Shawna is a wife, homeschooling mom, photographer, recovering perfectionst and writer of the blog Perfection is My Enemy.
If you’re a mom, on Facebook, who has had a baby in the last few years, chances are you’ve heard of, or are in, some sort of Mom’s group. Well I’m in one too. Our group is seriously awesome. Its a bunch of girls from all over the country who happened to be pregnant at the same time and happened to join the most amazing group ever. Over the last year we’ve all grown so close. We’ve been there through the births of our children, though those early weeks of being up all night, and wondering if our baby will always be so needy. We’ve answered each other’s questions from “what-the-heck-is-this-rash?” questions, to “how do I keep from shooting my husband?” questions, and “does this dress make me look fat?” questions and everything in between! Some of us breastfeed, others use formula, some of us had magical unicorn hippie natural births, while others had c-sections. We’ve shared joys and losses, ups and downs, moments where we think we’re gonna lose it, and moments where we all just laugh at each other. We’re all different, but we all have something in common- we’re moms and we’re there for each other. Its been a beautiful thing to see how so many different women, from all over the country, from such vastly different backgrounds, can come together and support one another with virtually no drama. It really is a miracle.
So one of the things we like to do is send each other gifts! We do several gift exchanges a year. For our babies 6 month birthday I got paired up with a sweet momma with an absolutely darling little girl who loves birdies. Isn’t she just precious? I wanted to do a homemade gift and I had seen some super cute custom onesies on etsy that I knew I could totally DIY, and you can totally use scraps of fabric that you already have lying around. So here’s how you can make your own custom birdie onesie that makes an awesome homemade gift!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Plain onesies
- 2 complimentary fabric scraps.
- Embroidery floss (various colors)
- Sewing Needle
- Paper and Pencil
- Iron on interfacing
- A couple beads or a button (for the eye)
Start by getting your onesies. I got the Carter’s pastel set with the lace edges on Amazon. They are simple and sweet. Just what I was looking for.
Next, you’ll need a template. I just freehanded a birdie shape onto a piece of paper and cut it out. Or you can print out something like this
(I just did a simple google image search for “birdie vector”).
You’ll need three templates, one for the outside of the birdie, one for the beak and one for the wing. Again this is a simple enough design that you can easily freehand the template.
Trace your birdie, beak and wing onto your fabric. Then flip the templates backwards and trace them onto your interfacing. You will need to cut out two of the birdies from the interfacing (I’ll explain why later).
Cut everything out. You’ll want to use a different fabric for each piece so you will have a nice contrast. Iron the facing onto the back of the large birdie piece and onto the wing and the beak. Peel the paper backing off the back.
Next, stitch a little eye onto your birdie. You can do this with a bead, or a cute little button. Or simply stitch a little circle or X to make an eye.
After you’ve stitched on the wing and the eye, lay your second piece of interfacing on the back of the birdie and iron it on, over the stitching. This will ensure that everything lays nice and flat on the onesie.
Now its time to sew the birdie to the onesie. Use a different color thread for even more adorable contrast. Be sure to only sew to the front layer of the onesie. Don’t be a ding-dong and sew through the whole thing. Lol, I believe you are smarter than this, but you never know. I’ve done much dumber things when sewing!
Now that your birdie is on, you can stitch on the beak, and make some little legs with yellow or orange stitching. So easy and super fun to make. You can get so creative with the colors and do all sorts of nice combinations. Make several for a sweet, homemade, baby shower or 1st birthday gift. Have fun and do send me pictures of your finished projects!
Having a sweet little boy is fun, especially when you get to dress him up in adorable outfits and take pictures of him! I can already see a montage of all of these awesome pictures being played to his chagrin at his wedding. He was super awesome earlier this week and took a nice long nap so I could get crafty and make this amazing Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth Photo Prop!
Some of you know that when you click on certain links on my blog (Like the SHOP button) and make purchases through Amazon.com I make a small profit. Well this year enough of you lovely people clicked to generate the funds needed to me to buy a fantastic new camera! Thank you readers!! You’re the best in the world. :) This means no more iPhone photos and you will see the images on HomemakerChic drastically improve (especially as I learn how to actually use the thing!)
Everything you need can be purchased at your local craft store.
- 1 Wood Crate
- 2 long thin pieces of wood (this could be yardsticks, long dowel rods, or you can find these at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I happened to have some extra scrap pieces laying around.)
