Pinspiration Wednesday: Sharpening a razor with denim

I normally would have tossed this idea in the bull$*#! file had the Vlog Bros. not mentioned it in one of their videos (DFTBA!).

You can sharpen razors on a pair of blue jeans. Seriously!

I got the idea from this pin from the Budget-Savvy Diva:

Source: budgetsavvydiva.com via Julie on Pinterest

To sharpen a razor, all you have to do is to pass it 20 times one way down the leg of the jeans and 20 times the other way. You can do it with the jeans on or off. I just toss a pair on the bed and pass the razor from the hip to the knee of the jeans.

And it works! I’ve been doing this for a month with a disposable Venus razor once or twice a week, and it stays sharp. Or maybe the proper term is clean, and therefore less likely to yank your body hair out. Either way, it’s awesome.

Redhead tip: This works better on my husband’s jeans than my own. I suppose it’s because men’s jeans don’t have stretchy material woven into the fabric like women’s jeans do. Also, you’ll end up with some lint on your razor. I remove this with a cotton ball soaked in some rubbing alcohol.

How you tried this? What did you think?

The case for DIY Swiffer-style refills

So…this may only be exciting if you’re into cleaning your house. Or saving money. Or finding a winning strategy for battling the cat hair on your hardwood floors.

Pro tip: Make your own Swiffer sweeper cloth refills. They work better, in my opinion, and you’re not wasting money on something you can clean one room with and then pitch.

I haven’t purchased refill cloths for my Swiffer sweeper for more than two years. I made my own out of some scraps of antipill fleece I had left over from sewing some comfy pants. That fleece collects cat hair like nobody’s business, which Cougar and Andy have demonstrated several times after sitting on my lap or brushing against my leg. I’ve also tried some microfiber cloths, but the fleece has worked best for me.

Want proof? Here ya go. I dusted my living room floor after sweeping it with a traditional broom, and this was the result:

100_2559W

Yeah, it’s gross. But it’s on the cloth and not my floors, which is awesome.

When I’m done with it, I just toss it in the wash with my towels. If the cloth is particularly furry, I’ll shake it out in the yard, but I generally don’t. The fur and dirt all comes out in the wash and does not get transferred to the other clothes.

I made these cloths by measuring my Swiffer sweeper and then sewing a pocket on the ends, but the easiest way to make your own cloths is simply cutting a piece long enough to tuck in the cloth gripper holes. You don’t even need to sew the edges. Piece of cake!

One of these days I want to try to sew a fabric refill for the duster. Has anyone tried that yet?

Tip: Keep your green onions longer

Every bought a bunch of green onions (scallions), use a few, then forget about the rest and have them turn to mush in the ‘fridge?

Next time you have some green onions, just place them in an old jar with water. They’ll keep growing for a few weeks, and you’ll have a constant supply of fresh veggies!

This is my bunch of green onions after cutting them back for the second time. I’ve been growing this bunch since Easter and have had to cut them back every week. These suckers grow back fast. I end up composing more than I use because I can’t keep up with the things.

I change the water two or three times a week. Although they’re starting to turn a lighter green, I haven’t noticed a difference in flavor.

For the life of me, I wish I could remember where I first learned this trick. I must be getting old. Have you tried it? How long will they keep growing?

Note: As of May 20, my green onions had died. So, they won’t keep forever. Darn it.

Soap update

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you saw my first homemaking soap fail and finally, soap success. Several people asked me how I liked it, but I wanted to use my bar soap for a full week before I gave you a report.

Well, here’s my verdict – this stuff is awesome. My primary reason for wanting to make my own soap was because my skin is so fickle and sensitive to pretty much any type of soap except Bath and Body Works, and that stuff runs about $10 a bottle. Anything else will not only dry my skin out but make me itchy too. My homemade soap is very gentle, moisturizing and produces a lather that I would argue is just as good, if not better, than Bath and Body Works. I don’t have to cover myself in a blanket of body lotion to make up for the dryness from commercial soaps after a shower any longer either. That reason alone has me sold on using homemade soap as long as possible.

So there you have it! If you’re still tempted to try it yourself, see my soap success post for directions. It’s a long process, but not too difficult.

I forgot to add the cost breakdown of making the soap in my original post, so here it is:
Sunflower oil, 2 bottles: $7.16 (I only used about a bottle and a half)
Beeswax: Free, because I already had some.
Distilled water, 1 gallon: $0.83 (plenty left over)
Lye, 1 pound: $8.99, but there’s plenty left since I only need 6 oz. at a time
Coconut milk, 1 can: $1.50
Almond fragrance oil, half-ounce: $2, with plenty left because I only used about a quarter of the bottle

My next project will be hot water bath canning homemade apple butter and spaghetti sauce. This is my first time canning, so if anyone has any tips, leave them in the comments! I can use all the help I can get.

~ Julie

DIY clothespin bag

How to Make a Clothespin Bag | eHow.com.

Clothespin bag

You could purchase a clothespin bag or just leave pins hanging out on the line to rust and decay, but if you can sew a few basic stitches and have remnant fabric on hand you can make your own bag!

I used the instructions at the above eHow article for my bag (at left). Instead of using interfacing around the opening for strength, I sewed together some scrap fleece and a pretty fabric together. I also found a children’s pants hanger for the hook itself and didn’t have to do any cutting, but did have to remove the clips.

Like my DIY Tablet cozy project, you’ll need to make your own pattern for this. I used newspaper, but the article uses cardboard. Either will work fine.

If I had to make this bag again, I would make the bag deeper. I did shorten the opening, but this bag just barely holds 100 pins without them spilling out. That sounds like a lot, but I need almost all of them to hang out two loads of laundry.

Happy sewing!

~ Julie

Pst – Looking for ways to save money on your laundry? Check out my little laundry secrets Part 1 (homemade laundry detergent) and Part Deux (the clothesline).