#AtoZChallenge | Cleaning kits with a little extra heart

At the start of the year, I put together my goals around supporting local which is a cause close to my heart and has taken on even more importance due to the immense impact COVID-19 has had on our communities. One of my goals was to make kits for Maine Needs a local non-profit that launched amidst the pandemic. They are focused on helping Mainers meet basic needs.

Among the many ways you can donate, their Maine needs kits are an option that align well with both my need to help my fellow Mainers and my love of finding the perfect gift. While originally I planned to start with their “Minute for Mom Kits”, after reading a post on their Instagram feed I saw that they were running short on the “Cleaning & Toiletry Kits” so I opted to make some of the Cleaning kits first.

Since my goal was to support local as much as possible, in addition to just checking off their wish list items I added some personal goals:

  • to incorporate locally made products wherever possible;
  • to include environmentally friendly cleaning products; and
  • to add some personalization and fun to the kits.

For local products, I picked two that matched the cleaning theme:

  1. The first were packs of DURAFRESH™ cleaning cloths. The cloths are manufactured in Maine and made from sustainable wood fiber. They can be used again and again. I have some that I’ve been using for a few years now. They work great!
  2. The second was Good Natured Brand laundry detergent. This environmentally friendly laundry detergent is another Maine made product. I picked their rosemary revival laundry soda. I love the scent of rosemary.

I packed the rest of my kits with sustainable, environmentally friendly products including seventh generation all-purpose and toilet bowl cleaner, ecofriendly dish detergent, and packed it all into buckets made from recycled plastic.

Since I’m focusing on craft projects it was time to punch these kits up a notch with a little extra heart. I have a softies book that I used a few times when my girls were younger to make gifts for goodie bags but it’s been a while since I looked at it and while I didn’t follow any of the patterns in the book it was a nice refresher on some of the stitches and basic concepts. I pulled out my inexplicably large supply of embroidery thread that someone who doesn’t embroider  probably should not own but I like to keep my crafting options open.

In decided to add some hearts to my kits. It’s a simple design but it did take me some time to do all the stitching.

Step 1)
I cut hearts out of some red and pink felt that I had on hand. Originally, I made a pattern out of paper, but found that it was just as easy to go old school and fold the felt in half and free hand by heart design.

Step 2)
I stitched a simple face on the front.

Step 3)
I added a Happy Cleaning stitched message onto the back.

Step 4)
It still needed a little something extra so I added a flower with a button center in the middle of my message.

Step 5)
I  lopped a ribbon at the top for hanging and stitched the two sides together leaving a small space large enough to add the stuffing.

Step 6)
After stuffing them with fiberfill, I sewed the opening closed. It was a fairly simple craft but really added some fun to the finished kits. I tied a heart to the handle of each of my buckets.

After I finished assembling the kits, I dropped them off at the Maine Needs offices. They accept kit donations on Wednesdays and Saturdays although that may change. Be sure to check their website or Instagram for the most up to date information.

Now it’s time to start on my “Minute for Mom” kits. I’ve already got an idea on how I’ll be embellishing those.

What are your favorite environmentally safe cleaning projects?

I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2021. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Craft Projects for my Home. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

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35 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | Cleaning kits with a little extra heart

  1. Jeanne Bryan Insalaco says:

    Love your embroidery hearts s as bd how awesome are those buckets you made!!! I have a big stash of embroidery thread and can never refuse bringing more home from estate sales. The best sales of sewing and crafting supplies has me drooling as I pick through someone’s stash… often wondering what all they made. My threads are not as neat as yours as they presently sit in my plastic bear tub that once held cookies. I’m constantly giving out thread to the granddaughters so I have to keep on top of finding more! I make lots of felt ornaments at Xmas and give to girls – check out my Crafty category on my blog. I’ve made them for many years and sold them at one time. Love your Softies book.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Jeanne Bryan Insalaco says:

        Me too… but I’me creating crafty granddaughters that like to collect stuff… 😂 I’ve been teaching crafts daily to granddaughters here in Florida… today I showed them how to fold book pages to make the Xmas trees. One especially was excited to learn. Other day I cut out cardboard horses from Ann Woods site and she painted then I added buttons to attach the legs. Happy Easter!🐇🐣

        Liked by 1 person

  2. wendyj59 says:

    Thanks for your visit. I’ve just been catching up on your posts. Those cleaning packs are such a great idea and the hearts are a lovely personal touch. Not sure I’d have the patience for folding all the book pages or the imagination and creativity for your pennant project. My crafting mainly consists of knitting and the odd bit of sewing. Happy Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      I am both horrified and grateful by how many craft supplies I have on hand. Although, you are right in that you never know when you might need stuff for a project. The supplies have certainly come in handy during my A to Z.


  3. Tamara says:

    With this project you killed not two but four birds with one stone! Using the cloths and detergent, helping “Maine Needs” and doing an adorable craft! Well done 🙂
    Actually, make that five – I am considering to use the phrase you just inspired me to apply here!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unishta says:

    I am always envious of people who can organise their craft kits so well.
    I do use environmentally friendly products to clean like tamarind to shine up the brass and soap seeds to shampoo my hair and clean the jewellery. These are typically Indian ways of cleaning.

    D is for Distancing

    Liked by 1 person

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