Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tutorial: Tissue Paper Flowers

I've been so busy, and haven't really had time to post anything. Sorry! But, today while I was wrapping gifts I needed something to jazz them up a bit. It was insanely simple to do, and worked out great. I made these;

What you'll need:
  • 6-8 pieces of tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Twist Ties, or String

First, cut your tissue paper to size. I cut mine about 6 inches X 4 inches. You can go larger or small depending on the size of flower you'd like.
Next, start accordion folding your paper. Fold it up at least 4 cm on your first fold.

Lightly fold your paper in half. Locate the middle, and tightly tie your string or twist tie.

Undo the half fold. Trim each in with scissors for flower shape. For the flower I made, round the ends; for a Dahlia look trim the ends to a point. 

Now, from each side start pulling up the individual pieces of tissue paper.

Continue pulling up the individual pieces of paper. I reccomend doing one side at a time. You can also pull one piece up, and one piece down on the same side if you're wanting to create a flower "ball" instead of a flat bottomed flower.

And Viola! Now you have a cute little flower.

Just pop it on a gift for some pizazz! Or, if you made a flower "ball" you can hang them from string like these from Martha Stewart!

Feel free to post your flowers!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tutorial: How to Make Your Own Coupon Organizer

I've had several girls ask me about my coupon organizer, and a few call me crazy for lugging it around the store. With the amount of savings, I don't mind it one bit. It fits perfectly in the baby seat of my cart, and makes my shopping experience easy! My husband will even take it with him when he goes to the store! No shame in saving money, even when our binder is pink! (:

Here's what you'll need:
  • Large Five Star 3 ring binder, or 3 ring binder with zippers. I bought mine at Walmart, and it also comes with a zip pouch, and folders in the front! The pouch is perfect for holding the coupons you're going to use that shopping trip, and the folders are great for previous coupon ads.
  • 60-80 baseball holder pages. Can be found at Hobby Lobby/Michaels, and sometimes at Walmart or Target. I know, it's a lot! But, I each category needs at least 2 pages.
  • 25-30 tabbed divider pages. I like the Avery brand. They're durable, and I can print the tabs off on my computer!
  • 3 holed zipper pouch, if binder doesn't come with one. 
    First, print off your labels for your tabbed dividers. If you bought the Avery brand, it will come with step by step instructions to do so. Now you may be asking yourself, what do I put on the labels?! I suggest creating a label for each aisle in the grocery store. That way you have your book open to one section at at time, and aren't constantly flipping through your book looking for what you need. You can call your local grocery store and ask for a print out of what can be found in which aisle.
    My labels are in order by category and aisle at my local commissary.
    The labels I have in my book are as follows:
    Condiments, Produce/Meat, Baking, Canned goods, Side dishes and Rice, Pasta, Snack foods/Candy, Breakfast, Beverages, Paper Products, Cleaning Supplies, Dish Washing, Laundry, Feminine Hygiene, Beauty Products, Oral Care, Medicine, Shaving & Deodorant, Soap/Shampoo, Petcare, Freezer Items, Refrigerated Items, Misc, and Restaurants.

    Once you have your labels printed out, put them in your tabs and order them by aisle or however you want to order them. Put them in your 3 ring binder, then place at least 2 baseball card slips in each tabbed section. Make sure the openings in the baseball cards are facing towards you, and upwards. Otherwise, you're coupons will all fall out! 

    If you bought a binder with additional folders, these are great for saving coupon ads. Especially if you only clip coupons that you'll know you'll use. ALWAYS, always, always save your old ads. You never know when you'll need a coupon for something, and If you follow coupon clipping blogs many refer back to old ads for amazing deals. I always write the date on the front of the ad, that way it's easy to refer back to. I sort my redplums in one folder, Smartsources in one, and P&G in another.

    Now, start adding in your coupons! You'll be glad you made it! At first the binder may be big and annoying but once you see how much easier it really is, you'll fall in love.

    Buying at least 2 papers every Sunday is a good idea. This way you optimize your savings! Internet coupons are your best friend! Many people don't realize that you don't have to print them in color. I always print them in black and white to save my ink! Also check grocery store websites for additional coupons. Target coupons are my absolute favorite! Target also has a mobile coupon app that you can use in addition to their internet coupons; some coupons are only available on the mobile app so it's worth it to get it!
    If you've never read couponing blogs, I highly suggest you do. Many blogs/websites give you weekly deals, and tell you where you can get things for free using your coupons! It never hurts to check them daily. You'd be surprised at how many deals are only good for one day, and once the product is off the shelf it's gone for awhile!

