DIY Spa Style Mother’s Day Gifts

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Gift giving can sometimes put a strain on a budget. Depending on the person and expectations one’s family has, it can cause load of extra stress and pressure. Well, if you have someone you’re celebrating this mother’s day that enjoys a bit of personal pampering, I’ve got some DIY suggestion to help you out in the remain crunch time days here.

From the lovely folks over a Lil’ Luna, here’s all the info you need to make a simple custom set of spy type items; namely bath salts, candles and a sugar scrub. All you need is a custom mix of relaxing music to go with it and you’ve got the perfect at home relaxation kit. 🙂 You will need several supplies to make all 3 items, so if you’re strapped for cash, it might be best to pick 1-2 items that would work best for the recipient. You’ll need a container for all the items, so I won’t list that as other then the candle needing to be glass, the type/style is really up to you. We’ll start with the easiest:

Bath Salts:

  • 1 Cup Epson Salts
  • 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
  • 3 Drops of Essential Oils
  • Zest of one citrus (optional) Citrus types include Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruits, etc.

Simply mix all the ingredients together and place them in your jar/container and seal it up. Doesn’t get easier then that. 🙂

Sugar Scrub:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Drops of Essential Oils

Heat up the coconut oil a bit in the microwave to get it nice and runny so everything will be easier to mix. Then, simply add all the ingredients together and pour in jar.

This last one is the hardest/most expensive so if you think it’s beyond your skill then buying a candle may be the better choice

Candle:

  • Soy Wax, enough to fill your container twice
  • Container
  • A Wick
  • Skewer
  • Essential Oils
  • Pan

First, wrap the top of the wick around skewer and set in container. Then, melt the wax in a double boiler, stirring constantly. When the temperature reaches 170 F remove from heat, addind about 8 drops of essential oils and wait til it drops to 150 F before pouring the wax into the jars. Leave for a few hours to set, and then snip off the top of wick, leaving about 1/2″ above the candle for lighting.

You can get fancy and add various colors using food grade dye for the body products or colored wax for the candles, or even mix and match essential oils to get a custom fragrance you know they’ll love. 😀


A Hand Warming Experience

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Happy Sunday, all!

While we are enjoying some unseasonably warm weather this week, it’s still winter and the Midwest US is famous for it’s sub-zero temperatures. So how to keep warm? With a little help from some grains (or seeds)! I’m talking hand/feet/neck warmers here. If you spend any time at all on Pinterest, I am quite sure these have popped up in your feed at one point.

If they have unicorns on them, even better!

They are pretty fantastic and a tutorial for the rice type ones has been posted before on Craft Hackers (here) but I want to go a little more in depth because these things are super effective, easy to make, and great for gifts. I’ve seen tutorials for rice, corn and flax seed types but hadn’t quite settled on which one would suit me. Lo and behold, someone has actually done some informal research on the subject! Sew4home compared the three for the time it take for each type to cool down (read the entire article here).

Which will it be? Will longer grains prevail? The seeds? The round kernels?

It turns out that flax seed keeps the heat steady for the longest period of time but there are other parameters to consider such as smell, feel, and cost. Each has a bit of a smell when heated but this can be reduced by adding in some aromatherapy (a great tutorial with different smells can be found here).

A little lavender can go a long way!

As far as feel goes, corn with all of it’s round bead-like size can be the most soothing against the skin. Corn also heats up faster and has great heat staying power as well. My favorite tutorial for making corn bags comes from the PlaysWithNeedles blog where she has a handy dandy tip sheet for making a “Cozy”:

The final parameter they mention is cost but I would also put in an honorable mention for availability. Rice is generally cheapest and most widely available but if you have a feed/grain store nearby, corn and flax can still be very economic. Flax does recommend itself as a reasonable option, especially as it is a seed and won’t need replacing as often (a purely flax tutorial can be found here).

Although I can just imagine the mess that comes with flax vs rice vs corn cleanup.

Whichever you may choose, there are some items they all share in common when making a warmer/cooler (yes, these can be stored in the freezer for soothing ouchies and headaches as well):

  1. Only use 100% cotton fabric, flannel is preferable for feel but not a necessity.
  2. Only partially fill the bag so that it still has movement and is not as hard as a rock – this also helps when sewing the end closed.
  3. Ensure that before the first use, you zap it a couple of times in the microwave to kill off any possible bugs and eliminate moisture.
  4. A funnel is your best friend when filling.
  5. Put a double seam around the edges to prevent these from breaking open (the temptation to toss them like bean bags is great).
  6. A cover is a great way to prevent these from getting too dirty but again, not a necessity.
  7. Heat in a clean microwave as I’m fairly certain you don’t want them to pick up the smells of leftovers.

