Category Archives: DIY & Crafts

cloth-diaper-insert-diy

DIY Dollar Store Cloth Diaper Inserts

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.

photo-3All you need to do is pick up some of those microfiber cleaning cloths at the dollar store. I have found them in the auto section as drying rags for your car, and also in the cleaning section.

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.

make-your-own-cloth-diaper-insertsFirst 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.IMG_8127

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!

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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?

Homemade Citrus Body Scrub Tutorial

how-to-make-citrus-sugar-scrub-homemakerchic.comI 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.

sugar-scrub-jars-sks-bottle-homemakerchic.comSo 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!

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So here’s our recipe for the Citrus Sugar Scrub.

ingredients-for-homemade-sugar-scrub-homemakerchic.com

Makes 36oz. of scrub.

Here’s what you’ll need

Supplies:

  • 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)

Here’s what you do:

homemade-sugar-scrub-homemakerchic.comIn 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?

homemade-sugar-scrub-tutorial-homemakerchic.comI made enough for 6 portions of 6 ounces of scrub. I used these 8 oz containers, because I didn’t want the scrub to be all the way up to the top.

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.

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Special Thanks to Jessi, Dink, and Alex for making this project awesome, and for a super fun day hanging out and being crafty!

Homemade Citrus Lip Balm Tutorial

recipe-for-12-tubes-of-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comI’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 ”

lip-balm-making-supplies-homemakerchic.comNow, 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.

Supplies:

  • 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!!

SKSHomemaker413

  • 1 ounce measuring shot glass
  • Eye dropper for oils (I found mine at PetSmart)
  • Double boiler
  • Small spatula
  • Glass pyrex cup with pour spout

Ingredients:

  • 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)

homemade-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comOkay so here is the basic ratio for Lip Balm:

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.

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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.

Here is the exact product I used.

Instructions:

This recipe fills 12 lip balm tubes plus a little leftover. About 3 ounces.

SKS-lip-balm-tubes-homemakerchic.comStart 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.
melt-beeswax-for-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comPrepare 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!

melt-mango-butter-for-lip-balm-homemakerchic.com

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.

melt-lip-balm-for-pouring-homemakerchic.comNow 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.

pour-melted-lip-balm-into-tubes-homemakerchic.com

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.

lip-balm-will-harden-while-pouring-homemakerchic.com

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.

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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.

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use-putty-knife-to-smooth-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comFinally, scrape the putty knife firmly across the top and smooth out the surface of your balms.

Once you have smoothed the tops, let them sit for an hour or two to completely firm up before using.

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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!

Why you shouldn’t make Mod Podge at home

I’ve recently seen a lot of recipes for DIY mod podge around the inter webs. It seemed like a good idea to me because Mod Podge is so expensive, and anything I can make at home for cheaper makes me happy. I came across this post, however, by Amy over at Mod Podge Rocks Blog. She had some really interesting things to say about the whole debacle. Check it out here… Original Source

Apparently homemade and brand name Mod Podge are not equal in quality. According to Amy, “A lot of the homemade recipes take craft glue and dilute it with water, which is just about the worst thing you can do to make a decoupage medium of any sort. You’re taking a glue that is inferior to decoupage medium and made it even thinner by adding water. This is why I receive pictures all the time of ruined furniture or home decor items that didn’t last more than a few years before the paper started peeling off or yellowing BADLY. In the short term, the projects might seem okay, but over the years, the projects go down the toilet. And then I get very sad e-mails.”
So long story short. Don’t be cheap my friends. Get the good stuff!

DIY Scentsy Wax from Repurposed Candles

Don’t you just love how a good jar candle can make the whole house smell cozy and delicious? I just hate when the wick burns down and all that amazing candle wax just goes to waste. Well here’s a clever way to repurpose that leftover but still fragrant candle wax.

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Place the entire candle jar in a small heat proof bowl. The bowl just needs to come up about half way on the jar. Pour boiling water into the bowl around the jar. Fill just a bit higher than the wax. Do not pour the water into the jar itself, just in the bowl around the jar.

how to use old candle

Let the jar set for about 10 minutes until the wax is slightly softened. You don’t want to melt the wax, just soften it. Then carefully bend and break the wax. It will come out very easily. Remove it from the glass jar. You can wash the jar and reuse it for another new candle.

repurpose candle wax

Break the wax into 1-2 inch pieces, and throw away the burned up wicks.

repurposed candle wax

Place the wax into the top of a tea-light oil burner, or scentsy. It will melt again and will make the whole house smell delicious! No more wasted wax. How about that? Who needs expensive scentsy wax or those little yankee wax tarts? This is free!DIY scentsy

Craft Room Ideas

Lots of awesome and exciting things are happening this year, and one of those things is that we’re finally buying a house! Its a short sale, so there’s no telling how long it will take to close but we’re hoping it’ll be in the next 60 days. Yay! What this means for me, and for this blog, is that I will finally have my own craft room and blogging office. This is really going to make a huge difference toward getting Homemaker Chic organized and efficient. So I’ve been scowering Pinterest for decorating and organization ideas and here are some really nifty ideas that I want to try. Enjoy!

