Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Organic Grapefruit Body Scrub

I made homemade citrus body scrubs to give this Christmas.  This was my first attempt at making my own body scrub, and I love how it turned out.


The Recipe:

Organic Grapefruit Body Scrub

3 cups Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar
3/4 cup Organic Sunflower Oil
2 tbsp Organic Coconut Oil 
2 tbsp Organic Aloe Vera Gel
40 drops Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil*
10 drops Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil*
*It took more essential oil than I expected to get the desired scent. Next time, I may try a tablespoon or two of grapefruit in lieu of about half of the drops of essential oils

Mountain Rose Herbs is my go to source for organic essential oils.

Blend all ingredients thoroughly.  I used a food processor to blend mine.

The Packaging:

4-Oz Jars -- The recipe above makes enough to fill all five jars plus little bit left over for you to sample.
Avery Print -To-The-Edge Round Labels, Glossy White (22830) 
  • These labels are the perfect fit for the jars above.

The End Result:

I couldn't be more pleased with these homemade gifts.  In fact, I wish I had ordered more of the 4 Ounce Eco Jars.  I think these not only make great Christmas presents, but would be great to keep on hand year-round for whenever you need a little thank you gift, hostess gift, etc. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Happy New Year!  As we start 2012, I know many of you are taking down and putting away your Christmas decor today or planning to do so in the next week or so.  This year we did all homemade Christmas Ornaments and the "Un-Christmasing" at our house, something I usually dread, was so quick and easy.  Here's what we did:

Our Adventure in Homemade Christmas Tree Trimming
I have a large box full of painstakingly wrapped and stored Christmas ornaments carefully chosen and collected over the last twenty five plus years. I love those ornaments, but since having children, I have found that they bring me more stress and aggravation than joy. Getting them out and placing them perfectly on our tree, only to have my fragile little treasures ripped off the branches and thrown into a bucket of Little People or jammed into Elmo's mailbox is nerve-wracking for me.

Seeing baubles I have saved for years and years carelessly tossed about or crushed by excited two and three year old hands, is not something I wanted to have to deal with this holiday season. I also didn’t want to have to play "Christmas Tree Nazi" guarding and hovering over the tree, putting an ugly play-yard gate around it, only putting my favorite "grown up" ornaments on the upper branches of the tree where curious little hands can't reach and/or never allowing my little ones to help decorate or touch the tree. With hopes of making Christmas decorating simpler, more fun and more of a family affair, The Count and I decided that this year we would forgo our tradition tree trimmings for all home-made ornaments.

Quality Time and Crafty Fun with Our Teacup Humans
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we made every single ornament that went on our tree. We made salt dough ornaments, some stamped and some painted and glittered, paper chain garland, snowmen ornaments from a craft kit, and hand-print snowmen Christmas balls. I think The Count and I enjoyed making our own ornaments as much as our kids did.

Stress Free Holiday Decorating!
The girls and I decorated the tree with no fuss over being careful with the ornaments or getting them perfectly placed. Kaylicious and Zazu absolutely loved the whole process, and The Count and I were both pleasantly surprised at how pretty our tree looked. It wasn't just "our babies made this pretty." It was truly a good-looking tree!

Beyond the fun we had making all the ornaments and decorating the tree, I loved not worrying about it. Some of our new home-made ornaments got broken over the holiday season, but it was no big deal. The kids danced and ran around the tree more times than I could count, lots of fun, no stress!

The Christmas Cleanup was a Breeze
As a bonus, I was able to with the help of Kaylicious and Zazu take all the ornaments off the tree and pack them away it under ten minutes. I never look forward to having to put my ornaments away after Christmas. Wrapping and packing all those fragile porcelain and glass decorations is so tedious and never any fun. It usually takes me several hours.

A New Homemade Christmas Tradition? I think so!
Our adventure in home-made tree trimmings was such a success that it may be a new family tradition. Who knows when and if that big box of fancy-smancy, fragile Christmas ornaments will grace the branches of our Christmas tree again? I kind of relish the idea of someday having a tree decorated entirely in ornaments made by hand by my sweet little children and maybe even their children and grandchildren one day. What a festive trip down memory lane that would be for our family!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Knot Top Sewing Project

One of my goals for the year is to do 50 craft projects before my 35th birthday.  I have definitely been crafting up a storm, but I haven't been so great about keeping up with all my projects here on my blog.  Kaylicious wore one of my sewing projects from September on Thanksgiving and that spurred me to post about it.  
McCall's Pattern M6387
Matilda Jane Percy Knot Dress

I absolutely love Matilda Janes's knot dresses and tops, but my debit card
 doesn't like them one bit.  So when JoAnn's had a sale on McCall's patterns in September, I scooped up McCall's M6387 -- Children's/Girls' Top, Jumpers, Detachable Aprons and Pants for $1.

Before this project, the last time I had successfully used a sewing pattern was in 8th grade Home Ec. Class.  The pattern was labeled as "Easy," but I was worried that it might turn out to be beyond my skill set.

