Tuesday, October 4, 2022

DIY Zero Waste Wool Dryer Balls


Are you annoyed when you want to dry laundry and have to place one of those single-use dryer sheets in the dryer to help make the fabrics softer and to prevent static cling? I know I am! In fact, I really dislike the fragrance of those dryer sheets, too! And thanks to this month's Zero Waste Pinterest Challenge, I've discovered a way to eliminate all of that by creating my very own wool dryer balls! There's no need to buy dryer sheets or fabric softeners again! While perusing through Pinterest, I discovered a pin about how to use wool dryer balls for a zero waste laundry routine! Once I read that article, I found a great tutorial on making wool dryer balls on Pinterest, too!  

 Welcome to our Sustainable Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop hosted by Julie @Sum of Their StoriesThe purpose of this Pinterest Challenge is to motivate all of us to create a project that a) is inspired by a pin on one of our Pinterest boards and b) have some sort of a sustainable element to it. This could be an upcycling or recycling element, or something that reduces waste, uses leftovers, etc.




There are many zero waste reasons why we should be making our own dryer balls. First off, store bought dryer sheets and fabric softeners are filled with harmful chemicals and perfumes that get in your clothing and on your skin and can be harsh on sensitive skin. Wood dryer balls contain no harsh chemicals. Second, dryer sheets are used only once whereas wool dryer balls can be re-used for months and or years, saving lots of money! Third, wool dryer balls helps to pull moisture out of our clothes so we won't have to run the dryer as long - which saves energy costs. Plus, the more wool dryer balls there are in a load, the shorter the drying time will be. Wool dryer balls also helps to reduce static cling, too! A win, win all around!

Making your own wool dryer balls is quite easy and a great way to use up leftover  wool yarn! So let's get started with the .  .  .

Materials:

  • 100% wool yarn 
  • Old pantyhose or knee-high stockings
  • Scissors
  • Large eye needle
  • Washing machine/dryer
gow to:
  • My mil loved to knit and crochet and was always giving me leftover yarn to go along with some of the wonderful creations she gifted me! She tried teaching me how to do both, but I could never really pick up the techniques. Luckily, I still have yarn in my stash that I can use for other projects. And for making wool dryer balls, the yarn must be 100% wool. If you use yarn that's not 100% wool, the balls will not felt correctly. They will unravel in the dryer and create a stringy mess. You certainly don't want that to happen.                       So take a skein of 100% wool yarn and begin wrapping the end around your fingers at least ten times. 
Then pinch the wrapped yarn in the middle and pull the bundle off your fingers,  wrapping more yarn around the middle of the bundle.
Continue wrapping the yarn tightly, moving the bundle around forming a ball .  .  .

until you've reached the desired size - around the size of a tennis ball. 
Once you've reached the desired size, cut off the excess yarn. Thread a large eyed needle with the end of the yarn on the ball .  .  .
tucking the needle through several layers of yarn and pulling it out leaving the end of yarn inside of ball. This is done to keep the yarn ball from unraveling.
After making a few more wool balls, cut off the leg of an old pair of pantyhose or use a knee-high stocking. 
Put the first ball in the foot of the pantyhose leg
tying a tight knot with the pantyhose to make sure the balls keep their round shape.
Continue adding a wool ball in the pantyhose leg, as close to the previous ball and tying in a knot until all the balls are secured in the pantyhose leg.
Throw all of the yarn balls into the washing machine along with a load of towels or other items that can withstand a hot water temperature. Wash on a hot wash cycle. And then dry in the dryer using the hottest drying setting.
Once dry, cut the nylon and remove the balls .  .  .
checking to make sure that the wool balls have felted (the wool yarn just melts together). If the balls haven't felted, you can place them in boiling water and run through the cycle again.
Lightly scent your laundry by adding 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil to each ball. I love the smell of sandalwood and added a few drops to the balls.
Store your dryer balls in the dryer between uses or display them in a handmade denim bowl like I did in my laundry room.
Creating homemade dryer balls is a fun and easy craft that’s useful, cost-effective and environmentally friendly with zero waste.

Now, it's time to meet the other Sustainable Pinterest Challenge participants and their "Zero Waste" projects!

Julie | Sum of their Stories - How to Make Drawstring Tabs
Gail | Purple Hues and Me - Zero Waste Wool Dryer Balls
Julie | Treasures Made From Yarn - Plarn Basket
T’onna | Sew Crafty Crochet - Pencil Pillow Redo
Niki | Life as a LEO Wife - Halloween Welcome Sign
Mel | Decor Craft Design - DIY Vase with Zero Waste Plastic Bottle
Christine | Christine’s Crafts - 
Zero Waste Makeup Remover Pads



Saturday, September 24, 2022

Truck Bed Pumpkin Theme Hanging


 Welcome Fall with a pumpkin theme truck bed wall or door hanging! I found the unfinish wood truck bed plaque among my craft stash items. I don't remember where I got it. I'm thinking I might have gotten it from  AC Moore during it's going out of business sale. In any event, once finished, it's a fun way to greet family and guest with this charming alternative to a fall wreath! 

