Cheap Cricut Vinyl

For those of you who own a Cricut machine and buy vinyl for it, I found a great place to buy it cheap. It's The link for the vinyl you want is here.

It is the exact same vinyl that Cricut sells. If you look on the back of your vinyl, it says Oracal 631. This vinyl is also Oracal 631. The only difference is that this is sold in larger rolls: either 24" wide, or 15" wide (with perforated edges). I think you have to buy it either in 15 foot or 50 foot lengths. But if you use it a lot, or go in on it with friends, it is a great deal.

I thought their service was great, and the shipping cost was good (at least to where I live) if you buy your rolls all at once. They can also give you a folder with color charts in it for future ordering. They gave me mine free with my order. You might have to pay for it if you aren't ordering yet, I don't know.

They also sell permanent vinyl, which is weather proof and should last 3-5 years, depending on which you buy. For that type, you need a special removing fluid to get the vinyl off (use only on places like glass or on a banner, never on your walls). When I bought a banner to put it on, I also bought a special fluid that gave me extra time to reposition the vinyl, in case I made a mistake when I laid it down.

The cost of the vinyl, if I remember correctly, averaged 66 cents per square foot. A great deal when compared to the $2.50 per square foot that you pay when you buy it in the sheets sold in clear boxes at craft stores. I haven't seen anywhere online cheaper.

Happy Cricutting!

Natural Dishwasher "Detergent" (soap, actually)

I have been researching lately to find recipes for homemade cleaning and toiletry recipes, in order to make healthier, and hopefully less expensive products for my family and home. It can be difficult to find good recipes. Often the cleaning power of such recipes is weak, or requires too many costly ingredients, or is too complex. But I've hit on a few that sound good that I plan to try, and I thought I would share them, starting with natural, homemade dishwasher detergent.

Dishwasher detergent, natural? I know, I was surprised too. We're probably all familiar with the common recipe (and variations thereof) for homemade laundry soap. But I hadn't found anything prior to this for dishwashers. I've tried a couple of store-bought natural dishwasher detergents, which brought instant complaints from my husband about their inefficiency, particular from the Seventh Generation powdered dishwasher detergent. Since my husband is wonderful enough to do the dishes for me, I graciously returned to the toxic Cascade we have traditionally used, even though I hated to do it.

So now I've found a few recipes online that sound promising. Since we have hard well water, I'll be eager to find out how well they work.

Here is the first one:

Recipe 1: Healthy Vegan Blog's Best Homemade Dishwasher Detergent:

  • 1 1/2 cups borax
  • 1 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons of ground castile soap
  • 1/4 cup citric acid

Pour ingredients in a container with an airtight lid. Shake. Use about 2 TB per load.

She uses a food processor shredder attachment to shred Dr. Bronner's bar soap and then uses the regular food processor blade to mince it into a powder. She also says she found out from someone else that citric acid was the answer to the dull film that her previous dish detergent recipe left behind. She also mentioned that some recipes call for 1/4 salt, which she thought might help those with hard water. This recipe sounds the most promising to me, but I'll include a few other, similar recipes in case you want to try those too.

Recipe 2: Mix equal parts of borax and wash­ing soda, but increase the wash­ing soda if your water is hard. (I've heard washing soda can be more caustic than baking soda, so some people prefer to use baking soda instead, just in case.)

Recipe 3: Mix one part borax, one part baking soda and 1/4 part salt. Add white vine­gar to the rinse aid compartment to get them squeaky clean.

Recipe 4: Herbal Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
2 drops essential Tea Tree Oil
2 drops essential Lavender Oil

Mix all ingredients in a tightly lidded container, stirring well to combine the oils into the powder. Use 1 Tbl. in each dispenser (a total of 2 Tbls).

Feel free to post a comment if you try these recipes, and let me know your results. I plan to try this soon, so I'll edit this post and add my own experiences here at the bottom.