DIY Lantern Light

I have a slight obsession with lights and lamps but not your traditional kind. I’m quirky in every sense of the word and every aspect of my life. In the last 8 months I’ve taken to making my own lamps, where possible. It helps that Im quite creative and can envision what I want to make. In reality, it’s rarely as straightforward or easy (Pinterest fail) as I thought it would be but this adds to the ‘fun’ of making each item (and to my vocabulary of swear words).

I love fairy lights (or as the American in me says ‘Christmas lights’ because Christmas is awesome any time of year!), so combining the two makes me very happy.  What I don’t like is sad looking lamps/lanterns with about 10 fairy lights, that have no functionality or give off any actual light. Google image search ‘fairy light lanterns’ and you get matches to what I’m referring to. I’ve envision this light for about a year, which means that my expectations were wildly more exciting and fantastic than the lantern could ever turn out to be but it was also awesome to think through the aspects and to see items and how I could use them.

What you’ll need for your light house lamps

  • Wooden lantern with extended centre roof
  • Fairy lights
  • Pipe – the height of the lamp
  • 6 screws
  • Power Drill
  • Drill bit

I found my lamps at Lidls (however, they are widely available at lots of stores), they had 2 versions available and I went for the white version, as my living room is white and the windowsill the lamp is going in is white. Naturally I bought two, because why have one of anything when you can have two and they are going in a massive window. The extended roof is also really important when making this project, as the pipe will sit within it, giving it stability to ensure that it doesn’t fall over.IMG-20171003-WA0000

The first step is taking your pipe and putting your screws in. Use your power drill and drill bit to put holes into the pipe, I made 6 holes on 3 levels, alternating each side. This makes it easier when you are wrapping your fairy lights around the pipe. Measure out the top of the roof and then put the screw below this (naturally I didn’t do this bit and then wondered why my pipe wouldn’t fit in). I think I bought plumbing pipe. I’m a total girl when it comes to DIY shops, I walk around and think of ways of using things without any knowledge or idea of what it’s actually for or how it should properly be used. 20171006_173746

This was take two, after I realised that I hadn’t measured for the metal roof and had to redo the highest screws. It does show the importance of having the raised roof in the middle and how it acts to stabilise the pipe to stop it from falling over. 20171006_174035

Next step is to wrap your fairy lights around the pipe. I believe I used 125 lights on each pipe. The screws at the top help to hold the lights at the top of the pipe and make it easier to fit on the overall length of the pipe. 20171006_174412

Once the pipe is entirely wrapped, place it within your lantern and you’re almost done! Shut the door, plug it in and see the end result. 20171006_174511

This is what it looks like finished, admittedly the left picture was in the day light literally after I had finished it and doesn’t look very exciting at all. Right hand picture was in the evening in the dark and what a difference!

This is both of my lamps in the evening in the window that they were always destined for. I also put light switches on them to make them easier to turn on and off but not necessary to have. I’m pleased that they came out as an actual lantern giving off actual light, it’s the small things in life.20171017_205403

I think overall the project took me less than an hour and that was even with a few mistakes along the way with the overall cost being around €40ish, €20 for the lanterns, €15 for the LED fairy lights and around €5 for the pipe and light switches.

Citrus Shower Steamers

I’m in love with shower steamers, a few weeks ago I posted about Shower Steamers for congestion. They work really well and I even use one in the shower if I’m not congested. I’ve gotten a lot of postive feedback on them and they seem to perfect for winter (and a great party favour!).

I decided to make a alternative that isn’t specific for congestion. Ive decided to go for a blend of citrus, a burst of freshness in the shower. Shower steamers really work based on aromatherapy and citrus is awesome with lots of benefits. Several benefits to citrus essential oils are, they can help to alleviate headaches and fever, are a quick mood enhancer, can relieve fatigue and relieve seasonal allergies. Thus making citrus oils a awesome win! I think these shower steamers are great for people who take showers in the morning, they will give you a boost to start the day off right.