    Websites I use for couponing:

    I hope this answered some questions, if you have questions on anything feel free to ask!

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Tutorial: Home Made Liquid Laundry Detergent. $.01 a load! Environmentally Friendly!

    I woke up this morning excited! Last night I made my first batch of liquid detergent, and I was hoping it would set up how I wanted! Thank goodness, it did! The best part about it is that the whole batch only cost $.68. Making it $.01 a load! **This recipe CAN be used in HE washers, as it is low sudsing.**

    Here's what you'll need.

    • 1/2 cup Borax
    • 1/2 cup Washing Soda, NOT to be confused with baking soda
    • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha, Zote, or Dr Bronners.
    • Optional: Essential oil for fragrance. The soap already has a fragrance, so if you don't use an oil your clothes will still smell nice and clean!
    • 5 gallon bucket
    • Beverage dispenser, or old laundry jug
    • Hand mixer
    • Grater or Food Processor
      Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha can all be found in the laundry aisle at Walmart.
    First cut your bar of soap into thirds. Save one third to use and save the rest for your next batch! Then finely grate the third of soap, or you can use a food processor and it'll be a lot faster!

    Next, in a large sauce pan melt the soap down with 6 cups of tap water. Be sure NOT to boil your soap. Continuously stir to avoid any soap to stick to the bottom of the pan.
    Once your soap has melted, stir in 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup Washing Soda. It should become thick at first. Mine eventually thinned back out. Stir until the Borax and Soda have dissolved.

    Next, add 4 cups of hot water to your bucket and then add the soap mixture. If you wanted to add your oil, you should add a few drops to the water during this step. Stir Well. Now, add another gallon of hot water, plus six cups. (22 cups) Keep on stirring!

    At this point, you can let your mixture set over night to gel up.. After an hour or so, I got a thin layer of gel on the top and I stirred the mixture up. And continued to do so every hour until I went to bed. I'd suggest starting the batch in the morning so you can stir it throughout the day.
    In the morning, I surprisingly didn't have a hard gel like the recipe said I would. I did have some lumps, however. Using my hand mixer I smoothed the bumps out.

    I placed my beverage dispenser in the sink to transfer the liquids. I'm pretty clumsy, so just in case I spilled I didn't want it to get everywhere. I will tell you though, I didn't even spill! I was too proud of myself. (: If you don't have an extra beverage dispenser, or don't want to buy one you can use an old laundry jug, or just keep the detergent in your bucket and scoop it out as you use it. But, of course mine had to look cute.

    From here I added command hooks to the side to hang my downy ball, and measuring device. 

    There you have it! Home made laundry detergent, for less than $.01 a load. In the jar is my home made powdered detergent, you can find that tutorial here. 

    For regular loads, use 1/2 cup or 2/3 for heavily soiled loads. You should get about 64 loads from one batch. Remember, you can use white vinegar for your softener. Just add 1/2 cup to your downy ball or add during the rinse cycle. It won't make your clothes smell like vinegar. (: 

    Now, for the price break down.
    -Fels Naptha: $1.12 a bar, cost per batch 37 cents.
    -Washing Soda: $2.23, cost per batch 17 cents
    -Borax: $3.27, cost per batch 14 cents.
    So, It only cost 68 cents to make an entire batch.  At 64 loads a batch, that makes it about $.01 a load! How frugal are we?!

    Many women say that they've been using this recipe for years, and it works better than anything they've ever used. I'm really liking it so far, and I like even more that I'm saving money!

    Let me know how it works out for you! 

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Tutorial: Home Made Powder Laundry Detergent. Environmentally Friendly!

    I've been seeing so many women posting about making their own laundry detergent. They have all been saying that it works much better than Tide, or anything else they've ever used. It seemed easy enough to make, AND you only need 3 ingredients. I also made the liquid version, it's currently setting up so I'll share it with you tomorrow!