First things first. I will need shelving. LOTS of shelving. I LOVE the idea of utilizing the closet space. I’m thinking that some IKEA items will do just the trick. Here are some great solutions.

IKEA Billy Bookcases make a great full wall shelving solution. Source: Censational Girl

IKEA Hemnes Storage Group. Its a bit pricey new but I see items like this on Craig’s List all the time for much cheaper. Source: IKEA

The Husband and Wife Team at Sew Woodsy Blog created this wonderful custom desk that works into the closet space. I absolutely love this!            Source: SewWoodsy.com

 

Now for the Craft Table/Desk. I’m going to need lots of space for paper crafts, sewing, and painting. I found some awesome ideas that are super cheap and easy to put together.

This big spacious work table is so simple to make. All you need is 4 book shelves from Walmart or IKEA and two doors. How Clever! I think I’d probably make a skirt to hide to the underside of the table. Click the image for full instructions.                       Source: The Ivy Cottage Blog

 

This variation is a bit smaller but I really like the look of the cube storage. I know the 9×9 cubbies sell at Target for about $36 and I’m sure IKEA has them also. I like the idea of using butcher block instead of plywood for the top. There are detailed plans at the website if you click the link. Source: Ana White- Homemaker

Here’s a spin on the Cube Storage Units but this one uses 4 instead of 2. I like this a lot! Way more storage space. Only problem is there is no place to put your feet if you want to sit at the table. This works better if you like to stand while you craft. Source: Georgia Peachez

Baked Sharpie Mug – How to make it work

Last year I did a post about the Pinterest Fail Baked Sharpie Mug. After many comments from you lovely readers I decided to give it another go and see if I could figure out why exactly it failed.

A lot of you mentioned that you had the same problem as I did. The sharpie looked great, but washed off with any sort of scrubbing. I did try a few of your tips such as:

  • Start by putting the mug in a cold oven and allow the heat to slowly raise to 325.
  • Turn the oven off and allow the mug to cool completely in the oven.
  • Using a different mug to see if I got different results.baked sharpie mug fail homemakerchic.com

Unfortunately none of these really helped. I know other people have said these tips worked. Maybe, I’m a doofus. I really really wanted to believe it, but for whatever reason they didn’t work for me. The one thing that sort of helped was spraying the mug with an acrylic sealing spray. It actually worked great, but sadly it caused the sharpie ink to drip and bleed and ruined my adorable design. Now my “Good Morning Lord” mug has taken up residence as a dandy little make-up brush holder in my bathroom. 🙂

However, there was one tip that was the gem that turned this Pinterest fail into a WIN! (sorta)

YOU MUST USE AN OIL BASED PAINT SHARPIE.

Honestly, I could have told you that from the start. There isn’t really anything particularly impressive about using a product that is designed to draw on porcelain to draw on porcelain. Am I wrong? I mean its a great idea to make personalized pottery, but the whole reason this craft seemed so appealing was because I could do it with plain old sharpies that I had laying around the house. I was holding out hope that there was no secret and that it really could be done with standard sharpies, but alas it just won’t work (not permanently anyway). Anywho, I wouldn’t have tried making my own designs on ceramics if it weren’t for this Pin, and for that I’m thankful.

The good news is that these oil based markers are only about $3 at Michael’s and even cheaper with a 40% off coupon. So I picked up a few and tried it out.

I decided to use a school project as the guinea pig. I had an assignment to do a self-portrait, so I decided that I would draw myself in sharpie on a serving platter, and use it to bring in cupcakes for the whole class to enjoy. I even drew silly little self portraits on picks to stick in each cupcake. Cupcakes never hurt when you’re striving for an A. 🙂 So here’s the finished product. I sprayed it with acrylic sealant also, just for extra protection and it turned out perfectly! 20130310-222906.jpgIt’s washable and everything (hand wash, don’t put it in the dishwasher). My mom even used it to serve Roast Beef on Christmas day. (UPDATE: We now realize that that was a bad idea since this spray is NOT food safe. I’m on the lookout for a food safe spray. I have found this non-toxic brush on sealer on Amazon, but I have not tried it so I’m not sure about the quality. Let me know if you try it!)

photo 1

Here’s to making things work!

self portrait cupcakes homemakerchic.com