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Citrus Shower Steamers

Makes: Approximately 60 small cubes  Prep time: 10 mins  Making time: 10 mins Setting time: 5-8 hours (best over night)  Total time: 5 hours 20 mins minimum

  • 1 cup Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon menthol crystals that have been dissolved in 2-3 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol (not to be left out, these are the MAGIC ingredient that makes these so good)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet orange essential oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon essential Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime essential Oil
  • Mica- colour of your choice, I went for light orange (optional)
  • Mini ice cube tray – I bought mine on Wish
  • A seperate small cup disposable cup for your menthol crystals (seriously the crystals will continue to grow and its best to have something you can throw away or purposely dedicate just to THIS project)

For safety purposes you should also have: dust mask and gloves

1. Take your teaspoon of menthol crystals and dissolve them in 2-3 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol. They wont just dissolve on their own, you will need to stir them, it will take a few minutes. I tend to give them a bit of a crush before I mix them in the alcohol, I assume I’m making my life easier by doing this. I use a toothpick or straw to stir. As the menthol WILL form crystals on the cup and whatever you are using to stir it with, make sure that you have no commitment to said item and its disposable (as per the right picture, its the same cup I use for this recipe, forming crystals). Menthol crystals are NOT water soluble, so simply crushing them up and adding them to this mixture will not work or give you the desired results.

2. Put on your mask and gloves. In a bowl, combine your citric acid, baking soda and mica (if using), breaking any lumps. I put mine through a sieve to help with lumps. Give it a good mix with your hand, this helps to evenly disperse the colour (wont lie, forgot this step and it did make a difference at the end when mixing).

3. Add in your essential oils and crystal menthol mixture and mix throughly. At this point your mixture is either ready to use or isn’t. If you are able to get it to form in your hand when you squeeze it, you’re on to a winner (far right picture). If it doesn’t hold it form when you squeeze it, then add in the rest of your rubbing alcohol, mix again and it should now hold its form when you squeeze it.

4. Now to put the shower steam mixture in your moulds. Try for the middle of the mould and work your way out. Ensure to press your mixture into each individual mould, you want it to be packed in and solid, I use my thumb to press in the mixture in EACH individual mould.

5. Leave them to dry, honestly I think over night is best. If you’re in a rush or made them in the morning, give them at least 5-6 hours to set. As it is alcohol which was used to combine them, it will evaporate on its own over time.

6. Once dry, turn out and ideally place them in a air tight box/container. Ive got mine in jars in my bathroom. You want to keep them dry from humidity. You can also make gifts with them and put them in clear bags (10 per bag) and jars (25ish per jar), with the following instructions:

TO USE: Place 1-3 steamers on the floor of your shower, where it will get wet but not directly under the water. Let the aromas clear your sinuses/congestion as you breathe in deeply. Store in an airtight container. Humidity will cause them to break down. Use within 1 month for best scent and results. WARNINGS: Not to be used in the bath as a bath bomb or to have direct contact with skin. Keep out of reach of children.

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These are my shower steamers, the white ones are for congestion and the orange are the citrus. Ideally Ill have matching jars but this is what happens when you go to the store for matching jars, get to the till to pay and realise you’ve forgotten your wallet on the sofa.

Notes: These are not bath bombs and should not be treated as such, whilst the ingredients are similar, I wouldn’t recommend or tell anyone to use them in the bath, if you want a bath bomb, make/buy a bath bomb, if you want a shower steamer, then THIS is the recipe for you!

Other shower steamers/melts/fizzy/bomb use water in it, why doesn’t this recipe? This is a conscious choice that I have made NOT to use water. Water, no matter how much, reacts with the citric acid causing it to fizz and puff instantly, adding too much water can RUIN any steamers/melts/fizzy/bomb recipe, which is something that I have done MORE than once.

Remember to save some for yourself and share with friends! 🙂

 

DIY Moisturising Body Butter for ladies

Recently I did a tutorial on body butter for men, it’s a great whipped body butter and I’ve been told that it works a great and also works well for psoriasis by my aunt.

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I’m currently in the states for turkey day (sorry turkeys) and decided that not only would I bring a LOT and I mean a LOT of soap that Ive made (as per the above picture), I would make various lotions for the family. Just a quick note to say that whilst Europe seriously doesn’t seem to care about the transport of soap in your hand luggage, America’s TSA take personal offence at them (apparently the shape and weight make it very suspect), be prepared for questions and searches, even when you’ve already cleared two other security points! I decided that not only would I make lotion for my dad but Id also make some whipped body butter for my nana and mother (and secretly Id make something for myself). I made three versions of this (yes, I made a LOT of body butter for the lay-deez), geranium (Jesus, this is a scent that I honestly did not get on with, it actually made me gag and smelt nothing like roses! I was literally turning my head away as I whipped it trying not to breath), lemongrass, and tea tree and eucalyptus body butter.

