Sunday, January 26, 2014

Upcycle Hand-Me-Downs 2

Turning boy's clothes into girl's clothes...again!

Upcycle hand-me-downs by Over The Apple Tree

So here is my second go at taking my boy's hand-me-downs and refashioning them for my girl.(see first clothing upcycle) I can certainly go and buy her new clothes and trust me, she has tons but it's fun to try something new and save some cash while I'm at it! I saw these shirts early in the season that had ruffled sections of sheer fabric in the back. I wanted to do something like that but since it's still winter, no sheer fabric over here! 

This is a boy's heavy, sweater-like shirt. I tried it on my daughter first to see what the fit was like. I wanted it to be a little more fitted so I cut off the sleeves and them trimmed excess fabric down the sides. I cut out a section from the back of the red sweater where I was going to insert the grey.

For the grey back section, I used a men's grey t-shirt and cut a section from the bottom of the shirt (keeping the original seam) about twice the width of the red sweater. Since I wanted it to hang a little lower in the center, I made the length longer in the center.

Hand-me-down refashioning by Over The Apple Tree

Ruffle this grey section by running the top edge through your machine with the stitch length and the tension settings turned all the way up. Now sew the top edge of the grey to the bottom edge of the back of the red sweater with zigzag stitch(don't forget to readjust the tension and stitch length back to normal).

Now you just need to put the rest of the shirt back together, sew the sleeves back on(I made mine a little tighter) and down the sides.

I cut out a heart from the grey t-shirt for the front and attached it with a zigzag stitch.

Hand-me-down refashioning by Over The Apple Tree

Hand-me-down refashioning by Over The Apple Tree

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Scrap Paper Notepads

Do you have tons of scrap paper laying around?

I am a list maker. I love notepads. The majority of the time the list is just for me, something I need to write down while I'm working on the computer or things I don't want to forget from the grocery store. 

My husband loves to print stuff. Yes, he could read those documents off the computer, but he wants it on paper and in his hand.

Here is how I recycle paper at my house...

Scrap Paper Notepads by Over The Apple Tree

For any paper that has only been printed on one side, I cut it into four equal sections, stack it up and staple it together. It's not pretty, but it's just for me, so who cares? This is great to keep at my desk to write down notes and reminders.

I would love to hear from you! Leave your paper recycling ideas in the comments below.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

DIY Kid's Shoe Repair

Here's how I fixed some broken, torn boots!

Even if your shoes aren't broken you can always glitterize them for fun!

Repair and glitterize your shoes by Over The Apple Tree

Does this situation look familiar to anyone? These boots happened to be cheap and made from fabric, they weren't going to last forever. You know what though? When you have active kids, even the expensive, quality stuff is no match for them! When this pair that still fit her started falling apart, I thought I'd at least try and see if I could make them last a little longer. Glue, fabric scraps, and dimensional fabric paint to the rescue! Glitter paint fixes everything right? 

You can see these are pretty badly damaged. I figured there was no way around covering the holes so I used some all-purpose glue(that's all I had left but I would recommend something waterproof if you have it) and small scraps of fabric. I used a lot of glue to make sure the fabric was completely soaked through and allowed to dry over night. This obviously covers the holes but it also provides a good surface for the dimensional fabric glue to stick to.

If you catch these holes before they get huge skip the fabric patch and squirt the fabric paint right over it. I've done this plenty of times on other fabric shoes. It works great!

After the glue was completely dry, I used a pencil to mark where I want the paint to be. The dimensional fabric paint(Tulip brand) is perfect because it comes in a squeeze bottle that allows you to place it accurately where you want it. I did the edges first and then filled in the center. I used my finger to spread it around evenly. I did two layers of this paint and since the gold was a little too gold for my liking, on the second layer I sprinkled a little silver glitter on and mixed in.

Repair shoes with dimensional fabric paint by Over The Apple Tree

I'm not sure how long this is going to last, but I'm defiantly glad I don't have to throw these away quite yet!

DIY kid's shoe repair by Over The Apple Tree

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Start 2014 out on a Clean Note!

2014 is here and it's that time of year when people start their New Year's resolutions. This year my goals aren't about me so much as about my home. January is the perfect time to get a head start on the "spring clean". Why wait till the weather is nice to get your home clean and in order? Now that the holidays are over, I have the urge to clean and decrease the clutter around my home.

This spice shelf needs serious attention
No wonder I can never find anything for dinner!
There are plenty of places to start but I'm tackling the biggest of my troubles and that's the kitchen. Just take a look at these horrific images that I can't believe I'm showing!

When I worked on this ranch in Buena Vista, CO the owner, who is somewhat of a superwoman, made a point of deep cleaning the pots, pans, and cookware each season to extend the life of each piece. Now that I've invested in a few nice peices of cookware I really want to make an effort to do the same. Recently I found the time and the ambition to start this resolution!

BarKeeper's Friend & Dr. Bronners

        • Bar Keeper's Friend
        • Dr. Bronner's Organic Castile Soap 
        • Scrubber
        • Ball of foil
        • Gloves*
        • Dirty stainless or glass pots or pans
            • Make a paste using the power and soap
            • Grab your scrubber and get to work
            • Use the ball of foil for really tough, thick crud
This method works great on STAINLESS and GLASS cookware. I do NOT recommend it for non-stick surfaces because you will likely wear away the coating. I tried it on my cookie sheets and it did not touch the stains at all. Next on the list to try is the Pinterest suggestion of Hydrogen Peroxide/Baking Soda combo.

*Unless you want a layer of skin to peel off your hands, please wear gloves! I'll spare you the image of my poor hands and their current state of exfoliation.

**My concoction doesn't eliminate good, hard scrubbing from the equation but it definitely made it a little easier than I had expected. All in all it took me an hour to clean about ten pots and dishes.

Cleaning tips at Over The Apple Tree
My Grandmother's bread pan before

Cleaning tips at Over The Apple Tree
After some good hard scrubbing they look brand new

Cleaning Tips at Over The Apple Tree
Cleaning tips at Over The Apple Tree
After the hard work!

Readers: Do you have a "magic bullet" or personal method for cleaning in the kitchen that you recommend? Share you thoughts in the comments below!

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