There wasn’t a lot of technical skill involved in making these, so these are not my proudest accomplishment, but I still adore them. I was browsing Design*Sponge's DIY category and found this idea for vintage milk bottle cap magnets.
I’m a total sucker for anything old (remember my gushing over my double boiler in the last post? Yeah). So these little cardboard caps pluck at my heartstrings in a big way, and are reminiscent of a time so simple I was never alive to see it; I mean, milkmen? To a child of the ’80s they might as well be dinosaurs: extinct before my time.
You can find the caps for cheap(ish) from collectors on eBay. I found these through a Canadian seller, because as someone who’s about 80% French, I found this bilingual lot particularly charming.
Then all you do is hot-glue magnets to the back of them. Durr. The end.
Do I think that gluing magnets to stuff is artistry? No. Did I, however, manage to give something a different purpose from its original? Yes, I suppose. Do I think that these look SUPER-SWEET all over my fridge? You betcha.

There wasn’t a lot of technical skill involved in making these, so these are not my proudest accomplishment, but I still adore them. I was browsing Design*Sponge's DIY category and found this idea for vintage milk bottle cap magnets.

I’m a total sucker for anything old (remember my gushing over my double boiler in the last post? Yeah). So these little cardboard caps pluck at my heartstrings in a big way, and are reminiscent of a time so simple I was never alive to see it; I mean, milkmen? To a child of the ’80s they might as well be dinosaurs: extinct before my time.

You can find the caps for cheap(ish) from collectors on eBay. I found these through a Canadian seller, because as someone who’s about 80% French, I found this bilingual lot particularly charming.

Then all you do is hot-glue magnets to the back of them. Durr. The end.

Do I think that gluing magnets to stuff is artistry? No. Did I, however, manage to give something a different purpose from its original? Yes, I suppose. Do I think that these look SUPER-SWEET all over my fridge? You betcha.

4 years ago | Tags: week twenty-six project thirty-one repurpose milk cap magnets craft handmade end result

Comments
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.

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

Comments
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!

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

Comments
When I go to a craft store, I never walk away with only the stuff I came in for. There is always something else that makes its way into my shopping basket.
Our local Michael’s has a dollar bin with these prefab balsa wood sculpture kits; they’re most often dinosaur skeletons, and I used to LOVE making them with my dad when I was little. (We had a pterodactyl one that he hung from the ceiling with fishing wire after we made it, so it looked like it was flying.)
Anyway, this fish was super cute and was only a buck, so into the basket it went. I assembled it as normal, but ultimately thought it could use a little pizzazz. I was thinking something like The Rainbow Fish, except just a tiny bit more grownup. So! I:
Spray-painted it metallic blue (using the leftover paint from this project)
Mod-podged it 
Painted the edges of the scales and the insides of the cutouts with copper-colored nail polish I had lying around [an impulse purchase from Urban Outfitters, $4]
I like it! I like the effect of painting just the edges of the scales, because it gives it a more interesting, shimmery dimensionality than if I just painted the scales outright. (If you look at it from one angle, it looks like there’s very little of the copper paint at all; turn it a little and it flashes.) I guess I wish I’d had a bit more control over it, because the detail paint job is sloppy in places; but I also suppose that had to do with my choices of tools and materials (i.e. I used not a paintbrush, but a nail polish brush; I didn’t use real paint or even a good quality nail polish; and I decided to paint the edges after assembling everything, rather than painting each edge BEFORE I jammed it into place).
I kept thinking this could look especially awesome if I’d used gold leaf instead of copper paint, but honestly, I don’t think I would have had the patience. The edging took FOREVER.
I think this could be especially cute as a bathroom decoration; unfortunately, it doesn’t go with the colors of my new bathroom, and our new apartment has such high ceilings that getting up to them to hang anything can be a huge hassle. So I don’t know if I’ll end up keeping it! But it was fun to do.
More shots (before it was painted, and from behind so you can see the ends of the scales):

When I go to a craft store, I never walk away with only the stuff I came in for. There is always something else that makes its way into my shopping basket.

Our local Michael’s has a dollar bin with these prefab balsa wood sculpture kits; they’re most often dinosaur skeletons, and I used to LOVE making them with my dad when I was little. (We had a pterodactyl one that he hung from the ceiling with fishing wire after we made it, so it looked like it was flying.)

