Monthly DIY: Tie Dye Soap

tie dye soap (1)This month’s DIY is cute and simple homemade tie dye soap that you can gift to your loved ones or make for yourself. April showers bring May flowers so I made a bunch of Spring flowers that smell like the tropics. I love making these soaps because it’s really fun to see how they turn out and each one is a surprise just like when you are tie dying. I also love that I can make my own vegan soap that has less than 10 ingredients, no parabens, and not boring like the ones I find at the store. One thing to keep in mind with tie diy soap as you are not mixing the dye with the soap all the way is that it will bleed the color during use (kind of like when you dye your hair with temporary color).

What You Need: monthly diy (2)

 

  • melt and pour soap
  • soap dyes
  • a mold
  • fragrance oils
  • stir stick / brush
  • glass measuring cup
  • rubbing alcohol

Material Information and Cost:

You can use almost anything as a soap mold but I bought mine from Amazon for around $10 because I liked how it was a standard size for soap and the shape had enough detail for some interest but still usable for everyday. For the melt and pour soap you can pick up a container for less than $10 and it will make roughly 10 large soaps.  For the colour and fragrance it will depends on how many you wish to do. I use a lot of different colours and fragrance oils so I probably spent $30 on that alone. In total on average I say $40 is fair price to start out but once you have everything you will just need to buy the soap. I buy all my soap essentials from NewDirections because it’s cruelty free, affordable and they sell vegan products but they do have a minimal order amount so you may want to buy your ingredients at a local craft/hobby store or another online soap supplier. De Serres here in Montreal has everything you’d need so it’s easy to find.

Steps:

  1. Design your tie dye. This can be done by deliberately or randomly applying dye in drops or using the brush to paint it on. The more interesting the mold the more creative you can go.
    I prefer to dot complimentary colours directly into the mold and create gradients or patterns similar to actual flowers (or whatever the mold is).
    monthly diy (3)
  2. Cut the melt and pour soap up into small pieces and place inside a measuring cup.
  3. Place the measuring cup  in a double boiler until melted stirring throughout or in a microwave in 45 seconds bursts until it’s completely melted and free of any solid chunks.
    monthly diy (1)
    *if you want to avoid left over soap you can use water first to measure how much ml or cups you will need of soap to fill the mold, but keep in mind you will want to melt a bit extra as some soap will attach to the measuring cup. 
  4. After the soap has melted, let it cool slightly before adding in your fragrance oil as it can burn off and your soap will not smell. For more info on how long it’s best to cool check the fragrance oil packing.  If you want to do several different scents simply separate the soap into different measuring cups before adding in the fragrance oils.
  5. Pour in your soap.
    *This is my favourite step to do! After pouring you an use a stir stick to swirl in the colour or leave it the way it is. The first two soap had a lot more dye in the molds so you can see how vibrant it will be and in the last two the colour is mostly going to be white with hints of colour.
  6. Spray the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.
  7. Wait minimum 1-3 hours for the soap to cool and harden  before removing from the mold. However it’s better to wait over night to get the sharp lines of the mold.
    *I like to place a sheet of baking wax paper on top of the mold while the soap is hardening.
  8. Remove the soap from the mold and see what you’ve created! With a silicone mold like mine it’s very easy to release with no effort, simply pop out. However if you have a plastic mold and are having issues getting it to release simply place in the freezer for 15min and run under hot water for a moment and the soap should be freed.
  9. Don’t forget to wrap your soap if you are not going to use them right away. Melt and pour soap will be affected by the water in the air and can shrink over time. I shrink wrap mine but you can use kitchen plastic wrap as well.

tie dye soap (10)tie dye soap (4)tie dye soap (2)
tie dye soap (8)tie dye soap (9)tie dye soap (6)

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Monthly DIY: Tissue Paper Easter Eggs

Tissue Paper Easter EggsThis year’s Easter egg designs DIY is going to be the fun and super simple tissue paper Easter eggs. I saw this online and really wanted to try it out and put my own personal twist on the design so I couldn’t wait to make these. My Easter DIYS are always my favourite to make and I never miss the chance to make Easter eggs.  This project is totally kid friendly if you need it to be and very affordable so it’s great one to test out if you want to get outta the mold of just dying eggs.

