Try some of these simple ways to make your shoes last longer and take a little pressure off of your wallet.
Buying new shoes can put a strain on your wallet, especially if you have a large family. There are several things you can do to make your shoes last longer and get better value for your hard earned dollars.
One of the most overlooked ways to save money on shoes is to purchase well-made, high quality shoes. You may be able to find shoes at lower prices at discount shoe stores and bargain department stores but they are likely to be made cheaply out of man made materials that seem to disintegrate with daily use. The money you save buying cheap shoes will be lost when you need to replace them more often. Purchasing shoes that are well made out of durable materials such as leather and suede may cost more but the shoes will last much longer.
One of the first areas to wear out on shoes is the sole. Shoe soles can be protected from wear in advance by gluing a layer of rubber onto the bottom of the shoe. This can be done by a shoe repair shop or on your own if you can obtain the rubber. Gluing rubber onto the sole of the shoe is an inexpensive preventative care method that can be repeated as the rubber wears down. Rubber will also give extra traction to your leather soled shoes in the winter. Dragging your feet when you walk will make short work of the soles of your shoes. Pay attention to the way you walk and be sure to pick your feet up with each step.
Using shoe inserts is another great way to prolong the life of your shoes. Shoe inserts can absorb odor and moisture and protect the inside of your shoes. When the shoe inserts get soiled you can simply replace them. If you are extremely thrifty you can even make your own shoe inserts out of cardboard or scrap cloth.
Storing your shoes with newspaper stuffed inside of them can keep your shoes from losing shape and also absorbs excess moisture.
Sneakers can be given a new lease on life with a bit of bleach. Most sneaker soil can be removed with a mixture of half bleach and half water and a soft cloth. Take off the shoe laces and toss them into the washing machine with some bleach and they will emerge as good as new. Any scuffs or scratches in your sneakers that you can't remove with bleach can be buffed away with a bit of white shoe polish.
If your shoes are leather or suede you can protect them from the elements with a protective spray or saddle soap. Periodically treating your shoes with one of these products will keep them from being stained and damaged by water, snow, and salt. Always wipe your shoes down when you come in from bad weather to keep moisture from settling into the surface of your shoes and to keep any salt from drying into a crust that is hard to remove.
Removing your shoes incorrectly can actually cause unnecessary wear and tear. Always unlace your shoes and remove them with your hands rather than kicking them off by pressing down on the backs of them with your opposite foot. While it may take a few extra seconds to remove your shoes, your toes and heels will get less abuse.
The way you sit and stand can wear away the toes of your shoes. Pay attention to the way you sit when you are at your desk or on the train. Do you cross your ankles and rest your toes on the ground? Do you sit with your toes bent under? Most of us do one of these things without even realizing it. Try to sit and stand with your feet flat on the ground at all times. Not only will this save wear and tear on the toes of your shoes but you will have better posture.
When the old throw pillow need new covers try this simple how-to.
When the pillows start to become raggedy or look straight out of the seventies it is time to make throw pillow covers.
You should first select a theme or color that will match your decor. Take a measuring tape (or string) and measure all the way around the pillow from front to back lengthwise, and front to back horizontally. Add an extra inch into you measurements for the seams. If you want to put a zipper on the cover than you should measure one end of the pillow
When you go to buy the cloth select a nice thick material that does not fray, snag or rip easy. If you have kids you may want to stay away from whites or very expensive cloth. A good material suggestion is a 50/50 cotton polyester blend. Test the material on the ends with your hand to make sure it is a good durable material. If you are going to put zippers on your pillow covers pick up ones that blend into your material, do the same with the thread.
Once you arrive home you should wash the material in the washing machine. After the material is washed and dried you can begin measuring out the material you need for each pillow.
For example: If you have a pillow that is 15" lengthwise and 12" width wise then you would measure out 31" (2 x 15" + 1" seam) lengthwise and 25" (2 x 12" + 1" seam).
After the material is cut fold the material so that the wrong side is out. (The wrong side is the side that you do not want shown when the pillow is done. For example, the printed side would be the right side.) Once it is folded it should be approximately the same size as the pillow but without the stuffing.
With the wrong side out there should be 3 open ends. Select which end you would like to put the zipper (if you adding a zipper) and sew up the other two openings leaving that one opening bare. When you sew remember that you have a half inch seam allowance on each of the three sides, otherwise sew ? inch in from the outside edge.
Once both edges are done turn the material so that the pattern is now on the right side. You may want to put the pillow into the case and make sure it fits appropriately. Take the zipper and turn the right side of the zipper (the side you would show) towards the right side of the material. Pin the edge of the zipper to the edge of the pillow casing. Hint: Do not sew too close to the actual zipper, as the material may get caught while you are zipping. Once the zipper is pinned you may sew that one side.
To make a little flap that hides the zipper you should do the following for the other side. Unzip the zipper and fold the other half of the opening that is unsewn over so that only the right side is showing. The fold should be just long enough that when you press the unsewn side of the zipper up next to it the top of the fold goes just beyond the zipper. Pin the bottom of the unsewn zipper (the part with no teeth) along the bottom of the flap so that the teeth are at the top where the flap is folded over. Sew along the bottom of the zipper and the flap.
When you are done you should be able to zip the zipper and have a beautiful new look for your throw pillow.
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