Why this whipped body butter is good for you?

  • Shea butter: It contains vitamins A and E and is rich in fats that make it an excellent emollient and skin moisturising agent.
  • Coconut oil: It has antibacterial properties, protects against fungal infections and can prevent premature ageing.
  • Sweet almond oil: Enriched with vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium, zinc, and a number of other minerals and vitamins. It is a mild, hypoallergenic oil, it moisturises the skin without irritating it further, its good for eczema and psoriasis.
  • Castor oil: Heals inflamed skin, reduces acne, moisturises skin, fades blemishes, prevents stretch marks and reduces pigmentation.
  • Mango butter: Due to its rich minerals and vitamin content, it can heal scars. It is high linoleic and oleic acid content, making it good at maintaining the skin’s elasticity and flexibility.
  • Vitamin e oil: Can improve the appearance and texture of rough and dry skin due to its role in maintaining skin barrier function and helping the skin to retain water.

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DIY Whipped Body Butter For Ladies

Makes: 210g(ish) Prep time: 5 mins Cooling time: 3+ hours Overall time: 4 hours minimum

  • 1/2 cup (110g) Shea butter
  • 1/4 cup (55g) Coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (55g) Mango butter
  • 1/8 cup (30ml) Sweet almond oil
  • 1/8 cup (30ml) Castor oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 20 drops essential oil – as above, I made 3 batches which were geranium, lemongrass, and tea tree and eucalyptus – I added a few more drops to get a more intense scent
  • Clean pots to put your product into or when all else fails, tupperwear!

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How to make this girly body butter:

1. Over a double boiler combine the shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, castor oil, and mango butter. Once its all completely melted, combined and no lumps at all, remove from the heat. 20171115_133035.jpg

2. Allow your mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes. Once it has cooled down, add in your essential oil and vitamin e oil. If you add the essential oil whilst its melting or still very hot, they can be damaged by temperatures in excess of 100F (38C). This can result in reducing their therapeutic value and may cause skin irritation.20171115_134850.jpg

3. Now the waiting game starts, you need to wait for it all to cool down and start to solidify before you can start whipping it. For me, this literally took HOURS and HOURS. I tried beating it a few times in hope that it was ready and it just really wasn’t! In the end, I left it overnight (bottom left), and it was solidified and ready to be whipped. The top left and top right picture are the various stages of it solidifying and me trying to whip it and it just not working. Now that I have made so many of these, it really does whip best once its solidified. Once it is good to go, use your hand mixer and whip it good! I whipped mine for easily 5 minutes but probably closer to 10, you want medium peaks but not soft floppy peaks.

4. Now to take your whipped body butter and put it in a pot and label them. When putting it in the pot, you will need to tap the air out of the pot where you’re putting it in the pot. I lightly (or not so lightly) tap the pot against a counter top to release any air bubbles in the pot, yes, this does make the lotion slightly less airy but not enough to make a difference and it ensures you fill your pot entirely.

I created labels for the pots, so that there wasn’t a mystery as to what is in them. I used a glossy self adhesive printer paper (for laser, as thats what I have), measured the pots and changed the font according to the size of the pot. As with anything you’re giving to someone, its best to list all the ingredients to avoid any allergic reactions.

The great thing about this whipped body butter is that you dont need much at all, a little really does go a long way. I use it as a day and night cream for my face, along with as a lotion for my hands and body, so it really is an all in one body butter/cream. I personally like lemon grass as a face and body butter, as its not overly strong in scent and doesn’t seem to affect the scent if I wear a perfume. Tea tree and eucalyptus are also great for the same reason but does smell slightly more strong.

This is a great example of how truly easy it is to make your own products or products that will moisturise and nourish you and your family.

*Notes: you do not have to whip this body butter, you can use it as is once its solidified, however, whipping it gives it a fluffier and lighter texture.

*When making body butters, potions, lotions, soaps or any body product, always make sure that the equipment, spoons, bowls etc you use will NEVER be used for edible purposes again and are only used to make body products with.