That’s everything I’ve saved along my way in the quest for fantastic hand warmers! I think I’m going to use some of this good weather to open the windows while I get some sewing done, in prep for colder temps I know are just lying in wait.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Recycled Gifts to Warm the Heart

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Happy Sunday, all!

There is only one week left until the big holidays hit so if you still have some gifts to find, I have a few suggestions that are not only budget and environmentally friendly but also rather thoughtful. First up is a tutorial to help you make a nice new pair of warm mittens out of old sweaters:

Just think about how many mittens could be made out of some thrifted ugly sweaters!

Just think about how many mittens could be made out of some thrifted ugly sweaters!

Even if you don’t have many older sweaters to use, the second hand stores (pun intended) should have plenty in all kinds of awesome patterns. One sweater usually has enough fabric to make a few pairs of mittens OR you could use this tutorial to make a matching hat.

So now that you’ve made some gifts to keep warm outside, I think an inside warmer is in order. Let’s make sure that it’s fun and stylish, too! A tea wreath is a cute present for those tea drinkers in your life:

This may also help to get rid of some of that excess tea in the cabinets. Or is that just me?

This may also help to get rid of some of that excess tea in the cabinets. Or is that just me?

Using recycled cardboard, old clothespins, and bright paper with some colorful teabags would make a wonderful, functional decoration. Maybe tea isn’t their thing? How about music? I don’t know about you but my ear buds always get tangled or lost in my purse. I could really use something to keep them contained and I bet others could, too. This earphone holder made from a recycled mint container is just right:

Super adorable and just the right size. No more tangled cords!

Super adorable and just the right size. No more tangled cords!

I think the only issue would be mixing up mints and earphones when digging around in the carry-all. The last tutorial I have pains me a little because it requires you to cut up a book but I think the prospect of “saving” an old book from the trash is incentive enough to make this neat portable art case:

Never fear, the tutorial also includes links to further crafts you can use the pages for.

Never fear, the tutorial also includes links to further crafts you can use the pages for.

Any artist on-the-go should be well equipped with it in hand. So there we are, folks! I hope one of these at least inspires an idea or two for that hard to buy for relative. I’ve got a lot of crafting to do in the next week so I’d better get to it. See you in a week for the big day!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY Make Up Brush Box

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So with the holidays fast approaching, the stress of finding gifts and not going broke is a reality for many people. Fear not though, as we here at Craft Hackers are all about the DIY and will be highlighting some nice ad unique DIY items that you can make as gifts that won’t break the bank. 🙂 Today I have a super lovely (and super simple) make-up brush holder.

Kelly from the Smart School House has created this lovely and simple DIY that will likely thrill any make-up lover. This stand is made from a wood base that you can find at most craft stores, like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, and simply requires glue, vinyl, paint and rice.

The rice in the base allows the brushes to stand up straight and not end up mixing or getting bent out of shape. I would suggest maybe pouring the rice into a separate bag, then place the bag inside the box when giving it as a gift; just to keep messes from happening when it gets unwrapped. 🙂

 


Last Minute Madness

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there! If you are in a fix and weren’t able to find the right gift in time, it’s not too late! How much time do you have?

If you can paint something really quick and let it dry, a chalkboard wine bottle vase would make that last minute bouquet extra special. Most big box craft stores are still open today so take that empty wine bottle, a little chalkboard paint (perhaps with a stencil if you aren’t confident in your freehand lettering), add on a personal message and voila!

Let's be honest, you don't even need to be that fancy with the design and it counts as recycling!

Let’s be honest, you don’t even need to be that fancy with the design and it counts as recycling!

If you don’t have time for a craft store AND a flower run or if you want to give her something that lasts a bit longer, you could always make the flowers yourself. Coffee filter flowers are simple, easy, and just as pretty as the real thing!

The best part is that they are allergy friendly.

The best part is that they are allergy friendly.

Ok, let’s say there aren’t any craft stores nearby but the local grocery store has great fresh produce. A quick cucumber mint sugar scrub is just the thing!

It's probably good enough to eat, too.

It’s probably good enough to eat, too.

Don’t underestimate the power of a quick construction paper/crayon handmade card to accompany any of these as well. It is definitely the thought that counts (no matter how last minute).

Enjoy the day and stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


More For Mom

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Mother’s Day is only a week away here in the U.S. and as I promised, I have some additional ideas for gifts! You may not have time for personalizing items if you’ve waited this long but you can still order to your Mom’s tastes. For instance, if your Mom is a wine enthusiast but you don’t want to just give her a bottle, what about a wine scented candle in a recycled wine bottle?

Look Ma, it's recycling at its best!

Look Ma, it’s recycling at its best!

Or maybe you already got her a new book but would like something extra to make it super special? How about a handmade felt bookmark:

Pretty and functional!

