Category Archives: Homemade

Homemade window cleaner

Homemade window cleaner

homesteading window

My mother in law has used this for years and it works great. If ammonia is too strong of a smell for you and your family substitute ½ cup white vinegar.



1/2 cup sudsy ammonia

1 pint 70% rubbing alcohol

1 tsp liquid dish detergent

water to make a gallon


Shake or stir and it’s ready to go

Uncooked Play Dough

Uncooked Play Dough                                   NCC

homesteading play dough

I posted an article about homemade play dough last month and I found this recipe for uncooked homemade play dough needed to share it for those in the community who are trying to save energy.

5 cups Flour

2 cups Salt

4 Tbsp Water

4 Tbsp Veggie oil

Mix flour and salt.  Add water slowly to make pliable mixture.  Add veggie oil to prevent hardening.  Powdered tempera may be added with the flour, or food coloring can be put in the water for color.  If finished artwork is to be dried, substitute 5 tablespoons of wheat paste for the oil.  Store dough in covered container or plastic bag.

Homemade Finger Paint

Homemade Finger Paint

Ingredients that are found in finger paints include: baking soda, citric acid, manntiol, polyethylene glycol, sodium benzoate, mineral oil and various food coloring including Allura red dye also known as red dye #40, approved by the FDA but is controversial because some believe that it may affect some children’s behavior.

¼ cup corn flower

2 cups water

Food coloring

In a small saucepan, mix together 1/4 cup corn flour and 2 cups of water. Add food coloring to get to desired color. Boil until mixture thickens, then allow to cool. Pour into lidded containers to store. Old baby food jar make the perfect size container for these paint especially the baby food meat jars.

Picture Wreath

Picture Wreath

This is adorable and would make a great gift for the grandma’s in your children’s life. Let the kids help by picking the colors of the cardstock or ribbons and also let them pick their favorite pictures to use. Maybe take a picture of them helping make the wreath and include that.

What you need: 3-inch circle template, colored or white cardstock, pencil, scissors, 4×6-inch black-and-white  or color photos, glue stick, decorative-edge scissors, 12- or 14-inch foam wreath form, crafts glue, jingle bells, ribbon, two T pins

Make it:  Use circle template to cut circles from card stock; cut faces from black-and-white photos into slightly smaller circles. Use a glue stick to attach the photo cutouts to card stock and then trim the card stock with decorative-edge scissors. Glue the photos to the surface of the Styrofoam wreath form with edges overlapping. Thread ribbon through jingle bells and tie bows. Glue the bells in between the photos as desired. Attach a loop of ribbon to the back of the wreath with T-pins and hang.


You can use this same concept but change up the shape, such as using a ball (basket, soccer, football, ext.) and make your pictures smaller and glue them all over the ball add a ribbon to hang it from and you have a cute gift for the ball lovers in your life.


Sock Advent Calender

Solo kids sock? – turn the lonely leftovers into a fun advent calendar to countdown the days to Christmas. This is such a cute fun easy craft to do with the kids. To make it a little more complicated you could paint the clothespins. Have other fun Advent calendar ideas? We would love to hear about them. Trying this idea? Let us know how it turned out, we would love to see pictures.

What you’ll need: 24 socks, number stickers, ribbon or rope, clothespins

Make it: Hang a piece of ribbon or rope on your wall – you can make any shape you like, just make sure it’s long enough to hold all 24 socks. Then, add the number stickers to your socks and attach them to the ribbon with clothespins. Place a special trinket or piece of candy inside each sock and let your kids pick a present every morning before Christmas.

Homemade Jewelry Cleaner

Homemade Jewelry Cleaner

This is simple and if you follow my site you’ll notice it is the same as my stain remover. I was scrubbing a stain and noticed that it made my rings really shiny so I cleaned them with it and a tooth brush and wow did it make them sparkle.


2 tablespoons peroxide

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons Dish soap.

