homemade ginger: June 2011

Simple Skirts

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My mom and I found some cute 1/2 price Alexander Henry fabric in Colorado.  She bought me a little bit, so I made 2 simple skirts for the girls using Dana from MADE's tutorial

They turned out so cute and it was really so easy! It just took an hour or so to make 2 skirts.
Perfect for summer.

For Lula, I just made the basic skirt.

  For Jane, I made the double layered version.

Can't wait to make some more!

More Freezer Cooking

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's been awhile since I've tackled freezer cooking.  I decided that I need to be more disciplined with couponing and freezer cooking this summer.  Yesterday I went to 4 different stores with both of my kids to get the best deals with coupons.  We all survived with no meltdowns!! I stocked up on some good deals (like 4 boxes of good quality pasta for $0.50 each and 3 containers of fresh raspberries for $0.88 each!!)  I designed my freezer cooking to use up the good deals.

Here's some of what I ended up with! (we have already eaten some of what I made, so it's not all pictured)

This is what I made for those of you who are curious!
I copied many of these meals off of moneysavingmom.com's freezer cooking and meal planning recipes.

Anyone else having freezer cooking or couponing success?

Homemade Failures

Friday, June 24, 2011

Most of the things I do are an experiment which means that they fail now and then.  I don't claim to know everything or guarantee that everything I post on here will work out perfectly! I just share what I'm doing, whether it works or fails. 

So, when we came back from Colorado, my new roman shades looked like this:

I had said in my post that all the other tutorials recommend using fabric glue, but I decided to use hot glue because I figured it would hold up better.  Well, I guess I was wrong!! I just hot glued it right back in place and it's still holding together as of right now, but if this happens again...I guess I will be getting some fabric glue.  So, use hot glue at your own risk!

My other diy failure is still in the works.

We took the doors off my closet so that we could put a dresser right next to it without the folding out doors getting in the way.  I put the too long old curtains for now.  

I bought these curtains at Walmart a few years ago for only $7 each and they are actually pretty nice, but the color has always been a little odd.  You can't tell from the picture, but they are a shimmery beigy color.  

I had the brilliant idea that I would dye them a medium gray to blend with the walls!

I bought one thing of Rit dye in pearl gray.  First mistake was to only get one.  I should have read the directions on the box that one box is for 3 yards of fabric and 2 massive curtains is a lot more than 3 yards!

I also threw in a white bath mat.

After following the directions perfectly, the bath mat came out great.  But, as you can see...the curtains are pretty much the same color as they were before.

I will mention my other mistake.  Somehow I cut off the tags of my curtains so I have no idea what the fabric content is.  Rit dye only works on certain fabrics, so I was just guessing that my curtains would soak up the dye.
After doing a little research, I was inspired by Sherry's (from YHL) dyed wedding dress.  She used black Rit dye and it came out a really pretty gray color.
Pretty sweet and very gutsy!

So, I went back to the store and bought 2 things of black dye.

mixed it up...

Threw it in....

The end result?

The top swatch is a piece I cut from the pre-dyed curtains.  As you can see it's barely changed.  In fact, the only thing that is different is now they look a bit lavender.

NOT what I was going for.

However, I did throw in a few black tops that were beginning to fade

And now they look much better, so it wasn't a total waste.

I consider the curtains ruined, so I'm trying one last experiment this weekend before I throw them away.  I will keep you updated on the results!

chevron is everywhere!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm seeing chevron everywhere these days!! It's the new big thing in decorating and DIY projects.  I have yet to own or make anything with chevron, but some of the stuff I've seen is pretty cool.

Here are some interesting chevron finds via pinterest:

And so much more!! I'm thinking of a few different projects involving chevron is on the horizon for me!

Home Again

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My lack of posting over the past week is because we've were spending some time at our family cabin in Colorado.
We had a relaxing time enjoying God's beautiful creation.

We spent most of our time outdoors in the perfect Colorado weather.

Hiking was  my favorite part!

The girls loved it as well.

We can't wait to go back again next year!!

Is anyone else going to Colorado this summer?

Traveling With Kids

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Driving 11 hours with a 3 yr old and a 10 month old is not my idea of fun.  But, flying is way too expensive..and probably wouldn't be any easier.  When it's just 2 people, it's no big deal to stop through the drive through on your drive.  But, when you are buying for a family, that adds up.  Plus, I hate feeling totally gross when my vacation hasn't even started because I just ate fast food for 3 straight meals.

With a little planning, a roadtrip with kids can maybe go a little more smoothly (and you can save money!)

We packed a lunch the day before and had it ready to go in a cooler.

Since we left early in the morning, all we had to do is put everything in the cooler and go.  (We loaded the car the night before)

We also found it helpful to set aside the things that you will need access to during the drive.

We packed a snack bag.  I found it saved space to put everything in baggies and throw away the boxes.  I also made banana bread for our breakfast on the road!

Along with the obvious things (diapers, bottles, etc...) I kept a bag of first aid supplies handy in case there were any emergencies, boo boo's or sicknesses on the road.