Pretty and functional!

Is your Mom a crafter? Does she knit or crochet? How about a new (punny) yarn bowl:

Show her how much ewe love her...

Show her how much ewe love her…

Perhaps the kitchen is still your Mom’s domain. If you get her this lovely engraved cutting board, she can always blame the tears on the onions:

I'm not crying, you're crying!

I’m not crying, you’re crying!

You better get a move on if you want them to ship on time! If last minute is the name of your game, however, I’ll be back next week with some very quick and easy gift enhancements to add on to that thoughtful card you’ll pick up on the way to Mom’s.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


A Charming Gift for Mom

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Here in the US, Mother’s Day is exactly two weeks away so the mad scramble to find just the right gift has begun! Many people often turn to jewelry as one of the best ways to show Mom just how much she means to them. There is quite the selection out there to choose from! Whether you want to give her a reminder that she is always in your heart by gifting her with an actual engraving of your heartbeat:

A beat that any Mother could love.

A beat that any Mother could love.

Or maybe your Mom gets especially sentimental over a certain Disney movie involving elephants:

I'm not crying, you're crying!

I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Maybe your Mom (like mine), is a big geek and would love to sport a pendant with her favorite space plant:

Yes, Mom, we are ALL Groot.

Yes, Mom, we are ALL Groot.

Or if she is a big gamer, perhaps show your love by giving her this stylish and effective shield from her fave action adventure character:

Nothing says love like a mirrored shield of Hyrule!

Nothing says love like a mirrored shield of Hyrule!

You’ve still got time but just remember to factor in shipping and demand! I’ll be back next week with some more great gift ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


A Little Piece of Your Heart

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From our crafty hearts to yours, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Looking for love in all the right places?

Looking for love in all the right places? Have you checked Etsy?

In your search for that perfect representation of your love for that special someone, did you have difficulty finding just the right thing? Or were there so many options that you couldn’t decide? Well just in case it is the former, allow me to make a few suggestions. If you want to show Mr/Ms Right how much they set your heart to galloping, how about a heart shaped horseshoe?

It's a hunk of burning iron, aflame with passion!

It’s a hunk of burning iron, aflame with passion!

Or perhaps you are currently in a long distance relationship and want to remind them how special they are? Or better yet, make a not so subtle suggestion:

A carefully placed magnet could ensure it is always pointing toward you....

A carefully placed magnet could ensure it is always pointing toward you….

Or maybe you just want to remind them that they are in your heart all of the time?

Keeping all of those happy times in your heart...

Keeping all of those happy times in your heart has never been easier.

Or if you, like me, just don’t get all that mushy over the usual cartoony hearts and roses you can take things a bit more literally:

Ripped right out of my chest, just for you!

Ripped right out of my chest, just for you!

Even if you are currently in between relationships or happily single, do something nice for yourself today. Perhaps some online shopping?

A lovely, heartfelt crafty hug to you all!

~Laura

 


Mind Your Needles!

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Let’s face it, the holidays are coming (where did the rest of the year go?!). Are you at a loss for gift ideas for your friend/significant other/second cousin twice removed that enjoys textile arts like cross stitch, crochet, and knitting? I have found just the thing, mainly because they are currently on my holiday wishlist. A Needle Runs Through It is run by a lovely lady that started her business by creating sturdy project bags for those that like to take their needle crafting with them wherever they go. She has since expanded to include needle minders.

Needle minders, protecting fingers and toes everywhere!

Needle minders, protecting fingers and toes everywhere!

Not familiar with them, you say? If you have ever completed a project that requires a needle no more than 2 inches long, you know the pain of dropping and then trying to find your needle without stepping on it/stabbing yourself in the process. Needle minders are little magnets that attach to the front and back of your project so that when you need a break or to change your thread color, the needle has a safe and apparent place to rest. Her shop has some of the cutest little needle minders I’ve ever seen.

Alpaca and kitty will keep your needles safe!

Alpaca and kitty will keep your needles safe!

Does your friend/SO/cousin perhaps prefer subversive cross stitch? How about a super awesome yarn skull needle minder?

That's some tough craft love right there.

That’s some tough craft love right there.

Ok, I did mention above that she also caters to the crochet/knit crowd with her adorable wooden accessories. These sheep stitch markers should do the trick:

Fluffy little sheep tail!

Fluffy little sheep tail!

She has plenty to choose from! Even TARDIS shaped needle minders for the Doctor Who crafter in your life. To get your own needle minding awesomeness, you can find A Needle Runs Through It on Etsy and Facebook.

Wishing all our readers in the US a safe and happy Thanksgiving this week!

Now back to those holiday crafts I need to finish! Where’s my needle?

~Laura