Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}


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DIY Painted Pumpkins

Our front porch looked pretty sad all summer with a half dead plant hanging on for dear life. When I saw pumpkins for sale at the store I knew just what I needed to spruce up our sad front porch for this fall season. Pumpkins! But plain pumpkins wouldn’t do, so some masking tape, craft paint and a little elbow grease later, I had these fun painted ones. Don’t you just love ’em?! I’ve been dying to use a chevron print somewhere and this is the perfect spot!

Supplies: 

  • Pumpkins
  • Craft paint in whatever colors you’d like
  • Paint brushes
  • Masking tape
  • A monogram printed out (I used the Lavanderia font in 170 pt.)
  • A pencil

Begin by taping off the chevron print. This definitely takes some time and some patience to get the pattern just right. I found it helpful to cut my tape into 3″ lengths and then place them. Since it’s almost impossible to find a perfectly round pumpkin, your pattern will get a little wonky at some point. My pattern is super weird in one section…so that side is now facing the back :)  Once you get it all taped off, go ahead and get painting! The color choices are endless- navy blue, gold, yellow. Have fun with it!

For the monogram pumpkin, you’ll need to cut out your letter and tape it on the center of your pumpkin. No measuring necessary,  just eyeball it. Take a pencil (that’s sharp enough to make an indent on the pumpkin, but not so sharp that it pierces the skin) and trace over your letter a few times. You’ll need to press kind of hard to make an indent that you can actually see. Choose your paint color and paint over the indent!

My lumberjack husband cut a few wood rounds for me to prop these two on to create some height next to the door. This project was super simple and the look will last as long as the pumpkins do!

These pumpkins are a perfect match with my Fall Rosette Wreath. Fall has officially arrived at the Edwards’!

Thankful for Fall,
Mrs. Edwards


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Sponsored by the Letter “E”

Our house is literally 15 feet off of a semi-busy road and has a bright red front door. I try to keep something hanging on the front door all the time to be festive and cheery, but mostly to draw people’s eyes away from peering into our front windows. It probably doesn’t work, but I like to think it does!

Ever since I started seeing these jute wrapped letters popping up on Pinterest, I’ve been dying to get one put up on our front door! A Joann’s coupon and ball of twine later, I have this:

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper mache letter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Jute
  • Fabric for rosettes
  • Grosgrain ribbon

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsFlip your letter over, glue down the end of your jute and begin wrapping vertically. When you get to the edges, use a dollop of glue to keep the jute from slipping off the end. 

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsOnce you finish wrapping the entire thing vertically, wrap it again horizontally to cover all the exposed edges.

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsAdd your ribbon to the back and embellish with whatever you’d like. Stelabird has a great tutorial on how to make fabric rosettes over here

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsHang on your front door, step back and take a look!

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsI think it looks great on our front door! Don’t mind the left over 4th of July flags and my hubby’s work boots :)

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsLooks good, huh? A quick project to bring some cheer to our front door and distract people from looking in my windows :) 

The crafty one,
Mrs. Edwards


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Where Your Heart Is

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

{via instagram}

Since I got an iPhone a few years ago, I have used an old fashioned paper map a grand total of zero times. Don’t get  me wrong, I love maps. Almost as much as I love owners manuals (ask my parents, I used to read them front to back for funsies. Don’t judge, I was homeschooled!) I’ve had an old map sitting around just begging to be put to good use and thanks to Pinterest, I was (p)inspired. Josh and I are from two opposite ends of the state, but our love story began and currently lives right in the middle. We both lovelovelove our hometowns, as well as where we currently live. What better way to show where pieces of our hearts lie than to map it out and put it on our wall?

Once I finished repurposing my map, I had the idea to make one as a gift for my Mom. Both of her kids flew the coop and landed in different parts of the state (3.5 hrs away and 8 hrs away). You have to understand, if my Mom could, she would live next door to both of her kids. Whenever she and my Dad get a chance, they pack up and head to either my house or my brothers. She cries every time they leave. She’s got a big heart, but it’s currently spread across the state. I know it’s been a tough season for her, not having any of her kids (geographically) close to her. Maybe that won’t be the case forever, but for now her heart is in three different places. She’s greatly loved in all of those places, by her kids, her family, her friends. My mom is probably the kindest, most generous person I know and she not only shares that love and generosity with her family, but everyone that she comes in contact with! She loves and she is loved back! My goal with this art piece was to remind my Mom where her heart lies and where she is genuinely loved from. You can take a moment to wipe the tears from your eyes now…

This project was very easy, and very inexpensive. Like it took me about 10 minutes and cost me about $3.00. That’s my kind of art project!