The knot dress* top was a bit of a challenge to say the least, but in the end it turned out really cute.  The Count (my husband) helped me select the fabric and trim for this project.  I wanted the fabrics to go together without being too matchy matchy. The Count is surprising good at that sort of thing.  I am more of an completely matched or terribly clashing sort of fabric chooser.

*I had originally planned to make a knot dress, but I struggled so much with the upper ruffle that I couldn't bring myself to try it again with even more fabric for the lower ruffle.  Between broken and stuck thread while trying to gather the material, fabric that shouldn't have been part of the ruffle getting accidently stitched into the seam, and not being able to get the circumference of  my ruffled "skirt" to line up with the circumference of the bodice, my seam ripper and I became very well aquainted.  I am definitely going to need some more practice with gathering before I attempt this again.  If you have a tried and true method or know of a great tutorial that has worked for you when gathering two yards or so of fabric while making clothing for small children , please don't be shy.  I need help, please leave me a comment.

Two things I learned during this project that were much easier than I anticipated were how to make button holes and sew on buttons using my sewing machine.  If only the gathering had been that easy, my little ones would probably have a whole closet of these adorable tops and dresses by now.

As challenging as the process was for me, I love the end result.  The knot top is kind of tunic length right now and very versatile.  Here's Kaylicious sporting it on a warm day with capris:

The apron with its green monkey trim is detachable, but it really makes the top, so Kaylicious hasn't worn it without the apron.  The straps are adjustable, just untie them and re-knot however you like.  

Here she is wearing the same top with a white eyelet long-sleeve swimsuit cover up (Sometimes, it's good not to discriminate about season or purpose when it comes to your wardrobe.), thick brown knit tights and furry boots on Thanksgiving.
Isn't she a cutie?

I feel like I'm always crafting, but this is only my 5th project of the year that I have posted about.  I am going to work on catching up, so stay tuned for more craft projects soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

DIY: 4th of July Table Runner

This month the project for my sewing group was a table runner using this tutorial: Quilted Table Runner Tutorial. With the forth of July coming up, I decided on a patriotic theme for mine.  This was my first attempt at anything quilted, and I love the way it turned out!  
It's 6 feet long by 15 inches wide and goes perfectly on our bar. 
This is what the opposite end looks like.
I love how bright and festive it is . . .  almost makes me want to have a party, almost.

It's reversible with a more understated flip-side.
When I first read the tutorial, I was a little confused about how it would all come together since it has you sewing through the top layer, the batting, and the bottom layer all at once while piecing the strips of fabric together, but when you start in the middle and keep matching right side to right side and sewing up the edge closest to the end of the runner you are working toward it turns to be quite easy.

There was a lot of cutting in this project and I would not even have attempted it without my Gingher Rotary Cutter!  I love that thing!  Even so it still took me over two hours to cut all my material.  I think like chefs have a prep cook, I need a prep cutter!

With 14 feet of binding going on this table runner, there was no way I was going to hand sew it, so I got lots of practice machine sewing bias tape, and creating square corners (versus rounded, which I think might be a little easier.).  I ended up creating a tutorial for sewing bias too: How to Machine Sew Bias Tape.

Total Cost: $29 -- I bought every thing at Jo-Ann's either on sale or with a coupon and I have tons of material and thread left over.  I am planning to make a dress for one of my girls and a rag wreath with the leftovers.

Time to Complete: 7 hours

I'm Linking to:

Somewhat SimpleVisit thecsiproject.comSuzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom


DIY: How to Machine Sew Bias Tape

When I made my 4th of July Table Runner, I searched for a good tutorial for how to use my sewing machine to bind the edges using bias tape and leaving the edges square, but I really didn't come across a tutorial that covered it all, and I had to piece the information together from multiple sources and modify it to fit my project. Here's what I figured out:

Before applying your bias tape, cut away any extra seam allowances, thread, or jagged edges you may have.  You need a nice smooth edge to start.  I used my Gingher Rotary Cutter, cutting mat and ruler to get a  nice straight, clean edge.  I love Gingher products!  I would not have even attempted this project without my rotary cutter.  It's like a pizza cutter on steroids!
Make sure the raw edge of your project is neat and straight.
Take your bias tape out of the package and decide which side is wider, One side of your tape will be just barely wider than the other. The wider side of the tape will fold over onto the back or "wrong" side of your project. In my case, my table runner is reversible, so there is no wrong side. I decided to pin to the lighter side of my fabric, so if I sewed over the edge of the bias tape and into the table runner on the opposite darker side, the red thread would blend in with all the crazy patriotic material on the underside. If your project is not square, you should start with the longer sides first.
I used 1/2" Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape.

