Apr 19, 2010

Handmade Life: Bath and Body Products


I've decided to do a series of posts about making "handmade" a part of everyday life. If you are living naturally, you have probably already figured out how fun it can be to make items that you need or want. If not, this series will include ideas, resources, and encouragement to get you started! Another option is purchasing items made by others, if you don't want to make your own. I will include links for that as well.

Making your own bath and body products is a great way to make sure that you're only putting safe and natural ingredients on your skin. My favorite product to make is soap. Handmade soap is is rich and creamy, and doesn't dry out skin. When I make soap, I use fresh natural plant oils such as olive, coconut and palm. I add essential oils, organic herbs, and additional oils as well, depending on the type of soap I want to make. If you are interested in soapmaking, I encourage you to give cold process soapmaking a try. This means you will need to use lye, but no true soap is made without lye. Melt and pour glycerin that is sold in craft stores was made with lye, and chemically stripped from the soap, making it a by-product of commercial soapmaking. Because of this, it is usually filled with all the same chemicals that commercial soap contains. You can't control the ingredients in a glycerin base, making cold process the best choice if you want to make safe, high quality soap. Lye is needed to turn the oils into soap, but then you allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks, and lye is not present in the fully cured bar of soap. I also avoid pre-made glycerin bases because I don't feel that it would be as rewarding as making it from scratch!

Other options for do-it-yourself products include deodorant, lip balm, herbal salve, body butter and sugar scrub. All of these are easier than soap, and would be a good place to start if you want to make your own products. Save small containers, such as baby food jars or lip balm tins, and use these for your products.

Resources:

Deodorant & lip balm recipes
http://livingnaturallyinlouisiana.blogspot.com/2008/11/i-am-not-dirty-hippie-party.html

Recipe booklet and product labels to print out: purchase emailorder #11
http://www.kingpod.com/

Herbs, essential oils, carrier oils, butters, containers: Mountain Rose Herbs
www.mountainroseherbs.com

My etsy shop (you can find my soap here)
www.woolgypsy.etsy.com

Sirpa's etsy shop (she makes heat therapy wraps, as well as booboo pals for children!)
www.kaikulifestyle.etsy.com

You can also search etsy for any other bath and body products, so many shops offer wonderful items!
Do a google search for recipes as well, lots of great recipes can be found online.

If you have an idea for this series, let me know!

Apr 18, 2010

Egg shell seedlings

Planting seeds in egg shells is fun and eco-friendly. I will post another photo in a few weeks, when my seeds have sprouted.

First, prepare your egg shells. Shells should be broken carefully at one end, keeping at least half of the shell intact. Rinse with water and set aside to dry.

When you're ready to plant, put your shells in a carton, and fill each shell with a high quality soil. I used organic seed starting mix. Put a seed in each shell, and a small amount of water. Be careful not to over water.

When the seedlings are ready to be planted in the garden or containers, the shells can be planted with them. Crack each shell before planting so the roots don't get trapped.
The shell will gradually compost in the soil, and provide nutrients to your growing plants.

This is a fun activity for children, they can grow their own little gardens while learning about caring for the earth.

If you have an eco-friendly garden idea, comment here or get in touch with me! I will be posting more ideas in the future.