- 1 piece of wood, foam board, or cardboard around 12″x24″
- 1 Chalkboard wall decal (or chalkboard paint)
- 1 Cute Valentine’s Garland
- A few tacks or nails
- Some burlap
Assembly is pretty self explanatory. Just nail the long thin wood pieces to either the front or the back of the crate. You could do this a few different ways depending on your needs. For example you could stand the crate up on its side so it looks more like a “booth.” This would be good if you have a toddler or a baby who can sit up on his own. I needed the crate to be open so I could place Luke down in it since he doesn’t sit up on his own yet. You could also nail the sign to the front of the crate instead of to the back like in this photo. Or even to the sides.
I found a Chalkboard wall decal for around $8. You could also use Chalkboard paint. I also found a very thin piece of wood at Michael’s that worked perfectly and was just the right size for the decal, but you could use anything for this that is sturdy enough like foam board, or cardboard, or whatever else you have lying around. I hand wrote the kisses part with chalk. Try a few different fonts in your own hand, or use a stencil. I hot glued the board onto the long thin wood pieces.
I also hot glued the garland and the little Be My Valentine wood piece. I found the heart shaped wood piece in the same section as the crate. I just painted in the letters with a little red paint. You could leave that piece off or find something else just as cute. Finally I added the burlap to give it an old fashioned touch. I got a roll of burlap for $3 and just loosely looped it through the slats of the crate. Finally I stuck a couple rolled up blankets covered with a piece of red felt to keep Luke from falling over in the crate. If you have a red blanket that would be perfect.
Now for the photography. I just put the little booth out in my yard in the early afternoon when the natural lighting was nice. I made sure not to put him in direct sunlight, and used the AV aperture priority setting on my camera. It is NOT easy to get a baby to smile at just the right moment when there is no drool, or spit up, or a hand in the mouth. And when you finally get the right pose, your camera isn’t focused! This process is fun, but hard. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, have another person with you to help wrangle the baby and make him smile while you are ready with the camera.
Happy Valentine’s Day friends! We love you all!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this year I wanted to make something extra special for my friends and family. I saw a recipe for homemade Altoids a while back and decided I would make my own spin on the curiously strong mint. I’m not a huge fan of peppermint so I decided to make Vanilla Spearmint Heart Shaped Mints.
I have these amazing tins from SKS and I knew I just had to use for this project. You could certainly use repurposed Altoids tins but I made this adorable logo to go on the tops of the tins and the altoids containers have ridges on them and you can’t put a sticker on it. You are welcomed to use my logo for free, because I’m just THAT nice :).
The tins from SKS are excellent quality and made for a lovely gift. This would also make a super cute wedding favor. I would recommend buying a big bag of ready made mints if you wanted to use the tins for a wedding because these are a scoche time consuming to cut out, and not really any cheaper than just buying mints at the store. These are just super fun to make and cute!
- 1lb Gum Paste
- Confectioner’s Sugar (powdered sugar) For a sugar free version of these mints try Xylitol.
- Flavor Oils or Essential Oils
- Food Coloring
Prepare the gumpaste following the instructions on the bag or carton. You can also buy ready-made gum paste. Either will work for this recipe.
Cut off an egg sized portion of the dough. Add a bit of food coloring (I used a little green for a nice mint color) and 5-6 drops of oils. I used 6 drops of Spearmint Oil and 1 drop of Vanilla Oil for a sweet mint flavor. You could really get creative with the flavors, as long as the essential oil is food safe you can use it as flavoring. Or you can try Lorann flavoring oils in flavors like Wintergreen, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Orange, even Root Beer! The Oils are dirt cheap so get a bunch and try them out. Knead the dough until the oil and coloring is well incorporated. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Now you are ready to cut out your mints!
I found these fantastic heart shaped cutters with plungers. The plunger makes it super easy to get the dough out of the cutter. The set I found came with 5 different sizes so you could easily do a super adorable mixed size batch of mints. They have other cool shapes besides hearts like stars, circles, squares and more. You could also use a large straw to cut these out if you don’t have the cutters.
Once you’ve cut out your mints, toss them in a little more powdered sugar so they don’t stick to each other, and lay them out on waxed paper to dry overnight. Allow them to dry for 24-48hrs for a nice hard, crunchy candy.
Line your tins with some tissue paper in a complimentary color to your mints. One egg-sized portion of the dough yields about 100 mints which will nicely fill up one tin. The entire container of gumpaste will make about 600-700 mints. You’ll want to make all the mints within a day or so of preparing the gumpaste because it will dry out and harden. I hope you have lots of fun making mints! I know these will make such a lovely valentine gift for all my friends. :)
So in my last post I talked to you about Modern Cloth Diapers and all the awesome benefits of using them! Today I want to share with you a quick and easy way to make your own Microfiber inserts to use with Pocket Diapers.
