Dear Heloise: I will be giving my sister a bridal shower in May, and I believe it was you who once had an idea for a bridal gift that was made with various household items to form a stand-up doll. Did you have this? If so, please repeat the directions! Nancy A., Anaheim, Calif.
Well, the instructions for the "Kitchen Maid" have been printed in this column for a "long, long time." It's time to print them again, since so many of you asked for them.
Begin the assembly with an ironing board as the body (a vacuum cleaner can also be used, but that depends on your budget). Next, tie an apron on to form a waist, and place some utensils, dish towels and other small kitchen items in the apron pockets.
For face and hair, stand a string mop (mop side up) and attach it to the back of the ironing board -- don't forget to arrange the stringy hair. For eyes you can use nylon-net puffs; the nose will be a small kitchen sponge (you can cut it to shape); and a nailbrush or other small, rectangular brush can be used for the mouth.
A dustpan makes great "feet," and a nice little touch is a mop bucket filled with some favorite cleaners.
The kitchen maid is such a great gift because she is made with all those things you need to keep a home in tiptop shape. Don't be afraid to make some changes or additions -- she should be made with the receiver in mind.
Visit www.Heloise.com for a photo of one we made in our office. Heloise
Dear Heloise: When putting curtains on a drapery rod, here's what I do to make sure they go on smoothly:
Put an inexpensive sandwich bag over the end of the rod, then slide the curtain onto the rod. I have found this especially helpful when hanging sheer or lace curtains, which tend to "hang up" often. B.B., Port Arkansas, Texas
Dear Heloise: Spring-cleaning time is here, and this is a neat trick I use to scrub my walls: Instead of washing them down with my hands and a sponge, to avoid splinters from paneling or gouges from protruding nails, I use a sponge mop.
Another trick -- when those gallon plastic jugs are empty, I rinse them out and cut the bottoms off to cover small tomato, pepper or other plants when there's a chance of frost. Connie Leonard, Harrisburg, Pa.
Dear Heloise: A year ago, I was on 24-hour call. When waking up in the dark, I would always get my watch on backward. Then I thought of a way to get it on right every time. I feel for the stem and turn it toward my hand.
Also, if you have a watch with a face that lights up, you will have just enough light to find your house shoes in a dark room. P.Z., Bridge City, Texas
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