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DIY Bubbles Recipe – Giant Bubbles

giant-bubble-solution-diy-3

Bubbles bubbles in the air, bubbles bubbles everywhere! Who doesn’t love to play with bubbles!? Small bubbles, giant bubbles, double-bubbles, bubbles that you can catch and bubbles that you can race. Bubbles are a great sensory science play opportunity, as well as an awesome excuse to linger outside and soak up this beautiful Fall weather we’re experiencing in the southwest. While playing one day, I noticed that our bubbles all came from China or Mexico which made me a little wary of the ingredients. Plus, bubble soap is expensive when you look at the per ounce price. This set me on a mission to make my own – DIY Bubbles Recipe. I wanted a strong solution that we could use for blowing giant bubbles and for having bubble races.

Giant Bubble String Wand DIY
Giant Bubble String Wand DIY

After testing many recipes I found online, (and suffering serious dry hands from a few bad recipes) here is the DIY bubbles recipe that I ended up making. I absolutely love it:

DIY Bubbles Recipe

  • 3 Cups Distilled Water
  • 1/2 Cup Blue Ultra Dawn
  • 1/4 Cup Agave Nectar (or Karo Syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp Glycerin (optional)

Use a wire whisk to mix all ingredients slowly. Take care not to form too much foam or bubbles on the surface. Carefully pour into a shallow pan, (i used an aluminum disposable pan) and bust out the giant bubble blowers! Voila, awesome GREEN bubbles. We call them hulk bubbles, or if you’re Irish: lucky leprechaun bubbles. If foamy bubbles form in the pan from pouring, allow them to settle/pop. Bubbles on the surface will steal the bubble fluid from your wand as you lift it from the solution.

Fun Bubble Play Ideas:

  • Blow giant bubbles with wands created from wire hangers
  • Create a string bubble wand with two straws, a needle and a piece of yarn. Thread the yarn onto the needle, then push the needle through one end of each straw. Then tie a knot to form a loop. Hold the straws and dip the string completely into the solution, hold the straws apart and drag through the air to create a bubble, bring straws together to close the bubble.
  • Blow several bubbles and have your child pick one; using their breath to move the bubble, race the bubbles across a designated finish line, first one there without popping wins!
  • Catch a bubble without popping it, sometimes you can bounce them off your hand
  • Have your little one count how many bubbles they can pop before they hit the ground
  • Challenge your little ones to pop bubbles only with their right foot, left foot, pinky finger or their nose! (This makes for fun photo opportunities)
  • Take a minute to explain to an older child why bubbles float when your breath is warmer than the outside air (warmer air rises). Have them experiment by holding an ice cube in their mouth while blowing bubbles and note the change in speed at which the bubble rises or falls.

A few notes:

  • Glycerin can be found at the pharmacy first aid section or sometimes in the baking isle of the grocery store
  • I used agave nectar because it was what i had on hand, but any sugar syrup should do. Karo Syrup is cheap and effective
  • The bubbles perform better a day or two after mixing them up. Leave them out overnight and have fun with them in the morning
  • This solution works well in dry weather
  • This solution will leave your floors sticky, best used outside in grass or dirt
  • What is your favorite bubble recipe? If you try this DIY Bubble Recipe, please come back and let me know how it worked for you!

    Bubbles Sensory Play
    Bubbles Sensory Play

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DIYDress Up

DIY Halloween Costumes Tinkerbell Under $10

no-sew-tinkerbell-costume-diy

Want a cheap, easy, no-sew costume for your little girl this year? Think Tink! This is costume is great for Halloween and/or to add to her dress up wardrobe. For bonus “awesome mama points” you can make her favorite doll a matching Tinkerbell dress too! Since Halloween is Hubby’s favorite holiday, I really wanted to make our Halloween costumes this year. Something simple, easy and cheap. After some looking around online for inspiration i found a new-sew Tutu dress that could easily transform my little pixie into Tinkerbell – just add wings. As luck would have it I already bought a set of purple wings at the dollar store for a photo session that has yet to happen. I also had a 20 Yard spool of light purple 1.5” ribbon I bought a year ago on clearance. DIY Halloween Costumes Tinkerbell under $10! Looks like I am getting out easy this year! Hubby was good with dressing as Captain Hook (what guy wouldn’t want to brandish a sword and hook on Halloween?!?). I had a dress that was in my pile of clothes to donate that was perfect match for Wendy, it just needed a bit of blue dye. DYI Halloween costumes here we go!

