Category Archives: love DIY

Make Do and Mend: DIY Healing Face Lotion

DIY Healing Face Lotion

I get into beauty habits. I find one product I like and then use it forever. It’s a fault, but I generally feel no need to stray from my tried and true staples. I had been using Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream for years. Years! With no complaints. Continue reading

20 Low-Cost Gifts to Make this Holiday

20 Low-Cost Gifts to Make this Holiday

How is it December already? Weren’t we just pumpkining all the things, jumping in all the leaves and carving all the jack-o-lanterns? Oh well. The holidays are almost here whether I like it or not.  I’m not making all my gifts this year. The handmade holiday challenge that I did last year was kind of insane. But I’ll still make a few gifts and I’ll still try to stay under $100, of course. If you are a fellow nut and want to MAKE ALL THE GIFTS here’s a few (or 20) ideas for low-cost gifts to make this holiday.

For the fashionista:

  1. A knotted bracelet
  2. A clay beads necklace
  3. Polymer clay hair accessories
  4. A holiday crown

For the foodie:

  1. DIY vanilla extract
  2. Upcycle a rolling pin
  3. Low sugar nuts
  4. Infused liquors!
  5. A personalized mug filled with coffee or chocolates

Can you knit or sew? These projects are super fun

  1. A knitted baby cape
  2. A chunky, knitted scarf
  3. A knitted scrubbie
  4. A leather clutch
  5. A look-alike, handmade American Apparel circle scarf

For everyone:

  1. Beeswax candles
  2. Pillows!
  3. A toy for your furry friends
  4. A clay bowl for jewelry, change or paper clips
  5. A hand-painted and customized ukulele
  6. And last, but not least, make everyone’s favorite gift (cash!) a little more exciting with this cash mobile.

What gifts are you making this holiday season? Tell me about them in the comments!

love,
melanie

Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Dogs

Dobby Dog Costume

Since this is our first Halloween with Bambi, I wanted to make it special. I had planned to make her three costumes for her first Halloween. I am an unstable dog-mamma, obviously. I didn’t have time to make her three costumes, because, well, mama has a job, but I did manage to make her one costume and find a bunch of super cheap and easy Halloween costumes for dogs.

Easy dog costume - Dobby from Harry Potter! Bambi as Dobby
This year I made a simple Dobby costume. Dobby is a house elf from Harry Potter, in case you aren’t a huge HP geek like me. With her ears, I think she looks just like him! I took an old t-shirt, dyed it with coffee, let it dry, then cut up the neck and sewed up the sides to fit her. Easy peasy.

Here’s my favorite cheap and easy dog costumes from the web-o-sphere! I picked them with the my fellow procrastinators in mind 🙂

It’s raining cats and dogs!

Dying over this one– it’s Lamb Chop!

A Hostess Cupcake! 

Cotton Candy!

A M&M! Make this one even easier by using hot glue instead of sewing.

This is too damn cute! A chia pet!

Clowns can be creepy or insanely cute.

There’s no bones about it, this dog is adorable (and warm!) as a skeleton! 

A bat! This one is great for those dogs who don’t like wearing something on their heads.

A lovely ladybug!

Are you dressing up your dog this Halloween? I’d love to hear your costume ideas in the comments!

love,
melanie

How to Make Beeswax Candles

beeswax candle DIY Did you know that beeswax candles are honey hole full of benefits? Ok, that pun was forced. But seriously, beeswax candles can help with allergies, have calming benefits and burn slower and cleaner than paraffin candles. I’ve even heard that beeswax candles give off negative ions that actually purify the air. I also love the scent of beeswax candles.

In elementary school we went to visit the town of Old Salem, a living history town that depict Moravian life in the 18th and 19th century. Well, one guy, dressed in his period-correct finery, was pouring candles. Even as an elementary schooler, I thought that was pretty cool and I bought one. My parents didn’t let me play with matches, so I ended up just smelling the unlit candle like a weirdo. But I’m still obsessed with the natural scent of beeswax candles.

Anyway, I know that beeswax candles are one of those things that I can make cheaper than I can buy. So I did just that. It took me a couple of tries to perfect the process, but here’s how to make beeswax candles.