Anyway, this fish was super cute and was only a buck, so into the basket it went. I assembled it as normal, but ultimately thought it could use a little pizzazz. I was thinking something like The Rainbow Fish, except just a tiny bit more grownup. So! I:

  1. Spray-painted it metallic blue (using the leftover paint from this project)
  2. Mod-podged it
  3. Painted the edges of the scales and the insides of the cutouts with copper-colored nail polish I had lying around [an impulse purchase from Urban Outfitters, $4]

I like it! I like the effect of painting just the edges of the scales, because it gives it a more interesting, shimmery dimensionality than if I just painted the scales outright. (If you look at it from one angle, it looks like there’s very little of the copper paint at all; turn it a little and it flashes.) I guess I wish I’d had a bit more control over it, because the detail paint job is sloppy in places; but I also suppose that had to do with my choices of tools and materials (i.e. I used not a paintbrush, but a nail polish brush; I didn’t use real paint or even a good quality nail polish; and I decided to paint the edges after assembling everything, rather than painting each edge BEFORE I jammed it into place).

I kept thinking this could look especially awesome if I’d used gold leaf instead of copper paint, but honestly, I don’t think I would have had the patience. The edging took FOREVER.

I think this could be especially cute as a bathroom decoration; unfortunately, it doesn’t go with the colors of my new bathroom, and our new apartment has such high ceilings that getting up to them to hang anything can be a huge hassle. So I don’t know if I’ll end up keeping it! But it was fun to do.

More shots (before it was painted, and from behind so you can see the ends of the scales):

4 years ago | Tags: week twenty-one project twenty-five wooden fish paint almost homemade craft handmade end result

Comments
This pattern was so hilariously campy that I couldn’t NOT buy it. It took me hours and hours and hours and ages and ages, but it made me crack up a lot.
I had no interest in keeping it, but luckily a Person From The Internet agreed to take it off my hands. So she’ll enjoy it in a very classy plastic picture frame I scored at Target.

(I know I’ve done a bunch of cross-stitches before, but this one used techniques I haven’t used before! Backstitching, French knots… I did learn something new.)

This pattern was so hilariously campy that I couldn’t NOT buy it. It took me hours and hours and hours and ages and ages, but it made me crack up a lot.

I had no interest in keeping it, but luckily a Person From The Internet agreed to take it off my hands. So she’ll enjoy it in a very classy plastic picture frame I scored at Target.

(I know I’ve done a bunch of cross-stitches before, but this one used techniques I haven’t used before! Backstitching, French knots… I did learn something new.)

4 years ago | Tags: week twenty project twenty-four cross stitch gift craft handmade end result

Comments
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.

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

Comments
Here’s what I made with the magazine covers I posted.
It’s a little basket — great little catch-all for jewelry or remote controls or what-have-you.
First, rip off your magazine covers, front and back. I used about 18 covers for this little guy (so: the covers from 9 magazines), but you can use more for a bigger basket, less for a smaller one, etc.
Then fold them in half lengthwise. Then again. Then again. You’re folding them in eighths to make narrow strips.



It helps to pull the strips across a hard corner (like a counter or a coffee table) to deepen the crease and keep them intact.



The result is a pile of these thick paper strips:



Now, you want to lay them out in a grid. The criss-crossed part of the grid is going to be the area of the bottom of your basket, so use as many strips as you need to make it the size and shape that you want. I went with a 4-by-5 grid (this is the 5-by-5 grid I originally eyeballed, then thought better of it and took one strip out). Make sure to keep them in really tight and at perfect right angles; here’s where your hot glue gun will come in handy (and doesn’t it always?). There’s no shame in a little glue to keep things where they should be.



Once you’ve got your bottom grid, you’re going to bend all of those loose ends up in the same direction. Start with the ones that are coming under the strip at the edges of the grids, because they’ll be on the inside of the next strip.
Next you’re threading another strip perpendicular to the grid, around what will become the sides of the basket. The bottom strips that were woven overhand at the edge are now going to be on the outside of these side strips; the bottom strips that were woven underhand will be on the inside. (That’s a confusing sentence; keep looking at the pictures.)



The way to make these strips long is to kind of tuck one of the ends of the strips into the ends of another. Since they’re all folded the same way, you can slide them into each other. (It’s kind of the same concept as making a super-long straw by tucking the ends into each other.)
Keep weaving, keep weaving, alternating as necessary, gluing all the way and making sure to keep your weave tight.
I only made the basket two strips deep (I wanted a little one); but if you want it taller, you can extend the upright strips by slipping in more strips in the straw-tucking method I explained, then keep weaving around. But when I came to what I wanted to be the topped, I trimmed the edge straight with scissors, then glued extra strips around and over the top to hide the cut edges. (Gives it a nice faux-foldover effect.)