DIY Halloween Costumes : Tinkerbell

I found the photo of this Etsy listing posted on Pinterest and followed the link but the seller didn’t have the dress available any longer. It looked easy enough to attempt to make on my own and I had made no-sew tutus in the past so this should be simple.

Tinkerbell Costume Inspiration
Tinkerbell Costume Inspiration

Tinkerbell Costume
Here is the list of supplies and steps to making an adorable Tinkerbell Dress for your little one:

  • 4-5 spools of 6” wide tulle in bright green (I used 60 yards in total)
  • 3/4” no-roll elastic
  • Min 10 yards of 1” -1.5” ribbon
  • Fairy Wings (found mine for $1 at the Dollar Store)
  • Circular container to use as dress form
  • Dryer sheets for removing static from tulle

Grab your fabric tape measure or simply a string and ruler or standard tape measure. Now measure around your child’s chest, right under their armpits. Subract 1.5”. Cut elastic to this size. Next, glue (or sew) the elastic ends together by overlapping about 1/2”, to form a circle.

Tinkerbell costume elastic band
Tinkerbell costume elastic band

Find a somewhat round container to stretch your elastic around. This will be your dress form. I used a 1 gallon plastic water jug.

Tinkerbell Costume Dress Form
Tinkerbell Costume Dress Form

Measure your child for the length of the dress. Start at their armpit and stop just below the knee or mid-calf. Take that measurement and add 4 inches. Example: Bug’s length measurement was 18” + 4” is 22”.

Find a photo frame or cut a piece of cardboard to that length measurement. Grab your tulle and start at one end of the frame or board and wrap the tulle around it until you run out (don’t pull the tulle too tight or your measurement will be off). Example: I had a photo frame that was 22” across and the frame was relatively thin. Once you’ve wrapped your spool of tulle, cut only one end of the tulle, so that your strips are double the length measurement.


Fold the tulle in half length-wise. In this example the strip would now be 3″x44. Now, cut from the creased corner up at a 45 degree angle, repeat on the other end (effectively cutting off triangles from both ends). This will give it a pixie look, with pointed tips.


Now, take one strip at a time, fold in half width-wise and grab the middle of the tule. Grab a dryer sheet and run it over the strip of tulle once or twice to remove the static if necessary. Check to make sure the ends are even. Next push the middle of the tulle upwards between the elastic band and the dress form. You should have a loop sticking up out of the top of your elastic band.
Note: it is important to push middle of the tulle UPWARD through the elastic band and not from the top down. I made this mistake and the knots were waaaaayyy to poofy to wrap with ribbon, which forced me to undo all of my knot work and start over, oy!


Take the two loose ends of tulle and shove them through the loop and pull down/tight. Make sure that you don’t pull so tight that your elastic band curls up. Repeat with all the tulle strips. Periodically you will need to squish (technical term) the knotted tulle together along the elastic band, so that the band is covered well by the tulle.


Once you’ve looped tulle all the way around your elastic band, you will grab your ribbon. Choose a starting point and push your ribbon up between the elastic and your dress form, between two strips of tulle. Leave a few inches hanging out so you can tie it when you are done. Wrap the ribbon around every two knots. Take care to make sure the ribbon doesn’t bunch up at the top. Also tuck in the ribbon for the smallest footprint at the bottom of the elastic, this will ensure your dress doesn’t have too big of gaps between the tulle. Continue until you’ve wrapped the entire band. Here is a quick, thorough video tutorial by Sandy Bell on how to wrap the ribbon.


Grab your wings. Cut off any unnecessary elastic (mine came with elastic loops to put your arms through). Take the ends of the ribbon that you used to wrap the elastic band with and singe the ends with a lighter briefly to keep them from fraying. Then wrap them around the center of the wings, securing them to the top of the dress.Tie a knot in the ribbon.

