Hand Sanitizer Cozy–Makes a great teacher gift!

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Here is a super quick but thoughtful gift you can make your kids’ teachers this year!  Practical, inexpensive, and adorable… Dust off your sewing machine, because you have no choice–you’re totally going to do this with me!

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Materials:

  • Pump Bottle of Hand Sanitizer
  • One 8 3/4″ x 6 1/4″ piece of fabric  (Wash and dry your fabric before you cut it, to make sure this project is machine washable.)
  • Straight Pins
  • Sewing gauge or ruler
  • Sewing Machine/Thread
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Embellishments of your choice!

You’ll be able to  churn out several of these pretty quickly after the first one.  I based this tutorial on an 8 oz. bottle of Purell.

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Step 1: With WRONG SIDES TOGETHER (in other words, you should be looking at the pretty side of the fabric as you sew) sew the 6 1/4″ ends of your fabric together leaving 1/4″ seam allowance.  That doesn’t leave you a ton of space, so go carefully, and pin it beforehand if you think it will help.  We’re about to make French seams!!!

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Step 2:  Press that seam to one side.  Turn the piece inside out, and press the seam into a crease.

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Step 3:  Using a 3/8″ seam allowance, stitch the side again with RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.  (You should be looking at the wrong side of the fabric now.)

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Step 4: Press the seam flat, and turn your work right side out again.  Before you begin the next step CENTER that seam.  You want it to be in the center of the back of your bottle.  It wouldn’t hurt to press your work flat this way so you remember.

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Step 5:  With WRONG SIDES TOGETHER stitch the bottom with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press, turn inside out, then stitch again with a 3/8″ seam allowance.  You’re getting the hang of it now!  Have you noticed yet that 3/8″ is probably just the edge of your presser foot? 😉

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Step 6:  Go back to your ironing board, and press that bottom seam flat.  Now, keeping your work inside out, turn it bottoms up, and sort of karate chop the center so you have two “ears”.  See?

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Step 7:  Bring these ears together and press them flat.

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Step 8:  Measuring 5/8″ from the tips of ears, stitch a line on each one.  You’ll want to press the ears so that they point upward, toward the bottle’s spout.

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Step 9:  You’re almost done!  We just have to hem the top!  Fold down 1/2″ and press.  Fold down 1/2″ again and press.  Stitch with 3/8″ seam allowance.

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Step 10:  Add embellishments!!!  This might just be a bow around the neck of the bottle, or bows/ buttons/embroidery/lace on the cozy itself!  Get creative!  Now do a happy dance!!!  You have an adorable gift for your kids’ teachers, or just for cuteness around your home!

I’m thinking I’ll tuck in one of these quick tissue holders to coordinate and voila!  Winter illnesses will be no match for my kids teachers!

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Apx. cost of this project:
Hand Sanitizer: $1-3
Fabric: Free-$1
Thread/notions: Free-$1 depending on your embellisments!
Total: $1-$5
Mine cost: $3 because I paid full price for my hand sanitizer.  Dag nabit!

Time for this project: 12 minutes 6 seconds  (Full Disclosure: This was my personal best stopwatch time after a few practices.  Betcha’ can’t beat it!)

Send me a link to your photos because you’re totally doing this project!

-Mac-

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21 Days: Giving purpose to my paranoia.

So, this week I’m stocking up on Purell, and Clorox wipes, and Lysol.  No no!  Not because of Ebola!!!  No no.  Just cold and flu season.  And maybe enterovirus.  Because I’m rational.  Right?  I would never let my own irrational fears dictate my behaviors.  Right?  Right.  Just COLDS and FLUS… #maybeopposite

I know, I know.  You’re already sick of hearing/talking about it.  We’ve especially got Ebola fatigue in northeast Ohio after this week’s news.  I just got a call from my kids’ school, reassuring all parents that we are at no risk of Ebola, but to make sure and disclose all our children’s sick day symptoms — just in case.

With pretty much every news flash, yesterday, I HAD to find some hand sanitizer and use it.  I know.  My family is not really at risk.  I know.  But even though my beautiful, brilliant noggin has processed all that information, the pesky butterflies in my stomach tend to settle if I ceremoniously pump a bit of sanitizer gel.  My husband summed it up pretty well–it’s like the fear some people have of air travel.  You KNOW the stats that you’re way more likely to crash in a car, but if you DO happen to crash in a plane you’re pretty much toast.  Yeah.

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First of all, let me point out that I have the prettiest hand sanitizer in the world, thanks to my harvest themed nose blowing station in the picture.  (Note: Another one of my grapevine wreaths, and I hope to tell you more about this easy hand sanitizer cozy in the near future. #teachergifts)

But also, I just want to think about the response I actually do want to take to Ebola.  The message from our leaders has been “Don’t panic,” which is really reassuring when it’s followed by, “This hospital/CDC/humans weren’t cautious enough…”  But average Jill Shmills like you and me can’t do much beyond asking, “How can we help?”

I’m not an expert, but my understanding is that ebola would not have taken this hold were it not for profound poverty crippling efforts to contain it.  Yes, in America the perceived threat is much greater than the actual threat, but West Africa will suffer from this outbreak for generations as the ramifications to their familial, economic, and healthcare structures unfold.  Ramifications that do, in one way or another, tend to impact surrounding areas and the world at large.  Maybe I’m naive, but wouldn’t it make sense to rally around Ebola in the same way we rally around natural disasters and ice buckets?

So, while I’m no philanthropist, I’m giving myself a very small challenge for the next 21 days:  For every dollar I spend on my OCD comforts (e.g. hand sanitizer, bleach, anti-viral snake oil), to match with a dollar donated toward fighting Ebola in West Africa.

$10 on Purell –> $10 to World Vision’s Ebola efforts.  (Basically helping them distribute gloves, masks, and other hygiene items to clinics in affected areas.)

Of course Ebola, while it makes a sensational news story, maybe shouldn’t draw funds away from other charities we choose to support, so for me, this small challenge is just a short term adjustment we’ll hardly even notice in the grocery budget, but it will sooth my conscience to put something toward families that can’t just run to Walgreens for Lysol and hand soap.

Pretty simple, probably not all that significant, but these little baby steps are ways we slowly change the world, or at very least, our hearts.  Right?

-Mac-

P.S. Tell me in the comments if you decide to take this challenge, too!  Also feel free to link up other trustworthy charitable organizations that are on top of this!

P.P.S.  Here’s a great podcast on the history and science of Ebola.