves.  I measured the gift wrap and cut it slightly larger than the back of the cabinet.

By Keurig before cabinet doors open
That way, I could just tuck it in again and not use glue or any adhesive to hold it in place.

By Keurig during cabinet doors open close up

By Keurig during cabinet doors open

By Keurig after #2

Update your kitchen cupboards with giftwrap
The paper adds a little personality to the cabinets now as well as brightens them.  Hopefully someday I’ll get my white kitchen cabinets, but until then this little change has helped change and brighten the space.

As Always,
Sandra

I shared this post at A Bowl Full of LemonsA Pretty Life in the SuburbsJoy in Our Home

Monday, June 30, 2014

Using Gift Wrap to Update Kitchen Cabinets

Of course, I want to paint my kitchen cabinets white.  Have I mentioned, I LOVE white!  I’ve wanted to paint the cabinets since we moved in a year ago.  But painting my cabinets would be either a huge time commitment on my part or I’d have to pay someone to paint them, which is just not in the budget quite yet.  So, I gave a couple cabinets a little brightening with white gift wrap.


Use gift wrap to update kitchen cabinets by www.simpleispretty.com

We have a small space beside our microwave that used to be a plate rack, which drove me crazy so I took out the dowels that would make the plates stand up.  This created a shelf I could place my knife block and a few other items.

By microwave before

By microwave before close up

I was not happy with this space, so I decided to try livening it up with some white patterned gift wrap.

Supplies for Gift Wrap at Back of Cupboards
I cut the gift wrap slightly larger than the back of the cupboard.  After I cut the size I needed, I steamed the piece of paper with a towel over it using my iron.   This way, I could protect the paper and also get some of the curl out of the gift wrap.

By microwave, putting gift wrap in place #2

By microwave, putting gift wrap in place
At the back of the cabinet, there was a small space I could tuck the gift wrap in all around to keep it from falling down, so I didn’t use glue or any adhesive.  Which is great, in case I want to change it or remove it later.

By microwave after

By microwave after close up
Much better and brighter.  I also tried gift wrap at the back of one more cabinet, I’ll share that project in my next post.

As Always,
Sandra

I shared this post at A Bowl Full of Lemons, Satori Design for Living, Joy in Our Home

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cleaning with Homemade Cleaners (Take 1)

I’ve cleaned my home for many years using both handmade and store bought cleaners.  When purchasing store bought cleaners I’ve tried to stay to more natural or eco-friendly cleaners (eg. Method).  Not until recently, have I felt ready to jump in and make a switch that will hopefully eliminate my need for store bought cleaners permanently.

One area in my house I have always used store bought chemical cleaner is… the dreaded cleaning of the toilets.  I somehow thought if I used a whole bunch of chemicals in the form of a blue liquid, that this was the only way to “safely clean” my toilets.  I had a mental block preventing me from seeing another solution.  After all, I knew there had to be another way.  Otherwise how would my grandmother have cleaned hers??  I'm pretty sure she was not investing in blue liquid.  But I needed to use a recipe from someone I trust.

I recently purchased the book “The Organically Clean Home” by Becky Rapinchuk (Clean Mama).  She has changed the way I think of “clean”.  Using her book, I’m making some changes and switching to homemade, natural, chemical free cleaners throughout my home.

The Organically Clean Home (by Becky Rapinchuk) - Cleanmama.net via simpleispretty.com
Via Cleanmama.net

For years, I have cleaned my sinks and showers with pure 100% white vinegar.  Not a nice smell I know, but I knew it worked.  I knew that vinegar has a ton of germ killing properties.  I knew that it worked well in our old house to clean up the effects of hard well water.  Heck, “vinegar” has its own label here on my blog, I use it so much.  Sometimes vinegar was the only thing that would work to clean my sinks and showers at the old house, no store bought cleaner could compare.  But I could not get past cleaning toilets naturally and without a blue liquid.  With Becky’s book, I hope to conquer this fear.

