Archive of ‘Crafts & DIY’ category

How To Make Natural Pink Grapefruit and Clay Soap

| Crafts & DIY, Health & Beauty

Learn How To Make Natural Pink Grapefruit and Clay Soap - free recipe and tutorial

Learn How To Make Natural Pink Grapefruit and Clay Soap

How To Make Natural Pink Grapefruit and Clay Soap

For Christmas each year, I make some sort of handmade gift for all the amazing women in my life. This year it was a variety of soaps and my award-winning lip balm (ok, maybe it hasn’t won any awards but IMHO it’s the best lip balm on the planet). I had so much fun creating and experimenting with new soap recipes including peppermint, lemongrass, citrus and honey and oats. I really love them all but perhaps my favorite is the pink grapefruit and clay soap.

Benefits of Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil and Pink Clay

Grapefruit essential oil is a powerful antioxidant and can help with excessive oiliness, dryness, and blemishes. Pink clay is perfect for sensitive skin, as it has a gentle cleansing action that isn’t too harsh. Also, clay has the amazing ability to absorb toxins from the skin, such as dirt, makeup, bacteria, and oil. The pink grapefruit and clay soap smells amazing and it’s so refreshing when you’re just waking up with your morning shower – oh, and the lather is out of this world!

It was almost a year ago that I learned how to make soap with my first recipe being a natural calendula soap. We adore our handmade soap so much, it’s all my family uses now. I love that I know exactly what’s in my soap and that it won’t dry out our skin like so many commercial soaps. Soap making can seem a little scary but as long as you follow the instructions and take the proper safety precautions you’ll be fine (was that convincing). Seriously, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Natural Pink Grapefruit and Clay Soap Recipe

Natural Pink Grapefruit and Clay Soap Recipe

Natural Pink Grapefruit and Clay Soap Recipe

Download your Pink Grapefruite and Clay Soap Recipe here.

Makes approximately 2.5 lbs.

Ingredients: *note – measurements are done by weight and not volume for better accuracy.

  • 10 oz. (350 grams) Coconut Oil
  • 6 oz. (170 grams) Palm Oil (please, if possible, try to use a certified sustainable palm oil)
  • 8 oz. (226 grams) Olive Oil
  • 10 oz. (283 grams) Caster Oil
  • 4 oz. (113 grams) Almond Oil
  • 5.9 oz (176 grams) Lye
  • 14 oz. (397 grams) Cold Water (distilled or filtered if possible)
  • 4 tsp of Grapefruit Essential Oils (EO’s are expensive so if you’re ok with grapefruit fragrance oil you can swap it here but I’d suggest leaving out fragrance if the people using it have sensitivities).
  • 2 tbsp pink clay

What you’ll need:

  • Pyrex measuring cup
  • Container to measure lye into
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Large mixing spoon
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Kitchen scale
  • Candy thermometer (2 if possible)
  • Blender stick
  • Soap mold (1 quart [1 litre] milk cartons work great if you don’t want to buy a proper mold – that’s what I use)
  • Tea towels
  • Chef’s knife

Directions:

  1. Weigh cold water and place in a Pyrex measuring cup.
  2. Put on rubber gloves and safety goggles and carefully measure lye into a container. Pour into the water while stirring with spoon – mix carefully and avoid splashing (important – always pour the lye into the water and not the water into the lye – this can cause a mini explosion). Avoid inhaling fumes – stir until lye is completely dissolved. Place thermometer in lye – making sure that it is suspended in the liquid and not resting on the bottom of the container
  3. Weigh oils and/or fat into stainless steel pot. Place on stovetop and turn on heat to lowest setting and keep an eye on the temperature with your thermometer.
  4. If you used cold water to mix your lye, it should now be somewhere around 150 degrees Fahrenheit and will be starting to cool. The object is to bring the lye and the oils simultaneously to a temperature in the range of between 110 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as they are both at the same temperature you should have no trouble getting your mixture to “trace”. Tracing refers to the soap mixture’s ability to hold a design on its surface.
  5. Start to mix the oils at a low-speed with the blender stick. Pour the lye into the mixture in a steady stream being careful not to splash. When the lye has been emptied into the pot continue stirring. Test for tracing by turning the blender stick off and lifting out of the mixture and drizzling across the surface of the soap. When the lines hold their form momentarily, you are ready to add scent and calendula flowers if you want to. *If adding scent, coloring or inclusions you must work quickly as your soap will begin to set up quickly at this stage and you need to get it into a mold!
  6. Pour mixture into the mold then wrap mold in tea towels to keep the soap as warm as possible. Put container in a safe place out of drafts and let it sit for at least 12 hours before checking (This is the hardest part about soap making – no peeking!)
  7. After 36 hours check your soap. It’s ready to remove from the mold when it has cooled and is completely opaque. If after 36 hours it’s solid but still quite soft, place in the freezer until frozen solid. When solid, tear away sides of the carton to reveal your gorgeous creation. Cut into bars using a large chef’s knife and allow to cure for 3 weeks before use (although it can be used before then – it just won’t last as long).

