Saturday, June 7, 2014

DIY Dollar Store First Aid Kits

Yesterday I took a look at our calendar and realized we would be attending a wedding every weekend this month! That is right, it's wedding season and this time around I am getting creative yet practical. I am making first aid kits. To start out with I thought I would buy enough to make 4 comprehensive kits.

Step Number One:

Print yourself a good old fashioned list of contents. There is a nice list put out by the American Red Cross here. The only things I did not include in my kits were the space blanket and breathing barrier. 

Step Number Two- 

Check your local grocery store for sales on bandages. I was able to find a really great deal at Smith's and got all my mine for a dollar a box. Each kit needs about 25 bandages of varying shapes and sizes. Here is what I purchased:
  • 2 boxes (10)  Kroger Sterile All One Size Extra Large 2 in x 4 in
  • 1 box (60) Kroger Sterile All One Size 3/4 in x 3 in
  • 2 boxes  Kroger Sterile Assorted Sizes Knuckle (10) and Fingertip (10)

Step Number Three-

Take the rest of your list on over to the Dollar Tree. I found almost everything else here for a fraction of the price I would have anywhere else. Here is the breakdown:
  • 4 digital thermometers
  • 1 package digital thermometer plastic covers (30 per package)
  • 2 packages 2 in x 2 in gauze pads (15 per package)
  • 4 pairs hair trimming scissors
  • 4 pairs tweezers (usually they have these at Dollar Tree I found mine at Smith's for about $1.50)
  • 4 packages Extra Strength Cold n' Hot Patches
  • 4 packages 3 inch wide elastic bandage
  • 4 packages 3 inch wide rolled gauze
  • 4 packages Hydrocortisone Cream
  • 4 packages Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • 1 package Antibacterial Moist Wipes (20 per package)
  • 4 bottles of Aspirin
  • 2 packages of Arm and Hammer Vinyl Gloves
  • 4 packages of medical tape
  • 4 plastic containers with lids for storage
Step Four-

Un-package and assemble your kids.  Almost everything on this list is double packaged, so get rid of that bulky packaging (don't forget to recycle!) and assemble your kits. Each kit should have the following.
  • 15 regular bandages
  • 5 extra large bandages
  • 5 knuckle bandages
  • 5 fingertip bandages
  • a dgital thermometer
  • one package of plastic covers
  • 5 gauze pads
  • a pair of scissors
  • a pair of tweezers
  • a package of two Hot n' Cold patches
  • an elastic bandage
  • a roll of gauze
  • a tube of Hydrocortisone Cream
  • a tube of Triple Anitbiotic Ointment
  • 5 pouches of Antibacterial Moist Wipes
  • a bottle of Aspirin
  • 2 sets of non-latex gloves
  • 1 roll of medical tape
and... a triangular bandage! This is the final piece to the kit and cost nothing to add if you have spare fabric lying around the house. I grabbed a simple jersey knit fabric I found months ago for a dollar a yard.The goal is to make a 3 foot by 3 foot square and then cut it on the diagonal. First I folded it in half. Then, I folded the outside corner to the fold to make a triangle. Finally, I cut along the two folds and voila! I have 4 triangular bandages in a matter of minutes!

Here are the finished first aid kits! 

What Does it Cost?

Total Cost- $60.00
Per Kit Cost- $15.00
Comparable kits-$25-$30


Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Starts

It is over! I finished my first year of teaching! What a year it has been. It is definitely a whirlwind of emotions being a teacher. Some days you think "Hey, I am not cut out for this. Nobody understood problem solving today." Other days it is like, "Wow! Everyone really caught on to cause and effect. I should do this forever!" 

Ups and downs. 

It is only when you take a look back to the beginning of the year and see how far they have come that you realize you really do make a difference.

 I find myself in a really weird place this summer. I have had a job ever since I was 15 years old. This summer will be the first summer that I don't have a job. I have been looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. I have been so excited to tackle some projects I have been wanting to work on, but I worry that when those are done I will be bored out of my mind. Maybe this blog will keep me on my toes.

My first projects this summer were some furniture re-dos. 

The Dresser

I was so excited to get started I jumped right in and didn't take a before picture of the dresser which is really truly sad, because it was in terrible shape. Think hideous white paint peeling with old lady leaf stencil. We bought it over a year ago and I have been using it ever since thinking to myself that one day it would be beautiful.
And now it is...
First, I had to strip off all the old paint using a paint stripper. I tried a few different kinds but I have to say CitriStrip was my favorite. It didn't have a chemical odor (smelled orange-y and delicious) and it worked much better than the spray on kind. Learn from my mistakes and just buy one jug of the paint on kind.
After stripping and scraping all the paint off, I painted the dresser mossy green and brown.

I have this thing for mismatched knobs. I just think it is so aesthetically pleasing to see something new on each drawer. I tried to keep with the same type of finish, but different designs. Each knob cost about $1.30 at Home Depot. (Hobby Lobby's knobs are all more expensive, even on a 50% off sale. Trust me, we checked.)
        These ones are my favorite, they looked very Celtic to me.
Here they are up close! 

The Desk

The desk was a KSL find. It is solid oak with dovetail joints and it only cost us $50. Honestly, I am not super thrilled about how this one turned out. I stripped and stained the whole thing dark to start with. I hated it so much. It looked so much more old. So, I re-stripped it the next day and painted it New Age Blue. (Which looks an awful lot like glorified periwinkle). I do like that the paint and stain together makes it look a little different. It is kinda hipster. I mostly like that I can be done with the project for now after all the hours put into it. I guess you can't be super happy with all re-do's.

Now What?

So here I am now, six days in to summer with my two giant projects done. I mostly think about my classroom next year and what I can do differently every spare minute of the day. However, I want a little summer break! Any ideas for new projects before I start Operation Apartment De-Clutter? That one doesn't quite sound as fun.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Lovebirds Painting

Hey, all! I don't write blogs or do anything to express myself in writing anymore. I have been thinking a lot lately about all the crafty things I like to do and how I wish I had documented all of them. So, in an attempt to make record of my creativity I will try out the blogging thing. Don't expect to see a post weekly, or even monthly but I plan to post my big projects and inspirations when the creativity bug bites.

This week was spring break, and our guest closet has been piling up with "projects to be". (Usually thrift store or clearance finds.) One buy in particular has been really exciting me. I bought 7 fresh canvases from a Michael's for only 5 dollars! One of the canvases had a small hole, but the other six were good as new! I know nothing about painting, but I knew that I wanted to try it out when I had some time. So, here is the result.

 I love lovebirds. They have started to take over in our home decor. There is something so sweet, simple, and outdoorsy about them. I just knew my project had to incorporate birds.

Step One: Pinterest

Unfortunately, a good many of my creative ideas are not original. What fun it is to glean from the creativity of others with such ease. I pinned twelve bird paintings that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Step Two: Sketching
I took some time to sketch out a few of my favorite  paintings and get some practice in before defiling my precious canvases.
Step Three: Painting
This was the most stressful step for these reasons:
A. I had brand new acrylic paints (Never before have I used acrylic)
2. I intended to hang this in my house; and I wanted it to match the bedding we already had in the second bedroom.
B.  We were set to go to the end of year USU Football Banquet in only 2 hours. This meant I was already gussied up and could not afford to be clumsy and make a smudgy painted mess of myself.

 Here is the painting in its new home. Looks pretty great, don't you think? I had a thought that I would maybe add birds as our family grows and maybe one day, we will fill the whole branch!

Luckily, I came out with only tiny hand smudges just in time for the banquet. I don't claim to be a painter by any means. I post this as evidence that anyone can try.