    • 1 cup Borax
    • 1 cup of Washing Soda, NOT baking soda. There's a big difference!
    • 1 bar of Fels Naptha, Zote, or Dr Bronners Soap
    • Grater, or Food Processor
      Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha can all be found in the laundry aisle at Walmart.

      First finely grate the bar of soap, or use a food processor. I grated mine, and it took forever! Then as I was doing additional research a lady suggested using a food processor. So, that might be A LOT faster.

      Next, add the soap with 1 cup of Borax, and 1 cup of Washing Soda. Mix thoroughly. I suggest stirring for about 5 minutes or so.

      You want it to look like this, below!

      You can store it however you like. I wanted mine to be cute, so I stored mine in an old canning jar I picked up at a thrift store today. 
      Use 1 tablespoon for regular loads, and 2 for heavily soiled loads. This mixture yields 32-40 loads, making it less than $.04 a load! 
      You can also add 1/2 cup of white vinegar as a fabric softener. It makes your clothes ridiculously soft, and I promise it doesn't make your clothes smell like vinegar.

      Let me know how it works for you! I'm going to do my first load now! I've never been so excited to do laundry!

      Sunday, November 20, 2011

      Tutorial: Baby Wipe Cases

      Finally! I remembered to take step by step pictures today when I was making a few! I've made so many different designs/styles. You really can do anything with them! My mom even gave me the bright idea to keep one in my car for messes. You don't need a baby for one! (: And, they make great gifts.

      I want to thank Jill at Home Made by Jill for the original tutorial, and stencil! I mostly followed her tutorial, but I did mine a little bit different.

      • Stencil, it can be found here! Just right click and save the picture, then print it full size on 8 1/2 by 11
      • Glue Gun/ glue sticks
      • Marker
      • Scissors
      • Quilt Batting
      • Travel Wipe Case, I bought mine at Walmart for $1.18
      • Fabric of choice, I bought 1/4 of a yard and that makes about 4 cases.
      • Ribbon

        First place fabric right side down, and trace stencil onto the fabric; do the same with the batting and then cut them out!

        Next, start gluing the batting onto the wipe case. I suggest starting on the back side of the case, along the crease. It makes it much easier. Then trim any excess there may be.

        Once you have the batting glued and trimmed on both sides, begin gluing on the fabric. I also suggest starting in the back along the crease for this. DO NOT GLUE THE FABRIC TO THE BATTING. Only glue along the edge of the case. Make sure to not to glue your case together! I definitely made that mistake at first. Depending on your fabric, you may have to pull and stretch the fabric to fit perfectly.

        Once you've finished gluing the fabric, it's time to start with the ribbon! It doesn't really matter where you start with the ribbon, but I started with the bottom half on the backside of the case.

        Once you finish one side, begin on the next!

        And now you have a super cute baby wipe case!

        There's so many possibilities with these! I've added sequin letters, bows, and felt flowers. The tutorial for my felt flowers can be found here.

        Get to making! And feel free to share your designs.

        Friday, November 18, 2011

        My Ultimate DIY: My Wedding.

        I'd like to think I'm pretty good at all things DIY, but my ultimate super, top of the line, taking the cake is my wedding.  My husband and I got married 3 weeks after my High School graduation, and because of our situation at the time we got married in the Court House. Of course, I wanted my dream wedding so I wasn't going to settle. I started planning, and practically stalking wedding websites for ideas. I definitely recommend to all of you! You can create your own account, and they have so many ideas for DIY weddings. It's absolutely amazing. Pinterest is also a good idea, they have lots of ideas too.

        For starters, I found my dress on Craigslist. Sounds crazy right? No. It's not. I paid $175 for my dress, and it was exactly what I wanted. It had a sweetheart neckline, a medium length train, and off the shoulders lace. Perfect for me. And after all my alterations, I paid $250 total for my whole dress. So many women that have gotten divorces, or never ended up getting married sell their dresses online for cheap. Many of you would think, "isn't that a cursed dress?!" Meh,  it didn't bother me one bit. There is also a website called They make designer dresses for literally, about $100-$200!! It's in China, and all you to do is take your measurements and send them in. I wish I would've known about this before I bought my dress! I knew a few other Navy Wives that had bought their dresses from here, so it's legit. I promise. (:

