Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chalk Paint 2

This is actually our second recipe for chalk paint. Our first recipe worked great, but took some time to make because you have so grind up wet chalk. This recipe takes less than 5 minutes to make and you probably have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen right now!

The recipe:

1 cup of water
1 1/4 cup of corn starch
food coloring

Mix the water and cornstarch in a glass pitcher or bowl. It takes a minute to get the corn starch and water to mix.

Pour the mixture into a muffin tin or other small cups or bowls.

Next add a few drops of food coloring to the chalk paint.

Stir well. The paints will dry much lighter than the wet paint. Make your colors bright!

Now you are ready to paint! We found that bigger brushes worked better. They held more paint.

As the paint dried it became much more opaque!

Jonah had lots of fun splatter painting with the chalk paint. Not something mom lets him do inside!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Create Your Own Nail Polish Color!

Can you REALLY create your own nail polish color?? When we saw this idea from Delighted Momma, we were excited but a little skeptical. She showed that you can create fun colors by mixing clear nail polish and ground up eye shadow, which sounded cool but we weren't sure what the results would look like in real life. Maybe gritty? Only one way to find out!

What You Need:
  • eyeshadow (cheap or old work great!)
  • clear nail polish
  • toothpick
  • funnel (paper cone)

First, choose your colors. We had some cheap dollar store eyeshadow, but that old eye shadow in your make-up stash that is probably too old to put near your eyes would be perfect, too! We chose to do a combination gray and blue. Not knowing how much to put in, we started with half of both, then later decided to add the rest of the blue. You can always add, not take away! Grind up your colors with a tooth pick.

 Empty a little of your nail polish out, if necessary, so that you have room to add colors and blend. Then place your funnel (or in our case a rolled up paper cone) in the top of the bottle and add your ground up colors. Stir it up with your tooth pick, then replace the cap and give it a good shake. If you aren't happy with the color, adjust it as you wish (as we mentioned above, we ended up adding more blue to ours).

Now you are ready to try out your new color! Ours turned out more silver than we expected, but we were still thrilled with the results! Not at all gritty - looks and acts like regular nail polish! It was a little sheer, so we definitely needed two coats.

But what we really liked is that when we went into the sunlight we saw how sparkly it was, thanks to the eyeshadow! So fun! Can't wait to try this with other funky colors in our stash!
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Homemade Butcher Block Conditioner

Rebecca's kitchen has butcher block countertops. Like wooden cutting boards, they need to be conditioned from time to time. The conditioners help moisturize and protect the wood from water and stains.

Look how dry this countertop looks!

She usually uses olive oil or this great commercial butcher conditioner. After looking at the ingredients in the commercial conditioner, we realized it was a lot like our lip balm - oil mixed with beeswax. We knew we could make a homemade version using the same process! You can use this on butcher block counters or your wooden cutting boards.

We got out our beeswax and olive oil. (you could also use mineral oil or canola oil) If you don't have butcher block countertops, you may want to halve the recipe.

In a microwave safe bowl mix 1 tablespoon of grated beeswax or beeswax pellets. Add a 1/2 cup of olive oil. Microwave for about 2 minutes - until the beeswax is melted. Let the bowl cool until it is cool enough to handle. Stir to make sure the oil and beeswax are well combined.

Pour a liberal amount of warm conditioner on the counter or cutting board.

Rub the conditioner with a clean dry cloth. Let it sit for at least 20 min. Then wipe off excess with a dry cloth.

Look at the difference! The top half has none. The bottom half has been conditioned. The color of the wood comes out and looks beautiful!

You can save any unused conditioner for future uses. (you may want to keep it in the fridge) As it cools it becomes the texture of petroleum jelly. In fact,, you can even use it like you would petroleum jelly! Dry wood wood or dry skin, this stuff works great!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Bottle Cap Stamps

Since school is out and our boys aren't doing summer camp this year, we are trying to come up with fun and crafty things to keep them occupied. And, as always, we prefer to use items we have on hand versus running out and buying supplies. Once such activity we found was from Mel's Own Place: Bottle Cap Stamps!  Around here (and in most areas) bottles get recycled but not the caps, so being able to come up with something to give the caps a new life is awesome!  This project just takes a few minutes to make, but kept our guys busy for quite a while afterwards!

What You Need:
  • bottle caps, washed and dried
  • sharpie
  • hot glue (or puffy paint)

 Have your kids draw simple shapes or designs on the bottle caps with a sharpie (our kids were more fond of abstract shapes).

Then go over their designs with the hot glue. The original post used puffy paint, but we not only didn't have any, but wouldn't have had the patience to wait for it to dry anyway! Hot glue hardens in a matter of minutes, which is just our style!

Once the glue hardens, grab your ink pad and get stamping! A great way to recycle and spend an afternoon!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Luscious Homemade Body Lotion

As we mentioned last week we are really interested in making homemade skin care products. Our whole family has super sensitive skin. Our mother can't use any products with petroleum based ingredients (which may not be healthy for any of us). Some of us have eczema, others are allergic to sunscreen and we all have very dry skin! You can see why we are interested in finding better, less irritating skin care! (not to mention it is SO FUN to make your own lotions and potions!)