What You Need:monthly diy

  • tissue paper
  • Modpodge / glue
  • brush
  • scissors
  • hard boiled/hollowed/
    plastic/styrofoam eggs
  • ribbon
    (if you want to make ornaments)

Material Information and Cost: 

This project is easy to do for $15 or less and everything is easy to locate at your local craft/art/Dollar store. The only thing I bought was the fancy tissue paper from DeSerres which was actually horribly expensive at $8 per package (otherwise I would have bought so many different patterns). Recycling tissue paper also works great for this project as well and you can save up over a few months and get really interesting paper to work with. 

Steps:

  1. Prepare your eggs and make sure they are clean and free of dirt.
    *to learn how to hollow out your eggs I made a video a few years ago
  2. Prep the tissue paper, you can either cut large squares to wrap around a whole egg with cuts at the top and bottom to make it easier to fold around the egg, or smaller shapes like squares, circles or stripes of various sizes.
  3. Apply the glue using the brush either to the back of the tissue paper or directly onto the egg.
    *I prefer applying the glue directly to the egg as it easier to adjust the paper after you’ve placed it down on the egg and the paper doesn’t tear as easily, just make sure to do a small section at a time. 
  4.  Apply the tissue paper in sections onto the eggs using the brush to pat out any wrinkles or air bubbles and remove excess glue. Try to not move the tissue paper as it tears easily.
  5. After the egg is covered simply let dry.
    Optional:
  6. You can also attach a piece of ribbon to the top and make them into ornaments. Or insert a skewer or craft stick to the bottom if using styrofoam eggs to make displays.

Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (1) Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (2) Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (10)Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (11) Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (9) Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (7)Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (8)Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (12) Another great idea for Easter eggs using tissue paper is these really cool tie dye Easter eggs using color bleeding tissue paper.

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Homemade Gifts: White Chocolate Koi Fish

homemade giftswhite chocolate koi fish (5)My last homemade gift of the week is yummy and cute white chocolate koi fish. For the last few years I’ve been making Victor what I call custom chocolates, meaning they aren’t made from scratch instead they are custom versions of chocolate we already love like Lindt.  I initially wanted to show you how to make soaps with jojoba beads but the molds still haven’t arrive yet after a month of waiting so this is the back up (the mold ended up showing up the day after I posted this – go figure).  I’ve actually done this as a DIY before so if you want more specific steps check it out here but I thought it’d be better than missing a day. Let me know though if want to see how I make unique melt and pout soap, I’ve been making a bunch in the last month and am addicted.

White Chocolate Koi Fish with Nuts

2-3 bars of your favourite chocolate bar

Filling (hazelnut, almond, coconut, rice krispies, fruit…)

Mold

Food coloring

In a glass bowl break apart the chocolate bars into small pieces and melt. I use a double boiler for melting chocolate but microwave will work. After melting simply pour chocolate into the mold half way, add in your filling and pour to the top. Or you can combine the filling after the chocolate is melted before pouring into the mold but the end design may not be as clean.  Tap the mold on the counter to release any air pockets and place in freezer for 10-20 min before removing from mold.

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Color Tip: Adding liquid dye to chocolate will cause it to seize up so you may want to consider painting it on afterwards or paint the mold. Below you can see an example of each type.

white chocolate koi fish (2) Right to Left: Color added directly to chocolate, painted on chocolate after hardening, painted to mold before pouring chocolate. 

Packing Tip: Place in a heart shaped container and wrap with candy wrappers.

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Important Note: Chocolate that has been melted and cooled are less stable than the original form so do not handle the chocolates for long as they melt easy and keep in the fridge until you are gifting/eating them.