        Now, for the wedding party attire!
        My shoes, I bought at Journeys on clearance for $10. I wanted the vintage/alternative look, so I bought black and white saddle shoes. I still wear them to this day with skinny jeans of course! (: My husband also wore black and white vans! Our bridesmaids and groomsmen all bought their attire from Express! All together their whole outfit was less than $70, and they all bought them themselves. The groomsmen bought their Vans at journeys, and the fedoras were one of the bridesmaids grandfathers, and she was super happy to have them in my wedding! My girls went barefoot since we were on the beach, and heels would've been a bad bad bad idea! But for dinner they wore black peep toe heels. My mom, and one of my bridesmaids are both Cosmetologists, so our hair/makeup was free!
        My sister made my birdcage veil, from a tutorial she found online. All together, she spent less than $5. Which is much better than nearly $200! The flower in my hair was re-purposed from her wedding. She bought it at Davids Bridal, only to realize she didn't like it; so I gladly took it off of her hands!
        I also made little gift bags for my girls which included: matching panties, finger nail polish, red lipstick, hair flowers, bobby pins, deodorant, kleenex, and sunscreen. You can never be too safe!

        Next, our bouquets!
        My bridesmaids, my mother, and I all went to Hobby Lobby and basically just started throwing floral pieces together. I had looked online at different pieces I liked, so I had an idea in mind. I wanted something with pheasant feathers, and very dark colors. Our bouquets ended up being around $10 a piece. And it was a bonding moment for all of us, because the night before we made them together. Not to mention, they'll last forever!

        Our venue, was completely free! We did it at the beach on Naval Station Mayport, where my husband is stationed. We did it near the end of the beach where it's normally secluded, and at sunset to avoid having beach goers around. There were a few people present on the beach, but they were VERY polite and tried to keep their distance. It didn't bother me any. Actually, it made me feel good seeing people "oooh, and aweee" over my wedding.
        Our chairs we rented from the MWR on base, for $1 a chair! We wanted fancy wooden ones, but for $20 a piece I wasn't having it. The ones we ended up getting were plastic, but looked just like the wooden chairs. For my aisle I bought candle holders, tea lights, and decorative rocks from Dollar Tree. My husband actually set them up for me while I was still getting ready! We didn't need an officiant since we were already married; instead my brother did the ring exchange and read a poem he had wrote for us. We also read our own vows. 

        I also found my photographer on Craigslist! You can find many photography students, or new photographers starting out that will do your wedding for their portfolio for FREE! My photographer was a stay-at-home mom, and she did photography just as a hobby! She did such a good job, and we only paid $250 for 3 hours! We also got all the rights to our pictures, a disc with all photos, and even got some prints. I was willing to spend a little extra cash for a photographer, because this is a moment I wanted captured beautifully forever. But you should ALWAYS check Craigslist first! You'll be surprised.

        Now, for the cake!
        In Florida we have a grocery store called Publix. It's sort of like a Kroger. Josh and I went and tried samples of their different cakes, and decided on one that tasted amazing AND looked really pretty! We bought a small cake for the two of us, and everyone else had matching cupcakes. Originally we were going to get red velvet cupcakes, but they were about $4 each so we ended up going with normal chocolate and vanilla with cream cheese frosting for about 75 cents a piece. Fortunately, I batted my eyes and was super sweet to the bakery worker and she offered to dress them up to match the cake, FOR FREE. I was beyond excited. I borrowed a four tier appetizer tray from a bridesmaid, and it was just perfect for the cake/cupcakes!
        Our cake topper was a generic topper we bought at Wal-Mart for about $10. My husband and I both have a love for anything zombie. We watch The Walking Dead religiously, and he's read all the comics. Anyways, I had seen several ideas online that people were painting toppers to make them look like robots, or star wars, etc. We had a friend paint ours, to look like zombies of course! 

        For our dinner, Josh and I had looked at getting catering, but at $30 a head it was just going to cost way too much money. Instead, we looked into a vintage restaurant the beach called Ragtimes. They let me create my own menu, and closed off part of the restaurant just for us. They even had a live jazz band playing that night, so it was just perfect for our vintage theme! After everything, we ended up paying about $13 a person!

        I had the wedding of my dreams, and we paid very very little for it. It was the best day of my life, and it just goes to show that you don't have to spend tons of money for it to be beautiful and perfect.

        I love being in love with him.
        Copyright © 2011 Designer Blogs