Last night, I made 2 recipes from her book.  I wanted to start with recipes I knew I would use often and would make a big difference in our house.  One recipe is for my bathrooms – Lavender and Lemon Bathroom Disinfecting Spray.   And one is for my kitchen – Tea Tree and Orange Disinfecting Cleaner.  I’m not new to Tea Tree essential oil, and I know it has MANY benefits.  But, I’m most excited that I can now replace my 100% vinegar solutions.  My nose will thank me I’m sure.  And now I won’t be worried about using my cleaners before company arrives because I was afraid of the vinegar odour.  These cleaners smell wonderful!

My first 2 cleaners from The Organically Clean Home Book
I gave the new cleaners a test run, and I am very impressed with how easy they were to throw together.  I have all the ingredients on hand.  I can now replace my homemade kitchen cleaner and my 100% vinegar bathroom cleaner.  I’m so HAPPY!

I’m excited to try more recipes from her book.  I have sticky notes all over the pages of her book, marking recipes I want to try next.  The best part is most of the recipes use ingredients I already have on hand.

The Organically Clean Home, Post its marking recipes to make later
This week, I’m going to conquer my bathroom toilet cleaning fear.  I’m giving her very simple, chemical free recipe a try.  Not only can I pronounce all the ingredients and I know what they are.  Big step.  I will let you know how I make out!

As Always,
Sandra

By the way, I’m not paid for this post, all opinions are my own.  I just love her book and want to share how it is changing my cleaning routine :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Homemade Goo Gone

Over the summer, I made my own homemade goo gone.  I used to buy goo gone from the store until I read the back of the bottle and all the warnings and ingredients, YIKES!




Mostly, I use goo gone in my house to remove unwanted stickers from items including plates, cups, jars, spray bottles and many other items.

Don't have time to make your own goo gone and want a natural solution?  You can now purchase my natural sticker and goo remover in my Etsy shop --> Click here!  You can even purchase my lavender scented version here!



There are many versions on the internet to make your own goo gone.  Basically, you will need an oil to soak into the sticker and a gentle abrasive to work at removing the sticker.  Here is my version, which is very simple:

Ingredients:

Baking Soda in cup
1/3 cup baking soda

Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil
1/3 cup coconut oil (I used Dr. Bronner’s)

Lavender Essential Oil 10ml - Simple is Pretty Etsy Shop

Essential oil (optional) - Choose whatever scent you enjoy.  Check out my Etsy shop for 100% Pure Essential oils to scent your goo gone naturally.

Jar to put homemade goo gone in
A small jar (for storing your new goo gone)


Method:

1. Measure about 1/3 cup of coconut oil into a glass measuring cup.  Put it in the microwave for a few seconds (time will vary depending on the microwave used).  You will want the coconut oil to become a liquid, but not hot.

measuring cup with coconut oil
2. Add in 1/3 cup of baking soda to the coconut oil.  Stir till combined and all the lumps are gone.  Add a few drops of essential oil if you desire.  I like the smell of the coconut oil, so I did not use essential oil to scent my goo gone.

Coconut oil and baking soda

Pouring baking soda in coconut oil
3. Pour the combined mixture into a jar to store.  Let it cool to room temperature and it will become a paste.

Homemade Goo Gone
4. Once the goo gone becomes a paste, it will be easy to spread on stickers or sticker residue to remove them.  I use a paper towel to grab some from the jar and spread where I need it.  I wait a few minutes for the oil to soak in and then you will need to rub the mixture in with the paper towel to remove the sticker.

Before:

Serving tray with sticker on it, need to remove
Homemade Goo Gone Removing the Sticker:

Serving tray with homemade goo gone working
After:

Serving tray with sticker removed
I find it works better if most of the paper from the sticker has been removed, but it will also work if it is not fully removed.  I no longer use the store bought version of goo gone.  My homemade version works just as well for what I use it for, which is mostly stickers.  Plus, I love how I can leave it in a drawer in my kitchen and feel safe knowing harsh chemicals are not involved in this recipe.  Something I could not do with the store bought version.

All ingredients for Homemade Goo Gone

Sandra