I looooove these little tea soaps, and I can’t wait to offer them as hostess gifts.
I found the tutorial through cucumbersome.com, and I suddenly knew that there was a reason I obsessively save even the tissue paper that comes in gift bags.
I used a glycerin-based melt-and-pour soap base, which is easily available in any craft store; you melt it down, add your colors and scents, and pour it into any mold you’d like. What I did was chop up about a pound of the stuff and tossed it into my double-boiler (I have this awesome canary-yellow one from the 70’s that I found at a flea market and am super proud of). Then, once it started to get hot, I ripped open three bags of Earl Grey tea and stirred the leaves directly into the soap. The soap steeped while it was melting, rendering it a honey-brown color. I also tossed in a few drops of sandalwood essential oil, to give it a bit of an earthy scent (the tea smell doesn’t really stick).Then, in lieu of a real mold, I poured it all into a small, shallow box I’d lined with wax paper, and popped it in the fridge for an hour or two to cool; when it slid out and held solid, I cut the block into little bars, a bit bigger than hotel soaps.
The downside (?) of the steeping process is that obviously, then your soap is studded with tea leaves. I wasn’t sure if I could steep the soap as evenly with the leaves still in the bag, so I didn’t try, but if you’re more adventurous than me, you could give it a shot.
Anyway, all you need to wrap the soaps to look like tea bags is white tissue paper, string, cardstock, tape, and a stapler. I recommend turning to the tutorial for details rather than having me hash them out here, but it’s so easy and satisfying (I did it while I watched Real Housewives yesterday). I handmade those tags by myself, drawing the teapots freehand with a Sharpie; but if you’re not so inclined, the tutorial also has a printable template for your tags.
P.S. This is just a wrapping technique! Don’t dip these in your bath whole. You’ll end up with a mess of soggy tissue paper.

I looooove these little tea soaps, and I can’t wait to offer them as hostess gifts.

I found the tutorial through cucumbersome.com, and I suddenly knew that there was a reason I obsessively save even the tissue paper that comes in gift bags.

I used a glycerin-based melt-and-pour soap base, which is easily available in any craft store; you melt it down, add your colors and scents, and pour it into any mold you’d like. What I did was chop up about a pound of the stuff and tossed it into my double-boiler (I have this awesome canary-yellow one from the 70’s that I found at a flea market and am super proud of). Then, once it started to get hot, I ripped open three bags of Earl Grey tea and stirred the leaves directly into the soap. The soap steeped while it was melting, rendering it a honey-brown color. I also tossed in a few drops of sandalwood essential oil, to give it a bit of an earthy scent (the tea smell doesn’t really stick).Then, in lieu of a real mold, I poured it all into a small, shallow box I’d lined with wax paper, and popped it in the fridge for an hour or two to cool; when it slid out and held solid, I cut the block into little bars, a bit bigger than hotel soaps.

The downside (?) of the steeping process is that obviously, then your soap is studded with tea leaves. I wasn’t sure if I could steep the soap as evenly with the leaves still in the bag, so I didn’t try, but if you’re more adventurous than me, you could give it a shot.

Anyway, all you need to wrap the soaps to look like tea bags is white tissue paper, string, cardstock, tape, and a stapler. I recommend turning to the tutorial for details rather than having me hash them out here, but it’s so easy and satisfying (I did it while I watched Real Housewives yesterday). I handmade those tags by myself, drawing the teapots freehand with a Sharpie; but if you’re not so inclined, the tutorial also has a printable template for your tags.

P.S. This is just a wrapping technique! Don’t dip these in your bath whole. You’ll end up with a mess of soggy tissue paper.