Supplies Needed:

  • Map (If you’re a AAA member, you can get a state map for free at any office!)
  • Picture frame (I got mine at Walmart for $3.00)
  • Scissors
  • Heart shape template
  • Extra cardstock
  • Glue stick & tacky glue
  • Your favorite scrap fabric
  • Pencil
  • *If you need to trim your photo mat, you’ll need a straight edge, exacto knife and cutting mat, too.

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Step 2: Choose which areas you would like to feature and trace your heart template onto your map. Also trace your hearts onto plain cardstock. Cut out each heart and use your glue stick to glue the cardstock pieces to the back of your map pieces (to stiffen the map pieces up). I’ve even included a heart template for you to use. Just click, save, and print! You’re welcome.

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Step 3: If your frame has a mat and the mat has a divider, you’ll want to trim it to fit your hearts. My mat was designed to hold (2) 4×6 photos, so I just cut the center divider out with an exacto knife and voila, a perfectly sized mat!

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards Step 4: Cut out a piece of cardstock (or empty cereal box) to fit your frame and cut your fabric to the same size. Iron out any wrinkles in your fabric. Use your tacky glue to adhear your fabric to the cardstock.

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Step 5: With your tacky glue, glue your hearts and your mat onto your fabric piece.

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Step 6: Place everything into your frame and find the best place to display your art!

Heart Map Art // Simply Mrs. Edwards

You can do this project with places that you’ve traveled to, placed you’ve never been to but want to see, where different friends or family members live, etc. I hope that every time I look at mine hanging on the wall I’m prompted to pray for our family in those places. I hope that you enjoy this project! How else have you re-used old maps? Were you (p)inspired like me?!

With a mapped out heart,
Mrs. Edwards


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Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

This past week we ran out of our beloved Mrs. Meyers geranium scented liquid hand soap. I may or may not have shed a tear or two. Not just because I absolutely love the stuff, but because of the dent it makes in my budget when I buy it. The way it’s priced, you might think the ingredients would have gold listed somewhere. Sheesh.

Since I’m sort of on a kick of making my own home goods (see how I made laundry detergent here), I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try my hand at making my own liquid hand soap! One of the best ideas ever! We recently started a pretty strict cash based budget which is making me pay more attention to every single dollar that I’m spending. I’ve been paying attention to the per ounce or per unit pricing of things, and wow…things are expensive, especially in this part of CA! I figured out that per ounce of store bought Mrs. Meyers Liquid Hand Soap we were paying $0.32/oz. when I could be making my own for about $0.08/oz! The store bought type is four times as much as what I could make at home! SOLD!

Just so you know, you’re going to end up with a gallon of liquid hand soap.  Enough to share with a neighbor or hoard for yourself- both perfectly respectable ideas!

Ready to try? It’s very easy!

Supplies Needed:

  • 1 bar of soap (Mrs. Meyers is  an 8 oz. bar)
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid glycerine (I found mine at our local natural nutrition store, I think you may be able to find it in the first-aid section of your pharmacy)
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Cheese grater
  • A large pot (big enough to hold a gallon of water)
  • A large container (big enough to hold a gallon of soap :) )

Step 1: Begin by grating all of your soap. Like I said with the laundry detergent, be prepared- your arm will get tired. But keep going, it’s so worth it!

Step 2: Place your gallon of water into your pot and add the soap shavings and glycerine.

Step 3: Heat on medium/high heat and stir until all of your soap is melted. Once it has all melted it will basically just look like soapy water. Imagine that! (p.s. your entire house will smell AMAZING while you’re heating this up! Bonus!)

Step 4: Let sit for 12ish hours or until soap has thickened up. After a few hours it will start to separate. After 12 hours it will be kind of a weird slimy semi-solid texture- not quite like jello, but not a solid. It’s weird.

Step 5: Using a mixer or immersion blender, break down the semi-solid stuff until it resembles liquid hand soap.

Step 6: Pour some into your dispenser and the rest into an air-tight container to store.

Step 7: Wash your hands and be proud- you just saved a few bucks! :)

A few notes about this soap:

  1. The store bought version is clear, but the homemade is white. Its okay, don’t worry.
  2. It may have a different texture that you’re used to. It may be too slimy for some. If this bothers you, then don’t use it! If you’re okay with it, perfect!
  3. It doesn’t foam or bubble up the same as other hand soap might, but it still does the job VERY well!