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Homemade Gifts: Spring Time Bubblebath

homemade giftsspring time bubblebath (9)The last treat yourself homemade gift is Spring Time Bubblebath, which is all about sweet scents in a cute container with a bit of sparkle. The main reasons I really wanted make my own bubble bath is because I usually dislike the fragrances I find in stores, so why not make my own. Some of the spring time bubble bath scents I used are cherry blossom, bubble gum, tangerine, and peach blossom but you can use what you love most. You can even make sick day bubble bath with Eucalyptus or Mint.

Spring Time Bubblebath

Bubblebath Base

Essential/Fragrance Oils

Cosmetic Grade Glitter

Soap Dye

Simply combine together in a measure cup and stir before pouring into a container for use.

spring time bubblebath (1)Now I decided to buy a bubble bath base instead of making it from scratch but here is a link to several recipes you can try. All my containers are recycled from other bath care products I bought after the holidays. I find my drug store is filled with cheap bath products in cute containers that I can’t resist buying and the great thing is as soon as you have the base you can get reuse the container again and again making new combos of fragrance and color!

spring time bubblebath (6)spring time bubblebath

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Homemade Gifts: Maple Lip Balm and Scrub

homemade gifts

maple lip blam an d maple lip scrubToday’s recipe is a perfect lip care duo of maple lip scrub and maple coconut lip balm. I’ve been making a lot of maple syrup flavoured cooking dishes, desserts, and even bath products the last few months because Victor is obsessed with it (I will totally admit I am too). We buy this amazing Quebec brand of maple syrup that comes in a can and just add it everything that sounds good. So of course I had to make him something maple for Valentine’s Day. Not to mention homemade chap stick is wonderful for your lips, and very simple to make even though it does require a variety of ingredients. I am religious with my balm in the Winter so it’s nice to know I can spend 30minutes and make enough of both to last me and my friends the whole season.

Maple Lip Scrub

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons maple syrup
(you can do 1 teaspoon honey and 1 maple syrup)

2 drops coconut or sweet almond oil

For the lip scrub I start with this base and scale up depending on how many I’m making, as well you can adjust how dry the scrub is. It’s very sweet and 100% edible so you can even lick it off your lips if you want!

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Maple Coconut Lip Balm

*makes 10 in tubes

10g beeswax

12g virgin coconut oil

7g raw cocoa butter

19g sweet almond oil

1g Vitamin E oil

2 tablespoons maple syrub

Few drops of coconut lip flavor oil

Gold/Bronze Mica

(base recipe by Humblebee&Me)

Melt all ingredients in a double boiler until completely melted and pour into containers.

Tips:

I like to add the mica after I pour a few regular ones out so I can have both. The mica adds a bit of sparkle on your lip and color to the balm.

If the mixture starts to become hard to pour, remelt it. You may need to do this more than once if the mixture is cooling quickly in between pouring.

Buy deodorized cocoa butter if you don’t want the lip balm to smell like dark chocolate. Even with flavor oil the cocoa butter smell is very strong.

Packaging

For lip balm containers, you can easy find them online in bulk (mine are from New Directions). Or you can also use any small plastic pot, easy to find in the cosmetic area of a drug/dollar store. I also make custom lip balms in cupcake containers that originally had candy in them that are just the perfect size for lip blam and super cute so you can pretty creative. For gifting I am using cute glass boxes with foam roses on top that I found and filled with a bit of pink confiti.

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Homemade Gifts: Lime Dead Sea Salt Bath & Scrub

homemade gifts

lime dead sea salt (8)For today’s recipe I wanted to share one of my favourite essential oils in two different ways with lime Dead Sea salt scrub and lime coconut bath salts. Bath salts in general are great presents and they happen to be one of the easiest, cheapest and most customizable bath goodies that you can make so I love them. Not to mention lime is great for boosting your mood and good for the skin so it’s the perfect essential oil for a morning shower or a bath after long day. Dead Sea Salt is also refreshing and filled with minerals so it’s one of the best salts to use in the bath.  Where the whipped sugar scrub that I shared yesterday is more geared towards people who take baths, today’s salt scrub is more of a shower product. I have ever seen my boyfriend take a bath so I like to make it for him to enjoy in the shower and then the bath salts for bath lovers I know.