*When using any essential oils directly or indirectly on skin, ensure that you stay out of sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application. This might sound quirky but as per this article, the combination of sun and essential oils can cause the skin to severely burn and blister.

Remember to share with friends or just keep it all for yourself! 🙂

DIY Nourishing Winter Lip Balm

Not that long ago I posted a tutorial on making a chocolate lip balm, whilst this was indeed a tasty treat for your lips, it didn’t feel very nourishing or last very long (this could be as a result of constantly licking ones lips constantly because it was so sweet). I decided to take inspiration from Reform Stead and make something a bit more hearty for the winter. 20171115_135912

I also realised that its possible to melt down lip balm that didnt work, with my chocolate lip balm, the top layer went funny as it was basically honey and cocoa only, making it gooey and not in a good way. I decided to melt it down, clean out the tubes and make something else. I put it in a double boiler, water outside and inside the pyrex dish, it took about 20 minutes to melt but totally worked without affecting the tubes at all.

This lip balm is firm and when you put it on, it feels waxy but in a good way, you can tell its providing a protective shield.

DIY Nourishing Winter Lip Balm

Makes: 11 lip balms Making time: 1 hour  Dry time: 24 hours minimum Overall time: 25 hours

  • 2 tablespoons grated beeswax or beeswax pellets
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter
  • 1 teaspoons sweet almond oil
  • 1 teaspoons castor oil
  • 10g Mango butter (I used a small piece from the pot)
  • 20 drops cherry essential oil

Now to make these nourishing balms

1.  Over  a ban marie or double boiler (or cheat like I do and use a Pyrex jug in a pan with water) add the beeswax, shea butter, almond oil, castor oil and mango butter in a small heat proof bowl. Bring the water to the boil and then allow to simmer, until the mixture is just melted. You can stir the mixture but you dont need to stir it constantly.20171115_204505

2. Whilst your oils and butter are melting together, get your lip balm containers ready. I find it easy to put five (5) together and wrap a rubber band (loom bands work perfectly) around them, this stops them falling over when filling them. I also like to put them in a small plastic container, so that if there is any spillage, its contained. I find it easier to use my Pyrex jug making lip balm, as the spout on the jug allows for easy pouring.

3.  Once fully melted, turn off heat and take container out of the pan. Allow your oils and butters to cool.  If you add in the essential oil now, it can damage it. You dont want it to solidify but just to be cooler. Once it has cooled down, add in your essential oil and stir well. You may decide to add more or less the recommended amount, thats ok. Once you get a scent you are happy with, call it done. 20171115_205531

4. Pour the mixture into the lip balm tubes and allow to cool completely. Do NOT pour all of the mixture into the tubes (leave 1-2 teaspoons spare). As your mixture cools, A (small) depression will form in the center, use the spare balm that you didn’t use to fill this in, leaving a even finish. Simply reheat the leftover balm and add it to the tubes. Allow your lip balms to set over night.

Technically now you are done with your lip balm, HORRAY.  Like last time, I decided to take it a step further and created the labels for the tubes. I had a few glossy adhesive sheets, which were perfect for this! Be sure to clean the outside of your tubes before applying the labels! You will have drips and this will affect the adhesion!

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So here are a few resources that I found and were SUPER helpful (ish). Whilst I dont sell my products I still want to present them in a professional way. Labeling Your Products : Lip Balm gives great advice on how to create labels that meet a USA legal standard, even offering a free downloadable template. I wasn’t sure how to even create a template, as I wanted mine to be unique and this free template was the right size for small lip balm tubes. I tried using it but Word and I started getting into a fight and my images were shifting and yeah… In the end I measured my tubes, length and width (kind of guessed here) and then went into word, made four columns, sized them accurately for the tube and went from there. Oh and if you didnt know, you can get all kinds of great royalty free photos at Pixabay, a great selection you can use across all your crafts!

Notes: You can change the scent by using a different essential oil, I would actually suggest sweet orange oil but I think cherry works well for winter or any season.

I bought my lip balm tubes on Ebay but they can be found a variety of different stores.

