How to Tie-Dye T-shirts (Tips & Tricks)

how to tie dye shirts

Well, we’ve got sun (plenty of it), and most of us probably have some old white tees lying around – which leads us to ….. Tie-Dying!  This was one of my favorite summer activities growing up and it’s a great way to make memories with your own kids.

You don’t need much special equipment for this craft (which is one of my requirements) and the kids will be able to wear their art all summer long.

Here’s what you need:

  • a couple deep buckets/bowls/pots
  • 2 or more colors of fabric dye
  • 100% Cotton white tees
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Rubber Bands/String
  • Salt

How to Tie Dye:

  1. Get your dye ready in the separate buckets according to directions – add 1 cup salt into the hot water (even if the directions don’t call for it) to make the colors last longer.
  2. Pick a center for your shirt’s design and pull that center into a point.  Smooth the rest of the shirt down until you’re holding what looks like a shirt-snake.  (Yep – a shirt snake.)  Tie string or rubber bands TIGHTLY around clumps of the shirt in 2-3 inch sections.
  3. Set your shirt into one bucket of color and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
    - If you have more colors than one, dunk half of your shirt into one color, and the other half into another – letting it sort of straddle both buckets at once.
    - NOTE:
    If you have a few squirty bottles – you can also achieve a “rainbow” effect by squirting different color dyes onto each banded section!
  4. Now, wring out the excess dye and put it in a ziploc bag to set overnight.  (This gets it EXTRA colorful)
  5. The next day, rinse your shirt as you cut off the rubber bands, then wash it ALL ALONE in the washer.
  6. Hang it out to dry in the sun!

DIY Fabric Softener with Conditioner!

DIY Fabric Softener  Conditioner

Jamie here! Save BIG on laundry day by whipping up a bottle of this DIY fabric softener with conditioner, vinegar and water!

This DIY fabric softener is a simple, cost-effective solution that really works.    All you need for this recipe is white vinegar, hot water, and a conditioner in a scent you like.  Conditioner goes on sale fairly often, and couponing can even make it FREE.  What a great way to turn some of your haircare stockpile into laundry care!


I just finished a few loads of laundry using this – and when I first took the clothes out of the washer I could smell a faint vinegar odor.  I was worried.  Then I realized it was just the tub of the washing machine – the clothes went into the dryer and came out without the slightest hint of vinegar. (Whew!  I definitely breathed a sigh of relief that my hubby’s work clothes weren’t reeking!)

What you need:

  • 2 Cups Conditioner
  • 3 Cups White Vinegar
  • 6 Cups HOT Water


  1. Mix the hot water, conditioner and vinegar together in a large container.  (I used a big tea pitcher)
  2. Stir the mixture together until the conditioner lumps have dissolved. (Stir rather than shake, otherwise it will foam up)
  3. Store in a large jug or empty fabric softener container (I used a Sunny D jug!)

Here’s a printable version of this DIY Fabric Softener with conditioner:

DIY Fabric Softener with Conditioner!


  • 2 Cups Conditioner of your choice
  • 3 Cups White Vinegar
  • 6 Cups HOT Water


  1. Mix the hot water, conditioner and vinegar together in a large container. (I used a big tea pitcher)
  2. Stir the mixture together until the conditioner lumps have dissolved. (Stir rather than shake, otherwise it will foam up)
  3. Store in a large jug or empty fabric softener container

A final thought…. I think that next time I may try this with a more strongly scented conditioner – because there just wasn’t enough snuggly smell for me at the end.  Or drop a few drops of essential oil into the mixture.  Have you found a good DIY laundry care solution?  We’d love to hear about what works for you!


You may also want to check out our post on DIY Laundry Detergent



And visit our DIY Category for more frugal and fun ideas!

Organize Video Games with Hanging Shoe Organizers!


Organize Video Games with Hanging Shoe Organizers!

My kids have an assortment of handheld tablets, video games, electronics, chargers, and all the paraphanelia that goes along with it.  It gets overwhelming trying to find a home for everything –  but the best solution I’ve found so far is this Over-the-Door Video Game storage idea.  I started using it a couple years back (as you can tell from the pictures when all my now-big boys were still using their MobiGo’s) – and it was a lifesaver!  
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DIY Brown Sugar Face & Body Scrubs

diy sugar scrubs

Spring is upon us and it’s time to scrub the dry, flaky patches of wintertime skin away for good – with a DIY Sugar Scrub!  I rarely splurge on body scrubs, because my FAVORITE way to exfoliate is already sitting in my kitchen cabinet.   Today I’ll tell you a few recipes for sugar scrubs that really work – and take very little effort to make or use.

Also check out this Face & Lip Scrub & Homemade Brown Sugar Scrub with Coffee Grounds & Essential Oils.