There are many different types of inserts from lots of different types of fabric, but microfiber is the main type that will come with your new diapers from the manufacturer. It is incredibly absorbent but it is important not to put microfiber directly on your baby’s skin. This is because it SO absorbent, it will actually pull moisture out of their skin and cause drying and rashes. So make sure you only use these as inserts in a pocket, or under another natural fiber insert.
I found two sizes 12×12″ and 14×16″. The smaller ones are great to be used in Newborn sized diapers, or as soakers used with another insert. The larger ones are great for regular sized diapers.
First cut the tags off and wash the cloths in your regular diaper laundry. Then all you do is fold them over so you have three layers. This will make your insert even more absorbent. Finally sew a simple rectangle stitch around the entire insert. And that’s it! If you have a serger that would be even better but I just have a regular sewing machine. I did make the tension on my machine very high so I could ensure nice tight, close stitches.
I like to use these doubled up, or folded up inside a prefold. Yes you can use prefolds as inserts too! I have some newborn prefolds that no longer fit my big boy and they work perfectly with one of these Microfiber inserts in the center for extra absorbency!
FYI – you could do this with a range of different fabrics! All you have to do is cut out a piece of fabric, fold it up, and sew it just like this. You could use old t-shirts, fleece blankets, towels… Try some different things out and see how it works!
Have you made your own inserts? What fabrics did you try?
I was thrilled when a few friends from church asked if I wanted to help make some scrubs to raise money for folks in our church who are going on missions trips this summer. Not only do I get to help support a totally awesome cause, but I get to play with all my awesome ingredients! I am so in love with all the awesome products I bought for the Lip Balm project and I’ve been having lots of fun trying them out in different homemade products.
So together we researched scrub recipes, and came up with one of our own that turned out so wonderfully! Not only does it smell incredible, and feel so luxurious on our hands, but its so completely and totally adorable in this super cute jar from SKS-bottle. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE SKS-bottle? They seriously have every single type of container I could ever need for craft projects. And this jar was perfect for the look we were going for. We used the 8oz size, but I also have some 16oz jars too that I will use soon for some more scrub recipes I want to try. Since we’re going to be selling these, we really wanted them to look polished and professional and I really think they turned out awesome!
So here’s our recipe for the Citrus Sugar Scrub.
Makes 36oz. of scrub.
Here’s what you’ll need
- 6, 8oz Jars with Lids
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Large Sturdy Spoon
- Small Spoon for packing
- Tablespoon measure
- Double Boiler
- Cup Measure
Ingredients: (click the links to get the exact products I used for this recipe)
- 6 cups of white Granulated Sugar
- 2 cups Sunflower Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Jojoba Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Orange Butter (melted)
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Glycerin
- 8-10 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil
Here’s what you do:
In a double boiler, melt the orange butter. (I just use two glass pyrex cups, and boiling hot water from the kettle, this also makes it easier to pour the oil directly from the cup). Once it is melted slowly stir in all the oils and the vegetable glycerin. Make sure to mix thoroughly so all the oils and the butter are properly emulsified. Pour the sugar into the bowl. Into the sugar, slowly stir in the oil mixture. Be sure to mix very well. You may need to get your hands in there to make sure there are no lumps or spots that aren’t completely combined (And you just happen to get the added benefit of super soft hands when you do it this way!). Let the scrub set for about 10-15 minutes to continue marrying. Give it one last stir then you are ready to go! Wasn’t that easy?
I chose do do tags instead of sticker labels because I figured stickers would get ruined it gets wet in the shower. I printed the labels directly onto a sheet of brown kraft cardstock using a simple 1 1/2 label template and used a 1 1/2 inch circle punch to cut them out. I hole-punched each one, and tied them on using twine. Super easy, and adorably rustic.
Special Thanks to Jessi, Dink, and Alex for making this project awesome, and for a super fun day hanging out and being crafty!
I’ve been wanting to make my own lip balm for a really long time. I’ve spent lots of time looking at various recipes and researching all the ingredients before I finally took the plunge and decided to do the legwork to come up with the most wonderful, luscious lip balm recipe ever! Lucky for you, I write a blog and you get to reap the moisturizing lip benefits! The other awesome thing is that I have a super awesome new sponsor, SKS Bottle, (you remember them from my apothecary spice jar project) who sent me these awesome lip balm tubes! I couldn’t resist.
