Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Week . Cloth Wipes Tutorial and Recipe

Cloth wipes were one of the first things I made for the baby. They are super easy to use, super easy to make, and a lot nicer than flimsy disposable wipes. When "soiled" just toss them in with the cloth diapers.

Step 1: Gather and cut your materials. I used flannel and sherpa. The wipes in the photo are 8" square so you'll need squares that are 8.5" to have a seam allowance of 1/4" all around. You can use a rotary cutter and ruler or regular scissors. (The wipes in the tutorial are from scraps but you can get the idea).

Step 2: Start toward the end of one side and sew all the way around, leaving an opening for turning. If you are using a thick and a thin fabric, sew with the thick stuff on top (right sides together) so that the feed dogs don't eat one side more than the other. Make sure to backstitch at the opening. Clip your corners off.

Step 3: Turn inside out making sure to poke the corners out. Tuck your seam allowances in and pin the opening.

Step 4: Topstitch all the way around. This will keep the wipes nice and flat when you wash and dry them a million times.

The most important thing to remember is that you're going to be wiping a butt with these. They don't need to be perfect -- just soft!

Nature's Fabrics is sponsoring the other half of Earth Week over at Sew a Straight Line. Click here for a coupon code and look in the left sidebar. Nature's Fabrics has a very nice selection of fabric to make your own diapers and wipes.

And now for the best part, my top secret amazing wipes solution recipe. We have been using this solution 3 weeks shy of 2 years and I am having a hard time remembering the last time we had any diaper rash. I know we have had a couple of issues but they were mainly when we were traveling and using disposable diapers.

1 cup distilled or boiled water (we use our Brita pitcher)
1 tbls Dr. Bronner's liquid soap baby mild (we get this in bulk at our co-op but it's at Target)
1 - 2 tsp Burt's Bees apricot baby oil (Target often sends me coupons in the mail)
6 drops or so tea tree oil (you can get this at most vitamin stores like GNC, natural foods stores, or for the best price try Trader Joe's)

We have both a pump and a squirt bottle from that section of Target with all the travel toiletries. Just put a bit on the wipe and you're ready to go.

And my secret to not making solution all the time is to double everything in the recipe except for the water. I put the "stock" solution in a bottle labeled MIX 1:1 and just add water to it when we run out.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Earth Week Sponsor . Monkey Travel Club

My second sponsor for Earth Week is Monkey Travel Club. We have one of her pencil cup cozies covering up a Mason Jar full of diaper dust (a must-have if you use cloth -- it really absorbs odors in the diaper laundry). We had originally planned to do a sock monkey theme in the nursery but it pretty much fell apart. We have this cozy and two handmade sock monkeys. Since Zadie asked to play with them the other day, they're no longer part of the decor. There is just too much other cuteness in the world to make it work.

Our monkey fits perfectly into the room despite the lack of theme. I just love how soft my the yarn is and that Ginny added a lemon button as a special touch. Ginny is a seamstress who makes amazing quilts, bibs, bags and even designs and sells her own patterns in her other Etsy shop, iSew. These cup cozies are really eco friendly. Instead of wasting the cardboard sleeve every time you buy a cup of coffee, use one of these. They're a great conversation starter and will last a long time. She also makes super cute owl items and a bunch of different monkey items.

Check out the flickr group for the Monkey Travel Club to see monkeys and owls on various adventures. He really gets around! Giveaway now closed.

Earth Week Sponsor . Natural Home Essentials

I'm very excited to introduce the first Earth Week Sponsor, Natural Home Essentials, a local company. Karen sells most of her products at our co-op. She is a pharmacologist specializing in toxicology by day so when she reads a label on a product, she actually knows what those ingredients are. Ten years go, she started to make her own natural home and personal care products so that she could avoid exposing her family to chemicals found in commercial soaps, lotions, etc.

Here's what's special about her products:

- Made with pure oils, butters, waxes, and other natural materials
- Scented only with essentials oils - no artificial fragrances or phthalates
- All palm oil is certified organic & sustainably farmed - no rainforest destruction
- No genetically modified anything!
- As many organic ingredients as possible while still keeping the price reasonable
- Food grade sodium hydroxide, not industrial-grade lye, in the soapmaking process

Over the last few years we have made a gradual shift to more natural products. I don't buy anything with parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben, etc.), SLS, homosalate, or pthalates. I've also been using deodorants without aluminum ingredients for over 10 years. Luckily, it's becoming easier to find these products thanks to this green revolution we're in and websites like Etsy. And we even luckier to have Karen as our neighbor who drops a soap or two on our front porch when we're not looking. Awesome.

Here's the giveaway from Natural Home Essentials:
Pink Grapefruit Soap, a refreshing splash of citrus with the moisturizing power of shea butter

Masala Bay Soap, a moisturizing soap, fragranced with an exotic blend of West Indian bay, citrus, and spices

Healing From The Hive Body Butter Bar, designed to moisturize and protect with only pure, natural ingredients, without feeling heavy or greasy. No unpronounceable ingredients that don't even keep your skin from getting scaly and cracked. Because it contains no added water, no chemical preservatives are required.

Check out the website for more information and a complete list of ingredients. Giveaway now closed.