Homemade Soap

Here is a blog post from one of our Customer Service Reps who tried out our soap making book…have you tried soap making yet?

Having super sensitive skin I have been looking for a how to on making my own natural soap.  I want to know what is in the soap as well as being able to pronounce the ingredients.  The Natural Soapmaking Book for Beginners was an excellent starting place.  It is full of lots of information on pure ingredients; what to use and what to stay away from.

With such sensitive skin I decided to try the Goat milk, cinnamon, oats, and honey soap.  The oatmeal exfoliates gently while the goat milk and honey hydrate and soften your skin while providing natural antibacterial properties.

Gathering ingredients

Melting the fats

Dissolving lye in the goats milk (make sure you wear your protective gear)

Emulsifying the oil/fats with lye to obtain trace

In the mold it goes

Cut into slices to finish curing

8 weeks later all cured and ready to be used.  This soap has a nice lather and smells wonderful.  My skin loves it.

Wanting to try a soap that didn’t take 2 months to use, I tried one of the recipes that used melt and pour glycerin.  Who doesn’t love roses…?!?!?!  The Rose Petal Melt and Pour soap was quick and easy.  The bonus was being able to use it the same day!

Melting the glycerin

Rose clay, rose petals, and rose essential oil

Setting up (only 4 hours instead of 2 months)

This recipe was quicker for those who want the make and use right of way options.  The instructions are well written and easy to understand.  Rose oil calms and relaxes you while stimulating and elevating your mind.

Categories - Inspiration, News, Staff Projects

Foxy Quilling

Fox made by quilling

I was flipping through a book while planning our September catalog when a cute little quilled fox caught my eye! The fox was part of a larger project, but I decided to recreate just the fox because I wanted to start small and simple. This was my first experience quilling. It took a little longer than I expected (about two hours) but it was fun to try something new and learn a new skill!

I used our Paper Quilling Kit with Storage Box (#87441). This is the perfect kit for beginners because it has everything you need to get started. It includes quilling strips, quilling comb, circle template ruler, curling coach, tweezers, ultrafine tip glue applicator, needle and slotted tool, and a tri-fold blank card. I used regular Elmer’s Glue on the quilling strips.

I loosely followed the directions from the book by looking at the picture for each step (this book will be available to purchase after the September catalog has been mailed out). The fox is made up of multiple sections that each contain one or more quilling strips. For example, the ears themselves are sections that are made up of one quilling strip each that is curled tightly around itself and bent. The front legs are another section that is made up of four short strips that are slightly curled by hand and glued together at their ends. Each section doesn’t look like much by itself, but when you put all the sections together that’s when the magic really happens!

I decided to give the finished fox to my Grandma because I thought of her while I was making it. She has given my family cards with quilling art on them before for holidays or birthdays. After doing the craft myself, I can really appreciate the time and care that goes into these!


Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

USA Paper Mache Letters

These mache letters will look great on your mantel or bookshelf this Fourth of July and they were so much fun to paint! A great project for the beginning painter or for the Americana enthusiast.

These letters allow for a little creative freedom when deciding where to do the stripes and what will be your blue fields. I pretty much just eyeballed it, but used a ruler to help me keep most lines straight when they needed to be. Other than that, just relax and have fun, these are supposed to be a little whimsical or rustic.

You just need a few supplies: 12″ Mache Letters – A (#40153), U (#40173), and S (#40171); Falling Stars Background Stencil (#71899); Identi Pen Black (#70830); DecoArt Americana paint colors in Williamsburg Blue (#13040), Deep Midnight Blue (#13166), Winter Blue (#13190), Rookwood Red (#13097), Black Plum (#13172), Light Buttermilk (#13164), Antique White (#13058), Snow White (#13001), and Neons Fiery Red (#18000).

I painted the sides and back of each letter with Deep Midnight Blue. For the design, paint the blue fields with Williamsburg Blue, shade with Deep Midnight Blue, highlight with Winter Blue. Light stripes paint with Light Buttermilk, shade with Antique White, highlight with Snow White. Red stipes paint with Rookwood Red, shade with Black Plum, highlight with Fiery Red. Stars are stenciled with Light Buttermilk. Add dip dots to each corner of the star. When everything is dry, outline the stripes and some sections of the A for separation with the Identi Pen. Finish with your favorite varnish.

There you have it…some fun Americana letters to enjoy all summer long!

Happy Painting!

Categories - Finished Projects, Inspiration, Snapshots, Staff Projects

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