Download your Pink Grapefruit and Clay Soap Recipe here.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to making all kinds of soap, take a peek at this great book: The Everything Soapmaking Book: Learn How to Make Soap at Home with Recipes, Techniques, and Step-by-Step Instructions

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15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity

| Crafts & DIY, Design & Technology

15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity - consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity

I know what you’re thinking…savvy, tech and design loving blogger must have her finger on the pulse of all the latest social media platforms. While I’m flattered by this, I have to be completely open and admit that I’ve been dragging my feet a little on a couple (OK, maybe a few) social media platforms – mainly Twitter and Instagram. But, since one of my goals for 2016 is to broaden my knowledge of social media, I recently decided to give up my unfounded disinterest and dive right in.

Why follow Instagram?

While I’m still trying to sort out Twitter (sensory overload) I’m totally digging Instagram. With over 80 million photos uploaded to Instagram every day, there’s a virtual smorgasbord board of creative geniuses to peruse. What’s not to like? It’s all about photos (one of my favorite forms of creativity); you get to be a bit of a voyeur into other people’s lives and, it’s where “all the kids hang” (you know it’s good if kids like it). Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out… Instagram is fabulous for businesses, entrepreneurs, and marketers – it’s the easiest way to humanize their brands and make them feel relatable!

Since my foray into the world of Instagram, I’ve become enamored with so many amazing Instagrammers (correct terminology?). There are some pretty amazing people in this world, that’s all I can say. I am astounded by the unending, deep vein of creativity that seems to run through so many talented people.

So why chose 15 Instagram Accounts to follow? Well, my list was only supposed to be 10 amazing Instagrammers but I couldn’t narrow it down… so 15 it is. I’ve tried to cover a lot of creative topics so there’s something for everybody. Be prepared to get your creative juices flowing (hope you can spare the next 2-4 hours – it’s a vortex I tell ya).

15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity –  in no particular order

(Go to the Instagram Accounts by clicking on their names in blue. All photos direct from each Instagram user’s account.)

1. Geninne – Wow, this Santa Fe artist has mad talent pouring out of every cell in her body. I’ve been following her blog for years but now I get my quick fixes seeing her newest creations popping up in the Instagram feed. Geninne - 15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity - consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

2. Femme.Broidery – This fellow Canadian has knocked my socks off. I didn’t even know I liked embroidery until I saw her work…so much so, I just took my fist embroidery class this past weekend.15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity - check out these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity

3. Dagmar’s Kitchen – I honestly have no idea how I stumbled across this insanely creative food stylist and blogger but her food photos are about the best I’ve every seen. Oh, those colors!15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity -  consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

4. Baking a Moment – This girl makes food look way too pretty to eat. I swear I salivate every time I peruse her photos. Simply divine!15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity -  consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

5. Niebeskachata – If you follow my blog at all, you know that I’m a sucker for beautiful crochet designs. Agnieszka makes crochet designs look so good you’ll want to eat them.niebieskachata

6. Tell love and party – This is about as fun and colorful an account as you’ll find. Jam packed with crafts and amazing party themes, you’ll want to create an event just so you can use some of her clever ideas.15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity -  consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

7. Almost Makes Perfect – Sublime and dreamy, Molly’s photos make me want to paint every room and item in my house white. Sleek, minimalist and downright gorgeous.15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity -  consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

 8. Hello Glow Blog – I always want to run to the grocery store and stock up on fruit and veggies after seeing these photos. Hello Glow’s photos can’t help but inspire you to be healthier.15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity -  consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

9. West Coast Petrichor – Oh how I love petrichor (look it up)! This is the work of my friend Tana’s incredibly talented daughter. Phenomenal photography and a sampling of images from my favorite part of the planet. Oh, and if you’re a coffee lover there’s lots of caffeine inspiration as well.15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity -  consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