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Lime Dead Sea Salt Scrub

1 cup dead sea salt

1/2 cup coconut oil
*or any other type of oil

1 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil

12 drops Lime Essential oil

Lime soap dye

For the scrub you simply combine all ingredients together and place in a jar or container. I used a hand blender to combine mine together as the Dead Sea salt I bought was coarse and the blender helps make the granules finer.  If you don’t like a greasy texture you may want to start with 1/3 cup oil and go up from there to find a texture you like that is not too oily. Also don’t worry is the oil sets on the bottom of the container just give it a good shake before using.

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Lime and Coconut Bath Salts

1 part Dead Sea Salt

1 part Epsom Salt

a few drops of Lime Essential oil

a few drops of Coconut Fragrance oil

Bath Salts are easy, just combine your salt of choice with an essential or fragrance oil, and dye (if you want). Then place in a jar and you are ready to go. I made mine layered for a nice visual effect with green Dead Sea salt that smells of lime and white coconut Epsom salts.

Recycle Packaging

For a lot of my homemade bath treats I try and recycle containers and repurpose them. Glass jars you have around the house are perfect for bath salts and scrubs. These glass jars were actually yogurt containers that after a quick cleaning turn into a perfect 1 or 2 bath portion of bath salts. To finished them off I used silver candy wrappers (tin foil works great as well) and wrapped a piece of thin jewelry wire around the top to secure them so nothing spills and a pink bow to finish it off.

lime dead sea salt (3)

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Homemade Gifts: French Vanilla Whipped Sugar Scrub

homemade giftsFrench Vanilla Whipped Sugar Scrub (5)For Valentine’s Day I decided to send a few of my close friends a bunch of homemade bath goodies perfect for treating yourself after a long day. Instead of just keeping these recipes to myself I thought I’d share with you guys as these are great presents and useful to make for yourself even if you don’t believe in the corporate marketing holidays. The first recipe is this bubbling, foaming French vanilla sugar scrub that smells like heaven and is filled with vanilla bean seeds for that extra touch of luxury.

French Vanilla Whipped Sugar Scrub

1 cup sugar (250g)

1 cup whipped OPC soap (250g)

1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

1/8th cup coconut oil (30g)
or any type of liquid oil

1 teaspoon French Vanilla fragrance

Vanilla bean seeds

French Vanilla Whipped Sugar Scrub (6)French Vanilla Whipped Sugar Scrub (3)Steps

  1. In a bowl combine soap and sugar the whip with blender until soft peaks.
  2. Add in oil, Vitamin E and fragrance as well as any extras, like vanilla seeds, mica or honey.
  3. Place in a container.

Simple adjustments

  • Instead of the OPC soap you can use any type of melt and pour soup or use more oil (1/3 cup to 1/2 cup), however this will limit how whipped you end product looks and the texture.
  • Instead of vanilla fragrance you can use vanilla extract.
  • Vanilla seeds add extra smell and exfoliating but not necessary if you don’t have easy access to whole vanilla beans. ( I just happen to have some left over from making my own vanilla extract)

*If you are going to be using a sugar scrub in the shower you should consider adding a preservative to it. Even though a sugar scrub doesn’t require a preservative on it’s own it will be in close contact with a water source and that can cause it to spoil. 

French Vanilla Whipped Sugar Scrub (4)

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Monthly DIY: Halloween Phone Case

monthly diy halloween phone casesOctober’s DIY is one I’ve been waiting forever to do so I am very happy to show you my cute and spooky Halloween phone cases. I’ve wanted to make these for so long but before getting my Samsung Galaxy this summer, I happened to have the tiniest and most unpopular phone that existed so it was impossible. This style of using decorative cabochons to customize your phone is a great way to make unique phone cases.  It’s also a really simple process where you can apply your creativity. I happen to love Halloween so I couldn’t resist making mine themed for the holiday but you can do this with any accessory and cabochons you like.