Luscious is the word for this recipe from ReadyMade. It is thick and creamy and leaves your skin feeling fabulous! It is also a very adaptable recipe. You can use whatever oils you want. You could also add other moisturizing ingredients. We kept ours simple because of all our allergies. In this batch we used canola oil because we knew no one was allergic to it and it has almost no oder. A few readers expressed concern about canola oil's safety. According to the Mayo Clinic, Eating Well, and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , concerns about canola oil are completely unfounded and are just internet rumors. That being said, use whatever oils you feel comfortable with! Let's get started!

The Recipe:

1 cup of distilled water
3/4 cup of oil
3 Tbl. beeswax (pellets or grated)
a few drops of essential oil - optional
a blender

Mix the oil and beeswax together and melt. We used the microwave, but you could also use a double boiler. Heat just until melted. Stir to make sure they are well mixed. Allow the oil and bees wax to cool for a minute.

Pour the water and essential oil into the blender. Turn on and then slowly add the beeswax mixture. Blend until the water and oil are well mixed (a minute or two) You don't want to see any water on top. It is so fun to watch these ingredients combine like magic into lotion!

Using a spatula pour the lotion into a clean container. It will thicken as it cools until it the consistency of those lovely (and expensive) body butters you find at the store!

Our next skin care project - homemade sunscreen! Are you as excited as we are?
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Drippy Pot

The boys had their last day of school last week, and to show their teachers how much we appreciate all their hard work we like to give them little gifts that include something handmade by the kids.  This year, Jack decided to paint his teacher a flower pot. We decided to use this idea from Clever Nest as inspiration...But Jack (of course) put his own spin on it!

What You Need:
  • Clean, dry flower pot
  • acrylic paint, preferably in squeeze bottles
  • paint brush
  • Clear, acrylic spray paint (optional)
Choose a background color for your pot, then cover the outside and about halfway down the inside of your pot. Jack chose a pretty turquoise color! Let it dry.

Flip your pot over so it's upside down. Then drip a second color along the bottom rim so that it drips down. Jack chose a pearly-purpley-pink. Once you have the coverage you like, let it dry.

The original project had just two colors, but Jack thought that wasn't quite enough for his pot. He then decided that he needed to drip a hot pink color on his pot (he chose hot pink because his teacher LOVES flamingos). Once that layer was dry we sprayed clear acrylic inside and out to give it some extra sheen and a little extra protection.

Then we finished off his masterpiece by planting some impatiens! It was a fun and simple project that showed his teacher how much we loved her!

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Homemade Lip balm

Over the past few years Nana has found that she is becoming more and more allergic to lipstick and lip balm. We think it is the petroleum products that are in most cosmetics, that she is allergic to. So we set out to make a lip balm with really simple ingredients that she could use. We looked at many different recipes and found used a combination of beeswax and a variety of different oils. We decided to use canola oil because we knew it would not bother Nana (you can eat this stuff) and doesn't have much flavor. Canola worked great, but you could substitute your favorite oils. We put ours in an empty lib balm tube. You can use any small container. You can also buy new containers on line. We just ordered a 10 pack for $5 at Amazon. This recipe will make a little over a 1/3 of a cup of lip balm. Make a few tubes for you and share some with someone you love!

What you need:

1/3 cup of canola oil
1/8 cup of beeswax pellets (or grated beeswax) We
used organic cosmetic grade beeswax.

We poured the oil and beeswax into a microwave safe bowl.

Microwave until the beeswax melts. It took ours about 3.

Stir well. Pour into your containers and let harden. (about 30 minutes)

We have been using the lip balm for about a week now. Our lips have never been happier! Nana has also tried it and found that it did not irritate her lips at all!

While doing research for this project we discovered that there are a lot of questionable ingredients in many cosmetics. We are hoping to share more homemade beauty products with you over the next few weeks that work great and are safe to use! You are gonna love them!
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

This isn't really a project like we'd normally do, but we thought we'd share an idea that we are trying at our houses - maybe it will help you as well!

We're not sure if mothers of girls have this problem, but the boys in our house could use some reminders about manners, especially at the dinner table.  Simple things such as chewing with their mouths closed, staying seated during the meal, and avoiding "potty humor" seem to have suddenly become tasks worthy of Hercules.  We've gotten tired of saying the same reminders over and over to them, so we were tickled to see this cute idea floating around Pinterest (though we're not sure who originally came up with this idea). The newest guest at our dinner tables is going to be  The Manners Pig.

All you need is a small, cheap plastic pig. Check out your toy box - we're sure you have one floating around in there. If not, check out the dollar store! Then place the little guy on your dining room table or somewhere within easy reach. As long as everyone is using good manners, the pig stays put. But if someone breaks the agreed upon rules, they get the pig placed in front of them. And there he stays until someone else breaks a rule during the meal. Whomever is left with The Manners Pig in front of them after the meal is over has to clear the whole table.

We think the kids are going to get a kick out of this and can't wait for dinnertime to try it out (and of course we'll keep you posted!). We are pretty sure this will be successful in our families, since we plan on having the adults participate as well...and we're pretty sure the kids are going to want to use their good manners and try to catch us slipping up! :)

Much more fun than nagging!
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