Having this is so much better than having a stack of unread magazines cluttering my living room!
Protip: you can use any paper to make these baskets, but magazine covers are the sturdiest.

Here’s what I made with the magazine covers I posted.

It’s a little basket — great little catch-all for jewelry or remote controls or what-have-you.

First, rip off your magazine covers, front and back. I used about 18 covers for this little guy (so: the covers from 9 magazines), but you can use more for a bigger basket, less for a smaller one, etc.

Then fold them in half lengthwise. Then again. Then again. You’re folding them in eighths to make narrow strips.

It helps to pull the strips across a hard corner (like a counter or a coffee table) to deepen the crease and keep them intact.

The result is a pile of these thick paper strips:

Now, you want to lay them out in a grid. The criss-crossed part of the grid is going to be the area of the bottom of your basket, so use as many strips as you need to make it the size and shape that you want. I went with a 4-by-5 grid (this is the 5-by-5 grid I originally eyeballed, then thought better of it and took one strip out). Make sure to keep them in really tight and at perfect right angles; here’s where your hot glue gun will come in handy (and doesn’t it always?). There’s no shame in a little glue to keep things where they should be.

Once you’ve got your bottom grid, you’re going to bend all of those loose ends up in the same direction. Start with the ones that are coming under the strip at the edges of the grids, because they’ll be on the inside of the next strip.

Next you’re threading another strip perpendicular to the grid, around what will become the sides of the basket. The bottom strips that were woven overhand at the edge are now going to be on the outside of these side strips; the bottom strips that were woven underhand will be on the inside. (That’s a confusing sentence; keep looking at the pictures.)

The way to make these strips long is to kind of tuck one of the ends of the strips into the ends of another. Since they’re all folded the same way, you can slide them into each other. (It’s kind of the same concept as making a super-long straw by tucking the ends into each other.)

Keep weaving, keep weaving, alternating as necessary, gluing all the way and making sure to keep your weave tight.

I only made the basket two strips deep (I wanted a little one); but if you want it taller, you can extend the upright strips by slipping in more strips in the straw-tucking method I explained, then keep weaving around. But when I came to what I wanted to be the topped, I trimmed the edge straight with scissors, then glued extra strips around and over the top to hide the cut edges. (Gives it a nice faux-foldover effect.)

Having this is so much better than having a stack of unread magazines cluttering my living room!

Protip: you can use any paper to make these baskets, but magazine covers are the sturdiest.

4 years ago | Tags: week eighteen project twenty-two upcycled repurpose magazine cover basket weaving papercraft craft handmade end result

Comments
My dad turned 61 this past weekend, so I made him a present.
This is glass-etching, a technique that’s so astoundingly simple and painless, I don’t know why it isn’t more popular.
I have a weird but serious aversion to anything abrasive: nail files, sandpaper, etc. If something needs to be sanded, I usually ask someone else to do it for me. I’ve never had a manicure because I’m certain I’d scream if someone tried to file my nails, so I usually sculpt my nail carefully with clippers. So anyway, when I heard “glass etching,” I assumed you needed to sand off a top layer of glass, and the thought of the squeaky scratch was enough to give me chills.
Turns out it doesn’t involve scraping of any kind! Not on the crafter’s part, anyway. And it doesn’t take long at all, and it looks so pretty. I can’t wait to stencil a design on a mirror in my new apartment.
I used a glass-etching cream called Armour Etch, which is a dilute hydrofluoric acid. (While it’s not a heavy chemical, it’s also something you don’t want to get in your eyes, so be careful when using it.)
I bought a four-pack of plain double old-fashioned glasses, but it should also work on any old glass you have lying around. Using a roll of contact paper, cut out stencils of whatever design you want on your glass. I made each glass different. Certain of my stencils I cut by hand (sketching them onto the paper then cutting them out); for others, I used decorative punches and scalloped-edge scissors.


One of the stencils chillin’ out.

Peel the backing off the contact paper and stick it right onto the glass, trying to get it as smooth as possible. Rub over it a couple of times to make sure it’s on there tight, then apply the cream with a paintbrush, trying to keep it in a relatively thick but non-clumpy layer.