When it comes to lip balm, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingredient variations. There are so many wonderful natural ingredients that you can mix and match to come up with the best recipe for you. I recommend playing around and seeing what works for you. The following is just one of many lip balm recipes I will be posting in the coming weeks and months.
I give you Homemaker Chic’s “Citrus Splash SPF Lip Balm “
Now, this may seem like a lot of ingredients, but there are so many different variations you can do with just a few small tweaks. I ordered all of the ingredients I needed in one day, online, from my living room. And most of it was free shipping. All in all, I spent about $100 for everything (That includes some other ingredients not included in this recipe, for different flavored lip balms). It may sound like a lot for lip balm but everything came in large enough quantities that I will have enough to make lip balm for my sisters, my mom, my friends and myself for a very VERY long time. PLUS- many of these ingredients are excellent for other skin preparations other than lip balm and are very handy to have around the house. It is an investment, and a project, but if you want to do this, you really need to have all the best ingredients. If it seems like too much for you, then by all means- Burt’s Bees is at your disposal! I will tell you though, that this is the most luxurious, smooth, and moisturizing lip balm I’ve ever tried. It smells and tastes amazing and you will LOVE it! I won’t ever go back to store bought again.
- 12 lip balm tubes
- 1 lip balm filling tray
- Plastic putty knife
Lucky for you SKS Bottle has an awesome deal for Homemaker Chic readers! You can get the exact lip balms tubes, filling tray and putty knife that I used, and actually a few other tube designs for a big discount! They’re giving my readers $10 off an order of $50. They also have lots of other containers that I’m going to be using in some upcoming posts so you can spend $50 real quick. Just use the code HomeChic413 at checkout (or click the image below). I love their site!!
- 1 ounce measuring shot glass
- Eye dropper for oils (I found mine at PetSmart)
- Double boiler
- Small spatula
- Glass pyrex cup with pour spout
- 1 oz white beeswax pellets
- 1/3 oz Mango Butter
- 1/3 oz Solid Room Temperature Coconut Oil
- 1/3 oz Orange Butter
- 1/4 oz Avocado Oil
- 1/4 oz Olive Oil
- 1/2 ox Cold Pressed Castor Oil
- 15 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 15 drops raspberry seed oil
- 5 drops vitamin E oil
- 1/16 of a teaspoon of Mica Shimmer Powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Stevia or other sweetener
- Small sliver of lipstick for color (optional)
1 Part Beeswax : 1 Part Solid Oil or Fruit/Vegetable Butter : 1 Part Liquid Oil.
You can really play around with the oils. You could use one type of oil, or make a blend like I did.
Let me explain a little bit about why I chose the blend that I did.
Orange butter comes specifically from Florida Oranges (of which I am a HUGE supporter since I’m from Florida!). It has wonderful moisturizing qualities, smells incredible, and gives this balm part of its wonderful citrus flavor and scent. Mango butter is light and fresh smelling and very smooth. It has great healing properties for dried, cracked lips, and peeling skin. It also has SPF natural SPF properties. Coconut Oil has amazing moisture benefits, and is well known for bringing chapped lips back to life. It has a wonderful scent that really pairs well with the tropical flavor profile in this balm.
The raspberry seed oil was added for its natural SPF benefit. It has very little scent. Several studies have show it to be anywhere from 6-20 on the SPF scale. Living in a sunny climate I really need SPF in my lip balm so this was a must. Same goes for the avocado oil, which aside from its incredible moisture and healing benefits, is also a natural SPF of 6. The vitamin E oil is excellent for healing chapped lips and protecting them, but a little goes a long way.
I added the castor oil because it adds a really nice shine to the balm, and helps maintain soft and supple lips. The olive oil was added because I needed a little bit more filler and olive oil is slightly cheaper than castor and avocado oils, but it still has tons of moisture and lip protecting benefits.
The Mica Shimmer powder is a mineral powder that is used in eye shadows and other make up to make them shimmer. The version I’m using is natural and perfectly safe to use on the lips. Make sure the Mica you get is lip safe, as some are and some aren’t.
This recipe fills 12 lip balm tubes plus a little leftover. About 3 ounces.