With your bias tape unfolded, pin it with the narrower side facing your edge on the "right" side of your fabric.  Align the bias tape up with the very edge of your fabric. Leave about 1/2" of bias tape hanging over the end of the fabric. You will fold this in to create the squared off corner. Pin the bias tape to your fabric on second fold from the edge.  With the bias tape still unfolded, you will sew a seam straight down the first fold. This seam will not be visible on your final project.
Your bias tape will fold itself back up after you pin it, so you will need to use your hands to open it up as you feed it through your sewing machine.
This is what your folded in corner should;d look like before you sew.
Now, wrap your bias tape around the edge of your fabric.  Fold the 1/2 inch of bias tape that you left hanging over the edge of the fabric at each end in, so it looks like the photo above.  Iron or pin the folded corners as needed to hold them in place so you can sew them.  You may still be able to see your a tiny bit of your fabric in the edge of the fold. That is okay, because the bias tape going on the short side will cover it.  
Start at your folded corner and stitch through all layers of your project
(front of bias tape, project material, back of bias tape).
Now, sewing on the same side of your material as you already stitched the bias tape to and starting at your folded corner, sew the binding within an 1/8th of an inch or less of its open edge. Be sure to add a few reverse stitches to secure the edge of your bias tape at the corner, then sew all the way to the other end of you fabric using a straight stitch.  Finish with a few reverse, then a few forward stitches. Stay as close to the edge of the bias tape as you can without sewing over onto your fabric. As you feed your project through the machine, use your hands to keep the bias tape smoothly wrapped over the edge of your unfinished material.  The bias tape has to stay snug against your unfinished edge in order for you to catch the underside of the tape, Remember, that the bias tape on the other side of your material is just slightly wider than the side you are sewing on but just barely, so you really need to stay close to the edge of your bias tape when sewing.  
Use your hand to make sure the bias tape is right against the edge of your unfinished edge on  both the top and bottom and feeding through the machine smoothly.
*If you discover after you have sewn on your bias tape that you have missed a spot on the opposite side of your bias tape. You can flip your material over and sew second seam up the bias tape on the "wrong" side. Do not sew closer than 1/16 of an inch from the inner edge of the bias tape. Repeat this procedure on your other long side (or if you have a square, the side parallel to one you just completed.) Then you can work on your shorter sides.  Your shorter sides will be done the same as your longer sides.
Neatly, fold your short side corners in and press or pin to hold them in place before sewing.  This will be your exposed corner and you should not have any fabric showing at the corner at this point. 
This is what your completed square-off bias tape corner will will look when you are done.

I'm Linking to:
Somewhat Simple

Friday, June 17, 2011

DIY: Father's Day Collage

This year the girls and I made The Count a Framed "Daddy" Collage for Father's Day! You don't have to be super crafty to do this and it makes a nice keepsake for dad. We did this all today, so you still have time before Sunday to make your own!

Here's what you need:
  1. Large Paper Mache Letters -- You just need one D, one A and one Y or just a D and an A for Dad or a P and an O for Pop-Pop -- I got mine from Jo-Ann's.
  2. Paint -- I started to used spray paint but it wasn't covering very nicely, so I switched and used acrylic. That's just what I had on hand. I'm sure poster paint would work just fine too.
  3. Digital Camera
  4. Smiling Children -- I had to bribe mine with fruit snacks and even then getting them to smile, hold up the letter, and look at the camera all at the same time was a bit of a challenge.
  5. Collage Frame with the appropriate amount of openings -- I couldn't find a frame with five openings in a straight line, so I went with the six and gave my kids a heart I cut out of card stock to hold for the last photo. I bougth my frame at Michael's don't forget to use your coupons for 40-50% off!
  6. 1 Piece of Card Stock in the same color as your paint
Here's what the letters look like before you paint them.
Copy heart into MS Word, enlarge, print and cut out.
  1. Paint your letters and let them dry.  
  2. Cut a Heart Out (if necessary) out of your card stock. I'm not the best free-hand drawer or cutter, so I enlarged this heart in a word document and printed it out  on my card stock first.  Then I cut it out. 
  3. Now you're ready for your photo shoot.  Take a few shots of each child holding each letter, so you can choose your favorites for the frame.  
  4. Get your chosen photos printed.  If you order through or, you can usually pick your photos up locally within an hour or so.  
  5. Add your photos to your frame and Voila!  You have a wonderful Home-made Father's Day Gift.

I'm Linking to:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ribbon and Thread Storage

I've been trying to figure out a good storage solution for both my ribbon and thread! for a while now.  Last night, I found came across this article Organization Week: Products to Organize Your Scrapbook Supplies via Pinterest and I ran right out to Target to get some 5-Tier Hangers.  They were $6.99 each and I bought two to corral my ever growing ribbon and string supply. I love how simple, organized and easy it is to see my supplies now!  Two birds, One Stone!  Easy Peasy!  I'm so happy with the result! I must note however, if you are storing only ribbon, you can only fit standard-sized ribbon spools on every other tier or they don't spin freely.

Craft Parties I'm Linking to:
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