Supplies

glue wicks Glue your wicks to the bottom of the jars. The glue helps the wick to stay in place during the pouring process. Let dry, then trim the wicks to slightly longer than the desired length. (I didn’t do that and regretted it later.) Pour your pellets and coconut oil into the pitcher. 1/2 pound of pellets makes about a 1 pint jar candle. Fill large pot of water 1/4 of the way full of water.

candle making pitcher Put the candle making pitcher in the water. It might float a bit. That’s ok. Stir until the wax is melted.

candle cooling As the wax is melting either heat up your oven on low or prepare a bowl of warm water and put your jars in it to cool the candles. I did both and both methods worked. The addition of coconut oil and the intricate cooling process ensures that the candles don’t crack. The coconut oil also gives the candles a lovely baby yellow hue.

beeswax candles cooling When wax is fully melted pour carefully into jars to not disturb the wick.

candles covered in tinfoil If using the water cooling method, cover in candles in tinfoil. If using the oven method, turn the oven off and let the candles cool inside.

We just made beeswax candles! All my childhood dreams are coming true! Also, wouldn’t these make great gifts?!

Have you ever tried candle making? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

Knotted Bracelet

Knotted bracelet Some days it seems silly in the middle of whatever else I have going on to stop and do some sort of small craft or make a slightly more difficult meal. But sometimes it’s just what I need. Sometimes that small craft is a small win for my sanity. This bracelet was just that. I was struggling with making the itty bitty ring I posted a while back. So, I put it aside and started working on this bracelet.

The supplies came in my January For the Makers box. It was originally supposed to be a necklace, but I don’t wear necklaces as much as other jewelry. Although this kit was purchased for me, the supplies could easily be purchased on their own.

Knotted Bracelet DIY To make this piece, I watched this video on how to create a double figure 8 knot. Then I placed the cord connectors on both ends and placed a bead in the middle of each. I tightened the connectors with pliers to ensure the bead wouldn’t come loose. Finally I finished it off by placing  super glue in each end cap and pressing the rope into the cap. Let dry and you’re finished.

Knots can be so pretty, don’t you think?

Here’s to easy projects and easy wins. Sometimes we need ’em.

love,
melanie

Itty Bitty Ring

Gold Rings Throughout this photo shoot, George kept reminding me that my hands looked like claws. I have no future as a hand model. I clamp everything with a death grip and getting just one ladylike photo out of this shoot was painful. I also never get manicures because I pick off all my nail polish. One chip and it’s over. My hands will be polish free in an hour. Death grips and compulsive polish picking. I am a gem.

Ok, so I’m not really a gem, but this ring is! I created this ring with my second For The Makers kit. For the Makers is a DIY subscription service that sends small (girly) projects to your door each month. You can read about my past experiences with For the Makers here.

Handmade ring It definitely wasn’t the easiest excursion into jewelry making. Tying the elastic for this ring was down right difficult. Almost as difficult as making my hands look elegant.

The kit can be bought here and the directions are free on their website.

What subscription services of you love? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

Chunky Knit Scarf and Tips for Working with Homespun Yarn

lion brand homespun yarn scarf folded Last time I was at home, my mom was admiring my knit capelet. Ok, so maybe she wasn’t admiring it so much as I was making her model it for me. I mean, she’s my mom, she has to be proud of my work, right? I was being an extremely annoying daughter that day and after I made her model for me, I drug her away from her J.C. Penny couponing to go to Hobby Lobby. It’s right across the street! She picked out some yarn so I could make something for her and man, oh man, my mom paid me back for annoying her. She somehow managed to pick out the most difficult yarn in the store to work with– this Lion Homespun Yarn.

lion brand homespun yarn scarf It’s a really pretty, textured yarn, but man, was it a pain in my tuchas. I found very few tips for working with this yarn online, so I’m sharing with you all what helped me to actually create something with the Lion Brand Homespun Yarn.

1. Work with needles larger than the ones recommended on the package. I ended up using size 19 needles after knitting a giant twisted ball of nothing on smaller needles.

2. Knit with two strands of yarn at the same time. The yarn is naturally twisty, so it twisted onto the other strand of yarn instead of onto itself. This will also make a chunkier knit.

3. Keep going. I abandoned this project several times because after I cast on it looked like a big ol’ mess. Only after I knitted the first few rows, could I see the scarf come together.

homespun yarn scarf I cast on 13 times for this scarf and in the end it turned out to be the perfect size for a chunky knit scarf.

Man, I wish I had this advice weeks ago! Have you ever had adventures with Lion Brand Homespun Yarn? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie