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Thread: Easy Cheap Xmas Ideas
11-02-2007, 03:29 PM #1KellyGuest
Easy Cheap Xmas Ideas
Apple sauce or pumpkin pulp
cheap dime store cinnamon and other spices
Mix one part spices to 2 parts of apple sauce(or other pulp). Smells
wonderful!!! Roll into balls and let dry on a piece of recycled wax
paper. (I use the liners from cereal boxes.) When dry put in net bags
to scent drawers and closets. If you want to make beads for a
necklace let firm up for a day and then piece with a big needle or
paper clip. Wiggle beads every day until dry to make sure they are
not stuck to the needle. Then string with double button hole twist
thread or fishing line.
Hand Rolled Milk Soaps
Take some plain home made unscented soap, or inexpensive plain
unscented soap from the dime store (Ivory like stuff). Grate the soap
into a heat proof vessel. Put over a water bath and slowly add just
enough milk to form a thick cookie dough like paste. Take off the
heat and let cool enough to handle. Add scent oils (lavender is
nice). You can also add oatmeal for grit, or flowers and herbs for
color and a nice rustic look. Roll into hand formed balls, and let
dry on more recycled wax paper. You can get scent oils at the local
herb store, or order cheaply for craft projects from WebVitamins.com
A very little goes a long way, so one jar can last years for craft
Boxes and Baskets
Once you have all your projects made you need baskets and boxes.
Cover regular boxes with cloth or paper decoupage. Just glue the
scraps on. Pick a subject that reflects the person's interests like
flowers for the gardener, etc.
Baskets can be made from natural materials like vines and branches
woven together. Another type of basket can be crocheted from thin rag
scraps or double section of yarn. Check out the holiday basket
Holiday Basket Pattern
For Gift cards I cut the pictures part off last years Christmas
cards. Beautiful re-use!
Make It Yourself!
Few people realize that the most commonly used frugal cleaning
ingredients can be cheaply made at home. You can make your own soap
and vinegar for just pennies and have lots of science project fun
while doing so!
Four pounds of Basic Soap for cleaning, hand washing, and spraying on
your roses can be made for around two USA dollars.
Three pounds of discount shortening, OR Lard, OR butter, OR clarified
fat you saved in the freezer(cheapest)
A can of RED DEVIL LYE
3 cups of water or milk
Stainless steel , glass, or enamel pan NO ALUMINUM !!! (It reacts
with the lye!!!) If you can't tell one metal from another use glass
Wood spoon for stirring.
In a well ventilated room, or out doors, CAREFULLY (!!!!!) add lye to
water, or milk in pan or glass casserole. Stir with wooden spoon or
stick. This will INSTANTLY heat up and get hot!!! Be careful not to
breath the fumes. This is why pioneer women made soap outside! Let
cool to very warm (around 100 plus degrees F).
When lye solution has cooled to warm melt fat so it just barely is
changed from solid. Mix the lye solution into the fat and stir
constantly for around ten minutes. Stir intermittently until the
soap "traces" which means firms up like a good custard and makes soft
mounds when you sort of pile it about in the pan.
You can pour it into glass or plastic molds, or boxes lined with
plastic wrap. Cover with old blankets to hold the warmth, and let sit
overnight. The next day you can cut bars and then stack them on old
newspaper for a month or so to "age" the soap. This means that all
the lye will interact with the fat making soap milder.
If you want to add scent or fancy ingredients its best to "re-batch"
the soap by grating it and adding a small amount of water. Then melt
it over a double boiler mixing well. It will resemble the soap when
you first made it (mushy), but this has the lye worked out of it and
won't burn up additives like scent, oatmeal, or herbs.
To get more ideas, check out:
THE SOAP MAKER'S PAGE:
To Make your own vinegar for cleaning --- not your salads --- just
boil up fruit peelings, and then strain the liquid. Pour juice in a
clean sterile jar, jug, or crock (To Sterilize:Pour boiling water in,
let sit, and then pour out water). Then add a bit of yeast or
unwashed fruit peeling to the liquid. Let it ferment with the cap off
in a warm place. Leave cap off and soon it will spoil and get a
vinegar odor. This is the vinegar organisms changing it to vinegar.
It will get sort of a glop on top called the "vinergar mother." This
is a good thing, don't worry about it. When all activity has stopped
in the vessel, strain off the "mother" and sediment and pasteurize by
bringing the liquid to just a boil and then removing from heat to
Kelly in IL