10. Ms Craftberry Bush – Elegant, sophisticated and chic home, DIY, crafts, and printables. Lucy’s style and taste will make you want to rethink you living room decor. Amazing!msCraftberryBush

11. Honey and the Hive – Check out these fun, colorful and amazing illustrations and paintings by Kelsey DeLange. Her work is oozing with charm and character.Honey-and-Hive

12. Riva La Diva – This talented diva not only blogs about fashion but shows you how you can make these on-trend styles yourself! She shares her personal style through fashion tutorials, outfit ideas, beauty tips and more.Riva-La-Diva

13. Katie Is A Daisy – Beautiful and whimsical fine art inspired by nature. Her color palettes are always spot on and her hand lettering is magical.15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity - consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

14. Studio DIY – Follow Kelly and you’ll find a lot of fun DIY projects, party tips and colorful ideas designed to help you inspire, create and celebrate.15 Instagram Accounts to Inspire Your Creativity - consider these must-follow Instagram accounts to inspire your creativity.

15. Kraft Mint – Soft color palettes and modern stylish crafts. Ursula will inspire you with her unending stream of craft and decor ideas.Kraft-Mint

Finally, I have a (currently sad) little Instagram account too. I’m just getting started with it so pardon my lack of images…but bare with me, I’m working on it. Follow the Dabbles and Babbles Instagram Account – I need all the help I can get! Thanks.

Oh, one last thing. I also started a curated Pinterest board called, “Instagram Love” where I pin all my favorite photos and inspirations. Check it out here.

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Polymer Clay Spiral Hair Wraps

| Crafts & DIY, Kids Fun

Learn how to make these quick and easy polymer clay spiral hair wraps. A great kids craft - girls will love making their own cute hair accessories.

Easy to make spiral hair wrap.

Polymer Clay Spiral Hair Wraps – Today I’m excited to show you how to make these flexible, removable polymer clay spiral hair wraps. These are ridiculously fast and easy to make. From the moment I decided to try to make these until they were ready to use was about 30 minutes. They’re so easy to make, kids can pretty much make them their selves.

There’s a back story about how these came to be actually. About a year ago my mother-in-law went to Seattle and found some sweet spiral hair wraps to give to Noelle. Noelle’s worn them but honestly I never really looked at them too closely. Then a number of weeks ago I went on a girls trip to Seattle and while we were at Pike’s Market my girlfriend found similar hair wraps for her daughter. When she showed me what she bought, she suggested I should try to figure out how to make them. So when I got home I took a look at Noelle’s hair wraps and I decided to give it a try. What do you know…these spiral hair wraps were super quick easy to make.

Polymer Clay Spiral Hair Wrap Tutorial

Supplies:

  • Polymer clay in various colors (Sculpy, Premo, Fimo, etc.) – or if you just want, you can just use one color. Apparently Sculpey has a Superflex Bake & Bend clay that would be perfect for this is you can find it.
  • wooden skewer or something of similar size
  • Cookie sheet lined with tinfoil
  • Optional: glitter to mix into the clay and beads to attach to the bottom of the spiral wrap

Directions:

  1. Choose 2-4 colors of clay and knead the clay until it’s soft and then roll the clay into little logs.
  2. Take all the logs and twist them together. Roll on a smooth flat surface.
  3. Fold over and twist again. Roll on a smooth flat surface. Keep doing this until you’re happy with the design. *Be careful not to do it too many times or it will all just turn into one color – likely grey or brown.
  4. Roll the clay smooth and until it’s about the 1/8″ in width (smaller than this will mean the spiral hair wrap will easily break) and about 12″ long (although you can make these any length you desire). Feel free to roll in a bit of glitter too if you’d like to make these extra fancy.
  5. Carefully start winding the clay around the skewer until you’ve wrapped it completely (see photo at bottom of post for example). If you’d like to add beads, etc. you can pinch one end into a little loop, otherwise, leave plain.
  6. Once you’re happy with the spiral, gently release it from the skewer and slide the clay off and onto the foil lined cookie sheet.
  7. Cook in the oven at the temperatures listed as per the clay’s instructions (mine cooked in the oven at 275 degrees °F for approximately 15 minutes). Here’s a great chart of cooking times for the various brands of polymer clays.
  8. Take out of oven, allow to cool.