With the cream on the glasses

You want to let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. The acid is very slowly and steadily eating at the polished outer layer of the glass, and you are sitting back and letting science happen.
Then just wash it off. Yes, it’s that simple. Rub the cream off gently under running water until it looks like it’s all gone, then peel off the contact paper stencil and make sure you get any bits of cream that might have been trapped in the edges. Dry, and then you have pretty, personalized glasses.
My finished products:




Hopefully my father will forgive the fact that they don’t match, and will enjoy delicious drinks in them anyway. We’ll find out!

My dad turned 61 this past weekend, so I made him a present.

This is glass-etching, a technique that’s so astoundingly simple and painless, I don’t know why it isn’t more popular.

I have a weird but serious aversion to anything abrasive: nail files, sandpaper, etc. If something needs to be sanded, I usually ask someone else to do it for me. I’ve never had a manicure because I’m certain I’d scream if someone tried to file my nails, so I usually sculpt my nail carefully with clippers. So anyway, when I heard “glass etching,” I assumed you needed to sand off a top layer of glass, and the thought of the squeaky scratch was enough to give me chills.

Turns out it doesn’t involve scraping of any kind! Not on the crafter’s part, anyway. And it doesn’t take long at all, and it looks so pretty. I can’t wait to stencil a design on a mirror in my new apartment.

I used a glass-etching cream called Armour Etch, which is a dilute hydrofluoric acid. (While it’s not a heavy chemical, it’s also something you don’t want to get in your eyes, so be careful when using it.)

I bought a four-pack of plain double old-fashioned glasses, but it should also work on any old glass you have lying around. Using a roll of contact paper, cut out stencils of whatever design you want on your glass. I made each glass different. Certain of my stencils I cut by hand (sketching them onto the paper then cutting them out); for others, I used decorative punches and scalloped-edge scissors.

One of the stencils chillin’ out.

Peel the backing off the contact paper and stick it right onto the glass, trying to get it as smooth as possible. Rub over it a couple of times to make sure it’s on there tight, then apply the cream with a paintbrush, trying to keep it in a relatively thick but non-clumpy layer.

With the cream on the glasses


You want to let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. The acid is very slowly and steadily eating at the polished outer layer of the glass, and you are sitting back and letting science happen.

Then just wash it off. Yes, it’s that simple. Rub the cream off gently under running water until it looks like it’s all gone, then peel off the contact paper stencil and make sure you get any bits of cream that might have been trapped in the edges. Dry, and then you have pretty, personalized glasses.

My finished products:

Hopefully my father will forgive the fact that they don’t match, and will enjoy delicious drinks in them anyway. We’ll find out!

4 years ago | Tags: diy glass glass-etching personalized personalized glasses week seventeen project twenty-one craft handmade end result

Comments
Man oh Manischewitz, I can’t wait to use this one.
This is an amazing salt scrub that you can make out of stuff in your own home; it smells heavenly and is relaxing and awesome.
Here’s how I made it:
I knew I only wanted to make one batch, and that I wanted to put it in that jar, so instead of measuring anything, I eyeballed it as I poured it right in. First, I poured a layer of olive oil on the bottom of the jar, probably about ¼-inch deep. Then, I poured in equal parts epsom salt and sea salt, and mixed. You want the salt to be saturated in oil but not totally swimming in it, so I kept adding and mixing—baby oil, then salt, then oil, then salt, then oil, and so on til the jar was full and well-mixed and the consistency was right.
Besides epsom salt, sea salt, olive oil, and baby oil, I ground a couple of tablespoons of dried lavender buds up with a mortar and pestle, and stirred them in too. Grinding them not only releases the scent (seriously, stick your nose in the mortar after you’re done using it—unf), but also means you’re less likely to clog your drain when you use the scrub. So, that’s a plus. (Dried lavender buds, by the way, are easier to find than you might think. I found a jar in my local supermarket in the herbs and spices section; McCormick Gourmet sells it.)
At the last minute, before sealing the jar, I stirred in about 15 drops of lavender essential oil, just for the smell. Then I sealed it and stood it on my counter and got REALLY excited about how it would feel when I got the chance to use it.
This would make a great gift (particularly as a hostess gift!) if you made a cute little label for it, and wrapped it up nicely with a sprig of fresh lavender. In my case, it’s my gift to me, and I have to say I’m honored by the kindness I’ve shown myself.

Man oh Manischewitz, I can’t wait to use this one.