Finally, we will shape the dress. Tinkerbell’s dress was slightly shorter on the sides than in the front and back. Looking on from the front, Start at the right side and trim so that it is a few inches higher than the lowest point on the front middle of the dress. Repeat with the left side.

Once the dress is on your little one, then use the same ribbon to tie around their waist, finishing in the back with a bow.

Step back and take in all the cuteness you can stand. DIY Halloween Costumes Tinkerbell for under $10, done!


What DIY Halloween Costumes have you made? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Tips:

  • Shop around for the rolls of tulle.The first store I went to sold the same tulle for $4 a roll (JoAnn’s). I found some at Michael’s for $2 and at at Walmart for $1.79 . Walmart’s rolls of tulle were 2.5 times as long as the more expensive rolls.
  • Add a wand to your child’s costume. Hobby Lobby carries wooden dowels with various toppers attached for $1.79. Grab one and wrap it in the same ribbon you used on her dress. Cover the topper in glitter puff paint (the glitter won’t wear off that way). Or buy a small piece of dowel and create two small pom poms to affix to the ends (less likely to injure self or others with pom poms on either end).
  • Create two small pom poms from leftover tulle and affix them to your little one’s shoes.
  • Glitter tulle is evil. it sheds everywhere, and for the next 6+ months of your life people may think you moonlight as a stripper, because you’ll have that much glitter on you everywhere you go. But hey, what is a pixie without her fairy dust?
  • If you do go with Glitter tulle, make your project outside, away from your doors and major traffic paths. Better yet, go to the park and make this. Share the glitter love with fellow park goers and shake it out on the grass.

Parting thought from a dear friend: glitter is the herpes of the arts & crafts world. Eeeewwww!

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DIY

Lower Energy Bill – Clean Your Dryer

Clean-Clothes-Dryer
I am all about saving money and time, especially on things that are routine, where the savings adds up over time. A lower energy bill is big on my hit list. Lately I’ve been wondering why my clothes dryer timer displays one minute left on the cycle yet still runs for another 30+ minutes.  Not very efficient! So I decided to investigate.  Here is what I found:
Clean out your dryer lint. Image of dryer lint pile.
Dryer Lint – Clean That Hose!
Yes, that is a a lint ball the size of a basketball.  I confess, In all my cleaning efforts, I never even thought to clean the appliance that cleans my clothes.  Sure I’d run the “tub wash” cycle on my clothes washer once a month, but the dryer has no such setting or indicator.  Clothes dryer manufacturers-(Samsung, Whirlpool, Maytag, I’m talking to you)-will you add an indicator light that tells us consumers when to clean our dryer please?

How do you get a clean dryer you ask?  It is this simple:

Keeping a clean dryer starts by unplugging the dryer from the wall, just to be extra safe; no one needs to be electrocuted today.  Pull out the lint trap, clean it.  Grab a flash light and depress the lint trap flap (where you normally reinsert the lint trap screen), Is there a bunch of lint that snuck past the trap?  If so, have your husband, child, or neighbor help you hold the flap open while you use something to pull out that sneaky lint.  I used needle nose pliers from my husband’s tool box, but you could use anything that fits in the space: chopsticks, a long wooden spoon, your kids’ drumsticks. Once it is clear put the lint trap back into it’s proper place.
Next, remove the dryer hose from the back side of the machine. You will need a flathead screwdriver to loosen the screw on the band at the base of the hose, then pull the hose off the dryer.  Look inside, more lint?  If you’re like me and have gone 3+ years without cleaning your dryer, you more than likely have a hose full. Disconnect the hose from the wall by loosening the screw on the band around the hose where it connects to the wall.
Now, put on your brave-mama face, stick your arm in the tube and pull that lint out. Alternately, you could go buy a new hose, but we are talking about saving money here, and its a perfectly good, albeit lint filled hose. So take the plunge and sweep it out with your hand.
Once you’ve cleared out the fuzz, reattach the hose at the wall and the back of the dryer and tighten the screw on the bands that hold each end of the hose in place. Plug the dryer back into the wall socket.
The whole cleaning process should take less than 10 Minutes.  Now add it to your monthly chore list.

Congrats! You are on your way to a lower energy bill.

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