This past Fall, I decided to try a Pinterest project to use as homemade Christmas gifts. I started the project in October with a goal of being completed by Thanksgiving. I chose to make homemade laundry soap because I have heard its a great way to make fresh natural laundry soap for a fraction of the costs at the store.
I loosely followed a recipe from HowDoesShe.com. I loved this recipe because it listed amounts per the box sizes found in stores! So helpful!
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
6 (5.5 oz) bars of Fels-Naptha soap
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (I measured my own from a big bag we had from Costco)
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener
I also added a bit of Oxi Clean but not as much as the original called for.
I think my rough estimation for cost of these supplies was around $20. The Oxi Clean is the most expensive which is why I only used a small amount.
The first and only major step in this process is the grate the blocks of soap. Many suggested doing it manually with a cheese grater but there is no way I could do that while chasing DJ around. So I got out the food processor!
A few posts I read mentioned to put a bit of the baking soda by the blade so the soap wouldn’t get mushy. I had the grater blade at the top and turned it on and slowly pushed the bar of soap down. I found that the slower I pushed was actually the better because it made for finer shavings.
The next tip I read which was great was to “layer” your ingredients in a large 5 gallon bucket. I have some large mixing bowls and there was no way they would be big enough to hold all this.
It looked all pretty in the bucket with the purple crystals and the light yellow soap shreds! I used it for a month and made sure it worked well. I found that I had to use about 1/3-1/2 cup per load in my HE front loader machine (more than I typically would have thought to use) but it worked really well! Once I knew it was safe to use, I packaged it up and handed it out for Christmas gifts! I found the little buckets and scoops at the dollar tree.
Over Labor Day, we got another deal on a Wittle Bee box. We were pretty happy with our first box and decided to try another one. I tried to use the same style notes but changed some of the preferences to more winter clothes.
- Styles needed: Short Sleeve, Dresses/Skirts
- Accessories Needed: No thanks
- Favorite Colors: Green, Blue, Yellow
- Clothing Style: Hipster, Mix & Match
- Graphics: Polka Dots, Flowers
- Styles not needed: Writing/Slogans
- Climate: Chilly Nights
Here are the note we left:
Please no animal print, logos, slogans, licensed characters, or screen prints. Love ruffles, classic prints (stripes, polka dot, gingham, etc). Mix and match items appreciated. Love Tea Collection!
Here is the box with the six items. First was a polka dot Laughing Giraffe dress. Its a nice thick cotton which is nice and matched our profile of polka dots. We didn’t list pink as one of our colors though but we don’t mind this one pink item.
I can’t find this item for sale online but I would normally pay maybe $4-5 for this.
Next we got two pairs of leggings with lace on the bottom. I forget the brand of these but its a no name brand. They aren’t bad quality but nothing like Gap leggings. I would normally want to pay around $5 for 2 pairs if I bought these at the store.
Next we got another American Apparel long sleeve t shirt in Lavender. I’m happy to get another one of these quality shirts (we loved the blue one from the last box). I’m hoping it will be useful for layering in the winter. Online these are about $10 but I would like to pay less than $5 for it since its just a basic top.
The last two pieces were a Vitamin baby outfit set (counts as 2 pieces though). I like this but it is short sleeve. The link to the outfit online is here for a better picture. It normally sells for $24-$30 for the outfit although I think I typically would buy something like this for around $10-$12.
As a whole I think they followed our notes and I got my $20 worth. However, I do not think I would be happy to have paid the full $40 for this box. Maybe I will give Wittle Bee one more shot at the next sale! If you want to try Wittle Bee, sign up with this link and save $10 off your first box. For $30 its worth trying and then you can cancel very easily!
So based on a few online recommendations I decided to try the kids clothing company called wittlebee. You pick your style, size, and needs and they pack a mystery box of six clothing items to send to you. For $40 they will send you a box monthly.
This month I got my first box. I forgot exactly how I filled out my “style profile” but I would say they pretty much got it right.
Here is the cute box with a little bee on it. They pack up all the clothing so sweet it makes it so exciting to open the lid. You can see DJ was by my side. I was quick to snap a picture before she tore into the box. She has a thing right now with pulling things out of baskets and boxes so this was right up her alley.
From the six items in the box we got enough for four outfits. A pretty pink shirt with an embroidered tulip. DJ played with this shirt for almost 30 minutes. She would put it on her head then thread her arm trough a hole and feel the little flower. In the picture it’s matched with some cute jean shorts but it really is a set with the amazing leggings and skirt combo below. I love this type of thing because it gives that cute layers look but is so easy to just pull on. Skirts are hard with daycare but this is perfect to keep her little knees covered while playing hard all day. On the left is a cute green dress with strawberry patches. The bottom outfit is a blue American apparel shirt and black lace leggings.
If you want to try it out you can get $10 off if you register though this link. http://curebit.com/x/mHFvO It’s a subscription but it is really easy to cancel any time.