This is an amazing salt scrub that you can make out of stuff in your own home; it smells heavenly and is relaxing and awesome.

Here’s how I made it:

I knew I only wanted to make one batch, and that I wanted to put it in that jar, so instead of measuring anything, I eyeballed it as I poured it right in. First, I poured a layer of olive oil on the bottom of the jar, probably about ¼-inch deep. Then, I poured in equal parts epsom salt and sea salt, and mixed. You want the salt to be saturated in oil but not totally swimming in it, so I kept adding and mixing—baby oil, then salt, then oil, then salt, then oil, and so on til the jar was full and well-mixed and the consistency was right.

Besides epsom salt, sea salt, olive oil, and baby oil, I ground a couple of tablespoons of dried lavender buds up with a mortar and pestle, and stirred them in too. Grinding them not only releases the scent (seriously, stick your nose in the mortar after you’re done using it—unf), but also means you’re less likely to clog your drain when you use the scrub. So, that’s a plus. (Dried lavender buds, by the way, are easier to find than you might think. I found a jar in my local supermarket in the herbs and spices section; McCormick Gourmet sells it.)

At the last minute, before sealing the jar, I stirred in about 15 drops of lavender essential oil, just for the smell. Then I sealed it and stood it on my counter and got REALLY excited about how it would feel when I got the chance to use it.

This would make a great gift (particularly as a hostess gift!) if you made a cute little label for it, and wrapped it up nicely with a sprig of fresh lavender. In my case, it’s my gift to me, and I have to say I’m honored by the kindness I’ve shown myself.

4 years ago | Tags: bath beauty botanical household items lavender salt scrub natural week sixteen project twenty craft handmade end result

Comments
My mom called up a couple of weeks ago and said, “Phoebe’s birthday is coming up, you should make something for her!”
Phoebe is a cat. She’ll be six.

So I busted out some felt and my trusty bucket of Cosmic Catnip ($4 for a giant bin!*), and I made this little mouse-y guy.
I can thank High Priestess of the Glue Gun Martha Stewart for the design (which can be found here). But hers is very long for a cat toy, so I had to trim down her template to about half of the original size so that it was small enough for a petite cat like Phoebe to carry around. I used the trimmed felt in place of batting in order to stuff it.
You can read the full instructions at her website, but it’s really a matter of cutting three pieces of felt for the body (the bottom is kind of an elongated oval with pointy ends, and the sides look like the two halves of a heart) and gluing the edges together; stuffing it with batting and catnip and making sure a rope tail sticks out the back; and using tiny circles of felt, cut halfway through and curled around, for the ears. The eyes are just drawn on with marker.
Is it a good enough toy? Well: last night after I finished it, I hid it on a high shelf behind some things so that my cat Jovie didn’t destroy it before I had a chance to give it to my mom. By the time I woke up this morning, Jovie had found it, dragged it to the ground in another room, and managed to put a few bite marks in it. If nothing else, it’s potent with ‘nip.
*If only people drugs were that cheap, AMIRITE??

My mom called up a couple of weeks ago and said, “Phoebe’s birthday is coming up, you should make something for her!”

Phoebe is a cat. She’ll be six.

So I busted out some felt and my trusty bucket of Cosmic Catnip ($4 for a giant bin!*), and I made this little mouse-y guy.

I can thank High Priestess of the Glue Gun Martha Stewart for the design (which can be found here). But hers is very long for a cat toy, so I had to trim down her template to about half of the original size so that it was small enough for a petite cat like Phoebe to carry around. I used the trimmed felt in place of batting in order to stuff it.

You can read the full instructions at her website, but it’s really a matter of cutting three pieces of felt for the body (the bottom is kind of an elongated oval with pointy ends, and the sides look like the two halves of a heart) and gluing the edges together; stuffing it with batting and catnip and making sure a rope tail sticks out the back; and using tiny circles of felt, cut halfway through and curled around, for the ears. The eyes are just drawn on with marker.

Is it a good enough toy? Well: last night after I finished it, I hid it on a high shelf behind some things so that my cat Jovie didn’t destroy it before I had a chance to give it to my mom. By the time I woke up this morning, Jovie had found it, dragged it to the ground in another room, and managed to put a few bite marks in it. If nothing else, it’s potent with ‘nip.

*If only people drugs were that cheap, AMIRITE??

4 years ago | Tags: catnip mouse felt gift week fourteen project eighteen craft handmade end result

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