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

DIY Whipped Body Butter For Men

Man products (as I like to call them) are totally underrated. I get that lotions, potions, balms, and scrubs are a girls paradise BUT men have needs too! Ok, we’re not talking about those kinds of needs… We’re talking soap, skin and lotions. I’ve been making what I call ‘Man Soap’ for a few years, it’s a basic soap with sandalwood essential oil with a bay leaf in the middle, giving it the essence of man and nature. I like to think men smell it and they automatically flex their muscles and beat their chests, ok ok ok, I know I’d be boring without my imagination! Seriously though, when you think products, you think girly stuff galore but you don’t really think dude wash, man lotion, or man maintenance products!

Cedarwood essential oil is GREAT for the skin and is known to treat eczema and other skin conditions. My aunt has had great success (within a using it a few times) with treating her psoriasis with this whipped body butter, where other ointments haven’t previously worked.

My dad has super sensitive skin, something that I inherited. As a result he is incredibly limited in what he can use, as am I. My dad is also what you’d call a ‘mans man’, not the type that smashes beer cans on their chest but more the type that spends 80% of his life outdoors and wears a LOT of camouflage and not just when he’s outside. He’s also not the type to go to the store and spend more than 30 seconds in an aisle looking for lotion or comparing what the best or more natural product would be for him.

I wanted to make a super moisturising non greasy lotion that he could use in the winter or generally for dry skin that had a ‘manly’ scent, allowing him to avoid the beauty isle entirely.  I came across this recipe that I realised I was able to alter and make it my own!

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DIY Whipped Body Butter For Men

Makes: 210g(ish) Prep time: 5 mins Cooling time: 3+ hours Overall time: 4 hours minimum

  • 1/2 cup (110g) Shea butter
  • 1/4 cup (55g) Coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (55g) Mango butter
  • 1/8 cup (30ml) Sweet almond oil
  • 1/8 cup (30ml) Castor oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 20 drops cedarwood essential oil – I added a few more to get a more intense scent
  • Clean pots to put your product into or when all else fails, tupperwear!

How to make these manly products:

1. Over a double boiler combine the shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, castor oil, and mango butter. Once its all completely melted, combined and no lumps at all, remove from the heat. 20171113_110835

2. Allow your mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes. Once it has cooled down, add in your essential oil and vitamin e oil. If you add the essential oil whilst its melting or still very hot, they can be damaged by temperatures in excess of 100F (38C). This can result in reducing their therapeutic value and may cause skin irritation.

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3. Now the waiting game starts, you need to wait for it all to cool down and start to solidify before you can start whipping it. For me, this literally took HOURS. I tried beating it a few times in hope that it was ready and it just really wasn’t! So I’d leave it another hour and then go back. The picture on the left was an hour before it was ready. Once it is good to go, use your hand mixer and whip it good! I whipped mine for easily 5 minutes but probably closer to 10, you want medium peaks but not soft floppy peaks.

4. You need to put it in pots. This for me filled 1 large pot and 2.5 medium pots.

I also created labels for the pots, so that there wasn’t a mystery as to what is in them. I ensured that the logo was consistent with my soap and TADA my dad has his own range of man maintenance products!

The great thing about this whipped body butter is that you dont need much at all, a little really does go a long way. Start with the amount that is the size of a pea and work from there.

A female scented version of this recipe can be found here.

This is a great example of how truly easy it is to make your own products or to save your dad the hassle of the beauty isle!

*Notes: When making body butters, potions, lotions, soaps or any body product, always make sure that the equipment, spoons, bowls etc you use will NEVER be used for edible purposes again and are only used to make body products with.

*When using any essential oils directly or indirectly on skin, ensure that you stay out of sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application. This might sound quirky but as per this article, the combination of sun and essential oils can cause the skin to severely burn and blister.

**Before I forget (again), you can also make this for your boyfriend or husband, however, as you can tell Ive now been single for such a long time (after 5 years, you stop telling people the real amount of time) that I dont even think of these things and when I think of love, I have visions of my cat and only my cat. Yes, she is also the screensaver on my phone…

Remember to share with friends or your Dad! 🙂

*Edits: Ive been told that this whipped butter treats psoriasis exceptionally well and other dry skin conditions as quickly as within a few times of using the body butter. Cedarwood essential oil is well documented in treating eczema and other skin conditions, which I believe is the element that makes this so good for psoriasis. I used it specifically for its woody masculine scent but it is also great for the skin!