3 years ago | Tags: cheap gift pretty packaging project thirty tea soap week twenty-five craft handmade end result

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This recycled light bulb bud vase was making the rounds on the Tumblrs a couple of months back, but I decided to make good and try my hand at it using ReadyMade’s instructions. (P.S. If you don’t subscribe to ReadyMade, well, you should. They’re amazing and will teach you everything from how to make the best ice for cocktails to how to make an hanging lamp fixture from old umbrellas to how to make garden furniture from salvaged two-by-fours.)
First you take a lightbulb you’re not gonna want to use again; clear, I think, looks cooler than opaque. Using needlenose pliers, peel/pry off the contact at the base of the bulb, then rip it off.



When you tear it off, there will be a small hole in that black glass underneath it. Working carefully and protecting your skin and eyes, you want to break out all the black glass, which you can do either by bashing it in lightly with a small hammer, or (as I did) sticking one part of the pliers into the hole and exerting pressure to crack the glass out.



There’s a small glass vacuum tube coming up through the base of the bulb, and you want to break that off too, then carefully slide it out.



Then, using the pliers (again!) twist off and pull out all remaining wires and innards of the bulb, cleaning it out as much as possible. SAY YOUR LAST, FILAMENTS.



Finally, once you pour out all the glass shards and little bits you might have broken and snapped off, you should have a clean and lovely bulb.



Using 3/32” welding rod, fashion a stand for your bulb by wrapping the rod around it to keep it upright. I unfortunately used nickel wire, which is too stiff to want to be molded nicely by human hands, but too weak to want to hold up the weight of much wire, so next time I’m gonna listen to ReadyMade and go with the materials they suggest. But I still think my flawed experiment looks cool!

This recycled light bulb bud vase was making the rounds on the Tumblrs a couple of months back, but I decided to make good and try my hand at it using ReadyMade’s instructions. (P.S. If you don’t subscribe to ReadyMade, well, you should. They’re amazing and will teach you everything from how to make the best ice for cocktails to how to make an hanging lamp fixture from old umbrellas to how to make garden furniture from salvaged two-by-fours.)

First you take a lightbulb you’re not gonna want to use again; clear, I think, looks cooler than opaque. Using needlenose pliers, peel/pry off the contact at the base of the bulb, then rip it off.

When you tear it off, there will be a small hole in that black glass underneath it. Working carefully and protecting your skin and eyes, you want to break out all the black glass, which you can do either by bashing it in lightly with a small hammer, or (as I did) sticking one part of the pliers into the hole and exerting pressure to crack the glass out.

There’s a small glass vacuum tube coming up through the base of the bulb, and you want to break that off too, then carefully slide it out.

Then, using the pliers (again!) twist off and pull out all remaining wires and innards of the bulb, cleaning it out as much as possible. SAY YOUR LAST, FILAMENTS.

Finally, once you pour out all the glass shards and little bits you might have broken and snapped off, you should have a clean and lovely bulb.

Using 3/32” welding rod, fashion a stand for your bulb by wrapping the rod around it to keep it upright. I unfortunately used nickel wire, which is too stiff to want to be molded nicely by human hands, but too weak to want to hold up the weight of much wire, so next time I’m gonna listen to ReadyMade and go with the materials they suggest. But I still think my flawed experiment looks cool!

3 years ago | Tags: week twenty-four project twenty-nine light bulb bud vase cheap reuse repurpose craft handmade end result

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I can’t get over how adorable  and simple these little crepe paper roses are. They take so little time  and effort and even so little material! And yet they look totally  great.
I used this tutorial, which is a video of a woman making  them while preschoolers help her out, and they are pretty painfully  cute.
If I’d seen my mom yesterday, I would have loved to give her a tiny  bouquet of these with her Mother’s Day gift.

I can’t get over how adorable and simple these little crepe paper roses are. They take so little time and effort and even so little material! And yet they look totally great.

I used this tutorial, which is a video of a woman making them while preschoolers help her out, and they are pretty painfully cute.

If I’d seen my mom yesterday, I would have loved to give her a tiny bouquet of these with her Mother’s Day gift.

3 years ago | Tags: week nineteen project twenty-three crepe paper rose papercraft cheap craft handmade end result

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