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Tag Archives: diy gift

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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DIY GIFT- Brownie Mix in a Jar

9 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 9

Today we do another edible DIY gift. This is Brownie Mix in a Jar. This could easily be cake mix or pancake mix or almost anything you like. For this I chose brownies.Whatever baked treat you decide on, you can select a recipe of choice and basically put the dry ingredients in a jar.

Brownie Mix Ingredients 

For this Brownie Mix I used a slightly varied version of a recipe on Joy of Baking. Everything this lady does is golden. I substituted white sugar for brown sugar and added walnuts and pecans.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) 150g of chocolate chips

2) 113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

3) 2 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened ) powder

4) 1 cup brown sugar -I used coconut sugar (most brown sugar will be less sweet than granulated  sugar, you can substitute it with that if you want it more sweet)

5) 3/4 cup flour

6) 3/4 cup pecans and walnuts (mixed)- you can add  whatever you like here; MMs (or Smarties), pretzels, crushed oreos etc (just make sure it’s dry)

7) Transparent jar with lid for storage.

WHAT TO DO 

1) Assemble your ingredients and place a funnel or makeshift funnel  ( I rolled wax  paper into a cone shape and taped it) into the jar so your ingredients can land where you want.

PROTIP : Do not be like me and use the wrong  sized jar, try to estimate what size jar will fit the ingredients beforehand. 

Jar with funnel 



2) Pour in your first layer, flour and tap bottom of jar to counter to make it as level as possible.

Flour layer




3) Add second layer, sugar in similar fashion. If you are using granulated sugar you may want to place the cocoa powder between the sugar and flour for contrast. 

Sugar added


4) Add the next layer which for me is cocoa. Next time I would put the flour between the cocoa and sugar for more contrast.

Cocoa layer


5) Add chocolate chips and nuts on top.

Add toppings and extras




6) On a large tag or piece of paper, write the name of your mix (Brownie mix), list the ingredients included as well as what will be required and write the instructions on how to prepare.

Tag and twine




7) Add to jar with twine and it’s ready to gift!

Finished gift


When your giftee is going to make her/his treat advise them to carefully scoop out each layer so they don’t end up getting mixed together.

This gift is visually pleasing and as much fun to give as it is to receive. You can get as creative as you want adding whatever toppings and extras you think your friend or relative will love making it really personal. The cost of this gift depends heavily on the ingredients you choose however most basic baking supplies are inexpensive and if you plan on giving multiple people this gift it will really cut your cost down.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day ! 

DIY GIFT- Candle

3 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 3

Hello  and welcome to day 3.  I am continuing my gift DIYs and today I am making a candle. There are two ways I do DIY candles, one is using wax from white candles and the other is using shortening. I never use kits sold in craft stores as they are just too expensive.

Apparently, shortening is an excellent burning agent and in post natural disaster zones people use a can of shortening with a wick and get light for up to 22 hours. #whoknew So this makes CRISCO the star of this show. I was so enamored with the idea of making g candles from shortening that last year I gave EVERYONE  homemade candles for Christmas.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Shortening  (the white thick stuff )

2) Fragrance – either fragrance oils or scented was cubes

3) Colouring agent- either coloured wax, maybe from an old candle or wax crayons.

4) Wick- This is the tricky bit. Wicks  are sold at craft stores and are a bit expensive ,  you can alternately use craft cord/twine but it needs to be soaked in a flammable liqiud (e.g olive oil or borax)and/or coated in wax. I learnt this the hard way.

5) Container- I chose a large jelly jar because they are so affordable and lend to the homemade vibe but you can use any heat resistant container e.g a mug or glass.

6) Duck tape (you’ll see why)

7) Scissors

Some of the ingredients : shortening , jelly jar, scented wax melts,wax crayons, wax coated craft cord.



WHAT TO DO 

1) Prepare your container

  a) Store bought wicks: Place wick and end into jar, glueing down if needed.                       

  b) Homemade wicks: 

i)    Cut a length of your cord (pre soaked and waxed) slightly longer than needed

ii)  Cut a small square of Duck tape.

iii)  Fold over tape being careful not to let it stick to itself, and cut a slit in it.

  iv)   Insert cord through slit in tape and allow it to stick to the tape.

  v) Place wick into jar and stick to bottom of the jar    

   

Cut slit into tape



Place wick through slit and allow to stick to tape



Stick onto bottom of jar



Ensure tape is stuck



  Wick secured     




 c) Take two pens/pencils/crochet needles (anything slim and cylindrical ) and tape them together at either end and feed the wick through the space in the centre – this will help keep the wick centred while the candle hardens.

Place pens on top of jar


2) Place shortening, scented wax melts (if you are using them) and crayons in a microwave safe bowl.

Notes:

 If you aren’t using wax scent but liquid instead don’t add this until the shortening has melted.

 Use highly pigmented crayons (I used Crayola) because the colour does get diluted once the candle hardens.

Use a bowl you aren’t attached to because there will likely be waxy residue no matter how well you clean it.

Shortening, scented wax and crayons


3) Melt in microwave in 30 second bursts stirring each time . 

Melted solution


4) Pour into jar, reposition wick ensuring it is central, place into refrigerator to harden.

Pour wax into jar


5) Allow candle to firm up completely, it takes about an hour but you can leave it longer.

Hardened wax of first layer


For my candle I wanted to make a two toned or bicolor one, so this was just part 1. If you only want one colour stop here, if you want multiple colours continue.

PART 2

6) Melt  shortening (along with scented wax melts and colour) – For this step I added no colour and decided to add a fragrance oil.

Melted shortening and scented oil



7) Pour carefully over already hardened wax- If your first layer isn’t completely set the colours will mix.There is likely to be some mixing regardless but if you are careful it will be minimal.

Pour second layer


8) Allow to harden.

Hardened second layer



9) Cut wick down.

Cut wick




EXTRAS


Name/Label

You can write on the label that usually comes with the jars or print one aND add it to the jar or the lid. You can give your candle a name or just write the name of the recipient on it. I named this one which is a mixture of vanilla sandlewood (coloured brownish red) and coconut (“white “) Merry and Bright -it was pretty random.

Decoration

Feel free to add some extra flare to the top of the candle e.g coloured wax shavings, coffee beans, dried flowers or whatever suits your scent or colour scheme . 

Add name



10) Add a bow and gift! OR keep it for yourself and light!

It’s lit!


Review

As far as being a candle, this works. I made a bunch last Christmas and kept one for myself which stayed solid all year round and burnt well. In terms of the scent, once you use wax melts or essential oils there is a good convincing scent. In terms of burn time they seem to burn more slowly than for example a BBW or Glade candle.

Cost

In terms of cost, the priciest item was the jar costing just under $2US, however if you are making multiple candles you can buy the jars in bulk or use other containers you already own. The shortening is extremely affordable and a large container can literally give you dozens of candles, the crayons cost less than $3 US for a box and you can get colours for multiple candles from one box. The wax scented cubes and essential oils are also very affordable and again you get so much use out of just one package or bottle. By my calculation this candle cost me approximately  $3.50 US to make and for that you get a one of a kind gift.

Try this and tell me how it goes 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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