Cleaning With Food Stamps – Homemade Scented Purex Softening Laundry Crystals

Full disclosure: this post includes a handful of affiliate links, which I do benefit financially from. Thanks to those of you who opt to support me and this blog by buying through the links!

Last week: Homemade Washing Soda

This week’s homemade trick is inspired by a post by the good lady Karrie over at The recipe, if you can call it that, feels almost unfair in its simplicity – just two ingredients, one of which you can probably get away without:

[For those of you who can’t wait, the ratio is 15-20 drops per 1 c salts. You may use less if you find the scent too strong – I, however, like nice pungent socks! Wait, that didn’t come out right… anyway, use 2 Tbsp per load. 4 c salts will make 32 loads’ worth of crystals.]

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Best Buys: Scotch Thermal Laminator

In getting ready for B to start kindergarten this year [okay, really it’s going to be more like a third year of preschool] and C to start preschool too, I’ve been furiously working on getting lots of ready-to-hand games and activities to use for both of them so that when it comes time to actually commence schooling operations, I have a good portion of my planning and readying work already done.

I’m also trying to do it on the uber cheap. Cuz, let’s be real here… my kids are going to use or do each activity at MOST, 5-10 times, and at worst, less than once. I don’t have enough moolah to dish out $20 a pop for each activity, especially with the spectre of non-use constantly hanging over my head. So, what to do…

Enter this beauty.

I got the idea from observing my Mom, who actually uses one of those sticky-roller laminators, but since I didn’t have quite enough shekels handy to get myself one of those, I researched my other options.

Amazon did me a solid and found this baby for me. After dithering about whether it would be worth it for [ahem] 3 weeks, I finally took the plunge and bought it. And oooh baby am I having a ball! Sure, some of that is the “I’m five years old, it’s Christmas morning and dangit, I want to play with my new toy” factor, but aside from that it’s meeting and even exceeding my expectations.

Why I’m Loving On This Guy:

  • It doensn’t bubble.
  • It hasn’t jammed yet.
  • The plastic is nice and clear, and not streaky or grainy.
  • It has done 20 pouches in a row with no hiccups or slowing-down-ings.
  • The finished pouches are nice and rigid.
  • They’re dry-erase marker friendly.
  • They cut easily, and don’t peel apart [or at least, they haven’t yet].
  • They don’t discolor the pages during the heating/adhering process.
  • It’s pretty teeny, so it stores nicely in its box on a shelf between other boxes of tools and craft supplies.

The only “downside” [which isn’t really a problem, I’m just impatient]:

  • It takes 5 whole minutes to heat up.

So yeah. Totally worth the $37 – I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of it in games and reusable activities that the kids have already played with!

What all do you do with your laminators? What is your favorite reusable game or activity that you’ve made? Did you laminate something from another site that you and your kids love? Share your ideas – I can use all I can get!

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15 “New” Uses For Washi Tape

I’m one of those REALLY late arrivals to the “cute-ification” and Washi tape parties, but…


It’s called Washi tape.  I think it has something to do with Japan.  And crafting.  Doesn’t really matter… what DOES matter is that I’ve discovered it and been bitten by the Bug of Possibilities!  Like these:

[Note: There’s a “Pin It” button at the bottom of the post… all of these images are completely pinnable!  So pin away! *nudge nudge*]

1.  Spiff-ification of simple vases [and boxes and bowls and… everything]

2.  DIY Gift Tags / Business Cards

3.  Color Coded Calendar Creativity

4.  DIY Greeting Cards

5.  Cute-ification of Office Supplies

6.  Themed Party Decorations

7.  Snazz-ify [or color code] clothespins

8.  Beautify notebook covers

9.  Easy [and REMOVABLE] Wall Art

10.  Mini bunting … if you’re into that sort of thing 😛

11.  Gussy- up gift wrapping

12.  Pencil/Pen Holders [for those who don’t buy scrapbook paper… like me 😛 ]

13.  Decorate Desserts

14.  Other stuff like this:

15. Disposable food holders on the cheap:

Just… PLEASE don’t do this:

I’m pretty sure to get my feet wet [and not end up with the stuff coming out of my ears before I’m ready for it] I’m going to get myself one of these starter sets from Sticker Stop:

The listing is for 8 different yards from her collection for about $1 per yard.  Sounds like just the ticket for a newbie like me!

Am I the last one to this party or is somebody else as excited and inspired as I am!?  Who of you has hopped on [or off] this wagon?  Tell me what the ride is like!