Repurposing at it’s best – Nan’s laundry

Handmade haven laundry day using enamel baby bath which was my nans baby bath, wooden pegs in a handmade peg bag.I love re-using and re-purposing things, especially when they have come from family. This was all very normal for my Nan’s generation – passing things down, keeping a bottom drawer, finding other uses for things – which seems to be sadly lacking nowadays.  Last year I was lucky enough to be given her laundry bowl and basket.  Now these items are just amazing!  The bowl is an old enamel baby bath.  Her baby bath.  She’s 91!  How cool is that?!  I use it for the wet laundry when pegging out, just like she did.

Handmade Haven, re-purposed fishermen's basket, laundry basketHandmade Haven, re-purposed fishermen's basket, laundry basket

The basket is for the dry laundry (AKA how many odd socks basket).  This used to be a fisherman’s basket (her Dad’s family were mainly fishermen, plus they worked the lifeboat in the village) before it was her laundry basket.  Her Dad, my great Grandad, gave it to her when she got married, telling her it would last a lifetime!  I’ve no idea how long it was used before my Nan and Grandad got married in 1949, but it’s been going strong ever since, and will continue to do so long after I’ve finished with it.

Do you have anything you are reusing or re-purposing that you’d love to share?

My Nan and my boys, March 2019

Old jeans equals new bag!

Over the years my boys have been through a fair few pairs of jeans.  The ones that have life left in them are passed down or go to the charity shop but the ones that have holes in knees etc, are cut up to and the use-able bits of fabric are saved.  This isn’t all of my rescued/saved stash!

I’ve been wanting to make myself a new bag as the old one I made was looking a bit tatty round the edges.  The outside of the new bag is made using some of those jeans, stitched patchwork style then trimmed into a long wide strip.  I then make a long narrow strip that turns into the sides of the bag and the handle.  I treat myself to the amazing marauders map fabric a while ago as I always intended it would line my new bag.  I added a couple of dividers inside and I made sure I’d got one of the jeans pockets on the front so I could use it as a pen pocket.

Handmade haven messenger bag made from repurposed jeans, Harry Potter marauders map fabric
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Handmade haven messenger bag, made from repurposed jeans with handy pocket

My old bag was a similar style but it had a press stud fastening on the front.  I’ve made this one with a longer front as I never used the press stud.

I love that my bag has been worn by my kids!  I also love that I’ve made it myself, so it’s completely unique.  I know it’s not perfect (who needs to follow patterns anyway) but it’s full of love.

Handmade haven messenger bag, made with repurposed jeans

Makeup Pad Stain Removal – Natural Cleaner – Soda Crystals

handmade haven, soda crystals, natural household cleaner

Occasionally someone contacts me as they are having trouble with stubborn stains on the makeup remover pads.  Soda crystals are my go to, although if anything does stain mine (usually nail polish 😉 ) I just leave it as I know they are clean…they just have a rainbow on them.

I just add a teaspoon of soda crystals to a bowl, then add hot water and the pads.  I leave for a few hours (or until I remember that I’ve been soaking something), then tip the whole thing in the washer.  Add the rest of the load and do your normal wash.

Soda crystals are great for numerous household cleaning including:-

  • unblocking your sink (pop into plug hole then pour on a kettle full of hot water);
  • softens water (add to normal wash powder);
  • prevents limescale (add to normal wash powder);
  • natural deodorizer (you can add to normal wash powder or run the machine on empty with some soda crystals);
  • natural degreaser (pre-soak).

They do all this good stuff, plus they are biodegradable!  How amazing is that?!  You can pick them up in any supermarket or hardware store.

I’d love to know if you have any other cleaning tips using soda crystals.

Natural Makeup Remover – Week 3

Well, this week has been the sunflower oil week.  After using the coconut oil last week I must admit to being a little apprehensive about this as the coconut oil was so fab.

I’ve just being using the bottle straight out of my oils rack, rather than decanting as it was quite low.  The first thing I noticed was how it soaked straight through the pad, just like a conventional makeup remover, meaning I would be using more over the week.  It felt messy.  On first look it seemed to work as well as the coconut oil, but when I checked there were still tiny bits of mascara round the eye.  I think, because it soaks straight into the pad, rather than sitting on the top like the coconut oil, then more of the oil is needed. The extra rubbing made my eye tender at the time, but OK later on.  The skin was not as ‘baby soft’ as the previous week.

Handmade Haven, sunflower oil, natural makeup remover, cleansing pads, makeup remover padsI haven’t washed the pads yet, as I stupidly put the whites in without the pads, so I’m not sure how it will clean.  I shall keep you posted though.

This bottle was £1.10 for 1 litre from Tesco, although I would usually shop in Aldi so it would be cheaper still.

Next up is the olive oil.