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Tag Archives: christmas diy

DIY Gift- Homemade Soap

10 Dec

Welcome to another DIY gift! This is a method for making your own soap right in your kitchen. Homemade soap is an excellent gift or addition to your own home.

Cold Process vs Melt and Pour

There are two major methods of making soap. The first and more traditional method is cold process. This method uses lye and requires a curing process.  It requires a bit more skill and is not ideal for children.

The second method is melt and pour. The name is self explanatory. You use a soap base and melt it then pour it into a mold. You can purchase soap base from craft stores in either white or clear. Alternately you can purchase ready made bars of soap and melt it down.

In this post I use already made soap bars as I was unable to get soap base and it worked fine.

WHAT YOU NEED 

Soap base (craft store soap base or readymade soap)

Scent-essential oils or soap scent

Add-ins- I used loose leaf tea. You can use soap add ins or other herbs, dried flowers etc.

WHAT TO DO 

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan 

Place shredded soap into a heat safe bowl  and place that on top of the boiling water.



Add water as needed to mixture until it becomes thick and smooth.





Add scent and any colouring desired.





Spray mold with cooking spray to make removal easier.

Pour soap into mold and add add-ins

Spray the top of the soap mixture with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.

Place into refrigerator or a cool dry place and allow the soap to dry out. Note that the more water you add in the melting process the longer it will take to dry.


Remove soap carefully from mold.

Lightly score the soap to decide where to cut.

Once you have sliced the soap you can allow it to completely dry out 

Wrap and gift!

This is an awesome DIY gift, the type of thing your friends will want to receive. Try it out and have an awesome day!

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Blogmas Bonus- Cranberry Scones

25 Dec

Blogmas Bonus – Cranberry Scones

Hello and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Back in November when I was meticulously planning each and every Blogmas post, I asked my sister to do a guest post on something sweet and easy to make. I told her what daybI was thinking of putting it up and told her to get back to me.

Well she did. Yesterday. But I digress. Better late than never.

This recipe is taken from our favourite online baker Stephanie fron Joy of Baking (I have referenced her more than a few times)

Since this is Kristine’s post I will present it the way she did.

Ingredients

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2 cups of flour
1/3 cup of white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
2/3 cup of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup of milk

She left out the candied fruit and the almonds listed in the original recipe.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F (200C) and butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients then cut butter in. Use a pastey blender of you have one if not use forks or knives creating course crumbs.

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Add the cranberries and gently mix

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Add milk and stir careful not to overmix

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On a floured surface knead dough four times then form a circle about 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter.

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Cut it into 8 triangles and brush top with milk.

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Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is brown.

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My sister gave these to some of her cowokers for Christmas. They make great gifts or a light dessert to have with coffee after all the heavy Christmas dinner.

Enjoy and have an awesome day!

DIY GIFT- Christmas Cookies

10 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 10

Welcome to day 10 and the 3rd edible DIY. Today I will share 5 Christmas cookie recipes…sort of. What if I told you that you could make as many types of cookie as you want with just one base recipe? Ca-razy right?  Not only crazy but totally possible . From a simple sugar cookie recipe I will demonstrate how to make: Chocolate ,  Red Velvet, Peanut Butter, Apple Spice and of course a regular sugar cookie.

PREP

So you need to begin with a good sugar cookie recipe and make up as many baches as you require. I used a recipe from Joy of Baking which I have linked. I will still briefly  go through the process of making the batter but hers is far more in depth, so check it out.Her recipe makes approx 20, 4 inch (10cm) diameter cookies. I made up one batch which I divided into 5 parts.

PART 1- Making the Batter

WHAT YOU NEED 

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter (unsalted)

3/4 granulated sugar 

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract 

Sugar cookie ingredients



WHAT TO DO 

1) Combine and whisk dry ingredients in a bowl.

Dry ingredients 


Whisk


2) Beat sugar and butter together then add egg and beat until smooth, adding vanilla extract.

Butter, sugar and egg


Vanilla extract

3) Slowly add flour then beat until smooth batter forms

Add flour


Batter


Place the batter in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. This part is very important for cookies!

PART 2-Flavouring the Batter

Remember this is for 1 batch divided into 5, however the amount of flavourings you add is subjective depending on your preference.

WHAT YOU NEED 


Peanut Butter

1) 1 tbsp of smooth peanut butter- This gives a moderate peanut flavour, you can add more or less to suit you.

Chocolate

1) 1tbsp Cocoa powder- This makes it very chocolatey, if you prefer a milder chocolate flavour use less.

2) 1/4 cup chocolate chip morsels/ candy melts- I used both milk chocolate and white chocolate . 

Red Velvet

1) 1/4 tsp cocoa powder

2) Red food colouring (I had only a few drops so mine came out pink 😦

3) White chocolate morsels/candy melts

Apple Spice

1) 1/4 cup diced apple – I used a gala apple.

2) 1/2 tsp spices- I used cinnamon and nutmeg .

Flavouring ingredients .



WHAT TO DO

Peanut Butter

1) Mix in the peanut butter until batter is homogeneous in colour.

Mix



2) Replace in refrigerator for approximately 15 minutes to firm up again.

3) Portion into circular cookies in the size you wish (remember cookies always spread) and create the iconic peanut butter cookie crisscross with a fork.

Peanut butter cookie


Chocolate 

1) Mix in cocoa powder until fully blended.

2) Form you cookies then add the chocolate chips on top.

Chocolate cookie


Red/Pink Velvet

1) Add cocoa and food dye and completely mix in.

Mix



2) Form cookies and add white chocolate chips

Red Velvet Cookie


Apple Spice

1) Add apple bits and spices and mix

2) Form Cookies

Apple Spice cookie


Sugar Cookie

1) Use a cookie cutter and cut out cookies

Sugar cookie

Bake at 350 f (175C) for 10 minutes or until edges start to brown.