Combine and let set covered overnight, makes a gel then apply to stain with a tooth brush and wash like normal. I make this in an old baby food jar and find that it is the perfect size.

Canning with the Mennonites

 Canning with the Mennonites

What do you learn when you can with old world Mennonites? First you have to have the courage to ask them to teach you, that’s hard enough. Walking into the local Mennonite owned farmers market to ask if someone can teach you  to can you have to wonder what they are thinking of you. Silly English woman doesn’t know the basic stuff about a kitchen, her mother must not have taught her anything. Well at least that’s what I figured was going through the young women’s head as I stood there.  Just two weeks earlier I had walked into a Mennonite owned bakery not far from my home to ask if anyone could hem a dress for me, which turned out nice too. So I was hoping that I would have a similar experience.  The young lady took my name and number and said she would ask around and get back to me. About a week later I got a call from a wonderful older woman who was willing to teach me.  We started with salsa, she grew the tomatoes herself and we used Mrs. Wages salsa mix for the rest because she said when she makes it from scratch it doesn’t taste as good.  She showed me how to blanch and peel tomatoes and that plumb tomatoes are the best for canning.  She showed me how to scald the jars and set up your water bath canner which she just uses a pressure canner without the seal. As we worked we talked about gardening, children, family size and what all I wanted to learn about. She had nine children only one of whom still lives at home. This turned out to be the nice young lady from the farmers market I spoke to a week earlier. She used to can a lot more when all the kids were still at home now she only does a few things.  We talked about gardens, I went on about mine explaining that this was my first year and it wasn’t nearly big enough, she talked about hers which was huge but provides for her family and some of her children’s families that share the same property. She mainly tended the flower gardens now and left the food growing, up to the younger people. We found we have more in common than we thought; we have the same views about TV, and cooking from scratch and living a more simple life when you value the land.

Homemade Dishwasher Soap

Homemade Dishwasher Soap

1 cup Borax

1 cup Super-Washing Soda

½ cup Citric Acid

½ cup Kosher Salt

Just mix and use 1 tablespoon per load

You can get the Citric acid at Wal-Mart in their canning isle, it’s a small bottle but it is only 2.95 and it is enough for 2 batches that way if you like it you can go online and order it in larger quantities.

White vinegar works great in place of rinse aid, just fill like you would with jet dry. Really works well and is so much cheaper.

Stain Remover

Stain remover


2 tablespoons peroxide

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 table spoons Dish soap.

Combine and let set covered overnight, makes a gel then apply to stain with a tooth brush and wash like normal. This stain remover won’t fade colors and works really well. I make this in an old baby food jar and find that it is the perfect size.

Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade laundry soap

First, let me tell you it is just as effective and better for your skin because it does not have any dyes or perfumes.


Clean 5 gallon bucket with lid


Small sauce pan


4 cups hot tap water

1 bar Ivory soap 5.5oz

1 cup Super-washing soda

½ cup Borax

Directions: Grate soap, the finer the better add to water stir continually over medium heat until melted. Fill the 5 gallon bucket ½ full with hot tap water and soap, washing soda and borax. Stir well until all the powered is dissolved. Fill the bucket the rest of the way with hot tap water. Cover and let sit overnight. The next day it will gel together. Fill a 1 gallon container (I just saved the last jug I bought and used it) ½ full with soap and fill the rest with hot tap water. Shake well before each use. Feel good about saving money and giving your family healthier laundry.

All of the ingredients can be found at Wal-Mart and you can buy a clean 5 gallon bucket with lid at Lowes (approx. $6). The washing soda and borax will last you along time they were 3-4 dollars apiece and the ivory soap is usually 3 for $1. I have been using this laundry soap exclusively for more than a year and I am still using the first boxes of washing soda and borax that I bought. So for approx. 15 dollars I have had laundry soap for more than a year. And I don’t have to buy the bucket again so it will be even cheaper next time I have to buy the ingredients.