What You’ll Need: halloween phone case diy (1)

  • Plain phone case
  • Cabochons
  • Caulking

Optional

  • Icing tip
  • Glitter
  • Tooth Pick/Popsicle stick

Material Information:

Rough cost per phone case is around $20, but that really depends on what cabochons you chose to go with and it will be cheaper if you are making multiple phone cases. Cabochons are the biggest expense for this project as most sellers of cabochons online sell each design in multiples (example 5 skull cabochons for $3). You can also pick up bundles of cabochons that have a large variety (usually at least $15+) to counter act having to buy multiples of the same design but you will loss the option of choosing each design. I knew I was making at least 5 phone cases so I spent $40+ on cabochons brought from Etsy. The other materials however are very cheap, caulking and the phone case were $2 each from the hardware store and EBay respectively, and the glitter and icing tips were bought at a dollar store.

Steps:

  1. Lay out all your cabochons and a phone case and start to create the design. Once your design is finished on the case, I suggest taking a quick photo with your phone for reference.
    halloween phone case diy (3)halloween phone case
    Example designs:halloween phone case diy (2)

  2. Prep the caulking by cutting off the tip and fitting on the icing tip over top. You can secure the icing tip with a bit of tape or hold it in place.
    monthly diy (2)monthly diy (3)
  3. Ice the phone case with your caulking, this can be done several different ways using basic icing techniques.
    monthly diy (4)monthly diy (5)
    *You can practice ahead of time just using a piece of paper. The caulking tube I use has enough to do 2 phone cases, and a bit extra so I can do a few practice rows before starting on the case (I’ve always been bad at icing cupcakes so I need a lot more practice).
    *If you royally mess it up, just clean the caulking off the case with soap and water and dry it off before starting over.
  4. Using your photo as reference lay out the cabochons the way you’d like.

    *You want to make sure you are only placing them once, as beside slight movement you won’t be able to make much change without completely redoing the caulking.

    *I also have the cabochons laid out the way I want on a 2nd phone case to make it easier and a tooth pick on hand if I want to adjust the placement of any of the cabochons or caulking once down. You have 5 to 10min before the caulking is stiff.
  5. Make sure the cabochons are pressed down securely and this is the time to add glitter.
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  6. Once you have the case the way you’d like making sure none of the caulking is on the side of the case or covering the openings. Use a toothpick to move caulking.
  7. Take your case and lay it some place where it will not be disturbed, wait at least 24 hours before touching and for the caulking to dry completely and be solid wait a few days.
    *after a day my caulking was stiff but still mouldable so I could still push it in if need on the edges or where the camera is.
  8. Lastly attach to your phone and enjoy your case.
    halloween phone case diy (11) halloween phone case diy (2)

Results:

I love all the phone cases and think they are a really unique accessory I can switch between whenever I want. A few things to note if you want to make yourself is that they are pretty heavy and can be a bit awkward when you are laying the phone case down on a surface (especially if you are using one cabochon that is much thicker than the others). Both of these concerns however do not bother me at all. I’ve also used the phone cases for over a week and haven’t had any issues with them, they are solid as a rock once they dry and I don’ think anything short of dropping my phone might damage the case. The biggest tip I can give is to use the type of phone cases where the sides are silicon and the back is rigid as it is ideal for switching up your case since it’s very easy and you don’t need to bend the case in any way when removing. My one disappointment was that I couldn’t find any black caulking before posting this tutorial as I had plans to do multiple black ones. I did make the eye one with a ‘transparent’ caulking and I have to say it’s pretty eerie looking. I’ll be posting photos of the phone cases I make with black caulking on my Instagram if you are interest to see what it looks like not using the traditional white.