Budget Breakdown:

  • Mrs. Meyers All Purpose Soap Bar: $6.49
  • Liquid glycerine: $3.79
  • Gallon of water: Free
  • Total: $10.28 ($0.08/oz.)

With great smelling clean hands,
Mrs. Edwards


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Homemade Laundry Detergent

I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. Maybe I’ve lived in hippy-country too long, maybe I’m just cheap. Probably both. With a little help from some tutorials (like this and this) and a lot of advice from a friend, I made homemade laundry detergent and it is awesome!

This formula is concentrated, so you only use about 2 tablespoons per load. If my math is right (mind you, I’m no mathematician) we’ll get almost 260 loads of laundry out of this jar. We do around 4 loads of laundry per week, so I’m estimating that we won’t run out until September of 2013 (!!!) or so. I spent just about $19 on supplies, so that breaks down to $0.07 per load. A $12.99 bottle of Tide breaks down to $0.22 per load. The 20ish minutes it took me to make this huge container was well worth the $30/year savings that it offers! Just think of the savings it could offer a larger family who does 8+ loads of laundry a week!

This mixture doesn’t have an overwhelming scent, which is great for sensitive skin (like mine) and dissolves wonderfully even in cold water. Want to try your hand at it and save a few bucks at the same time?

Supplies Needed:

  • Borax- (1) 4 lb + 12 oz box
  • Baking soda- (4) 1 lb boxes or (1) 4 lb box
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- (1) 55 oz. box
  • 2 bars of Zote Laundry Soap or 3 bars of Fels-Naptha
  • 1 tub of OxiClean- 32 oz. tub, any brand is okay
  • Cheese Grater
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • 1 large, thick plastic bag
  • 2 gallon container to store the mixture in

Step 1: Begin by grating all of your soap with your cheese grater. Be prepared, this takes a while and your arm will be tired. The soap tends to build up on the grater slowing down the process. I rinsed my grater a few different times during this step to get rid of some of the buildup. It helps speed up the process a little. Just make sure to thoroughly dry your grater after you rinse it!

Step 2: Line your bucket with your bag and add ingredients. I added a little of each ingredient in multiple layers to aid in the mixing process.

Step 3: Mix everything together. A friend suggested using a gardening trowel to mix everything together which worked super well (thanks, Tristan!). Towards the end I picked up the sides of the bag (while still in the bucket) and lifted each side alternately. That helped mix it up a little more.

Step 4: Find a large container to hold your mixture. Our jar is a recycled card holder from our wedding. I think my Mom picked it up at Walmart.

Step 5: You’re ready to do laundry! Use about 2 tablespoons per load. Our OxiClean came with a scoop, so I’m using 1-2 of those per load (depending on size and the dirtiness of load).

Not only does this save us  money, but looks cute in my laundry room too! :)

Budget Breakdown:

  • Borax: $4.99
  • Baking Soda: $3.96
  • Washing Soda: $4.79
  • Store brand OxiClean: $3.29
  • Zote: $1.98
  • Total: $19.01

A few updates! (5/30/12)
I’ve had a few people ask me some questions about this and I’ve caught some of them in the comments but thought an update might not be a bad idea! Hope it’s helpful!

  • For those using cold water: Its been brought to my attention that if you use straight cold water the granules may not dissolve all the way! My Mom has a great way to avoid this- fill a cup/measuring glass with hot water from your tap and mix in your scoop(s) of soap until completely dissolved. Then, pour that into your washer. I realize this is an added step, but it may ease your mind a bit about it all dissolving!
  • For those who use a front loading machine: Try the trick above and either pour directly into the drum or through the normal liquid soap dispenser.
  • For those thinking about using Fels-Naptha: The scent may be a bit overpowering to you. If you don’t like strong scents or have very sensitive skin, try Zote. It has a pretty  mild scent. I found mine at The Home Depot.
  • For those having a hard time finding Arm & Hammer Washing  Soda: I had the hardest time finding it! I finally found it at our local Ace Hardware (along with all of the other ingredients needed). I would recommend looking at Ace or your local mom & pop store.

Another update! (6/22/12) I just found ALL of these ingredients in the Laundry aisle at Walmart! Our closest Walmart is about 45 minutes away and the one place I didn’t try…go figure.

Update (12/24/12) I added sizes of each ingredient! Let me know if you have any questions :)

With squeaky clean clothes and a fatter wallet,
Mrs. Edwards