Monday, September 5, 2011

Fire-Retardant Free PJs (and a fun craft to boot!)

I had a little sabbatical from my blog. Truth is, it was summer, my kids were out of school & I found my time slipped away. Also, a few things I planned to try & write about didn't turn out quite the way I anticipated. Such is life, but I am back. Along those lines, after take-2 we finally successfully made our new PJs!

You may recall, we were going to make PJs because I discovered the chemical used in the fire-retardant that they put on kids pajamas, infant mattress pads, the foam in car seats, etc. is on the EPA's list of ingredients most harmful for kids. I also recently learned that the state legislature in NY passed a bill preventing manufacturers from including this chemical (TCEP) in products sold in their state. I am hopeful there will be a top-down effect from this for those of us not in NY.

I also discovered this website which provides general education on the subject. It's great for general information, but I was disappointed that it does not include a list of alternative products if you are trying to avoid some of these chemicals.

But, back to the PJs. If I can't buy PJs without fire retardant*, by golly, we'll make them! I bought plain t-shirts at Michaels (on sale for $2.50 ea!) and some boxers. First, I tried buying an iron-on. This was the failed plan. Then using these iron-on things, the kids colored pictures, I scanned them & then printed to the iron-ons. First I printed the design backward. Once I finally did get it right, I realized there were a few tiny bubbles in it. The washing machine does quite a number on it from there. And, you must use the "dark" option to print on a darker shirt, "light" for a white shirt. However, using light on a dark shirt helps the failed plan show up in a picture on a blog so you can easily see how it failed.

Now: the successful plan. I finally decided to just buy fabric paint & fabric markers. They have had a blast making these shirts! Much more fun than just coloring pictures. It has even sparked imagination. My 3-yr-old made an orange dot & declared it a peacock! These were so fun to make & we now have little keepsakes that make me smile every time they wear them. I will always remember that cars & raccoons were a big part of our lives at this age!

*I did find fire retardant-free  PJs at Old Navy. I'm not sure if it was a fluke or if their PJs don't normally contain the chemical. But, I'll likely be back to buy more.

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