It's also a perfect project for this month's Do It Over Designers - 'Do Over' project. In case you don't know, the Do It Over Designers is a group of talented bloggers who love to recycle/upcycle/DIY, hosted by Anne @The Apple Street Cottage. It happens the 4th Saturday of every other month and it's all about taking something old and/or unused and 'doing it over' into something new. Anything from fabric, old dishes, and decor to dressers and hutches. Items found in closets, cabinets, barns, garages, yard sales, thrift stores, you name it! I hope you'll visit all the super creative bloggers to see their amazing "do over" projects.  The list of participants are at the end of this post.


Materials Used:

  • Unfinish wood truck bed
  • Acrylic paint/brush
  • Masking tape
  • Foam Sheet
  • Red Flat Round Jewels
  • Clear Transparent Sheet/Sign
  • Florals/Fall Leaves
  • Small Pumpkins
  • Hot Glue
  • Command Hooks/jute twine
How to:
First, remove any dirt and grime from the truck by wiping it down with a combination of dish soap mixed with lukewarm water.  This is a mild cleaner that works for untreated, unfinished wood. Let dry.

Then, simply paint a few layers of acrylic paint onto the unfinish wood truck bed and .  .  .

let dry.
Once the paint is completely dry, lay masking tape across bottom and wheels to outline the bumper and .  .  .
paint the bumper.

Next, cut out a window shape using white foam sheet and glue in place. Then glue on red flat round jewels for the back lights and begin gluing on greenery along the truck bed. 
Oops, I was so eager to see how the florals would look, I forgot to paint the wheels black after painting the bumper! (not pictured)
Then start gluing on small colorful pumpkins, randomly .  .  .
The 'Happy Fall Y'all' saying was printed on  clear transparent film (to give a glass effect) and cut out the same size as the foam sheet. Then applied fabric glue along the edges to attach - drying clear.
To hang, command strip clips were applied to the back and jute twine wrapped around the clips.
                 
Colorful faux pumpkins displayed in the bed of the truck adds a dramatic look to fall decor, rounding out the design with vibrant fall leaves and a welcoming sign to create a warm Fall greeting!


I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on making a Truck Bed Pumpkin Theme Hanging!  Be sure to pin for inspiration to make one as an alternative to a fall wreath! Now check out the other creative 'Do Over' Designers' projects listed below!

Sum of Their Stories

Tea and Forget-Me-Nots

The Apple Street Cottage

Birdz of a Feather

Exquisitely Unremarkable

Southern Sunflowers

Purple Hues & Me






Thursday, September 15, 2022

DIY Clay Fall Leaf Dish

Air dry clay is becoming one of my favorite mediums to craft with. I've been playing with clay a lot - something I didn't like doing as a child. I could never make anything fun with it. But now there seems to be some amazing things you can do with air dry clay. I've made an MC design scalloped edge dish, a clay and raffia bowl, a pumpkin stem, clay angels, and decorative flowers! I've even made a few items using oven dry clay, too! 

Every month I look forward to participating in the Creative Craft Hop, hosted by Sara @Birdz of a Feather. And since I already had air dry clay left over from  previous projects, I decided to make a simple maple leaf dish! Something to put trinkets or decorative pieces on during the fall season! But this time instead of air drying the dish, I put it in the oven since time was running out to complete this post and couldn't wait two days or more for it to dry. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Gold Hot Glue Leaves on Pumpkin

 

For fall, have I got a fun way to glam up your pumpkins with hot glue leaves coated with a sparkling gold finish! Why not take your fall decor to the next level with this "hot" idea! 

Materials Used:

  • Pumpkin
  • Acrylic paint/Mod Podge Gloss/brushes
  • Leaf silicone mold
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • DecoArt Extreme Sheen 24K gold metallic paint

For this project, I started with an old pumpkin I had in my stash. It had a silver finish which I easily peeled off to reveal a white foam pumpkin. Next, I started painting the pumpkin with FolkArt's Multi-Surface acrylic paint called Berry Wine. 

I applied three coats .  .  .
letting the pumpkin dry between coats. Then sealed with Mod Podge Gloss
Next, painted the stem with DecoArt Extreme Sheen in 24K gold.
While the stem was drying, began making the hot glue leaves using a silicone mold with eight small leaf molds.  Just to fill two molds half way, I used one regular 4" glue stick.
So I went through lots of glue sticks. - about 15, I think. After the last leaves set, I put them in a box and .  .  .
spray painted them with Rust-oleum gold metallic spray paint outside. And let them dry overnight.

Once the leaves were dry, started gluing them on .  .  .
randomly around the stem.

I love how this pumpkin turned out.  It's simply beautiful!
And goes with my decor, perfectly!   Welcome Fall!

Welcome to this month's Fall Blog Hop hosted by Shae @ Sweet Southern Grace 
Be sure to check out all of the wonderful Fall projects from the participants in this month DIY Fall Challenge:
                                            Hannah @ Baggott Farmhouse