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Monthly DIY: Vintage Slide Curtains

vintage slide blinds (1)This month is all about using vintage slides to make custom, unique and beautiful slide curtains. I found out about slide blinds originally through my brother who shared a photo of them with me of (these) curtains and I fell in love. I just adore how not only can you use them functionally as curtains but they are a work of art. Being able to look at each individual slide, not to mention the reflections of them on nearby surfaces really makes the space more beautiful. Right away I set out not only to find how these were made but to make my own for my kitchen window which has been lacking a window treatment since we moved (years ago). Although a long and tedious process, I think the project is very straight forward and the end results makes me so happy. Anytime I am in the kitchen I find a new slide to look at and appreciate. One thing I would love to do is someday make my own slides and make a memory curtain with them. Below I have all the steps you will need to do to make your own as well as videos on me making them, not to mention MANY MANY photos of the finished curtains.

What You’ll Need:

  • slides
    *to calculate how many you will need, refer to step one
  • pair of pliers
  • jump rings
    *to calculate you roughly need 4x the amount of slides
  • drill or hole punch
  • triangle ruler and pencil
  • curtain hooks

Cost and Material Information:

The cost will depend on how you are acquiring the slides and how many you need to make the curtains (I used around 200 slides). For my slides I purchased through Etsy for about $10 per 150 slides. I bought more than I need as I wanted my blinds to mostly be of flowers. For the other materials it will be around $25 to pick up jump rings, a hole punch, pliers,  a triangle ruler, hooks, and the curtain rod. All common things to find at Dollar stores, craft stores or online for cheap.

Video of Steps:

 

Steps:

  1.  Calculate the amount of slides you will need. To do this measure the height and width of the area you will be covering (include overhang if you want slides to go past the glass) and divide each by the measurements of 1 slide.This will give you an approximate base amount you will need. Have more on hand for mistakes and possible changes.
  2. Take the slides and lay them out so you know what will be the top slides connected to the curtain hook, the middle slides and the bottom slides. At this time you can also create a pattern with the slides or paint the paper edges.
    Example: All slides featuring the color yellow in one column, or all flower slides on the top row, ect. Having a large group of slides to choose from will make this step much easier.
  3. Take all the middle slides and measure 5mm in on each corner using the triangle ruler and mark. You can skip this step if you want however it helps make sure the slides hang as evenly as possible.
  4. Where you’ve marked on each corner, use a drill or hole punch to create a hole.
    *I did mine with a hole punch and it’s painstaking in the amount of time it takes and on your hand but I found it easier than a drill.
  5. For the top slides you will need  to repeat Step 3 & 4 however for the top two holes will need to accommodate the curtain hooks so you will need to check if you need to make a larger hole.
  6. Repeat step 3&4 to the bottom slides except only do 2 holes on the top of the slide.
  7. Lay out all the slides you want for 1 column with 1 top slide, middles slides and 1 bottom slide.
  8. Use the pliers to twist and separate the jump rings you will need ahead of time, you will need 4x each slide except the bottom and top.
  9. Attach the slides together using the jump rings and pliers, working down one by one until you are at the bottom. Then attach the hooks to the top slide.
  10. Repeat until you have all your columns done and place each hook on the rod.
  11. Hang on your curtain rod and enjoy!
    Optional
  12. You can attach the columns together to create one big sheet, or two curtains. Simply use jump rings and either hook into a new hole on the side of each slide or into the existing jump rings. I did the later but the original DIY added additional holes. You can also skip this step and each column will be on it’s own.
    TIP
    I found out at the end of the process a much easier way to create the holes is to have 1 template slide that has the punched holes already and then simply lay on top of each slide and punch the holes you need using it as a reference. No marking required.

 

Finished Curtains

vintage slide curtains (2)vintage slide blinds (19)vintage slide blinds (20)vintage slide blinds (22)(The bottom is a little wonky but I will figure that out. I also went down from 20 slides per column to 19 and accidently left two slides that aren’t meant to be at the bottom)vintage slide blinds (12)vintage slide blinds (3)vintage slide blinds (2)vintage slide blinds (11)vintage slide blinds (18)vintage slide curtains (1)
(the slides also leave patterns on the floor on sunny days which is a delight)

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