This last thing is a tip from my mom!  I bought a cake pan with a lid at the dollar store.  I took my 3 yr old and we picked out a few new $1 toys that were only for the car.  We kept everything in the cake pan and it was her little toy box for the car.  The lid makes a great hard surface for coloring.  This kept everything in one spot and kept her interest since they were new toys!

There you have it! Anyone else have tips for traveling with kiddos?

Bedroom Shelf/Necklace Hanger

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I recently re-located a shelf in our bedroom.  It fits perfectly beside my dresser and mirror.

As I was hanging it, I got an idea to use it to hang my necklaces.  I never have a good place for them and I thought it might look kinda fun as well!

I just inserted 3 cup hooks into the bottom of the shelf and voila!  I may hang 2 more hooks to fill in the gaps.  I couldn't decide, so I thought I'd live with it like this for awhile and see how I like it.

I love free decor solutions!!

DIY Roman Shades Using Mini Blinds

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I have finally made some roman shades for our bedroom.  

It has taken me forever to start the project, but once I did it was so fast and easy! 

I found a few different tutorials online (here and here) on how to make roman shades out of mini blinds.  I adapted them and this is the method I came up with. 

Here's what you will need to make 2 shades:

2 cheapy mini blinds
2 yards of fabric (more or less depending on the size of your windows)
hot glue gun
fabric glue
sewing machine

All the tutorials I found were "no sew" which required gluing the fabric.  I prefer sewing to make things look a little more professional, so I cut my fabric to size and turned under the edges twice, then edge stitched all around.  I ended up with a large panel of fabric.

Now you need to take apart your mini blinds.   Open it up and fully extend it.  Clip all of the "ladder" like strings that hold the slats together.  Do NOT clip the larger inner string that goes through the center.

Now pop off the white circles at the bottom.

Now you can clip the larger attaching strings.  This will allow you to take off all the slats.

Your blind should now look something like this.

Next, you want to measure out where you want the slats to go on your roman shade...aka how many folds you want.  My fabric was 42 inches long, so I just made a slat every 7 inches.  Using a ruler, draw lines on the back of the fabric with a pencil.

Now you are going to glue the slats on the lines you made.  Using fabric glue on the convex side of the slat, smear it on.  I tried to smear the glue a little so that when it dried, it wouldn't look like a distinct hardened line of glue from the outside if that makes sense.

Glue them all on as straight as possible.  Make sure your fabric is really smoothed out so that there won't be any wrinkles on the outside.

Now place your mini blind skeleton on the fabric, and weave those strings back through the holes in the slats.  You may have to pull the fabric away from the glue a bit to get it through, but it shouldn't make anything fall apart.

This is the part I couldn't figure out.  You need to attach the top bar of the mini blind.  All of the tutorials I saw attached it like this...but as you will see, the pulley strings (which you need to raise and lower your shades) would be  covered up if you did it this way.  I don't know if my blinds are just different or if I was doing something wrong, but I knew this would not work for me.

So, instead I flipped the top bar on its side and glued the fabric on the underneath side. (it will make more sense in the next few pictures) For this part, I used hot glue.  The other tutorials say to use fabric glue because hot glue might disintegrate over time.  I felt like fabric glue wasn't strong enough to hold this heavier piece. So, I guess we will see if my shades hold up.  I figure the worst that could happen is it starts to fall off and I just re-glue it. 

Now you need to glue back on the bottom bar. First, pull the strings through the holes and make knots.

Pop those little white circles back on and hot glue the bar flat against the bottom of the fabric.

You are not quite done!  See how I glued the top of the fabric to the top bar? It's hanging from the under side.  The only problem is now that tacky white bar is exposed.

Notice my solution? Much better.  I just took an extra strip of fabric, turned under and sewed up the ends and hot glued it onto the white bar.  It's not even noticeable now.

And you are done!! It's so easy!! Now, I was prepared to add another layer of room darkening fabric, but I actually think mine are fine the way they are.  If you like your room super dark, you could add this step.  

They look nice up or down.  (Pardon the paint on the windows, they still need to be scraped!) 

The fabric folds pretty nicely when pulled up.  Sometimes you may need to help the folds a bit with your fingers to make it look nicer. 

And in case anyone is worried, right after I took these photos, I attached some little thingies to the window panes up at the very top to wrap the strings around to keep them out of reach of the kiddos.  I don't know what the technical terms are, but you know what I'm talking about. I was stressed out about doing this as soon as they were installed for safety reasons!

I really am pleased with how they turned out! And it was so much cheaper than buying them!  Here's the cost break down for me:

2 yards of Joel Dewberry fabric in Napsack @ $9/yard = $22 (tax + shipping)

2 sets of mini blinds off of Amazon @ 5 each = FREE (because I had giftcards earned with swagbucks!!)

TOTAL:  $22

Store bought roman shades start around $35 each...so making them yourself will save you a ton...plus you can totally customize them to be exactly what you want!!

I'm planning on making another one for the living room. Now to figure out what fabric to use...

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