This DIY Chalboard glass container is perfect for wedding gifts, storing homemade laundry detergent or baking supplies, and it can be made in a snap! This post also has a recipe for homemade laundry detergent — very inexpensive for a lot of loads!
I’m sure I’ve already said it several times but wedding season is definitely here! I feel like I know so many people getting married, which is so exciting. It’s so fun and exciting to see friends start out on such a wonderful adventure together.
Whenever we bring a gift to a wedding, Forrest and I like to give something practical that we can put a fun twist on. One of my favorite wedding gifts we received was a laundry basket full of cleaning supplies, a swiffer mop with refills, and a few other things. It may not have been the typical fine china (which, if I’m being honest, we haven’t even opened the ones we got for our wedding) or bed spread, but it was something that we definitely needed. We didn’t have the money to invest in good cleaning supplies, so it was nice to start our new home and marriage off well-stocked.
Back before Jack was born, we started making our own laundry detergent. I know that’s all the rave, and there’s tons of posts out there about it, but there is definitely good reason for that. Our first batch lasted over a year, was gentle enough of a newborn baby’s skin, and we only used a tablespoon or two at a time. We are definitely big believers in it now, especially since it only costs around $15, which is pretty incredible for a product that lasts over a year. I’ll share the recipe we use (as well as some scent ideas) at the end of this post.
Because we love it so much, we thought it would be fun to give it as a wedding gift this year! However, as I mentioned, I enjoy putting a fun twist on it by making a chalk board glass canister. This is such a simple way to really dress up the container you put it in. In fact, I think you could easily make chalk board glass canisters in any size — as I was making the one for this gift, I was thinking about how I wanted to make some smaller ones to use to store sugar, flour, etc (another relatively inexpensive gift idea.) The possibilities are really endless!
Here’s what you need for the container!
Glass Container with lid (we used a 2 gallon jar from Walmart but size will just depend on what your project is! I’d get multiple sizes if you are doing it to store baking supplies)
4 fluid ounces acrylic chalk board paint (we still half of it left after three coats on the 2 gallon jar)
Turn container upside down and place the containers lid right side up on the newspaper that you’ve laid out.
Using a foam painting brush, cover the entire jar with one layer of chalkboard paint — make sure you make all the strokes in the same direction if possible. Then, do the same with the containers lid.
Let it dry and then do another layer of paint. Continue this process until it’s your desired darkness (we did three layers.) You can paint in the inside, if desired, but we didn’t feel this was necessary. Once I finished the final layer, I flipped the jar right side up and did a few layers on the part of the glass that I couldn’t reach while I was painting it upside down.
After the jar has dried completely, take a piece of chalk and rub it all across the jar and lid.
Smear the chalk with a paper towel or with your hands. You don’t want too much excess chalk left, so you can even clean it up with a damp cloth. You are just putting the chalk on to help treat the chalk board. Enjoy! Write whatever you want on the front, or keep it blank. If you are giving this as a gift, you could include some chalk. If you are making these for food canisters, you can easily write what is in the container, what day you bought it, etc., and when you run out, you just erase and start over! And now, for the homemade laundry detergent. As I already said, there are a million recipes out there, and they are all essentially the exact same. I don’t even remember where we got the original one from that we made a few years ago — I just remembered the ingredients (they are all pretty easy to find in the laundry aisle. I noticed that at Walmart, all the ingredients were right next to each other, even!) I’ve linked to the products on Amazon so you can see what it looks like but I do not recommend buying them there. It’s A LOT less expensive in store!
Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 box (55 ounce) Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 box (64 ounce) Pure Baking Soda
1 box (76 ounce) Borax
1 container (3 lb) Oxi Clean
2 bars of Fels-naptha or 1 bar Zote laundry soap (we used Zote — not pictured above. It was 97 cents at Walmart.) Some kind of laundry scent (optional.)
Some kind of laundry scent (optional.)
We always like using Downy Unstopables, but Purex Crystals or even a bunch of essential oils would work well. I don’t use essential oils usually (since they make me sick), but I’ve heard that Wild Orange or Lavender is rather pleasant in this! Something to scoop the detergent. You could use the scoop that comes in the Oxi Clean container, or we actually bought a little 1/4 cup measured (pictured above) for less than $1 at Walmart. Remember, you only need a small amount for each load.
1. Grate the laundry soap bar into a large container or heavy-duty trash bag.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, breaking up any clumps that may occur.
3. Mix together.
4. Store in a 2-gallon container. We always have a smaller container that we put some of it in and then a larger container with the rest. Be aware that this doesn’t suds up like most detergents, but it does get your clothes clean! It is supposed to be safe for any washing machine, including HE ones.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
Francis Gutowski says
Huge excess of water softeners and a filler (baking soda). Calculate how much bar soap (the only cleaning agent) the tiny dose of this concoction delivers per load. It’s minuscule! Results will be comparable to washing with plain water!
I’ve used Ivory soap instead of the Fels Naptha or Zote soap. Although, I have used both. It is all awesome.
I’m going to try that!
Sydney @ Tastefully Frugal says
What a cute idea! I love homemade gifts!! And i’m actually pretty close to running out of Tide so I think I’m going to try your recipe for the laundry detergent and see how it works. I have two boys under 3 and they are messy… Have you had any trouble with this not getting grass/dirt/mud out of your little guy’s clothes?
Thanks so much Sydney! Ah, I can only imagine the mess with two boys under three! Whenever there is a tough stain, I do pretreat it with some kind of stain remover, but the detergent does a good job taking it from there. Let’s just say that my son’s infant clothing were put through the wringer with lots of blowouts (TMI, I know), but you’d never know. We only used this detergent when he was a baby.