Start by snapping your tubes into the tray. I really love this lip balm filling tray from SKS-bottle because it makes filling the little tubes SO easy. I seriously can’t imagine how I would have done this without the tray. I’m sure I would have been knocking them over and spilling hot lip balm everywhere. I’m sure you could DIY this by cutting holes in a cereal box, or by sticking the tubes into styrofoam to keep them still, but the thing I like about this tray is that the tubes fit perfectly and snap in firmly, so they don’t fall over. Plus once the balm cools you can smooth the tops with a putty knife and you get a really professional flat top to the balm. Its really worth it if you plan to make a lot of balms.
Prepare your double boiler. I just used a small saucepan with a pyrex measuring cup. I filled the pot with water and placed metal cookie cutter in the bottom, then just set the cup on top. The cookie cutter kept the glass from directly touching the heat. You could also use a couple rings from a mason jar. Get the water simmering and pour in 1 ounce of beeswax. Use a metal spoon or knife to gently stir the wax. I like using a flexible metal spatula because it really makes it easy to scrape down the sides of the cup later on.
Once the wax is melted, add your butters. I only had one little ounce measuring cup so instead of washing it out and losing all that wonderful butter in between, I just scooped out the little bit that was in the cup and rubbed it on my skin. Its wonderfully moisturizing, and expensive too, so don’t waste!
Once the butters are melted add your oils and the sweetener.
A WORD ABOUT SWEETENER: So a lot of people use stevia to sweeten their balms. I personally don’t like the taste so I tried Nutresse, which is a sugar from the monk fruit. You could probably just use regular sugar, but there might be something to be said for the fine powder of stevia. Here’s the thing with sweetening lip balm. SUGAR WILL NOT COMPLETELY DISSOLVE IN OIL. BUT, it will partially dissolve, and you just need a little. I stirred and stirred, and the oil was really hot, but on a molecular level, oil just doesn’t have the ability to completely break down the sugars (even in liquid form like honey or liquid stevia. Liquid sweetener will separate in your finished balm.). So you will probably end up with sugar crystals in the bottom of your cup. This is okay. As you pour the finished lip balm into the tubes, the sugar will stay at the bottom. You won’t end up with undissolved sugar crystals in your balm if you pour carefully. So just dissolve it as much as you can and don’t worry about it.
Now you can add your coloring if you want. I added sugar blush mica powder which added a hint of color and shimmer. A little Mica goes a LONG way, so use it sparingly. You can always add more, but you can’t take away. I also added a sliver of Revlon colored lip balm in a nice coral color. This really doesn’t add much color to your lips but it makes the balm a little more presentable and pretty in my opinion. Just slice a bit of lipstick off, and melt it into the balm. You could totally leave this part out. I know there are some other natural ways to tint lip balm out there, I just haven’t tried them yet.
Use the back of your spoon or spatula to collect a test sample. Allow it to cool. (I stuck the spatula in the freezer for a few seconds to speed up the process.) Use your finger to rub a bit on your lips to see how it feels and tastes. If its too hard, too soft, or not sweet enough you can still alter the recipe. You may find that you want a stronger grapefruit flavor, so just add a few more drops of the essential oil (although be careful not to add too much because essential oils tends to be pretty intense and can dry out lips if you add too much. just add a few drops at a time to be safe. I wouldn’t add more than 30 drops to this recipe.) If its too hard, add more coconut oil. If its too soft, add more beeswax. I have tested this recipe and found it to be the perfect consistency and flavor, but you can always change it if you’re looking for something different.
NOW- the pouring part is a bit tricky.
Pour quickly and carefully into each tube, filling all the way to the top. Its okay if it slightly overflows onto the tray.
The balm will cool and harden very quickly, so quickly in fact, that as you’re pouring, you will notice it hardening in the glass. You will have to pour as much as you can, as quickly as you can.
Once it cools too much to pour, scrape the cup and return it to the water bath to remelt it. I had to do this twice while filling 12 tubes. After you fill the tubes, the balm will settle and you will have little pits in each tube. Refill each tube to the top again. Allow them to cool for a good 5 minutes.
Once you have smoothed the tops, let them sit for an hour or two to completely firm up before using.
If you follow the recipe correctly, you’ll have a bit leftover. I remelted it and added an equal part of coconut oil to the lip balm mix, then I poured it into a little pot I had. It turns out to be a wonderful skin balm or belly butter for stretch marks! I absolutely love rubbing it on my hands. Just one example of how all these ingredients can create another awesome skin product. And its all natural!
I’ll be working on some cute custom labels in the coming days so I’ll hopefully be sharing a printable with you soon.
I hope this helps! This project was so much fun and the results are wonderful. I know you’ll love this recipe. Happy Lip Balm making!