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“Bee-Sting Paste” (Mom’s recipe!)



Bee Sting Paste – Best Treatment I Know!

Summertime means bare feet and the inevitable bee stings…  There’s something about squeezing grass through your toes and having nothing between you and the warm earth, it kinda makes the risk seem worth it. :)

But when your kiddo inevitably squashes a bee underfoot and runs through the door screaming, you need to do something FAST.  Here’s the recipe I use (as did my mom and my grandma and on and on!) for Bee-Sting paste.  It’s cold and comforting and more often than not, pulls out the stinger as it dries.

Baking Soda + Water = Bee Sting Paste!

All you need is a little baking soda and water to make this quick paste.  You want the consistency to be thick – so much so that if you hold up your spoon it takes a good long while for the paste to slide/drip off. 

You’ll need a couple tablespoons of baking soda to about 1 tsp water (more or less).  It will feel sooooo nice and cold as you plop it onto the stung area, and it eases the pain almost immediately. (It really really does!) Let it dry as your child lies on the couch eating a Flavor-Ice and once it’s dry like hardened icing, pull the paste off.  While it dries it will pull the bee’s stinger up and out (if not all the way, definitely enough so that you can see and tweeze it out).


Once the stinger’s out, the pain will be much less.  As a child, my pain was always totally gone by the time my mom wiped away the paste – and I was ready to run back outside again!

Of course – this might not always be easy to prepare if you’re out and about or camping – so this sting swab kit might be a good alternative to keep in your first aid kit!

What do YOU use to ease the pain of bee stings?  I’ve heard of tobacco paste and other such things – have you ever tried a remedy like that?

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas

Guys – can you believe we are getting so close to summer break?  And only a few short  weeks left until school lets out – that means TEACHER GIFTS will need to happen soon!  If you’re scrambling for something new – here’s a list that might help you out….

Mason Jars are handy little ways to hold all sorts of things – especially giftable goods from your kitchen, or other small treasures.  From sewing kits, to spa supplies, to a chic planter – these Mason Jar gift ideas will give you a few easy options!



1) Mason Jar Gift Card Holder

This Mason Jar Giftcard Holder is an easy way to disguise a gift card for a more festive-looking gift!


2. Brown Sugar Scrub

Skip the pricey department store scrubs – make a frugal and luxurious scrub that they can enjoy over and over!  I recommend our Homemade Brown Sugar Coffee Scrub recipe – or here are a couple more:


3. Hot Chocolate Mix

Layer ingredients in a pretty way with marshmallows and mini chocolate chips – handy and yummy!  Use a smaller mason jar for this recipe or double it for a bigger one.

  • 3 tbsp powdered creamer
  • 3 tbsp powdered milk
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder


4. Homemade Salsa

This easy summer salsa recipe is my absolute favorite – and it uses *canned* tomatoes – which REALLY cuts down on the work!

5. Homemade Granola

My friend Shawna made this for me last year – and it was sooooo good.  (The recipe had almonds in it and looked a lot like this one) I munched on it for breakfast several times.  A very cool idea for the more “granola” folks on your list!



6. Cookies in a Jar

If you’re giving this to a teacher, a cute note for this would be “Thanks for making me a Smart Cookie!”  And if you’re REALLY pressed for time – check out our Lazy Girl’s Cookies in a Jar

7. Spiced Nuts in a Jar

My father in law always says he’s never met a nut he didn’t like – and that is the kind of person who deserves a jar of awesome nuts.  Get the recipe here for Sweet & Spicy Nuts.


8. DIY Mason Jar Sewing Kit

This one is for the crafty folks in your life – this DIY Mason Jar Sewing Kit is adorable – love that the top doubles as a pincushion!



9. Mani/Pedi in a Jar

Fill with nail clippers, files, polish, and mini lotion or cream!



10. Muddy Buddies

Muddy Buddies are great because you can make a huge batch and fill up several mason jars – and everyone loves them!  Add a note that says thanks for being my “Buddy”!  Here’s the recipes for How to Make Muddy Buddies. (AKA Puppy Chow)


11. Smores Snack Mix

This S’Mores Party Mix is just a fun little snack that looks cute in a jar too :)


12. DIY Herb Garden or Succulents in a Jar

Never ever thought of this – how adorable!  Herbs would take a little while to be ready to gift, but succulents you can purchase and plant and gift right away.  New to succulents?  Check out how to plant a succulent garden!



Housewarming Gift Basket | Home Supplies “Cake”


If you’re looking for a great housewarming gift basket idea – this one takes the cake!  In fact, it really reminds me of the diaper cakes people give at baby showers … but in this instance it’s comprised of all the things you need to start really “living” in a new place.

The 10th installment of our Themed Gift Basket Ideas series is possibly my favorite…

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