DIY Swiffer Duster Refills | Week 3 | #52wonderfilledweeks

In the crafting/sewing world there are UnFinished Objects (UFO's).  I have lot's of fact that is the reason I started this challenge.  With older age comes the want for simplicity. And with simplicity comes purging...and purging comes finally finishing the unfinished.  A recent online challenge I participated in referred to this process as "closing loops". We feel better about ourselves when we complete something. I have a few UFO's laying around...but I have more UnStarted Ideas (USI's).  These are usually concepts for things we need that I just haven'g gotten around to researching.  You know, we NEED a curtain in our bathroom to block the bright afternoon sun.  I could buy one...but what's the fun in that? I know I want to make one but I don't want to just make a regular curtain I want to make one with hidden tabs and a vent for the bathroom steam. These kinds of ideas end up taking quite a bit of time (and brain power)...something that's a pretty hot commodity in our house of two working parents and two kids under 4. But this week I started tackling my mental list of USI's and actually made something I have been talking about making for YEARS.  I hate dusting and we have a TON of woodwork in our house.  Our moldings are beautiful but have lots of crevices and areas for dust to sit and accumulate.  I love the Swiffer Duster but refuse to pay money for something that is so short lived, goes directly in a landfill when I am done and I need like 4 to do my first floor alone! I started with this tutorial to make my first set (blue flannel) but then changed a few things when I made my second set (green and white). My changes/adaptations are below.

First, if you have several dusting handles you'll want to check them out.  We had a really old one (has the little arched tabs on the side of the inserted part) and a newer one.  I found that if I traced the shape of the newer one the older tabbed version did not fit.  However if you made the hole fit the older version the newest one would also fit.

Older version with arched tabs in the background.  Newer handle in the foreground.
My first set turned out pretty well but I ended up cutting the strips too wide (not pictures) so I started to cut my strips in half inch increments and that seemed to work really well.  Flannel will fray, and that is totally okay for this project.  It's like more little hairs to grab all the dust.  I used plain scissors for my first two but then switched to my pinking sheers for the rest.  I like the look and texture it gives to the duster but it will also help slow down the fraying.

One of the last dusters I made, making sure to cut even 1/2" strips with pinking sheers. Before washing.

 I think the all flannel dusters work great, but I wanted something a little fluffier as the base.  I've read where folks make these with fleece but I had some of this super soft and  fluffy (I think minky) material I bought in the remnant bin at JoAnn's years ago and thought it would be perfect.  Since it is so thick I only used it as the base layer (the inner most two pieces sandwiched together) and the rest flannel.  It shed like crazy so definitely throw it in the wash before you use it!  It's my favorite.  I think I have almost perfected the pattern for myself.  I did also tweak a few other things like how far I sew the seams on the ends, but the tutorial linked above will absolutely get you a working duster, I am just a perfectionist.  See, these things just end up taking TIME.  But now I have 7, SEVEN, reusable, washable dusters and my house has never looked better!!

My favorite version, minky and flannel with 1/2" strips, pinked with sheers and one seam alteration.

I had coffee with a colleague and friend yesterday after a long, and at times, frustrating opera rehearsal. We talked a lot about creativity as a musician and what that means this day in age. As a musician (especially a free lance one!) I feel like we also often have UnStarted Ideas. Concert concepts, pieces we would like to play...venues we think would work for X but we never get around to exploring, pieces of music we read thru once and put aside for various reasons. What would happen if we just took ONE idea a month and investigated it? Reached out to the venue manager, asked a colleague to collaborate, looked for new music to play or wrote your own?

I'll tell you what would happen...there would be a lot more ART and MUSIC in the world.

Get off your couch and go CREATE something TODAY....

My favorite version (top), Swiffer's one time use, throw away version (middle) & my first version, all flannel (bottom).


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