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Handmade Father’s Day Gift Ideas May 26, 2011

Filed under: Let's Get Crafy — rainbowyoga @ 5:22 am

Make a Gadget Cozy from a Book

Gourmet Salt Kit

If your dad is into cooking, a homemade gourmet salt kit is a great DIY Father’s Day gift! Over at Dollar Store Crafts, you can learn how to make your own out of a pill box. You could also use a set of tiny containers, like reclaimed baby food jars, to package your gourmet salts. Make this an extra special gift by whipping up some custom labels for each type of salt and sticking them to each container.

Of course, you can buy these salts pre-made, but that can get quite pricey. Instead, why not try your hand at making your own gourmet salt blends?

Infused Booze

Infused vodka or rum makes a great gift for dad, if he enjoys a cocktail at the end of the day. Infusions are very simple to make! Just steep your organic rum or vodka with whatever herbs or fruit you like, then strain into a pretty container. That’s it! I really liked this mint infused vodka idea from Cute and Delicious! If mint’s not dad’s thing, you can try:

  • Citrus vodka or rum – Steep the citrus peel in your booze of choice for a few days days, then strain.
  • Rosemary vodka – You don’t even have to strain this one. Leave the rosemary sprig right inside for a pretty effect.
  • Vanilla rum or vodka – Vanilla has a lighter taste, so it needs to steep longer. Toss a few vanilla pods in and let them steep for around 3 weeks.

Really, any sort of fruit or herb will do. The rule of thumb is to steep for a few days to a week, and strain it before bottling if your additions leave sediment in the drink. Some herbs won’t turn ugly as they soak, and you can leave those in for some extra charm.

Make a Custom Coffee Mug

With a set of nifty permanent ceramic pens, you can design a custom mug for dad that’s 100 percent personalized. Green up this project by hunting for the mug itself at the local thrift store, rather than buying one that’s new. You can look for a blank mug or even try to find one with a cute design that you want to embellish even more!

I’d recommend sketching your design on a piece of paper to get it finalized before you start drawing on the mug. You can also use stencils, if freehand drawing isn’t your strong suit.


Homemade aromatherapy facial cream April 11, 2011

Filed under: Let's Get Crafy — rainbowyoga @ 1:36 am

This natural aromatherapy facial cream is easy to make and perfect for dry skin or problem skin (particularly hormonally-linked problem skin).  It makes about 3 medium sized jars.

To make the face cream, you will need:

6 ounces of organic sweet almond oil

2 ounces of organic avocado oil (If you can’t find avocado oil, you can substitute more sweet almond oil).

Beeswax (3/4 cup shaved—use a grater)

1 teaspoon lecithin granules dissolved in 1 cup of lukewarm water

Essential Oils

Chamomile (10 drops)

Eucalyptus (6 drops)

Frankincense (2 drops)

Lavender (20 drops)

Patchouli (2 drops)

Ylang ylang (10 drops)

You can use a different combination of the essential oils if you prefer.  Use about 30 to 50 drops of combined essential oils for this recipe.

How to Make the Cream

Measure the sweet almond and avocado oil into a sterilized Pyrex container.  Add the shaved beeswax.  Bring a double boiler filled with water to a boil.  Set the Pyrex container in the box, gently warming the oil and beeswax mixture until the beeswax is melted.  Remove immediately from the stove.  In a separate bowl, dilute the lecithin granules in the cup of lukewarm purified water.  Pour the water-lecithin mixture into the blender and begin blending.  Slowly add the oil mixture, blending until the mixture forms a cream.  Finally, add the essential oils (chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, patchouli and ylang ylang.  Blend until combined.  Immediately fill sterilized glass jars and label.  The cream lasts about 6 months when kept refrigerated.


Eco friendly Easter Ideas March 30, 2011

Filed under: Let's Get Crafy — rainbowyoga @ 11:41 pm

Easter is just around the corner, but there’s still time to get your green craft on with some eco-friendly gifts and decorations! Crafting is a great way to spend some quality time with friends, family, or your kids, and Easter’s such a fun reason to get crafty! Whether you’re decorating eggs or filling an Easter basket, there are lots of ways to add a DIY touch to the holiday. Most of these crafts are kid-friendly, so the little ones can get in on the crafty fun!