DIY Dump soap

I’ve never really understood the fascination with YouTube, apart from Simons Cat and the occasional make up video (yes in my 30s I still have no real idea about make-up and get hints and tips from teens, OH the shame), I’ve never spent hours just watching random videos. I’d rather spend the hours on Pinterest, however, in my search for soap inspiration, Id thought Id give YouTube a go and WOW, just WOW. I quickly realised that anything really over eight minutes is well beyond my attention span and that honestly after the five minute mark I’m starting to lose interest and looking for glitter and shiny things to keep me interested. I came across a video that made a unique fun soap, allowed me to use the existing soap I already had and made me think it was easy – I should have learnt my life lesson by now, if it looks easy, it really isn’t! However, after a few days and LOTS of melt and pour base, Im pretty pleased with the results! What I love about the soap is that I was able to use off cuts of colours that I already had, so really I was just ‘dumping’ what I had to create a new soap, happy soap recycling! 🙂

Its that time of year where I need to stock up for the holidays, dear friends and family, please look surprised when you get these!

DIY Dump Soap

  • 2Lbs (1 Kg) white melt and pour soap base
  • Mica to match the colours you want to achieve, you really want a minimum of 3 but up to 5 colours
  • Essential Oils/Fragrance oils for your desired scent, I used cherry, vanilla and peppermint for this to keep in line with my Christmas theme
  • 4 tablespoons Castor oil (optional)

This soap isnt straight forward and requires quite a lot of prep.

I screen shot a picture of the soap that I was using for inspiration and then tried to mimic the needed shapes from there.  What you need to create in your prep stage is:

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You need ‘shreds’ which are the feathery looking shapes to the right of the soap. I used unscented pieces of left over soap from my shape/embed cut outs and just cut them to quite smallish sizes. You need curls, I created these using mica powder and scents (vanilla&cherry-red and peppermint-green). Pour a thin and thicker layers into your pans, allow to set, remove and then roll into curls, as per the second picture where there is a red curls. I also created little hearts which are quite wide, as I was bored and looking for other shapes to, I wanted something different than the curls. Honestly you can use any shapes but you need them to be lengthy so that when you cut the bars you see the shapes.

Whilst you’re creating your curls, create your first layer of the bar. I used red and scented it cherry and vanilla, I added in a small bit of castor oil for a better bubble on the soap. You do not want this layer to be very thick but maybe 3cms/1in.  Allow it to set whilst you’re creating your other bits which will all stack on top of the base layer.

Once you’ve created all your curls, shreds, and hearts, now onto creating the bar! Super important note, cover EVERYTHING in alcohol as you go, every time to you go to touch something to add to the soap, spray it with alcohol! It makes such a massive difference and ensures good adhesion between the layers and pieces.

Taking your base layer, on one side, DUMP in the shreds to one side, remember to spray them all with alcohol as you go. On the opposite side to it, place some of your curls, ensuring that the majority of the length of the mould is filled.  Put in you curls in different directions so that the ‘seems’ are in different directions to each other. Remember to cover everything liberally in alcohol!

Now you are going to want to melt the rest of your white base, for me my mould was massive and it took about 3lbs/1.5 Kgs to fill!!!! I scented this with peppermint and added in 2 tablespoons of castor oil. You want the base to cool down once its melted, so that it doesn’t melt the items you’re pour it onto. Unfortunately I let mine cool just a bit too much it it was ok. I filled it roughly 2/3 full at this point, so that I could add in the last of my embeds/cut outs.

You can see the white base was setting with the pour but this was ok as I knew I was adding more over it after I out in the next layer of embeds/shapes. BE SURE to give your mould a gentle shake so that the soap gets in all the little holes and crevices and there are no air bubbles. I now added in all my little hearts I wanted to ensure there were enough so that no matter what I cut the bars there would be heart shapes, so dump them in! Once you’ve set all your embeds/shapes cover it with the last of your white soap base, remember to spray everything with alcohol, even the finished layer of white base.  Allow to set for 24 hours. This was the most difficult part for me, as I REALLY wanted to know how it had come out. However, I also realised that I needed a knife to cut the soap, so I needed to go shopping before I could. Fast forward 24 hours with a new knife in hand!