Instructions to place in hair:

  1. Using a small section of hair, about the thickness of a straw, give the hair a little twist.
  2. Place the section of hair in the first channel of the spiral wrap and with one hand pinch the hair against the wrap and with the other hand begin wrapping the hair counter clockwise into each channel all the way down the shaft of the spiral wrap.
  3. Once the section of hair is in place, check to make sure it is in place by giving a little tug. If the wrap slides then redo with slightly more hair.
  4. To remove: Carefully unwind the hair section from the wrap.

NOTE: these are relatively durable but be careful not to just try pulling this out of your hair in one big yank, this will snap the hair wrap. Please do not twist or bend them excessively as this will also cause them to break. These are slightly flexible but it’s best to treat them gently.

Download your printable Polymer Clay Spiral Hair Wrap instructions here.

Looking for more crafty stuff for kids: Houses Coloring Page, Word RocksPrintable Secret Decoder WheelMandala Coloring PageRainbow Loom Perler Bead BraceletsBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

Learn how to make these quick and easy polymer clay spiral hair wraps. A great kids craft - girls will love making their own cute hair accessories.

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Word Rocks

| Crafts & DIY, Kids Fun, Outdoors

Word Rocks - Paint several of rocks with inspirational words and leave them at random places for people to find. A great activity for kids. Fun for the hiders and the finders.

Paint several of rocks with inspirational words and leave them at random places for people to find.

Word Rocks – This summer we had a really neat experience being introduced to word rocks. We were staying at the lake when my friend texted us early in the morning to come for a walk. My daughter had a very late night the night before so I really didn’t want to wake her up. About an hour or so later my persistent friend texted me again saying “it’s so amazing, come for a walk.” It was a foggy, drizzly morning so I assumed she meant that the forest looked quite beautiful that morning, again, nothing I was interested in waking up my daughter for and I couldn’t leave her unattended. Eventually my daughter slowly popped her head out of bed and I was thrilled she’d had a nice long sleep. Later I made my way onto Facebook and saw that my friend had posted a collection of amazing photos of kids holding these beautiful rocks with messages written on them. She had stumbled on a treasure trail of rocks that had been decorated and adorned with lovely, inspiring messages – they were everywhere in the forest, dozens of them. Later in the day Noelle and her friend went for a walk and found tons of these little beauties. On the back of each rock was written #wordrocks. I popped on the internet and found the origins of the word rock story here. A simple and sweet project started by a mother and her son in San Diego, California.

There is so much I love about this little project. I’m a big fan of random acts of kindness and the look on the kids faces when they found the rocks was priceless. It gave them a chance to make some big decisions too…leave the rocks for others to find or keep them for themselves. We also had an opportunity to talk about what all the messages meant in depth and what that meant personally to each child. In the end, each child kept one rock that they identified most with and then took the other rocks back to hide again for others to find. It was all the kids talked about for days.

Summer has now (sadly) passed but the joy and excitement that came with finding these word rocks remains. After continually talking about it, Noelle and I decided it was time to make our own word rocks and find a place to hide them for others to receive as much fun as we did finding them the first time. We collected rocks, painted and decorated them. One afternoon while Noelle had her friend Griffyn over we decided it was time to hide our word rocks. We are blessed to live on the side of a beautiful hill called Christmas Hill in Victoria, BC. We made our way through the trails and up towards the top of the hill, hiding rocks along the way. The girls had so much fun and I really felt like they were reflecting on what they were doing. I highly recommend this fun activity to everyone. It’s fun for kids and adults alike. You never know, someone could find one of your word rocks on a day that they were really struggling and needed a little bit of kindness in their lives. Positive messages have the ability to inspire, brighten your day and enact change. Here’s a local news story from this summer about word rocks here.

How to make word rocks

Supplies:

  • rocks
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • sharpie
  • decorative pens

Directions:

  1. Wash all your rocks so that they are free of dirt and debris. Allow to dry.
  2. Apply a layer of paint to one side of your rock. Allow paint to dry.
  3. Decorate rock using more paint, sharpies and decorative pens.

Are you looking for some ideas for words and phrases to use on your word rocks?  I assembled this great list of 200 positive words and sayings. Download the list here.

Looking for more…Kids (and their parents) will love these fun 40 projects that include simple beading, sewing, felting, bookmaking, and so much more in the book Craft Camp: Over 40 Fun Projects for Kids

List of 200 positive words and phrases.

List of 200 positive words and phrases.

Hand painted word rocks.

Hand painted word rocks – hide and leave them for people to randomly find.

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