1. Natural Egg Dyes

Egg dyeing is an Easter staple, but those store-bought dyes are often full of mystery chemicals. This year, check out some natural egg dyeing techniques instead. The results are beautiful, and you don’t have to worry about your kids handling toxic supplies. Foods like onion skins, turmeric, and beets make natural dyes that color your eggs without harsh chemicals.

2. Painting Wooden Eggs

For most vegan crafters, dyeing regular eggs isn’t a good option. Instead, look for wooden eggs that you can decorate. Just make sure you’re using non-toxic paints to create your wooden masterpieces. The bonus with a wooden egg? You’ve got a handmade treasure that will last for years, if you want it to. If you want to re-use your eggs, just paint them a solid color next year, and you can decorate them all over again!

3. Spring Nests

This is a fun alternative to the traditional Easter basket by using a serving bowl, reclaimed packing paper in place of a grocery bag, and brightly colored feathers.

4. Make a Green Easter Basket

Your local thrift store is an excellent source for baskets that you can turn into Easter baskets. To decorate, weave spring-colored ribbon into the basket, or use string or a hot glue gun to attach home made decorations to the outside. Just use a toothpick to help push the ribbon into the weave of the basket.

When filling up that basket, don’t forget the eco-candy! Opt for fair trade chocolate and healthy treats like fruit and nuts. Stay away from the traditional Easter grass stuffing — that stuff is made out of plastic. Instead, line your basket with shredded junk mail or even something more natural, like moss or wildflowers. You can also add homemade touches, like the fabric scrap baby chicks on the next page to make a cute, eco-friendly Easter basket.

4. Fabric Scrap Chicks

These fabric baby chicks would make such a sweet addition to any Easter basket. While the video above doesn’t mention it specifically, this is a great project for using up fabric scraps. Not only can you use scraps to sew up the birds and make the flower detail, but you can use tiny scraps and bits of thread to stuff your creation! If you aren’t into stuffing your baby chick with scraps, opt for organic cotton batting instead of polyfill, which is a petroleum product.


Homemade henna tattoos January 30, 2011

Filed under: Let's Get Crafy — rainbowyoga @ 10:51 pm

What You’ll Need
(All of these items can be found at your local natural foods store.)

Black tea (in a tea bag)
Eucalyptus essential oil
Approximately 1 cup henna powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cloves

What to Do
1. Boil 2 inches of water in a saucepan. Take the pan off the heat and add the black teabag to infuse for several hours.

2. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil and allow to infuse overnight.

3. Heat the mixture to a warm temperature, then slowly add it to a bowl of henna powder and ground cloves, stirring with a wooden spoon. You may not need to use all of the water. You want a thin paste, almost the consistency of yogurt.

4. Add lemon juice, then add more of the water mixture until it resembles the consistency of toothpaste.

5. Transfer the paste to a plastic bag, in which it can be stored for us to two days. Leftover paste can be frozen, though I’ve had mixed results in doing that.

Applying the Henna
There are a variety of application methods to choose from. Application bottles are available at craft supply stores, but a more available method is with an icing bag fitted with a very small metal decorating tip. If that isn’t available, you can make your own with a strong freezer bag by cutting a very small tip off one of the corners and being sure that the henna is sealed in at the top. You’ll squeeze the henna out the small tip just as you would frosting. You can also use the tip of a paintbrush to paint the paste on, but there is much less control, meaning the lines will be thicker. Once you have the henna prepared and in an applicator of some kind, it can be applied to the body as follows:

1. Wash the surface of the skin to be painted, making sure that all dirt, lotions, and oils are removed.

2. Apply a tiny amount of eucalyptus oil to the area. This will hold the art longer.

3. Using whatever method of application you’ve chosen, apply the henna to the skin.

4. The henna will dry partially in a short period of time, but try not to touch it much until it is fully dry, which can be up to a half-hour. The henna paste will fall off on its own, leaving the paint behind on your skin.