This is how the outside looked, It was obvious that I had a new air bubbled which bummed me out but I thought I needed to cut it first to see if it would just crumble into a mess or hold up. I measured it out to 1 inch bars, to be honest, they probably could have been slimmer given they are really quite wide. I used a bread load pan rather than a actual soap loaf pan, which would have given a better finish and everything would have been more compact but given I was just using what I had, Im pleased.

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Im really quite pleased with the outcome, yeah I have more white space than the original but for me, it works. It smells great and its held together, so win win. I think its a good outcome for a soap where you basically just dump stuff in!

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful and enjoy your adventures in soap making!

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

DIY Chocolate Cake Lip Balm

So I came across a recipe that combines chocolate with lip balm, hooray! I mean really, who doesn’t love chocolate? So naturally I decided to adapt it to fit me and I have to say its been a success! I found out that my lip balms were quite soft (VERY soft), in my adaptation Ive added in more beeswax.

Chocolate lip balm

DIY Chocolate Cake Lip Balm

Makes: 12 lip balms Making time: 1 hour  Dry time: 24 hours minimum Overall time: 25 hours

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons grated beeswax or beeswax pellets
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil
  • 1tablespoon cocoa butter (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil,
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Over  a ban marie or double boiler (or cheat like I do and use a Pyrex jug in a pan with water) add the beeswax, coconut oil, almond oil, and cocoa butter in a small heat proof bowl. Bring the water to the boil and then allow to simmer, stirring mixture until just melted.

2. Whilst your oils and butter are melting together, get your lip balm containers ready. I find it easy to use 5-8 and wrap a rubber band (loom bands work perfectly) around them, this stops them falling over when filling them. I also like to put them in a small plastic container, so that if there is any spillage, its contained. I find it easier to use my Pyrex jug making lip balm, as the spout on the jug allows for easy pouring.20171024_164914

3.  Once fully melted, turn off heat and take container out of the pan. Stir in the honey, cocoa powder, vitamin e oil, almond and vanilla extract. Make sure all ingredients are fully mixed and even. Be quick and mix well!

4. Pour the mixture into the lip balm tubes and allow to cool completely. Do NOT pour all of the mixture into the tubes (leave 1-2 teaspoons spare). After you have poured two, stir the mixture again, do this until you’ve filled all your tubes (this is important!!! With mine I just poured the mixture and was basically left with just cocoa and honey at the bottom of my pyrex jug, this wasn’t what I wanted). As your mixture cools, A (small) depression will form in the center, use the spare balm that you didn’t use to fill this in, leaving a even finish. Simply reheat the leftover balm and add it to the tubes. Allow your lip balms to set over night.

Technically now you are done with your lip balm, HORRAY.  However, I decided to take it a step further and created the labels for the tubes. I had a few glossy adhesive sheets, which were perfect for this! I thought this would be easy, sadly it wasn’t as straight forward as I wanted and I ended up having a fight with Word. (Be sure to clean the outside of your tubes before applying the labels! You will have drips and this will affect the adhesion!)

So here are a few resources that I found and were SUPER helpful (ish). Whilst I dont sell my products I still want to present them in a professional way. Labeling Your Products : Lip Balm gives great advice on how to create labels that meet a USA legal standard, even offering a free downloadable template. I wasn’t sure how to even create a template, as I wanted mine to be unique and this free template was the right size for small lip balm tubes. I tried using it but Word and I started getting into a fight and my images were shifting and yeah… In the end I measured my tubes, length and width (kind of guessed here) and then went into word, made four columns, sized them accurately for the tube and went from there. Oh and if you didnt know, you can get all kinds of great royalty free photos at Pixabay, a great selection you can use across all your crafts!20171024_222052

Im really pleased with the results. I also put mine in the refrigerator overnight to set but honestly, it wasn’t necessary. The top of my lip balms were cocoa and honey, which tastes great but it is a bit weird at first, luckily it was used by the first 3 uses. This lip does go on clear but if you wipe at your mouth you will see a slight brown tint but no one would know you were wearing chocolate cake lip balm. 🙂

Notes: You can change this to White Chocolate by using white chocolate drink POWDER instead of cocoa powder. Additionally you can add in flavours if you want to by replacing them with the almond extract, which is what Im planning on doing next. Ill update with my next lip balm creation.

I bought my lip balm tubes on ebay but they can be found a variety of different stores.

Remember to share with friends! 🙂