Crafternoon: Laundry Edition

Every now and again, I like to get my craft on!  

No, not like this. Though this was the first DVD I ever owned. #throwback

I am especially interested in crafts that will save me money. I’ve been considering making my own laundry detergent for awhile, mostly due to its cost effectiveness. I am also sensitive to some commercial detergents, so being able to control what ingredients were in the stuff that goes on my clothes piqued my interest too. While perusing recipes for homemade laundry detergent I found a tutorial for wool dryer balls that promised to cut drying time and save money too. What the heck, I thought–let’s make both!

I started with a recipe for homemade laundry detergent I found online. The steps were pretty simple: grate one bar of soap and mix with one cup each of washing soda and borax. 

   

         

It smelled really fresh and only took about 10 minutes to make. The most time consuming part was grating the Fels-Naptha soap. I pulsed mine in an old smoothie blender to make it super fine (like me!) and easier to dissolve in cold water(…not like me). 

   

     

I made a double batch (which should last me quite some time) that breaks down to about $0.05 per load! Wayyyyyy cheaper than the overly-perfumed store bought stuff! Check out the original recipe here for more information. 

I was feeling pretty accomplished at that point, but my crafternoon wasn’t over just yet. On the same site I found the homemade detergent recipe, I also found instructions for making “felted” wool dryer balls. These dryer balls are supposed to cut down drying time, eliminate static, and soften clothes (without the residue and hefty price tag that comes with store bought fabric softener). 

I gathered my supplies: 100% wool yard, a crochet hook, knee-highs, and scissors. Then I started shaping balls! <~That sounds really inappropriate, but I promise this was a family-friendly activity. 

   

               

I ended up with five baseball-sized balls from 585 yards of yard. Once the balls are made, pop them into the knee-highs and throw them on the washer on the longest, hottest cycle. Then put them in the dryer (also on the longest, hottest cycle). You may have to do this a few times–I ended up putting mine through the washer and the dryer twice–but at the end of it you’ll have a “felted” wool dryer ball! Peep the original website for detailed instructions on the process. 

   

   

Once you get the hang of winding them, the task goes quickly. You can use these things for YEARS, which will totally save money on fabric softener. Not to mention they are chemical free and won’t coat my clothes with yucky residue!

Overall, my laundry-inspired crafternoon was extremely successful. Not only am I saving money, I’m actually looking forward to washing clothes and seeing the fruits (of the Loom–hahaha) of my labor! 

Naturally Made

Naturally Made

Everywhere I go, I see more and more Black women who’ve embraced their natural hair texture and stopped chemically straightening their hair. I’ve been natural for a few years now and I love it! When I look in the mirror, I finally see me. But I haven’t always felt this way.

I can remember sitting in our kitchen getting my hair hot combed–and my ears burned–until I was able to “graduate” to a Just for Me relaxer when I turned five. The relaxers left me with scalp burns, limp strands, and sometimes even hair loss. But straight hair was “pretty” and what girl doesn’t want to feel pretty? As a little black girl in a mostly white town, all I wanted was the long, straight hair my classmates had. When I moved to Wisconsin, my biggest priority wasn’t finding an apartment but finding a hair salon so I wouldn’t miss a relaxer.

But that was then, and this is now. Now I know that beautiful comes in all hair textures, and I’ve embraced mine. Natural hair definitely takes work and I respect that some women choose to continue relaxing. But God makes no mistakes; all of His children are beautifully and wonderfully made–hair included.

This curly ‘do was achieved after a couple of weeks of flat ironing (which loosened my naturally curl pattern quite a bit) and two-strand twisting. More details on my naturally hair routine coming in a future post, so stay tuned!