Remember, cookies like most baked goods continue to cook for a bit after coming out of the oven so the cookies may seem a bit soft at first but they will harden.

Finished cookies


Cookies



Package and gift!

Wrapped in wax paper


When I think of sugar cookies I think of Christmas time, the super sweet vanilla smell makes you feel warm inside. If you’re wondering how all these flavours work with a sugar cookie, the answer is they work beautifully. The background flavour and texture of a sugar cookie lends to sweetness and provides a light cookie with a good crunch but does not in anyway take away from the added flavours.

These make great gifts, my sister gave everyone sugar cookies about six years ago and it was fantastic.If you are thinking of doing this as with most DIYS I recommend making large amounts to cut down on overall cost. You can package off a few (like pictured here) and use them as stocking stuffers or fill up a tin or jar and give as a gift.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found a flavour you might like to try. Thanks for reading and have an awesome day.

DIY GIFT-SUCCULENT SPREAD

4 Dec

Hello It’s December 4th. Know what that means? 21 days until Christmas! Today is the 3rd DIY gift tutorial so let’s get started.

Three succulents in a row


Succulents are great plants because even plant killers like myself have a hard time finishing them off. I’ve had one for over 2 years now and it’s still going strong(somewhat). For this reason, you can be comfortable gifting a succulent to anyone. It’s perfectly fine to give one small succulent as a gift but I think having a cluster in a pot looks even nicer and that’s what I did here.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Succulents – at least 3 but you can use as many as you like. I also recommend getting different colours and shapes. I was only able to get these three which are pretty similar in colour and size but still quite varied.

2) A plant pot -preferably with a wide opening, you can also use anything typically used as planters e.g wine crates, old bowls, tyres (tires)

3) Soil or potting mix

4) Decorative items– Decorative rocks or gravel are good for this, you can also use sand or other miscellaneous items. I used decorative gravel and wine corks (cause it’s what I had)

Wide mouthed pot

Decorative gravel 

Old wine corks – a testimony to my taste in wine (cheap)
WHAT TO DO 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a gardening extraordinaire so you might find better potting instructions elsewhere.

1) Place potting mix into pot.

Pot with soil
2) Remove succulents from their pots being sure to crumble away a bit of the soil and get the roots exposed. Place into pot and add more soil to cover up the roots.

TransPLANT your succulents 
3) Place wine corks in design around the plants.

Corks placed
4) Fill in remaining space with gravel.

Filled in with gravel (not sure what went on with the lighting there)
5) Add a tag and gift!

Finished product 



Review

This is a super easy DIY and it can be manifested so many different ways. You can use multiple colours of gravel (my initial intention but I found none) and create different designs, you can also use coloured sand, weathered glass, woodchips etc. 

Cost

The cost of this type of project can vary quite a bit depending heavily on the number and type of succulents you select, the ones I used cost 2.99 US each but they can run you all the way up to $12 or $15. The other major determining factor is the pot. I bought this muddy coloured clay  pot and saucer brand new and it cost me $10 US but you can use something you already own, plastic pots etc. The decorative items I already owned but garden gravel and sand are typically inexpensive . Regardless ,  this project is affordable . If you were to buy something similar from a garden store it would likely cost double or even triple what it costs you to make. 

This gift gives the recipient something to take care of but without too much responsibility  (like a pet but WAY easier). Plants also always add organic decor to any space. I think this is an excellent one of a kind gift.

See you tommorrow and have an awesome day !

DIY GIFT- SALT SCRUB

2 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 2

Welcome to day 2. Day 1 gave some ideas of gifts to give and today is the same except this is a DIY gift; a salt scrub. Salt and sugar scrubs are great, they are good for exfoliating and polishing the skin and the oils help moisturise. I did a previous blog post on sugar body and lip scrubs  but I wanted to try a salt scrub to compare.

The salt scrub I am making is a simple lime scrub, but of course you can add whatever fragrance and oils you wish. Some common ones I’ve seen include coconut and avocado. Just ensure they are skin safe.

WHAT YOU NEED

1) 1 cup of Salt- I chose table salt because it’s what I had  in my kitchen and I wanted a fine grain.You can also use sea salt which will have a more course  texture.

2) 1/2 cup Coconut Oil- Again, chosen because I had it but feel free to use your preferred oil.

3) Lime- For this I used both juice and zest. 

4) Zester or grater

Ingredients 

WHAT TO DO

1) Pour 1 cup salt into a bowl and add oil slowly, stirring until it reaches desired consistency.

Add oil until desired consistency 


2) Squeeze a slice of lime, I added about 1/4 tsp of juice as I didn’t want it too acidic.

3) Zest lime to create flecks within  scrub.

Zest lime




4) Mix together until homogeneous texture

Mix together




5)Place in jar and gift!

Lime salt scrub




Review

So upon making this, I of course had to test it out. It feels like bathing in a margarita (which for me is a good thing). I love that the salt grains are much finer than even granulated sugar and it feels more like polishing than scrubbing. Because I made it more liqiud, there was more oil residue which felt good over my elbows and other dry areas-  if you don’t like the residue add less oil. The lime adds a nice fragrance but you can use whatever you wish.

Cost

So let’s talk about cost. This is the problem with many DIY projects, by the time you buy all that you need, you could as well have gone in LUSH and bought a scrub there. For me, a worthwhile DIY should be cost effective or easier and of course, be more personal. This scrub costs less than  $1 in ingredients and the jar costs approximately $1 bringing the total cost to under $2 for a personal gift. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Be sure to try this out for a friend who loves hand made items or loves scrubs and have an awesome day!

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