5. Once it is completely dry, after about 4 hours, the rest of the paste can be brushed off, and the skin can be washed.

6. Depending on the strength of your henna, the art can last anywhere from days to weeks. To hold the color longer, use care when washing the area, putting lotion over it when bathing or getting it wet. On the other hand, if you would like to remove the henna sooner, wash it often.


Home made Cocoa Lip Balm January 29, 2011

Filed under: Let's Get Crafy — rainbowyoga @ 12:00 am

What you need:

1 teaspoon beeswax
2 teaspoons pure Fair Trade organic cocoa butter
3 teaspoons organic coconut or olive oil
5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
recycled containers

What to do:

Slowly melt ingredients in a double boiler or in 30-second spurts in microwave. Cool slightly and fill recycled containers. You may need to adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your liking. Yum!



Rose Petal Beads January 27, 2011

Filed under: Let's Get Crafy — rainbowyoga @ 11:56 pm

There is something nicely poetic and sensuous about this project, taking rose petals and concentrating their loveliness into hand-worked beads. The end result is a fragrant, compact set of beads that you can string and use for adornment or meditation. Rose petal beads would make a sweet Valentine’s Day present; or provide a fantastic way to reuse the petals from roses you receive. (It’s too sad to see them in the trash).

Strings of beads have been used for prayer and meditation for ages, they help to center and focus. Scented objects such as rosaries have also been used in many religions. On feast days, early Christian priests wore garlands of rosebuds or beads made from rose petals, ground and blended with fixatives into an aromatic paste, then rolled into balls and pierced with a needle. It is a lovely idea to make an object to hold during meditation practice, and most people find that it helps to focus.

Here is a method inspired by a 19th-century recipe for rose petal beads that will yield lovely, scented beads that are surprisingly hard and durable. You will need nothing more than rose petals (red and fragrant are recommended), water, a saucepan and a needle or hanger, plus string for stringing.

1. Gather the roses and chop the petals as finely as you can.

2. Put them in a saucepan and barely cover with water. (If you have a cast iron skillet, the iron will impart a nice deep hue to the beads.)

3. Heat for an hour but do not let it boil.

4. Repeat this for three or four days and if necessary, add more water.

*It is important to never let the water boil but to warm it up each day over a moderate heat.

5. When the petals have reached the consistency of clay, you are ready to start the beads.

6. Place the mixture in a colander or sieve and press out as much water as possible.

7. Make the beads by working the pulp with the fingers into balls. When they dry they will shrink by about half, so you can start big.

8. When thoroughly well worked and fairly dry, press on to a bodkin (a long needle, or you can use thick wire or a metal hanger) to make holes in the center of each beads.

9. Until they are perfectly dry the beads have to be moved on the bodkin from time to time or they will be difficult to remove without breaking them.

10. When dry, remove and string them.



January 2, 2011

Filed under: Let's Get Crafy — rainbowyoga @ 10:01 pm

here’s nothing more fresh than the deliciously tart smell of citrus peels grinding in the garbage disposal. Imagine that wonderful crisp smell in the form of a candle? Now you can. These simplistic yet adorable little candles are easy to make at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Organic citrus fruits like lemons and oranges
Small knife
Wick material
Cooking pot
Tin can
An essential oil


  1. Cut the fruit in half and scoop out all of the pulp evenly.
  2. Carve out a small hole, whatever shape that you like, in the middle of the lid (the top part of the citrus peel).
  3. Use a needle to thread the wick through on the bottom so that you do not create too large of a hole.
  4. Tie the end of the wick off with a tiny knot.
  5. Melt the beeswax using a double boiler. Make the double boiler with the cooking pot on the outside and the tin can on the inside, pouring the water in the cooking pot.
  6. Once the wax has melted, pour the wax in the citrus bowl that you just made, holding the wick straight up.
  7. Add a drop of essential oil.
  8. Let the candle set and then place the lid back on top.